♪ >> Hello everyone and welcome to "Amanpour and Company."
Here is what is coming up.
>> Defeated pessimism in a newly defeated division.
>> In the world's first since he handily beat the opposition, I ask the Greek Prime Minister how he turned the nation from the sick man of Europe to a success story.
Also ahead, here in the U.S.: >> The government of Britain will be open for business and we will restore our economic dignity both at home and abroad.
>> The UK's finance minister is waiting hitches back to cool Britannia, Britain is open for global business.
And enter Tim Scott.
>> I am running for president of the United States of America!
>> As the Republicans only black senator, Scott enters the presidential race.
Walter Isaacson asks the editor-in-chief of the National Review who could beat Donald Trump to win the nomination.
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>> Welcome to the program, everyone.
We are in New York and we begin with the rehabilitation of Europe's former problem child.
Greece has come a long way since it stood on the brink of bankruptcy a decade ago after years of painful austerity measures, tax sites, pension cuts and huge bailout checks.
It's post-pandemic the economy is now outpacing the eurozone average.
Despite a spying scandal, rising inflation and a traffic train crash that caused the death of 57 people, the Prime Minister and his center-right party tapped into underlying optimism, especially among younger voters, to win a convincing victory on Sunday.
And he joins me now exclusively in the first interview since his party's election went on Sunday, Prime Minister welcome back to the program.
>> Thank you, thank you for having me.
>> can I ask you, I don't know whether you are surprised but everyone else was surprised.
Not just that you won a majority but a thumping majority.
Were you taken by surprise?
>> First of all I was expecting a victory of my party.
We have done probably better than many people expected, we still have not won an outright majority and that is why we will require a second election on the 25th of June with another electoral law.
But I think the results have been extremely encouraging, we have delivered on our main commitments which I undertook for years ago and I think the Greek people have been rewarded not just for the progress of the Greek economy also they bought into our plan for our future.
Greece is much more prosperous and will get closer to Europe when it comes to wages and overall it has been a convincing electoral victory.
On our side, I am very happy about it.
>> Despite what everybody is calling a success story and the growth we talked about in the economy and all that you have put into motion, on a granular level, according to EU statistics, almost a third of Greek people still are at risk of poverty.
You know that.
If you get a second term, what would be the way you will make the macroeconomics actually trickle down to actual people's livelihoods?
>> First of all, we have to realize how painful the crisis was for Greece.
We lost 25% of our GDP and it is not easy to make up for all this lost ground.
I am very happy the economy has been going much faster than the eurozone average and it has been growing faster on the back of a significant increase in investment in productivity.
In exports and innovation.
And of course for us to bridge this gap with Europe we need to deliver even faster growth than what we have achieved so far.
I think we know how to do it, we have turned Greece into a very attractive investment destination.
We have lowered the taxes, we have brought down unemployment by more than six percentage points, we have leveraged the countries significant comparative advantages and they do intend to continue down that path should the Greek people place their trust in us.
Again, for us the most significant priority is to bring up wages.
I fully understand that wages are still low increase, the cost of living crisis has taken its toll.
Yes we have lower inflation increase than most other European countries but we still need to do more to support our disposable income.
But we cannot do that by mortgaging our future and that is why it is particularly important for us to remain on a path of fiscal sustainability.
I am really proud about the fact we have delivered high growth rates, but at the same time bringing down our debt and percentage of the GDP.
That is why nobody today is talking about Greece as being a problem within the euro zone.
If you look at the way our bonds have been trading, we still have not reached investment grade but our bonds are essentially trading as if we are already there.
And I do expect to be able to deliver investment milestones to the country assuming we have a strong government after the elections on the 25th of June.
>> Let me talk about that because you have to get through a few hurdles before the 25th of June.
First and foremost it is clear that your migration policies have resonated with the people in your country.
However it is probably not escaped your attention that the EU, the Commissioner for migration, has sent a message to the Greek authorities for a full and independent investigation of what was broken by the New York Times which is the allegation that your government basically a legally allowed the setting adrift some migrants.
I want to play video that I know you have seen which is what the EU, the New York Times got exclusively from the aid worker in question which shows migrants being put onto a truck and then being put onto a boat and then a Coast Guard boat and finally being set adrift on a raft.
My first question to you is will you order your government to make a full and independent investigation of what happened?
>> I have already done so.
I take this incident very seriously, it is already being investigated by my government.
It is a very straightforward answer to your question.
I want to also make a broader point about migration which I think will be of interest to your viewers.
Back in 2015, 75% of all the illegal migrants who arrived into Europe came through Greece.
We essentially had an open border policy and this put the whole of Europe under tremendous pressure.
I have been advocating since I came into power for a tough but fair border control policy.
I can tell you that the less people we have at sea, the less risk we have of people dying at sea.
And I am very happy that we have significantly reduced -- we have killed the business model of the smugglers and we have fewer people, significantly fewer people arriving on Greek Islands but at the same time we also are able to shelter them in humane facilities.
We have significantly accelerated our asylum procedures and we have also addressed a very painful problem which is issues of unaccompanied minors which we also inherited when we came into power four years ago.
I think we have an overall comprehensive migration policy and I think we've also made the case to Europe that you cannot have a comprehensive European approach to migration unless you control your external borders.
At the same time you need to open legal pathways to migration, but you need to crack on smugglers.
They are the ones responsible for putting people at risk at sea.
And frankly, this is something that my government cannot tolerate.
>> Can I be absolutely clear that you do not approve, or whatever the correct word is, your government does not wittingly engage in setting these vulnerable people adrift in the sea including children?
>> Absolutely not.
I want to be absolutely clear about that.
I have made numerous times the distinction between what you showed which is a completely unacceptable practice and between our obligation which we feel is within the scope of European regulation of actually intercepting people at sea on our sea border with Turkey and then asking for the Turkish Coast Guard actually come and pick these people up.
I know that Greece has been getting its fair share of criticism when it comes to pushback but very few people are actually addressing the issue of push forwards and by that I mean the activities undertaken by Turkey.
By the Turkish Coast Guard to aggressively push people, desperate people on basically inflatable boats that should never be seaworthy to see and pushing them into our territory waters.
>> Let me ask you about Turkey because there have been frustrated relations between you and President Erdogan, who is in the midst of an election campaign and will also face a second round.
Not so long ago the two of you, about a year ago after an argument about weapon sales he said about you that he no longer exists for me.
You admitted to quote very difficult moments with him.
You immediately rushed to help after the earthquake.
Have relations been normalized between you two?
>> First of all let me point out as you said that we were the first to send our help seems to Turkey after the devastating earthquake.
I think it is very important to preserve the good people and the relationship and this gesture really helped us a lot to build some positive momentum between our two countries.
I cannot comment on the outcome of the Turkish elections, they are having a second round, we are also going to be having a second election.
But I also know that the Turkish foreign policy is not going to change from one moment to the next.
Turkish foreign policy over the past years has been revisionist, what they called the blue homeland doctrine is clearly threatening Greek sovereignty and Greek sovereign rights and we have an obligation to defend the sovereignty and our sovereign rights.
At the same time I will be the first to always make a gesture of goodwill towards Turkey, hands outs, my hand and a gesture of friendship.
I think there is a way of resolving our main issue which is the limitation of our maritime zones in the Eastern territory and as long as we adhere to international law, we have been able to limit our maritime zones with Italy and we did the same with Egypt there is no reason why we can't do the same with Turkey.
As long as we agree that we need to adhere to good neighborly relations and use a toolkit of international law to solve our dispute.
I would hope after the next elections, he continues and I also have the honor to serve my people as prime minister.
That things could continue to improve.
At the same time I am not naive and I know that the foreign policies of countries don't change from one moment to the next.
>> Can I ask you, it is an issue that I think affects both Turkey and Greece, particularly especially around migrants.
As you know for many years the EU gave Turkey a bit of a pass and also a lot of money to keep Syrian refugees and others there rather than let them come into Europe.
It is said that the EU has also created the target exception regarding migrants coming into your country because you're stopping them from coming further into the EU.
Do you see it that way?
You are doing certain things that may be other countries might not have been so praised for and yet your country is.
>> I have an obligation to protect my borders, my borders also happen to be the external borders of the European Union, if you turn the clock back to March 2020 when President Erdogan willingly tried to push migrants into Greek territory, we defended our border and two days later we had the entire leadership of the European Union at the Greek Turkish border applauding what we did.
Because of the same time we are not just protecting the Greek border we are protecting the European border.
I think there has been a gradual change in the European policy at the level of European counsel recognizing that we need to protect our external borders if we want to have a zone of free movement of people within the European Union.
We simply cannot live in an environment where we let anybody come in because then eventually what you will see is what happened in 2015 and you will see border closures within the European Union which is exactly what happened.
I never want my country to be facing a similar situation again, so I think there has been a change at the European level recognizing the need to protect our external borders while at the same time making sure we streamline our internal migration policies.
That we work together to send people back to those who have entered the European Union illegally.
I will stress, because for me this is important, to make sure that we have legal pathways for migrants who want to come to work in the European Union.
In Greece we are bringing down our unemployment very quickly, we are already in need for agricultural workers.
And much more prefer to have bilateral arrangements with countries of origin were people could come to Greece and work legally without having to undergo the torture of a very treacherous trip and come to Greece legally.
They come here illegally and are insured and they can return to their country, this is a win-win proposal.
We need to work much more towards that goal.
>> I want to ask you about your second term priorities because the train crash was tragic.
The loss of life was tragic.
It also for many people highlighted some of the major infrastructure issues.
You have done a lot with apps and reconfiguring people's relationship with government but they say hang on, underneath there is a lot that needs to be done.
Whether it is in schools or the inequality piece, what is your domestic priority for a second term should you get one?
>> I have big ambitions for our second term and I know that in order to transform a country you need at least two terms in order to be able to do that.
We need to continue to have growth rates that are significantly higher than the euro zone average which means more investment, or job creation.
But at the same time also advocating a very progressive agenda when it comes to public health and public education and the reduction of inequalities.
If you ask me what is my one overarching priority it would be to deliver higher growth rates by reducing inequality at the same time and we have actually reduced inequality over the past two years because we have offered targeted assistance during the pandemic and during the cost crisis to those who required it the most.
At the same time I am pushing our agreement digital agenda and the modernization of the state is a big priority for the second term.
I think we have done incredible things when it comes to facilitating the interaction of Greek citizens with the state in terms of using technology but we know that there are still lots of issues when it comes to the hard-core public sector that we need to address.
This was maybe one of my priorities should I have the opportunity to serve for a second term as prime minister.
I think what is important to understand when it comes to the election is basically we have been able to defeat the populace opposition for a second time in a row.
I think it is proof that at the end of the day if you deliver results for people, the populace narrative, the fantasies of easy solutions over tangible results, this is an encouraging message for everyone in Europe.
If you can actually deliver real change for people, people will reward you in the ballot box.
For me this has been the most encouraging message of the selection.
Not only did we increase our vote, but also the opposition was essentially destroyed.
We have a 20 point margin, we gain twice as many votes as they did.
I think there is something that happened in Greece which will resonate across other liberal democracies when it comes to this sort of inherent fight between people who are focused on offering solutions and those who are just engaged in the lovely politics of offering empty promises.
>> the prime minister of Greece, thank you for joining us we will hopefully have this conversation at Yen after the next round.
Thank you very much.
>> It has been a turbulent year for the U.K., three prime ministers a new monarch, a cost-of-living crisis and the worst mass strikes in decades.
Inflation in the U.K. at over 10% is the worst in Europe and much higher than here in the United States.
And while the IMF has delivered better news today upgrading the UK's growth forecast the average citizen there is likely to still feel the pain as they try to make ends meet.
The ruling conservative party recently took a pounding in local elections and the main opposition labor is seen by many as a government in waiting.
But what is their vision for rebooting Britain?
I found out from the parties shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.
Here in the United States to sell that vision.
Welcome to the program.
It is great to be here.
>> You have said that your aim is to restore our economic dignity at home and abroad.
How, and what you even mean?
>> The U.K. economy has had a few challenges in the last few years.
A botched exit deal, a response to the pandemic where we are smaller in the economy than we were before the pandemic.
At the U.S. economy is five percentage points bigger than it was before the pandemic.
>> How do you account for that?
>> we have not built that strength and resilience in the U.K. economy and also that link between hard work and fair reward for too many working people has broken down.
That has posed a challenges.
>> are you talking about the strikes that we are seeing, is that what you mean?
>> the cost-of-living crisis is really hurting in Britain.
We have this year forecast to have the highest inflation out of the G-7 economies, at the moment inflation in the U.K. is more than 10%.
It is less than 6% here in the U.S. and I know it feels high here as well, but it is in double digits in the U.K.. And as well is that, last year we had drive-by Prime Minister Liz Truss and her chancellor who sent our financial markets into turmoil and now it feels important that we are managing a decline.
I want to shake us out of that and I hope to be the next Chancellor with a Labour government and of course we will have an election almost certainly in the U.K. next year.
I am here in the U.S. to say under a labor government written will be open for business and that we will restore our economic dignity both at home and abroad.
>> for people in the United States and around the world, when you say open for business, do you mean you will be more like the new labor government or are you trying to get away from what people call a far left previous opposition of Jeremy Corbyn?
What does that mean, open for business?
>> I am a huge admirer of what Tony Blair did but it was a quarter of a century now and there are nuances needed for new times.
There are challenges.
What opportunities we face today are very different and Tony would be the first to accept that.
The challenges of the climate emergency in the transition to net zero.
The tensions between the two new superpowers of the U.S. and China.
Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine and the impact that has had on energy markets.
The growing emergence of AI and automation.
All of those things require new challenges.
But for me it requires an active state, working in partnership with business, to seize those opportunities.
And I want to seize some of those opportunities for Britain.
Today I was at Governors Island here in New York, looking at some of the really exciting innovative stuff that is happening in the U.S..
In responding to that climate emergency.
The inflation reduction act is encouraging investment in the U.S., and I hear that all the time for businesses in Britain.
There is a real pull factor today because of what the U.S. government is doing and how they are prioritizing that investment.
Britain has great strengths in areas like carbon capture and storage, green hydrogen, floating offshore wind.
We could be global leaders but we've got a government today that fails to embrace those opportunities.
And I want to be the next labor chancellor but the first green Chancellor encouraging that investment and those jobs.
Because with challenges, opportunities and there is an opportunity to shape markets and create those jobs in investment of the future.
I want to do that for Britain.
>> In order to do that you have to be elected.
You've just had some local elections which went very well for your party but not quite the number that would mean you could get into government without a coalition.
Why is that, given what many polls say, what many people say after 12 years of Tory rule, people are exhausted.
You mention all these economic problems under the Tories, what do you still have to do to actually win and get people's confidence?
>> There are two key things.
We need to reassure people that we are a changed party.
A change from the previous leadership of the Labour Party and we are showing that we are responsible with the nation's finance.
That we are pro-business, are pro-NATO, are strong on defense.
Doing all of those things and also assessing out a compelling vision for the future.
Because when I go around I see huge ambition that families have for themselves and that businesses have and people have for their communities.
But we need a government that matches that scale of ambition because if we had that there is no end to what Britain can achieve.
That reassurance is important but that hope, giving people their future back.
Because too many people in Britain have had that hope knocked out of them the last few years and we are determined to give that back.
It collects you are a former banking official so you know exactly what you're talking about on the economy.
Many ask what would a labor government do to make themselves business friendly, are you going to raise taxes for instance on corporations or the things that business people would ask.
How will you find the money to do what you are saying, because it looks like the price is a little empty and the U.K.?
>> First of all economic stability is essential.
I know that for my time at the Bank of England.
Any economic strategy and any plans for growth have got to be built on a rock of economic financial stability.
We have not had that stability and certainty in the U.K. for quite some while.
But also the public sector, the state has got to be there to leverage the private sector investment.
Many businesses say to me we want to invest but we need to know what the vision, with the mission is of the government.
We need some stability to know where we are going.
Stability on regulations, on taxes, on the government's priorities as well.
But we need to unlock that investment.
I was talking today to U.S. investors who have big stakes in the U.K. economy and one of the things they say to me is our planning rules, a relationship with Europe, all make the U.K. a less attractive place than it was a few years ago.
So we need to sort out all of those barriers to growth and again I am determined to do that because we can't miss out on these opportunities.
I don't want to find it 20 years time that we are importing our gas because we do not invest in hydrogen.
We are importing our steel because we did not invest in green steel.
And we are importing our cars because we did not build the electric vehicle supply chain that we need.
If we do those things, Britain can succeed and I am determined under a labor government with a labor government week will succeed.
>> Do you think you have to sell the green policy or do you feel people in the U.K. are ready for that.
Because it is highly politicized especially here in the United States.
>> When I think about the climate transition I think about the opportunities that that will bring.
Opportunities for good jobs, paying decent wages, with security and with dignity and respect.
In parts of the U.K., workers have not had that for too long.
A former industrialized communities, coastal communities, I look at some of the things President Biden is doing.
Trying to turn the Rust Belt into an electric vehicle belt.
We need that sort of thing in Britain because at the moment there are something like 40 electric vehicle battery factory manufacturing centers in progress or up and running.
Only one is in Britain.
At the moment we are a net exporter of cars but we won't be in a few years' time unless we build those batteries and we build that supply chain.
There is no time to waste and as a Chancellor, you absolutely have got to know when to say no to colleagues when they come up with spending proposals and you've got to get a grip on that day today spending.
Because only then will you be able to make the strategic investments alongside business in those industries and innovations of the future.
Because there is a lot of innovation in the U.K., we are not always so good at turning it into successful businesses and then keeping those businesses in Britain.
>> So the Volta mart of British politics is Brexit, and you have not really addressed it other than to say it has created a net outflow of foreign investors to places like France for instance.
I fear the labor government or the Labour Party is still nervous about articulating a vision forward using the issue of Brexit.
Or how are you going to get around what you yourself criticized as an exceptionally bad deal that was made with Europe.
And whether you think Rishi Sunak's new deal, the Windsor framework has landed and is working well.
>> There is no going back, we are outside the European Union now and under labor government.
That will continue.
And we will not reenter the single market.
Polls have changed.
>> Because stability is so important.
And what we need to do now is make the new situation work for British businesses and ordinary families in Britain.
Because a number of things there are we can do to get that deal to work better.
In 2025 there is an opportunity to review the trade in cooperation agreement with the European Union and we have set out some of the ways in which we want to make change that would work better for Britain.
So for example our services sector is barely covered by the trade incorporation agreement despite the fact we are the second biggest exporter of services in the world.
We want to have the recognition of professional qualifications.
Another sector that American say to me Britain is great at this, cultural industries, the arts, but under the thing we've got with the European Union today makes it really hard for artists to tour around Europe because of the bureaucracy and the visas that are needed.
>> Cannot be sorted out?
Will they be joining the EU?
>> These can be sorted out we have taken an agreement to help the flow of food and animal products between the U.K. and the rest of Europe.
New Zealand has got a veterinary agreement with the EU.
They are on the other said of the world.
Britain does not have a veterinary agreement despite the fact that they are our nearest neighbors and trading partners.
With goodwill and by rebuilding trust we absolutely can be sorted and we are determined to work with our friends in the European Union to get a better deal in Britain's national interest.
>> Can I ask you, right here you can see there is an immigration political dilemma at the border.
You can see it's happening in Europe, the great collections have just happened and they are very happy with the way the government has stopped most migrants coming in.
Obviously the U.K. has a very troubled and vexing problem that's causing a huge amount of problem.
Even the archbishop of Canterbury has raised his moral voice against what the government is doing with those people coming over in small boats.
Shipping them off to Rwanda or that is their intention.
What kind of neighbor government can do to make a proper, joined up immigration policy that is also humane?
And also we actually need these workers.
>> Actually a couple of things.
First of all on the issue of small boats.
We need to be processing asylum claims.
People come into Britain, at the moment asylum-seekers are put for a year or two years in these temporary hotels and hostels.
It is inhumane and it cost taxpayers an absolute fortune.
We need to speed up the processing.
People have a right to be in this country, they should be integrated and given support to do so, but if they don't have a right to be here, they should be sent back.
But this deal, not a single person has been sent there.
But it has already cost us tens of millions of pounds.
Another example of this Tory government having a lot of rhetoric but without practical things that are needed, another issue in the U.K. that you rightly point to his problems in the businesses and accessing workers with the skills they need to succeed.
Of course we've got to have a visa system that works for businesses so they can get the skills.
We also need to be training more people up in Britain to do the jobs that are available.
And one of the problems we've got in the U.K. is that our NHS, which is something we are so proud of in Britain, but at the moment there is a waiting list of seven and a half million people waiting for hospital procedures and many of them are unnecessarily out of work while they are waiting.
Often in pain for appointments and procedures.
We need to get our NHS working properly to help people get the treatment they need and back to work.
Because the number of people in the labor market in the U.K. has fallen since COVID and a lot of people have not returned to work and we need to do everything that we can to ensure they are back in the workplace because businesses tell us that one of the biggest challenges is to recruit and attract that talent that they need to make their businesses successful.
>> Finally you talked about wanting to be the first female chancellor.
Will it make a difference?
How will you feel that being a female is a game changer?
>> The U.K. have had chancellors for 800 years now and not a single one have been women.
Despite having three female Prime Minister's, and it is the one job in British politics that still no woman has occupied.
If you look here in the U.S., the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is the first woman to be the Treasury Secretary in the U.S..
It will be another glass ceiling if that is something I can smash in the U.K..
But let's just take one issue.
In 1970 in the U.K. Barbara Castle as Secretary of State for industry introduced legislation on equal pay.
That meant that companies could no longer pay men and women a different rate for doing the same job.
But here we are 53 years later and we have equal pay legislation but the gap between what a man and a woman are paid is still 15%.
I want to be the Chancellor that closes that gender pay gap.
And in part that is because I am a woman and I see these issues every day in the lives of women right across the U.K. and globally as well.
I think having a woman Chancellor will be a game changer and it will mean that issues that have for too long been neglected will rise to the top of the political agenda again.
>> Rachel Reeves, thank you for being with us.
And now turning to U.S. presidential politics, the Republican race in the United States is well underway.
The candidates are stepping up, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to join later this week after South Carolina Senator Tim Scott threw his hat in the ring yesterday.
>> I am announcing today that I am running for president of the United States!
>> So far the GOP primary field still dominated by Former President Donald Trump.
What will it take for Republican candidates to beat him to the 2024 nomination?
Editor-in-chief of the conservative editorial magazine the national review Rich Lowry joins Walter Isaacson with some answers.
>> Thank you, welcome to the show.
It is a busy week for the Republican primary possibilities.
If you people getting it, but let me start by telling our viewers where you are coming from.
You are very much a traditional conservative who is a protégé of William F Buckley.
For more than 25 years editor-in-chief of the great national review.
And if I remember correctly, you were very resistant to a Trump candidacy back in 2016, tell me what you felt then.
Whether you have come around, what you feel now?
>> We ran a famous cover against Trump before the Iowa caucuses.
In 2016 a bunch of folks on the right made a case against Trump and we ran a tough editorial opposing his nomination.
If you look back there are some things we were wrong, we did not really believe a lot of his assurances that he would be conservative uncertain important policies.
And he was.
For the most part when he was president.
But our concerns about his character and about the effect he would have on the conservative coalition have proved out.
So we are again when he got in this time, we ran an editorial with one-word title, no.
We are open to most of the alternatives but oppose Donald Trump.
>> You seem to be favorable to Ron DeSantis in some of your columns in political, near posts.
When he ran originally in 2018 he was pretty much a traditional conservative.
He has now embraced, and correct me if you think I am wrong, more of the cultural resent and.
Not just the optimistic conservatives like Ronald Reagan.
What do you make of that?
Is that a good strategy and is that something you're comfortable with?
>> A couple aspects of that, is it a good strategy?
If he is going to be Donald Trump he is going to have to run a Trump from the right.
He is going to keep in mind, which he will never forget, but some observers forget, the people he needs voted for Trump twice.
They like Trump, they feel defensive of Trump.
They hate and distrust Trump's enemies.
Those are the voters he needs to win.
The substance, a lot of it has been terrific down in Florida.
On the line is government should have an influence over institutions by definition so government should determine how we run our public schools.
Including public colleges and universities within limits.
You need to honor free speech and other principles.
At the edge case that has gotten a lot of attention is Disney, which is not a government entity it is a private company.
But it is a beneficiary of a massive government favor, and that is what DeSantis threatened.
In retaliation to things that Disney had said and is now embroiled in a legal dispute that will go on for years.
>> It seems that he is targeting them simply for their political views and political speech.
Doesn't that make you uncomfortable as a conservative?
>> It does.
That is a bad aspect of it.
Again it is a special government favor that it had Disney said 50 years ago when this district was set up, by the way in several decades we will become a company sympathetic to progressive ideology and oppose legislation to stop children from being taught inappropriate sexual material at a young age, they never would have gotten the special district.
So I think that is what makes it a little different.
And I think it is a very bad thing for a country that corporations are so eager to weigh in on culture war type issues.
>> Why is that?
>> I think it adds to the divisiveness, >> Shouldn't private companies, ever since General Motors a hundred years ago feel that they have a part of society and part of the discourse?
>> Yes they have the right to do it I am just saying it is a bad thing and adds to division in our society.
It adds to the sense that everyone has to take sides on everything.
>> Let me push back on this a bit.
It seems like Ron DeSantis is doing more to add to the divisions in Disney.
He is the one who is taken this to a pretty strong cultural war thing.
>> I don't know.
Who was the aggressor if children are being taught about gender ideology in second grade?
>> Disney has not a right to have its opinion on these subjects when its employees live there?
>> Know that is not what I asked.
Who is on offense, who is on defense.
If you have these teachers who think it's appropriate to teach very young children that are not their kids and are being sent to school just to get an education, if they are being taught any version of changing your gender at a young age, who is being the aggressor?
If they are being taught, who is the aggressor and who is on defense?
>> The governor has done many things that involve these cultural issues including teaching of gender and sexuality in schools.
But also equity, inclusion, pushing back on that.
I just read that even the NAACP issued a travel warning.
Do you think since you said you are worried about people stoking up cultural divisions, that some of that should be tamped down a little bit?
>> With all respect you do not answer my question.
If a small child is being taught in a public school, cutting edge gender ideology type material, is that OK?
Everyone should be fine with it or is it OK for the government to say don't teach that?
And is it really so offensive and terrible if the government says don't teach K through three kids gender ideology?
Let's teach the math, English and how to read.
Why is that so radioactive and toxic in your mind?
>> I think the voters have a perfect right to vote on those things.
I am not arguing one side or the other I get to be the interviewer here.
I was just wondering why Disney does not have the right to say its own opinion.
>> It does have that right but it also has inherently a right to a special favor from government?
>> In terms of the Republican primary it is not just a question of ideology but sometimes temperament.
The question of those who are a little bit stronger in the cultural issues, a little more about the resentments that people understandably feel in this country.
On the others we have somebody like Tim Scott coming in.
Who I think is almost as conservative as anybody else but is running with a different temperament.
What is your take on that?
>> I think one reason they lung Trump is the combativeness.
They want us to fight and that sometimes ends up being a permission slip for all sorts of things you would not want him to say or do.
And it is a big question whether people think...he is being tough on the border, on immigration policy and China and trade, a tendency towards non-interventionism.
Or are they into the persona and affect in the style.
What DeSantis is trying to do is a version of Trump without all the personal characteristics.
Tim Scott is just a totally different phenomenon and more of a throwback to a Reagan type conservatism.
Although people can have an overly rosy view about Reagan who was very tough about the other side as well even though he did it with a smile.
I think Scott has great promise.
We will see, it looks like a two man race but very often this early in a primary you end up being surprised and what looks like is going to be the early dynamic does not pan out.
So it may be that Scott finds a running mate there.
>> what do you think DeSantis needs to do in order to catch up to Trump.
He seems quite behind now in the most recent polls and not really taking off?
>> He has had a bad several months, Trump's had great months.
The inflection point clearly was the Bragg indictment that was politicized.
The indictment that was launched against anyone who wasn't named Donald Trump and a rally around flag effect among Republican voters.
There were a couple polls last week were Trump has been about 60 and DeSantis has been in the teens.
I think DeSantis team is glad to be in this thing and actually have him be formally a candidate and traveling the country and making the case for himself, but it is an uphill climb.
He is taking on the 800 pound gorilla that looked like in January maybe it would shed some pounds and maybe is only 450 pounds or 500 but now may a thousand pound gorilla.
People have gotten used to the idea of dissent is running but this is an audacious project.
Taking on this guy, no one else has beaten, everyone else has been humiliated by and thinking you can find a way to take him down.
>> in what way would there be to take him down if you are a DeSantis supporter?
>> First of all tactically, clearly it is all about Iowa.
Were Trump has been softer or not as strong in the polling.
And there may be some souring among evangelical leaders about Trump.
DeSantis is going to have to focus heavily on Iowa.
He needs to find issues where he can attack Trump from the right on the pandemic response for instance.
Abortion policy is another potential flareup.
But he is not going to win with making a case against Donald Trump that is a very small slice of the electorate.
He needs to win these voters that are very conservative and sympathize with Trump and make the case he did not do a lot of the things he said he was going to do, he very well could lose another national election with bad consequences and I am more conservative than he is on X, Y, and Z.
>> You said that may be DeSantis could take on Trump from the right when it came to abortion politics.
Tell me how you think abortion plays out both in the Republican primaries and in the general.
>> In the primaries, pro-lifers have a very strong position especially in Iowa.
And the heartbeat bill DeSantis signed will be a benefit to him.
The question is in general cannot be used against him.
It is an open question how many of these candidates including Trump and DeSantis are going to endorse federal abortion restrictions and where they come down there on the spectrum.
It would not surprise me if DeSantis comes out for a 15 week federal band and may be Trump gets pushed into doing the same thing.
That is going to be a major issue in the campaign obviously.
Polling for a 15 week abortion ban tends to be fairly strong, but you would end up restricting at least some abortions.
Not a lot but at least some in places like New York and California.
They are very strongly pro-choice.
So that is going to be a major flashpoint.
You our Republican governors in 2022, Brian Kemp and Georgia Kim Reynolds in Iowa, there's the governor of Ohio as well signing six-week bands and winning handily.
It just depends on the place.
It depends on the quality of the candidate but he is going to have to be prepared to defend himself on this stuff.
That is the last thing, Republicans can't duck and cover on this issue.
>> Let me read something I saw one of your columns.
He said Republicans at the national level are scared.
You can hear it in their silence on the issue of abortion after the judge in Texas struck down the FDA approval of what is sometimes known as the abortion pill.
Tell me how that is going to play do you think and why were you saying that Republicans are scared of this issue?
>> They clearly had not through what the post row environment would be.
What there consensus position would be to the extent it was possible to come up with one.
And some of them would just prefer this to go away, but it is not going to go away.
The Democrats won't let it go away.
Among other things they want may be for ballot measures if I'm not mistaken in 2022 in various states over abortion policy and Democrats won them all.
They are putting them on a bunch of other states including most significantly Ohio.
Republicans just mumble and look at their shoes and evade this issue.
Plus it is a hugely moral issue so you should not be trying to evade it.
I think it is sort of strategic shrewdness and some courage are called for an Republicans that say they are pro-life, they want a country that was going to welcome every child and they will fight for that.
But in the midterm, in the interim you are going to have to take some intermediate steps.
You have to have the free exceptions everyone talks about and depending on the state, how restrictive you are able to be depends on the political environment in the states and you hope to move the ball forward.
From a perspective the optimistic argument is that this 50 year battle to overturn this Supreme Court decision, finally achieved victory in Dobbs, there are more restrictions on abortions and the abortion rate has dementia somewhat.
Than ever before and Republicans still won the house.
It does not mean there is not a lot of work to do and a lot of vulnerabilities, but just running and hiding is not an option.
>> early on Governor DeSantis and fighting off the immigration influx that had happened, was sending people up to Martha's Vineyard and other places.
To what extent do you think he can make a strong case against immigration policies and how's that going to play in the primaries?
>> This is an issue I think Trump fundamentally transform the party and in my view changed the party for the better.
Just making immigration, being an immigration hawk is almost as necessary as being pro-life to survive in it Republican national politics.
I think the border has been a mess.
He inherited Joe Biden a stable situation, threw away a lot of policies that actually worked and were humane and we have been reaping a whirlwind.
The DeSantis operation sending these immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, obviously a political stunt to make a point.
The large-scale bus and from places like Texas and Arizona, I think has been fine on the merits because they ask these migrants where do you want to go and they say Chicago and New York and they say OK this is the bus.
And by demonstrating two blue cities that are in sanctuary cities that this is a real problem, that these folks are desperate.
But are also a burden to public services and taxpayers.
Chicago has declared an emergency over a thousand illegal migrants arriving since last August.
The city of 2.6 million.
What do they think it is like at the border?
What are they think it's like in El Paso?
I think actually that policy has really brought home that point and we would not hear the mayor of New York Eric Adams saying we need to close the border into a better job unless New York had skin in the game the way border cities do as well.
>> do you think there is room in the field where somebody could get tracked in by running against Trump and the Republicans primaries and who without most likely be?
>> Running against him?
>> Yeah Chris Christie, you know Sununu.
>> Having that as your main rationale, I am doubtful.
I think it is important to make the case against him on a number of fronts, and this is going to be tricky for someone like DeSantis who wants to win over a fair amount of these voters, you've got to be willing to say he lost in 2020.
Because if he didn't what electability case to have against him?
If he is not a loser he's a victim and maybe he should be the rightful heir to the nomination.
To right this wrong.
So I think that is a key area where you can't dance around, you've just got to say the election was legitimate, he lost in the problem is that he could lose again.
>> Thank you so much for joining us.
>> Throughout this program, focus on broken immigration system and decades of it.
From here to the U.K. to Greece and elsewhere, finally though tonight the Mequon region in Southeast Asia is one of the most bio diverse parts of our planet and researchers have just identified nearly 400 new residents.
These are a few of the new species but the discovery comes with a stark warning from the world wildlife fund.
Human activities like deforestation are damaging the unique habitats and pushing them to the brink of extinction.
It is a reminder of the beauty and the peril of our natural world.
And the vital need for us to protect it.
That is it for our program tonight, if you want to find out what is coming up on this show every night sign up for our newsletter at PBS.org/Amanpour.
Thank you for watching and goodbye from New York.