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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Amanpour and Company.” And here’s what’s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Mr. Speaker, this is the right deal for Britain because it delivers on the democratic decision of the British
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Can the British prime minister get her Brexit deal past parliament? I’ll get both sides of the debate.
And, an election in the deep south of the United States exposes racial and political fault lines. What we can learn from Mississippi’s senate runoff.
Plus, why one of America’s long-time tech entrepreneurs is looking beyond Silicon Valley for his next hit.
Welcome to the program, everyone, I’m Christiane Amanpour in London.
The British prime minister, Theresa May, has lept one hurdle only to face another. It is the long and tortured story of Brexit, the United Kingdom’s
road to leaving the European Union, which is the country’s most consequential decision since the second world war.
The prime minister has won European approval for her deal. And now, she’s about to launch a two-week tour of this land trying to convince people and
parliamentarians to approve it, which faces criticism from all sides of the political spectrum.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, she said that her agreement should be passed because it fulfills the promise of the 2016 referendum, which is
to leave the E.U.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: I can say to the house with absolute certainty that there is not a better deal available. And my fellow leaders — my fellow leaders, were
very clear on that themselves yesterday. Our duty as a parliament over these coming weeks is to examine this deal in detail, to debate it
respectfully, to listen to our constituents and decide what is in our national interest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: European leaders also only grudgingly approved. Here’s German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (through translator): I think we have created a diplomatic piece of art. I wanted to point that out in an
extremely difficult situation, in an unprecedented situation. As said, my feelings are divided, feelings of mourning, but I also feel a sense of
relief that we have reached this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Rory Stewart is the British justice minister and conservative M.P. who’s been hard at work defending Theresa May’s proposed Brexit agreement and is
now joining me in the studio.
Rory Stewart, welcome.
RORY STEWART, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Not so long ago just before you sat got here, you were sitting on that bench quite close to the prime minister, defending her, trying to
give her some support. Why do you support this deal?
STEWART: I support the deal partly about national healing. So, this is an incredible divisive polarizing toxic issue now. If I go on social media at
the moment, I almost can’t tell whether I’m being attacked by a remainer or an extreme Brexiteer, they’re both talking about having a monopoly of
democracy, they represent the people, I’m a traitor, I’m never going to be forgiven.
This kind of language can only we healed by a moderate pragmatic deal in the middle that acknowledges on the one hand the Brexit vote happened, and
that means leaving the E.U., but also the point of the remainers, which is that this is economically very risky unless we retain a close trading
relationship with Europe. And that’s what this deal does and it’s the only deal that does that.
AMANPOUR: So, you talk about sort of moderate. What do you call this? Would people call this a soft Brexit?
STEWART: I think you can call it anything you want. I think the important thing from the prime minister’s point of view is that it’s a bespoke
Brexit. And that she — that is, in a sense, a victory for her negotiation because Europe said, “You can have Norway or you can have Canada.” What
she’s actually got is something that’s better than Norway from the point of view of the fact she has control of immigration, which Norway doesn’t have,
and better than Canada because she has a much, much closer trading relationship with Europe than would be available to Canada.
AMANPOUR: So, what I want to ask you is, do you really think it is the best deal possible or is there such a thing as a better deal than what we
have now being in Europe?
Last week you said to “Channel 4” that basically you were talking about it, as you said, it respects the results of the referendum, but it is going to
be — I’m not arguing that it’s going to be a huge economic improvement, you know, which means that it might be worse.
And in fact, we have findings, National Institute for Economic and Social Research has just come out with key findings that if the government’s
proposed Brexit deal is implemented so the U.K. leaves the Customs Union and single market, then by 2030, GDP will be around 4 percent lower than it
would have been had the U.K. stayed in the E.U. I mean, that’s pretty dramatic, isn’t it? I mean, do you — well, your commentary on that?
STEWART: Well, I think the first thing is that, they’re making a lot of assumptions there about the future relationship. So, they’re talking about
leaving a single market, talking about the Customs Union and then they’re assuming what that future relationship will be, and we frankly don’t know
yet. What we have is a head of terms agreement through the political agreement, which defines we want a very close working relationship with
In the short-term, this deal is economically neutral. So, if you’re a car manufacturer, for example, we remain part of the single market effectively
on goods. On the other hand, the advantage, so it’s economically revenue neutral, it’s to play for (ph) in the medium to long-term trading
What is the long-term trading relationship? How does the British economy change? How does the European economy change? But it also does something
that remaining in the European Union doesn’t do, which acknowledges that 17.6 million people, majority of people, voted to leave the European Union.
And if you try to ignore that and just stay in the European Union, you would have very toxic populist policies. You’d have the British national
party taking off, you’d have a new U.K. independence party, you’d have immediate push for a third referendum, even if said referendum campaign
narrowly won, which would not put Britain into a stable position in Europe again.
We cannot undo the fact the referendum happened. And I think people are underestimating in a matured democracy. What would happen if for the first
time in British history we chose to try to overrule three years after it happened a major democratic vote.
AMANPOUR: So, let’s go back to actually now what has to happen, and I wonder if I picked up Angela Merkel saying she’s in mourning. On the other
hand, this was a little bit of a — I think she called it a work of art, how the sort of negotiation was finally completed. Do you understand why
they’re saying mourning?
STEWART: Absolutely understand why they’re saying mourning. For Angela Merkel, the European Union is an incredibly precious project. It’s been
central to German and certainly French visions of European security, almost since the second world war since the idea began to develop. And Britain is
the second largest economy in Europe. So, you can absolutely see why, for her, this is a difficult day.
But I think what really is to the credit of Angela Merkel and indeed all the European leaders is that this isn’t a deal in the end, despite
everybody’s predictions, that is trying to punish Britain or make an example of Britain. It’s actually as she says, a diplomatic work of art
because it’s practical, quite clear-eyed, quite practical on economic trade and it’s trying to get partnerships on things that really matter on human
rights, on common European values, on common visions of democracy. And I think all of that gives us space diplomatically for Britain to continue to
engage very, very energetically on the continent of Europe even if not within the European Union.
AMANPOUR: So weirdly, everybody seems to think it’s a feeble deal, it’s not a good deal. Remainers, Brexiteers, Tories (ph), labor, nobody likes
this and certainly not the Northern Ireland politicians who were meant to, you know, shore up Theresa May’s government.
What is likely to happen? We think we’re going to have the first parliamentary vote somewhere mid-December. They’ve floated the idea of
December 11th. What if it doesn’t go through?
STEWART: Well, let me go back to your first claim. So, there are extremists here who were never going to like any deal. So, if you were
deeply attached to remain in the European and if you didn’t think that the first referendum had any validity, then any Brexit deal they would be no
good and none of those people are actually describing a Brexit deal they would ever accept. They want to be in the European Union.
The other group, the hard Brexiteers, have very radical idea of economically restructuring Britain. So, getting rid of potentially
environmental legislation, social (INAUDIBLE) the idea of being sort of Singapore in the Atlantic. And they too would not accept any deal that
would give us a close customs relationship with Europe. But those people are the minority in the House of Commons.
And what was interesting in that debate that I was sitting in for two hours before I joined you is that the very people same who seemed to be signing
up saying they wouldn’t accept this deal were often ruling out a second referendum or ruling out no deal.
If you’re talking about a deal, you’re going to be talking about something that looks pretty much like this deal. And many of the other suggestions
in the house, Norway, Switzerland, have a lot of the elements to this deal. All right. This deal has the advantages of those with an added advantage
of control over immigration.
AMANPOUR: But what happens if it doesn’t pass through parliament because then there’s a whole another set of procedures that is unleashed? I mean,
anything from a no-confidence vote to another election to another referendum.
STEWART: So, theoretically, you’re right. All those things could happen. So, if this thing didn’t go through, in theory, there could be no
confidence votes, certainly, there could be leadership challenges. But actually, none of that seems to be happening rather bizarrely.
We had these people on the extreme Brexit side who launched a leadership challenge against the prime minister and have clearly not got 48 votes
because this thing just hasn’t happened, which suggests very strongly that 250 at least members of the conservative party in the House of Commons
still remain strongly on the prime minister’s side. So, that’s not likely to happen. There isn’t likely to be a general election, she said very
clearly she isn’t going to do that.
So, much more likely is we will come back again to the House of Commons and we will say — and perhaps in a different way. I mean, let’s do the
conversation like this, OK.
How many of you are in favor of a second referendum? A dozen hands go up. All right. Over 600 people doesn’t support it, we’re not going to do that.
How many of you want a no-deal Brexit? 40 hands go up. OK. We’re not going to do that. So, we’re talking about a deal, and this is the deal.
This is the only deal Angela Merkel is offering and it’s important.
I think the final thing is the sort of a piece of domestic legislation. You don’t get to have a bunch of members of parliament amending legislation
as though this was about domestic law, this is an international treaty. You’ve got to get on board 20 more member of states in the European
commission. So, you need one prime minister, on negotiator, not 650 people putting Christmas tree bangles on the deal.
AMANPOUR: Now, she has seen off to an extent, as you mentioned, leadership challenges, those hardliners, which the F.T. has said, you know, these
people have been putting their own egos and their own policies ahead of the national good and that your party is riven by this internecine warfare and
they call them hardliners.
It is all about your party that we’ve got to this point here, otherwise there wouldn’t have been a referendum to begin with. So, how has the prime
minister personally been dealing with this daily assault from every single side?
STEWART: Well, I think it must be extraordinary and then I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be her. I mean, she’s put in two years of
negotiation, and not just (INAUDIBLE), the thousands of incredibly serious intelligence civil servants who have been sitting there in these
negotiations with Europe.
They know that Europe compromised, Britain compromised. They know in their absolute bones that this is the best deal that they were ever going to get
out of Europe, right, and it’s a good deal, it’s a workable deal. It’s much better than they feared.
You come back with that deal and suddenly you find the entire world firing at you in completely inconsistent ways. One of the most frustrating things
in the House of Commons, not surprisingly, because it’s over 500-page document, is that a number of the questions asked in the House of Commons
by (INAUDIBLE) are simply factually incorrect and people haven’t read the document.
So, we need to start communicating to the people, and that’s pretty difficult. I mean, you’re very generously putting quite a lot of time into
this. But generally, on British TV we get one minute, two minutes to try to explain an incredibly complicated deal, which will shape the next 30, 40
years of British politics.
And the final thing, I think, which is difficult is explaining to U.S. audience or an international audience that Britain’s relationship with
Europe has been complicated for over 40 years. Many British people joined Europe feeling it was something like NAFTA or it was a kind of free trade
agreement. And of course, belatedly realized it was a much bigger political project that suddenly puts them in a situation of trying to
explain to American friends or others that they don’t feel the (INAUDIBLE) is leaving the United States, they feel it’s like the United States leaving
NAFTA. And unless we manage to communicate that, it’s going to be difficult to explain to the world what is going on.
AMANPOUR: And it certainly has been complicated. Rory Stewart, justice minister, thank you very much for joining me.
STEWART: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
STEWART: Thank you. Bye-bye.
AMANPOUR: So, it is an uphill battle to get this deal approved, as we’ve just heard. Here’s what the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, of the
labour party said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: The prime minister may have achieved agreement across 27 heads of state, but she’s lost support of the
country. Many young people and others see opportunities being taken away from them. Many people who voted remain, voted for an outward looking and
inclusive society and they fear this deal and they fear the rhetoric of the prime minister in promoting this deal.
Likewise, many people from areas that voted leave feel this deal has betrayed the Brexit they voted for, it does not take back control, it will
not make them better off and it will not solve the economic deprivation that affects far too many communities in towns and cities across this
country. This deal is not a plan for Britain’s future. So, for the good of the nation, the house has very little choice but to reject this deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And then what? Alastair Campbell was spokesman and advisor to Tony Blair and he is a fervent remainer. He’s joining me here on set.
Welcome to the program.
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, you heard your fearless leader, the leader of your labor party, and you heard Rory Stewart who is trying to defend the prime
minister and trying to get what they believe to be the best negotiation. What do you think is going to happen when they bring it to a vote in
CAMPBELL: I think she’s going to lose the vote. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. I mean, I watched her statement this afternoon. I think
we were almost an hour in before anybody spoke in support of her agreement. And somebody made the point that it’s one thing to be stoic and to keep
going, but when you’re keeping going in the face of what is clearly overwhelming opposition — and the point is there are very good reasons for
If you’re — I mean, as you say, I’m very much on one side of the argument and I think this has reached a situation where people might be saying, “Why
on earth are we doing this when we’re going to be doing so much damage to the country?” And if you’re a fervent Brexiteer, as you heard from many of
them today, they are setting out a whole series of reasons why this is not in their eyes Brexit.
So, she says she’s doing it because people voted for it, but the people who voted for it are saying, “This is not what we want.”
AMANPOUR: Yes, but some of those are hardliners in your own party, they will never be satisfied with anything except for, you know, jumping off a
CAMPBELL: No. I think — but if you take something like the rule taker not a rule maker, that’s a big point. If you take something like the
European Union having veto on the backstop, the —
AMANPOUR: It’s all so complex.
CAMPBELL: I know it’s complicated but these are really big points, they’re legitimate complaints. And then, you’re also left with people saying,
“We’re paying 39 billion pounds and we’re not even able to do these trade deals that flow from leaving.”
So, I think there are very legitimate reasons for saying this is a very, very bad deal wherever you come from.
AMANPOUR: But they will take back —
CAMPBELL: It deserves to be voted down.
AMANPOUR: — control, she says, take back control of our money by putting an end to the vast annual payments in the E.U.
CAMPBELL: Yes. I know she says that, but we’re going to paying in well into the next decade. And what’s more, if this process has to be extended,
we ending up paying more. I mean, I have to say, that’s what Nicola Sturgeon put it rather well yesterday. I mean —
AMANPOUR: She’s the leader of the Scottish National Party.
CAMPBELL: Yes. Theresa May’s letter to the nation yesterday, I mean, it has a fairly Trumpian approach to fact, I have to say. I think there’s a
lot of — kind of, you know, she’s — we got into this mess because of all the lies that we’re told during the referendum campaign. And I think it’s
time for the country to be told the truth. There is no easy Brexit and she’s trying to pretend that this deal — and Rory Stewart, I mean, you
know, (INAUDIBLE) he’s a minister, he has to defend her. But yet, she hit the nail on the head in saying that she’s trying to sort of please them a
bit and please them a bit and she’s ended up pleasing nobody.
AMANPOUR: Right. But what about his point, which is probably true, that if one had a second and maybe even a third referendum, this goes on and on
because of the internecine warfare in this political environment, in both parties, is unlikely to be tamed, that that is simply going to rip this
country apart more than even an unsatisfactory sort of compromise over Brexit?
CAMPBELL: But I think the unsatisfactory compromise risk is ripping the country apart. How can you have a situation — we talk about this being
about democracy. I mean, I think I haven’t seen any — the latest polling on this, but the last time I saw her, her deal, this was before the deal
was actually done, but the outlines of the deal, the checker’s proposal, it was actually polling lower in the U.K. than Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia.
Now, both of those things are not very popular at the moment at the U.K.
So, the idea that she’s taking forward something that, I don’t know, at a guess at least three-quarters of the country are probably saying, “I don’t
like this deal.” Well, I think that he’s got a point that there has to be a deal and that involves compromise and what have you. But she ended up —
and she now comes out and says, “We have to bring the country together,” having spent two-and-a-half years making no effort whatsoever to bring the
country together, pander (ph) to the right-wing that she’s now upset because she’s not delivered them finally what they want.
So, I think the — of course, there’s no easy way out of this now. And of course, any debate risks being divisive. But surely, the job of parliament
in the end is to try to get the country to do the right thing.
AMANPOUR: So, one of the things she said in her letter was this will be, in our national issue, we’ll take back control of our borders by putting an
end to the free movement of people once and for all.
And in all the sort of analysis over Brexit, it looks like people, by large factor. voted because of immigration and because of fear or hatred or
whatever it is, xenophobia. Your government, the government of Tony Blair, was one who kind of opened the doors, it was those years that the expansion
of free movement happened and Tony Blair wanted even more than actually exists right now.
Do you think that — you know, there is a point, in your own diaries, you said, “We should have been more careful and more conscious of this
immigration, this influx.” I mean, do you think that’s where the table was laid for this?
CAMPBELL: Partly. Listen, there’s no single factor that you can say that’s why I’m in Brexit. I think if you are one — the biggest thing for
me was the consequence of the crash. I think the people felt — the people who caused the crash got away with it and they, ordinary people, took a
AMANPOUR: That’s probably very true. But then they always point at the foreigner and the —
CAMPBELL: Yes. And that’s what happens.
CAMPBELL: And I said, that’s one of the reasons for Trump as well. But I think the — so, I’m not saying immigration politically isn’t a big issue,
it has been for some time. The question then is, what do you do policy- wise to address that, and is this Brexit that she’s bringing forward now, is that really the way that — that we’re going to address the problems in
our public service and our economy?
You’ve already seen the health service facing a recruitment crisis because of so many of our European Union doctors and nurses decided, “We’re not
welcomed here, we’re going to go home.”
Now, who benefits from that? So, I think the — that none of this is easy, none of it is straightforward, there’s no route that any of the leaders can
take that doesn’t have some difficulty ahead. But I do think it’s possible for an informed debate — and let’s be honest, the one in 2016 was not
informed, it was project lies against project fear, an informed debate with remainer on the ballot paper and some form of Brexit, I think the country
could unite around the results of that. And I also believe either way because people do know so much more now that I think my side of the
argument would win comfortably.
AMANPOUR: How do you see this happening? I mean, what cascade of events needs to happen before somebody says, “Well, let’s have another vote or
whatever”? It’s called people’s vote now, it’s not called a referendum.
CAMPBELL: Well, part — well, it would be, effectively, it would be a people’s vote campaign because it’s — but we’re basically saying the
people should have the final say. The people ask the government to negotiate this, the government has done that, they have come back with
something, the country should be allowed to say whether that’s what they meant by Brexit, and I don’t think the Brexiteers will say that it is and I
don’t think people might either (ph).
So, look, the first thing that has to happen and I think is going to happen is that she loses. And I think she deserves to lose because I think it’s a
miserable Brexit deal. And that in the chaos that may ensue from that — here’s the terrible thing, this is the — supposed to be the party of the
economy, the conservative party. I think they’re partly banking, people are talking about all the top experience, they’re banking —
AMANPOUR: That was the bailout from U.S. crash?
CAMPBELL: Yes. They’re banking on the idea that the markets will tank. And then, amid the chaos, they’ll be able to say to you and piece, “Look at
what you’re doing and look at the risk of no deal.” And at that point, I think the M.P.s are going to hold firm because we’ve got to get them to the
right conclusion on this. So, I think in that process, I hope at some point the grownups will stand up and say, “We need to extend this process,
have more time and use that time, actually, to take this back to the people. Here’s the Brexit she’s brought forward, do you want that? If you
don’t, we stay.”
And if the Boris Johnson’s of this world and the Reese Moogs, if they want something harder on the ballot paper, then they have to fight for that.
AMANPOUR: Let’s put on your — back to when you were in government hat and dealing with national security and the like. So, right now, the news today
is of Russia firing on some Ukrainian ships, blocking the straits up there by the black sea, and this is what Trump has tweeted about Europe and the
U.S., “Europe has to pay their fair share for military protection. The European Union for many years has taken advantage of us on trade and then
they don’t live up to their military commitments through NATO. Things must change fast.”
I mean, this is about what’s going on in Russia/Ukraine. What does that say to you about Britain on its own, out of the E.U. depending on the U.S.?
I mean, about basically the world order in terms of security right now.
CAMPBELL: Well, I mean, look, one of the many, many reasons I’ve been against Brexit from the word go is because I think at a time when, you
know, China is becoming so powerful, when America — I mean, Macron may have overstated it in the way that he phrased it, but when you might say
America is certainly less reliable than historically most of Europe and including Britain feels it to be. That for Britain, one of the — still
just about one of the great military powers but weaker than it was.
For us to be kind of pulling out of that sort of very powerful alliance of nations — now, it’s not the military alliance because that is NATO. But I
think that — I really feel one of the tragedies of this is that with Merkel admittedly nearing the ending of her time as chancellor, Merkel,
Macron and a really engaged European prime minister, I think there is a real opportunity for Britain to be one of the great powers of Europe at a
time we’re pulling ourselves out.
And you know, we’ve had all the talk. And again, it’s something Theresa May has shown no interest in whatsoever, the potential criminality in the
campaign, the potential influence of the —
AMANPOUR: What do you mean about the criminality?
CAMPBELL: Well, the fact that we’ve now got one of the big funders of the leave campaign under investigation by the National Crime Agency and if
you’ve had also — same as the American election, pretty heavy evidence, suggestions of Russian interference, all that going on. And you have to
ask yourself why Russia is so keen on what is now happening here. And Part of that, I think, you have the answer there, that while they are busy
sorting out this, he can get off and do what he does with —
AMANPOUR: He being Putin?
CAMPBELL: He being Putin.
CAMPBELL: With less opposition from America, because trump and Putin, there’s something a bit weird going on there. And also, countries like
Britain, one of the big European military powers, actually too busy on this to focus on anything else.
And government bandwidth is a limited thing. And at the moment, is doing nothing but trying to deliver a Brexit that now it seems even the
Brexiteers don’t want if it’s this one.
AMANPOUR: We didn’t even get to Northern Ireland, that we’re going to have to talk about later.
AMANPOUR: Alastair Campbell, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
So, bitter political battles are no stranger on the other side of the pond. The senate race in Mississippi earlier this month ended without a clear
winner. So, tomorrow. the Republican, Cindy Hyde-Smith, faces Democrat, Mike Espy, in a runoff election.
The state last elected a Democrat 36 years ago. Hyde-Smith has a slight edge but the runoff has gotten closer and has exposed deep fault lines in
the deep south. In particular, this short clip cell phone video of Hyde- Smith appearing with a supporter highlighted that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY HYDE-SMITH, UNITED STATES SENATOR: If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: In case you missed it, she said that if her supporters held a public hanging, she’d be right there in the front row. She later
apologized, but what is to be made of this?
The songwriter and music producer, Tena Clark, knows the state very well. She was born and raised there to a privileged family. She has just
published a memoir about growing up in Mississippi called “Southern Discomfort”. And she joins me now from Atlanta.
Tena Clark, welcome to the program.
TENA CLARK, AUTHOR, “SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT”: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, what are we to make of all of this? I mean, I listed all your accomplishments, but you are to an extent a political activist as well
and you’ve been following this very, very closely. What do you think is going to happen in the runoff?
CLARK: Well, it’s going to be — to me, well, of course, it’s an extremely important race. And it’s going to be if the people in Mississippi that are
poor — you know, 52 percent of the people in Mississippi are poor. If the poor, the disenfranchised, underserved people in Mississippi who have the
power for change, if they get out and vote, then I think change will happen. If they do not get out and vote, everything will stay the status
quo, and that’s exactly what a lot of folks are counting on in Mississippi.
AMANPOUR: So, we put that little clip from the cell phone video that’s caused such a hullabaloo in Mississippi and rightly so. Hyde-Smith’s camp
says it was an off the cuff, off-color joke and they have apologized. Do you — what do you make of what she said? Is it unusual? How did people
react to it?
CLARK: Well, obviously the reactions have been extremely, extremely disturbing. And I just — you know, am I shocked? Do — what do I make of
it? If it had been years ago when I was growing up there, no, those kinds of comments were made all the time. If it had been before, between then
and now, this particular person who is in office in the United States White House, since he’s been elected, I would say I’m not shocked because it has
Now, let me say though, there are a lot of amazing people in Mississippi, a lot of amazing people fighting the fight for equality and justice and
there’s a lot of hope there. But it is — it’s taken on a whole new — it’s going down a whole other road.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you about that, because Hyde-Smith has wrapped herself and we’re seeing her with President Trump and he’s making a lot of
appearances for her in Mississippi this evening, today. What have you heard from people there? You say, you know, things have gone backward
since Trump has become president.
CLARK: Well, I mean, the bottom line, and I think Reverend Barber said this, this is not a red/blue issue. This is a moral issue. This is a
right/wrong issue. And if you’re OK with people talking about and joking about hanging and lynchings and the good old days of the way it used to be,
et cetera, et cetera, if you’re okay with that, then yes, you should vote for the Trump candidate.
If you’re not okay with that and you want Mississippi to progress and you want Mississippi to be a beacon of light and hope in this country, then you
will not vote for her. And it’s — it is just still is beyond me that we are talking about this and dealing with this today, but I guess with
everything that we’ve seen in the last two years, that’s what makes it, frankly, not surprising now.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST, AMANPOUR: You know, Hyde-Smith’s camp says the Democrats are making much ado about nothing. Again, she called it an off-
color, off-the-cuff joke, comment. What do you make — and I was going to say listen to Mike Espy, because as a political ad that he made addressing
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How embarrassing is Cindy Hyde-Smith? Walmart said Hyde-Smith’s recent comments clearly do not reflect the values of our
company. We’ve worked hard to overcome the stereotypes that hurt our economy and cost us jobs. Her words should not reflect Mississippi’s
values either. Cindy Hyde-Smith, so embarrassing she’d be a disaster for Mississippi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, Tena, we’ve talked a little bit about whether she is considered embarrassing by the majority of Mississippians, but also Espy is
running quite a careful campaign. He says he wants to be a senator, representative for everyone. Again, how is that going to work in today’s
Mississippi? Because we’ve seen quite interesting races in the south in the midterm. We saw Stacey Abrams get very, very close to becoming the
first female black governor of Georgia.
We saw Florida nearly elect Andrew Gillum. We’ve seen them coming very, very close. Describe the difference between Florida, Georgia and
CLARK: Well, I think the economy for one thing is so different in Florida and in Georgia. And I feel like that Florida and Georgia also, because of
the economy and has the people moving into those states are much different than it is in Mississippi. And we can’t get the economy going in
Mississippi and have new jobs and new manufacturing and companies coming to Mississippi with the ridiculous laws that are not laws that we should be,
you know, getting rid of from years ago but we’re adding and reenacting hateful — I mean laws of hate, laws of discrimination.
And so, therefore, we’re not attracting any jobs. We can’t attract any jobs. What companies are going to go there that are okay with that kind of
rhetoric and those kind of laws and bills that are being passed? To me, it’s pandering to a particular group that is hanging on for dear life.
The older, white — not all older, white Mississippians, but that group of mindset hanging on for dear life to the days of the patriarchy and how
things are supposed to be. And until we can get those jobs and people coming in and people being able to be educated and have their educational
needs met, et cetera, it’s going to be hard to get out of this rut.
But I do feel with all of that said, I feel like there’s a lot of hope. And I’ve been down there a few times recently in the past month. And there
is a lot of hope within, you know, many more Mississippians than there used to be. And so it is a slow train that is coming, but it’s coming. It’s
just whether it will be this time or not. But I have hope that it will be.
AMANPOUR: Let’s talk about those hateful laws you talk about. You’ve been opposing one of the state laws called HB-1523. I mean it practically
codifies homophobia. Tell me exactly what it means and what’s the fate of it under this election now, this runoff?
CLARK: Well, it was — I think it was — went into effect the summer of ’17, if I’m — I think I’m correct on that. But it’s a law that basically
just took homophobia to a whole other level and really made the LGBTQ community second class citizens in Mississippi. It’s saying that we don’t
believe that you have your God-given rights. That even if it’s, for example, one of the areas that it touched on — I mean there are other
states that have — a few other states that have these horrible laws. But to me, Mississippi is the — is the first on the list of things you don’t
want first on and last on the list of things you don’t want to be last on. And that’s not a good place to be in.
And so with this particular law, like I said, it basically makes the gay and lesbian community, LGBTQ, second-class citizens.
CLARK: But, also it stretches into areas like counseling or at school with school counselors or even teachers, that they can turn down a student’s
right to have counseling because if they’re of the LGBTQ community, they can say, no, our religious right says that whatever. I don’t know if you
want to say conversion therapy or whatever we think you need.
AMANPOUR: And it affects doctors too, is that right?
CLARK: I’m not sure about that. I was told that was the case in medical care, but I checked on that. I know that was up for debate. I checked on
that this morning and that is not the case. But it does affect counseling.
AMANPOUR: Let’s go back to your book and your growing up in Mississippi. I mean, you come from a very privileged and wealthy Republican family in
Mississippi and you were growing up sort of — well, yes, right, slap bang in the middle of the Civil Rights era.
So all of this must be particularly raw for you. Tell me about your upbringing but also you say you were raised, you write very poignantly
about your nanny, Virgie, an African-American.
CLARK: Yes. And I tell people also about growing up in Mississippi, that — and in this little town in this rural Mississippi where I grew up, I
would not have wanted to grow up anywhere else but there. The lessons and the things that I learned and said I would — not only that I took from
there but also said I would never repeat and fight against, all of those things, they create character.
And I think those trying times and hard times as they were in Mississippi, that’s why I’m sitting here today, because I don’t want to see it repeated
and it’s being — it looks like it’s being repeated. But yes, I had a woman who helped raise me. She was my nanny. And she taught me about
simplicity. She taught me about unconditional love. And those things I have carried with me my whole life because that’s not — you know, it’s not
As we all know, money does not make you happy. I would see that in her little one-room shack, in this little bitty town in the quarter where she
lived, there was love. You know, you can have all the money in the world and still be in search of love. You know, she did not want to come over to
As much as it was being fought for African-Americans to have their rights and equality, there was a large percentage that didn’t want any part of
that. Why? Because they were afraid, because they had been — it had been that way as long as they knew and they had been pushed down for so long
that they did not know what the other side would look like.
And it was — it was very difficult times.
AMANPOUR: Yes, you said she did not want to come over to equality because it was so scary and there was so much opposition to it despite the law.
You write very poignantly of when you as a kid thought, wow, I’m going to take Virgie to the diner, finally she can sit with me because it’s the law,
we can eat together. Follow that story.
CLARK: Well, it was right out of a movie. When we stood in line, she did not want to go. I had a way of talking her into things when I was very
young. I was like this little radical wannabe Civil Rights mover and shaker myself, even though I was young.
I was 12 and 13 and 14. I took her into this restaurant, a restaurant we had gone into our entire lives, but she had always sat — had to sit on the
back porch. And I would always sit on the back porch with her because I could not take it that she was not allowed inside.
So this particular day, I told her that she did not have to sit on the back porch anymore and that we were going and she was going to see what it would
feel like to be served a meal, to not have to cook a meal, to not have to clean up the dishes, to actually get to enjoy a meal by being served.
She didn’t want any part of it, but we went. And she kept holding her head down and everyone was staring when we were standing in line to go. And I
should have known then that I maybe was not doing the right thing for her, but I was so bent and excited about bringing her into equality of her God-
CLARK: So we go in, we sit down, we’re served. I’m served just normal. She is kind of — everyone is staring. Her plate ware is dropped about
four inches from the table where she had gravy to splatter on her and I kept whispering to her “hold your head up, hold your head up.”
And my father calls, who basically owned the town, and was screaming — there was a pay phone between the booths and the man who owned the
restaurant asked me — said to me in a very loud voice so everyone in this little tiny restaurant could hear that my daddy was on the phone.
I’m sure they were all thinking, well, that little girl’s daddy is sure going to put her in her place. We’ll, he’s screaming at me on the other
end of the phone which I can’t repeat in this forum, but I instead of laying down and saying, “Okay, daddy, we’re leaving and I’m coming home.”
I said, “Well, daddy, yes, sir.” I said, “They have fried chicken, they have mashed potatoes, they have corn on the cob and cornbread, all your
I said, “And would you like some sweet tea?” Well, as you can imagine, everybody was staring, my father was screaming and I hung up the phone. I
go sit down and Virgie said, “Your daddy is going to kill me.” And I said, “No, he’s not, he was just hungry, Virgie, he was just hungry.” And when
we left and when we left after she ate, she tried to pick up the plates to wash them and I said, “You don’t have to do that.” And so we left.
And when we left, I realized that I had somewhat betrayed her. She was mortified. She was terrified. She was beat down. And I wanted just the
opposite. And I think it was a valuable lesson for me.
AMANPOUR: It’s such a heartbreaking story really, Tena Clark, thank you so much for that memory from that book and also about tonight’s runoff
election. Thank you so much for joining us.
And now from a political race to a race to reform America’s startup culture. Silicon Valley is the place to be for tech startups, of course,
but that success has also helped cause brain drain from the heartland. Tech entrepreneur Steve Case, best known for co-founding AOL and of course
that disastrous merger with Time Warner is hoping to change all of that. Together with JD Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillybilly
Elegy,” Case has launched Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, an initiative hoping to jump start economic opportunities beyond the coastal hubs and he sat
down with our Walter Isaacson who is also on the board of that fund to discuss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
WALTER ISAACSON, PRESIDENT OF THE ASPEN INSTITUTE: Steve Case, thank you for joining us.
STEVE CASE, CEO, REVOLUTION: Great to be with you.
ISAACSON: Hey, tell me about the Rise of the Rest Fund and your bus tours. Why are you doing that?
CASE: Well, we’re doing it because we want a level the playing field, so everybody everywhere in the country has a real shot at the American dream.
We, entrepreneurs create companies that create jobs and obviously do a lot of innovative things. But last year, 75% of the venture capital in this
country went to just three states — California, New York, Massachusetts. The other 47 states fight over the other 25%. So we’re trying to get
venture capitalists to pay attention to what’s happening with entrepreneurs in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and other places, not just what’s
happening on the coast places like California and New York.
ISAACSON: So you’re shining the spotlight on towns and communities and cities that are having a sort of rise of entrepreneurship, but don’t have
the venture capital yet to get them started?
CASE: Correct, and don’t even have people understanding what’s happening. Most of the places we visited so far in the last several years, we visited
38 cities, 10,000 miles all across the country. There are interesting things happening in each of these cities. Most people don’t know about it,
and most of the investors aren’t paying any attention to it.
We’re just trying to change that paradigm and we really think some of the breakout companies of the future are not just going to come from Silicon
Valley but are going to come from of these cities in the middle of the country.
ISAACSON: Why? I mean, you talk about it in the third wave of your book that there is a third wave, that isn’t engineer driven.
CASE: The third wave is the next logical step of the internet. Obviously, the first wave is getting everybody online, getting American. The second
wave has been building apps, software services on top of the internet, things like Facebook and Google. The third wave is really integrating the
internet and changing things like healthcare and our food systems and other things are going to require partnerships and also going to require more
domain expertise. If you want to revolutionize healthcare, you kind of have to understand a little bit about how hospitals work and how doctors
think. If you want to revolutionize farming with ag tech, having some sense of that culture of farming makes sense.
CASE: So, I think ag tech innovation will happen not just on the coast, but in places like St. Louis where Monsanto is headquartered or Louisville
or Lincoln, Nebraska where there’s great expertise around farming and ag tech.
And so we really believe the entrepreneurs are there, the talent is there, the creativity is there. The money is not there, and as you know, there’s
a growing divide in this country that really is a divide and part based on opportunity.
And so, if we’re going to — and startups create most of the jobs, not the small businesses, not the big businesses, but the young high-growth
startups that we were going to create jobs in different communities and have more people feel optimistic about the future. We have to back
entrepreneurs everywhere and they will have more the domain expertise because they’re closer to what’s happening.
For example, a couple of months ago when we were in Chattanooga, the winner of the our Rise of the Rest pitch competition was a company called Freight
Waves, it’s kind of doing a Bloomberg data system for the trucking industry.
ISAACSON: Which is sort of based in Chattanooga.
CASE: I didn’t know that but some of the big trucking companies are in Chattanooga. So if you start a company there to serve the trucking
industry, you’ll have more expertise about what the needs are and more customers and more partners there if you’re in Chattanooga as opposed to if
you’re in New York City or Boston or San Francisco. We’re seeing that all over the country. That’s where we think this next wave of great
entrepreneurs building great companies will be.
ISAACSON: I love the fact that you picked Chattanooga. It’s one of my favorite cities. One of the things I don’t quite understand is how
suddenly the past ten years Chattanooga has blossomed as an entrepreneurial startup. What makes a city like Chattanooga blossom where other cities
CASE: It’s a mix of things, I’d say it’s growing quite remarkably, but it’s there’s still a lot to be done. There’s still relatively — it would
be like Tennessee, I think last year the whole state, not just Chattanooga was was less than 1% of venture capital. Ohio, less than 1%. Wisconsin
less than 1%. Pennsylvania less than 1%. So we are making some progress in some of these cities but there’s still a lot of work to do.
Chattanooga specifically, the business community has really rallied around the startups. The mayor and others have really put a priority on the
startups. The university has done a better job of keeping talent. We’ve seen an enormous brain drain over the last half century where people going
to some of the great universities in our country then left those places to go to the coast because the money was in the coast, the opportunity was on
the coast. How do you slow the brain drain? How do you create a boomerang of talent, people wanting to come back?
And we’re starting to see that happen in Chattanooga and other Rise of the Rest cities.
ISAACSON: You know that’s a wonderful phrase you just used about boomerang, generation boomerang people. People who return to home. That
notion of returning home seems to be catching on and one of the leaders of that is your partner, JD Vance, who wrote “Hillbilly Elegy,” but that
notion of okay, in this very troubled times we’re facing today, maybe we should all go home and tend to our own gardens a little bit. He goes back
to Columbus and you helped do a Rise of the Rest from there, right?
CASE: Yes, I think JD is an example in your experience, too that people who have pursued their dreams, pursued their career and it’s taken them to
various places, but sometimes there’s a longing to come home and sometimes, a desire to raise a family where you grew up or maybe where you went to
school, but the opportunity hasn’t been there in the last several decades, and that’s what we’re trying to change.
JD, I think, obviously “Hillbilly” was a huge success. He was a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley and he wrote that book which sort of defined
the problem that many people have in many parts of the country, feeling kind of left out, feeling left behind, scared about the future and decided
he wanted to be part of the solution.
And so he joined us at Revolution and is the managing partner of Rise of the Rest because he wanted to kind of be part of that. And as part of
that, he wanted to move back home to Ohio.
ISAACSON: And so he goes back to Columbus. And Columbus is now flourishing. Not just because JD moved back, but it’s become one of the
great entrepreneurial cities. Only less than a hundred miles away is Dayton, and it’s not coming back. Why does a city — what makes the
difference? Why does a Columbus come back and Dayton is still struggling?
CASE: It’s a very interesting question. We’ve seen this in other cities. Dayton lost half of its population last half century. Detroit lost half of
its population. Detroit a hundred years ago was kind of like Silicon Valley. It was the most innovative city in the country, but it kind of
lost its entrepreneurial mojo, lost its way. It’s fighting its way back but it kind of lost a lot of ground.
The difference between a city typically like Dayton and a city like Columbus is the ability to attract the talent and attract the capital.
It’s been more difficult in Dayton to keep the people who want to be part of the innovation economy. People are more likely to be in Columbus.
They’re trying to change that and some of the most innovative even computer companies like NCR were based in Dayton, so it has a tradition of being an
A lot of people left there and there is not yet that sense that it’s time to come back. There is progress in Dayton. There’s reason to be
optimistic about it, but they dug a big hole and basically, everybody kind of — not everybody, but a lot of people felt like they had to leave to
pursue opportunity elsewhere.
ISAACSON: But you look at Chattanooga, Columbus, I’d even say New Orleans, Austin, Texas, what are the ingredients, if you had to say, here are five
ingredients you have to have if you want to be rising with the rest.
CASE: It starts with talent. And so how do you slow that brain drain, people leaving? How do you become a magnet for talent? A boomerang for
talent? Capital is very important, which is why we launched this fund to partner with regional venture capitalists. We’re trying to help these
regional venture capitalists raise more capital so they can back more companies.
A connection to where there’s intellectual properties. Universities for example, provide that connection to partnerships with big companies in
those cities and provides that. And sort of a sense of possibility, almost a fearlessness in terms of the culture. There are a lot of communities
around the country. They are kind of cautious kind of risk averse. And if you’re going to be innovating, this is one of the great things about
Silicon Valley. It has a sense that anything is possible. There is a fearlessness to that city. How do we create more of that in more parts of
ISAACSON: So you’d put a billboard in some of these cities that just says be fearless.
CASE: Be fearless and believe in yourself. Believe in your community. I remember when we were in Memphis recently, part of the reason people are
trying to rally there, there’s obviously great companies, big companies like FedEx that are headquartered there, but their startup community was
not as developed as they wanted.
We kind of said, well, we can only believe in Memphis if you believe in Memphis and people in Memphis, the business leaders, the government
leaders, the university leaders aren’t rallying together to support the startups, why do you think people from other places will join you as part
Silicon Valley, a hundred years ago was fruit orchards. It wasn’t growing startups, it was growing fruit. But it had the connection to commit to
Revolution, and obviously Stanford and other universities there and that’s where venture capital got started. And so, it went from basically being an
agriculture valley to being Silicon Valley. And so how do we create that dynamic in other places? Not trying to replicate Silicon Valley but take
some of the principles around innovation and that fearless spirit and backing the entrepreneurs and not just focusing on what might go wrong, but
also focusing on what might go right.
ISAACSON: Let’s get specific about some of the successes you think you’ve had. I know down in New Orleans, one of the companies we invested in was
CASE: Ready Responders is a good example instead of having to go to an emergency room, they’ll come to you, which is more convenient and also a
cost effective way to deal with the health care system.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you can skip the waiting and high bills of the emergency room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASE: There’s a company in Texas called SheerShare that is basically allowing people who are stylists, barbers, to basically rent out space and
so they don’t have to necessarily affiliate with a particular salon.
In Baltimore, we found a company called Catalyte, that’s taking a lot of people who didn’t know that coding might be something they’re good at.
They give them a test. The people who pass that test go through a curriculum and get a much better paying job. There’s a UPS driver that was
driving trucks because when he was growing up nobody said you might be good at coding and went through this program, has now doubled the amount of
money he’s making because of a program like that.
I do realize because I travel around a lot that most people in this country wake up in the morning anxious about the future, fearful about the future.
They’re worried about the future. The disruption we celebrate in places like Silicon Valley, they view as a threat. They’re going to lose jobs
because of that and that does happen. Disruption does result in job loss.
Two centuries ago, 90% of us worked on farms and now, it’s less than 2% because of technology. Basically you can farm more land and grow more food
with fewer people so there’s going to be that kind of job loss. The only question is can we offset the job loss with new jobs that we create in
these new industries of the future. We can only do that if we’re backing entrepreneurs everywhere, not just in a few places on the coast.
ISAACSON: One of the things some of the cities that are successful have — Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee, New Orleans, I would say as well is a
creative economy, i.e. things — everything from music to food to theater, creativity. Is that part of the new mix, too, connecting creativity to the
CASE: No question. We’re seeing this also in terms of place. Half a century ago, if you wanted to revitalize a neighborhood, you tried to get
the artist to move in. Soho here in New York, for example. Now you try to get the entrepreneurs to move in, and that starts revitalizing that
neighborhood and then you start creating jobs and it kind of expands from that. But there’s no question that this ultimately is the battle for
As a country, we’re now in a global battle for talent. Each city within our country is battling for talent. How do you keep the best and brightest
you have and how do you attract other people who want to be there and part of it is based on the opportunity, but some is based on the broader
creative community and sense of possibility and sense of inclusiveness that these cities are trying to build.
ISAACSON: When you helped build AOL and you were the one that made it into a great company, it was based on a premise of community, of people who knew
each other, bringing them together, and it wasn’t really about pushing out content. Do you think we’ve moved away from that wonderful model of social
media bringing them to create community and now social media is dividing us?
CASE: I think there is some of that. I’m surprised and disappointed by it. I think that’s one of the unintended consequences of the internet. As
you said, when we got started with AOL in 1985, only 3% of people were online, they’re only online an hour a week. We said we think the killer
app of the internet is going to be people, community, what’s now called social media, so that really was the focus of AOL’s effort.
I mean, more than half of our users, their traffic was always these community functions and we thought that was a way to bring people together.
To be able to connect the people you already knew and wanted to stay closer to and also connect the people you didn’t yet know but maybe should because
you have some kind of shared interest, and we have seen that dynamic kick in.
At the same time, particularly in the last few years, it feels like social media has divided us. We were in our own little filter bubbles paying
attention to only certain voices, not really understanding the other side of issues and it has had the impact of creating a more divisive kind of
world which has had an impact in terms of politics.
There’s no question there’s some downsides to it and one of them is the fact that social media in particular, and the diversity of voices which I
think is a good thing also has this dynamic around fake news and not every voice is necessarily an accurate voice and a trusted voice, and so we have
to figure out as we go forward how to strike the balance of creating that environment where every voice can be heard while at the same time having
some distinction between what’s right and wrong.
ISAACSON: In the world of technology and in the world of Rise of the Rest and of entrepreneurship around this country and especially in Silicon
Valley, women, people of color generally have been left out …
ISAACSON: … of getting venture funding and whatever. How bad is it and what can be done about it?
CASE: It’s really bad. I talked about how the venture capital money goes to a few states; 75% going to three states. It’s actually worse if you
look at people. Last year, over 90% of venture capital went to men, less than 10% to women and less than 1% went to African-Americans.
So this is a great entrepreneurial nation, we should be proud of it, but the data does suggest that it does matter where you live, it does matter
what you look like, it does matter who you know whether you have an idea you can take it and build a company and really pursue the American dream,
so we really need to be more inclusive. We really need to level the playing field and so everybody everywhere really has that shot. There’s a
lot of work to be done on that front.
ISAACSON: Steve, thanks for joining us.
CASE: Thanks, Walter.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: A lot of work indeed.
That’s it for our program tonight.
Thanks for watching Amanpour and Company on PBS and join us again tomorrow.