Possible VP Pick Susan Rice Says She Can Handle Pandemic


Rice is one of a handful of women on Joe Biden's short list for a running mate. She told us she is the right fit for the job. Yes, I think I could bring my experience of almost now. 20 years in the senior levels of the executive branch to bear to help tackle the most pressing problems we face. And while this would be the first time she would campaign for herself Ambassador Reiss told our co host Steve Inskeep that she's ready for him. Regardless of your experience in government, a big part of the vice presidency or seeking the vice presidency is campaigning, of course, which is not something that you've had a lot of experience doing. Do you have any eagerness to to campaign? Well, Steve. Yes, I've not run for office on my own behalf, but I've run for office on other people's behalf, where I did actually quite a bit of retail politics and speaking to groups of people. But I think unfortunately, in the current context with the pandemic, this will be quite an unusual campaign. If you were in office, you would face the fundamental problem of trust in government or lack of trust in government that is playing out. Now, Many people are refusing to wear facemasks. It seems evident from surveys that many people would think the same way about a vaccine once it's available. What would you do about that? Well, I think that's a huge challenge. And we have had vaccines many in many stages in our history. Still, today, Children need certain vaccines to be able to go to school. And I think that we're gonna have to take a similar approach that you know for kids to be able to go back to school and in Whatever jurisdiction they ought to be vaccinated and the localities ought to consider also requiring the people in the household with the Children to be vaccinated for the very reason that's obvious that this is You know, something that affects the entirety of the community. I want to ask about a couple of foreign policy problems that any administration would face on January 20th 2021 1 of them is deteriorating U. S relations with China. Now I know you've been critical of the way that President Trump is approached China. But at the same time, there are foreign policy experts across the spectrum, who said China's a problem? We don't know how to confront China. Maybe it's time for a confrontation with China. Would you want to roll back U. S relations with China to the way they were in 2016? Steve. No. I don't think you can roll back the clock on any critical issue to 2016. The world has changed and we have to deal with the world as it is. But having said that my criticism is Based predominantly on the fact that we have approached the challenge the China poses economically and strategically in isolation rather than in partnership with our allies in Asia and Europe. You know, instead of, for example, approaching our concerns about trade and economic policy, collectively with our European and Asian partners, who share many of those same concerns, and who Joining with us could add to our collective pressure on China to change its policies and approaches. We started separate trade battles with our closest allies. If you've got more partners behind you, is there some value in a confrontation with China? Well, if by confrontation you mean is it smart for us to start a hot war? I think absolutely not. No. But what about in other ways, diplomatically or otherwise? Well, diplomatically. Sure. First. What we don't need to seek confrontation for its own sake. We need to be strong and smart in how we compete with China. And push back on China's policies on the economic and the security front that threaten our interests. We also should be speaking up vocally and and forcefully about China's egregious human rights abuses from How it treats the Uighurs to the people of Hong Kong. It's common to say that a lot of the divisions of the last few years are merely highlighting what was already there. You could say that President Trump talks the way that a lot of Americans talk and believes what a lot of Americans believe, which is why millions of people voted for him. For example, it is often said that the pandemic Has struck the most vulnerable communities because they were vulnerable over a long period of time that we're just having American society exposed in a different way. Do you believe that? Well, I believe that What the pandemic has done is show how much disparity there is among Americans from a socioeconomic point of view and to a large extent of racial and ethnic point of view, And you know if it wasn't obvious to people before it, it ought to be now. But I don't think that that is the same thing is the first part of your question, which is To suggest that you know, all Donald Trump has done is shined a spotlight on some of the underbelly of our society. I don't think that's right. I think Americans at the end of the day Are not people who like to hate and to fear one another. Do you feel that you understand the roughly 40% of Americans who approve of the job the president is doing. I do think I have a good understanding. Maybe not a perfect understanding in part, Steve, because, as I write in my book, I have a 23 year old son whom I love dearly, whose politics are very, very different from my own, and from the rest of our family. Talk more about that. What are his politics? Ah, you know, I have a very conservative son in a very progressive daughter. They're both wonderful, intelligent. Passionate, committed kids. My son and I will have some robust disagreements are over some matters of policy. Not all. And yet at the end of the day. I love him dearly, and he loves me. As there have been an issue where he is almost persuaded you that maybe you're wrong. Yeah, I'm sure. I'm sure there is And you know the thing is, and I read about this in in the book. In the last chapter. I write about the areas where we agree. And the areas where we disagree, So we agree, for example. On the importance of the United States, playing a responsible principle leadership role in the world. We agree on the importance of having strong alliances. You know, we disagree. On things like, Ah, choice. I'm pro choice. He's pro life. That's the kind of difference that we oughta be able to respect. Ambassador Susan Rice. It's a pleasure to talk with. Thank you, Steve

Coming up next