tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN December 16, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
being used in ways that can affect our infrastructure, affect the stability of our financial systems and affect the integrity of our institutions like our election process. i just received a couple weeks back, it wasn't widely reported on. a report from our cyber security commission that outlines a whole range of strategies to do a better job on this. but it's difficult because it's not all housed -- you know, the target of cyber attacks is not one entity but it's widely dispersed and a lot of it is private. like the dnc. it's not a branch of government. we can't tell people what to do. what we can do is inform them, get best practices. what we can also do is to on a
bilateral basis warn other countries against these kinds of attacks. and we've done that in the past. so just as i told russia to stop it and indicated there will be consequence whence they do it, the chinese have in the past engaged in cyber attacks directed at our companies to steal trade secrets and proprietary technology and i had to have the same conversation with president xi and what we've seen is some evidence that they have reduced but not completely eliminated these activities. partly because they can use cutouts. one of the problems with the internet and cyber issues is that there's not always a return address and by the time you catch up to it, attributing what
happened to a particular government can be difficult. not always provable in court even though our intelligence communities can make an assessment. we what we've also tried to do is create international norms to prevent some sort of cyber arms race because we obviously have offensive capabilities as well as defensive capabilities. and my approach is not a situation which everybody is worse off because folks are constantly attacking each other back and forth but putting some guardrails around the behavior of nation states, including our adversaries, just so they understand that whatever they do to us we can potential lip do to them. we do have some special challenges because often times our economy is more digitalized, it is more vulnerable, partly
because we're a wealthier nation and we're more wired than some of these other countries and we have a more open society and engage in less control and censorship over what happens over the internet. which is also part of what makes us special. last point and the reason i'm going on here is because i know that you guys have a lot of questions about this and i haven't addressed all of you directly about it. with respect to response. my principle goal leading up to the election was making sure that the election itself went off without a hitch, that it was not tannished, and that it did not feed any sense in the public that somehow tampering had taken place with the actual process of voting. and we accomplished that ch.
that does not mean that we are not going to respond, it simply meant that we had a set of priorities leading up to the election that were of the utmost importance. our goal continues to be to send a clear message to russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you. but it is also important for us to do that in a thoughtful methodical way. some of it we do publicly. some of it we will do in a way that they know but not everybody will and i know that there have been folks out there who suggest somehow that if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff that somehow that would potentially spook the russians but keep in mind that we already have enormous numbers
of sanctions against the russians. the relationship between us and russia has deteriorated, sadly, significantly over the last several years so how we approach an appropriate response that increases costs for them for behavior like this in the future but does not create problems for us is something that's worth taking the time to think through and figure out. and that's exactly what we've done. and so at a point in time where we've taken certain actions that we can divulge publicly, we will do so. there are times when the message will be directly received by the russians and not publicized and i should point out, by the way, part of why the russians have been effective on this is because they don't go around announcing what they're doing. it's not like putin's going around the world publicly saying
look what we did. wasn't that clever? he denies it so the idea that somehow public shaming is going to be effective i think doesn't read -- the thought process in russia very well. >> reporter: did clinton lose because of the hacking? >> i'm going to let all the political pundits in this town have a long discussion about what happened in the election. it was a fascinating election so i'm sure there will be a lot of books written about it. i've said what i think is important for the democratic party going forward rather than try to parse every aspect of the election. and i've said before i couldn't be prouder of secretary clinton, her outstanding service, i think
she's worked tirelessly on behalf of the american people and i don't think she was treated fairly during the election, i think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling. but, having said that, what i've been most focused on, appropriate for the fact that i'm not going to be a politician in about -- was is it, 32 days? 31. 34? [ laughter ] what i've said is that i can maybe give some counsel and advice to the democratic party and i think the thing we have to spend the most time on, because it's the thing we have the most control over is how do we make sure that we are showing up in places where i think democratic policies are needed, where they are helping, where they are
making a difference but where people feel as if they're not being heard and where democrats are characterized as coastal liberal latte sipping -- you know, politically correct out of touch folks. we have to be in those communities and i've seen that when we are in those communities it makes a difference. that's how i became president. i became a u.s. senator not just because i had a strong base in chicago but because i was driving around down state illinois and going to fish fries and sitting in vfw halls and talking to farmers and i didn't win every one of their votes but they got a sense of what i was talking about, what i cared about, that i was for working people, that i was for the
middle-class. that the reason i was interested in strengthening unions and raising the minimum wage and rebuilding our structure and making sure that parents had decent child care and family leave was because my own family's history wasn't that different from theirs even if i looked a little bit different. same thing in iowa. so the question is how do we rebuild that party as a whole so that there's not a county in any state -- i don't care how red -- where we don't have a presence and we're not making the argument because i think we have the better argument. but that requires a lot of work. you know, it's been something that i've been able to do successfully in my own campaigns. it's not something i've been able to transfer to candidates in midterms and sort of build a
sustaining argue around. that's something that i would have liked to have done more of but it's hard to do when you're dealing with a whole bunch of issues here in the white house and that doesn't mean, though, that it can't be done and i think there are going to be a lot of talented folks out there, a lot of progressives who share my values who are going to be leading the charge in the years to come. michelle kosinski of cnn. >> reporter: thank you. this week we heard hillary clinton talk about how she thinks that the fbi director's most recent announcement made a difference in the outcome of the election and we also just heard in an op-ed her campaign chairman talk about something being deeply broken within the fbi. he talked about thinking that the investigation early on was lackadaisical in his words. so what do you think about those
comments? do you think there's any truth to them? do you think there's a danger there that they're calling into question the integrity of institutions in a similar way that donald trump's team has done? and the second part to that is that donald trump's team repeatedly -- i guess giving the indication that the investigation of the russian hack as well as the retaliation might not be such a priority once he's in office. so what do you think the risk is there and are you going to talk to him directly about some of those comments he made? >> well, on the latter point, as i said before, the transition from election season to governance season is not always smooth. it's bumpy. there's still feelings that are raw out there. there are people who are still
thinking about how things unfolded and i get all that c. t but when donald trump takes the oath of office and is sworn in as the 45th president of the united states then he's got a different set of responsibilities and considerations and i've said this before, i think there is a sobering process when you walk into the oval office. and i haven't shared previously private conversations i've had with the president-elect. will say that they have been cordial and in some cases have involved me making some pretty specific suggestions about how to ensure that regardless of our obvious disagreements about policy, maybe i can transmit some thoughts about maintaining
the effectiveness, integrity, cohesion of the office, our various democratic institutions and he's -- has listened. i can't say that he will end up implementing but the conversations themselves have been cordial as opposed to defensive in any way. and i will always make myself available to him just as previous presidents have made themselves available to me as issues come up. with respect to the fbi, i will tell you, i've had a chance to know a lot of fbi agents, i know director comey. they take their jobs seriously. they work really hard. they help keep us safe and save a lot of lives.
and it is always a challenge for law enforcement when there's an intersection between 2 work that they are doing and the political system. it's one of the difficulties of democracy generally. we have a system where we want our law enforcement investigators and our prosecutors to be free from politics, to be independent, to play it straight but sometimes that involves investigations that touch on politics and particularly in this hyperpartisan environment that we've been in everything is suspect. everything you do one way or the other. one thing i have that done is to be pretty scrupulous about not
wading into investigation decisions or prosecution decisions or decisions not to prosecute i have tried to be really strict in my own behavior about preserving the independence of law enforcement free from my own judgments and political assessments in some cases and i don't know why i would stop now. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. on aleppo, your views that what happens there is the responsibility of the russian government, the iranian government, the asam regi-- ass regime are pretty well known. but do you as president of the
united states, leader of the free world, feel any personal moral responsibility now at the end of your presidency for the carnage that we're all watching in aleppo which i'm sure disturbs you, you've said disturbs you. secondly also on aleppo you've again made clear your practical disagreements withand president-elect trump has throughout his campaign and said again last night that he wants to create safe zones in syria. do you feel like in this transition you need to help him toward implementing that? is that not something you should be doing? >> mike, i always feel responsible. i felt responsible when kids were being shot by snipers. i felt responsible when millions of people had been displaced.
i feel responsible for murder and slaugter that's taken place in south sudan that's not being reported on partly because there's not as much social media being generated from there. there are places around the world where horrible things are happening and because of my office, because i'm president of the united states, i feel responsible. i ask myself every single day, is there something i could do that would save lives and make a difference? and spare some child who doesn't deserve to suffer. so that's a starting point. there's not a moment during the course of this presidency where i haven't felt some responsibility. that's true, by the way, for our own country. when i came into office and people were losing their jobs and losing their homes and
losing their pensions, i felt responsible. and go home at night and i would ask myself, was there something better that i could do or smarter that i could be that would make a difference in their lives? that would relieve their suffering and relieve their hardship. so with respect to syria, what i have consistently done is taken the best course that i can to try to end the civil war while having also to take into account the long-term national security interests of the united states. and throughout this process, based on hours of meetings, if you tallied it up, days or weeks
of meetings where we went through every option in painful detail with maps and we had our military and we had our aid agencies and we had our diplomatic teams and sometimes we'd bring in outsiders who were critics of ours. wherever we went through it, the challenge was that short of putting large numbers of u.s. troops on the ground, uninvited, without any international law mandate, without sufficient support from congress at a time when we still had troops in afghanistan and we still had troops in iraq and we had just gone through over a decade of war and spent trillions of dollars and when the opposition
on the ground was not cohesive enough to necessarily govern a country and you had a military superpower in russia prepared to do whatever it took to keep its client state involved and you had a regional military power in iran that saw their own vital strategic interests at stake and were willing to send in as many of their people or proxies to support the regime, in that circumstance unless we were all in and going to take over syria we were going to have problems and that everything else was tempting because we wanted to do something and it sounded like the right thing to do but it was going to be impossible to do this on the cheap.
and in that circumstance i have to make a decision as president of the united states as to what is best -- i'm sorry, what's going on? somebody's not feeling good? why don't we have -- we can get our doctors back there to help out. somebody want to go to my doctor's office and just have them -- all right, where was i? >> reporter: doing it on the cheap. >> we couldn't do it on the cheap. now it may be -- >> we need to get a doctor in here, i think, can that be arranged? >> can somebody help out, please and get dr. jackson in here?
doctor's office is? >> just go through the palm doors, it's right next to the map room. there he is. all right, there's doc jackson. he's all right. the doctor's in the house. >> reporter: you were saying there was nothing you could do on the cheap. >> so -- and i don't mean th that -- i mean that with all sincerity. i understand the impulse to want to do something. but ultimately what i've had to do is to think about what can we sustain? what is realistic? and my first priority hassing to what's the right thing to do for america?
and and it has been our view that the best thing to do has been to provide some support to the moderate opposition so that they could sustain themselves and that we wouldn't see anti-assad regime sentiments just pouring into al nusra and al qaeda or isil, that we engaged our international partners in order to put pressure on all the parties involved. and to try to resolve this through diplomatic and political means. inge not claim that we've been successful and so that's something that, as is true with a lot of issues and problems around the world i have to go to
bed with every night but i continue to believe it was the right approach given what realistically we could get done. absent a decision, as i said, to go into much more significant way and that i think would not have been sustainable or good for the american people because we had a whole host of other obligations that we also had to meet, wars we had already started and that were not yet finished. with respect to the issue of safe zones. it is a continued problem, a continued challenge with safe zones, if you're setting up those zones on syrian territory than that requires some force that is willing to maintain that
territory in the absence of consent from the syrian government and now the russians. or the iranians. so it may be that with aleppo's tragic situation unfolding that in the short term if we can get more of the tens of thousands who are still trapped there out that so long as the world's eyes are on them and they are feeling pressure, the regime and russia con clues that they are willing to find some arrangement perhaps in coordination with turkey whereby those people can be safe. even that will probably be temporary but at least it solves a short-term issue that's going
to arise. unfortunately, we're not even there yet because right now we have russians and assad claiming that basically all the innocent civilians who were trapped in aleppo are out when international organizations, humanitarian organizations who know better and who are on the ground have said unequivocally that there's still tens of thousands who are trapped and prepared to leave under pretty much any conditions so right now our biggest priority is to continue to put pressure wherever we can to try to get them out. >> reporter: notwithstanding -- >> make,ike, i can't have too much -- >> reporter: but do you feel responsibility not withstanding to move in that direction or help president-elect trump -- >> i will help president-elect trump with any advice, counsel, information, that we can provide so that he once he is sworn in
and can make a decision. between now and then these are decisions i have that to make based on consultations i have with our military and the people who have been working this every single day. peter al sand exander. >> reporter: mr. president, thank you very much. can you, given the intelligence we've heard, assure the public that this was a free and fair election and on russia do you feel any obligation now as they've been insisting that this isn't the case, to show the proof, as it were, that i say put your money where your mouth is and declassify the intelligence that exists and more broadly as it relates to donald trump on this topic, are you concerned about his relationship with vladimir putin given some of the recent cabinet picks including his selection for secretary of state, rex tillerson, who toasted putin with champagne over oil deals together? thank you. >> i may be getting older,
because these multipart questions i -- [ laughter ] i start losing track. >> reporter: free and fair. >> i can assure the public that there was not the kind of tampering with the voting process that was of concern and will continue to be of concern going forward. that the votes that were cast were counted, they were counted appropriately, we have not seen evidence of machines being tampered with. so that assurance i can provide. that doesn't mean that we find every single potential probe of every single voting machine all across the country but we paid a lot of attention to it, we worked with state officials, et
cetera and we feel confident that that didn't occur and that the votes were cast and they were counted. and -- so that's on that point. what was the second one? >> the second one was about declassification? >> declassification. we will provide evidence that we can safely provide. that does not compromise sources and methods. but i'll be honest with you, when you're talking about cyber security, a lot of it is classified and we're not going to provide it because the way we catch folks is by knowing certain things about them that they may not want us to know and if we're going to monitor this stuff effectively going forward
we don't want them to know that we know. so this is up with of those situations that unless the american people think that the professionals in the cia, the fbi, our entire intelligence, many of whom served in previous administration administrations and who are republican republicans are less trustworthy than the russians then people should pay attention to what our intelligence agencies say. this is part of what i meant when i said we've got to think about what's happening to our political culture here.
the russians can't change us or. they are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. they don't innovate. but they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. they can impact us if we abandon our values. mr. putin can weaken us just like he's trying to weaken europe if we start buying into notions that it's okay to intimidate the press. or lock up dissidents. or discriminate against people
because of their faith or what they look like. and what i worry about more than anything is the degree to which because of the fierceness of the partisan battle you've started to see person folks in the republican party and republican voters suddenly finding a government and individuals who stand contrary to everything that we stand for as being okay because that's how much we dislike democrats. i mean, think about it, some of the people who historically have been somewhere critical of me for engaging with the russians and having conversations with
them also elndorsed the president-elect even as he was saying we should stop sancti sanctioning russia and being tough on them and work together with them against our common enemies. that was very complimentary of mr. putin personally. that wasn't news. the president-elect during the campaign said so. and some folks who had made a career out of being anti-russian didn't say anything about it. and then after the election suddenly they're asking, well, why didn't you tell us that maybe the russians were trying to help our candidate. well, come on. there was a survey some of you
saw where -- now this is just one poll, but a pretty credible source -- 37% of republican voters approve of putin. over a third of republican voters approve of vladimir putin, the former head of the kgb. ronald reagan would roll over in his grave. how did that happen? it happened in part because for too long everything that happens in this town, everything that's said is seen through the lens of does this help or hurt us relative to democrats or relative to president obama?
and unless that changes we're going to continue to be vulnerable to foreign influence because we've lost track of what it is that we're about and what we stand for. with respect to the president-elect's appointments, it is his prerogative, as i've always said, for him to appoint who he think cans best carry out his foreign policy or his domestic policy. it is up to the senate to advise and consent. there will be plenty of time for members of the senate to go through the record of all of his appointees and determine whether or not they're appropriate for the job. martha? >> reporter: mr. president i want to talk about vladimir putin again. just to be clear, do you believe
vladimir putin himself authorized the hack and do you believe he authorized that to help donald trump? and on the intelligence one of the things donald trump cites is saddam hussein and the weapons of mass destruction and that they were never found. can you say unequivocally that this was not china? that this was not a 400-pound guy sitting on his bed, as donald trump says, and do these types of tweets and kinds of statements from donald trump imbolden the russians? >> when the report comes out before i leave office that will have drawn together all the threads and so i don't want to step on their work ahead of
time. what i can tell you is that the intelligence that i've seen gives me great confidence in their assessment that the russians carried out this hack. >> reporter: which hack? >> the hack of the dnc and the hack of john podesta. now, the -- but, again, i think this is exactly what i want the report out so that everybody can review it. and this has been briefed and the evidence in closed session has been provided by on a bipartisan basis not just to me, it's been provided by to the leaders of the house and the senate and the chairman and ranking members of the relevant committees. and i think that what you've already seen is at least some of the folks who have seen the evidence don't dispute. i think the basic assessment that the russians carried this out. >> reporter: but putin specifically? can you say that? >> well, martha, i think what i want to make sure of is that i
give the intelligence community the chance to gather all the information. but i'd make a larger point which is not much happens in russia without vladimir putin. i mean, this is a pretty hierarchical operation last i checked, there's not a lot of debate and democratic deliberation, particularly when it comes to policies directed at the united states. we have said and i will confirm that this happened at the highest levels of the russian government and i will let you make that determination as to whether there are high level russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the u.s. election process
without vladimir putin knowing about it. >> reporter: so i wouldn't be wrong in saying the president thinks vladimir putin authorized the hack? >> martha, i've given you what i'm going to give you. what is your second question? >> reporter: do the tweets and do the statements by donald trump embolden russia? >> as i said before, i think that the president-elect is still in transition mode from campaign to governance. i think he hasn't gotten his whole team together yet. he still has campaign spokespersons sort of filling in and appearing on cable shows. you know, there's just a whole different attitude and vibe when you're not in power as when you're in power so rather than me characterize the appropriateness or
inappropriateness of what he's doing at the moment, i think what we have to see is how will the president-elect operate and how will his team operate when they've been fully briefed on all these issues, they have their hands on all the levers of government and they've got to start making decisions. one way i do believe the president-elect can approach this that would be unifying is to say that we welcome a bipartisan, independent process that gives the american people an assurance not only that votes are counted properly, that the elections are fair and free but that we have learned lessons
about how internet propaganda from foreign countries can be released into the political bloodstream and that we've got strategies to deal with it for the future. the more this can be non-partisan, the better served the american people are going to be which is why i made the point earlier and i'm going to keep on repeating this point. our vulnerability to russia or any other foreign power is directly related to how divided, partisan, dysfunctional our political process is. that's the thing that makes us vulnerable. if fake news that's being
released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues then it's not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect. because it doesn't seem that farfetched compared to some of the other stuff that folks are hearing from domestic propagandists. to the extent that our political dialogue is such where everything is under suspicion, everybody's corrupt and everybody is doing things for partisan reasons and all of our institutions are full of
malevolent actors, if that's the storyline that's being put out there by whatever party is out of power then when a foreign government introduces that same argument with facts that are made up, voters who've been listening to that stuff for years, who have been getting that stuff everyday from talk radio or other venues, they're going to believe it. so if we want to really reduce foreign influence on our elections, then we better think about how to make sure that our political process, our political dialogue is stronger than it's
been. mark? >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. i wonder whether i could move you from russia to china for a moment. >> absolutely. >> reporter: your successor spoke by phone with the president of taiwan the other day and declared subsequently that he wasn't sure why the united states needed to be bound by the one-china policy. he suggested it could be used as a bargaining chip, perhaps to get better terms on a trade deal or more cooperation on north korea. there's already evidence that tensions between the two sides have increased a bit and just today the chinese have evidently seized an underwater drone in the south china sea. do you agree as some do that our china policy could use a fresh set of eyes and what's the big deal about having a short phone call with the president of taiwan or do you worry that these types of unorthodox approaches are setting us on a collision course with perhaps our biggest geopolitical
adversaries? >> that's a great question. i'm somewhere in between. i think all of our foreign policy should be subject to fresh eyes. i think one of the -- i've said this before. i'm very proud of the work i done. i think i'm better president now than when i started but if you're here for eight years in the bubble you start seeing things a certain way and you benefit from -- the democracy benefits, america benefits from some new perspectives. and i think it should be not just the prerogative but the obligation of a new president to examine everything that's been done and see what makes sense and what doesn't. that's what i did when i came in and i'm assuming any new president is going to undertake those same exercises. and given the importance of the relationship between the united
states and china, given how much is at stake in terms of the world economy, national security, our presence in the asia-pacific, china's increasing role in international affairs, there's probably no bilateral relationship that carries more significance and and where there's also the potential if that relationship breaks down or goes into a full-conflict mode that everybody is worse off. so i think it's fine for him to take a look at it. what i have advised the president-elect is that across the board on foreign policy you want to make sure that you're doing it in a systematic,
deliberate, intentional way. and since there's only one president at a time, my advice to him has been that before he starts having a lot of interactions with foreign governments other than the usual courtesy calls that he should want to have his full team in place, that he should want his team to be fully briefed on what's gone on in the past and where the potential pitfalls may be, where the opportunities are, what we've learned from eight years of experience. so that as he's then maybe taking foreign policy in a new direction he's got all the information to make good decisions and, by the way, that all of government is moving at the same time and singing from the same hymnal.
and with respect to china, and let's just take the example of taiwan. there has been a long-standing agreement, essentially, between china and the united states and to some degree the taiwanese which is to not change the status quo. taiwan operates differently than mainland china does. china views taiwan as part of china but recognizes that it has to approach taiwan as an entity that has its own ways of doing things. the taiwanese have agreed that
as long as they're able to continue to function with some degree of autonomy that they won't charge forward and dlar declare independence and that status quo, although not completely satisfactory to any of the parties involved has kept the peace and allowed the taiwanese to be a pretty successful economy and a people who have a high degree of self-terms 37. self-determination, but understand, for china, the issue of taiwan is as important as anything on their docket. the idea of one china is at the heart of their conception as a nation.
and so if you are going to up-end this understanding, you have to have thought through what the consequences are, because the chinese will not treat that the way they'll treat some other issues. they won't even treat it the way they treat issues around the south china sea, where we've had a lot of tensions. this goes to the core of how they see themselves, and their reaction on this issue could end up being very significant. that doesn't mean that you have to adhere to everything that's been done in the past. it does mean you got to think it through and have planned for potential reactions that they may engage in. all right. isaac deviere of politico. >> thank you, mr. president. two questions on where this all
leaves us. >> what leaves us, where my presidency leaves us? leaves us in a really good spot. if we make some good decisions going forward. >> well, what do you say to the electors who are going to meet on monday and are thinking of changing their votes? do you think that they should be given an intelligence briefing about the russian activity or should they bear in mind everything you've said and that's out already? should they, should votes be bound by the state votes as they've gone, and long-term, do you think that there's a need for electoral college reform that would tie to the popular vote? >> sounded like two, but that was all one. >> all one. >> i love how these like -- i've got two questions, each one has four parts. >> on the democratic party your labor secretary is running to be the chair of the democratic national committee.
is the vision that you've seen him putting forward what you think the party needs to be focused on and what do you say to some of the complaints that say the future of the democratic party shouldn't be a continuation of some of your political, part of that is complaints that, decisions that you have amade as president as the leader of the party have structurally weakened the dnc and the democratic party and they think that that has led to or has helped lead to some of the losses in elections around the country. do you regret any of those decisions? those are my two. >> good. i'll take the second one first, and say that tom perez has been i believe one of the best secretaries of labor in our history. he is tireless. he is wicked smart.
he has been able to work across the spectrum of, you know, labor, business, activist, he's produced. i mean, if you look at his body of work on behalf of working people, what he's pushed for in terms of making sure that workers get a fair deal, decent wages, better benefits, that their safety is protected on the job, he has been extraordinary. now, others who have declared are also my friends, and are fine people as well, and the great thing is, i don't have a vote in this. so we'll let the process unfold. i don't think it's going to happen any time soon. i described to you earlier what i think needs to happen, which
is that the democratic party, whether that's entirely through the dnc or through a rebuilding of state parties or some other arrangement has to work at the grassroots level, has to be present in all 50 states, has to have a presence in counties, has to think about message and how are we speaking directly to voters. i will say this, and i'm not going to engage in too much pund punditry, but that i could not be prouder of the coalition that i put together in my, each of my campaign campaigns because it was inclusive and drew in people who normally weren't interested in politics and didn't participate.
but i'd like to think, i think i can somehow that in those elections i always cast a broad net. first and foremost that we're americans, that we have a common creed, that there's more that we share than divides us, and i want to talk to everybody and get a chance to get everybody's vote. i still believe what i said in 2004, which is this red state/blue thing is a construct. now, it is a construct that's gotten more and more powerful for a whole lot of reasons, from gerrymandering to big money to the way that the media is splintered, and so people are just watching what reinforces their existing biases as opposed to having to listen to different
points of view, so there are all kinds of reasons for it, but outside of the realm of electoral politics, i still see people the way i saw them when i made that speech full of contradictions and you know, there are some regional differences, but basically folks care about their families. they care about having meanf meaningful work, they care about making sure their kids had more opportunity than they did. they want to be safe. they want to feel like things are fair, and whoever leads the dnc and any candidate, you know, with the democratic brand going forward, i want them to feel as if they can reach out and find that common ground, speak to all
of america, and that requires some organization, and you're right, and i said this in my earlier remark that what i was able to do during my campaigns, i wasn't able to do during midterms. it's not that we didn't put in time and effort into it. i spent time and effort into it, but the coalition i put together didn't always turn out to be transferrable, and you know, the challenge is that -- you know, some of that just has to do with the fact that when you're in the party in power and people are going through hard times, like they were in 2010, they're going to punish to some degree the president's party, regardless of what organizational work is done. some of it has to do with just some deep standing traditional challenges for democrats, like
during off-year elections, the election is older and we do bet we are a young electorate, but we know those things are true, and i didn't crack the code on that, and if other people have ideas about how to do that even better, i'm all for it. so on your -- with respect to the electors, i'm not going to weigh into that issue because, again, it's the american people's job, and now the electors' job to decide my successor. it is not my job to decide my successor, and i've provided people with a lot of information about what happened during the course of the election, but more importantly, the candidates themselves i think talked about their beliefs and their vision
for america. the president-elect i think has been very explicit about what he cares about and what he believes in, and so it's not in my hands now. it's up to them. >> what about long-term about the electoral college? >> long-term with respect to the electoral college, the electoral college is a vestage, a carryover from an earlier vision of how our federal government was going to work that put a lot of premium on states and used to be that the senate was not elected directly, it was through state legislatures and it's the same type of thinking that gives wyoming two senators and with about half a million people and california with 33 million get the same two, so