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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 15, 2016 12:01pm-2:02pm EDT

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ice caps melting by certain year or running out of oil or when ethanol will become commercially valuable index amount of quantity. there's little repercussion repercussion when they are wrong. in the meantime, they get to make all these plans and proposed solutions to alleged problems that use your money and my money as taxpayers that really don't solve any problem whatsoever but it will benefit their district and help them get reelected come election time point these politicians, time and time again like to think they can outsmart the market. they don't like to adjust their political hat but they like to wear their shark tank cat where they think their investors, only they're using the tax payers
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money to invest, not their own money, and tell us about what the next innovation or technology will be the wave of the future and economically successful. time and time again that fails which is probably why they're in washington and not on wall street. one of my favorite quotes that i use when talking about government is is something i use time and time again, in fact i used it when i testified in front of the house oversight committee. he writes that the task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design. really, truer truer words cannot be spoken about the biofuels. it's shown how the government cannot essentially plan energy markets and the unintended consequences it creates when doing so. there's a lot of those unintended consequences. economic, environmental and
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ethical when you talk about the rising food costs. so to demonstrate one of those, i would like to paint a picture for you and just have you imagine something for a second. imagine you are a subsistence farmer in guatemala and what you need to feed yourself, your spouse and your three growing children. right now it's not a big problem for you. you can rent a plot of land from a large wealthy landowner, you can grow your props and you're feeding your children. in fact the entire country is self sufficient so even if you don't grow enough, you can buy it pretty easily. then things begin to change. the u.s. starts subsidizing its corn production. what happens is guatemalan corn production dropped 30% over over a decade but right now you are okay. you are a subsistence farmer and you're able to get cheaper because that corn is flowing south. as a business you're not really affected and you can still see
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your family. then things begin to change even more. the u.s. creates this law that isn't described very well that meditates under mandates corn ethanol to be used. the production flows from food to fuel. the cheap imports disappear. what you do? you're really out of luck now because you can go back to subsistence farming except you can't because now that land is using being used for bioethanol that's being produced in europe. that plot of land that you used to rent out from the large wealthy land owner now grows sugarcane for europe. what do you do then? your out of options. what guatemalan farmers had to do was literally harvest corn crops in the median of highways because that was the only land they could find to feed their family. this is just one example and it's a very real example. the new york times did a story on this a few years ago discussing how guatemala was
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impacted by food prices, you had to tortilla prices double and sugar prices double, egg prices tripled because the chickens the corn feed. these rippling effects happen in developing countries not just in guatemala but worldwide. one statistic we put up there before we started this panel that bears repeating is that now 40% of the corn production in the united states goes to fuel production. that number in 2012 was higher than the food consumption of every single country with the exception of china and the continent of africa. this speaks to the rippling effects, these these unintended consequences where you have tortilla riots in developing countries where this is a staple food that is happening as a result of biofuel policies not just in the united states but also places in europe. we have these unintended consequences, the the economic one in the environment one. it's not just the corn mandate.
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it's biodiesel that has had both economic and environmental cost. before the mandate in 2004, about less than 1% of our crops was used for biodiesel. after that you law was passed and you had an increase, pretty substantially of so soybeans going to biodiesel production, that that number jumped up to 23% in 2014. not just feeling these effects worldwide in developing countries, were also also feeling them here at home. the congressional budget office estimates that americans pay three and a half billion dollars more for our grocery bill collectively because of the mandate. there's other estimates that had that number a lot higher but whatever the number accurately is, the direction is always the same. we are paying more. as marla pointed out, we are paying more at the pump too. these costs, the economic cost in the environmental costs, they are being dispersed amongst the
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rest of us and concentrating the benefits of a select few, those who win, win, there are some in guatemala that benefit, the big producers of biofuel, there are some in iowa that benefit but even in rural america there are a a lot who are paying the cost. it's really exhibit a on why the government shouldn't get involved in making decisions that should be left to the private sector in the first place. they continue to concentrate the benefits to a select few and dispersed the costs amongst us. >> thank you, now i want to ask our panelist questions to just highlight some of the principles that were i outlined here. i'll start with you. when were talking about unintended consequences that nick mentioned, he said u.s. biofuel policy is a large study in the unintended consequences of government intervention. can you expand on that, specifically about when we talk about that this is mandated. why are we succeeding in the biofuels industry question can you talk about the economic
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effects? >> well, the reality is it's just trying to, the reason reason you need a mandate is because the economics just don't quite work. they don't quite work when using ethanol as a fuel, as marlowe has explained, ethanol can also be used as an additive in fuel and doing that the economics can work a little bit better, as in using ethanol to boost octane and gasoline. that is a use of fuel but we can't use enough to actually get to the numbers that congress mandated. congress made some incorrect assumptions. when you, any time that you have a mandate congress overshoots. congress thinks they know better
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than what the market is telling them. that is one of the keys. what markets do, what free markets do is it aggregates incredibly large amounts of information and instead of taking that information and saying hey, it doesn't look like using this much ethanol actually makes economic sense. what congress and the bush administration did is they said were the smartest people in the room, we know that you can do this and it won't actually be that costly. in fact, we want to start down the path and you get the economies to scale and it will all work out. the problem is they were just wrong. >> i guess a follow-up question to that, he mentioned that ethanol was the fuel of choice for henry ford and thomas edison. why didn't we see a market develop without government intervention? >> there is a market for some ethanol use, just not a market for this much use. part of the reason has to do
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with the properties of ethanol. ethanol cannot be transported by pipeline like oil. there are hundreds of thousands of oil pipelines in this country that are very difficult to use for ethanol. ethanol has different chemical properties, it picks up water and that's really a problem problem and we all know that oil and water don't mix and so it is easier to separate oil and water in pipelines. it's hard to transport ethanol and we also have this incredible oil transportation infrastructure set up so you can transport oil all over the country but when it comes to transporting ethanol from iowa to california, that is much more expensive because you have to transport it on train. so the economics just are difficult to work. marla did you have any additional. >> no, i thought thought you covered that. the big three factors that were a barrier for many years was one
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cost, because for a long time, by volume ethanol did cost more than oil. that's no longer the case but it's still not enough usually to offset the energy penalty. the other is that as dan pointed out, portability because ethanol, as, as it's called, it loves water and you bring water into a combustion engine and you kill the tension. it's very difficult to transport the ethanol through the same grid or the same network of pipelines that you used to transport oil. then there is the energy density in shoe which is that you don't get as much energy bang for your butt. those have been the long-term market barriers that biofuels has had to contend with. there is an actual market value for ethanol as an octane booster and many people think that even without the fuel standard, you
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get a blend of gasoline that's pretty close to each ten. you wouldn't get anything beyond that though. >> may i make one other point about that and this is that the glory of the free market is that you have all these incredibly smart people out there figuring out what makes the most sense. the three of us here have nothing against, i don't think anyone has anything against ethanol. what we do have problems with is mandating it. when you have these market actors, when you have refiners, when you have farmers, when when you have all these people involved in the process they are going to come to answers that actually make the most sense as opposed to, we readily admit that we don't have the answers for how much ethanol we would use. some would be used however, when you have that very specific information in place and time,
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you get answers that are much better than what we can come up with sitting in our desks in washington d.c. >> in fact, in terms terms of alternative uses of fuel, you are seeing this crop up with the national gas industry which is becoming an increasingly bigger mix of america's transportation fuel. this is happening without a mandate. granite they've tried to get their subsidies, they may benefit from a he few here and there but nowhere near what the mandate is doing and the mandate was just part of the puzzle for what the ethanol industry got. since 1978 they benefited from a targeted tax credit. we couldn't even import cheaper ethanol. they slapped a 51-cent for gallon tax on imported ethanol. it has been and out after hand out and you still haven't seen the growth predicted by politician. >> the next that all start with, one of the arguments we hear about when we are promoting, we want subsidies and tax credits
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and we need to get away from fossil fuels. we need to get away from foreign oil in particular given the instability and the havoc that can wreak on our markets. have biofuels and ethanol in particular reduced our dependence on foreign oil? >> it's definitely made some contribution but if you check the testimony for example of the acting administrator, the energy information administration, at the recent energy and congress committee hearing, he will say that it has made a very small contribution compared especially to fuel economies standards which has made overall motor fuel consumption smaller than it used to be but especially compared to fracking and so the
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claims that this would somehow make us energy independent, we are greatly exaggerated. besides, the oil weapon was really not all that it was cracked up to be. a lot of people don't know this, but what created the gas line in the 70s was not the boycott that was the big visible lyrical theater type action but it was a cutback in production. that will affect prices, especially when the u.s. government didn't allow the market to adapt to decreased supply and we had under the nixon administration wage and price control and you also had supply allocation controls and to a great extent, the horrors of gas line that we experience
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in the 70s were really not, opec couldn't take credit for that. it was our own bungling of that situation that created the rationing and people waiting in line for hours and hours or having to get gas on alternate days and all that mess. that was because politicians felt they needed to do something, which politicians usually feel that they need to do and also because they didn't have sufficient grasp of how the market corrects for these short-term fluctuations. so that's basically what i would say to that question. >> last time i looked up the numbers of the new liquid fuels on the market, about 30% came from biofuel production and the increase in biofuel production. the other 70% was new domestic petroleum production. of course, putting more, this
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dramatic increase that there has been an ethanol production means there is more fuels, more domestic fuel that we use in the united states but it has been dwarfed by all of the new oil production coming from hydraulic fracturing. >> great. i want to mention something that ice on the paper that i thought was pretty interesting. you talk about the eclectic coalition that supports repealing or modifying the renewable fuel standard. there's a group of strange bedfellows from the cattle producers in the chicken council and the national resources defense counseling, you even have the u.s. panel on climate change which noted the environmental harm caused by that fuel standard. i wondered if you could. >> guest: that in the impact that it has on legislative activity. >> yes, you would think it would have a lot, unfortunately it's not. it gets one of those things, especially, a presidential election year, it crops up and
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get the support that it doesn't deserve. we seem that this past time around. with such an eclectic diverse coalition, environmental groups, world hunger organizations, the fiscal conservatives, they all oppose this policy and it just speaks to how difficult it is to get rid of bad policies once they are put in place. even when you think you've killed it, it's zombielike and it comes back. we've had that with the targeted tax credit. every time you think this is dead, it crept up and finally we killed that one. you think you would kill the win production tax credit as well but that keeps coming back up. despite the environmental concerns in the economic concerns, you have the special interest that stand to benefit a very well oiled machine even though they don't like oil, they like ethanol but they still fight tooth and nail to keep this policy in place because i
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think a lot of times they realize that the only way they are going to succeed in the marketplace and again i thickets why we need to push for full repeal. i think think you can tinker around the edges and that will help stave off some of the economic costs and some of the environmental cost but one policy solution proposed for instance was just getting rid of the food part of the mandate. while that make make a good step, then you are leaving in place the most economically competitive part of the mandate where you've had all sorts of problems and you've had problems with the cost in the production and the scalability of all of these things where refiners are being fined for not producing enough of this advanced biofuel. it really speaks to the policy altogether. >> can you explain the food part of the mandate. >> sure. 15 billion gallons, up to 15 billion gallons of the renewable fuel standard can be met with corn -based ethanol.
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there is a total of 36 billion gallons of ethanol that are required to be blended in our fuel supply by 2022. some of it of it needs to come from nonfood sources. there's an advantage in the description, there's different targets for different parts and after 2022, then i believe it's really up to the epa to decide what they want to do. that's also a danger. i think some folks think after 202022 it will expire but now it lets unelected bureaucrats decide what's going to happen next with the policy and given the fact that they've champion biofuels and ethanol for this time, they're not going to skillet back as they should. >> i wonder if i could talk about one environmental unintended consequence that has just come out in the newspaper. >> we would love to hear about it did in fact, i blogged on this and in the handouts from my
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organization, i have a little blog post there about it. it was an ap story that was published last friday and it talks about the mugging is of midwest whether being the result of sweaty corn. this is actually a very well documented documented phenomenon. the technical term for it is even a vote transparent in. all plants do it. they give off moisture. there has been a long debate since 2008 between the experts on both sides as to whether or not the renewable fuel standard reduces carbon dioxide emission. i won't even try to resolve that very technical discussion. this much i think is absolutely clear, first is that even if the renewable fuel standard is
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resulting in a net decrease in carbon dioxide emissions from the motor fuel sector, relative to a baseline without the renewable fuel standard, the climate to logical impact is insignificant. nobody noticed it, you can't measure it and you can't verify it. however, the impact that corn agriculture and soy agriculture have on the climate of the midwest is discernible, to use a favorite term of the ip tc and even immeasurable. what happens is, as it was explained in this article, i ran this by one of my favorite scientist john christie who corroborated it for me, basically when you have these millions and millions of acres of corn, you have billions and billions that are sucking water
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from deep in the ground and putting it into the air, moistening the air. what does that do? that increases the heat index or the misery index as it is sometimes called. it increases summer swelter. it is the heat that you feel when it's not only hot but it's also humid. one of the scientists have cited in this article is a fellow named candace conkle and he actually did a paper on this with a bunch of other scientist back in 1996 and they determined that corn sweat or the moistening of the air in the midwest because of millions and millions of acre of worn plantation contributed measurably to the heat wave in chicago in 1995 that killed hundreds of people. what has happened since then, i did a bit of checking and in the year that congress revved up, or gassed up the sf when 2007 who
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was lobbying for this was expecting a huge increase in demand for corn, in 2007 the number of corn jumped by 15 million acres. if you look at the ten years sense, what you you find is that on average, there are about 12 million acres of corn planted each year than was the case before the wonderful energy independence and security act was enacted. you now have corn and soy moistening to humidified the air in the midwest making summer swelter more durable and more intense. i think the irony here is very hard to miss because of global warming policy.
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is increasing in the midwest. >> i thought all i had to worry about was sweaty humans but now i have to worry about sweaty corn as well. another person wanted to touch on, that's been in the news, it wasn't mentioned today yet, but i wanted to talk about some of the problems associated with mandates and when you force producers to meet certain quotas. we see fraud a lot of times. can anyone. >> guest: the identification numbers and some of the fraud and consequences we have seen from that? people don't usually expect to see fraud in this area. >> we've created a market and with government created markets, markets not created by economic
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actors, it attracted some bad actors. what there is are these things called renewable identification numbers. it gets assigned and so it can be used for regulatory purposes and because these were too easy to produce, you just had to certify with the epa that these have been created but there was a whole bunch of fraud. people would have a factory that actually didn't make stuff. then they would claim a certain amount of these identification numbers and make a lot of money because they sell them to the people who have to comply which is the refiners.
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as a result you have this government created market that was ripe with fraud for a long time until the department of justice started to look into this. the first thing that the department of justice tried to do was say oil companies, you need to police the guys out there making this which made absolutely no sense because it was the governments market. why in the world should they be required to go everywhere and check everyone claiming to produce these things. all you needed was a number and it was way too easy to get. >> just to tell one of these stories in bloomberg just did a follow-up piece on a guy in jail as a result from getting caught. his name was philip ripken and he had 50 million gallons that he stole over a three-year time. that he didn't actually sell. he was trading with another guy who is selling fake credit out of his garage. now they're both in jail. a guy who had a lamborghini and
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a $15 million art collection because he was wandering his money was the guy who was in charge of green diesel. when the epa had never heard of this company they decided to go to houston to check it out. they visited the plant and there's actually a plant there but it wasn't producing anything. pipes were connected. it was a complete frog. fraud. the guy had jetted out to spain. the accountability was laughable. they were basically just saying you can create some spreadsheets and we will try to track it but we probably won't do much about it. finally when many of these fraudulent cases started to surface and when a lot of the refiners were realizing they were buying fake credits or and not being punished for where this was coming from, it started to service and it may be small potatoes but in the grand scheme
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of things, it does. >> guest: another reason why this whole policy is a farce. >> one last question before we open it up to your questions. more broadly when we talk about the government selecting winners and losers, and this is the case where the government has selected some winners, the biofuel industry. i would i would like to hear your perspective, who wins and who loses? >> okay i'll go first. the winners are the people who make ethanol, corn farmers and lobbyists. you have to have people here in washington d.c. that are looking out for your interest. who loses? the rest of america because we have higher fuel prices as a result. >> at that same hearing that i mentioned, that june 22 hearing, the epa officials that administered the program, janet
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mccabe was one of the witnesses. one of the witnesses and set i'm hearing from the biodiesel industry that they can produce 2.7 billion gallons of biodiesel a year and yet you're only mandating 2.1 billion gallons. why don't you mandate more? i thought her answer was fascinating in what it implied, what she said was you see, biodiesel is one of the number of fuels that competes for the space called the advanced biofuel market. if we were to mandate that refiners actually buy and blend and introduce into commerce everything the biodiesel producers can make, then that would leave less room for other competitors so we want fuel choice and competition so it's
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not like were telling the biodiesel producers that they can't offer all 2.7 billion talents for sale but we don't think it's a good idea for us to require the refiners to buy all that because that would leave less room for others. so that would be an uncompetitive result. if you think it through, the renewable fuels standard as a whole does exactly what she criticized in a very gentle way the biodiesel lobby for pushing. especially if you think about this in terms of the pie in the sky target that the congress enacted in 2007. this is never going to happen. were never going to get close to 36 billion gallons in 2022. suppose we did, the energy administration is now projecting that in 2022 the total u.s.
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motor fuel market will be about 132 billion gallons. of 36 billion of that came from mandated biofuel, then more than one out of every 4 gallons would be guaranteed to a certain group of producers in advance. so in other words, about a quarter of the market or more would be removed from real competition. just think about this for a moment. how fair would it be to have a world series in which one team is guaranteed in advance to win at least one of the first four games. okay. think about any kind of business, how fair would it be to tell any business that one quarter of any market in which it's playing in must be dominated, must be filled or occupied by its competitors. how long would any industry in this country be able to thrive under that set of circumstances or even survive?
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>> i will just add one quick point. there are a lot of winners and losers within the egg industry. the reality is yes there are a few select producers who benefit but it evening goes so far among the ag community because it diverts so much land and the opportunity cost is that land could be used for other crops. rather than letting the market determine how this land should be used, a lot of it is artificially predetermined because of these mandates and complementary subsidies. >> so now i want to open it up to you all for questions. raise your hand and let us know where you're from and what your question is. >> i'm david from the heritage foundation. is it urban legend, an example that i heard that highlights and
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has nothing to do with energy independence or co2, but at one point we were both exporting and importing ethanol from brazil as we send tankers down with theirs and ours. is that true? >> yes it's still true. in fact, epa seems to be expecting that its proposed standards for 2017 will be met in part by sugarcane ethanol imported from brazil. but you know, of course were all free markets so we don't have a problem with americans importing oil or exporting it. of course there's a faction on the hill that was all bent out of shape because we started to export oil. we are the only nation in the world that has ever decided to put a trade barrier around itself to keep its products out
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of the global market. as free marketeers, we don't have a problem with importing. >> my name is jonathan and i'm vice president for research here at the defense for democracies. i would like to welcome everyone to the conference room. i would also like to watching those of you watching today's event on c-span. today's panel discussion is titled from truman to obama, the past present and future of israel relations. i'm particularly pleased to welcome our panelist today. in the spirit of olympics, this is the dream team. for an event of this time, it's my leisure to welcome ken stein who is among the countries foremost scholars and is the founder of the center for israel education, remarkable nonprofit designed to help educators teach. he was my colleague back in the
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70s. he is a friend and a mentor. i learned a great deal from him and i'm sure you will too. i'm also pleased to welcome amb. dennis ross who has watched the israel u.s. relationship of all. i was honored to call him a colleague when i worked at the washington institute a little more than a decade ago. dennis recently wrote a terrific book called doom to succeed which documents the u.s. israel alliance. moderating today's discussion is senior counselor john haner. john is a veteran senior u.s. official and has watched this alliance evolved over several administrations. this is the moment where i ask you all to turn off yourself owns or to set them to vibrate. we want to make sure today's event is not interrupted. that includes the panelist. once again, welcome and thank you all for joining us today. john, over to you. >> thank you. thank you to coming and to ken and dennis for being here. jonathan referred to his long relationship with ken. well, maybe this is like bring
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your mentor mentor to workday because dennis and i actually go back a long way as well during my time as a graduate student in the 1980s. i think he may regret this today. he actually got me my very first job in washington which was also at the washington institute as a so happens happens as well as my first job in government working for him at the state department on the policy planning staff. i actually blame all of that as the reason why i never finished my phd. now back then, the the world was a much simpler place when all we had to do or deal with was saddam's invasion invasion of kuwait and the clash of the soviet union and it was all very easy stuff in those days. anyway, for all the years he has really been a good friend and a
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source of a lot of advice and wisdom and it's great to have both him and can hear today. now as jonathan mentioned, the purpose of the discussion is to try to take stock of the u.s. israel relationship. looking back and looking forward, provide some sense of historical context for what is certainly among the most important and i think people can make an argument that it may be the most important bilateral relationship in american foreign policy. this is an opportune time to do so given the fact that we are approaching the end of one administration and in just a little more than five months time it's hard to believe we will be watching the inauguration of a new and different president of the united states. who knows maybe a very different resident of the united states. we will see. although the polls are the polls. for many of us who have solid relationships between the united states and israel, the past past seven and a half years under president obama have certainly felt like a very stressful and tumultuous time.
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it's also been a paradoxical time in many ways. on one hand as the for resident frequently tells us and not without good cause, security and intelligence cooperation between the two, countries has never been stronger. it appears we are on the verge of successfully completing a new ten year mou that will include very significant increases in u.s. military assistance to israel. yet at the same time, the more visible political relationship between our government has consistently seemed very, very. [inaudible] lurching from confidence to another crisis of confidence and filled with venom and insult and mistrust that have often miss left supporters of israel aghast and stunned. more importantly, there have been real and fundamental policy differences as well. most strikingly of course in the class over the iranian nuclear deal, an issue that many saw as
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existential in terms of their survival. but at the end of the day, it appeared to end up taking a backseat. adding to the growing sense of glue has been a lot of public statements like the one attributed to ben rhodes, the president's assistant and his profile and the new york times magazine last may where he explained that the iran deal was intended to quote, create the space for america to disentangle itself from the established system of an alliances with countries like saudi arabia, egypt, turkey and israel. with one bold move the article went on that the administration would effectively be in a process of a large-scale disentanglement from the middle east. in light of all this, i want to
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start with both ken and dennis by asking you to assess just where you think we are in the relationship today. how should we think about these past seven 1/2 years, how do they fit in the historical evolution of the relationship that those of you who have spent so much time studying and explaining, has all this tension that we've seen just been another temporary hick up in an overall upward trajectory of deeper cooperation between our countries were something more fundamental at work in the world, in the u.s., in israel that suggest that the recent tensions and differences may reflect something more long-lasting, change that's a foot and maybe even for the worst. ken, why don't you kick us off. >> the context of 70 years am i think it's fair to say this is one of the most difficult times in the u.s. is really relationship that we have lived
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through, but there have been other times in the past several years, we've we've had times were secretaries of state have been pretty angry against prime ministers. one of the reasons that the relationship sustains itself is of course the premises on which it was based, mainly the values and the common identity, but also one of the reasons israel seems to stay as a primary objective friendship is the middle east as a region continues to change and turn and back in the 50s one of the reasons the united states found itself attached israel was because of the cold war. not because it was necessarily the state department or people liked it. as the region continues to change and israel continues to
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remain stable, they remain an aircraft carrier. even with all of the stuff that goes beneath the surface, how many times can the secretary of state in the past 30 years say we oppose settlements or settlements are an obstacle to peace or they don't do any one anyone good. yet there is this incredible strategic relationship that sustains itself. i think the fact that if israel were not the only reliable friend that the united states had in the middle east on a regular basis, it might be a little bit more difficult for israel but at the present time, given where the middle east is headed i think the relationship is strong. prime ministers and presidents go. they don't stay forever. >> you've avidly had to written a book doomed to succeed, we know the ending.
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the trust of the book is that you have ups and downs and there's going to be differences but there is something fundamental that has drawn us together in the essence of that is pretty much what can was saying. it's not unique to have presidents and prime ministers not get along. they talked about carter and reagan. in many ways in the end they were a worse point, notwithstanding reagan's self-image, don't they understand they have the best friend of the white house they've ever had. there are personality clashes and clearly that has been the case in this administration. there are other parallels. in the book, one of the tail's eyesight eyesight is actually between bush 41 and the obama administration where there's a kind of public distance between the administration and the president and the prime minister
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as there certainly was between george hw bush in the election year and as there was even then over the settlement issue. you have seen a kind of parallel here with president obama, president obama is as i noted, and you've said in the introduction, he prides himself on his commitment to israeli security which is genuine. what he has done in the level of cooperation on security and on intelligence really is above and beyond what we've seen before. in some ways it's driven exactly by what he said. the reality in the regions have created that. it's not just that were going through a period in the region that appears to be unprecedented. we've had individual crises in the region before. we haven't had this many crises at the same time. i used to say, back in 2011, if it was just each egypt it would
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be enough but were looking at syria which is a humanitarian catastrophe, were dealing with a struggle within iraq, there is a war in yemen, there is what we see going on in egypt, there there is libya and all these things taking place at the same time. they reflect a reality that is unlikely to change in the near term. there is a struggle over identity and who's going to control and define it and for the next ten or 20 years, the middle east may well look like this but then there's israel. whatever israel's problems are, israel has a set set of institutions, rule of law, separation of power and elections where the loser except the outcome and it means that whatever is difficulties, it's going to find a way to manage and it's going to be fundamentally stable. that's at a time when the region
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is not. the united states need someone it can count on in the region. yes, there are differences and there are some interesting signs that we should talk about whether it's in this country, in terms of what i think are some of the rapid changes are the political attitudes that are changing as well but fundamentally you look at israel and what israel represents in the united states is going to need someone it can rely upon in the middle east, someone it can count on in terms of stability and that will be israel. you mentioned briefly some of the changes in the united states and i wonder if i can just get both of you to comment on what you think is the significance or the lack thereof on things like the boycott and sanctions movement for whatever currents of anti- is really sentiment
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that we saw particularly in the democratic primaries, and particularly amongst the variances, you have supporters of bernie sanders and then just the overall cultural and generational shift that at least some people see happening within the american jewish community. do any of those things, do you see them potentially having a long-term impact on the future of the relationship and does history allow for us a guide into this regard? >> they will if the u.s. government doesn't take a firm attitude of position on the particular issues. i don't know how many times susan rice said it when she was at the un, she is also set it as the national security council advisor and so has the powers that were not going to allow israel to be isolated at the united nations. i don't care how many speeches you read, it's the same phrases over and over again.
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i assume they mean what they say. if the united states backs away and allows an issue to go through and something to be passed, then it becomes troublesome. the united states still has to do a job at the un in not allowing unilateralism by the palestinians to come to the floor and become part of the political process. the obama administration has been dealing with that as have other administrations. yet they will be more than happy to be angry with israel about issues that matter. the disagreement over iran about weapons procurement and how much and how soon. those things seem to be part of the norm in the relationship that has gone on for 25 - 50 years. just look for example how many times the israelis and americans have disagreed over the use of
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words, withdrawal, settlements, cuny dozens of times and the arguments continue and you still have defense ministers and chief of staff's coming in and out of washington on a once a month basis. it does matter what the united states does and what they say. it's really important. i think israel takes that as part of the relationship with the united states. i don't think it takes it for granted. >> i think there's a couple dimensions to this. one is the dimension that can was talking about. it is an issue. one of the reasons, we are going have differences with israel. that's a given. the question is how we manage the differences with israel. if we highlight the differences, it gives space and license to others who feel they have to be even more antagonistic.
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when the u.s. takes a certain kind of tough position on an issue, then europeans feel that we have to be even stronger on that. that can feed things, even if that's not the intent. it can have that consequence. i do think there are currency. you said it. i think a lot of the sanders supporters within the democratic party, i think they do, they have grown up in an atmosphere where there is a narrative about the israeli conflict that has emerge. this palestinians have been very good at making themselves the victims which by the way doesn't mean that there not a victim. they are victims, but they have increasingly made being a victim a strategy. the problem with making it a strategy is that it guarantees you will always be a victim.
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that narrative has taken hold and you certainly see it, you definitely see it where there is a symbol of acceptance that this is some total explanation of the conflict. the palestinians are victims and israelis are the victimizers. you see it on some of the campuses here. the media on a number of campuses has acquired a kind of saliency. you see it increasingly with efforts to identify with others who feel, you'll see they will go out to every other group and they will say look, were all part of this coalition and there's a kind of instinctive support for that without looking at the character of this conflict or, i took part in the debate almost two years ago and
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it was actually with norm and the premise of the debate with wood which was kind of an annual question was in this particular debate about american support promoting peace. for a lot of people, that was just taken as a given. what i did as i went through every proposal from 1937 until today and i asked i asked who was prepared to accept it and who objected it. by doing that, obviously i demonstrated that in almost every case the israelis, it was either the jews or the israelis that actually accepted the proposals and it was arabs and later the palestinians who rejected the proposal. i wasn't doing that to say that tells you the whole story of this conflict, but if you're going to try to suggest that somehow the is israelis don't
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want peace, the historic perspective is exactly the opposite. part of what needs to happen is that we who are committed to trying to resolve the conflict need to tell a story about it. we who believe in the strong u.s. israeli relationship have to tell a story about it but the israelis to have to be able to present themselves in a way that also says look, here's what were doing to try to promote peace. one of the things, and this this goes back to an issue, it has been an issue and it turns out it wasn't the carter administration, it was the ford administration that first identifies in a certain way. they've been around a long time. one of the things i would like to see the israelis do is make their policy can assistant with a two state outcome. when the prime minister says our position is to people then make
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your policy consistent with that. that is a good way to again remove the one issue that creates a vulnerability. it makes it easy for the palestinians to permit present themselves as victims and it makes it easy to deflect attention away from what are they doing to promote that with a consistent two state outcome. the point is, there is something here you can't wish away. there there is something here you can't just deny exists but it also has to be put into context. >> can we say something about that comment, i've never met him but i've read the article. the comment made by someone in the white house that they're not particular pleased about how israel supporters behaved in the general public is not new. during the debate for the 1978 brezinski made a case that the
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f-15 sales were a defensive weapon. they complained that just wasn't the case. it was anything but a defense. >> f-15 to the county? >> it was the egyptians and the israelis. it was a trilateral agreement. there is a conversation in the white house in which some members of the community showed up and members of the carter administration and finally couple jewish leader stood up and said this is not a defensive weapon. he stood up and he pointed his finger at whoever stood up and he said you have to decide, are you jews or are you american. he was quite angry, not so much that someone disagreeing with him but the tone of making foreign affairs and foreign policy and he did not particularly enjoy that.
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henry kissinger didn't particularly enjoy it when people were making policy that favored immigration, russian russian immigration that might have an impact upon his ability to make foreign affairs. not's prize that he said it. am not surprise that bureaucrats say. no one likes a speedbump or an obstacle put in their way. so it's natural. maybe you're not supposed to say it in an interview and you're not supposed to say that way, but it's the normal behavior when someone gets in the way. you would love to say a pass 100 yards down the field and not have a defensive back. that's not the case. >> october 1, 1981, ronald reagan was giving a press conference and this was during the time of the sales and he said he is not in the business to make american foreign policy. that's a quote. now that's the statement that was made in public and people don't remember ronald reagan being tough against the
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israelis. in the fact he was a transformative administration but apropos would say there have been differences over these kind of issues. it is interesting every time an american president decides a particular issue is really important from the standpoint of the american national security and the israelis or the community has been on the other side, everything everything will time the administration has succeeded. it wasn't just the f-15, it wasn't just the guarantee of the bush ministration and it wasn't just the rain and sections and a plan of action. we have seen this repeatedly over time. there can be differences. what is striking, one of the things i note in the book, everything the time when we've had one of these fundamental differences or what appears to be a fundamental difference, "after words" the relationship is actually improved. again, it tells you something. it's very easy for everybody to
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look at the difference of the moment and say oh my gosh, that's it. the relationship will never be the same. yet emma every time in the aftermath of that in it improves. you have to ask yourself the question, why is that the case. it's not just politics. it's because there is something fundamental about having shared values and also shared interests and where in the end israel is the one country we can count on in the region. >> so 1969, they're interested in the middle east, there is a practical commitment and that's by no means what everything they want. if it's the only thing the united states is left within the middle east that would be a catastrophic setback for american policy. >> in 1969. :
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you would run across the vast majority of people working on minimalist issues and the state department, defense department, the intelligence community who had almost no relationship to israel in their entire careers. it was at that time, almost nobody talks that anymore, the arabists dominated the debate in washington about middle east affairs and the relationship with israel in particular. people genuinely, the notion
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that israel was effective strategic liability and somehow an albatross around america's neck as we tried to dance our interest in middle east was kind of the currency of the day. it seems to me the last 30 years thanks in large part, that dennis was one of the original people working to advance this during the reagan administration, the idea that israel you strategic relationship. but now i think you find amongst the military the intelligence community people at the defense department, in fact some of the strongest defenders of this relationship precisely because they know the region is so volatile and they know there's so much better that they can rely on in terms of times of stress and instability that whatever the political arguments are, at that level the relationships have just been completely transformed. >> let me say one thing about
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that. in a sense strategic cooperation begin integrating the administration. the first two years for him on maybe the lowest point i just israeli relationship from the time of israel's founding. it was because the were a series of surprises and because of the siege of beirut. but reagan comes back to his instincts and also george schultz who become secretary state. people think of alexander haig, but he was out. schultz comes in. accommodation of schultz and reagan in the aftermath of our embassy being go up in april of 1983 and then the marine merits being blown up in october of 1983. they come back to what they think is fundamentally who can we count on and who is a threat to us. what emerges from that, in fact, is an architecture for cooperation, militarily and
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intelligence wise and even economically. and that builds a set of personal relationships. institutions are made up of people. overtime the reason it exists this was because from that time on, surface to surface relationships have been developed or intelligence community to intelligence community relationships have been developed. individual look at particular that the problems and they see who are the counterparts who can help them deal with that, they create a nexus and it lists one administration to the next. you can have differences at the political level, and they can have some potential effect but they don't shape what is the underpinning that has emerged over the last 30 years. that's another reason why as we face threats from the reason, and we will not be able to insulate ourselves. las vegas rules don't apply in the middle east. what takes place there doesn't stay there. so you're dealing with these
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threats, and so who is in a position to identify those threats, whose imposition to set -- nationally grades this kind of logical array of cooperative relationships. it's grown out of that. >> personalities really matter. it really matters as president, who was prime minister and who their immediate three or four people are, who are the advisors. it really matters a heckuva lot. in this relationship. >> it covers the atmospherics of the relationship for sure. that's why i i said, look, if i compare to the atmospherics of relationship with his administration, the one that stands out i think is bush 41. and yet bush 41 did an enormous amount for israel, just as this administers has done an enormous amount for israel. sometimes the atmospherics tend to drown out what are some the
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political realities that have shaped the realities of that relationship. >> let me turn to the peace process and the role that it has and i would do almost the role it has played in the israel-u.s. relationship. and i suppose since a lease to centers of time the issue has kind of waxed and waned debate on what else was going on. but i think i am more struck by just how this just will not go away. that virtually every single administration at some point in its tenure really feels the need to reach for the brass ring of trying to have some kind of breakthrough on the peace process. i experienced it in the last days of the bush administration went secretary rice made such a big effort to do it, really made it our top priority at a time
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when iraq was completely hanging in the balance, and really the only thing our air france want to talk about at the point was iran. and yet the peace process -- and this is administration i was struck, you remember this because you write about it, and may 2011, middle east is kind of coming apart. dictators are falling right and left. the conservative monarchies are afraid they will be next. the iranian nuclear threat is to all out there. the president goes in may of 2011 in the middle of all this to give a speech at the state department. it's actually built as a speech about the arab spring at it does deal with the arab spring to some extent i think it's called something the winds of change. and then lo and behold, the headlines the next day, they are about the president making new demands on the israeli-palestinian issue that israel needs to return to the 67
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lines with some adjustments, and whatnot. but it was really kind of striking giving everything is happening in the region. the region kind of unraveling with no possible connection to the palestinian issue. and yet the president felt compelled to return to this issue at a time when nobody thought any real progress could be made, and did so in a way that actually caused a real degree of friction with the israeli prime minister, and i think there's been some of that as well i think with secretary kerry's initiative in 2013. the first thing he does is comes in, a new secretary of state, of course syria is melting down, chemical weapons are being used, isis is just about to emerge and breakthrough in iraq. and he spends the first year in office really devoted traveling more than any other place between jerusalem and ramallah. so it's all quite shocking
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animation wonder why is this the case? what explains this? can it be changed? should it be changed? >> you covered a lot and if you want to, it was may 19, 2011, if any gives a speech three days later on may 22 to the aipac conference, which reinforces what he says in the first speech. the key parameter is referring to is 67 -- swaps and explains what it means. the interesting thing was it was his arab, i call the arab awakening. it was his arab spring speech. i just want to touch in this because i divide about in the book and i lived at the time, what's striking is that for about four months we've been talking about giving this speech, and we had a lot of discussions with the president, and in the final, before he
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finally makes a decision to do the speech, they're so two factors come into play. several of us make the case you need to give two speeches. gave a speech about the peace issue, that's fine, but it introduced the peace issue into -- do you want me to speak up? do you really want to hear me as well? [laughter] the point was if you make, if you give a speech even if the my part, go back and read his speech, 90% of the speech is out what's going on in the region. the last 10% is on the peace issue. there were some of those who said it doesn't matter if you give, if you get three census on the peace issue that would be the headlines in the speech. and not what you want to say about the quote arab spring. i advise all of you, go back and take a look at the speech. it's a very strong speech on the arab spring. we worked very hard. we discussed this are three to
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four months, and sure enough the reason he gives on one speech is because all of his domestic political advisers are saying look, the country doesn't care about what's going on over there. it's only about the economy here. so the argument is you can give two speeches on this because you need to be focused on domestic issues. so it's one speech, because basically the domestic side of house prevails on the president he can't give two speeches. so it tends to unfortunately drown out what was actually a very good speech i think on how we were going to respond to the changes taking place in the arab world. so the second part of your question, really essence of the question, why is there this need to address this issue? one of the things i see in the book is about there has been a premise, there are three assumptions that event embedded for a long time.
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one is ready to cooperate with israel to cost t with the heire. i sure through multiple administrations those that do it, isn't the case. another went to see a few guesses israel you will gain with the arabs. the way you can change the american position in the region and the reason it's not that bad solving the palestinian problem. i know frequently for some has been the last 30 years trying to solve this problem, it may seem odd i am the one who sang do you know what? you really don't look at this issue as a game changer in the region. i believe you should deal with the for a lot of different reasons. not because it's going to change the reason. it's not going change the region but it's been embedded in the psychology of every administration from truman on that if you can solve this issue it transformed the region. you'll still hear people say that today. even when it's not going to stop one barrel bomb in syria.
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it's not going to suddenly make isis disappear or make iraq culprit is not going to in the yemen proxy war. is going to suddenly make all of egypt's, the threat egypt is a single away. it's not going to be any of those things. it would be great if you could demonstrate the conflict can be resolved from the standpoint of somebody believes israel should bring a jewish democratic state, you really do need have a two state and -- you can't produce any time soon. it's worth dealing with this issue but for the right reasons, not because it's going to transform the region. but it's very hard to change that psychology. if you ask me why does it have such an enduring effect, it is because there's this sense that somehow deal with this issue and it changes the region. the most interesting thing about that would demonstrate why that's not true, if this was the case how come those in the
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region don't look at this as their main preoccupation? go to the gulf. what are they preoccupied -- >> sovereignty, territorial integrity. >> security and survival. that's the issue that dominates every other issue. if they thought this issue could affect their security to their survival, they would be addressing it. but the other more immediate concerns. doesn't mean this issue doesn't strike a chord. it does. but it does mean that this bill in, this is a game changer, this event a very fickle thing to basically removed from the psychology of almost every administration that has been there from true but until today. >> two points. one about dates and the other one about the palestinian issue. take the second one first. anyone takes a look at reading arabic newspapers as i tried to on a reasonably regular basis
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and look at editorials, you take a look at the last three or four months, what you find his palestinians themselves criticizing themselves for not being able to step forward and that any say whatsoever in shaping their own destiny. they are angry at their own leaders. they are angry at the arab world, angry at israel's strategic advantage it's been able to glean from cyprus and greece to netanyahu going to africa. there's a whole litany of fighting that's going on the last four months which is a complete disconnect with what people think sometimes inside the beltway. i'm wondering sometimes people actually are reading newspapers or they decided let's not do anymore. let's read some else's position paper. it's not because i live in atlanta i am saying this. the second thing is, obama's choices update for this 2011 presentation was rather unique because you look at the book camp david ii are a great first
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chapter. the details the four years of a president. he goes all the way through bush tonight. essentially says presidents do best when they talk about the arab-israeli conflict and the to put forth the ideas during the first, second year of the term. never in the third and the fourth. it's just not done. but obama did. reagan was 82, carter was 77. they are generally done in the first year or the first six months of the administration trying to get some momentum. would suggest to me because he did it and because you did with that paragraph on, it indicated just how deeply motivated he was to try and make something happen, how it eats at him. that adds to a third point. president elected with one point of view easily during the four
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years will change the point of you before they leave. and just because someone is elected on this or that platform of this without principle, once they get into office and they see what the reality is, they are much likely to change and shift, sometimes in very dramatic fashion. >> i know we're supposed to go to q&a, i did want to add one thing again on the timing of this particular time at the may 19 speech. one of the reasons the president feels he has to give the speech is that he's about to go to the g20. on may 22, and he gives the speech at aipac and he flies off the g20. now, at the time sarkozy is determined to sort of present an initiative on the middle east, the president feels he has to give his speech before he flies out as a way of preempting what the french are going to do at the g20. so a lot of times you have a
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unique set of circumstances that will explain the timing of particular speeches. in this case as i said, because of the need to breathe and have us be the ones who are shaping approaches as opposed at that point having the french do it. >> we are going to go to q&a but it want to get one future question in. and it is in or touch the obama, what to expect in these next few months? this has been something to talk to almost on the first day in office that he really wanted to try to achieve something on this. he's made several attempts, failed each time, seemed to back off and yet this is a man who seems to want to get down unfinished business, whether it's gitmo or of right of other issues. do you think something will happen particularly because we do have as you said another french initiative kind of hang around out there? so deal with that you expect anything, as previously can. going forward, both of you, a
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quick top light of what that memo looks like to the next president when you're advising him what needs to happen in terms of putting the u.s. is really -- u.s.-israel relationship and good place and how do you talk about iran in that index? >> first, look, i don't think this president has any great interest in wanting to launch any big new diplomatic initiative on the israeli-palestinian issue. his preoccupation between now and the new initiation will be national security and the middle east will be isis. i do think that sometime in the come after the election and before the next message and comes in, he may well give a speech where he might choose to layout parameters. i don't he has decided to do that but i think we may see feels that come he doesn't think israelis or the palestinians at this point are either willing or capable of doing anything. but i think he feels that if
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they could let out a set of principles for how you could resolve the conflict, even if neither side can accept it, over time the rest of the international community and the israelis and palestinians will come to realize these are the only parameters that will actually work until be a kind of legacy that he can leave and to have a certain benefit. so i do think there's a potential for the. >> do you recommend that or no? >> president givin giving speect the end of the term frankly don't have a very big impact on anybody. i think the original idea was could you have that become a security council resolution with those parameters? i think if you were to give such a speech, it would be balanced in terms of the parameters, meaning he would address israelis as well as palestinians in those parameters. i don't think there's, undertaking produce a security council resolution that can address both sides needs.
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you can produce a resolution that will be specific about the palestinians feel they need, meaning it will be precisely comes to borders, precise when it comes to the capital meaning 67 and agreed swaps. it would say two capitals for two states in jerusalem. that's what the palestinians want or when it comes to refugees, there should be a resolution of the refugee issue. when it comes to see judy, they should be secret arrangements. you can get something very precise in what the palestinians do something completely vague about the israelis need. that will make things worse. that will not make things better. i don't think the administration is going to make a big effort at the city council because i think they realize that's a likely affect. in terms of your question on what should be the key, i think the key points to the next president of the u.s.-israeli relationship would be on the
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substance. you will immediately address something that's important to thisraelis but you also gain wih almost all of our traditional arab friends, if you make it very clear that you're going to focus very heavily on making sure that the joint comprehensive plan of action is enforced, make it very clear that if there's any violations you want to work out now, understand of what the price of the, you would like to create a joint implementation committee with israelis to watch very carefully what's going on with the agreement. i think israel may not, it shall made a post disagree with but now it has a greater stake in anybody else in making sure it is fully implement it so at least you by the 15 years that you could buy, and you can take advantage of, if you bought 15 years what do you do to take advantage of that. make a suggestion on producing a set of contingency planning discussions on how to contend
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with iranian threats in the region and make it clear this is something you are prepared to do not only with israelis but quietly with the issue in a number of arab states. send the message you get the nature of the iranian threat, which will be important not only to the israelis but also to our traditional arab friends as well. in addition to that i would say, today you don't actually have a back channel between the president and the prime minister i don't remember the last time that has been the case. reestablish that. i think there will be a strong impulse on prime minister netanyahu society show if there were tensions in the relationship it wasn't because of him so he won't relationship to get off on a good feeding -- on a good footing. >> i wonder who that could be,
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that back channel? i can't think of anybody offhand. what are you doing the next few years? ken, thoughts about the next president? >> i think if hillary becomes president, she will be at least among the most experienced individuals who has taken the position since maybe nixon or lbj in terms of washington experience. i would imagine she also knows the use of language. she will be a lot more careful about what word she uses and term she uses. i would suspect private communications is going to matter a lot, thickly in the u.s.-israeli relationship not being terribly public and some presidents have been. i think any president that's going to be elected knows that the middle east can come like them. and we'll have to react to it, which means you'll have to avoid
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people who are not loyalist bar actually smart people. the people to get elected are not necessarily the people who should be serving. >> okay, we're going to go to the obvious. if you could just identify yourself and if you want to direct a question to be the other panelists, that would be great. yes, right here, thank you. >> reporter with cq roll call. great-aunt. my question is for both panelists. can you talk about your predictions over the next 48 years for israel relationship to the democratic party, mentioning that in late june the senate appropriations committee advance their annual fund that which included an amendment brought forth by mark kirk that would authorize local governments to disengage and entities that gauging bds. the amendment was adopted but a majority of democrats voted against that amendment that was
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supported by a pack. tim kaine is associate closely with jay straight and he did not attend netanyahu's speech last march and, of course, hillary clinton, president bill clinton is not known for having close ties with netanyahu and in the late 90s was seen to a not so subtly campaigning for them not to be reelected. so with all of us don't in mind what do you think will happen? and focusing this on some issues in general, not the broad security relationship. >> well, first i would urge you to read my book because you might learn more about bill clinton if he did. i think that and, i would be surprised if he didn't, if you wouldn't see actual support to deal with the bds issue. and support more general
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legislation to counter boycotts. you have the governor of new york who was talking very loudly and proudly about what new york is doing with regard to the. i think you'll find, i think this is the kind of bipartisan issue. i don't see it as a kind of partisan issue and should be. it should be a nonpartisan issue. as i say, look, the you know, one of the most important things for israel is to be sure that it remains a non-partisan issue. israel can't be a republican or democratic issue. israel needs to be a nonpartisan issue. i suspect you'll see it more of an effort made on israel's part to be reaching out more to democrats, and i think also more to some of the communities that
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historically don't necessarily have any kind of real historical ties to israel. >> let me say this about bds. i think the u.s. congress will take a stand. i don't think it's something that will just be, just go away. second, bill clinton is not running for president. hillary clinton is. and i think it's a terribly important distinction that we make your if one takes a look at hillary clinton's speeches which has been given in the last six or seven years, both the secretary of state and afterwards, one sees a distinctly positive attitude towards this judicial authority to state solution, two states living alongside one another. very apparent in her speech apparent in her speeches even as you secretary of state, to unforgiven occasion she said the united states will not oppose by
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the time it will not pressure israel. she said that. granted you can say that you're outside of office and what to do inside of office are two different things. but i think it's most important for us to understand that as hillary clinton is elected, she's the president of the united states. >> right here. >> i'm a former executive director of aipac and i was struck by dennis ross' statement that every time there's been a crisis in u.s.-israel relations, afterwards, relationships have gotten better. it's been about a year now since the jcp a come and do you think that since that time when israel objected to it, you know, in a very public way with bd coming and speaking to congress that
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has been any improvement in the relationship? >> look, i don't think fundamentally the personal relations between the president and the prime minister or not, i don't think, they have changed, but and john started off by saying, and i think it's true, we are very likely going to see a 10 year m.o.u. concluded between the united states and israel. and that would be, it will be significant in more than what was in the last 10 year m.o.u. and that follows the pattern. ..
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establishment cooperate. if you look at bush 41, after the differences on the long guarantee issue, you still get the loan guarantee provided and new look at what was better than not as an administration to ensure that diplomatic relations are established with countries that have never existed before on the other hand. it is made to ensure that it goes to israel. >> where we have seen these big fights, what we've seen in the aftermath is we saw a change for the better and i would say, like i said, it's going to have very
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significant resources and that will be an indicator of that. it's not that the personal relationships always change but the fundamentals of the relationship become more rooted. >> yes, this gentleman right here. >> i'm with cbs, this is directed at dennis. by any chance have you minimized or understated the importance that an israeli-palestinian deal would have if it really were a great deal implemented with the u.s. and the eu and maybe arab gulf states can contributing to a fund. what a big win it would be and could change the u.s. if it were involved in something positive. secondly with the crises going on, maybe in a bizarre way it would be the easiest thing to do. it's like a structure where everyone already knows the
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framework and you just have to screw in the last group. >> i wish it were just the last group. >> i wish, do i agree agree with that, yes, do i think it would have a positive affect? absolutely. i think it would make a lot of what's going on today emma one of the things we haven't talked about is the level of israeli cooperation with the sunni arab states that have never existed before. my colleague likes to refer to israel as the first jewish sunni state. there is no doubt that if you had a piece, you could make all those private cooperations that
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is mostly only limited to security, you could take it and apply it to the wider problems, the water problems. what it can do for others that will in face problems because of climate change in jobs, that is likely an additional contributor to conflict, it would be a very positive thing. what it change the american image? it would help. what it fundamentally transform it, there would be other reasons we would see there would be problems that would still exist. what it improve it? for sure. would it help the israelis in europe? absolutely. it would have a lot of positive effects including in the region, as i said. would it make all the problems in the middle east go away? no. the question that john was asking me is why has this issue had such an enduring hold for
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presidents who felt the need to make this a kind of priority. the answer is because there was this embedded belief that this was the core of all the problems in the region. leaders have heard this over and over and over again. all i'm saying is it's not the core of the problems in the region but it could make a major contribution. one of the things i said was not just in the region but even beyond. to take something that is seen as being completely intractable and show that it's not could have a huge psychological benefit. it's not going to suddenly make every problem in this region go away. >> come right here to the side on the front row. >> thank you hi, my name is amanda and i'm with the israel project. thank you so much for speaking
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and for hosting. my question is, after john's john kerry's negotiation, you had the unity pact which some people would say the negotiations backfired and actually produced a dangerous outcome. looking to the future, going forward in negotiations, is that something that concerns you that just by having negotiations in general we can create a worse situation? >> i don't know, let let me put it this way, when there is no process the situation gets worse. when we have negotiations that have failed there tends to be a reaction to that. i think there is a lesson for diplomacy here. the lesson for diplomacy is don't reduce your choices to only two. don't make your choices, if we can't solve everything, were going to do nothing. that's a guarantee for doing nothing and to what we've is generally whenever there's a vacuum,, the prescription, there there should be diplomacy on this issue but the diplomacy should be guided by a focus on what you can practically get
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done. it's fine to have an ambitious set of objectives but don't highlight the ambitious set of objectives and make that the expectations around them because if you can't achieve them then you actually do create a kind of situation that is worse. don't let -- i'm worried that someone could interpret the premise of your question to be that negotiations, since there not when you work out they're going to make the situation worse. what has happened when there's nothing going on is the degree degree of hopelessness. right now we have on each side a complete loss of belief. israelis and palestinians today don't believe anything can happen. that has contributed to making it harder to do anything on the one hand in making the situation far worse on the other. >> dennis, i think he used a word in another book called
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statecraft. it's what you do in between your negotiating processes whatever that might be. i think it's also important for the next president to understand that just because the white house or the oval office gets involved in negotiations doesn't necessarily mean there is conclusion at hand. if you still don't respect the sides on both parties to have will encourage and to exercise it. we wanted to take chances and risks. if you don't have that, it doesn't doesn't matter what happens in washington. it really doesn't. >> i have to say, my own experience with this is not being a primary player in the peace process but i think there is a tendency to believe that if you don't have either the oval or the seventh floor of the state department engaged in this the process is hopeless and nobody takes it seriously anyway. then when you do get those people engaged, i have to say,
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it sucks up all of the oxygen in the room and makes it very difficult for anybody else working on really big strategic issues that might lend themselves more to the application of american power and diplomacy. it makes it difficult to get the time and resources and attention that you might need. >> this gentleman right here. >> they are interested for both of you, can we expect in this initiative one of two scenarios. one is president trump and the other is with president clinton. >> i have to be honest, i have no no idea what a president trump would do. i just have no idea. i think if there were a president clinton, i think she
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would commit her administration to working on the issue. there's a big difference between working on the issue and suddenly raising expectations that are just around the corner. this gets back to what i was saying, i think the key here is we have to address this issue but the question is how do you address this issue and there is a big, there's a a range of activity between doing nothing and saying you're going to solve it. what needs to be done now, i'm not saying what this the next ministration will do, but i'll give you my own sense of what needs to be done point we need to work at several different levels. the first thing is you have to find a way to restore belief. can you change them realities on the ground so both sides begin to feel that something can change and there's a sense of possibility again. to date neither side believes there's any sense of possibility. you start by can you be doing to
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reestablish a sense of possibility. if both sides say they're committed then maybe you work with each to have them take some steps that will demonstrate policies that would manifest a commitment to the states. you also have to bring the arab states into this. today the palestinians are too weak, too divided, to position themselves to even think about and view the administration as a concession. forget what you have to do, on their own it's very difficult to do anything but they still need to be involved so you need to see if there is a way to create some arab involvement, some arab state coverage. you need coverage for the israelis as well. the israeli public today looks and says what can we get from the palestinians. if you're going to bring the arab states in, they need need to say what can the israelis do for the palestinians. what concessions can i make we
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need to know what will we get from the arabs if we do this so they can provide a cover for the palestinians so they can negotiate and make concessions. they also rationalize for the israelis that they're going to make these moves towards the palestinians, what they can get in return. do the arab states have enough bandwidth to be involved with all the stress in the region? i don't know the answer to that. i think again, you don't curb that in a public way because he will drive everybody into their most maximum positions where they can't do anything. you work to see what will it take to get you involved? what would you need from the israelis? then the arab states, we say what would you be prepared to give to the israelis? we need to think at different levels what to do on the ground and what you
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can do to bring the arab states into this. now that's not the stuff of launching a big public initiative. during something that makes it clear that were going to be involved is different than launching a big public initiative and that's what i would suggest. >> him, i have no clue. >> whatever it is, is, i can't say in 140 characters anyway. he said the purpose would be that this is the greatest deal of all time and this would be difficult he knows but boy it would be terrific to get it done. would you tend to try. [inaudible] >> send them all to atlantic city. >> what he said as he would be neutral because that's like, he said you have to be neutral because that's how you have to be. now it is true that there is a
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conventional wisdom out there that media has to be conventional. most conventional isms are wrong. when the united states has been a mediator in almost any contract we have never been neutral. when we were active in ireland there was a deception that george mitchell, going in, wasn't, wasn't neutral. we had a historical relationship. with holbrook in bosnia, he was seen as being close to the moslems. the point is, when you're a mediator, by definition you can't achieve an outcome if you don't address the needs of both sides. the idea that were going to be neutral, i gave a speaking gaza in 2005 just before just before the israelis withdrew to several hundred palestinians and i said look, i know you don't like to
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hear this, but the united states is always going have a special relationship with israel. that's a fact. now that doesn't mean it has to come at your expense. in fact, when i gave the speech it was the beginning of the second term and i said for the last four years the united states has a meta- mediator at all. are you better off? at the time palestinians have lost about 4000 people. i can tell you no one was shy in that group and no one said they were better off when the u.s. wasn't involved at all. i said, at the time, we weren't involved at all and nothing prevented the europeans for laying this role but they didn't play the role and they couldn't play the role because they really didn't have the kind of relationship that made it possible. having a special relationship is not inconsistent with producing peace. it may be a prerequisite for producing peace. in any case it doesn't exclude
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the fact that you have to address the need of both sides, not just one side. >> state craft requires quiet movement on the ground and any success always requires a measure of pre-negotiation. a narrowing of differences in a declaration of principles for whatever the framework happens to be. you can't just run right into it because that creates what 15 or 20 years ago was called confidence building measures or whatever it is. people see what they get mac with the receiving as a certain degree of movement. simmers down and calm down people tensions. at but that has one more
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question. were almost out of time but let's get it in and see if a question for either of the speakers. going back was wondering what your thoughts were regarding the level of aid america gives those in the overall we give them a flat the next years we need to increase this further or that the current one won't be enough. i was wondering what a great irony assistance with israel and it takes up a share ends produce
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a form budget. if only i'm a supporter of foreign assistance and i think actually the support for israel has been a and there's been a lot of depth and history. if everybody would please
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engineering corporations in the world. q&a airs weekdays in august at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. tonight on book tv in prime time comments about infrastructure. beginning at 8:30 p.m. elizabeth with move, putting the
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infrastructure back in the lead. from an earlier "after words" program. at 930 edward humes, jonathan walkman and john weiner are participating in it infrastructure discussion at the los angeles festival of books. at 10:30, the end of the road taken. all of this tonight on book tv and prime time on c-span2. donald trump is in youngstown ohio for his speech on foreign policy agenda. that is scheduled to start shortly at two pm eastern and you can see it live on c-span2. followed by your reaction on the phone, facebook and twitter. again that is why that to eastern. until then, a conversation fromm this morning's "washington m journal". >> host: joining us now, he is the national correspondent of 2016.aspectsts
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>> guest: good morning. >> host: are there new battlegrounds emerging that we haven't seen inig the past.blic >> guest: they are not calling them battleground states, they're calling them expansion states. even if they don't win, they will at least force republicans defense. little. in chicago, senior clinton officials was talking to a bunch legislatorsc statealki and they left me in the room for some reason and she mentioned a couple states in particular, arizona and georgia are the two where the clinton campaign isha startings to bring staff. no democrat has seriously competed there since billll clinton who won georgia in 92 and arizona 96. that was because of ross perot on the ballot. now you have a very different typeon t of candidate who's on e ballot and the clinton campaign thinks they can expand into those two states. they have hired senior staff in both places and they are starting to open offices. one of the things they are paying a lot of attention to is
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the fact that both of those states have competitive u.s. senate races. no competitivehe injured georgia but in arizona senator john mccain faces a tough reelection fight. he himself believes it will be a tough reelection fight if donald trump ends up with republican around the country. democrats think if they can make it competitive in the race to the white house they can sort of pull representative and kirkpatrick along with them.ke what's the machinery like on tho ground for both linton andatew donald trump? >> guest: the clinton machine is only beginning to be formed. these are states where democrats have not competed very well at the statewide level. they, i'm chiding to think of the last governor who won and it was probably janet when she won. sorrytion in 96, i'm 2006.a ve in georgia it's been a very long time. the sort of democratice de parte
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structure has atrophied in a lot of these states. what the clinton campaign hopes to do is build a real organization that can eitherrepn now or force republicans to spend in some of these states and every dollar you spend in arizona is a dollar you're not spending in ohio. possibly set up democrats for success in the longs fo run. the trump campaign structure isl nonexistent in a lot of these states, and a lot of battleground states as well. the trump campaign is not built like a traditional campaign. whether that's a good thing or a bad thing we will find out in bd november but the fact is there' not much of the trumpth campaign in any of these states.e the republican national committee has opened offices aroundrere ices the country and they are a lot more organized involved in they have staffers in a lot ofa, these key states. for the most part, somebody like john mccain running for reelection in the he will havee to rely on his own campaign and his own state party which has its own troubles whereas and
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kirkpatrick, the democratic nominee for that seed is now going to get a lot of help froma the clintons and the democratica national committee. >> host: reid wilson is joining us from the hill to talk about campaign 2016. i you want to address questions him call our lines. o read wilson, a lot of talk about the current data's between the rnc and key republicans and donald trump. do you see a parting of the ways at all? does experience tell us this? i am struggling to find a moment in history that is like this. it's tough to figure it out. whether or not the trump campaign and the rnc are seeing things i to i, the republican national committee plays a huge role in terms of electing all these other republicans. fieldill haves dozens of
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staffers in ohio and in florida and in north carolina and all of the battleground states. for them and for us as reportert is that although the key senatee battlegrounds, and most of the key house battlegrounds are also white house states. you have have the seven states that president obama won twice where republican senators are up for reelection or seeking reelection, i mentioned ohio and rob portman who is running there, florida marco rubio is running, richard burr, even if the rnc isn't obviously pulling out staff or even if they're not fully committed to donald trump, they are going to have staffers on the ground in places where republicans need staffers come november. then hillary clinton will be in pennsylvania, donald trump will be in ohio, two battleground states. the. the topic is foreign policy. ign pol battlegrounde
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that donald trump exposes, the white working class voters especially in these states. he has said he will make a big play for pennsylvania and ohio, michigan, if donald trump is reignited a discussionondi on te and nafta, these are the states where things like that are going totake take place where thatose discussion will take place. those are states that have been hit hardest by trade deals whicg it while the trade deals may have been good for america as ay whole, they still hurt somelvan people and some people live inen pennsylvania, ohio, indiana, indiana and places that will be on the battleground map. >> host: if you want to see those events for those two candidates, go to cspan.org for more information on that. secretary clinton speech will b at 1245 this afternoon. donald trump at 2:00 o'clock this afternoon and cspan.org is where you can see that and learn more information about that asao
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well. even as we talk about all of that, even in the papers today,, the washington times says that connecticut is now somehow and interest for trump and it's an unusual move. donald trump, he's fascinating in this. if you ask him. >> let me back up a little bit. talking to this senior person at the clinton campaign last week i asked her, we've had a lot of, there's been a lot of talk of utah might be on the tabletah because donald trump isn't playing there fairly well. i said as utah reappeared she said it's really hard. that's sort of the political way of saying were not going to utah.oes first of all don't think the clinton campaign needs to win utah. talking about a 500 electoral vote landside. on the other hand, you asked donald trump whether or not he's going to do wellin the state and there's not that sort of same politic answer like it's going
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to be hard meaning were not going to win. he's asked about connecticut. sure, we will winin. there. pol also in new york, he's hired a sec separate pollster to take a look at new york and thegoin republican party is not going to win new york state on a presidential lever. if they do it will be a 500ingt electoral vote swing the other way. we talked about oregon and washington state and to states that are the most liberal in the country. they haven't been on the battleground for a long time. the trump campaign, there's a ar reason that republican candidatescand go to connecticu. it's not to hold rallies, it's to raise money. i'm not sure if donald trump is doing that today. >> this is robert in henderson kentucky. go ahead. good morning. >> good morning. good morning: mr. reid.ly h i'm an independent. my family has long been democrats. i was born inin l los angeles ai live in can kentucky.
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i don't like mitch mcconnell. ti my question to you sir is do you think donald trump has any interest in actually receiving black votes because he doesn't seem to want to address any black issues or come to anyny black media. he just seems to think he can win the votes without the black people support like ronald reagan did. he seems to be disrespectful and doesn't care. what do you think sir? thank you very much. >> that's a good question because it raises the nontraditional aspect of donald trump's campaign. trump has not done a lot of the same speeches that any other candidate in modern history has done. showing up at the naacp, the annual meeting, the urban league couple weeks ago. he didn't address them.r i think this sort of demonstrates that he is an atypical candidate who doesn't always listen to the same
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political advice or advisers that everybody else does which is in one sense a part of appeal to his bases that he's not up to politics as usual. in the other sense, it is, there's a reason people appeal to more voters. if you appeal to more voters you win more votes.rent something they've yet to do in this one particular aspect. i think that's just another example of him being a different kind of candidate. >> is it a tug-of-war between tell teleprompter donald trump teleprompter donald trump? >> if it is, hee is being dried across the field. teleprompter donald trump does few days.ore thant a right. it was a great story over the weekend, the a1 left-hand story in the new york times on sunday talking about donald trump and exactly that sort of tug and pull. there was aat

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