LOS ALTOS (KPIX) — At age 96, Shultz has plenty of experience. He was Secretary of Labor and also Secretary of the Treasury under Richard Nixon and he was Ronald Reagan’s longest-serving Secretary of State.
On Saturday, Shultz talked with KPIX reporter Maria Medina about some of those experiences and about his new autobiography, “Learning From Experience,” at an appearance in Los Altos.
“My theme is that you may know a lot but it’s what you learn from experience that gives you a realization of how things really work,” Shultz said of his book.
As the oldest living former U.S. cabinet member, an obvious question for this pillar of the Republican Party is: “How is Pres. Trump doing so far?”
“Well, I wouldn’t describe it as good, bad or indifferent,” Shultz said. “There are some things that are promising and other things that I don’t particularly like,” he added.
Shultz praised Trump’s response to the Syria government’s use of chemical weapons against its own people.
“I saw a clip of President Obama talking about how completely unacceptable it is to have a country use chemical weapons — and they did — and he didn’t do anything about it. Now President Trump has taken a very sharp response and I think that’s really good,” Shultz said.
The elder statesman is a proponent of alliances. He says the president was on the right track in meeting with China’s president earlier this month to persuade China to help stop North Korea testing nuclear weapons and missiles.
“They had a chance to get to know each other, so that’s the way to approach it. It’s almost inconceivable that we could sit there and allow North Korea to have an intercontinental missile with a nuclear warhead that could hit the United States. So we’ve got to prevent that and it’s hard work,” Shultz said.
Shultz differs from most Republicans in his views on climate change. He hopes the current administration will not completely undo Pres. Obama’s efforts on that front.
“I think it’s an urgent matter to get after this issue and I’ve been working on it hard myself,” Shultz said. “I have electric panels I have panels on my roof at Stanford and I’ve long since paid for them on what I have saved on my electricity bill. I drive an electric car around.”
The crowd who turned out to meet Secretary Shultz got a chance to ask him questions and he answered them all. He ended his talk with a plea to give the new president a chance.
“I think whoever’s elected president we want that person to be successful which means our country will be a success,” Shultz said.