tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN November 15, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
like to be a candidate, and we go behind the scenes with the advisers and give a sense of who is going to be running these campaign, so you can get it at plitico.com as well. senator marco rubio, goos morning. >> thank you. thank you. >> thank you for coming in. senator, as soon as you leave here, you'll make some news. you and a fellow freshman senator, senator chris coons, democrat of delaware, are going out and talking about a real bipartisan job creation plan. i feel like we need jobs, not jobs plans. what's different here? >> yeah, first of all, we fight on things we agree on. there's significant policies between republicans and democrats and it's based on
ideological differences, and that's why we have elections. as far as the role of government in that, there's a difference of opinion. we're not going to agree on that, and that's why there's an election on that. >> you're giving up already? >> there's issues we're not going to agree on, we're just not. it's called the agree act, and it's basically we went through everything republicans proposed, democrats proposed, president proposed, and the counsels proposed, and we identifieding everything in the plan to put it in one bill. will it turn around the economy? no, but it actually passes things we agree on, but secondly and more importantly, it sends a imagine that we can still get things done here in washington because one of the things having a dramatic psychological impact on consumer confidence and the economy in general is the inability to function and get results, so we're going to move the ball forward. we'll see how it works out. >> i don't want to induce a rick
perry moment here, but do you know what agree stands for? >> i don't. >> see, he learned. >> i didn't come up with it, but we'll add things to it. >> what's something -- there's parts from the white house and legislative plans. what's something that the white house will love and president obama will say, man, i love it. >> it's all things he's supportive of. >> pick one. >> for example, the 179 provision. i don't want to get technical, but it's a provision allowing small businessed, not only limited to small businesses, but largely taken advantage for them to write off 100% of the costs of capital purchases, any investments in their business or things they lease or buy in the next year is set to expire. that's important for those looking to next year saying it's
not the right time to invest because we have to pay taxes on this. i think everybody likes that. there's things in there as well about immigration and about, you know, the per country quo toes that are in place that i think hurt us in terms of attracting high quality immigration and high-tech businesses. the point of the bill, is no one can look at it and say i don't like anything in it. criticism will be this can't solve all the problems, but the things we agree on, whatever that stands for, we are going to be able to work together on it. >> senator, you want to put a crack or thaw on washington gridlock, and you have a little bit of a fresh eye. you were at the top of florida politics, you're a freshmen senator, short term political gain is part of the reason for our gridlock. what else? what's your diagnosis? >> well, part of it is a real, significant, ideological difference of opinion about the role of government in our country.
that's not just washington, but america. look across the country and the constituencies who elect someone in san fransisco has a difference of opinion of the role of government from northwest florida, for example. what happens when somebody from florida serves in the house and someone from san fransisco serves in the house, there's a difference of opinion. >> what they do is reflect the people that sent them here, and that's part of the conversation we need to have as a country, and there's choices to be made and consequences to each of the choices. in the end, i think, all americans generally want a country that's both compassionate and prosperous and finding the government's role in accomplishing those goals has been in the debate for a century now and a core of what we're talking about today. >> now, if there's one thing every single person in this room and live stream is interested in is what's going on with the super committee. was it a good idea? >> i didn't vote for it, and i didn't think it was. ultimately, we have a
responsibility to do our job. they pay us to do our job. we ran because we wanted to in both the house and senate, and that's why we have the process. when you create extraordinary entities that are conceding that this republic designed over 200 years ago and evolved over time can't deal with the pressing issues, but i think the super committee will face the same challenge the congress in general faces, and that's the difference of upon on the role of government, and that's what this election needs to be about and the decision this country needs to make about what kind of government it wants to have. >> super committee fail or succeed? >> i don't want to say they'll fail because i don't think -- i was not in favor of it, i would love nothing more than -- >> would you want -- >> but it's important. i don't want the headline to be we failed. they worked really hard, and i don't want to diminish that, and the work they are still doing,
and i'm hopeful something meaningful happens, but i wouldn't, you know, put any money on it. >> there's the headline. >> certainly not $1.1 trillion, but let's wait and see. >> senator, you were a bridge, the ultimate state in florida, and you captured the imagination of the tea party. how did you do that? >> people didn't think that, and on some days, neither did i. you know, two things -- i think the insider and outsider thing is not the way to analyze it. why do you go to office? because you want to do something or be somebody? there's a difference between these two. we're all guilty of wanting to be liked, but there are times 234 your career where you make a decision am i in this to make or difference or because i want to catapult to something else or be a celebrity or just want to be
loved? i think too much in politics over the last 20-30 years, we had a lot of people involved because they want to be liked, and i felt that was one of the things that plagued the 3r0 seases in the party, and i ran to make a difference. that's really the thing that motivated me to get in the ray. i didn't see anybody else running to stand for the things i wanted. >> how did you make the original connection with that sort of pop popular movement? what specific issue or language worked for you in establishing it? >> i wish i could say it was a brilliant calculation, but it was not. when i got in the race, there was no one else running saying the things i felt which was early in 2009, president obama was legislated. he had majorities in the house and senate moving rapidly on things like the stimulus plan, and then moved on from there obviously to the health care bills, so there was a counterreaction to that, an expansion of government's role people were not comfortable with, and what the campaign was able to do is voice an
alternative to that, and i just didn't want to be the opposition, but an alternative. at a time when the republican party was debating about in order to be effective in the future, republicans had to elect people like democrat, and that didn't make sense to me. we don't need two democrat parties. we already have one. these are things we articulated that helped us. >> are you saying the moderate republicans are equivalent to a second democratic party? >> the term "moderate" is a label. nobody fits into the labels we create. there has to be a voice for limited government in america, and the republican party does well when it's a legitimate voice on behalf of limited government. that doesn't mean no government, but a proper role of government, and that's where the republican party draws its strength from. >> how durable is the tea party? >> i think you're watching how durable it is. >> it's a movement?
>> it is a movement. it's a sentiment that found expression into a movement. it's not new. it just didn't have cornel media and the able of people to connect and work. >> in four years, will we still talk tea party? >> we will. there's things they believe in which is 5 role for government. it's not going away. >> do you think it'll come to be anymore centralized? more effective if they -- >> no, i don't think it'll be an organization. if so, it ends up quickly falling apart. it draws strength from the fact it's a legitimate grass roots movement of every day people from all over the country sharing difference of opinion on res, but on the core of what the role of government should be, and they are able to express it now in ways not available to us 20 years ago. >> the one argument for the idea that the tea party would not last, and you heard me express this over the last year or whatever, but whoever becomes the republican nominee this time
will almost by definition have found a way, as you did, to bridge the establishment and the tea party. i wonder if that dilutes the vivid tee party we cover. >> i don't think so. they'll be held accountable, the nominee will. what did you stand for? at the same time, are you doing it now? i think it'll serve as a accountability mechanism for the republican party. >> okay. playbook's big on birthdays. senator, yao the second youngest senator? >> yes, by six days, that's right. mike lee's six days younger than me. >> so he says. you're both 4-0. what culture shock was there coming for you? with the fresh eye, what do you see a place that's much older and seniority driven? >> i was told when i got here, you know, first, about a year ago this week was the
orientation, so you are there, hard to believe you're a member of the legislative body where so many important measures take place over the years, and one. senators -- one of the senators said to me, you know, i know you look around here and wondering how you got here, but six months you'll be wondering how they got here. [laughter] by and large, they are nice people, have not had a run in with anybody that's been negative who work very, very hard, for the most part believe the things they fight for. some of them are just really wrong in my opinion and have policies that are bad for the country, but ultimately, what you meet a pretty pleasant people, and when you talk to people, there's a couple people who told me this, and joe biden said this once, but i read it as well. it calls to light that you see there's something special in everybody there, and that's why their state elected them. i'm still getting to know the folks. there's 99 other people, and you
don't get to know them in 11 months, but impressed with their knowledge and work ethic, but also disappointed on the lack of urgency that confront our country. >> what did you think? >> when was that? >> not yet. >> i didn't miss it. i saw people wearing it. maybe that was the day. i'm not a big fan. >> you're one -- >> we have not polled it yet -- i'm kidding. [laughter] >> senator, one of your clear interests is human trafficking -- >> against it. [laughter] >> right, okay. thank you. i'm interested how that got on your radar. >> the truth is i've been aware of it for awhile, but there was a cnn specific, i think it was march or april bringing to light the issue -- >> this was the one about craigslist? >> no, this was when demi moore was in africa, and i looked at the issue in general, and my
wife was interested, and it's a problem domestically, and not just the sex trafficking, rightly so, but there's work issues we face. i've been aware of it in the past, but i'm shocked by the prevalence here in the 21st century of it, and how in some ways our laws help to contribute to it unwittingly obviously, but look at it at the domestic level, and then internationally the issue it's become, and just adopted a passion for it in terms of a human rights issue, and one that's one of the great human rights causes of the early part of the century, something we hope to e eradicate because 50% of the battle is being aware of what's happening. >> one fact about the problem that would surprise us? >> one fact is that in this very city there's diplomats accused of bringing people to work for them without paying them, they don't have contact with their families, don't pay them, keep
them in bad conditions, and there's incidents going on as we speak about that. it would shock people there's people living in this city, within walking distance of this building, have slaves living in their headquarters. >> what does the measure do? >> it's victim centers, what our laws need to be. they are the most important part of the element because without their testimony and cooperation, you're not going to get convictions or be able to bring people up on charges, and so that's important, but the second thing is calling tans it it. every chance we get, and the department reviews, and we tare the countries, depending on their level of cooperation and pressing the agenda, but it's our example. we show we take it seriously and call attention to it. i'll go on the floor and give it speech, i hope, in the weeks to come about different specific examples of domestic human trafficking problems because we have to hold ourselves top a
higher standard to be a leader in the world on it. >> senator, you made a recent visit to the mexico-texas border. what did you learn? >> a couple thing. there's four key sectors where the people enter the united states through is one is the eel el paso border, where i visited. you are impressed by progress made. they showed you the old fence wed -- with the barbed wire thing, and now there's an impressive structure in its place with anti-tunneling features, high fence, ect., and you can see where the construction helped it make it more secure on the border. you see the challenges also associated with it. you know, there's areas 245 are harder to secure like the mount regions. it's breathtaking to realize -- we stood on this side of the rio grande, and the other side is el
paso, texas, one of the safest cities in america, and they brag about keeping the crime right down, but on the other side is the most dangerous city in the hemisphere. in their own country, people are not able to find opportunity. when they can't find opportunity to provide for their children and grandchildren, they try to find a place where they can do that, and ultimately, that's the driver what we face on the border. >> senator, you said on fox news that the republican party needs to be the pro-legal immigration party. how did they get on the wrong track on this issue? >> well, i want to be fair about it. we do have an illegal immigration problem, and people are frustrated by it. americans are compassionate people, very open people. immigration forever is something we bragged about. only very recently is it so difficult for us to embrace. in the early 18th and 20th century, there's example of
times where people reacted negatively to immigration, but by and large, we prided ourselves in it. it's a problem getting worse exacerbated by the down fall in the economy, and 9% unemployment makes people upset, spending problems around the country, and the sense i get from talking people is there's a sense that we're being taken advantage of and our openness is taken advantage of. it's never that simple. >> that clearly occurred. >> it has, but that's not the calculation people have when they enter the country legally or illegally. they are driven by the desire to provide a life for their children and grandchildren. i grew up around it. it's the story of my family and the people we grew up around, but the question is how do you do that in the 21st century in a way that's conducive to a process that's controlled and orderly? we need a legal immigration system that functions. we have to focus on that. we're not in favor of amnesty, but what reforms and
modernizations are we for? i hope we can have that conversation because we can improve the legal immigration system to make it work for everybody involve and work with the immigration problem. >> what's the biggest thing to help? >> the visa programs are broken. i talked about one, the per country quo quotas, but we don't have working visa programs taking into account the 21st century needs. when unemployment is 4%, the need for guest workers is more than when it's at 9%. there's a need. why not have a system where people apply in their home country with a willing worker and needed job that no american will fill. they apply in their home country, have 5 work permit with a card, enter the united states, work for a defined period of time, return home, and they come back again when they are needed. if we had that system, we would not only be more secure, but cuts down on overstays.
once they get in, they are afraid to leave and never be able to get back in again. >> what's something your party could do to do better with la tee know voters 1234 >> i think the number number one issues is is same nationally, and that's jobs and the economy. unemployment is higher in his panic communities than around the country. >> the party took a dramatic downturn from where president bush was to where they were -- what accounts for that? we won't have -- >> you know, i don't know -- i don't do the political call cation on it. >> you don't? you should. >> the hispanic community is not a model. the hispanic community has different needs in different parts of the country depending where they came from, what's the experience. there's commonty between puerto rican voters and florida and mexican-americans in the southwest, and there's also differences 234 their
experiences, but what really drives people and brings people to the united states is the desire to provide a better life for their families, so which political party has an economic agenda that overs that? republicans have to make a better case, myself included, that the american free enterprise system is the best in human history for people to provide for themselves and give their children and grandchildren the opportunities. it's hard to get people to listen to the argument if they think you are not friendly to them or their plight, and it's important to get the rhetoric right and be for pro-legal immigration measures, but ultimately what helps the republican party do better among all americans, including those of hispanic desent, is a vigorous thoughtful discussion of the proper role of government. >> what happens when castro dies? >> hopefully a lot of good things, but we don't know. that's the answer. we never confronted a situation like this in this hemisphere, a
country ran by people in their 80s, time's not only their side, and they are trying to institutionalize and protect their economic gains. it's become a communist, military dictatorship where the government is really in business and cuba is the land holding. >> what's the deal with this like they can sell their cars now and buy houses 1234 >> it's sad to think that it's like throwing crumbs off the table. you can have a crumb, but not the loaf of bread. people are allowed to buy and sell property based on what property rights laws. will they rewrite the code? i think more importantly, it's not getting to the fundamental issue of cuba which is political freedoms. cuba is a free people, choose any economic model they want, choose a western-european model or the american model. that's up to them to decide thaifer -- their economy. my concern is not the model they choose, although i have
suggestions, but my concern in cuba is political freedom, and they don't exist. there's no political openings in cuba, none what cover. if the political openings come and people have a voice in the process, they can choose the economic system for themselves, and that's what we should be a voice on behalf of. that's not happening. >> should the u.s. normalize relations with cuba? >> no. any relations with cuba is on their terms 100%. any relations with the government is well intentioned, but it drives hard currency. it is a major source of hard currency the regime uses that the administration conceives as the balances agent. they use it to keep themselves in power. second is leverage. you asked me what happens when the castros disappears, there's still sanctions over cuba. we can say, you want a
relationship with the united states and normal economic and political relationship with us? you have to have political freedoms and join the rest of the western hemisphere and have democracy. you do that, and you have 5 friend in us. it's important because that moment you outlined is coming. >> i'll bring you all into the conversation in a second. there's a microphone to grab. i'll stick abroad for a second. senator, you carved out, on foreign policy, carved out a stripe as a bush-style hawk. you were head of the president on libya, got to where you were, roughly, if the u.s. had credible evidence that assad was about to commit a major massacre of civilians, should the u.s. intervene? >> the evidence 1 there. he's willing to kill anybody who wants to overthrow him. there's not act he's not willing to take in order to place himself in power. foreign policy is complicated
because no two situations are alike, and you outlined the situations. libya had an organized rebellion, armed, making progress. they were making tremendous progress on the verge of toppling the gadhafi regime, and they specifically asked for a no-fly zone. you don't have that in syria. i don't know if we want that in syria because one of the things that the asad regime is using is they understand violence and how to deal with violence. if they are confronted by a violence uprising in syria, they know how to crush that. they don't know how to deal with the peaceful movement. it's hard to advocate for that when i'm in washington, and they are getting their heads cracked open. it's not an armed conflict that the united states gets involved in, but rather a peaceful one
that actually continues on the route that it's on now. you saw the arab league taking measures, turkey is forceful, and i think assas did is running out of time. it's a difficult question. i don't know if there is a situation where u.s -- i mean, there's difference of opinion. joe lieberman is much more hawk issue about it, but i don't know if there's a place to get involved in that could prevent that in syria, the way it was able to prevent it in libya. >> senator, you saw the south carolina debate, perry said he would start foreign aid at 0 and negotiate from there. what do you think of 245? >> the concept i don't know what they meant by it, and i think the concept is they say everything needs to justify itself. i think everyone agrees with that. when has there ever been a good idea to throw away must money? >> as a republican, you have an interesting idea. >> it's part of the budget.
second, we don't have a choice. we don't have a choice. everything that happens in your day today, virtually everything in our economic life 1 deeply influenced by what's happening around the world. europe seems far away to some people, but your pension or your retirement is invested in europe, and certainly invested in things impacted by europe, and europe is impacted by what happens in libya whether it's oil prices or political instability and mass migrations as a result of that. my point being is that the u.s. doesn't have a choice but to be involved around the world, and many of the countries, the only thing they know about the united states, for example, in africa, is we provide anti-hiv medication. it's the thing to do. the united states, we're not just smart hard working people, but we're blessed. there's no nation on history in mankind that have more blessings than the american people have. with that comes an obligation, and we have to live up to that within our means, and that's why foreign aid is important.
another is an instrument of influence. if you're not involved in a country and not giving foreign aid, and egypt is an example, then what do they care what we think about anything? you have a level of influence. >> yes, sir? say who you are. >> this is like a talk show. this is good. [laughter] >> i'm tom myers from the aids health care foundation. i wanted to talk briefly about aids in the united states, physically the aids assistance program part of the ryan white program providing aids drugs to people who have low income means. florida has the longest waiting list in the nation. >> yes. >> your office through hif is approving shifting funds in the aids budget and other places in the cdc to the program. given the recent studies shows that treatment not only saves
live, but it's the most effective way to prevent new infections, preventing up to 96% of infections. would you want to fix the waiting list ensuring those who need them can save their lives and prevent new upfections 1234 >> first of all, before i make public commitments that i don't fully understand, shifting a whrot of one from one budget to the other, and given the times and the consequences of what that means, i i'd hate to make a commitment, but i'll look at that carefully because we care about it. on the broader perspective calls attention to what i think is one of the issues we face as a country, and that's the balancing act as a people. we want prosperity. on the other hand, we want compassion. we want a nation that's both. how do you accomplish both things? i think what you talk about, and we are too rich, too prosperous, and too compassionate a people to allow people to die or allow people to suffer because they
can't afford access to life saving medications, and so ultimately, we've accepted that in the country as something we want our government to be involved in doing. the fundmental question, and that's not going to your issue that's specific about you're identifying where the money comes from, and the people who come to us ask for funding requests don't do that. we'll take it seriously, but more importantly, is this the proper role of government? for me, i think it is. we are not prepared, nor should we ever be to say we'll leave people to defend for themselves. these programs have to be created with an eye on the fact that we have to have an economy that can afford and sustain them. we have to have enough prosperity to afford to pay for the things we want our government to be doing. hiv is an example in something we made tremendous progress in as a nation. it was a crisis in the 80s that was a death sentence, and now people live normal, meaningful
lives with hiv because of access to very expensive treatment regimens, but we'll answer as early as today. >> back in florida, republicans hold strong majorities in both chambers, a strong majority of the congressional delegation, and everyone looking at the presidential race says it's a toss up. how? >> first of all, the republican party's done a better job in florida, better organized, and run better candidates and run better elections. at the ma crow level, the bigger picture, and when voting for president or even governor, people are more open minded than at a lower level. party line voter or someone who identified with a member of a party, you're probably not well informed about a legislative candidate as you who is running
for president. we have those no voted for republicans in the past and vice versa. there's many people registered as republicans in southeast florida who vote as a democrat in an election. there's the back and forth of george w. bush winning twice in florida, and then president obama winning florida. we'll see what happens. it might be a purple state. i think it's a place where all the national issues are front and center. it's one of the reasons i thought florida should be early in the primary cycle. >> what do you think is the republican nominee's chance in florida? >> good, at least 50/50, but it has to be earned. >> what do they need to do? >> the same things they have to do to win nationally, and, again, that's a testament to florida's microcosm nature, and first and foremost, provide a compelling vision. how do we make things better because they can be better?
here are the things we need to do to make it happen, and here's what is standing in the way. do it compellingly. people at their core, pessimistic about the short term, they believe things can get better if only a few things happen, and they are looking for the way, and it's important for republicans 20 provide a very clear contrast from the policies they per sue and the outcomes they generate compared to the president's record over the last four years. >> you talked on themes at the ronald reagan presidential library in california. what was that like? >> very impressive. you know, i grew up in the era of ronald reagan. i was in third grade, in high school when he left, and there's a major influence in my upbringing. i grew up in that america, and the plane is there now, and it's impressive. one of the great things about the reagans was their marriage
and the model it was for people in terms of how committed they were to one another. we were at dipper, my wife with with me, and she asked mrs. reagan about how their marge was, and she says, you know, ronny, she called him, used to send my mom flowers every one of nancy's birthdays thank you for having me. i'm thinking, oh, gosh. he wrote me over 700 love letters. i thought, man, i'm in a deep, deep hole. [laughter] i'll never catch up. >> senator, back home, tampa's home of the republican national convention this year. >> yeah. >> what's that going to be like? >> fun. we'll have access there to the bay. it's not just tampa, but the region including st. petersberg. a great place to be with fascinating downtown area with a lot of establishments, but beyond that, just access -- i encourage the people to go into the gulf and find a way to get
out whether it's sailing, boating, fishing, and the beaches in st. pete a nice. it will be warm. it's late august, a little muggy, and hopefully the bugs will not be a problem. i don't think they will be. we'll do whatever we need to do. people will have a great time. it's a great convention. >> what do you do at night? >> at night? >> yes. >> depends who you are. [laughter] there's a lot of very fine entertainment establishments in the downtown areas of tampa, and also st. peter. people have fun there. >> what's the steak house with the world's largest wine collection? >> burns? >> yeah. what's that like? >> i've just been there a couple times. >> what are other places 1234 >> lee roy selmans is good. there's a restaurant near the airport when you get out. it's a good place to try. you'll like it. >> when we're in tampa, it might be there's a big entourage with you.
>> entourage? >> are you prepared to be president? >> president of what? i'm not running for the president of the united states. i'm united states senator. let me say this -- ultimately, what you want in a president is the ability to analyze situations and make decisions based on sunday judgment, and oftentimes on foreign policy what you're making decisions on is not between two good choices, but less than ideal choices and you figure which is better and which is worse. that's the qualities to look for in a president. you know, i think, for the most part, i'm not running for president, okay, but for the most part as a senator, many of the decision making processes are similar. you take positions on issues you'll be judged by history on them whether it's the right or wrong choice. for example, when i spoke out on foreign policy things that some in my own party are in the mood of disengaging from the world and focus on domestic things, and i get that's appealing, but look at the big picture of it and analyze how that decision is
looked at 15 years from now, i think to disengage from the issues in the world 10-15 years from now is a viewed as a major mistake. you have to analyze that. i hope i'm developing that in the united states senate, and it's what i'm looking for in the next president 37 >> you don't want to be vice president, why not? >> i'm focused with the senate. >> what's wrong with the -- >> what's wrong with the u.s. senate? where can i have a bigger influence? i want to be a senator. i want to serve in this institution, do the things i'm working on now, do more of them, wanted to be a voice for florida, and i'm just learning how to do that. i think we're getting the hang of how to do that, and i'm enjoying that, and it's what i ran for, so the question is why not the senate? why somehow have we come to believe that being in the senate is no longer a meaningful place that there's a better job out there somewhere? >> i'll come back for another question in a bit. you commute to miami.
your wife, two sons, two daughters done there. what's that commute like? how's the family adjusted in >> it's been tough and hard, and we still always think about whether or not to move here. it hasn't been, you know, some days are tougher than others. it's hard to realize you're not around on tuesday or weepses. it's not, you know, it's difficult on kids on sundays and me. >> what's the ages of the kids 1234 >> girls are 11 and 9, and the boys are 6 and 4. >> what's the considerations whether or not to move here? >> that's a good question. we have very deep family roots in miami. her family, all my family is where we grew up. i like getting back to the state on the weekends, connects with people, going to the store, having people tell me things. i like hearing, you know, to be, you know, do those things, so on the other hand, i mean, you know, i still believe, and, i'm not sure i'll always #* always get it right, but my number one job is husband and father, and it's hard to do that when you're not there. we have to figure it out.
>> you have a catholic church here and at home. how often do you go? >> i try to go every day, not always. one of the great treasures of the faith is the ability to go to mass every day. it's something we try to do. we have a great church 90 seconds from the door, and i try to go every day. i don't always make it. they have confession every day at 11: 50. no felonies. [laughter] that's a low standard, you know. [laughter] obviously on sundays, and we also, you know, established a relationship with a non-catholic church, and we go there from time to time. >> what church is that? >> they are aligned with the southern baptist, but they are really nondenomination, and they do a great job of teaching the written word. >> you established relationships?
>> we started going because we have friends who go there. we enjoyed the sermons. you can see them online. the pastor's very good, and we enjoy listening to how they teach. at the end of the day, have found that, you know, our faith has been a source of strength and really a source of clarity and gives everything perspective. when your perspective is eternity, and i'm not saying mine always is, but you get a better perspective on what matters and what doesn't. >> yes, sir? >> [inaudible] >> you mentioned the trips to el paso and how that reflected the difference in economic conditions and immigration issues. it reflects the war on drugs in
mexico and how that's conducted there. the mexican people are considering whether it's worth conducting this campaign at all. how should the united states make the case it's worth having this or reconsider it all together? >> just pass the microphone two rows behind you, yeah. >> i think the mexico deserves better. it has all the conditions necessary to be prosperous, to provide great opportunities for its people. you can't do that with ganging runs the country. the government understands that and the people understand. they are pie paying a high price. it's similar to colombia and the efforts still happening there to gain control of their nation and own sovereignty. i think the united states needs to encourage that. in dealing with the consumption problem which is the driver of this. any time you talk to the people about the problems they are facing, they remind you very quickly where the drugs are
headed are to american cities where americans buy them. in order for us to have a moral standing on the issue, we have to do a better job of addressing the domestic issues that we face in terms of consumption. i think mexico deserves better. one of the great developments of this century is if mexico with -- can emerge from this and grow economically. imagine mexico to the south, canada to the north and have two free prose prowess nation. we hope for that, and we should be helping in any way that we can. >> sir, you're on. >> good morning, thank you for hosting this. i'm spepser, a sophomore at the george washington university media affairs. can you tell me if you're intending to weigh in on the senate race in florida 6789 i know that connie mack through his hat into the ring. what do you think about the race? >> it's an interesting race that continues to develop.
i'm not getting involved in the primary. i hope to help the republican nominee to get a majority in the united states senate. i think we can do more if we were in the majority. i don't intend to get involved. there's a lot of good candidates runs and blessed to have those people offer themselves for service. we'll see. >> you're unique in the room, one of the few people -- you're an autobiographer and biography. what's going on with your book? >> i don't know, first people have to want to read it. there's people interested in my background and what it means and how it helps me to arrive to conclusions, but i have something to say not just with the 2010 elections, but the issues facing our country, and kind of, you know, one of the questions i get is what have you -- what have you -- what
surpriseds you or concerns you? my answer is you have to read the book. that's what we try to outline in there in a meaningful way. >> your biographer, book is out next year. what's it like to be written about? >> i don't know. we'll see when it comes out and when i read it. >> senator, a question i ask at every playbook breakfast is what do you do to succeed in washington? what do i do to be successful? >> it depends what you want to be. there's a lot of ways to be involved in the political process. you can cover it, work campaigns, work in the policy level, run for office. they are all choices with consequences. you know, i got involved with an intern in the congressional office in 1991, and that's how i got involved, and from there, ran for city commission and then the florida house, and it developed from there. you know, there's different ways to look at it. a lot of people i admire, a big
influence on me is jeb bush, and his advice was, you know, wait, go into business, be successful in something else, and then go to politics. i did the it other way. there's benefits and consequences to it. it's idealism and drive that maybe life starts to wear on you. that doesn't mean you can't be idealistic at 60, and you should be. time develops people. the sense there's nothing that's not possible. sometimes you're right, and sometimes you're not. on the other hand, there's benefits to life experience. there's benefits to having been a ceo of a business, create the opportunities, having raised your children, so just really depends on what the time is. i encourage people to get involved in the political process. it can be messy, but what you have to understand is that we have elections in this country, and we have like arguments and say nasty things to each other in the country, but those issues
are resolved in other parts of the world through civil wars, and they shoot each other. i'd rather have a negative ad or a dump where they hit me in the press, rather than shooting at me house which what happens in other parts of the world. >> you had tough things written about you. >> so? how -- so somebody doesn't like you, they write about you or if they don't like you in other countries around the world, they'll blow up your car. >> it's painful in the moment, it mob. >> right, it's unpleasant, but that's the deal. you know, ultimately, when you sign up for it, it comes with all of these things, and that's one of them. you want it to be fair and accurate, but it's part of the deal. i mean, i don't have to do this. there's other things i could do with my life and time, and i think about that sometimes, but i want to do this. [laughter] i get it. it's the price of admission to the stage, and i'm blessed to be on it. people are smart.
they make decisions based on what's wise and right. >> as we say good-bye, what about music. is it true you like rap? >> yeah, probably the stuff from the 1990s. even the stuff now is pretty good. i get in trouble talking about that a little bit because maybe i shouldn't listen to that anymore, but -- [laughter] the music is good, and, you know, so -- actually, i'll tell you what i developed over the summer, a little bit -- now you have to ask me who the favorite artist is, but my wife likes country music. i listen to it. it's good. it's all right. i can listen to it. [laughter] what i don't listen to is classical music. i'll probably get to that point one day i suppose. it sounds good. >> hang out in the senate, you'll get there. [laughter] >> i like the modern music stuff, and just sometimes ignore what the politics may be and just, you know, enjoy the music. >> it gets you in trouble. why is that? >> because people listen to the
lyrics in the song, and they say should you really listen to it? i guess no nots. my kids won't. [laughter] if i limit my music to conservative artists, i wouldn't have a lot to listen to, so they are artists, i listen to the music, but not their politics. >> we're appreciative to all those watching, appreciating to fred ryan here fromman of measuring to making the discussions possible. senator marco rubio, thank you for a great conversation. really appreciate it. >> thank you, thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> see more videos at the candidates at c-span's website for campaign 2012 from recent events to the earliest parts of their campaign and read the latest comments from candidates and political reporters, social sites, and links to c-span's
media partners like iowa, new hampshire, and south carolina all at c-span.org/campaign2012. [applause] >> thank you, thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. judy, an honor to be here with you. hardest working woman in show business. i got to say. you're awesome. i really appreciate that, and susan is out there somewhere. susan, where are you?
there you are. thank you, girl. she's my scott county coordinator here, and she's doing a great job. thank you for all you're doing, and matt, obviously, just getting to watch you and stand up for iowa and it is awesome. i mean, i told somebody, man, what's that secretary of state, man? he's just all over this first in the country. it's like if you're not for the home team, who are you for? matt, thank you for the work you've done. the people of iowa are very proud to have you and the work you do, and to the local senators and representatives, thank you, all, for coming out and for your public service, your sacrifice you make, and certainly these three individuals who got up and shared their hearts about the future of the country, the individuals that want to represent you in congress and
they truly get what this is really all about from the stand point of nibbling around the edges is not going to work anymore. we have to send people to washington that truly make a difference, and i can see all three ready to walk into the room with a sledge hammer and get work done, so, anyway, honored to have them up here. [applause] and, you know, being here i'm always refinded when i show up in iowa, the pundits think they are the ones to pick the presidents. nope, it's the people of iowa who pick presidents. [applause] i got that figured out. i'm feeling a special connection as brian was sharing with you being the son of a couple farmers from back out in pan creek, texas, and it was not a town. as a matter of fact, it was just a little community out there, and it was a small school on a
farm to market road, had about 110 kids, grade 1-12, a methodist and baptist church across the road, your choice, and as i was growing up, there were basically, judy, thee things that i could be doing -- go to school, that took up a good bit of time, working at the farm, and being in the 4-h, and showing club calfs or going to boy scouts, and mom made sure i never missed a revival. [laughter] our teachers there at that little school, they lived around the -- they lived around the campus dock. they were having their own -- it was just an incredible little community and a place to grow up, and it was -- it was pretty humble beginnings. i will be forever grateful for that. we weren't rich. as a matter of fact, people would probably say we didn't have much materially.
we were rich. we were rich in things of faith and family. we were rich with great neighbors who took care of each other. i learned up like in a lot of western societies that opportunity wasn't granted to you because of your family name, but because of your capacities to dream, your willingness to work hard. you know, as americans, we do not believe government exists to punish success in order to spread the wealth. we don't believe that. we believe government exists to protect our rights and to guarantee our freedom. i think washington today has it all wrong. they punish success rather than multiplying it and think they can stimulate the economy when that's the job of the private
sector. they think the answer is just add a new agency to government, and i can remember most of them. [laughter] [applause] i, for one, don't pleef the people who got us into this mess can get us out of it. senator john demint or excuse me, jim demint from south carolina said are you better off today than you were $4 trillion ago? [laughter] the solution is not to nominate someone who's going to nibble around the edges as i said earlier. we have to have people like these congressmen to be, that walked in here tonight talking about bold ideas. about really making a difference. washington doesn't need a new coat of paint. it needs a completely overhaul.
[applause] you know, it's really interesting as i look across the country and as i've traveled a good bit since the middle of august and america remains mired in the ruins of this washington, out of touch, big government, economic policies, and when you go into washington, d.c., though, and that surrounding area, they are doing just find. it's truly interesting. in fact, washington metro area is now the most affluent metropolitan area in the country, and that's because all of those lobbyists, that's because all every those overpaid czars and bureaucrats have not suffered one bit while we've gone through one of the worst economies this country's ever seen. main street is getting boarded up, but the cash continues to
flow to those wall street financiers, the beltway profiteers. now, tomorrow, i'm going to unvail a plan to uproot all three branches of government and overhaul washington. it touches every branch of government because they each have contributed to the demise of america. i'm going to address lifetime federal judges who air gauntly -- arrogantly rewrite our laws from the bench. i'm going to address the permanent bureaucracy of the executive branch that twharts the will of the american people to advance a big government agenda. i'm going to put forward very dramatic reforms for a congress that not only spends too much, but it is in washington too much.
[applause] the question facing iowa in 50 days is not whether to embrace change, but to decide for them, iowa, to decide who is the most credible messager of that change. now, i'm the first to admit i'm not the most polished candidate out there, but let me tell you one thing -- i stick to my principle, and that includes a flat tax so simple you can file your income tax on a postcard, right there. [applause] i'm batting even timothy geithner can fill this out and get it in on time. those principles include creating a level playing field. that's why i'm for closing the corporate loopholes and carveouts these lawyers and others use to feed that washington trough.
i'm the only candidate who has a plan to balance our budget by the year 2020, and with our nation, just as you heard john say a while ago, approaching $15 trillion in debt, i think any discussion of funding for foreign aid should start with the number 0. [applause] we will not fund nations who oppose our interest and harm our soldiers. that's just a fact. when it comes to protecting life, i offer more than just pro-life rhetoric. i got a pro-life record. i signed a parental consent law for minors seeking an abortion. i signed a budget that defunds planned parenthood in texas. rather than bowing to the political correctness of the liberal elites, i led the charge
in texas to change, or i should say to define marriage as a sacred institution between one man and one woman, and we put it on the constitutional amendment and put it in the constitution. just this last session, i was proud to sign that legislation that in our state, when you go to vote, you must come with a photo id. keep at it. [applause] you're on the right track, brother. [applause] leadership is not about style. it's about substance. it's about action. the test of any american is not whether or not we get knocked # down. we're all going to do that. every one of us have. it's whether we get up. throughout the years, americans were defined by men and women who got off the mat and fought for their values. it started with the pilgrims. they wouldn't accept religious
persecution in their homeland so they sailed here to find new life and new freedom, and then it continued with the colonies who bristled with the taxes and the distant crown, and they never stopped fighting until they won that battle. generations of americans have not slunk from a worthy fight. in the 20th century, america fought the forces of fascism and two world wars, the forces of communism and korea and vietnam and the cold war. since then, our troops have fought dictators who threaten our vital interest in the middle east and asia. right now, there are millions of americans on the mat, not because of a foreign power, but because of flawed, federal
policies. too many know the shame of going home to tell a loved one that they lost their job today. too many have to tell their children that they can't afford to go to college. millions have lost their homes because the federal government and the credit rating agencies misled them into thinking that they could afford zero down. who is it that's going to fight for those people snow who will stand up for those americans? not an administration that is making our economy crisis even worse. not a president who in the last few days has called our people soft, lacking in ambition and imagination for his words, who just saturday night said americans have gotten lazy.
we've had enough of leaders who point their finger and say there's more to blame. i want to point this country in a new direction. i am in this race for the presidency not because of some lifelong ambition but because the american people are yearning for a leader who will tell them the truth who will put forward a bold and visionary plans, who will not appease the washington establishment, but dismantle. if you want real change, if you want to overhaul business as usual, i ask you for your support. i ask you to caucus for a meeting you were a third. let's get america working again and let's get this movement started right here in iowa. god bless you. thank you all for coming out and being with us tonight. [applause]
>> governor, don't forget to file your taxes. [laughter] >> i want to thank you all for being here tonight. another round of applause for governor perry. terrific speech. [applause] >> i am excited to might like i was when we did this two years back because she could see the energy and excitement within the republican party that indicated we had land at our back and were ready to win. we were ready to win in 2012 let's continue the hard work and continue to be united. go to the caucus. whoever wins the process and let's go and have agreed republican victory in 2012. thank you for coming. god bless you. i have to remind you the silent auction will remain open for ten
more now on republican presidential politics. from washington journal, this is 45 minutes.we are >> host: we are back with charlie black former adviser to president ronald reagan and george w. bush and senator john mccain 2008 presidentialmccain's campaign. t to begin with a healthnt care law the supreme court decision to take this up and t look at it if they were to makef in june, can you look at whator that means for whomever the gop candidate would be at that time in the general election? guest: the fact that they will do this case next year guarantees that obama-care will be a huge issue in the 2012 election. unfortunately for the president,
it is one of the most unpopular things he has done, and is not supported by a majority of the american people, independent swing voters in this country, they oppose obama on this two- one. those on the conservative side would love to see the court going down with the law, but whether they do or not it is bad news for the republicans. host: if it is of held -- upheld or struck down, the president can use that to rally his base against the supreme court. host: he is going to -- guest: he is going to rally his base one way or the other. the key to the election is the swing voters. independent voters. the president carried them in 2008. they have swung back heavily republican. 60-40.
2010. the key is that they do not like obama-care. if it is front and center on the agenda, he will lose. host: this is from "the baltimore sun," this morning. "newt gingrich, the latest to be favored in the polls." they call it a field in flux. why is it? guest: the one person ever in flux, governor mitt romney. he has consistently been the front runner at the top of the list. many other candidates have risen and fallen, the pending on their campaign fortunes, but that is the way these things work. the interesting thing is that these national polls that we go and read every day mean nothing in the presidential nominating process. it is a series of state
contests. seven weeks from now, we will begin voting. iowa, quickly followed by new hampshire, then followed by south carolina. the winner of the contests will go down the calendar to see who will be nominated. i have never seen a poll in new hampshire where mitt romney was ahead of other contenders. he should win new hampshire. by what is wide open. i tend to look at those polls -- iowa is wide open. i tend to look at that more closely than the national polls. host: starting from the beginning, you are the chairman of the prime policy group. guest: a government relation lobbying firm. that is my job, working for corporate and other clients in
washington. in the past i have been involved in many presidential campaigns. but not this time. host: you have not endorsed and are not advising any of the gop field? guest: some of them call sometimes, but it is informal. host: they themselves call you? guest: sometimes. host: what are they seeking from you? guest: i have been around for a long time. nine presidential campaigns. plus, i know all of these people. every single one of them. i am friends with many of them. they know that they can call me to say -- what do you think of this? how about that c-span yesterday? whenever they might want to bounce off of me. most of them have full-time professional staff. host: friends with herman cain?
guest: i have known him for many years. host: has he called you? guest: not yet. host: not seeking your advice? guest: no. host: steve schmidt, another advisor to john mccain, said that this campaign is essentially over for him. guest: given the difficulties he has had with these terrible acquisition -- accusations against him, he has shown great resilience. he is hanging in there. maybe not at the high levels that he once was, but he is still a contender. the jury is out of how they will judge these charges against herman cain. host: what you think about the interview that he did yesterday where he asked about libya? guest: i did not look at the video, but i am led to understand that he stumbled around quite a bit in answering
the question. one thing that happens in these races is when business people run for president, they have to learn hundreds of issues. they have to develop positions and be able to articulate them on dozens of important issues. because they have not been doing it their whole life. sometimes it is hard to come up with the answer. host: we have made little bit of that interview. i will show you and our viewers. >> do you agree with president obama of libya or not? >> libya. president obama supported the uprising, correct? president obama called for the removal of gaddafi.
i want to make sure that we are talking about the same thing before i say that i agree. i do not agree with it the way that he handled it for the following reasons. i have got to go back and see. it is twirling in my head. host: your reaction? after seeing that? guest: note to ways about it, sometimes it is better -- no two ways about it, sometimes it is better for a candidate to move on to the next question, rather than appearing to be not able to remember the facts on the question. it is embarrassing. host: at one of the recent
debates, rick perry said the same thing. he could not remember the third agency and felt embarrassed. what is the impact on these stumbles, long term? guest: it can hurt. people are trying to judge these candidates as to his best to be president. people want to vote for someone who agrees with them on the issues, but there is also a certain threshold of expectation that someone is prepared to be president. these kinds of moments do not help the candidates in that regard. host: as an adviser, how do you prepare a candidate for debate? guest: you have got to sit down and devote a lot of time to go through the issues. letting the candidates decide where they stand. things that they have not been involved in before.
it is very important, putting it in their own words, if the debate has dozens of important issues, it takes time and concentration. what the staff does is facilitate the candidate figuring out how they are most comfortable. host: on this latest poll from cnn, it reflects other polls we have seen in recent days. that former house speaker newt gingrich is on the rise again in the polls. mitt romney holding steady, but now newt gingrich coming back from 11%. guest: there is a man that knows where he stands on all federal issues.
he has been involved with those issues for many years. newt gingrich is known to republican voters as a reliable conservative. respected and appreciated for leading a revolution. he brought control of the u.s. house in the '90s. there was a question as to whether he was the right person to be the nominee. he is moving into this vacuum that you described about which one of these candidates will be in the final period host: a quick phone call for you -- final. host: a quick phone call for you. caller: i am not very happy with the entire republican contenders. of all of them, newt gingrich's
favorite. but all of them have baggage. could all of these people get together and draft tom coburn? i think he would be the most attractive all of them to everyone in the united states. i watched him for years on the floor of the senate. and he has this absolute confidence in what he is talking about. host: before we answer that question, what do you not like about mitt romney? you did not mention him. caller: for one thing, i think he has a lot of trouble with the health care thing in massachusetts, which i do not think is the greatest thing in the world. all of the othersand the rest oo
have something in their background, even newt gingrich, who i appreciate. but tom coburn stands out. guest: dr. tom coburn is a great u.s. senator. he would be a very good president. he has set himself more than once he is not going to be president. he will not run for president. naturally they do not want to stop what they are doing and go for someone else because they believe that they would be a good president and that they have a chance to win. let me say this, having been around this since 1976. every candidate has some baggage. no such thing as a candidate that does not have something in their bagram. it might be a political liability. we are all human and people who have been around and served in business or government may have incredibly good public records or they may have a flaw in the record. you can debate about governor
romney's healthcare program in massachusetts. but there is a much -- there's much difference in the national plan. president obama had to negotiate that with democrats and he tried to peak -- it tried to pull people out of the emergency room to get them on an affordable insurance plan. only 8% of people in massachusetts or uninsured. the national program is much more different and the president's solution as much more expensive. there's something wrong with all of them, but look at that debate and you have nine choices. when you get to vote in the primary, pick any one of those nine, and several of those people would be in a position to beat president obama. host: rochester, new york. caller: as far as the field, the cost of health care is
exorbitant but i think people are taking advantage of the system by not having insurance. host: ok, richard, anything else? caller: i find the republican field unacceptable. i am a democrat but i still in think that romney will get it. he is the least problematic person. host: let's take that, romney will get it because he is the least problematic. guest: governor romney as more than the least problematic. he is a strong leader, a successful businessman, successfully turning around not only businesses but the salt lake olympics. he ended up with a $100 million surplus that went into future charitable uses. at a time when the american people are concerned about the economy, jobs, he may be exactly
the right person at this time. again we have others on the stage with him. all of them will keep focusing on jobs. as far as health insurance, it is one thing to say that people should be required to be insured. i am not sure it is constitutional, but there may be ways to figure that out as we do with auto insurance. a that was discussed in the last hour if you're watching. the point is having a big government takeover of health care system, imposing tens of billions in cost on the states to push people into the states to handle them. we talked earlier about obamacare being unpopular. and being a liability for the president in 2012. in the state of ohio last week, that referendum on the ballot on obamacare. to-1 against obamacare in this
critical swing street. host: what would be your advice to governor mitt romney to get above this 24% which seems to be where he is hovering? guest: he does not need do anything about it your you have nine people in the field. what matters how the debt -- what matters is how he does in ohio and new hampshire. in new hampshire is higher than 24%. i believe he will win new hampshire by a very comfortable margin. and then the field will narrow. whoever is the front runner will be up higher in numbers. it is natural to have a diffuse field when you have this many candidates. host: pros and cons of having so much attention paid to the other candidates romney becomes the nominee. pros and cons on not having attention on mitt romney right
now. guest: it is the law of campaigns. the nominee will emerge in the spring. march, april time frame, we will have a nominee. maybe governor romney, and he has 67 months for the focus to be on him or her, should be michele bachmann. i have to say him or her, and the nominee has six or seven months to introduce themselves to the american people, injured his their views, contrast those views with president obama, and it all culminates in a debate in the fall. there's plenty of time for that. and it is good for the party to have a wide-open contest for the nomination. you get more people engaged. if someone gets involved in a campaign in one of these contenders, they will stay involved in the general election. i think we have a great field, a good, the first field with
congresswoman bachmann, with herman cain, the most prominent african american ever to run, so many people in the invasion our process. host: from louisiana, you are on the air with charles black. caller: i want to discuss his endorsement of newt gingrich. if you look back at his contract on america, that is one of the deregulation occurred, the pension plan protections, it was under the leadership -- and i would say that very aggressive leadership of newt gingrich. everything that is happening today, you can plant squarely on the shoulders of newt gingrich and that congress that had the contract on america. guest: glass-stegall was after meeting bush left congress.
believe it was in 20,001. yes, the contract with america contained a deregulatory agenda. the country now needs a dead regulatory agenda. if you go talk to any small business person in your neighborhood, you will find that they are overburdened and have to spend time and resources on complying with federal rules and regulations as opposed to being able to hire more people and create more jobs and produce more product. obviously some regulation is needed in different areas. right now we have too to much rather than too little. host: houston, texas. caller: i am an newt gingrich supporter and i saw this coming. quite frankly as you look ahead to the debates between the presidential candidate and the republican side and mr. obama, mr. obama is very articulate expresses his position very well and we need someone who can do the same. i think newt is the guy that
instead of very strongly to mr. obama and his ideological side, which moves toward socialism, versus whom i support, and gingrich, who stands very conservatively on the side of the free enterprise system and the values the republicans stand for, lower taxes, smaller government, and everything else. and i sing it is the only guy that can stand up there and get that -- and i see newt as the only guy that can stand up there and get the job done. but newt has a not of -- has a lot of baggage per his personal life can be overcome because that becomes less and less of an issue. he has indicated some at redemption in that area on his part. what i do not understand is the problems that he got then that will come up over ethics. some book deal -- i do not understand what that is. could you explain the political baggage that newt may have, and
also the fact that people say he may amplitude -- in imploded some time. could you explain to me where everyone is coming from n and their concern comingewt? guest: you are right that he is a terrific debater and an intellectual giant. peking duck tough to tell on the stage with present our obama with no problem. -- he could go toto on the stage with president obama with no -- toe to toe on the stage with president obama with no problem. the economies will be the issues. i don't think you have to be a movie star to dramatize that in a debate. newt gingrich has been controversy over the years. i am not going to take the opportunity to repeat negatives about him. i do know them well and i know
that everything a competitor might bring up, there is a good answer for. the problem is some time, if you are out there having to explain answers to these questions, there could be a problem. listen, he is searching in has the momentum he may well be the republican nominee. i think you will be able to answer those questions and we will have great debates with president obama. but he is not the only one that can take him unsuccessfully. host: has speaker gingrich called you and ask you for advice? guest: not in this campaign. host: florida. caller: i wanted to know your opinion on supporting communist countries and dictators. guest: first off, i believe in free trade. i believe the more exports that
u.s. businesses do, the more jobs it creates in the u.s. china, for example, is a communist country. but economically, we have a very important trade relationship with china and that relationship need some fine tuning. the manipulation of their currency in their failure on intellectual property sometimes, but it is a very important trade relationship. now you say dictators. there are situations in which regimes are so offensive, not just to us but to the world, that we should not trade with them. we should have economic sanctions on them. i ran it is a presently good example. myanmar, better known as burma. right now we have economic sanctions on syria and probably should make them stronger. those of foreign-policy decisions that intervene in the
economic relationships that we have around the world. but there may be millions of american jobs dependent on exports, but we need to increase that. host: john, your and independent scholar on the air with charles black. caller i agree with the caller that says that newt gingrich has his hands all over this. this being the economic doldrums that we are in and we will continue to stay and, glass- stegall was overturned in 1988, not 2001. clinton had been hammered the whole time he was in office ease up on regulation and overturn that bill, doorway with -- change the futures thing which opened up the whole economic mess for swaps.
as i say, that whole field would continue this mess that we are in now economically. so none of them are worth anything. host: that is john's opinion. he says he is an independent. guest: i will tell you that phil gramm and tom riley were the authors of the bill. if gingrich was still there, of course is supported it. but it change the rules on financial institutions. yes, financial institutions overreached and overextended and got us into big trouble in the financial crisis of 2008. believe that, i felt that very much because i felt that john mccain had no chance to win after the financial crisis hit. but that said, the banks did that themselves. the rules did not cause it. they overreached and got into trouble in ways that were not
consistent with good business practices. you're never going to have enough rules to keep it the financial institutions from making mistakes. if you do have that many rules, you would not have big financial institutions loaning money in providing capital to businesses large and small to create jobs. again it is a matter of fine- tuning. we have to make sure now in implementing the dodd-frank financial reform bill that we do not go too far on the over regulatory side. but that you leave the financial institutions in a position to loan money, help businesses create capital and jobs. host: what was an import about september 15? guest: that was the day at lehman brothers when then, starting the chain of events that started the financial collapse of 2008. senator mccain was actually ahead of then-senator obama in the polls on september 15. the financial collapse happened
and the american people became very afraid pretended to blame it on the president bush was dragged down the republican side. mccain lost 12 points and two weeks. not much to do with him. host: not the statements that he said at the time, and i'm paraphrasing, but that it was fine? guest: he said fundamentals or -- the fundamentals were ok. that proved to be true. but that was not caused it. the financial collapse and the fear it engendered in the american people was blamed on president bush, fairly or unfairly. when bush went down in his job approval, mccain went down in the polls. host: birmingham, alabama. caller: if it comes between newt gingrich are romney, i would definitely vote for need gingrich. i trust him more with the
economy. when it came ran, he lost so many votes and it was not -- and if it was not for sarah palin, he would not have gotten half of those the head. he would not tell us whether he was democrat republican. host: y do you not trust mitt romney? white you trust newt gingrich more? caller: is not something you can put your finger on. it is just something if it. i cannot tell whether he is democrat or republican. i would watch mccain on the floor and i cannot even tell the was a republican. guest: john mccain is a proud conservative republican and he has been in congress in the house or the senate for 30 years. he is a lifetime -- his lifetime conservative rating is 88%.
it may have changed the last couple of years but he is a good conservative and am sorry he left you with a different impression. i am guessing this caller is coming from a very conservative position philosophically. michele bachmann is a wonderful and articulate candidate for the conservative cause, or herman cain, running a conservative campaign, or newt gingrich, whom most people think is a strong conservative. gov. rahm may come on the other hand, is also a conservative. -- governor romney, on the other hand, is also a conservative. if you look at the things he has been able to accomplish as a fiscal conservative it in massachusetts, dealing with a legislator that was 88% democratic, and look at his position in business and issues in the last campaign and his campaign. he is a very fine conservative. we just talked about the mall
being conservatives. host: here is a tweet. guest: the world this change dramatically. what i was involved in president reagan's campaigns, we did not even had the internet or blackberry or computers. i remember the first fax machines that i ever saw was dragged out on the tarmac of the runway by the campaign out what, and then take it up to the plane so that you could send faxes. even as recently as 12 years ago, we did not have all the social media. today, what happens on twitter, what happens on facebook, internet ads are just as important as the old television ads. and the proliferation of media. you know, when reagan ran in
1980, you had the three major networks, cnn was brand new, and you had major newspapers. that is to cover the campaign and where people got their permission. today there are literally thousands of places that people can get information about the campaigns. these campaigns have to really address a much wider field of media outlets than we ever had to in the old days. host: pros and cons of that? guest: it is good that the more knowledge you have, the more information people will get. i have always believed that the more people know about the candidates and issues, the better. but that said, it makes it very difficult for the campaign to reach everybody and respond to all the media outlets. frankly, there is a big problem with the number of blogs out there and the tendency that what
someone puts out to get into the mainstream media, they are not accountable and they sometimes put that information out there. it is a free country and we have a first amendment. but mainstream reporters have to be careful about asserting these blog opinions before putting them out. host: cleveland, ohio. caller: i listened yesterday to the former governor of utah jon huntsman. host: what about it? caller from the brookings institute yesterday on c-span? he seemed to have the right direction to focus on what he wanted to do and he was not letting the side issues be involved. what you think of mr. husband? guest: he is a great candidate and very qualified to be president of united states. he was a great governor, but he has been an ambassador three times and served in the bush
administration in a trade capacity. jon huntsman probably has more international experience than any of these candidates. he is a very fine candidate. you do not hear as much about him because he started later than most of the others, and frankly, he confined his campaign to new hampshire. he is trying to win new hampshire to of said mitt romney there and gain momentum from that. unless you are in new hampshire, you do not see as much of him. he is a very fast in canada and would be a very good president. host: joe, an independent college. -- caller. caller: the president has said that americans are lazy. right now there are 18 bills that the house sent over to the senate. they are sitting there collecting dust.
bill is lazy, the democrats in the senate? i do not think americans are lazy. they want to work. and how about the pipeline the president called off? until after the 2012 elections. the fact that this deal down in the carolinas, that was called off, because of the unions. i think between the unions, the epa, and the fact that obama had been campaigning in 57 states, he said, and he called people corpseman, i don't think there is much to him. i think he is easy to be. guest: i do not think that he is easy to be. intellectually, he is very smart. i think he will lose because his governing philosophy, probably the most liberal president we have ever had, and his spending
policies, obamacare, all the big government policies, have not work. the american people want jobs and he took a bad economy and made it worse. do not underestimate him. he is a good campaigner and he will have a lot of money. probably more than the republican nominee. host: a recent headline. what about this challenge for the republicans? guest: until our nominee emerges, it will be hard to tell how much money we can raise. but independent groups and outside groups raise and spend more money than the campaigns themselves. what you have to look at is the principal campaign like the obama campaign of the republican campaign, the republican national committee in the democratic national committee, which will raise and spend a
lot, and then how much the outside groups on each side spent. i suspect in the end that our side might spend as much as president obama's side that i do not think that we will be outspent in a way to decide the election. we cannot underestimate the president. he was saying that american businesses were lazy about not exporting more. he sat on free trade agreements for three years before letting them move through congress. the following decision, charles and south carolina, about the national labor relations board, it is our courageous. -- it is outrageous. boeing will win that in court. the keystone pipeline, clearly it should go for it. it will help our energy independence but the environmentalist do not like it. the president has postponed until after the election. references made earlier to rally his base, that is what that is about.
host: lee county, virginia. caller: all watch the last debate and i like what rick perry said about cutting foreign aid. getting back to the american people first. but you take newt gingrich, his first wife, he left her after she got sick and took up with another woman. herman cain, you know what is going on there. what really i like about it is that i watched the reporters with their earplugs in and their papers piled up in front of them, remembering what to say, but then they talk about rick perry because he forgot something, isn't that funny? he has created jobs and we ought to vote for him.
host: i want to show you the houston chronicle yesterday. food stamps hit record high in texas. they say that the rick perry miracle may have helped a million people, but more texans than ever are living off the federal food stamp program. caller: a look what obama has done. they need to get rid of him in both someone that will create jobs. he said he was going to create oil proved -- jobs for oil production and coal production. we need to get rick perry to create jobs. host: he does not see this as a problem for the governor. guest: again, the economically disadvantaged has grown not just in texas but all over the country because of unemployment, underemployment, and we have a very bad situation in states that have relatively low average
income. gov. perry is a great candidate and a great governor. he has done a terrific job in lowering spending and lower taxes. that has helped attract businesses there. he has a proven record as a job creator. we'll have to see if he can overcome the stumbles in the campaign to get back today first tier of candidates. but he is a very well qualified candidate and well qualified to be president. he needs to step up his game a little bit in terms of the campaign performance. host: mark, democratic caller, pennsylvania. caller: i will make this fast. the one thing i have noticed in this republican primary is all of these debates. to be perfectly honest with you, as a democrat i've voted for h.w. twice so i do vote republican. i think the republican dates are
doing more harm than good. these candidates like rick santorum are forcing mitt romney hit into right-wing positions like a tea party. is his only cost them the senate seat in delaware, the senate seat in nevada. they keep moving them too far to the right. the tea party is going to sink of republicans in the general election. guest: i believe that governor romney and all the other candidates on the stage decide their views on the different issues out of conscience, their own opinions, and then defend them in these debates. actually the debates appear to of help cover running and speaker gingrich more than anybody else, if you look at the polls. let me say something about the tea party. there is no tea party, they are
scores of local tea party organizations has sprung up and we hope they will continue to be active in 2012. yes, there were some situations where upsets and primaries probably cost the senate seats. the people and voters who identify themselves with the tea party in the exit polls, about 25% of the voters, what republicans 95-5 in the general election. they picked up house seats and other senate sees that we picked up, electing many governors and state legislators, and i believe that the tea party bringing people out to the polls and the general election was a huge plus for the republican party. but there is no one tea party. it is different in local areas in leadership. host gary from columbus, georgia. caller: many years ago in 1983
as a lobbyist for the realtors, i was sent to washington to tout the free enterprise system. i was and senator carl levin's office topping that formula and he interrupted me. he said, we do not have a free enterprise system in this country. we have not had for many years. what we have is a cooperation between industry and government and it seems to be working pretty well. and i said, that means we are free to do exactly what we're told? and he said, that is about it. what you think about that? guest: we do have a free enterprise system, the greatest economic system in the world. history has proven that. yes, government has become more involved in the economy over the years. right now government spending about 23% of gross domestic product, too high. that will be a big issue in the
election next year, who can pull back the spending to reasonable levels. and yes there is some overregulation of the economy. listen, there is no job other than a government job ever created by the government. the government is supposed to be a referee to protect individuals from being abused by businesses and companies. but government does not create jobs. we have the greatest free enterprise system in the world. if we can get the government back to a balanced in the budget and a little bit less regulation, although fewer taxes, you will
would be out of iraq by the end of the year by defense secretary leon panetta and joint chiefs of staff chairman martin dempsey told the senate armed services committee today that the u.s. would continue limited counterterrorism churning with iraqi forces beyond the end of the year. this part of the hearing is two and half hours. >> good morning, everybody. today the committee receives testimony from two panels of witnesses on security issues relating to iraq including the withdrawal of u.s. troops in the long term u.s. and iraq relationship. the first panel consists of secretary defense leon panetta
and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey. this will be followed by a panel of outside witnesses. first, a very warm welcome to you, mr. secretary, and to you, general dempsey. last month the president announced that all u.s. military forces would be coming home from iraq by the end of this december as required under the 2008 u.s.-iraq security agreement which had been agreed to bye president george w. bush and prime minister maliki. the fulfillment of obligations under the 2008 agreement represents a bipartisan u.s. policy set by a republican president and carried through to completion by his democratic successor. u.s. forces iraq under general wade austin is on track to meet the december legal deadline for the withdrawal of the remaining u.s. military forces and
equipment. as of today there are around 30,000 u.s. military personnel in iraq down from the peak of 160,000 during the surge in 2007. at the beginning of operation new dawn in september of last year, the united states had 92 pieces in iraq. after the closure we are down to 11. defense department property in iraq as declined from 2 million pieces of equipment september a year ago to around 600,000 pieces of equipment now. we arrive at this point after eight and a half years of conflict and a great sacrifice by our service men and women, their families and the american people. many of our men and women in uniform served multiple tours in iraq. they've been separated from their families for months and years of the time and many will bear the scars of this conflict
for the rest of their lives. over 4400 u.s. personnel have been killed and nearly 32,000 wounded in iraq and the direct cost of operation iraqi freedom total over $800 billion. we owe an enhanced debt of gratitude to our military men and women and their families. the administration sought to reach an agreement with the iraqi government for military trainers to remain in iraq after december 31st. however, those negotiations reached in and passed on the issue of legal immunity for the troops. that is protection from prosecution and iraqi courts. once it became clear that the government of iraq was not prepared to grant service men and women the same legal protection that they have had under the 2008 security agreement, and the same legal protection that the u.s. military has under agreements
with other countries in the region. president obama decided that all u.s. military forces would be withdrawn as provided for under the 2008 agreement. i believe that that was the right decision. i would have supported a small u.s. residual presence in iraq with a few thousand troops with a limited mission of training iraqi security forces and providing additional protection for our diplomatic personnel if and only if iraq had agreed to legal protections for those u.s. troops. i believe our military commanders supported leaving a residual military force if and only if legal protections were provided and that they did not support the keeping u.s. troops in iraq without immunity from prosecution in iraqi courts. our military withdrawal is agreed to in a 2008 security
agreement sends a clear message to the iraqi people in the arab world that the united states keeps its commitment, and puts the lives of propaganda that the united states as an occupation force in iraq. it is time to complete the transition of responsibility for iraq security now to the iraqi government. the iraqis are in a position to handle their own internal security, violence in iraq has dropped 90% from its peak during the surge and the same time the iraqi security forces have made significant progress. according to u.s. forces iraq, iraqi security forces exceed 650,000 people. in addition iraq can consume the cost of its own security. the production in iraq reaching record highs the government of iraq oil revenue during the first nine months of 2011 were
more than 50% greater than during the same period the year before and exceeded the iraqi budget projections for 2011 by more than 20%. with the withdrawal of the forces from iraq one chapter in the u.s. are regulations closes and another chapter opens. the new chapter in the u.s.-iraqi relations after december is not an abandonment of iraq. united states remains committed to the bilateral strategic framework agreement which was entered into at the same time as the 2008 security agreement. the strategic framework agreement sets out numerous areas for continued u.s.-iraqi cooperation including defense and security issues. the united states stood at a robust security operation at the u.s. embassy and sites across iraq to manage the security cooperation efforts in support of the government of iraq.
by january of next year this office would be nearly 370 military sales to iraq totaling nearly $10 billion. .. to try to diffuse that situation. in northern iraq, the internal boundary remains under dispute between the kurds and the government of iraq. the initiative, put in place by u.s. forces in iraq, to reduce or avoid conflict, which is
called the combined security mechanism issue is transitioning from a three-way mechanism, involving u.s.-kurd-iraqi security forces to one operating bilaterally between kurd and iraqi security forces. i hope our witnesses discuss the overwatch role along the boundary line, particularly through the u.s. consulate and the office of security site in kirkuk. we would also be interested in hearing if there's a role for a multilateral peacekeeping force to maintain stability along the board. our concern for safety of christian minorities is strong. we need to make sure iraq has the will and ability to protect the religious and minority units
from targeted violence and persecution. the iran -- as the deadline approaches the administration needs to remain vigilant that the government of iraq lives up to its commitment to provide for the safety of the camp residents until the resolution of their status can be reached. we need to make it clear to the government of iraq that there cannot be a repeat of the deadly confrontation begun last april by iraqi security forces against the camp residents. another challenge is iran's efforts to influence the political and security environment in iraq. iran continues to fund, train, and equip extremist groups, groups that have targeted u.s. forces in iraq for deadly attacks. i hope our witnesses this morning will address the
capability of the iraqi security forces and the willingness of the maliki government to respond forcefully to the attacks of this iranian groups after the withdrawal of u.s. military forces. the departure of u.s. military forces in iraq in the coming weeks, consistent with our legal obligations, can contribute to the advancement of normalization of relations between the united states and iraq based on mutual and shared sovereignty. senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for convening this important hearings. let me thank our distinguished witnesses for their continued service to our nation and for their tireless support of our men and women in uniform. the purpose of the hearing is to and the implications of the president's decision to end
negotiations with the government of iraq over whether to retain a small u.s. military presence there beyond this year. as a result, all u.s. military forces will withdraw from the country by next month. i continue to believe that this decision represents a failure of leadership, both iraqi and american, and that it was a sad case of political expediency, sun supplanting military necessity in baghdad and washington, and i sincerely hope i'm wrong, but i fear that general jack keene, who is one of the main architects of the surge, is correct once again when he said recently -- and i quote -- we won the war in iraq, and we're now losing the peace. let me be clear. like all americans, i'm eager to bring our troops home. i don't want them to remain in iraq or anywhere else for a day
longer than necessary. but i also agree with our military commanders in iraq, who were nearly unanimous in their belief that a small presence of u.s. forces should remain a while longer to help the iraqi secure the hard-won gains we made together. general petraeus, general odierno, general austin, and other military leaders under their command, all believed we needed to keep some troops in iraq. this is what they consistently told me and others during our repeated visits to iraq. our commanders held this view for a very specific reason. which they made clear to this committee on numerous occasions. for all the progress the iraqi security forces have made in recent years, and it has been substantial -- they still have some critical gaps in their capabilities that will endure beyond this year. those capability gaps included
enabling functions for their counterterrorism operations, the control of iraq's airspace and other external security missions, intelligence collections and fusion, and training and sustainment of the force. indeed in the latest report of the u.s. special inspector general for iraq reconstruction, the chief of staff of the iraqi military is quoted as saying that iraq will not be able to fully provide for its own external defense until sometime between 2020 and 2024. specifically, he says, quote, iraq will not be able to defend its own airspace until 2020, at the earliest. unfortunately, the president chose to disregard the nearly unanimous advice of our military commanders not for the first time -- as well as the clear long-term needs of iraq's military. advocates of withdrawal are quick to point out that the kind
of security agreement which requires troops to be out of iraq was put in place by the bush administration. that's true. it's also beside the point. the authors of that agreement always intended for it to be renegotiated at a later date to allow some u.s. forces to remain in iraq. as former secretary of state condoleezza rice, whose state department negotiated the security agreement, put it recently, quote, there was an expectation that we would negotiate something that looked like residual force for our training with the iraqis, she said. quote. everybody believed it would be better if there was some kind of residual force. clearly, so you can believe testimony and statements we have heard, or you can believe what the comments of the then-secretary of state believed would be the case as regards to a residual force in iraq. clearly iraq is a sovereign
country. we cannot force the iraqis to do things they don't want to do. this also misses the main point. all of the leaders of iraq's major political blocks wanted some u.s. troops to remain in the country. i met with all of these leaders this year, and that's what they told us. the problem had more to do with the administration's unwillingness or inability, or both, on more than one occasion to provide the iraqis with a clear position on what our government wanted. the administration seemed more concerned with conforming to iraq's political realities than shaping those realities, focused more on deferring to iraq's interests than securing the critical interests we had at stake at this process. so, what will be the implications of the full withdrawal of u.s. troops from iraq? my concern is that all of those disturbing and destabilizing
trends in iraq are now at much greater risk of becoming even more threatening, and the events of the past month alone make us think this may be happening. one such threat is iraq's rising second tearianism. at the end of last among. the government arrested more than 600 iraqis, mostly sunnies, who were characterizized a bathist plotters, and may have been ordinary political opponents of the government. this action exact sir baited tensions with the sunnies who see the political response as unresponsive and unfairly exclusive. at the same time, long-standing tensions between iraqi arabs and kurds are rise over the control of the country's hydrocarbons. last week the president of the kurdistan regional government warned the withdrawal of u.s. troops could lead to, quote, an
open-ended civil war. in short, while iraq's nation's democracy seems to be at growing risk of a new centralization of authority, the sectarian rivalries that almost pulled the country apart before the surge, are now showing troubling signs of reemerging. a related threat comes from a resilient al qaeda in iraq, and on the other side shia militias they tack takes ordered from iran. and there is concern that al qaeda in iraq is pose editor a deadly resurgence. one of the most dangerous iraqi shia military groups recently participated in a gathering of regional terrorist groups in beirut, which included hezbollah, and hamas, suggest that iranian backed forces in iraq may seek to establish a state within a state that can serve as a base for ingaging in destabilizing activitied beyond
iraq. at the same time, not one day after the president's withdrawal announcement, al sad are called u.s. forces as occupiers and should be targets of his resiststance movement. this points to a final threat, the rice of iranian influence in iraq. the fact remains that iran's number one priority this year was to get all u.s. troops out of iraq. they will now accomplish that goal, and in his public comments, robb's supreme leader has barely been able to contain his enthusiasm. he has referred to the withdrawal of u.s. troops from iraq as constituting the golden pages of iraq's history. other iranian leaders described our impending withdrawal as a great victory for iran. iraqis on the other hand appear to be making the necessary
accommodations to an emboldened robb. the week after the president's announcement, the kurdistan president barzani went to iran. next week the chief commander of the iraqi army plans to visit iran. it's hard to see the u.s. withdrawal of u.s. forces from iraq as anything but a win for iran. when ambassador departied baghdad in 2009, he warned the events for which the iraq war will be remembered by us and the world have not yet happened. unfortunately, the events of the past two years, culminating in the administration's failure to secure presence of u.s. forces in iraq, have greatly and unnecessarily increased the odds that the war in iraq may be remembered not as the emerging success it appeared when the administration took office, but as something tragically short of that. considering all that our troops sacrificed in iraq, and considering our enduring national secure interests in
iraq's stability, we have a solemn responsibility to stay committed to iraq's success. but as we do, we cannot avoid the fact that iraq's progress is now at greater risk than at any time since the dark days before the surge, and that it did not have to be this way. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator mccain. secretary panetta. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator mccain, distinguished members of the committee. thank you, as always, for your continuing support for our men and women in uniform and for their families. we deeply appreciate the support we get from you. i appreciate the opportunity to describe our strategy in iraq and to do so alongside general dempsey. who has overseen so many critical efforts of the iraq campaign, from its outset in
2003 -- i think general dempsey has been deployed multiple time0s that area, served in key positions both here in washington, and at sin come in tampa and has a pretty good feel for the situation in iraq. it's helpful as always to recall the objective here in regards to iraq. in february of 2009, president obama, and before president obama, president bush -- i heard him say this directly to the iraq study group -- laid out a clear and achievable goal that was shared by the american and iraqi people, and that was simply an iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant. in the words of president bush, an iraq that could govern, sustain, and secure itself. today, thanks thanks to innewmae sacrifices from all involved, iraq is governing itself.
it's a sovereign nation. it's an emerging source of stability and -- in a vital part of the world and as an emerging democracy, it is capable of being able to address its own security needs. for all part, the united states is ready to mark the beginning of a new phase in our relationship with iraq, one that is normal, similar to others in the region, and based on mutual interests and mutual respect. as the president announced last month, we are fully implementing the 2008 u.s.-iraq security agreement, and under the outstanding leadership of general lloyd austin -- i can't compliment him -- there are no limits to what i can say about his leadership. it's been absolutely outstanding at a very difficult period. we're completing the drawdown of our forces by the end of this
year. this fulfills the pledge made by president bush as well as president obama, which called for an to end the combat mission last august, and a removal of all u.s. combat forces by december 31, 2011. we are continuing to pursue a long-term training relationship with the iraqis through the office of security cooperation, which will include a limited number of u.s. military personnel, operating under our embassy and receiving normal diplomatic protection. through the u.s.-iraq strategic framework agreement, we also have a platform for future cooperation, in counterterrorism in naval and air defense, and in joint exercises, and we will work with the iraqis to pursue those efforts. let me briefly walk through obviously some of the major challenges that have already been pointed out that will
confront iraq, and mention why i believe that iraq is at a stage when it is able to deal with them, certainly with our continuing long-term relationship, i think they can deal with these issues. first is the challenge of extremism. i expect that we will see extremists, including al qaeda in iraq, and iranian-backed militant groups that will continue to plan and continue to carry out periodic high-profile attacks. while these groups remain capable of conducting these types of attacks, they do not enjoy widespread support among the iraqi population, and more importantly, the iraqis have developed some of the most capable counterterrorism forces in the region. they've been active against iranian-backed militants in recent months, and we will be in a position to continue to assist them in building these capabilities through our office
of security cooperation. the fact is that despite our reduction in forces for well over 150,000 to now approximately 24,000, 11 levels of violence in iraq are low. a second challenge for iraq is the conflict between political blocs. sunnies, shias, kurds, others, as in any democracy. iraq deals with a range of competing agendas. but the solutions to these challenges lie in the political, not the military realm. our diplomats, including ambassador jeffrey and his team, continue to work with and assist the iraqis in bridging these remaining divides. in particular the formation of the government and the appointment of defense and interior ministers that still has not happened and should.
and the cooperation along the arab-kurd divide in the north. resolving all of these issues will take time. but iraq's political leadership remains committed to doing so within the political process that has been established. a third key challenge is closing the gaps in iraq's external defense. the iraqis will need assistance in this area. including logistics and air defense, and that will be an important focus of the office of security cooperation. the recent decision by the iraqis to purchase u.s. f-16s, part of a $7.5 billion foreign military sales program -- demonstrates iraq's commitment to build up its external capables and maintain a lasting mill-to-mill training relationship with the united states. finally, one last challenge.
the iranian regime's attempt to influence the future of iraq and advance its own regional amibition. iran has sought to weaken iraq by trying to undermine its political processes and, as i mentioned, by facilitating violence against innocent iraqi civilians and against american troops. these destabilizing actions, along with tehran's growing ballistic missile capability and efforts to advance its nuclear program, constitute a significant threat to iraq, to the broader region, and u.s. interests. and yet the strong, sovereign, and self-reliant iraq we see emerging today, has absolutely no desire to be dominated by iran or by anyone else. with our partners in the region, the united states is committed to countering iran's efforts to extend its destabilizing
influence. we made very clear we're committed to preventing iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and while we have strengthened our regional security relationship in recent years to iran's destablizedding activities have only further -- the iranian regime is more likely than ever to be marginalized in the region and in its ability to influence the iraqi political process. our long-term security partnership with iraq is part of a broader commitment by the united states to peace and security throughout the region. our message to our allies, our friends, and our potential adversaries, is very clear. we have more than 40,000 american troops that remain in the gulf region. we're not going anywhere. and we will continue to reassure
our partners, deter adegreesors, and counter those seeking to create unstable. iraq has come through this difficult period in its history, and emerged stronger. with the government that is largely representative of, and increasingly responsive to, the needs of its people. this outcome was never certain. especially during the war's darkest days. it is a testament to the strength and resilience of our troops, that we helped the iraqi people reverse a desperate situation. and provided them the time and space to foster the institutions of a representative government. this was pointed out more than a million americans have served in iraq. more than 32,000 have been wounded. and as we know, nearly 4,500 service members have made the ultimate sacrifice for this mission.
americans will never forget the service and sacrifice of this next greatest generation, and will always owe them a heavy debt. in the coming weeks, as our forces leave iraq, they can be proud of what they accomplished, and they, and all veterans of the iraq campaign, have earned the nation's most profound gratitude. their concerns about the future, of course there are. concerns about what sad al-sadr will do, concerns about all quite and shia extremism, concerns about the arab-kurd tensions and other disputes. there are many of us, many of us that could have designed perhaps a different result, no question a lot of pressure was brought on the iraqis.
pressures by the senators who visited there, pressures by the president of the united states, by the vice president of the united states, by secretary clinton, by secretary gates, and by myself. but the bottom line is this is not about us. this is not about us. it's about what the iraqis want to do. and the decisions they want to make. and so we have now an independent and sovereign country that can govern and secure itself, and, hopefully, make the decisions that are in the interests of its people. the u.s. will maintain a long-term relationship with iraq. we're committed to that. we will establish a normal relationship as we have with other nations in the region. in talking with our commanders, i asked this question yesterday to general odierno, who has been
there for a good period of time. basically said the time has come. the time has come for iraq to take control of its destiny. with our help, they hopefully can be a stable and secure nation in that region of the world. thank you. >> thank you very much, secretary panetta. general dempsey. >> thank you, chairman, senator mccain and other members of the committee in june of 2003, i arrived in baghdad to take command and i was given responsibility for the city of baghdad. nine months later in april of 2004, our effort to establish security to develop iraqi security forces, enable res storation of fundamental services for the iraqi people and encourage iraqis to take control of their destiny was at risk. although a third of my division
was deployed to germany, our tour of duty was extended in order to suppress an upridingrif shia militia in the sovereign provinces in iraq. i visited units to complain to them why it was important that we remain in iraq for another four months. to their great and everlast can credit to a man and woman, they embraced the challenge and did what they're nation asked them to do. as i look back, i think i'll remember most the toughness, the resolve, and the resilience of america's sons and fathers and their families in those early days, sometimes often, actually always, their character shines through in the toughest of times. i remember in particular one female staff sergeant listening intently as i explained why we were being extended. she actually interrupted me to say, hey, listen, general, don't worry. we trust you. but, she said, when we get to the point where iraqis can and
should do what they need to do for themes, i also trust you'll bring us home. today we're gathered to talk about the future of iraq. in preparing for this session, i have thought a lot about the context of that discussion. that discussion with that young staff sergeant. i thought about what we set out to accomplish, what we have accomplished, and what we should seek to accomplish. today we're going to talk about establishing a normal security relationship with iraq. now, let me put that in context. in 1991, i left my family to drive iraq out of kuwait. in 2003, i left my family to drive saddam hussein out of baghdad, and in 2011, we're talking about establishing a normal security relationship with iraq. if you're a colonel or a master sergeant in the armed forces of the united states or more senior than that, this has been a 20-year journey. we have shed blood and invested
>> let me ask you both this question about this 2008 u.s.-iraq security agreement agreed to between president bush and prime minister maliki which requires the withdrawal of u.s. forces by the end of december this year. there's been an effort made to a limited number of u.s. forces beyond december of this year particularly trainers. let me ask you first, general. did we make a strong effort to negotiate a continuing presence of trainers providing there was an immunity agreement with iraq so that our people would not be
subject to iraqi courts? >> yes, senator, i was the chief staff of the army during that period of time, and i can tell you that in conversations among the joint chiefs we were all asked to engage our counterparts, encourage them to accept some small permanent footprint, and our recommendation was a small permanent footprint and rotational training agreement for field training exercise and such built fundamentally around what we call the program of record which is the foreign military sales case. so i can speak for the joint chiefs having been encouraged by secretary gates and then secretary leon panetta to engage our counterparts. >> and did you make the effort -- >> i did. >> to support the continued limited presence of the u.s. forces? >> i did. >> are you willing to have the forces remain without an agreement relative to immunity
for the troops? >> no, sir, i'm not come and it was the recommendation, advice and a strong belief of the joint chiefs we would not leave service men and women without protection. >> why is that? >> of the institutions in iraq were still evolving and immature, the iraqi judicial system is certainly among those coming and we did not believe it was appropriate and prudent to leave service men and women without the protections of a country that still had the challenges we know it has and a very immature judicial system. >> is it your understanding was the sticking point that iraq was not willing to provide that assurance? >> you know, sir, it's hard for me to understand exactly what the prime minister maliki's fundamental bottom line was the
wife have spoken to him within the past six months. what i will say is a was part of it. i think the of a part of it is that he believed it to be in his political interest to cause us to live up to the agreement we made to withdraw from iraq in the 2008 agreement. that was called the security agreement. it's important to remember underneath that was the security framework agreement which establishes six lines of operation and it was his strong preference in my conversations with him to base our relationship on that and not simply a matter of military presence. >> so from what you know there was an unwillingness on the part of the iraqi leadership to negotiate the continued presence of the troops for two reasons. one, they would not give the assurance of legal protection or immunity and secondly politically it was not in their interest to make such an
agreement. >> that is my understanding, yes, sir. >> given that, is it your understanding of the military commanders are also unwilling to have our troops there without that legal protection? >> was the topic of many secure teleconferences and engagement person-to-person, and i do -- i can state they also believe we needed the protections both general austin and general mattocks in order to leave our troops there. >> so the decision of the president basically comply with the 2008 u.s.-iraq security agreement agreed to between president bush and maliki that decision to comply with that agreement unless we could negotiate a satisfactory continuation to the residual force with protection, with immunity do you agree with the president's decision to proceed in that way? >> i do, senator.
>> secretary panetta, some have expressed the concern that the u.s. troop withdrawal from iraq is going to give iran a propaganda victory with iran claiming to the u.s. forces out of iraq. do you believe that the iraqi leaders and other arab nations in the region will buy into the propaganda that they drove us out of iraq? >> i really don't. i think that the one thing i have seen time and time again is that the prime minister mulkey in iraq and other countries in that region basically reject what iran is trying to do and view iran as having a destabilizing influence in that part of the world, don't support iran and what they do, and my view is the region largely
rejects iran and its intentions and i think that iraq is at the top of that list. >> let me ask you both protection of religious minorities. since our invasion of iraq in 2003i have worked with many members of congress and have worked with our military and civilian leadership both here and in iraq to ensure that the small and religious minority communities interact are protected from target of violence and persecution. give your assessment of the first secretary and then perhaps general, but of the iraqi government willingness and capability to protect the religious minority communities and iraq and particularly? >> i believe that investor jeffrey and state department continue to work very closely to
ensure the religious minorities are protected. it is a problem. it's a concern. i think it is going to demand continuing vigilance by all of us, continuing pressure by all of us on the iraqi government that they do everything possible to recognize both human and religious rights. there is a lot of history and there are a lot of challenges here but i am absolutely convinced when you talk to the political leadership in iraq that they don't want to have these kind of decisions, they don't want to have this kind of discrimination take place within their country, but it is going to require constant vigilance to make sure that it doesn't happen. >> you have a comment on that? >> just a comment, senator of on the fact in the period that many of us remember it was very
common for the state sponsored militia shelled of the security ministries to be conducting these kind of attacks against those religious groups that didn't agree with their particular faith. we haven't seen anything like that since the surge meaning of the security ministers have become responsible agents of government and so, not discounting the continued pressure on small communities at least there is no evidence that will be state-sponsored and that is a significant change. >> thank you. thank you senator mccain. >> thank you mr. chairman. since you brought up regrettably general dempsey 2003 and 2004, the fact is you do not support the search and said it would fail. secretary panetta was part of the iraq study group that recommended the withdraw from iraq and opposed the surge so we
are all responsible for the judgments that we make and obviously that affects the credibility of the judgment we make now on iraq a regret you have to bring that up congenital. the fact is there are some of us who were over there in those years who maybe have other members of their family over there and felt that there was failing and that we needed to have the surge succeeded. the fact is we could've given sovereign immunity as we have another country's to keep our troops there and give them immunity that the need. we have other agreements with other countries that guaranty sovereign immunity. the fact is every military leader recommended that we have residual forces at a minimum of 10,000 usually around 20,000.
there was the recommendation made before the committee by the general odierno. recommendations made by general petraeus, recommendations made by even lower ranking of the trees of spent as you mentioned a great deal of time there and did not want to see that service and sacrifice wasted away because of our inability and lack of desire to reach an agreement with the iraqi is. as i said in my statement the iraqis are largely responsible as well. but the fact is as senator lieberman and senator gramm and i were there, the iraqis were ready to deal and what was the administration's response? they didn't have a number of missions last may as to our residual force in iraq. so, as things happen in that country, things fell apart. now, can you tell the committee, general dempsey, if there was any military commander who
recommended that we complete the withdrawal from iraq? >> no, senator. none of us recommended we completely withdraw from iraq. >> when did we come up with the numbers of troops that we wanted to remain in iraq? when the final decision was made as to the exact numbers that we wanted? >> to my understanding the press started in that august of 2010 and as you know, there was a series of cascading possibilities or options that start at about 16,000 ended up with about ten and then migrated and we ended up with a program -- >> do you know when the final decision on the numbers was reached? >> the final decision on focusing on the office of the security cooperation was based on a conversation with president and president mulkey. prior to that, i don't know. >> the reason why you don't know is because there never was. they're never was an exit number of missions articulated by a
hour government which would have been a concrete proposal for the iraqi government. so, to say that the iraqi government didn't want us when they didn't know the numbers and missions we wanted to have their of course makes it more understandable why we didn't reach an agreement with them as you mention it cascaded down from 20,000 down to the ridiculously small number of three. secretary, we are now going to have a residual presence of some 16,000 american embassy personnel, is that correct? >> i believe with contractors that's correct. >> how we plan on ensuring the security of the 16,000 americans? >> a lot of the 16,000 or security people. >> so we will now be using contractors to protect and maintain the security of the
state department personnel, the largest embassy personnel in the world, is that correct? spend that's correct. >> the cost of the contract personnel verses a military individual is dramatically different. the cost of the contract personnel is dramatically higher than that of the cost of an ordinary service number, correct? >> i believe you are correct. >> when the times of fiscal austerity would draw the military trucks and hired a whole bunch of contractors who either rightly or wrongly do not have a very good reputation as opposed to the uniformed military. in order to secure the safety of some thousands, certain thousands who were there for security and some who were there the 16,000 members divided up that way.
islamic senator mccain if i could just for the record, as the director of the cia i talk with the prime minister regarding this issue and then when i became secretary of defense at a number of conversations with him as well in which i made very clear along with general austin and investor jeffrey that it was extremely important that we needed to have an agreement and we needed to have immunity for the troops come that we needed to have that protection and she believed that there was possibly a way to do this that did not involve having to go to the parliament to the council for approval, and it was very clear among all of the attorneys here that we absolutely had to have their approval through their
parliament if we were going to have a sofa agreement that provided the kind of immunity the we needed. i can't tell you how many times we made that clear. i believe the prime minister understood that, and it was at the point where he basically said on can't deliver it. i can't get through parliament that we were then left with the decisions that were made. >> well, again, that we should be having to withdraw the troops from the countries where we have the presence that we don't have to go through the parliament that it's done through sovereign immunity and the fact is the president was presented with options either the declaration of the sovereign immunity made by the government does this the case with other countries which the the iraqi we have been willing to do, and the other option of demanding to go through the parliament. so, i guess now we should withdraw them from the countries that we don't have a
parliamentary approval. so, look, the fact is if we had given them the the number and the mission that we wanted long ago, if we had done what condoleezza rice, the secretary of the state has said, quote, everybody believed would be better if there was some kind of a residual force there was an expectation we would negotiate something like the residual force. we met with maliki at a law and they were ready to move forward and the fact is that they were not given the number and the mission that the residual united states troops would be there for as general dempsey just mentioned, it cascaded down over months, mr. secretary, from the 20,000, 15,000, 13,000, 10,000 to 5,000, and each time there was a different number given for the iraqi consideration, and it would be harder for me to.
that is what they told us. maybe they were not telling us the truth, mr. secretary, but we have a relationship with them that goes back many years and they have always told us the truth and the truth is that this administration was committed to the complete withdrawal of u.s. troops from iraq and the made it happen. >> senator mccain, that is simply not true. >> i guess you can believe that, and i respect your beliefs. >> that's your opinion the that's the outcome and the outcome is exactly as predicted. >> but that is not what happened. >> it is what happened. >> this is about negotiating with the sovereign country, an independent country. this is about their needs. this is not about us telling them what we are going to do for them or what they are going to have to do. this is about their country making the decision as to what is necessary. and in addition to that, once they made the decision that they were not going to provide any
immunity for any level of the force that we would have and this is a lot different than other countries, frankly. this is a country you could very well be engaging in the combat operations. if you are going to engage in those kind operations you're going to engage in the ct operations, you absolutely have to have immunity and those immunities' have to be granted by the agreement. i was not about to have our troops go there in place without those immunities'. >> they were ready to make that agreement and to be able to get through the parliament, and for months we did not give them the numbers and the mission that there was necessary in order for us to remain there. and again from your version of history and line are very different. but the way that this turnout is the way the unfortunately many of us predicted that the blood. in the view of every military expert that i knew, we are now at a greater risk than we were if we have had a visible force. by the way, i understand the american people's approval of withdrawing from iraq. i would imagine they would improve if we withdraw from
corrine and that is because we haven't made the case as to what is at stake here and what the consequences of our failure or. i thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator lieberman. >> thanks, mr. secretary and general, chairman, for being here. so, i add my voice as one who also felt during the time the status of the forces agreement existed between the u.s. and iraq based on conversations i had with the leaders in both countries that the expectation was a residual force would remain at the expiration at the end of this year, 2011. and the reason was clear it would have to be negotiated between the nations. the reason is that from our point of view certainly that we had invested so much blood and
treasure and that the success, extraordinary unexpected success that we have achieved in iraq that it wouldn't make sense just to pick up and leave unless we felt the country, that the iraqis were totally prepared to protect their own security and the progress that they have made which incidentally in my opinion has not only been great for them, and transformational with in their history but also throughout the middle east. personally, i think that the site of the iraqi is polling the statue of saddam hussein showing people that throughout the arab world that those tyrants were not for ever was one of the preconditions, one of the factors that enabled the arab spring or the awakening that's going on now to occur. i also believe president obama and the prime minister maliki
must have wanted to have a residual force remained in iraq after january 1st of next year or else they wouldn't have had people on both sides negotiating to achieve that. so to me the failure to reach agreement with the inability to reach agreement causing total withdrawal of troops at the end of this year was not a success, but a failure, and i worry about the consequences. general dempsey, i felt as a senator mccain said we've talked to our military commanders over the years and everybody said that we should keep some troops. the number went from probably the lower 5,000 to the high of 25,000 at different times. i was really interested in your answer to senator mccain and i appreciated no military commander including yourself recommended zero american troops after january 1st, and i presume that's because you thought there
was an unnecessarily high risk for us in iraq if we had no troops remaining after january 1st next year. is that a fair assumption? >> yes, senator, and the cascading but i mentioned to senator mccain was the result of negotiating commissions. the structure is completely dependent upon the mission you ask us to do. tell what you want me to do and a force structure to do it in the negotiations that occur but on which missions the iraqi government wanted us to continue to execute and that's why the number went from the highest number i touched was 16 but it could very well have been 25 down to about five, and but at the end of the day the iraqi prime minister deemed that he wanted to rely on the security agreement and base future relationship on the security forces, strategic framework
agreement. >> understood. in your own thinking, but, since you obviously didn't recommend the troops after january 1st, what do you think now or the greater risks we face as a result of the fact we will have no continuing military presence in iraq? petraeus too the military footprint will have to be addressed diplomatically and will come up today about the protection of the small religious communities and so forth, the air attention's if you will. the office of secure cooperation will help us to ensure the foreign military sales program of record as we call continues to build the institution of the iraqi security forces.
this may feel that way the way the iraqi government has come to the decision, but the fact is we will be embedded with them as traitors of only tactically but also with the institutional level. and i think that is an important way to mitigate the risk you're talking about. >> let me, secretary, pick up from that point. i have heard from friends in iraq that prime minister maliki said at one point that he needed to stop the negotiations and leave aside for a moment the reason that he was prepared to begin negotiations again between the two sovereign nations, the u.s. and iraq about some american troops being in iraq after january 1st. so that's what i've heard from their oil wanted to ask from the administration point of view i know that the prime minister
maliki is coming here in a few weeks to washington. is the administration planning to pursue further discussions with the iraqi government about deploying some u.s. forces in iraq after the end of this year? >> as i pointed out in my testimony, what we seek with iraq is a normal relationship now and that does involve continuing negotiations with them as to what their needs are and i believe there will be continuing negotiations. we are in negotiations now with regard to the size of the security office the will be there. and so there will be -- there are not zero trips that were going to be there. we have, you know, hundreds that will be present by virtue of that office assuming that we can work out an agreement there. but i think that once we have completed the implementation of the security agreement there
will begin a series of negotiations about what exactly are additional areas where we can be of assistance, what level of trainers do they need, what can we do with regards to bct operations, we will we do on the joint exercises that work together? we have these kind of relationships with other countries in the region and that is what we will put continue to pursue with iraq produced in accusing the term both of you use the will be a normal relationship. the normal relationship would not exclude the presence of some american military in iraq, correct? >> that's correct. >> assuming -- what i hear you saying assuming the question of immunity could be overcome do you, mr. secretary, personally believe it is in the interest of the u.s. to have some military presence in iraq as part of an agreement with the iraqi? >> i believe there are areas we can provide important assistance to the iraqis but again i would
stress to you, senator lieberman, and i know when you have been there, that in order for this to happen, we've got to begin to have them basically see these are our needs, this is what we want, these are the missions we want to accomplish and then we can assist them saying we can provide this to accomplish those missions. has to be a two-way street. >> let me ask one final question. we have been concerned and i will talk to you and general dempsey about the fact that iran over the course of the war has been training and equipping extremist groups that have come back to iraq and killed a lot of americans and even more iraqis what is your belief now about the iranians, the irg sea particular, continuing to train iraqi shia extremist militia to come back into iraq and to cause havoc? >> as you know we went through a difficult period where we knew
that the iranians were providing military weapons to the shia extremist groups, and those weapons were being used to kill americans coming and we indicated our concerns about that that was part of the discussion that i had with the prime minister when i was there with my concern about that. as a result of that, they did take actions. operations were conducted against the i iranian, the shia militant groups. in addition to that high, maliki made it very clear to the iranians that this had to stop. we did go through a period where it did stop but we continue to have concerns that they will try to provide -- they will provide that kind of assistance as well, and we have made it very clear to iraq that the of to take whatever steps are necessary to