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Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Amanpour and Company.” And here`s what`s coming up.
The worst-ever attack on America`s Jews. We take stock as the country mourns a spate of hate crimes.
Then, Brazil lurches to the far right after the candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, wins the presidency. I`ll ask the former foreign minister, Celso Amorim,
why this radical move.
Plus, for decades, he helped shape the Republican message. Now, a week from the midterms, he says the country is more divided than ever. Our Hari
Srinivasan talk to strategist, Frank Lunz.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I`m Christiane Amanpour in New York.
Throughout this past week America has suffered a wave of hate-fueled violence. There were racial crimes with an attack on African-Americans at
a Kentucky supermarket, political crimes with the pipe bomb mailings to leading critics of President Trump and here to CNN and religious crimes
with the vicious slaughter inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 worshippers.
American Jews are reeling from a resurgence of anti-Semitism in this country, the one they felt the most safe in, where a mass murderer saying
he wants, “All Jews to die,” seems like a relic from the distant past.
But it wasn`t ancient history to Rose Mallinger, the much-loved 97-year-old who was killed that Saturday morning. She was already an adult when 6
million Jews were exterminated during World War II. And now, as America tries to make sense of the violence, one thing is clear, whatever the
perceived threat from the influx of migrants coming across the Mexican border, most recent terror attacks in the United States were, in fact,
carried out by home grown extremists and just plain haters.
A spiritual leader of New York`s congregation, Ansche Chesed, Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky helped lead an interfaith prayer vigil last night to attract an
overflow crowd to his congregation on Manhattan`s upper west side. And Reverend Serene Jones heads the Union Theological Seminary where she is a
professor of religion and democracy. Both join me here now in New York. So, welcome to the program.
JEREMY KALMANOFSKY, RABBI, ANSCHE CHESED SYNAGOGUE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it is really a dark day, it`s been a dark week in, frankly, dark times. Can I just ask you because of the proximity to the
Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, to what do you attribute this rise in anti- Semitism?
KALMANOFSKY: Well, I think the Jewish people of the United States have felt extraordinarily comfortable and successful and thriving in this
country in many, many ways and I think this really comes, you know, so much out of the blue in the experience of American Jews.
What do I attribute the rise to? I`m somewhat at a loss. Certainly, the tenor of American public life in recent years has been to identify people
who are perceived as, for whatever reason, outsiders. American Jews have for — I think more than a century, felt very much like insiders, very much
at home in the United States.
And the reality is that we are seeing, once again, that as has been true in the other countries where we lived over hundreds and hundreds and hundreds
of years in Europe and the Islamic world, they are those who would like to remind us that we are actually not such as insiders, that we are perceived
as outsiders. And there are those, we hope, a very small minority and certainly, the smallest of minority who would take violent expression, but
there are plenty of people who look at us and find us just a little bit too different and would like to remind us that, in their view, we don`t belong.
AMANPOUR: You know — yes, go ahead, Reverend.
SERENE JONES, REVEREND, UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY PRESIDENT: There`s been a dramatic — just in the past year-and-a-half, a dramatic increase in the
instances of anti-Semitism in the United States. I mean, it`s quite gone up 35 percent in a year-and-a-half period.
AMANPOUR: In a year-and-a-half?
JONES: In a year-and-a-half since 2016. What does that correspond to? Well, it corresponds to a campaign that makes its point about the future of
America by tying it to hatred of various groups across the country. And anti-Semitism is in the mix of that hatred.
AMANPOUR: And do you see them? Because you have got sort of a wide eye of various — of these groups who are being targeted. I mean, we have — as
we have just discussed at the Tree of Life Synagogue, we had these mail bombings and we`ve had a guy go into a Kroger and kill two African-
Americans because he couldn`t get into a church because it was locked. How much has hate crime overall gone up?
JONES: It`s escalated dramatically. I don`t know the specific statistics on all the different groups. But in reality, all of these are
interconnected hatreds. I mean, targeting African-Americans, targeting the Jewish community, targeting immigrants, targeting Muslims, targeting women,
the list can go on and on.
But it`s a part of a general dynamic in which a country, people, begins to define themselves by virtue of what they hate, what kind of group they find
a scapegoat. And it is as old as religion is to do that but we`re bigger than that.
KALMANOFSKY: Yes. This is certainly true. But I would say and I do think that the tenor of public life, certainly in the last 24 months, has made it
much, much worse as people chant, you know, that so and so should not — Jews should not replace us or the immigrants are bringing all sorts of
crime, and I think those things are horrifying.
But I want to remind people that it was 2001 after the 9/11 attacks that we started to hearing so much more about Islamophobia and like, Sikh people
attacked because they were mistaken for Muslims. So, it`s — I think that the current administration and its rhetoric bears a lot of the blame but
it`s not exclusive to the recent years.
AMANPOUR: Well, you see, that`s really interesting and let`s dig down into that for a second. First of all, let me play a sort of relevant soundbite
by the rabbi at Tree of Life who very fortunately survived, and this is what he said about words and their consequences.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFERY MYERS, RABBI, TREE OF LIFE: It starts with speech. Words of hate are unwelcomed in Pittsburgh. And I want to address for a moment some of
our political leader who are here. Ladies and gentlemen, it has to start with you as our leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, the rabbi, they are talking about words of hate and how leaders have to take responsibility. Now, this is a very sensitive issue
today and, in the aftermath, because many are pointing to the top leadership in this country. Frankly, to the White House, to the president
They are furiously pushing back and they`re saying that this is our fault, the media, frankly. The president is calling us the enemies of the people
and that we are the people who are creating a climate of anger and hatred.
It is a sensitive topic. How should one address this? Because there is so much political anger right now and so much knee-jerk anger. What does one
do? Immediately blame the White House? Not blame the — what should one do? Rabbi, first to you.
KALMANOFSKY: First me? You want to go first?
AMANPOUR: Oh, first you, Reverend. Go ahead.
JONES: Well, I think we do two things. First of all, we have to reach into the mock of American history and see how old these hatreds are so we
can`t treat it like this is a momentarily phenomenon, even something that we can limit to just the past year-and-a-half, but really look at who we
And then secondly, every single world religion, at Union we teach a number of world religions. They all say that what one is called to do is to meet
hatred with love. That`s a mighty thing to do but that`s what this moment calls for.
AMANPOUR: And practically how do you do that? How do you meet — I mean, the great civil rights leader in this country, Representative John Lewis,
has sent out a statement today and boy, he knows about trying to meet hatred with love firsthand. And he said, as part of his statement if our
leaders cannot bring us together and help us and bear their responsibility, then it is up to all of us to try to do what you have just said.
How does one do that against, apparently, a crackpot who is on social media, who is in a particularly poisonous group, not even in the mainstream
social media, it is in the dark web. Nearly — I mean, 600,000 followers spewing this disgusting stuff.
KALMANOFSKY: Well, I think it`s important to remember that there are always going to be truly unhinged people. There are, so to speak, the
mainstream bigots and racists and then there are the completely unhinged people who are going to take assault rifles, and I don`t know how to stop.
I`m not expert in such a thing
But I would — it seems to me that in this country, which has such a great diversity of backgrounds, where people come from, languages and religions
and cultures, we are actually so vulcanized and so much — so little contact we actually have with one another. You know, we talk about red
America and blue America, and it`s absolutely true. I did grow up in much more of a red America. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. But living in
the upper west side of Manhattan in 10025, I have to say that I don`t meet a ton of people who think very differently than I do and quite in a bubble,
and those people who live off in another part of the country they`re in their own bubble.
And it`s much easier to hate people when you don`t actually have a relationship with them, when you never actually hear anything of their
perspective. And it is much more difficult to hate people and to demonize people and to think that those Jews over there are actually betraying the
country or those Black people or those Hispanic people, or those Muslim people, they`re betraying the country, if you never met them. And once you
meet them and talk to them, one discovers that human beings are human beings and they are worthy.
And this is where, I think, that our religious traditions come into play. Because even though we come difference religious traditions, it is
absolutely true that what you just said that we are the corners of human society that teach people that love is the answer to all of our conflicts.
JONES: You know, it`s been interesting to me even to listen to the responses and the characterizations of — in both instances, the
perpetrator. And even there, I happen to believe that for someone to perpetrate acts this horrific there has to be profound mental illness. And
even for our leaders to be referring to them as crackpots or — I mean, they have done —
AMANPOUR: That`s me, I`m afraid.
JONES: But they have done horrendous things, but what does it mean to meet those horrendous actions with compassion for the fracturing force of our
world upon human bodies? And I —
AMANPOUR: You have talked about not just this, you know, sort of leadership vacuum or leadership and necessity for leadership right now and
sort of just political tribalism that`s happening right now. You have talked about a moral crisis, a crisis that`s actually tearing the fabric of
How profound is this kind of crisis? This kind of week we have just gone through on the fabric of American society. What kind of an affect?
JONES: Yes. It`s devastating. And what it`s revealing is not just a political crisis. We can see that very clearly on the surface, but a deep
— what I refer to as a spiritual crisis, a moral crisis. I don`t think that anymore in the United States we can assume that what is a fundamental
principle of the democracy, namely that all people are equal and deserving of equal respect and dignity, is a fundamental value shared by everyone.
That is simply not the case anymore.
And when we get do that point, we have to dig inside ourselves as a nation and say what is it that we value? Have we lost our way? Who are we
anymore? If that doesn`t bind us together.
AMANPOUR: And you do actually have to look to leaders. I just want to play this soundbite from President Trump at a rally just last week. You
know, he is veered from being statesman like and calling for unity and calling against hatred to then tweeting or saying other things at rallies.
And this is what he said about one of these strains that you are both talking about, this nationalistic nativism that we have seen of the last
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: You know, they have a word. It`s sort of became old-fashioned. It`s called a nationalist. And I say, really?
We`re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I`m a nationalist. Okay? I`m a nationalist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, what do you make of that?
KALMANOFSKY: So, when somebody — it`s one thing to say I`m a patriot, I care about this country, and I think people should care about the homeland
with which they share a past and a future, that`s good. But saying you`re a nationalist, it`s very hard to extricate that from and some of you people
And certainly, the experience of the Jewish people in modern nation states, in Germany and in Soviet Union and other states, the Jewish people have —
we`ve often been like the canary of the coalmines, really, you guys are the ones who don`t belong. You`re the problem. Lord knows African-Americans
in this country have experienced this much more than any of the rest of us who have been told that they`re not really part of this country.
So, when the president says he is a nationalist, you know, I don`t know exactly what he has in mind, but the tone is, I`m the right kind of
American, some of you are the wrong kind of Americans and some of you don`t belong.
And while I do think that the — absolutely agree, it`s got to be mental illness to take a gun to innocent people who are celebrating Shabbat. It`s
also true that these things don`t happen out of context. And in the context in this country, we have ratcheted up the language of some people
don`t really belong. And while I do — I don`t think that the right has a monopoly on this. They certainly are hitting on those —
JONES: It`s a match.
KALMANOFSKY: — hitting on those notes. Once it`s a little bit on the left, I don`t mean to make an equivalence because I don`t think there is
any equivalence. But in this country, there`s all too much of the view that I represent the right kind of Americans, you other guys are the wrong
kind of Americans, either because of where you come from or what you believe and you are the problem.
JONES: And for me, I hear the word nationalism and from a religious perspective, nationalism is any kind of movement that makes a God of
something called an entity that is the nation, regardless of what those principles are. That`s dangerous. Patriotism is a commitment to the
values that are even greater than we are as a nation that found us and bring us together. It`s dangerous.
AMANPOUR: You talk about the nation and what`s at stake. And of course, the midterms are coming up. And actually, there was some polling done
which showed that these kinds of attacks, anti-Semitic attacks and hate attacks were predicted to rise ahead of the midterms. President Obama was
out stumping for Democrats and he said that the character of this country is on the ballot. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Maybe most importantly, the character of our country is on the ballot. I would like to think that everybody in
America would think it`s wrong to spend all your time from a position of power vilifying people, questioning their patriotism, calling them enemies
of the people and then suddenly pretending you`re concerned about civility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, so it`s kind of summing up what we have been talking about. So, what do you — what would you as a rabbi and you as a reverend
representing different religions and all religions, what would you like to see come from the oval office right now or hear from the oval office right
JONES: I have not seen anything from the oval office in the last few years that makes me believe that its current occupant has it within him to put
something above the accumulation of his own political power and electoral success. But what I think we actually need as a country is not only in the
language of Judaism, which is, of course, the language that I speak, but the recognition that every human being is infinitely valuable and
infinitely unique and the religious language that I would is created — bears the image of God.
And if you have — if you look at other people with the image of God, you look at other people as infinitely valuable and infinitely unique, it`s
vastly more difficult to call them names or to praise people, you know, people who act with violence or body slam people or make fun of people. We
haven`t seen from the campaign or while in the office the president exemplify that personal kindness and dignity.
AMANPOUR: What needs to change?
JONES: I think that what needs to be coming from the oval office is a vision for who we are as America that is filled with the better angels and
reaches into the soul of each of us and speaks about the goodness that is there and our common values, and a future to build together. The oval
office needs to be speaking to not even just America but human kind and what it means to be a person and to seek the flourishing of all.
KALMANOFSKY: The better angels — where would we be without Abraham Lincoln? We probably didn`t have speechwriters.
AMANPOUR: Well, you know — exactly. On this really terrible day and after this terrible week, I just like to say thank you to you both, Rabbi,
Reverend, thank you very much for being with us.
JONES: Thank you.
KALMANOFSKY: Thanks for having us.
AMANPOUR: Try to put it in some context.
So, as a counterterrorism expert, Richard Clarke advised several U.S. presidents on threats from both outside and within the homeland. And he is
joining me now from Washington.
Richard Clarke, welcome to the program.
RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR SECURITY AND COUNTER- TERRORISM: Good to be with you.
AMANPOUR: So, you`ve listened to the dialogue about compassion and trying to get away from this sort of hate-filled narrative and really try to bring
the country together. From your, you know, more sort of law enforcement perspective, what needs to happen right now?
CLARKE: Christiane, I think we have to be frank about the cause of the problem. We have always had hate-filled Nazis for lack of a better word,
Nazis is really fairly accurate word, we`ve always had people like that, lurking in the dark corners of our country, usually afraid to come out.
In the last year, year-and-a-half, they have come out of those dark corners. They`re beating people up at Trump rallies, they are beating
people up on the of streets of New York. And now, they`re attacking synagogues. There`s a reason for this, and we need to be clear and frank
The reason is, that the president of the United States and his allies ally, Steve Bannon, of Breitbart and with connection to the info wars and all of
these terrible right-wing hate-filled sites, they have been intentionally, since the campaign of 2016, using dog whistles, code phrases, that the
right-wing crazies recognize. And they know what`s being said, what`s being said by the president and his supporters are, “We know you. We`re
part of you. We can`t say it publicly. But we believe what you believe.”
That kind of dog whistle messaging, which they have been intentionally doing since the 2016 campaign encourages these people to go out and beat
people up on the street, encourages them to make pipe bombs, encourages them to attack synagogues.
AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean —
CLARKE: Let`s just be frank about it.
AMANPOUR: Well, I can hear what you`re saying and quite a lot of people are making that same point. Obviously, this is being furiously rejected by
the White House.
CLARKE: Well, of course they say that.
AMANPOUR: Well, yes. And pointing the finger at the general tenor of the media, again, calling us the enemy of the people. It`s really —
CLARKE: That`s one of the dog phrases. Enemy of the people.
AMANPOUR: Right. Right. And it is really difficult to see how this moment can be — can somehow be used as a moment to sort of do a sharp U-
turn. And I`m wondering whether you think that`s even possible.
CLARKE: It`s not possible with this man, this president. He has had ample opportunity to make that sharp U-turn. If he didn`t make it after the pipe
bombs on all of the Democrats, if instead of making that sharp U-turn he attacked the media again. Then he`ll never make that sharp U-turn.
With him in office, we have to look to the FBI to do its job, which it has been doing. We also have to look at non-governmental organizations like
the anti-defamation league, like the human rights campaign, like the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those are groups that monitor these hate-
filled media sites and expose them.
CLARKE: And we have to them continue the great work when the government doesn`t.
AMANPOUR: Well, to that point then, I wonder what your reaction is. We have heard sorts of different views coming and certainly from Israel and
Israeli officer, the current Israeli ambassador to the United Nations that suggested that Israel could give a lot of tips to law enforcement here,
particularly people who can monitor certain social media sites, certain, you know —
CLARKE: They don`t need to.
AMANPOUR: — platforms. Do they already do that well?
CLARKE: The FBI is doing a good job within the Justice Department guidelines. But there are guidelines that protect free speech and protect
civil liberties and therefore, the FBI can`t, and we don`t really want them to go around monitoring people before they`ve committed crimes. What we
can do is send checks and send our support to non-governmental groups that do this very, very well.
AMANPOUR: So, I mean, there`s a lot of statistics out around this right now. I mean, first and foremost, you mentioned the ADL. They published a
report just on Friday analyzing millions and millions of twitter messages, seven-and-a-half over only a two-week period over the summer, finding
nearly 30 percent of the accounts were repeatedly tweeting derogatory terms about Jews, and most of the accounts automated bots. But, that some of the
most virulent were by actual human beings.
Now, this person who committed this crime in the synagogue apparently belonged to this online social network group called GAB, which has now been
taken offline. But he posts things like HIS likes to brings invaders in that is kill our people. I can`t sit by and watch my people get
slaughters. Screw your optics, I`m going in.
I mean, you know, this is awful stuff. And it`s apparently got something like 600,000 followers and it`s not mainstream. How does one root out this
kind of stuff? Why isn`t the FBI looking at that? Why wouldn`t they have seen that?
CLARKE: Well, yes. Again, the FBI has to operate within the justice department guide lines and they can`t monitor American citizens for their
expressions. They can only monitor them if there`s an indication of a crime being planned or being plotted. And that`s where the non-
governmental organizations come in, because they can monitor these individuals and they do.
It`s not just the attacks on Jews that had gone up, it`s attacks on LGBTT people have gone up, its attacks on African-Americans have gone up,
physical attacks, attacks on buildings. And attacks, verbal attacks on sites like this GAB website, which has, at least, now temporarily been
AMANPOUR: Should it be taken down permanently, Richard Clarke?
CLARKE: No, I don`t think so. I know people want to do that. But the thing about freedom of speech is that you have to support it even when it`s
hate-filled speech. You have to support it even when it`s speech that you think is on the edge. Because if you do otherwise, it`s a slippery slope.
And this is why the ACLU, for example, supported the petition of pro-Nazi people to march through many years ago in Illinois, and they get a lot of
criticism for that. But the ACLU was true to what it believes in doing when it did that.
No. The way to kill hate —
AMANPOUR: But you know — go ahead.
CLARKE: The way to kill hateful speech is not to ban it. It`s to show a light on it and to show who the people are behind it. Drag them out of the
dark corners of the internet and expose them and let people know who they are. let their employers know who they are, let their neighbors know who
AMANPOUR: Well, that`s important. That would be a very important development. I mean, you do, of course, mention the famous scope Illinois
case but that was decades ago and it was way before they had their message exponentially, you know, paraded around the country and around people`s
So, you`ve been covering this or rather following this and investigating this and trying to work on this for many, many years. Does language
matter? Do enough important centers of power call this domestic terrorism? Should it be? Are you surprised by the one-week explosion of this that —
I mean, we haven`t seen like this for a long time, this systematic wave of terrible attacks we have had over the past week alone?
CLARKE: Well, we have had the president of the United States in an unprecedented campaign, running around the country, holding these mass
rallies. And many of these people who show up at the rallies are, in fact, this kind of supporter. Not all of them. A very small minority of them
are. And they have been encouraged. They have been whipped up prior to this election. Not only by the president`s running around holding these
rallies, but by the websites. By info wars, by Breitbart, all the right- wing hate-filled media.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, Richard Clarke, there is so much more to discuss and thank you very much for weighing in on this. It`s been really
a horrendous week.
We`ll have much more on how this polarization is affecting every day Americans in a moment. But first, the native wave that swept through the
United States and much of Europe is now sweeping Brazil, the biggest, most powerful country in Latin America, where the far-right candidate. Jair
Bolsanaro, dubbed the trump of the tropics was declared the overwhelming winner of yesterday`s presidential election. President Trump congratulated
Bolsanaro and promised that they would work well together.
Until recently, Bolsanaro was thought to be a fringe extremist, best known for his racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments. But with brazil
seemingly caught in a cycle of high crime, high unemployment and massive government corruption, Bolsanaro rose to the top by pledging to change the
destiny of Brazil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAIR BOLSANARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): As a defender of freedom, I will lead a government that upholds and protects the
rights of the citizens who follow the duties and respect the laws. The laws are for everyone. This is how it will be in our constitutional and
AMANPOUR: Now, Celso Amorim served as foreign minister for several Brazilian governments. And he joins me now from Rio de Janeiro.
Minister Amorim, welcome to the program.
CELSO AMORIM, FORMER BRAZILIAN FOREIGN AND DEFENSE MINISTER: Thank you. Talking to you again, it is very glad, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: It`s good to talk to you. Now, let`s be clear. You have worked for the opposition party, the worker`s party in the past. And now. this
party has taken over. What do you attribute this to and do you admit that the failings of the worker`s party have led to a complete pendulum swing
the other way?
AMORIM: Well, I don`t think we have a problem with the candidate of the worker`s party. I think the candidate was a good candidate. He`s a very –
– a professor, a very good man. I think the question is that there was some sort of discrediting of politics in general. And so, these military
men trying to bring back some of his generals back to power profited from this — from this bad opinion that the people have about politics in
general. So, I think — he`s had just we`re going to do away with all these old things, so that`s the same way as other populist leaders,
including — he has the advice of Steve Bannon also.
AMANPOUR: Does he? I hadn`t realized that was one of his advisers. But you know, look. Let`s be frank. There`s always ground for these kinds of
reactions. These kinds of political reactions. I mean, your most famous, most successful Democratic president was Lula da Silva who did so much for
the people of Brazil and brought many, many millions out of poverty and yet he`s now in jail because of a corruption conviction. So there`s a problem
with the worker`s party.
What I want to know from you is, what do you think will the next year or several six months look like? I mean you even saw Bolsonaro there coming
to vote in protection and body armor.
AMORIM: Well, I`m very worried about what can happen in the next six months. Of course, Bolsonaro was now elected. Although there are doubts
about the use of technological means, especially What`s App, influencing the opinion of people who are very vulnerable to this kind of messages
which is not rational. It`s just emotional.
But, of course, you are right. I mean you are pointing to the paradox that the most popular politician in Brazil is in jail on very fragile
accusations. And it`s not only my opinion, it is the opinion of “The New York Times”, of “Le Monde” and all of that. Well, we don`t know what will
We know that he has been preaching violence. He has been insisting on — he has been insisting very much on the — including distributing weapons.
We`ll have something similar to what happened in the United States which was not the case in Brazil. We have other kinds of violence but not this
kind of violence like mass shooting and we may have. So we don`t know yet because this is too early.
If we`re going to base our opinion on what he has said in the campaign and all along his life, we have many reasons to be worried. You know this is a
very strange combination. If you allow me, a very strange combination of right-wing, extreme right-wing politician which is at the same time an
ultra-new liberal in economics. I never saw this combination work so we`re very worried how it will go.
AMANPOUR: Let me just explain you saying about the guns and things. On his campaign, he was saying everybody should be armed and he also said
really quite terrible things about a certain woman and women in general, about the gay community. He`s also talked about — and people in the
environmental community are very worried.
Let me just read you what the Amazon Watch Program director said to CNN. Bolsonaro`s reckless plans to industrialize the Amazon in concert with
Brazilian and international agribusiness and mining sectors will bring untold destruction to the planet`s largest rainforest and the communities
who call it home and spell disaster for the global climate. Do you think that he can drive those policies through?
AMORIM: Well, I think many things that he has been saying are very contradictory to one another. I think really there is a danger because
he`ll have a very strong support by agribusiness. Mind you, during Lulu`s government, agribusiness in Brazil grew very much but without detriment, or
at least without much detriment to the environment and also without detriment to the small farmers.
And what we see now is an opposition, conflicting points of view, and I think a total neglect for environmental and also indigenous peoples`
rights. And the same applies to afro-descendants, the same applies to people, homosexuals. So we are really — we never had something similar in
Even during the military dictatorship in which torture was practiced but it was not praised. It was not admitted publicly. And Bolsonaro not only
admitted but said that maybe instead of just torturing the military government, should have killed more people. So I don`t know. I mean if
all these things stand or if all is now over and different policies will be taken.
But we are very worried and also worried with Latin America because we don`t know. We have always worked for peace and dialogue in Latin America.
Brazil has 10 borders with 10 different countries so it`s very dangerous if you have someone with aggressive policies. We cannot say yet. I don`t
want to pre-judge what will happen but we are really very concerned.
AMANPOUR: Yes. I was going to ask you because you were foreign minister how you think this is going to spread in Latin America and also whether you
think that Bolsonaro will ditch his toxic rhetoric as he said he wants to be a unifier. But I guess what I want to ask you to end with, he is being
dubbed the Trump of the tropics. How do you see Brazil`s new relationship with the [14:35:00] United States under a President Bolsonaro and a
AMORIM: Well, he has already played his respects to the American flag which raised many eyebrows in Brazil because that`s not what you expect
from a military, much less from a candidate for the presidency. But having said that, on the other hand, you have to think for President Lulu, I was
the foreign minister at the time. Had a very good relation including with President Bush although having different views because he was a man of
And that`s not what I see in Bolsonaro. So the same way that he says that he loves the United States and he`ll do things in practice, we don`t know
where it will get. And we can get also involved in difficult problems in Latin America because let`s say this lack of empathy towards other
candidates and towards other countries. For instance, Mercosur has been the basis for South American integration and his probable minister of
finance has said already that Mercosur will not be a priority.
So I think it`s very dangerous in many respect but, of course, what I`m concerned most of all is human rights and freedom of speech because these
are the thing that Brazil got accustomed, not only with Lulu but also with Cardoza who was let us say more right of center politician. But we had
plenty of years of, even more, of experiencing democracy and now we are maybe back to the authoritarian regime with some fascist overtones. I hope
it doesn`t materialize but, you know, it is only hope.
I mean if I obey on fact or on what was said until now, I have many, many reasons to be worried. Well, you know, I dealt with foreign policy. Our
relationship with Africans, with Arab countries, all that is being thrown away. The creation of the BRICS which is very important for the world
balance so —
AMANPOUR: Yes, the developing country economies. Yes. OK. Celso Amorim, thank you so much, former foreign minister giving us a state of play of
what`s potentially at stake in Brazil after Sunday`s election.
So as far right extremism spreads from there, we return to the rise of polarization here in America and we ask what`s causing the left and the
right to be so angry, too angry even to talk to each other? It`s something our next guest is trying to understand himself as the U.S. midterms
approach. It`s just a week away.
The Republican Strategist and Pollster Frank Luntz has worked with some of the most powerful Conservative politicians of recent times. Now, working
with vice news to try to understand why Americans have such difficulty disagreeing without going so-called nuclear on each other. He told our
Hari Sreenivasan why the situation is so dire and what needs to change.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Frank Luntz, thanks for joining us.
So heading into the midterms, where are we as a nation or should I say two nations?
FRANK LUNTZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I don`t know if it`s two nations because in some ways it`s a dozen or even more. I`ve never known us to be
so angry with each other, so disrespectful, so distrusting that we tend to write each other off within the first moments of what we hear, that you
have viewers right here that are going to make a decision about whether they like me or not. And that decision will determine whether or not they
stay with the segment.
Why have we become so impatient? Why have we become — why do we think that we can say and do anything because we have the right to be heard? It
used to be that we wanted to learn. Now, we just want to speak.
SREENIVASAN: There is a clip that we have from a show that you just did, a special for “VICE News”. This is some voters in Nevada. Let`s take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUNTZ: By a show of hands, how many of you would say that you`re mad as hell about all the stuff that`s going on? It`s almost all of you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LUNTZ: What are you so mad at if the economy is so good?
RAY KOVITZ, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: The economy isn`t everything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. There`s a lot more than just the economy.
KOVITZ: It`s healthcare. It`s the way that they`re treating certain classes of people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Immigration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Education.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Veterans.
KOVITZ: These are things that are disturbing. The economy is only one segment. It is great to have money but if you`re living in a society that
doesn`t value other things, it`s sad.
CHERYL BUTLER-ADAMS, TRAVEL AGENT: We have to be civil whenever we have a discourse. I want my president to be civil. I want him to have more than
a third-grade vocabulary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want him to have self-respect.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
BUTLER-ADAMS: I don`t want him to go to the U.N. floor and be laughed at.
MARC DOUGLAS, TRUCK DRIVER: We need somebody that`s going to stand up. We have been abused.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t see it that way. I think he says things in a different way and I don`t like the last statement.
LUNTZ: I have to ask this question. You`re talking about civility and then it goes to hell the moment that Donald Trump is mentioned. Why is
JANINE KOVITZ, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: Because we are learning it from him. I mean, [14:40:00] he interrupts people. He bullies people.
ERNIE DOMANICO, MATH TEACHER: And the problem is he`s attacked non-stop by the media every single day. He can`t win no matter what he does.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought we had a conversation. It wasn`t just —
KOVITZ: Well, if he wasn`t doing what he`s doing, he wouldn`t be attacked.
LUNTZ: OK, OK, hold on. Is this America? Do you represent America? You`re nodding your head yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unfortunate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: I mean they`re proving your point. They can`t even stop interrupting each other. And you said this at the beginning of this.
LUNTZ: That was 45 seconds into it. It got worse. By the way, that was them behaving well. They don`t know each other. They never met each other
before. And the moment that the word Trump is entered into the discussion, it comes apart. The truth, it comes apart when you say healthcare. It
comes apart when you say tax cuts. It comes apart on everything. Tragically, that`s America.
SREENIVASAN: Have we become more entrenched? Have we backed into our corners even more and how much of that is President Trump responsible for?
LUNTZ: His language is unlike any other president. His presentation is unlike any other president. And the people who condemn him are like any
other critics. Where are the people who are saying enough is enough? Where are the people who are saying let`s calm down, get in a room,
disagree but come out with some — with something?
There`s an agreement to be made on immigration. I know it. There`s an agreement to be made on education because I have heard both sides or all
sides. But nobody wants to come to an agreement for two reasons. They`d rather yell and be just so harsh at the people they disagree with and
you`re punished if you compromise.
SREENIVASAN: When you talk about the parties in that context, in Washington today, is the Republican Party President Trump`s party? It
seems that the ideological conservatives, it seems that the sort of fiscal conservatives, the establishment has lost any ability to challenge him.
LUNTZ: Donald Trump has a higher favorability rating among Republicans than any Republican or Democratic president in modern times with their own
political party. And as popular as he is among Republicans is as despised as he is among Democrats. So that`s part of the problem.
He used to try to appeal across the country. The president is committed to keeping his promises. And I know this from friends I have who are working
in the White House. He is determined that the things that he said on the campaign trail he`s going to do and no one`s going to stand in his way.
That`s an admirable approach but we should be reaching beyond our base. We should be reaching to those who didn`t like us back then to say, wait a
minute, give me a second chance.
SREENIVASAN: You know, the thing is — and I`m not putting it all on your shoulders but part of this is a reaction to campaigning by polls by seeing
exactly what`s going to work with which particular audience and just going after them over and over again.
LUNTZ: I don`t agree with that. Because if you`re campaigning by polls, Donald Trump would not be saying what he is saying and he would not
necessarily be doing what he is doing. If you were campaigning by polls, he would not be in a trade war with China.
SREENIVASAN: It seems like there`s a bunch of people in the manufacturing rust belt that would say, “Hey. You know what, great. This slogan makes
total sense, bring the jobs back to the country.” That`s exactly what he is doing, whether it hurts the soybean farmer or not.
LUNTZ: And whether or not it`s supported in the polls. The fact is the wall has a minority support. That more Americans oppose building a wall
than support it. Now, they want border security and they want barriers where it`s necessary but a wall is not a popular issue but Trump talks
about it. In fact, I`d argue that Donald Trump is more willing to challenge what public polling shows than any other president in my
lifetime. And I wish that he were more open to reaching out, more open to pulling people in.
SREENIVASAN: You know, since I have got you here, you know what works in a political ad and what doesn`t. You have been helping campaigns for years
now. So we want to play a few different ads and I want you to just tell me why this ad would resonate and what the key themes were that were kind of
engineered into it knowing what buttons to push. Let`s take a look at one of the first ads that`s now running in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY DESANTIS: Everyone knows my husband Ron DeSantis is endorsed by President Trump. He`s also an amazing dad. Ron loves playing with the
RON DESANTIS: Build the wall.
DESANTIS: He reads stories.
DESANTIS: And then Mr. Trump said, “You`re fired”. I love that part.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUNTZ: Best ad in a primary campaign of anyone running for the Senate, governor or the House. The best.
LUNTZ: Because he so wrapped himself around Donald Trump that a crowbar could not have separated them. And that is the worst ad for the general
election which is why they stopped running it after the primary because there are an awful lot of people in [14:45:00] Florida who have not decided
who they`ll vote for, for governor, but don`t have a favorable point of view of Donald Trump. You don`t do that.
I know we`re a few days away from the election. I believe the Democrat wins that race and that`s a very historic race for the Democrat to win.
There are other extenuating circumstances that are happening as you and I are doing this interview but the Republican is so tied to Trump who has a
favorability rating of below 40s in Florida. That`s not what you want to do.
SREENIVASAN: All right.
LUNTZ: He won the primary but I don`t think he wins the general election.
SREENIVASAN: All right. Let`s shift gears to Texas. There`s an ad running against Ted Cruz. Let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody left something on my door the other day. It said, “Ted Cruz, tough as Texas.” I mean come on. If somebody called my
wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn`t be kissing their ass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUNTZ: I love that because people don`t know the background behind it. That`s a very famous Hollywood persona who hates Cruz so much that he got
in the middle of the race. You don`t do that in Texas. Texans do not like Hollywood and they do not want actors, directors, producers or anyone from
the Hollywood community telling them what to think or what to do.
And second, it is funny but that doesn`t change someone`s vote. The reason why Beto, the Democrat, has done up to this point so well is because he
offered a very positive vision. He offered an alternative to the president, to the senator and people compare him to Barack Obama. I
compare him to Bobby Kennedy.
But in the last 10 days, last two weeks, he`s gone so negative that he`s no different than any other politician. He would have had a shot of beating
Ted Cruz if he actually kept to the end of the campaign this message of not only am I different but we can win without tearing each other apart.
SREENIVASAN: Let`s take a look at an ad that has a lot more to do with patriotism and fear, Ms. McSally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first female pilot to fly in combat. She has launched a one-woman campaign against a military policy in Saudi Arabia
that forced her to wear a long, black Islamic robe over her Air Force uniform.
MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE: I absolutely refuse to bow down to Sharia law. After eight years of fighting, I won my battle for the
religious freedom of American servicewomen. Now, I`m deployed to D.C. to fight for Arizona, supporting our troops and saving the A-10, protecting
Arizona jobs and securing the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUNTZ: Arizona is one of the oldest states in the country in terms of the average age of the population and it has a higher than average percentage
of Veterans. That`s what that ad is attempting to appeal to. People have been critical of it because she brought in Sharia law and they don`t feel
like that`s a legitimate issue.
But if you noticed in the visuals, she was always in uniform. When she spoke, she spoke straight to camera, not to some unseen interviewer
somewhere and she wanted to say to the people there because swing voters there aren`t pro-military. She wanted to say to them, “There`s no one
tougher than me, I will fight for you.” And in this election environment, if you`re the one who`s fighting for us, if you`ll be our voice in
Washington, you have an advantage.
SREENIVASAN: There`s another comedic ad talking about some issues that are not resonating. Let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens when the average Joe out there realizes that we got, like, the entire Republican tax cut? I mean we got like all
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, they got a tax cut. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Side table, how much was your tax cut?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not a lot, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But for someone like side table, not a lot is actually quite a bit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bet he saved enough this week to buy a, hell, I don`t know, a latte at Starbucks, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up, side table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUNTZ: I have not seen that until right now and the reason why I`m smiling because that ad is effective. Only 30 percent of Americans felt they got a
tax cut. That ad plays to the 70 percent who feels like they didn`t. The actual statistics, it`s somewhere in the 80 percentile that paid less in
taxes because of that legislation but no one knows it.
And so that ad says, “Wait a minute, the rich got it. Did you get any?” And what Republicans didn`t realize, two responses here. Number one is
they forgot that so many people do direct deposit for their paycheck, that there`s no way for them to know that they got a tax cut. And number two is
Republicans, quite frankly, communicated it so horribly.
For months, they talked about we needed to get business. We needed to help business so the economy would be stoked and then jobs would be created. It
worked. What`s our unemployment rate now? It`s like a 50-year low. Our growth rate at four percent is incredible. [14:50:00] The economy is
healthier in more places than it has been in decades. And the GOP gets no credit for it because its messaging and its communication completely
SREENIVASAN: How have your personal politics evolved? If somebody googles you, they`re going to say, ” Oh, this is a Republican. He`s worked with
Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich. He`s such a student of language he knows the power of crafting a question a particular way to get a different kind
LUNTZ: My whole life has been about supporting things rather than tearing it down, has been about promoting free enterprise rather than capitalism.
Because people see capitalism as Wall Street and free enterprise or economic freedom is Main Street. It`s been about promoting hardworking
taxpayers rather than the middle class because everyone defines themselves as a hardworking taxpayer.
So yes, I do focus on language. But in the work that I`ve done in the inner cities, I recognize, I will acknowledge that telling people to get
your act together and pull yourself up by your bootstraps is meaningless to someone who has no parents, no adults in their life and no boots.
But I also have seen all this money, these billions and billions of dollars, go to people and have no impact whatsoever. I`m wrong. I was
wrong. My philosophy of libertarianism, I guess, conservative libertarianism, does not help kids in the inner city get the education they
need to have the life they deserve. It doesn`t.
SREENIVASAN: Was there a tipping point? Was there a specific issue? What do we need to focus on?
LUNTZ: For me, personally, it was going into the schools, kids that were angry when they were only 15-years-old and you would think they have so
much to live for. And the stories that they would tell me would break my heart. And, in fact, I had to stop doing the research because I couldn`t
keep going into the schools. I would leave there crying because it`s a lie.
The American dream has to be available to everyone. I say this as a Conservative. It has to be available regardless of your gender, regardless
of your race, regardless of your income, your parental situation, your geography. It isn`t.
I say this to every Conservative. It is not as alive in West Virginia as it is in Massachusetts. It is not as alive in Compton as it is in Beverly
Hills. We have always had income inequality and disparity of opportunity and we will always and you have that in socialist countries. It exists
everywhere. But we have always said that you had the chance to make it out.
And I`m telling you that I`ve now met way too many young people who will never have that chance to make it out and that their future is prison or
death. And in my understanding of this country, that is unacceptable and our politics doesn`t address any of that. Who`s talking about poverty in
this election campaign? Not the Republicans, not the Democrats.
Who`s speaking up for those who don`t have a voice? Donald Trump says he is. He`s speaking up for the working class. He`s speaking up for people
who have the skills and have a job. They`re not being paid well but they have a job.
I`m talking about the kids who are 25 blocks from here who are attending schools that are crap, that they can`t even read the diplomas that they`re
getting, that they`re being passed through for a social promotion so that the teachers don`t get fired.
SREENIVASAN: You don`t sound very optimistic.
LUNTZ: I`m very pessimistic. If — I have had a couple of good days. If I had done this interview a week ago, it would have been hard for me to get
into this chair. I believe that we will not — I question whether we will come back. Generation after generation, society after society fell when it
could no longer solve its problems, when it could no longer (INAUDIBLE).
The Romans is the best example. Rome fell because of moral decay and political decay and it happened at the same time. Now, tell me if you
don`t think it`s happening here right now.
SREENIVASAN: Frank Luntz, thanks for joining us.
LUNTZ: I don`t think you`ll ever have me back but I appreciate the invitation.
AMANPOUR: I`m sure we`ll have him back and those are real sobering words from Frank Luntz.
Before we go tonight, the White House says that President Trump will go on Tuesday to visit the site of that Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre where they
hope, of course, for a statesman-like message of unity and solace.
That’s it for our program tonight. Thank you for watching ‘Amanpour and Company’ on PBS and join us again tomorrow night.