Bolsonaro Interview Jornal Nacional :

Part 1 . Politics , Economics and Wage Gap .

I translated Jair Messias Bolsonaro interview in Jornal Nacional , which is very important , since television is how many Brazilians who don’t own cell phones or use social media inform themselves . Everyobody has agreed that this was his best performance . I divided it in two part for separate topics . The first one is politics economics and wage gap .

William Bonner : We are going to start this interview talking about the new and the old in politics. You are now in your seventh term, that ‘s twenty seven years [ as a congressman ], why do you advertise yourself as ‘’the new ’’ and ‘’against everything that is out there ‘’, if you and your family, like so many other political families, have made politics a type of career ? You live off politics, you live for politics like so many other families have done, and you criticize them a lot.

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Generally when we speak of families in politics, we are speaking of families involved in acts of corruption ; my family is clean. I always was part of the lower clergy in Brasilia. If I was involved in this type of politics, and occupied the higher spheres, I certainly would be involved in corruption scandals like ‘’the carwash’’ as is happening today so I always kept my principles in Brasilia. Also I was mentioned in the ‘’ Mensalão ‘’ [1] by Joaquim Barbosa [2] as the only congressman of the allied base that wasn’t bought by Workers Party, and mentioned by Alberto Youseff as one of the few congressman of the Progressive Party that did not look for money from Petrobras. And in the case of the JBS Friboi [3], I was the only congressman who did not receive from the party money coming from Friboi, and returned it to the Party. So I have been in politics a long time, I have seventeen years in the Brazilian Army , and always kept my principles. And being honest, Bonner, isn’t a virtue , but a duty.

William Bonner : Let me try to explain the issue, everything you have in terms of propriety you obtained through you’re salaries as a congressman, you have declared in the justice a patrimony of around of two million reais. This puts you among a very small number of Brazilians ; 0 , 2 % of the Brazilian Population, therefore, throughout seventeen years, what happened is that you have made politics a career. The question is : what makes you different from so many other politicians who have walked the same path ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Bonner, I never received money from any company for my campaigns, I always did it with money I received from my terms, and especially my accomplishments. I have popular support for this, for many years during the air time in election, I didn’t even appear. So, I believe I have done a job that has been recognized by the people as being very good, if I haven’t passed many bills, at least I avoided that many terrible ones went forward in Brasilia, and because of this my sons were elected : one federal congressman for São Paulo, one council member in Rio de Janeiro, and another state congressman in Rio de Janeiro. Nobody is obliged to vote for them, but they did, because they believed in me.

Renata Vasconcellos : But candidate, touching on the same such subject ; we are speaking about new practices in politics, that you say you defend. Have you refused housing benefits [4] ? Despite having a apartment in Brasilia, in march this year. You have said that this isn’t illegal, which it in fact isn’t. But what ‘s new in a candidate who defends morality in public spending, but who squirms when inquiries are made to him?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : I moved to a new apartment now because I needed a bigger space, my old apartment was sixty square meters, it had expenses too. Now, should I disqualify myself for receiving housing benefits which is legal ? As your pejotização is illegal [5]?

Renata Vasconcellos :But we are only talking about the new political practices that you defend.

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Look ; I never had a job in the government. There has never been a secretary in any town nominated by me. Nothing. I have always been a lawmaker concerned with my term, and my vote is sacred. It is the symbol of my work and of my respect for the people.

Renata Vasconcellos : But when it come to these housing privileges, if everyone does it and you do it, what is new ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Look ; I was in a cubicle in Brasilia, all the resources I get in Brasilia is for the maintenance of my team. It’s to pay the taxes, the condominium, it almost zeroed it. My apartment is for sale, if someone wants to buy it’s available. And now I’m living in a functional one, and by the way, the way you both receive through the PJ is legal, it’s in the law , and I am not criticizing it.

William Bonner : Let’s talk about economics Congressman.

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Of course.

William Bonner : A very important topic for Brazilians in the moment. Especially with the situation the country is facing now. You have said that you don’t know a lot about economics, and that who is going to take care of this in your government, in the event that you are elected, will be the economist Paulo Guedes. The question is that in no democracy in the world has it ever been heard of a candidate for a head of government, that so early in his election campaign, has delegated so much power to a future subordinate. What would you say to a voter, who might be worried that you will become a hostage of such a powerful subordinate in which the voter will not even vote for ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Firstly Lula who didn’t understand anything of economics had a minister of the same measure. Dilma Rouseff who understood economics led Brazil to chaos [6], I base myself on the principle that you have to trust men and women. Sometimes I ask myself what Mr Guedes saw in me, yet he already answered : ‘’ I saw sincerity and trustworthiness ‘’. I have to trust him, as I have to trust my minister of defense, treasury, agriculture, among other. And look here Bonner, you can be sure, I am the only one who will get there and have right to choose my ministers, I won’t be tied up, or have to depend on political recommendations. Because in general ministers work for their party ‘s , I will have this independence. And Paulo Guedes is a economist renowned in and outside of Brazil. 
 William Bonner : You have repeated many times that Paulo Guedes will remain with you until the end . You have been questioned about this : ‘’ but what if you fight ? ‘’ , ‘’ no he won’t , he will stay ‘’ . However there is a rule of administration that you shouldn’t hire someone that can’t later be fired . And you know that it is impossible to guaranty that a subordinate will stay with you until the end of your term . It is a guaranty that you can’t give candidate .So , the question that I would like to propose is this ; suppose one day Paulo Guedes walks into your office if you’re elected President ; and he as a minister and says : ‘’ Presidents either you do this… Or I will take my hat and coat and go’’ . What will you do in a situation like this ? Will you let him leave ,thus breaking this promise of keeping him until the end , or will you obey the demands made by him ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Bonner , this is almost like a marriage . I have been courting Paulo Guedes for a long time , and so has he been courting me . We , Bonner have been separated [7] , until the day of our separation we don’t think about a backup wife . If this ever happens , because of me , or because of him , well , patience . What I have gotten from Paulo Guedes until now has been an enormous fidelity and commitment with the future of Brazil ; I am sure of it . I believe in his proposals , and if he cannot implement all of them it’s because we have a filter called the Chamber of Deputies and The Senate ; not everything he wants or that I want can be approved , because it passes through the Brazilians Parliament .

William Bonner : So you are now admitting that there is now this possibility of Paulo Guedes divorcing you, to use your expression.

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Bonner , when we get married ,me with my wife ,you with yours [8] , when we get married we swear eternal fidelity and something happened on the way , that ’s nobody business to discuss , I doubt , from what I know of Paulo Guedes , and I started to know him much better after I met him , that this divorce might ever happen . The only irreplaceable person in this situation is me , because you can just replace the whole ministry , if this ever happens , you can be sure it won’t be because of a problem from my part or his , because we are committed to seeking better days for our Brazil , and we do want any issue in this process .

Renata Vasconcellos : Candidate let’s now talk about a very important theme that is gender inequality , according to the IBGE [9] women earn twenty five percent less than men , you have said that the civil service already guaranties wage equality and in the private sector what is left is the free will of the employer ; you have already said that in your opinion , the President can’t do anything to change this situation , the fact is that you said that if you were an employer you wouldn’t hire women with the same salary as women . In other words , you sympathize with the employers who agree with this wage gap . How do you explain this to women ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : It’s very easy . Renata did you read , heard , or saw this claim from me ?

Renata Vasconcellos : I think I heard and read it .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : I’m sorry you haven’t heard it .

William Bonner : Excuse me candidate …

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Was it in the program of Lucinana Gimenez ? But this fact was already there . She asked me and I said that it was competence , and then she said ‘’ oh women are competent’’ , the CLT ( labor laws )[10] already guaranties this : that the salary be compatable as long as there isn’t more than two years of service in between …

Renata Vasconcellos : But we know that in practise that there is a wage gap , so much that the IBGE shows that women earn twent- five percent less than men .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Renata …

Renata Vasconcellos : I just want to know from you as a candidate for President ; what policies you will put in action to avoid this type of inequality ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Why doesn’t the ministry of labour act on this matter ? It can …

Renata Vasconcellos : But you can …

Jair Messsias Bolsonaro : I don’t have any authority over the ministry it’s all in the CLT , women just have to file a complaint and the ministry will go and solve the matter .

Renata Vasconcellos : But you know that the State has mechanisms to stimulate the privat sector to not practise this type of wage inequality . And you as President won’t do anything to avoid this type of inequality ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : But of course I would . But I am saying is that the Ministry of Labour can be questioned . Now , I am looking here at a man and woman . I don’t know for sure but certainly there must be wage difference here , maybe it’s much better for him than for you , they are similar positions …

Renata Vasconcellos : Excuse me candidate , but I must interupt . I can as a citizen , like any Brazilian citizen ; question your salary because you are a civil servant , a congressman for twenty seven years , and I as a taxpayer help pay your salary . My salary is nobody’s bussiness . And I can guaranty you ; that as a woman , I would never accept to receive a salary smaller than a man , who had the same duties and jobs as me [11] . But I will let you speak now .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : And we can be sure that you live off resources from The Union [12] . It’s billions that Globo has received of funds from the governments official propaganda . But , okay , let me continue … Now don’t label me and accuse me of anything like this [ that women should receive less than men ] . Because if I ever did there would be a speech of me in the congress doing so ; there has never been a speech ! There would have a been a bill that I tried to pass to promote something like this . There isn’t any ! This label was put on me around 2010 ( or 2012 ) when I gave an interview to the magazine Zero Hora in Porto Alegre[13] , I researched and I explained why women receive less than men even by using studies done by the IBGE .

Renata Vasconcellos : So do you have project in this direction if you are elected ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : It’s already in the law , the code already guaranties same salaries for men and women in the same position . And if the law is not being followed … When a law is not being followed whose job is it to take care of this ? The Courts and the Ministry of Labour .

William Bonner : Candidate , let’s now talk about jobs , a very important theme at this moment . You have said that to have more jobs we need less worker’s rights . I want you to explain how what rights will Brazilians cease to have in a Bolsonaro government .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : A part of that is missing . I have said in all meetings and lectures that I have given in Brazil that the class that employs ( the small bussimen , the factory owners , bussinessmen ) have said that the worker will have to decide betwen less rights and more jobs or all rights and unemployment . Why is this …

William Bonner : You are verbalizing what the employers say as a candidate .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : You have to demonstrate this .

William Bonner : What rights will you as President would you remove ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : These rights are guarantied by article seven of the constituition ( clausulas petraes [14] none of them can be removed , what we can do ( which is the executive’s duty ) is to cut taxes , we have debureocratiscice , we have to deregulate a lot of things . So that it won’t take a hundred days to open a bussiness in Brazil , this is what we have to do to have jobs in Brazil . Bonner …

William Bonner : I’m trying to extract from you a objective information with the following purpose : wouldn’t be right that the elector knows , or the worker to know of what type of right are you willing to remove , what type of right are you willing to surpress , once you’re elected ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Excuse me Bonner , but whoever removes rights is not the chief of the executive , but the congress and the senate .

William Bonner : But will you propose something in congress ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : No. Only if you have a new national assembly , and when you open one you never know what’s going to happen in the parliament , you loose control of what happens there . Now , this is the reality ; you cannot make a nail in Brazil and be able to compete with Paraguay . And another reality , the salary is very high for who pays and very small for who receives . I will start from these premises to find the solution for the problem . And don’t throw the responsability on a Presidential candidate , with the quantity of problems that we have in Brazil .

William Bonner : Well that’s because the candidate said that to have more jobs in Brazil we need less rights . But I will continue on the topic of worker’s rights . You have said it candidate … but let’s continue . Still on the topic of worker’s rights ; Brazil has just saw approved the ammendment of informal workers [15] , which legalized the jobs of millions of Brazilian workers , gave to them rights that until now they didn’t have . However you have voted agaisnt the amendment .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Yes.

William Bonner : Now I ask you why do you think these millions of Brazilians workers didn’t deserve to win these rights ?

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : It isn’ t ‘’ you voted against ‘’ , I was the only one who voted against it . In two sessions therefore I made no mistake . It was to defend my right but in a gradual manner , this led millions of women ( and some men ) who performed domestic work to become what ? Diaristas [16] . And as diaristas , most of them , are bearly receiving collecting anything for thieir previdencias ( pensions ) . Many people had to lay off people , because they couldn’t pay . Many women lost their job exactly because of this excess of rights ; that was my intention . Nothing against …

William Bonner : The number of the IBGE don’t prove what you are affirming with such clarity Candidate . But , just for us not to stay on one topic . The voter should then understand that for you there is no other way : either there are no rights, or there is no jobs .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : Why don’t we then approve all worker’s rights for military men [17] , would you be in favour of that ? I know the one being interviewed is me , but will we approve all laws for military personel and auxilary forces ?

William Bonner : That was not the topic I put forward . This is about the domestic workers , and you have voted against it .

Jair Messias Bolsonaro : I did and I don’t deny it . I voted with the intention of defending and knowing that I would be the only one voting against . I didn’t throw myself in the lions den . And the press didn’t beat at that time . There was layoffs Bonner , there was . Many people who use to even sleep where they worked no longer did ; many who use to arrive early and even prepare their bosses coffee no longer did , just so those hours wouldn’t count , they lost their breakfeast and they lost their per noite [18 ]


[1] Corruption case unveiled in 2005 . The congressman Roberto Jefferson denounced that congressmen were receiving monthly bribes ( thus , the name of the case , month in portuguse is mês add the augmentative ão ) to support the Workers Party . It lead to the arrest of a former guerilla member and then Chief of Staff José Dirceu . The translation for this article that compares the Mensalão and the Carwash case is more or less accurate :

[2] Former Minister of the Supreme Court ( In Brazil the judges of the Supreme Court are called Minister ) . Barbosa was the Brazilian Socialists Party ‘ s ( PSB ) candidate for President this year . But he decided to pull out of the race .

[3] A case involving one of Brazil’s biggest meat packaging company . Who worked in lobbying and bribing politicians and political parties . Bolsonaro was once in a party that received money from the company to finance its campaigns, but he refused and asked that it be returned . This is also how he runs all his campaigns since he ran for council man in Rio de Janeiro , by depending almost entirely in his own salary and some donations from supporters , never accepting the electoral fund from the government or money from big corporations .

[4 ] Since Congressmen frequently have to move from their states to the capital ( some , of course , choose to live in between ), they are provided with an apartment , for them and their family to stay while they are in the capital . The congress has in total four hundred and thirty two apartments , in the North ‘’ wing’’ of Brasilia and in the South ‘’ wing’’ . After the end of the dictatorship and the redemocratization of the country new states were founded and incorporated into the Federation , creating new seats in the congress . Which went from having four hundred and twenty congressmen to five hundred and thirteen . Consequently, many congressmen do not have an apartment , and therefore are provided a housing fund , called in portuguese auxílio moradia , that literally translated would be housing help . The fund today is R$ 4, 233 (four thousand two hundred and thrity three reais ) , one of the way that the fund can be paid , is by a refund , the congressmen must provide a receipt of the daily fee in case he is staying in a hotel , and in case he is renting he must provide the contract of his lease , and the congress will pay for it . Another way that it is provided , is that the congressmen ask for a ‘’ compensation ‘’ or ‘’ reparation ‘’ , by having 27 .5 % of his income tax deducted ( this could be wrong , I’m bad at translating terms )

Most people did not even know this fund exist , until reports had been made on the media about it . Which caused a scandal , since many see this as a unescessary priviledge and as a waste and thievery of the taxpayers money .

[5] In Brazil , a person when hired by certain companies can be paid in two forms : as a ‘’ physical person ‘’ ( pessoa fisica or a P.F ) or as a ‘’ judicial person’’ ( pessoa juridica or a P.J ) . When you choose to register as a physical person the company that is hiring you has to pay certain taxes and certain ‘’ benefits ‘’ which reduces the employees salary , as a means of getting around this , companies and employees get into an agreement were the employee register as a judicial person . Which therefore doesn’ t technically make him an employee , that is , someone who works for the company and receives a monthly salary , but as person or a company ‘’ providing services ‘’ for the company . This practise is called Pejotização or Pejotization ,it is legal but still , in a way , dishonest , since you ‘re relation with you’re employer and the way you receive payment shows that you are , in fact , an employee

This is how many media companies pay their reporters , thus , Bolsonaro is poiting out the hypocrisy in someone accusing him of doing something ‘’ wrong ‘’ even though it is ‘’ legal ‘’ , while doing something that in some angle is even more dishonest , yet ‘’ legal ‘’ .

[6] Dilma Rouseff , who many considers the one responsible for tanking the Brazilian economy , has a bachellor degree in economics by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul .

[7] Bolsonaro has been maried two times , and at the time of the interview Bonner is going through a very publiced divorce with his wife a famous morning show host Fátima Bernardes .

[8] Still talking about the divorce .

[9] Brazilian Institute of Geograpahy and Statistics ( Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica ) , a institute run by the federal government which conducts the census and other research .

[10 ] The Brazilian Labor Code ( Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho )

[11]Later it was revealed that Renata Vasconcellos earns considerably less than William Bonner .

[12] The government pays Globo to air commercials for medical campaigns , to remind men to register for drafts and things of that sort . Since Globo isn’t cable this is how it receives most of it’s revenue .


[14] Eternity Clause . A clause that cannot be changed or amended .

[15] Maids , gardeners , caretakers . People who are paid hired without a contract and are directly for their services provided that day in cash .

[16] Diaristas translated dailies . Basically maids but that are paid to appear on certain days of the week and who also work in other houses. Some women who work in this field can sometimes receive so much work and money that they have to hire a maid themselves .

[17] Military Personel are subject to military code ( which the military police is also subject too ) , and don’t have the same rights as other workers , such as not being allowed to be represented by a union and are forbidden from going on strike .

[18] When a worker has to leave his home or the headquarters of another of his company and spend the night in the residence of his clients , he has to be paid a per noite ‘’ per night ‘’ or a ‘’ overnight ‘’ .