tv Book Discussion on The Way Forward CSPAN October 19, 2015 7:00am-7:49am EDT
[cheers and applause] >> thank you. >> it's great to be here. it's not where we wish we were. >> rrea. [laughter] >> but it's great to be here. it's wonderful to be with paul again. we -- we had quite an experience and i know a lot of you think it might be just awful running for president and you have to go to a different hotel and you get debate after debate and then in the general as well, you have the adore -- adoring press an
it's a magnificent experience. you have to see the country, but the people we get to see day in and out are wonderful people and we learn about their stories and it was very touching, so if you get a chance to run for president, do it, it's a great thing. >> the third time is the charm. [cheers and applause] >> i made a couple of good decisions in my life, one is who i married and who was my running mate. >> thank you. [applause] >> if you're going to take a shot at me, you wouldn't be a bad president yourself.
so we have an interesting -- yeah. [applause] >> but we have some questions about a book that you have written this year, paul. and i would note that i read it and i hope some of you have as well, so your questions can reflect that, so i know paul pretty well. he actually wrote it. but paul wrote this book, i can tell because it's his voice, it is written like he speaks and that makes it even more touching and personal, but i want to begin by just asking paul the american idea, the subtitle or main title of the book is the main idea. will you bring down for us what does it mean the american idea.
>> it's a way of life and it's a way of life that has been brought to life by some ideas and principles that founded this country. in a nutshell, the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life in this country, no matter who you are or how you got started, you can make it in this country. it's a land of opportunity. a country that was built on and find opportunity and prosperity. no other system is quite like this one. no other country was created on an idea like this one, and the reason for writing the book in a nutshell is because a lot of people don't see it. they don't think it's there for them. they are worried that it's not going to be there for their kids or grand kids. if you don't like the direction
the country is going, which we don't, or the policies that are in place or the government philosophy which is crowding it out or displacing it. as leaders we should offer a different way forward. that's why i decided to do that. the point is to maintain the idea and maintain legacy and each generation securing it for our parents did for us. [applause] >> that is without question something we subscribe to. at the same time a lot of people say the american idea has not worked for their life, there are a lot of of people in the country that are poor and it's harder and harder to make ends meat and they see the rich and famous doing extraordinary things you can't afford, why are some people doing much better and i am not doing better, how
do you deal with the growing income inequality, and the issue of poverty. you spent some time in poverty and your book describes that. give us the thought with the income gap and the pa verty in this country. >> this is something we talk about a great deal in this book. my friend is sitting here tonight. for the last couple of years we've been touring around america meeting with people who are triumphing and there are some incredible stories that i tell on this book about that. now to your bigger question, there are a couple of ways of looking at this. you can look at the status quo which is as you described it, and a lot of people don't think that that opportunity is there
for them. they're trapped in a situation family or middle income person you know running hard on hamster wheel and not getting ahead. you know, what kind of agenda or principles do you need to reignite the economic growth to healthy economy? at the end of the day i would say with respect we are at the 50th anniversary, we spent trillions on this just from the federal government and we had the highest poverty rate. i think you could easily argue that success in this poverty has been measured on inputs. how much money are we spending, how many programs are we creating. not unresult -- on results, how many people are getting to where they are and where they want to get in life? that requires a systematic
review and overall of approach to fighting poverty and the government needs to be respectful of civil society, communities, those who are actually doing a good job and the froth needs to play a significant role, in so many ways the federal government displaces all those great things that are actually happening in our communities and can bring people together and stop isolating people and get them out of poverty. it is told that common american taxpayer it is america's job. that's not true. it doesn't work like that. everybody needs to get involved. people with faith, with money, time, love or whatever and reintegrate and bring people back to our society. there's a whole series of reforms. believe me, this is a very
humbling thing to do to look and research this, i want to get this conversation started because if all we do is measure by inputs or talk about status quo, then we will never have the conversation to actually break this cycle of poverty, it also means a strong healthy growing economy. the policies in place today based upon the philosophy in government today is holding people back. hurting economic growth. it looks like some fixed status thing when the goal is to remove the barriers so that people can blossom and flourish and have a strong-growing economy. and so i won't go through the whole book tonight but what i try to do is articulate core principles and policies to
reignite the american idea. i do really do it's under duress. we are going in the right path but the good news and i tell the story about americans in all parts of the country that have done incredible things. the seeds are there. the comeback is there. we just have to get a few things right and i have every bit of confidence we can turn things around and we can get it back around. >> detroit and jamesville. i grew up in detroit. big red wing's fan. >> black hawks.
>> yeah. big rivalry. those were terrific times. and they were competitive in some respects. detroit and chicago. i'm talking about 1950's and 1960's, look at what it has become, industry, invasion, -- innovation and technology, detroit has suffered. continues to go through some tough times. you compare them. what happened to detroit? why has it gone through what it's gone through and how -- how does that contrast with jamesville or chicago or other places in america that went through tough times but found a way out? >> so it's a complicated story and it's one that the comparisons aren't easy but i think the story of detroit is
cautionary detail of the country. if you go back and do an autopsy is because of poor leadership and borrowing and passing the buck on where they couldn't afford the police force, the fire departments the kids are getting the worst scores in the country. it's cautionary tale, and the other side of the detroit story is the comeback that we hope is coming and the seeds that have been planting of the cornerstone school, what dan gilbert is doing there, what citizens in civil society are taking matters into their own hands to regenerate community and reforms they are having. it's a tale of what america
could become if we go the wrong direction or what detroit could be if we apply the right ideas and principles. we live on the same block we live on. my cousins job jeb and ryan. >> there's always a ryyan in the family. [laughter] >> don't we all, right? jamesville was one of those communities that where john and i grew up. that's there for people when we fall down. the optimist, lutherans, we had a pretty had knock in our family. my mom and grand mom and i went
through difficult times, but for jamesville our community, and not just our friends and relatives, people we didn't even know who came together and really helped make a difference and then getting involved in the community and sitting what it does to support people, when we lost our general motors plant, it was a huge punch to the stomach. hundreds of millions dollars of payroll into a town of $60,000, excuse me, 60,000 people. a lot of the people john graduated there, thought like their parents, that had the same job and career which made a good living gone, and but to see the city come together and pull people up and we still have a lot of ways to go, to see how people help each other, it gives me a perfect story of that middle space between ourselves and our government, which is where we live our lives, what we
call civil society, this great unique fabric of american life that we need to sustain and revitalize if we are going to get this country back on its track. so people asked me why i believe what i believe it's because of where i am, because of my families and community. >> you call that social capitalist, if i recall. what does it take to -- if you will, regenerate the social capital that they thought was so unique about this country. >> that's where i do dye cuss downside of liberal progressive. governing with no limit. it seeks to fix every problem with a large centralized government solution which ends up displacing crowding out the social capital i quote people who have been reading and tracking social capital for a long time.
harvard economist who has written about social capital. the quick story is it's shrinking, we are not spending our lives together number. we are pulling alone. this is something that has to be revitalized with economic growth but also revitalized with new attitude toward cultural and communities. they themselves have to get involved and the government has to respect limits so they mature and evolve. don't discourage it, don't overwhelm people. that to me is the critical secret sauce of american life of the american idea that has to be revitalized by each and everyone
us in our community. [applause] >> now, let me turn to a topic that's not one you spent thinking about. that's the national ballot sheet and income statement. [laughter] >> you know, a lot of people looked at simpson and the work done by commission as they layed out a plan and you were part of that effort, they layed out a plan to rain in excess in washington. i don't know that anybody agreed with 100% of what came out of the commission and you agreed with parts and not with others, and, of course, it didn't deal with entitlements which should have been part of the discussion. nonetheless, a view with
bipartisan a financial trends in this country, and layed out a pathway to get back to, if you will, stability so we don't have to worry about a future where we might not be able to count on social security, medicare or medicaid and the president didn't pick it up, didn't touch it. i mean, you were there. what happened? why -- why did nothing come from that extraordinary effort which got so much fanfare and enthusiasm as it was gun and released and then just nothing? what happened? >> so as we put it together ellis teamed up to have amendment to do medicare, medicare reform because that's the biggest driver of our debt. democrat who who was president's
director. had that occurred i would have thought this is a pretty complete package. it was rejected by the elected democrats in the commission. i was also worried about deep cuts. there's a lot of good work here. i'm going to take the good work here and add ryan what i would do different on defense and taxes and i'm going to introduce that and pass it through the house of represent it was which i did it four years in a row. we passed four years in a row to pay down the debt. [applause] >> before you go on -- before you go on, i want to under score something that paul just said, that the house passes important legislation, the republicans are not the party of no, the house has been passing legislation,
your road map has been passed and deals with entitled rent reformings -- reforms and yet it doesn't get picked up by the senate and of course, not get picked up by the white house. our party is passing legislation, harry ried doesn't pick it up. health care, immigration, physical needs, tax reform, they are going to have to vote republican senators and ultimate a republican president as well. >> i'll finish with your answer. [cheers and applause] >> the thinking of the time is here are the numerical
benchmarks. i didn't like some parts of what they did and it was missing a lot. we had assumed the president will do the same that if he didn't like simpson he would put the plan out there meeting benchmarks to stabilize physical situation and he chose not to do that either. it was set up by executive order, so we really did expect him, once we decided not to support it, the house republicans and go do our thing, we thought that he would have like bill clinton did for the sake of 2012 and surround it and support it and did not offer a credle physical alternative that met benchmarks of bold simpson and meanwhile we still have the same fiscal problem moving over us. you have to ask him. my personal theory is ideology.
i write about this in the book at a particular moment where it was clear where decision was being made. it was more of an ideological interest that was front and center of his mind versus something that was more moderate or moderate seeming. i just believe when he decided not to offer a creditable at ternive that -- alternative was when i thought we will need a new president. >> i agree. [applause] >> you might describe how it was unveiled to you. your experience -- >> yeah. >> i had a front-row seat to it. >> a personal story. you had to make a decision about whether or not to remain. >> yeah. so the three house republicans
and myself, the budget guy who were on simpson. all the media was coming up a day or two beforehand. i hear he is going to do social security reform, so we were sort of conditioning the thinking, oh, he went pretty far left on all the other issues because maybe on the fiscal, and he was sitting closer to that alabama and that column and myself, 20 feet away giving a speech basically for calling $400 billion in defense cuts on top of what they had done which was a budget driven strategy not a strategy-driven budget. the work that we had been doing.
nothing about simpson and it became clear to me aimed at doubling down and going hard left, hit the fence, raise taxes and go after republicans. that's when i realized, this is not somebody who is going to move to the middle. we got a text from a colleague that said we should get up and leave right now. we decided out of respect of the office of the presidency that we wouldn't do that. and so we got up and left afterwards. and then did a press conference. >> i see, we are almost out of time me asking questions. let me ask you one or two if you'd like. i happen to think the president hasn't been successful. [laughter]
[applause] >> that is apparently the understatement of the evening. [laughter] >> i'll put aside foreign policy for a moment where his failures have been most glaring recently. domestically there was an article just this week in the wall street journal by phil graham who calculated what america would be like if recovery were like the other postwar recoveries and he calculates that it would 14 million more americans working and the per capita income in this country $6,000 higher. a pretty dramatic difference. the president said he would bring america together, we'd be unified, postpartisan presidency with reaching out across the aisle and so forth.
these things have not succeeded. i wonder why. from my perspective, i have my own views, why is -- has the president failed to unit us and failed to get the economy going on the kind of time frame. the private sector will fight its way through and find a way, that's what our people do, but it's taken a long time and i wonder from your perspective why has it been so unsuccessful, takeing long for people to get higher incomes and the unity for people to campaign on. our calculation that this was the worst postwar recovery and if it was just at the average of prior tens from world war ii it would have had those metricses. there's one point that i think it's important to make and i try to make it in the book. it's not just this president as if we get another president,
it's the philosophy of governing and the policy pursuit by this administration, so but for government, i believe we would have had those kinds of recoveries. if you take a look at the enormous amount of uncertainty with hyperregulatory state. that hits pretty personally at home. [laughter] >> tax uncertainty, higher taxes, the federal reserve priming the pump which has produced, savage sabers in this country and the money is not get to go small businesses, you have obama care that is putting an incredible amount of uncertainty with that looming employer
mandate hanging out there. people are not getting higher out there. 2 and a half million people won't work because of the disincentives. $17 trillion in growing. and i think you have a political modus oporadndi, play on the emotions of fear and anxiety versus political system that speaks to people with ideas, that unifies based on hope and opportunity. ronald regan did well in 1980. i believe it's the philosophy and a third obama term or whatever would keep things
going. if this philosophy and policy that flow from it, we need to delegate power and decision making to run our lives effectively, micro manage society. it doesn't work. the whole idea of this country is self-governing under the rule of law and we are not seeing self-governing or application of the rule of law and the private sector is shrinking as a result of it or meeting potential as a result of it. [applause] >> you and i have had fantastic questions but one issue is foreign policy. we see things spectacular in the world for our defense program and just the state of things now. i have two questions that i want to ask you, first give
assessment of not just the obama foreign policy but america's foreign policy. tell us what you think -- where we are and what we ought to be doing differently? >> big topics. i know you have questions from the audience so i won't take much time on this. we had foreign policy since truman, for that to not happen in the future again and again we have to adopt a series of policies. president at the creation, the creation of a porn -- foreign policy. that book basically says a few things that are fundamental. one is that we would be involved in the world. that doesn't mean with guns,
i believe there's some people that are fundamentally evil. we've seen some of them tv this week. that premise was wrong. he looked upon the proven and said let's have a reset. hillary clinton tries to distance herself from the foreign policy of the president. that would work better if she were not his secretary of state for four years. [applause] and she was the one with a picture of with her cell phone the russian foreign minister with a big red button reset. can you imagine such a thing? did they not understand that people are very different objectives? vladimir putin objected me will be to rebuild of the russian empire. those mistakes combined with other tactical mistakes, and syria for instance, to draw a red light and insight i guess i
can't react without getting congresses approval. but right now he's willing to act, interact without congresses approval but nonetheless good within and then steps back from the red line altogether. that sent a message to others in the world has been unfortunate for america. we've seen an explosion of very bad things about the world because the rest of the world is cackling what's happening. one more element, and that is a dramatic reduction in our military capabilities. the quadrennial review that was recently completed and reported on by a commission including president clinton's department of defense secretary, just take a gander at that and see what's happening to our navy and air force and our army and what's happening to our nuclear capability. that said to the other nations guess what, america is not here. america will be going there. we can build, china is building
come investing enormous in the military including a deepwater navy. rush is investing in their military capabilities. there are other nations as well that are expanding their military might and ambitions. i happen to think the president's policies, this going out with a personal charm offensive, and believing that people all want the same thing, we can all get along. and by the way, there may be a multi-pull the world militarily is to way to go. who else besides us? if it's a multi-polar military world of the others russia and china? is that what we want to see? i believe in having an american economy from an american diplomacy and an american military so strong a what in the world would ever think of testing us. [applause] the so as a good republican
predecessor like return to the principles of harry truman. i would like to once again say that we will be involved in the world. it supports be involved in the world, to keep bad things are happening. we had intelligence telling us basis as before, coming to iraq and attack a city. went to did the president do? watched as a spread across iraq. now it's difficult to pull it out. it's important to pull that up. this group having a base would be a terrible conclusion for the world and for us. start i've returned the idea being involved in the world and not pulling back and think we hope that things will not happen. that's like paying the cannibal to each glass as churchill said. we have to be involved in helping shape the. we are the leader of the free world. number two, we will promote our values, free enterprise, human rights, human dignity. and, finally, we are going to be
strong, have a military that is strong, link arms with our allies, stand with israel. we are not going to waffle about who is our friend and who is not. [applause] i think you have to see that for america's security, for our safety, for are confident that our children will live in freedom and have prosperity. we have done that as our foreign policy. foreign policy and domestic policy are inexorably linked. you can't have one effective come to have to work with one another. i wasn't expecting i would love a second term, but i've been even more disappointed than i expected. i'm hopeful we will be successful in collecting more good colleagues like you, the more peopl people were reachabld will into being able to pass legislation to get to the
president's desk and told me take a new direction. america needs real leadership. [applause] >> and an obvious goal is to build a coalition can win a majority of the country to do just that. i have one last question before we go to the audience. it's an important one, pretty easy to answer from my perspective. if you had to decide, would you choose and select julius peppers or jared allen? >> that's easy. julius peppers, of course. >> go packers. >> there's a pakistan. >> -- packers fan speed i received cards from 14,000 people. i don't know how that happen. the are only 450 in the room. we screamed and quickly.
what is the status of immigration reform in the house? is there the possibility for compromise between the house and this is because i don't think there is right now. part of the problem is the administration has decided to go outside the purview of the law in so many different areas. you currently have a crisis on the border. three weeks ago the house passed legislation to deal with that. legislation to deal with trafficking law that need to be amended, to deal with problems on securing the border. we have heard nothing from the senate yet. so while we have a humanitarian crisis that needs to be attended to, that's the first thing first. if the president goes it alone again with his own in penetrating a trusted unilaterally write laws by changing immigration laws which is beyond the purview of executive branch's power, that's the legislative branch of power to write laws, but if he does do that i think he will poison the
well and make it far, far more difficult for us to come together as a person who writes about it specifically what i think what to do in the book, as a person has been supportive of immigration reform, i hope he doesn't go it alone and hope he sticks within the confines of the law, confidence building, fix the border crisis right now and it made we can start talking but that's not, we are a long ways from that right now. >> the next question is so now what do we do on health care? >> well, how much time do you have? i'll be brief. we want a system where everybody can have access to affordable health care, including every person with preexisting conditions, and we can have that system without a cost of government takeover. we can have that system which is a patient centered system where each of us as patients are the nucleus of that system. and all the health care providers out there, the doctors, hospitals, nursing
homes, insurance companies are competing for our business. it's called a market-based system. the reason i can see is a will as i had lasik surgery 14 years ago, it was elective and out of surgery is half as much as across 14 years ago and three times as good. it's not as if these great principles of choice and competition, of quality are immune to the health care system is that they have not been fully applied to the health care system. i put in the book in great detail what kind of a patient centered system we are to go to, this is for all of these programs, medicare, medicaid. we need an individual-based patient centered market-based system where each collaborate and serve each other, and the providers have an incentive to create. that's the kind of system we need to replace obamacare which will collapse underneath its own weight in my opinion. >> i'm sorry you can see more clearly but i apologize.
[laughter] how did the to do manage to maintain your sanity with all the terrible things that were being said about you during the campaign? >> do you want to go first? [laughter] >> more terrible things were said to me. >> when i was running for governor in massachusetts, a political strategist got a hard said he had a couple of rules. one of them was this. that i was not allowed to read the paper as related to my campaign. i of course could read about other things that no articles about the campaign at all. you could watch tv because we went on tv, and i said i want to read these articles. he said no, because you have some 22 your person who doesn't like to go write some article and you'll find yourself subconsciously referencing it or refuting it in your comment all day long and you'll be off message i don't want you to read these articles. it was grea great advice.
i did not see all the awful stuff that was said about me. into presidential campaign we working. it was early in the morning, event after event after event and late at night. a lot of fund raising, a lot of rallies. it's a kill ring. i should tell you can you may think at the end of day, you can go to sleep at the end of the day. you have so much energy. we will have a crowd of 20,000 people cheering ensure that it's like this is important, it's great. at the end of the day thank heavens for the gideons and the bible. i was ready to go to sleep. it's a marvelous experience particularly if you don't spend time worrying about the attacks that come your way. i think it's hard on your family but, frankly, you are in it because you care about this country desperately care about america. if you're worried about what people say, you shouldn't get in the race. >> same thing.
you need a thick skin to say the same person your. just to let it get to you and if you believe in what you're doing just go do it. don't worry about the rest. >> how about your families, how did they handle the? >> they adjust. my kids are pretty young and ago and treated them well. the obama campaign, they were off limits and that was respected. my wife doesn't like the criticism i get but you also learned how to go thick skin as well in these things. both of our wives are strong women, very smart, intelligent strong women who understood the stakes for the country and they were able to see it through as well. >> this is interesting. you think a four year college is necessary to get out of poverty? is a debt worth the payoff of? >> no. and begins. it's not necessary. job-training reform skills, training is essential. i go through a great detail on
how that ought to happen to bridge the skills gap. we don't have to have as much as we have. we have to make it go at the kitty kitty welding degree, a decade ago to two years and get some high-value skills they can get a good livelihood. and on college tuition inflation come if we just keep feeding the beast with more and more federal spending, in one pocket, out the other, you will just feed tuition inflation at we need to fight this, go at the root cause. i would say accreditation reform is necessary, that we have real competition against the brick and ivy's. we all went to one of those, but let's look at the fact we're in a new innovative society, and let's have more competition so that a person who may be not able to go to a college by can do it online and then get them math course from mit, their theology from notre dame, get
energy from university of wisconsin, bundle them together, allow these things happen and take down the bears to entry that are already erected against these innovative ideas that are out there to allow people to excel at immigration, education and to flood across. we need more competition. we need less barriers. anatomy is one of those wicked at the root cause of college tuition, along with transparency. just like health care. does this degree get me to i want to go? what is success rate? just like health care. give me the data on quality, on out, so that it no before going in what they can expect and i want these people, these health care workers and these educators competing for my business they so now comes. do i get a good job? do i get a good salary? no, educated? make them compete and right now they are not upon the --
[applause] one more question, because after this probably the most important thing that these two fine gentlemen are going to do is participate in a cold water plunged. [laughter] so i can't wait to see that. spin i am the plunge he nts of the plunger. >> you've already been plunged spent my body -- >> my daughter don't a bucket of ice water on my head. >> do you think the children in illinois, and have extended to me most states, who are raised by gay and lesbian parents are better protected, more likely to lead happier lifestyle that the sexual marriage act is legal in illinois speak with either at the illinois act, but if there's a child that is an orphan, that is adopted, that finds a home of loving parents, but that's a
child that is no longer an orphan, that is no longer homeless. [applause] >> well, i can't thank you enough. good question. actually not a bad question coming from u-tubing. spent a special of the julius peppers part. >> again many thanks to all of you for coming today. just one request, and that is that you kind of clear this aisle because i took the two of them have to get to a press conference. and rather quickly. so we have a bulldog here who will block. if you could help clear the aisle and let them get through, it would be much appreciated. >> thank you. [applause]