July 17th, 2012

Amanpour in Jerusalem with Tony Blair: “I would have liked staying as prime minister”

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour anchored her program from Jerusalem, Israel, on the Tuesday, July 17th edition of AMANPOUR.  Amanpour interviewed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the way forward in Syria, and (transcript excerpt pasted below) whether he would run for prime minister again:

AMANPOUR: Is there more public office in view for Tony Blair?  Everybody’s talking about how you’re positioning yourself to make a comeback.

BLAIR:  I’m not really.  It’s just that people ask you the question in a way that says, you know, rule it out, and I kind of think, well, why should I?  But that’s not the same as planning to do it.  You know what I mean?

So I — I’m a public service person.  You know, I would have liked staying as prime minister.  I would have taken the European job had it been offered me.  So that’s my preference.  But I’m also enjoying the life I’ve got and doing lots of things and you know, I kind of let the future take care of itself.

AMANPOUR:  You didn’t want to step down?

BLAIR:  It was — you know, it became very difficult for me to stay, other than a lot of damage to my party, but also probably to my country.  So I decided to go.  And I’d done it ten years, you know, it’s a long time.

AMANPOUR:  Sounds like you’re keeping the door open, though.

BLAIR:  It’s literally — I mean, maybe I should just shut it, but I just kind of think, “Why?” I mean, you know, the — so, look, I’ve still got plenty of ideas and energy. But I can’t see anything happening on the horizon.  I’m not planning or plotting or scheming.

AMANPOUR:  All right.  Tony Blair, thank you very much indeed.

BLAIR:  Thank you.  Thank you.

Amanpour airs weekdays on CNN International at 3:00pm with a replay at 5:00pm Eastern in the U.S.   The full transcript for this program is available here.  In Europe, Amanpour airs on CNN Internatioanl at 21:00 CET, with a replay at 23:00 CET.