tv After Words with Senator Mitch Mc Connell CSPAN June 4, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
about the whole partnership. we think it's unique and we want to keep it that way. >> guest: are revenues were $600 million. we acquired about 90 million-dollar company, but as a 50% increase. >> that sounds like a lot of money. >> but when you compare to a car company a google or facebook it's pretty small. >> guest: were much smaller than those major media companies that you speak of, absolutely. it's an industry that is built up out of all these different
pods. it's one thing that someone has created that nobody else can create an is a completely different business out there. >> host: michael patchy has been our guest on book to be think very much. >> afterwards is next on book tv. with senator mitch mcconnell who talks about his life and politics was senator lamar alexander. >> this is a book about a shy boy who grew up in alabama, overcame polio, was inspired by henry clay at the university of louisville to become a senator, did, and then sent out to be the majority leader in the united states and it ended. but mitch, i have a confession to make. when i was i was asked to do this here is what i thought.
how can anyone get mitch mcconnell to talk for an hour? because in your own book, he, he you point out that you only speak to the press when it is to your advantage, you talk about a time when bill gates came in to see you in the two of you just sat there people were uncomfortable waiting for one of you to speak and you are recounted. someone once told president george w. bush that you are excited over a certain votes and he said really, how could you tell? so why so few words? >> guest: i'm not afraid of talking but i found i learned a lot about learn more from listening. so i start out listening to think about what i want to say before i do it. so i think it's fair to say that i am in that era of trump, very different in my approach to commenting on public affairs. >> host: you are not the first
one. i remember novak used to say the hardest interview he ever had on meet the press was when senator mike mansfield because when he asked the question he would say yes, and then he will say no would ask out of questions and hubert humphrey would ask one question talk for 30 minutes. >> guest: you don't get in trouble for what you don't say. i think there's nothing wrong with being cautious about your comments. i i really don't mind talking, but i usually like to know what i'm talking about before i ventured down that path. >> host: you're not so cautious in your book. there's a lot of unexpected material in there. there is a polio, were polio, were talk about that, the fistfight with , your vote for lyndon johnson in 1964 over silver rights, and and then when it gets to professor obama and senator harry reid, your democratic counterparts in the senate conservative fund you do not hold back there.
then i think most people would be surprised to learn that you are an all-american tailgater at the university of louisville, we'll talk about that. the star with polio. 1944, your two years 44, your two years old and live in with your mom and five points alabama. the doctor, your your dad is overseas in the war, the dr. says, mitch has polio. it is hard today to imagine how terrifying those words must a bed for a parent then. >> guest: absolutely. i subsequently learned that it was a serious epidemic epidemic in 1944 all over the country. the disease is very unpredictable. of course you could have the flu, you think you'd have the flu and a couple weeks later some people would be completely normal, some people could have an iron lung or be dead. in my
case, it affected my left quadriceps, the muscle between your knee and your thigh. in one of the great, good fortunes of my life this little crossroads, five points, alabama there's not even a stoplight there where my mother, as you indicated was living with her sister while my dad was overseas fighting the germans. happen to be 60 miles from hospital in roseville having been there himself in the 20s. >> host: because he had polio. >> guest: he got it at age 39, completely paralyzed below the waist. >> host: but your mother had no way of knowing if you would be like the present, completely paralyzed. >> guest: they predicted, the worst-case scenario for me what a better brace on my left leg. so i didn't have a severe cases president roosevelt had but, you know imagine two years old.
at two years old what kids are like. my mother took me over to warren springs, they taught her physical therapy regimen and told her to administer it four times a day. and to keep me off my feet. so she literally watch me like a hawk for two years. every waking moment she try to convey to me the subtle message that they do not want me to think that i could not walk but i should not walk. >> host: how do you keep a two-year-old from walking?, that's a two-year old stew. >> guest: she watch me every minute and prevented me from prematurely walking. obviously she told me that years later. my first memory in life was the last visits worn springs with a tell my mother i was going to be okay, that that i would be able to walk without a limp and we stopped at a shoe store in lagrange to georgia our way back to alabama to get a pair blow
top shoes which was a symbol that i would have a normal childhood. >> guest: howled. >> host: how old were you? >> guest: was for. >> host: what an amazing thing. you have a chapter in your book called resilience. i guess resilience must come from that to some extent. >> guest: if impressions being made on us on that really early hr significant as some people think then it sure had to have one on me which was, if you stick to something you keep working at it, and given that your best, the chances are you may actually overcome whatever problem you're currently having. >> host: do you have any impediment today? spee2 some. the quadricep for example example is more important going downstairs and up. so i'm not great at going downstairs. but i had a perfectly normal life. when i was a kid i was not good at running long distances but i could play baseball, i didn't
have the kind of back and forth like basketball does. >> host: let's move onto dykema group, your father encourage you to have a fistfight with him. spee2 he did encourage me i didn't have a choice. i was about seven years old, i lived in athens, alabama. i do friend who cross the street name dykema group was a year older than i was in considerably bigger. he was also a bully a bully and he kept pushing me around. my dad was out working in the yard one day and he saw it and he called me over and he said son, i've been watching the way he's been pushing you around and i want you to go over there and i want you to beat them up and i said dat that he's older than i am and he said dad dad said i'm older than he is so so i chose dickie and i went across the the
street and beat him up. in standing up to bullies. i thought i thought about that throughout my life i critical moments when people are trying to push you around. >> host: so you have a chapter standing your ground. >> guest: yes. >> host: let's jump ahead to kentucky, the university of louisville, people looking at c-span might wonder what those senators talk about when they're on the floor. they're watching you, you, the odds are you're talking about the university of louisville sports program. before i get to that though, you are honors thesis was henry clay, senator henry clay. that inspired you to want to be a united states senator. >> guest: i'd gotten interested in politics in school. i ran for president of student body in high school. the big high high school, very contentious race. >> host: you said you're hooked. >> guest: i won. so i began to follow politics. i remember at age 14 when the
conventions were coverage of conventions were really dull. they would focus on the podium and listen to all of the speeches on tv. >> host: or there is a big zenith and we would listen to the whole thing. >> guest: yes. pretty boring. i thought i was the only 14-year-old doing it maybe you are watching it too. watching those things from gavel to gavel. i began to try to practice this craft to see if i could get good at it. i ran for president of student council and clay was the most famous politician in kentucky. >> host: what about clay inspired you most? >> guest: the fact that he come
in a not terribly significant state somewhat argue had become a major statesman. in kentucky people focus on clay so i wanted to learn more about him. >> host: but he was known for crafting compromises which is a dirty word today for some people. >> guest: it is, but absolutely essential. the constitution's full compromises. you and i and our daily lives do it every single day. we do it in order to make the senate function. so i bit my thesis on henry clay economizer 1850. i continue to follow him as a lot of aspiring kentucky politicians to. >> host: there's another aspect to the university of louisville and that's the athletic programs. describe your tailgating schedule. >> guest: well, football is an important part of life.
>> host: but you take a pretty serious. >> guest: i do, and by 12 season tickets every year, we go to every home game. an occasional away game. we make a day of it, we go out early, one of my friends has an rv in the parking lot and we talk about what will happen in the game and then we go to the game in the way talk about what did happen in the game and it's a complete lengthy exercise in one of the great joys of life. >> host: let's jump ahead a little bit. we're talking about the early 1960s when you're at the university of louisville. united both drove to washington, we just each realized in the green mustang toward the end of the 1960s. i can see the word for senator marlo cook, i had a word for senator aker. i remember 1969 senator baker saying to me, you need to go over and meet that
smart, young legislative aide from -- mitchell. let's get back to louisville, in louisville you let a marcher part of a march march on the capital about civil rights. you are in washington as i was to hear martin luther the king speech in august 1963, that i have a dream speech. you had goldwater come speak to the university of louisville because you're president of the college republicans but you voted for lyndon johnson in 1964, what happened? spee2 in our generation i think this of all think the civil rights movement was a defining issue of our generation. in 62 i had been fortunate enough when i was a college republican president, goldwater accepted a invitation to come speak. then and 63, the summer 63, people like you and myself at the the i have a dream speech. then at 64i was an intern in
senator cooper's office. two office. two important things happen at 64. we broke the filibuster of the civil rights bill and cooper was in the middle of it. we nominated barry goldwater, one of the very few people to vote against us of rights bill. i bill. i was mad as hell about it. i was so ear dictated about goldwater voting against the silver a spell and kind of defining the republican party in a way that i thought would be unfortunate that i voted for lyndon johnson, which in retrospect was a huge mistake. but it was a protest. it was a protest vote. >> host: that feeling carried over into your senate days. when president reagan vetoed the sanctions on south africa for apartheid, you voted not to override his veto. >> host: i voted to override it. >> host: which most republicans did not do.
>> guest: i just felt like reagan was simply wrong about whether or not south african sanctions could work. i know there are people who think sanctions never work but they do. they worked in south africa, they worked they worked in burma number of years later. i felt reagan was wrong and i did vote to override his veto. >> host: how did you get interested -- thousand extra ordinary thing that lasted over 20 years. i remember watching you stand up and make speeches on the senate floor and wondered what you're doing. >> guest: i started following her after she won the nobel peace prize in 91. of the listeners who are not familiar with her, she, her father was the founder of modern burma but he didn't live very long, he got assassinated.
she got went off to europe and went to school he lived in the united states were well, married a guy from britain, had two sons from england and had gone back to berman 1988, to care for her sick mother when this movement started. she was thrust into the leadership, the military which around the 60 from the early 60s decided to have a free and fair election. they got creamed. their actions getting creamed in the free and fair election was to arrest all of the people who had gotten elected and put her under house arrest in her own house where she remained, most of the time for 21 years. so we would flip notes to each other over the years and i authored along with some of the others her sanctioned bills that actually, ultimately made a difference. >> host: you visited her, did you not?
>> guest: amazingly enough the regime began to crumble. in 2011, so that we were able to talk on the phone and i actually went to burma in january of 2012 i got to see her in person and invite her to come to the university of louisville to the mcconnell center later that year and she did come later that your september 2012. now she is a de facto elected leadership, leader of the country, even though the constitution prohibits anyone from with mayor to foreigner, who has been married to foreigner to be president. to put it into the constitution exactly to keep her from being president. she is defective president, she is put in a president who is a close ally. >> host: you mention the mcconnell center, what is that? >> guest: it's basically a scholarship program for the best
and brightest kids that i started about 25 years ago. you have to be from kentucky, there are ten each year, ten each year, ten freshmen, ten sophomores, ten juniors, ten seniors. so it's designed to try to compete with ivy league schools and to get sharper kids to stay in kentucky for education, believing that if they stay there they're more likely to stay there after school. 7070% of the graduates have chosen to stand kentucky where most of the sharp kids who go off to the east in school never come back. but what i do is bring in speakers and we have had some great ones over the years, hillary clinton was there when she was secretary of state, joe biden has been there while he was vice president, chief justice roberts has been there and it's a treat not only for the 40 who who get to meet privately with whoever the speakers, but then they address a larger public audience while they're there. >> host: let's switch to
politics, subject you like to discuss and something you're pretty good at. you are undefeated. you won six races in kentucky, 12 really counting primaries. let's talk about about the first one, the bloodhound commercial? all of us in the united states senate are political accidents. not all of us will admit about we all are. usually work. you are 30 points behind in july of an election year. so the bloodhound what was that? spee2? >> guest: it was a desperate situation, roger ailes who is a well now. >> host: how did you find him at those days he was doing political consulting. >> guest: he had a few clients he thought he was going to win and me and i appreciate the fact that he was willing to take a mom. he he was a tough competitor and he started cnbc
and started fox. >> it was july at the election. i was down 34 points. and i said roger is this what race over and here's what he said he said i don't think it's over. a very competitive guy. i was running against a good person who didn't have a lot of obvious vulnerabilities. it was was a needle in haystack if you will. and it took turned back that he didn't have any problems with the people making speeches for money. but he had been making speeches for money while he was on the senate floor. so ailes turn that in and said
he was out looking for someone to get him work. electrified there is a secret earlier there is an actor who was being chased by the dogs and who literally ended up in the tree. and the key line was we got you now. not exactly landside, four tenths of -- but another way of looking at it even though reagan carried for nine of 50 states we lost to the senate and he was the only democrat incumbent senator and all of the country that your toulouse. >> i would say that your components would say your method of campaigning is to smash them in the mouth before they got started. probably, and i'm just guessing, your toughest campaign was the
last one, 2014. you have the senate conservative fund coming at you from the right, yet harry re- coming from the last and it was a pretty big problem. so you called your republican component who could bail out. >> guest: you and i witnessed the results in 2010 and 2012. >> host: i was glad all the attention was on you. >> guest: the senate conservative side of this and his allies have basically causes five races in 2010 and 2012. by nominating people who cannot win. so in the beginning of 2014 i said, not only in my race but other races were not to let that happen anymore. so what we do, not, not only in my race but other races around the country will get the most electable people nominated.
basically took them on because, if if you're dealing with a group of people who you think compromise is a dirty word in who always want to make a point but never want to make a difference, the only thing to do if you want to win the election is to beat them. so we won every primary, including my own. and as you indicated my primary was a pretty credible guy, i want to make sure he got elected governor of kentucky but in he carried to out of the county's. >> host: it's kinda like your fistfight and this is one thing i'm going to read out of your book but one of your top aides, josh holmes said this in 2013. the thousand 13. the senate conservative fund has been wandering around the country destroy the republican party like a drunk who carries up every bar they walk in. the difference this cycle is they stroll into mitch mcconnell's barn, he's, he's i can throw you out, he's going to lock the door. those are pretty fighting words. >> guest: yes. i think that's that's what needed to be done. as a result, if you look at 2014
and a result of that approach, not approach, not only my race with several others, we took the senate back. we had the most electable candidates on the november ballot everywhere. >> host: is talk about the senate democratic leader, harry re. we were at a senator's funeral a few days ago and you and senator reid both spoke. he said what i've often heard both of you say that people think mitch mcconnell and i don't like each other, but we are good friends. you see in say in your book, your friends with harry reid. but then you say, he he has a jekyll and hyde personality, when reid hears that you say you're classless and you like donald trump think women are dogs and pigs. you say, not your book but i think you said other places that he may be the worst majority leader. the senate is a place for for relationships, what about this relationship between the democratic and republican leader? are you friends?
i never ends? >> guest: look, i've been very public about a couple of things about harry. number one, i did not like the way he shut the senate down and prevented people from voting. i do not like the way he read the senate. i think his public rhetoric is frequently very inappropriate. so -- >> host: like what question marks. >> guest: the example you just mentioned. a few weeks before we are taking this he took all of donald trump's most outrageous comments and attributed them to me. while i don't do that to him. so i don't think there's an equivalency. but nevertheless, i think up to a lot of people it looks like were feuding all the time. we are not feuding all the time. we have have to talk on a daily basis. i do vehemently object to the way he ran the senate.
my goal in this current majorities to be as different in every way from henry harry and the way he ran the previous majority. i'm trying to do everything totally different. i do object to the way he ran the senate. i do object i do object to the inflammatory rhetoric like calling alan greenspan a political hack, alan greenspan may be many things but a political hack he certainly isn't. or calling george w. bush a loser, or send loser, or send the iraq war is lost, right in the middle of a major military exercise there. i cannot fail to express my objection to that kind of rhetoric which is frequently, flat out wrong. >> host: let's take one other person. he talked talk about the senate conservative fund and you write about senator reid, you have a chapter entitled the professor obama. why did you choose those words? >> guest: the president is a
very smart guy. i think he knows a lot about a lot of things. i think you would do a better job of dealing with others if he was spending less time try to equate however he is talking to at the moment with his brilliance and more time listening. just to draw contrast between the president vice president, ben and a number of major deals with the vice president. they were important and worth doing for the country. he does not not spend any time trying to convince me of things he knows i don't believe and i don't spend any time trying to convince him of things. that he doesn't lee. in other words you don't waste any time on all of that. we get down to trying to figure out what we can do together. he knows how far i can go in and
i know how far he can go. the present would be better off, his ability guy, he's successful in his political career, rising quickly to the top in american politics. but i don't think these incessant lectures are very helpful in getting an outcome if you're in some kind of negotiation. >> host: let's talk about divided government for a minute. i pretty talk about that a lot and say and express your disappointment that you and the president have not been able to accomplish more together because i've heard you say divided government is the time when you do hard things because you spread the responsibility around. now the democrats democrats say about you that you said early on that your main goal is to make president obama a one term president. i pretty say that you made a speech early on that it's time to go to work on entitlements and offer a hand to do that and you never heard back from anybody.
so who's fault is it that we not taken advantage of this seven years of divided government to do more together? >> guest: obviously i have a point of view on that. on the obama one term president, i do it my or bob woodward was the major reporter in town who reported the rest of what i said. right after that. >> host: which was? >> guest: in the meantime we had plenty of work to do and we had to work for ways to work together. that was was conveniently snapped off by almost everyone. but, i think divided government is probably the only time you can do big, transformative things. i'll give you a for example. reagan into bo neil. they reached the age for social security. reagan and tip o'neill to the last conference of tax reform. bill clinton did well for reform and actually balance the budget three years in a row. big stuff. arguably none of that could've been done in unified government.
i'll give you a example of when unified government can produce a big outcome. george w. bush was reelected in 2004 and asked us to tackle social security. i was number two in the conference at that time and i spent a year trying to get any democrat, even joe lieberman, the most reasonable democrat to join with us in their attitude was, you have the white, you have the house, you have the senate, you want to do something on social security? you do it. what that means is we'll see you in the next election. semi big disappointment was there's two things that need to be done to save america from the path we're headed. entitlement eligibility changes. >> . . . .
said why would you have a republican there? president johnson said to her not only did most of the republicans vote for it but the new nation will be more likely to except it this was 2008 explaining why she was there. some of course, to do that they had a relationship when senator baker would tell me when he went to make a phone call in his office and he said no mr. president i cannot have a drink with you tonight i did that last night and she was mad at me than 30 minutes later to beagles caveman followed by the president 30 minutes later in johnson said a few have a drink with me i will have one with you and they
disappeared into the bathroom for the civil-rights bill in the same office as that. but that relationship precedes divided government. >> you said your main goal is to restore the senate institution you thought about getting your ph.d. in history and went on before you were majority leader away senator mike mansfield granite -- granite. >> we were talking about this earlier if. first of all, you have to open the senate up there were only 15 roll-call votes the entire year. the first year of the new majority in 15 reopens the
senate up to let people but in number to when we talk a regular order most people don't know what that means. >> i agree. >> means it has to work on together with the bipartisan support and has a better chance of success that is the best example i can think of is to complete the rewrite nude child left behind the bush -- the bill passed the looks to be unworkable and unpopular by the time he brought it out of committee democrats and republicans were lined up it was relatively open for amendment and with the very large majority.
whether trade promotion authority comprehensive energy bill permit internet tax moratorium open your aa and heroin addiction hoping to achieve something really important related to what seems to be just around the corner so what does this have in common in the time of divided government? we know you have big differences reuter you look for those he would creon? >> is this important to say.
of. >> in the leading democrat was not as interesting the usually the helps you get to where you want to go. working for senator cooper. and what is the same? >> dash eight what is different is the two party labels mean something to day we first came to washington as liberal repubcans led think the two-party labels today are more descriptive of america's two-party system republicans are mostly right-of-center and
democrats are left-of-center so i gave me more today but what i think isn't different there isn't as much animosity to work together as portrayed in the media and internet 24-hour cable television people get hammered with what they're taught in journalism school so they are way more upset of the process then they ought to me they are legitimately upset where they are in their lives and that is a fact the average american is $3,000 worse off today than before obama came to office but the senate is
not dysfunctional any more. >> i remember when i came to the senate i thought i knew i was getting into but i didn't really. i didn't know what it was like to work in a body that operates by unanimous consent. your the majority but he will stand up and say i ask consent to opens tomorrow and i'm 30 and we have of a prayer if one senator objects then you have to start over. would you not to suggest a book to read about understanding the senate? >> it would put people to
sleep because the senate is ironically working out the way george washington predicted what you think the senate will be like? he said it would sloshed out of the cup bid to the saucer to cool off. there were not popularly elected and only one-third was up every two years on purpose so the founders wanted the senate where there breaks could be applied to and then over the years the notion of unlimited debate empowered to every single senator has an impact with the house is like a triangle with a level
playing field so stepping back from all the minutia what should people take away? and rarely done on a strictly partisan basis. >> i think the first chapter and master of the senate and master defeat the engineers command and then moving over to the of the side that is a wonderful way to think about it you are married and had three daughters you were a
bachelor for 13 years and the suggestion for the chairman of the federal maritime commission and it it wasn't a very romantic beginning when i was a staffer in the senate's and i had been single for quite a while and was in the when they enter the senate read that a friend from a long time ago and said dino anybody knew? she said i began a 70.
and why we don't want to totally curtail. >> that is remarkable to her mom was born in mainland china then when they got to be a little older was a communist revolution and then they went to taiwan. they met briefly on the mainland to my father-in-law had taken a liking to her so he searched two years to find her. and got married and had three daughters that he was ambitious said was in america three years by himself he was a ship's
captain in taiwan any wanted to be more than that. is over three years he worked multiple jobs and called for my late mother iman in the three daughters to come over. a cable from a freighter they were the only people other than the crude and the boat finally ended up in a small apartment in queens and ended up with six daughters and only a lawyer but he'd put a bill to very successful shipping business and that is the kind of story that you see all across america which is another reason why even when we are frustrated about our attitudes of illegal
immigration brought here against our will the sons and daughters are risktakers for the people that come here illegally they tend to be the best americans and their the classic family of that. >> was living the rest deceased but the living one is john mckean. you and he had a big brawl over the first amendment and it had to do basically with no limits on campaign finance disclosure and the constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the american flag. but john mccain disagreed with you to be part of the supreme court that is a
pretty acrimonious battle what is your relationship? >> very close it is a good example to have a knock down dry cow fight over the issues and it was pretty stressful at the various points and i called him up the date after he won in the supreme court one of the worst days of my life watching a republican president and republican senate passing a bill that was deeply opposed to that i called him up and said congratulations you one i lost and we found there a lot of other things we can work around together and we have become friends and allies on a whole variety of things that is how the senate ought to work in frequently doesn't assure many people go back.
>> you consider him an american hero? >> absolutely. >> just give me wonder to sentences of beecher the following senators the first thing that comes to mind about henry clay. >> the great compromiser. >> linden johnson. >> as the senator? >> overrated i think it was millions field bought johnson. >> mansfield? >> master of the senate. >> and indispensable player who knew when she was the unsung hero. >> the senator from kentucky? >> role model for a conviction very smart.
>> ted kennedy. >> she was the wife and of the senate as there are many books about him have been written and he roared and he was passionate about almost everything but in many ways they think the most accomplished kennedy he never got to be president gore never was attorney general but almost every way the most accomplished kennedy. >> certainly the most accomplished senator we used to laugh with him about going to those lincoln day dinners you just had to mention his name when i made my first speech on the senate floor about american history he came over and solicited took my bill went and got 20 democratic co-sponsors within one day. he knew exactly have to make this a network senator byrd?
>> could well have been head of the set. >> during the presidential campaign this year governor christie got zero and senator rubio for repeating himself in a debate but in your book he say when i starboard myself to tears i know i am beginning to drive the message home in other words, using redundancy is a good thing. >> yes. i with a few people who thought rubio was doing the right thing. [laughter] good politics i think his reputation -- repetition you have to repeat your message of what to make a point i try to do that in meetings with our colleagues one time is not enough you could
always count on 34 is not paying attention the first time so few really try to make a point repetition is the good things. >> but a period of time after three terms schumer finally elected the number two position than one month later strom thurmond went to attract lots but the party now suddenly had to resign from his leader position the you'll is wanted you would seem to be a logical person from senator frisk but then if the end of january you have a triple bypass surgery so what was your range of the motions? >> i think my feeling was i wouldn't have the opportunity because i was 10
years older than bill fortunately the whole problem i had worked out fine but i had doubts during that period but i was bypassed by someone 10 years younger than i was so i wondered if i would ever have an opportunity to have the job that i clearly had been hoping for for quite a while. >> so it was a challenging period but like others i now want to make my stories seem unique but just don't quit and just keep plugging the chances are you'll get where you're headed the only way to fail america is quit or die we all have speed bumps and sweat that -- setbacks
are we defeated by them or keep going? and then bill decided to leave the senate and then i got to be the leader but then there was another disappointment of the minority leader. >> and he took the blame for some of that and do talking in your book quite a bit about that the politics of utile gesture? >> why do we shut down the government to defund obamacare? that is a few tiles gesture obama is in the white house obviously they will not sign such a bill the politics of futile gestures a way to describe tactical maneuvers that have no chance of success that only divide the
party and that has been a challenge by favorite challenge in the house and in the senate and on the outside you see the actions of the senate conservatives the way we deal with that is to beat them in the primaries then you don't have a nominee and second who comes into the senate thinking your job is only to throw stones and then never achieve anything. >> but the message that you would like to deliver the republican majority can accomplish is diluted because some republicans say it is not which makes them harder to elect a republican president and keep the majority. >> it is in just about messaging we all want to do
things for our country the matter what our background of virtually everybody wants to actually accomplish things for our country and you have to deal with that with the government that you have barack obama if i like to vermont has been there eight years to suggest we ought to spend 100 percent of our time rather than trying to look for some of the things we can agree on always struck me as absurd. >> why did you decide to write the book now? >> after all these years i call it "the long game" it did not have been overnighter was not an overnight sensation and i thought it was a time in which the senate needed to be operated differently as
the pivot point i think that is the reason why i chose this particular time. >> if there was one law you could pass as skiing what would it be? >> i would fix the entitlement eligibility problem the one issue that will sink the country is the unsustainable current track the way medicare and social security are crafted is unsustainable for the one thing that could entirely tank s. >> tom daschle had your job prior who said something that stuck in my mind to say he wishes he realized the power he had when he had it otherwise is to say take a
vintage of this incredible accidental power that you have do you think about that? >> cry do all maturities are fleeting and depending upon what the american people decide in november i could be the party leader next year and a real opportunity even in the senate which is very difficult there are advantages to setting the agenda with the rights of first recognition to move the country in the direction or like to go you just don't know how long that would last you don't want to miss any opportunities to make a better militia, was not president but he is. >> want to give you a chance to answer a question from the speech about kennedy
about encouraging the teaching of american history in school so children could grow up learning what it means to be an american in when senator can do that they try to find webster's and invariably one last question that i want to ask you to say senator what message would you like for us to take back to our students about the united states senate and the future of our country? >> i think the senate has them the legislative body because that is a place or things are sorted out rarely does the majority get things their own way or where stability cano curve.
most people obviously don't think that but in that era in which everybody wants instant gratification if you're looking for that or perfection the senate is not a good place for you. >> get a time when many americans are not optimistic about our country's future what we want them to tell their students about their future in this country? >> i think because our interest of american history you think the current period the year in is tougher than others but we have had nothing like the civil war period our single instance were a senator came over and almost beat to get the senator we have had plenty of tough challenges with world wars and depression this is a great country we
will deal with whatever our current problems are and move onto another above all i am just as optimistic as ever was this generation will leave behind a better american and our parents left for us. >> that is optimistic message from the kid who had polio and overcame that setting his sights to be in the senate in becoming the majority leader after 50 years in this life you have to be careful where you aim because you are likely to get there and senator mcconnell thank you very much.
>> welcome to the internationals by museum and a former historian the current museum historian is a way out of town on a secret message perhaps we will hear about in the future by and delighted to come back to step in whenever necessary. you have come to and i think will be a wonderful program we are putting space in cooperation with the norwegian embassy because this is a story we're hearing tonight about a very