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'Fox News Sunday' Transcript: Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush Discuss Haiti Challenge

MAJOR GARRETT, FOX NEWS: President Bush, President Clinton, thank you very much for joining us on "Fox News Sunday." First question to the two of you, do you intend to go to Haiti any time soon? And if not, why not? Mr. President?

GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't intend to go any time soon. And I do think it will be -- there will be an appropriate time for the president and I to go down in our capacity as co-heads of the Clinton-Bush fund. But I have no intention of going any time soon.

GARRETT: Bad idea to go down now, sir?

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I may go in a few days because of my U.N. job. But if I do, I'm going to try to stay out of the way. That is just do the work I have to do to work some things through with the Haitian government and thank people what we're doing, and see what else I'm supposed to do.

But I agree with President Bush that we don't need more people down there now unless they are literally delivering, providing food, water, shelter, medicine, medical care. It's chaos. You've seen it on -- you report it every night and every day.

And all of us should be helping, but the airport, it's all they can do to manage the planes that they have to bring in and out of there. So I think that there are some -- if you have a really good reason to go, you should go, otherwise everybody should stay.

Now in the next -- after the emergency passes, we'll go and we'll go more than once. But we need to let the people get fed.

GARRETT: Picking up on your point, Mr. President, how have you two personally reacted to what you've seen? When did you start seeing it and how have you felt it internally?

BUSH: I've been watching TV from Dallas, Texas, and I feel sick to my stomach. I feel it's really emotional. And that's the way it is for a lot of Americans. And therefore a lot of Americans are going to want to help. And our job is to make sure their help is not squandered, that it is spent properly.

GARRETT: President Clinton, you have a deep historical relationship, personal relationship, how has it affected you personally?

CLINTON: Well, it has been extremely painful because of -- because Hillary and I went down there, you know, in December of 1975 the first time, because I was heavily involved when I was president, because my foundation worked there afterwards, and because of the work I was doing with the U.N. I know a lot of the people who perished in the U.N.

building.

So -- but I also think I just -- I've been almost equally moved just by what we've all seen on television. And I'm just grateful that we're in a position to help, you know, because I think every American who has watched this, and probably every citizen in the world has watched this, said, gosh, I wish I could do something.

Well, you can do something. And if you just have $1, or $5, or $10 now, you can send it to the -- our Web site or any of the others that -- because now we've got to help them get through the days. In a few week we'll be working on rebuilding, but right now we've got to survive.

GARRETT: President Bush, as President Obama pointed out, PEPFAR has been an enormously important part of Haiti. Your brother Jeb knows the region, knows it well, your father. Do you think this could be a larger Bush family effort? Do you plan on enlisting either your brother or your father in any of these efforts?

BUSH: They're going to want to help. The -- and Laura went down there to analyze the PEPFAR programs, and so. And we've had an interest, certainly not quite as deep as Bill's, he and the secretary of state have spent a lot of time down there. We care about it, I care about it because if you see a neighbor in need, it's important to help.

And so if people do want to help, they ought to dial up -- one place to dial up is our Web site, which is clintonbushhaitifund.org.

And, you know, one of things I'm concerned about, Major, is there is going to be an outpouring of money and I just want people to make sure that they're careful about where they send their money. And we're -- we can assure them there will transparency and the money will be accounted for, and then more importantly, spent on programs that will be effective on the ground.

GARRETT: President Clinton, I want to talk to you about briquettes, organic briquettes in Haiti. You carry one around with you.

CLINTON: Yes.

GARRETT: Explain briefly to our audience, who may not understand what this means, how something that small can change what is happening now and change the face of Haiti.

CLINTON: Well, before this earthquake hit, Haiti's per capita income was about $780 a year. Seventy-five percent of the people were living on less than $2 a day. One of the big problems was the deforestation. One of the reasons that the hurricanes hurt more there is its trees have been taken down. People will cut...

GARRETT: For fuel.

CLINTON: For fuel, they cut up the trees for charcoal, cook dinner.

By the same token, Port-au-Prince and the other cities, like most cities in poor countries, hardly pick up the garbage and they have these unsightly landfills that are public health menaces.

There is a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince which brought the crime rate down and the employment rate up by collecting the garbage, taking the organic material and turning it into fertilizer for farmers, recycling the plastic and the metal, and taking the paper and mixing it with charcoal -- I mean, with sawdust and wetting it then drying it and cutting it into these little briquettes.

And three of them will burn as much for as long to cook dinner for a Haitian family as charcoal, and at about a quarter of the price.

So it's -- you employ 10 times as many people in the process. You save money for the families. And you reduce the incentives to tear down the trees. And if you do that and at the same time build income-earning trees, like mango trees, and reconstitute the mahogany forest, the

(INAUDIBLE) and other of these fast-growing trees you can cut down without deforestation. That is, the roots stay and they grow up again.

You can really -- this will be a part of Haiti's rebuilding. I know it's hard for people to think about that now, but these -- this government and the people of Haiti had an economic development plan that I was helping them to implement, and we're going to go back to it once the smoke clears.

And that's the kind of thing that can make a huge difference.

That's why your listeners need to know if they've got $5 to spend today or six months from now, they can make a difference there.

GARRETT: President Bush, many Americans who are in Haiti are there as missionaries. There is an incredibly strong faith-based commitment of America to Haiti.

BUSH: Yes.

GARRETT: Talk to us about that for a minute and how that should -- motivates the two of you and Americans generally.

BUSH: A lot of people hear the call to love a neighbor like they'd like to be loved themselves. My own church, Highland Park United Methodist Church had a group of church members in an eye clinic. They fortunately came out, sadly one person died.

But Haiti has been a focus for a lot of the faith-based groups because they see incredible suffering and great poverty and great need.

The ultimate recovery of Haiti is going to be aided by faith-based -- the faith-based community. It's not going to be only faith-based community, but it will be helped by the faith-based community.

And for those of faith who want to help, our advice is send money now, and once things stabilize, then it's -- then you can lend your talent and time.

CLINTON: I just want to echo that. Haiti has 10,000 non-governmental organizations active there. That's per capita the largest number in the world except for India. And an enormous number of them are American faith-based groups. We have gotten them all to try to register, organize so that they can coordinate their efforts and amplify the impact of their efforts.

And they're going to be a very important part, not only of dealing with this emergency, but the long-term reconstruction of Haiti.

I think the American people should know that. They should be proud of that.

GARRETT: President Bush, President Clinton, thank you very much for joining us on "Fox News Sunday." We look forward to talking to you again for an update on this should circumstance warrant.

BUSH: Thank you.

CLINTON: Thank you.

GARRETT: From the Map Room, Brit, back to you.