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tv   Discussion on Campaign 2016  CSPAN  August 28, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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would her throat cut in the square. yes, he is his barrel bombs. i know what country was seven years in a war in which there are national security was not at stake. it was us. please barrel bombs fall barrel bombs fall of asset, and to fully with consequences to people as we know now with deformities of vietnam. seven years we drop bombs because they are cheaper. it is 63 gallons and it's cheaper than dropping a 500 pounder. i always wonder when we attacked them for that. first we did it. i always wondered about the morality of that. is it really better if he is 500-pound bomb which had three times as much legal stuff? i'm not making a case for the guy. is he any worse than the guys in saudi arabia who are chopping off heads right now among the
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shiites and master saudi arabia with all sorts of horrible things are happening. i don't think so. and so there we are. you ask about the president not getting involved in syria. he just put 200 special forces troops into syria. as far as i know, recognized by the u.n. after reigning power and the russians are there with approval by the theory of government. the iranians are there with approval. hezbollah, the shia group from lebanon, they are there with approval. the precedent for 250 special forces into israel without that casualty? it's a point of view. the world sees what he does. i'll tell you something else. if you think the number of american troops into iraq is
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three or 4000, i'm telling you this for a fact times that amount and maybe even more if you count the pilots and crews that are doing the bombing in the ocean. that's telling the truth to the people about some basic stuff. and that is that he had on the other hand, i also think it's going to be the greatest president will have over the next 50 years. >> host: that is the low bar. thanks so much for your time today. i really enjoyed the discussion. >> guest: thank you, robert.
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>> is everyone ready? does everyone have a chair mostly? i don't think it's fine. do we have microphones? do we have seats?nd his welcome, everyone. chris goodwin with the mississippi department of archives. you will begin the final panel here in the old supreme court chamber. think the state legislature for letting us use once again this beautiful state capital for this book festival. and we think tiger rhymes and graham who are the sponsors for this panel in a presidential year coming here to say a few words about the panel is andyy taggart of that term and alsoshh co-author along with organizer jerry nash of the mississippi politics. it's
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>> considerably dated. it's really a privilege for my partners and i too have an opportunity to participate in this way. i thank you all for participating. this is an extraordinary gift that the board in the paid staff of the book festival have contributed to our state and the sponsors are thrilled to have a chance to be a part of it.t [applause] also welcome to the great treasure that a state capital represents to all of us. if we were playing what is my line, among the three gentlemen to my lab, one of them would be able to delete to save a pulitzer prize-winningen presidential biographer. one would be able to say i'm a former majority leader of the united states senate. but only one of these threean gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen comic sans good conscience that he was either about this paper boy. [applause]
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>> stuart stevens has been a friend of mine for a long time. he will be the moderator for our panel. his father was an ivory first a law partners and professional mentors. i hold this man an extremelyn ie high esteem that or the fact he's not yet learned to play a musical instrument, stuart is the dictionary definition of a renaissance man.it truly he is good he was the first person to complete all 10 of the cross country skiingr. equivalent of a marathon in the same years. some famous saying people don't do. he's coordinated everyone in at the political up to and including the white house, currently working in a varietyt of dairy cows, competitive united states senate and governor's races around the city. the actors themselves, seven books, the two most recent would be the once familiar to this crowd. his ultimate published last fall at is the very cool last season,
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which is the story of making all boat one in entire season with his 95-year-old father travelino around the country. his most recent book has just been published an extraordinary late and precious i suppose is the story of a strongman who sort of muscles his way into the republican nomination at a brokered convention. go figure. i give to you my friend, stuart stevens.lause] [applause] so what we are going to do, we are going to have questions for about 20 minutes, still is plenty of time for that. before that, we will dive into this. let me just introduce these twoo gentlemen quickly. i've known trent lott -- he doesn't know this, but he was
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chief of staff for then democratic congressman. most of us in mississippi politics of that era, we all work for democrats. i worked in all of his losing campaigns and they were to win. i was just asking about this and he can earn he's never lost an election in his life, so she maintained that he lost the student body presidentat university of mississippi. he now, that is no small thing for anybody. he elected to the house eight times come to the u.s. senate or times, he was minority whip and then maturity but. the majority leader in the house and then went over to the senate and did the same thing, which in politics is pretty much as good as you can get for getting through the cycle in leadership.
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he's written two books that you've got to read. one is really a memoir of policy, which i read when it came out that absolutely delightful. if you came across some country thinking about starting aou democracy, i would recommend this. this look crisis point that he wrote with senator daschle, which i send is the only book written by two former majority leader is. now this came out last summer and talked about the crisis in our politics and where we areea headed and clearly the presidential year has proved them all wrong. but we will get into that. and john mica. if you are a writer like most o
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us, because john has had extorted mary career as a writer and as a public figure. he's written seven books, won a pulitzer. a biography of andrew jackson, which is just an amazing book. i recently saw some discussiontg comparing donald trump to andrew jackson. i thought clearly he has not read john's book.connec is he making that connection. he just finished a biography of president bush, a man that so many dead by her and love. it's really an extraordinary book that captures not only a man, but in era.writes that was an intimidating that so
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john sort of rice on the sidee with the editor of "newsweek." but for many of us, his most significant achievement is he's married to this wonderful, brilliant women from mississippi delta so we can claim had. if you ever have a chance to hang around both of them, you realize john jackson family. but the subject here is presidential year. i wanted to start out with you, senator. i just have to ask, how many times this year have you said to yourself after you wrote this book, that everything he talked about has only gotten worse? >> thank you very much for the introduction. i want to thank everybody that's involved with putting together a mississippi but passable. this is really fantastic. i have no idea there'd be such a tremendous crowd today. even the rain didn't dampen
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anybody's fears.a s. thank you to all of those. thank you to your law firm for sponsoring this panel. what an honor it is to hear what stuart and john. he really is a mississippi guy now that he married a mississippi girl. and there is proof. there is clear proof of that because he's sitting up here with no socks on. haley barbour would say he's a>a mississippi boy with khakis and no socks on. it's a great honor to be sitting next to john. >> i reserve the balance of my time. >> dance for the introduction, stuart. you know me and you know i'vean said many times. this he thought of ever seen. everything i thought i knew about party politics in american politics has been blown out of the water this year. the democratic side, too.
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i know bernie.us i used to know how we could clear the senate chamber. let him get up to speed. everybody would leave. so i mean, it's been on both sides. i'm trained to analyze, where are we here? what we are seeing now is what tom daschle and i foresaw that a year and a half ago. we went through a lot of tough? times. 9/11, the anthrax attack was in his office. we had the 50/50 senate. 100 senators, 99 of whom are 98 they should be president. i don't know who the other would have been when i was there. trying to manage a 50/50 senate and the impeachment trial of william jefferson clinton. we went through a lot of tough things together. in the process we developed a friendship. we develop a chemistry. i like him. i could talk honestly to it and
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i knew he wouldn't betray my confidence. the only thing i promised in the psilocybin ever surprise you and i would mess up and i'd go to his office and apologize so we became friends. a year and half ago were sitting at his place in south carolina. trish and i went to see tom and linda to teach them how to behe southerners. he said hey, south dakota. i said that it cannot work. so we took him some mosquito spray, tick remover, so we were sitting out at his back porch,h, tom and i am linda in trish and i were inside lamenting what had happened to the senatedownhi beginning. it started deteriorating in going downhill in 2006 anotherdb gridlock be thought of ever seen on a sleigh. tom finally said we have to do something unusual to get a republican or democrat. another southern conservative.e. see if we can put a boat
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together. so we did. we called a crisis point. at how pathetic at the time it was thinking about the gridlocko in the congress. between both bush and obama and the congress and what we think could be done about it. we needed even more. to answer your question and not make this a filibuster, many times i said yes, this is a crisis point. the question is now, what are we going to do about it? we think we have some ideas in here. one of the things i'm pledged to do, even though i have a real job these days, i retired because my wife said don't you think it's time to get a real job before it is too late? my goal in washington is to find anybody that will listen to me on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capitol and if i could possibly talk to the next president, whomever that may be
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and say we've got to do better. we've got to find a way to makea this place work. [applause] >> john, let me ask you. one of the wonderful things in this book is how you have a man who really sort of, president bush should really sort of embodies a certain area, the greatest generation. war hero at 20, had been a congressman, head of cia, ambassador to china. and i was really struck reading mass, capturing what it was forl him to then lose to billpass clinton. this theme that you have passing from greatest generation to the baby boom generation. and now we have the republican nominee who is a reality tv star. do you think -- what do you think that means? do you think this is an
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aberration or sort of are wha continuation where what you have done in the past commuter service to the country will mean less to voters? >> well, i hope not. donald trump makes bolton works name. [laughter] there are by the way no bush states for bush but is available commercially, so i apologize foe that. trump appears in the 88 race briefly. he told lee atwater, who then told vice president bush that trump was willing to serve as vice president. the old man and his audio diary said strange, unbelievable, which is kind of the headline of the past 14, 15 month. i think in many ways, you know, george herbert asher book is the antithesis of what we are seeing right now without any argument.
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he was someone who spent his life in public service as you say on his 18th earth day, june 12, 1942, 3 thingse to happened. he drove to boston and took an oath this day, later becoming the youngest flying officer in the navy. numbers that can connect in four, he shot down and loses his crew made. he plunges into the ocean, the liferaft was near him. he almost was decapitated on the way out. if you bail out of a plane, the plane doesn't stop. so another six or eight inchestd would have been the end of thew, story. and the island in which he was shot down with the scene of her graphic japanese war crimes including cannibalism. so at various points and mrs. bush would be upset with george h.w. bush, he would say at least it wasn't an orator.
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[laughter] which is a pretty strong domestic cards to play. and i'm married to a mississippi and massive herd and i've never had the courage to do that. and then he gave his life toto business, gave his life toemul public service, in many ways emulated his father was a senator in connecticut for 10 years. but a couple of things happened while he was president and i think that we are seeing those forces manifesting themselves ever more here. senator lott was there and i offered this for your editorial comment. one is the rise of reflexiveisef partisanship. while this man was walking out in october of 1992 the rose garden with george h.w. bush to announce the compromise that the democratic congress on taxes while we were in the midst of building up 500,000 troops in the gulf, newt gingrich went out the front door and bob walker
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from pennsylvania cc is what the white house. he survived against thee president of his own party. he goes up to capitol hill and they made him at the house republicans rally. so the president of the united states preparing for war, trying to impose some fiscal discipline on the country has his own house leadership roles on it. so this rise of reflexive free-agent partisanship was taking form there. the other, which i don't think we can minimize any mention the reality tv. before reality tv, there wasascl cable tv. mark twain once said history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. trump and corrode don't rhyme, but they should give the bush family has been to this movie before.bi there's been a populist alien or who took advantage of the new media techniques that the era in order to go around the party
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establishment and the pressen establishment to whip up popular sentiment that was ross perot on larry king and cable television in his way with the twittering the internet to the early 1990s. so i think that was going on and president bush didn't really fully understand it. there is also when i is also an acting president clinton gets a lot of the blame and/or credit depending where you stand. his ability -- clinton's ability to use popular culture to be a figure in the life of the country with significant. bill clinton went on arsenio hall. he sat arsenio hall was a building at andover. [laughter] no idea. i took spanish there. he had no clue. maybe it was the building that you know, there's certainly ao building somewhere. so these tectonic plates are
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shifting under this man's feet and one of the things that i think is wonderful and what is great about the culture of books and hats off to all of you all for being here in testimony to the power of god is that history tends to get right with journalists and may not always fully appreciate.k i think what has been great for george h.w. bush as he has lived to see the shift. many of the things he did that but are to 7% of the country to support had in 1992, the country has come to see as statesmanlike. i asked him about this a couple years ago. i said can you believe all the that are coming in. he said no, it's kinder and gentler all over the place.nt >> the important thing about the arsenio hall was wet. when she saw bill clinton played the saxophone, it is over. because you know, that was something that appealed -- the
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showmanship thing we see now. >> bush just didn't -- and i think you can say this as well to some extent, to this year. it was not his reality. this is a man, they lost a daughter to leukemia in 1953. this is a man who in 1987 goes into children's leukemia ward in poland and the press behind him. he realizes where he is. he did not quite know what he was going into and he immediately begins to cry because his children remind them of his own daughter who died 46 years before. but he won't turn around because if he turns around, the story becomes about him and not about them. i submit to you there are not many american politicians who would not have turned around and taken out moment and attracted the attention.. george h.w. bush, that was beyond his reality and to some
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extent one of the reasons governor bush didn't do well. y >> senator, let me ask you. there's a lot of debate about congress and the role of the president and the lack ofation. cooperation. there's good reason to believe that either hillary clinton or donald trump will be the next president. do you think this is a trend that is just irreversible or do you think that you will be able to somehow get more of a balance of power back as it once was? >> may be just the way i am, but i don't believe anything isn't k irreversible. i think the trend has been clearly in the wrong direction on both sides. the congress has not been assuming its responsibility is, which has forced at least this president to do more things by executive order.
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there is no question that theyld should have come together and pass immigration reform legislation. [applause] and they weren't that far apart. and yet, the president and the congress would not take down and talk it through. so when the book, i emphasize it doesn't take but one thing, one person that is willing to be a a leader and step up.e potent whether it's congressman or senator paul ryan has the potential to do that kind of thing as a speaker.doker. i have a lot of faith in him. or a president to say, you know, i worked all the time with bill clinton.op you know, we didn't agreeed. philosophically feared he was a character, but we talked. a lot of times i didn't want to talk.
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he called one night at 2:00 in the morning. the phone is on trish's side of the bed. she picks up the phone and says that the president, hands it over to me. i start saying yes, sir, mr. president. we will look into that. i hung up the guide handed the phone back. she said what did he want? i said i don't know. something about central america. but here is the point. we talked all the time. we worked through all kinds of things did budget issues, tax issues, defense issues, safe drinking water, you name it. did we agree? no. a lot of times we press each other to the point we would get mad, but we communicated. that was true with reagan. we met with president reagan just about every tuesday morning that congress was in session at 9:00. sometimes it was a person can sometimes just republicans. so this trend of not communicating is a recent
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phenomenon. they started developing with george w. bush on it even though he tried. hard to get immigration reform. either way, i say to mississippians come to mississippians can't immigration is one of the big issues in thin campaign.. if we had done what we should've done in 2007, we wouldn't be here now. immigration reform is not just about illegal immigrants. it is about legal immigrants.. we got people who want to have something offered can't get here.oc one time i had two doctors from canada that wanted to come to picayune, mississippi. underserved medical area. two doctors, highly qualified. you would've thought i was trying to sneak in saddam hussein. it was hard. it started with bush. i saw it coming in 2006 and now this president and this t congress, they just don't talk. the deficit worries me more than ever. now i worry about my grandchildren. it's not about me anymore for ae us.
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this is a broker here and congress and the president are not dealing with it. so the next president, all t hillary would have to do if she was president of the two followed the role to a degree of president bill clinton because he did talk with us. or if it is trump, somebody -- some of us have got to reach out and say mr. president, you say you are going to change washington. the first thing you need to do to change it is to begin to communicate. there are four things you needco to make washington work itt number one is communication. if you don't talk, you ain'te. going to get nothing done it number two, you have to develop a chemistry. clinton made me nervous, but we had a relationship. it was a chemistry that made it possible for us to turn that into action. the other thing we've lost is a vision. what are we really for anymore? republicans or democrats.ly
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did we really know what eitherco side would actually do if theree is a majority in the congress and the white house? last but not least, i have seen it.p. leadership. one man or one woman that will face -- the slings and arrows ao the media and say we are going to develop an energy policy in america. we are going to have all of the above. we are going to do it. so it could change, stuart, on a dime. but it's going to take a person of strength because i've seen it.in washington is a tough place. i wrote the high road and i got knocked down into the valley. t the best thing about being in the valley is you learn when you get back up how you can do things better. so it can change. i don't see it right now. i don't see it with mitch
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mcconnell. i don't see it with nancy pelosi.eee i do see hope in paul ryan. i don't know what to expect from chuck schumer. he is smarter than we. he's every bit as partisan as harry reid, but there is one difference. he is transactional. you can do business. they don't say it that way in new york city, but they understand. there is some hope out there, but all begins in the white house. we've got to get a different tempo coming out of that place. >> one example of that aboutut leadership and the white housegi is despite what happened with gingrich back in 89, 90 when the wing of a butterfly, when johnio towers nomination was defeated in march of 1989, bush needed a
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secretary of defense, so he reaches out to the house leadership in takes dick cheney, chilies and opening for a minority win. a young guy from georgia decides to run bat off his named newtna gingrich. and then webber, congressman or minnesota runs campaign.o nevere he wins and george bush are never really got over being on the ways and means committee, cap to lock her the house gym, to, george h.w. bush two best td friends were ashley of ohio, democrat and sonny montgomery of mississippi, a democrat. so bush, a man of the house reaches out. he invites him on the gingrichch over for a in the residence, but he invites webber because webber had run the camp pain and then told me the story and that nobody but george h.w. bush with thing to invite the guy who ran the campaign. but there they are. there have been a with john
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sununu and the president and they can tell, gingrich and webber can tell there is something the old man wants to say but he can't quite say it, which was true of many things. finally if they are getting up, he says mr. president, tell us what worries you most about us and the president's relief to have the opportunity. he immediately says i worry that some times your idealism may get in the way of what i think of as sound governance. the risk of pulling of ruby i want to repeat that quickly.ge i worry that sometimes your idealism will get in the way of what i think that i sound governance. whether said what he always remembered was that bush sat idealism. he gave them credit for believing what they believed. he didn't say ideology. he didn't say inflexibility.gh he didn't say natty nest. they said your idealistic about
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some things, mostly tax policy, mostly supply-side stuff. but i believe i'm now the president of all the people and i may have to do things you're not going to agree with you if you wanted reciprocal credit. no president ever used the residence, the horseshoe pit, camp david as much as george w. bush did it the old man thought it was one long reunion mixer.d it helped in many ways., i ha >> i have to ask you. you are now a senior figure. and having this many roles, when you look at the way that we choose our nominee, do you see as sound and that can be changed and if so, do you have any
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thought? .. ss now that we use to select our nominees is a mess, and we need to change it. now, it won't be easy because you're, in a lot of cases you're dealing with state laws. but one of the things, we advocate a number of things. we do spend a lot of time in this book talking about civic responsibility. too many americans have lost the sight of what is our civic responsibility. so we stick our neck out. we advocate one year of public service for everybody when they finish high school or when they one year, national guard, fighting fires in the west, peace corps, you name it. but some opportunity. we also advocate that we make it as easy as possible to vote. now, where he and i disagree, ii think you indiana to have to show some identification. but we work through that. i like early voting.g. we're going to have to deal with the modern technology and how we vote, and i want more people to vote.
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i just believe that we can -- my point of view, we can win if more people vote. but we specifically spent a good bit of time talking about the current primary situation. i love iowa. i love iowans chuck grassley is one of my favorite. love new hampshire. i go to new hampshire with judg greg, former senator, and then i love south carolina even more. but the idea that iowa and new hampshire and south carolina basically decide who our nominees are is not a good idea, and the process is ridiculous. how long we been in this election?ho w i also would advocate -- some things would take constitutional changes but advocate -- can't limit the money in politics because the supreme court said, i think correctly, money is speech. tom daschle doesn't agree with that but we can limit the time. i don't want to go with the parliamentary system like the
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brits but i would like a system we don't have the general eelection from first of september to november. i believe the campaigns were shorter, people would pay more attention, it would cost less and maybe even be as dirty --co wouldn't be as dirty. so we do advocate also that we have a -- i'm an advocate of a single primary day for both parties. one day. we all vote, all us republicans vote -- [applause] -- and then we go forward intoe the general election, which i would like to limit, or as proposed by form are senator slade gordon front washington state, maybe we can do it regionally, have identification or six regions and we alternate which region goes first, the southeast, the southwest, new england, and so we have five or six primary dates. again. it would not cost as much. you could have a better cross-section., co also our candidates wouldn't have to be running from iowa to
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new hampshire to south carolina. they could camp in maybe even a little more time in mississippi. so, yeah, i think we need to take a look at some of ourow, ou conventions. i have to confess, i even got to where i vote edwind funds for the conventions. i don't think they're relevant. they're a lot of fun. i wend to seven or eight of them but it's time we take a look at this. you're thinking, is that possible? yeah. if somebody of substance would take this on and say, it's time we take a look at this, involve the states and the mayors and everybody, but see if we can't find a way to improve the american system. it's been evolutionary any anyway. i'd like to chapping the primary system. i'm very unhappy what we get and how we get it. >> on that, let's open up to
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questions.n we have a mic at the center a there so it's important to go there so we can capture it on audio as well. must be questions. please. >> you don't mean any friends in new hampshire are saying this. >> 100% off the record. >> okay, good. >> while we're waiting for questions, as a student of history, is there any race that you would look at that would be comparable to this race that the country managed to survive so we neglect have some hope that we'll survive this one? >> if was going to suggest that the land cruisers that led into the "star wars" bar scene. so that's one. but you mean actually on planet earth?
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>> yes. >> yes. the good news is, as the senator says, we have endured much worse. ultimately. and if i -- i would argue that if an unconventiona nominee of the sort we're seeing now on the republican side were in a substantially stronger position in the polls, i might give you a different answer. but the genius of the system is that it manages to take account of the momentary passions of the people. james madison saw that the bigger the country, the better chance we had of not having any one group, any one interest, any one state, any one region, take over everything. it's a big, big, diversion country.
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and that's not to minimize the political achievement of donald trump.he let's be clear. this man is the nominee of the party of lincoln, eisenhower, reagan, george h.w. bush. so, d. >> that's depressing. >> it may be depressing but i think we have to -- look, he won it.we hav it wasn't even particularly close. and so i would argue that those of you who are republicans -- i can't think of any -- might want to ask yourselves what it is about your party that allowed this hijacking to take place. [applause] so, i'd love to hear you all on that.ha you wanted a question.yo it is one of the few recorded cases where the hijacker got on the plane and the passengers sided with him. and -- [laughter]
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-- so what happened? what happened? >> i'm going to attempt to answer that. first of all, we spend the first third of the book talking about, hey, don't despair. we have been through tough times behalf.or the early part of this country, it was rough. you know the story of jefferson and aaron burr and all of that and precivil war, civil war, the turn of the century, teddy t roosevelt, and the -- we have had some really tough times, and we talk about that. but we also talk about how one of my favorite quotes in here -- we have some quotes of past history, and this relates to the idea about the chemistry and how people could relate even though they might not agree. john c. calhoun said about henry clay, i don't like clay. he's a bad man, an imposter, creator of wicked schemes.he
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wouldn't speak to him but, by god, i love him. that's the way it really ought to be. but you're asking about what happened here. i think both parties have missed where the american people are. i missed it. this is -- it's amazed me, areth we really this socialistic now? and i'm not directing that critically at the democratic party. at a lot of us and what has happened to the republican party., i think both parties have not been listening. democratic party has not been listening to the movement to the left. bernie sanders tapped into it.rs he did it. give him credit. he did a heck of a job. i never heard him give a speech in the senate like i heard some of the one he gave, i'veed a lot of rank-and-file and blue collar worker -- my dad was a pipe figurer union me and my mother a school teacher so talk to people
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now and say what's going on. bother parties have missed what is going on the immigration issue, i believe. a lot of people, even in mississippi -- we're not threatened by illegal immigrants here but there's a feeling of insecurity. is hi job threatened? are we secure? i think a lot of people in america are feeling insecure about where they are and what the future is with their children and are they going to be threatened by this -- by millions of people pouring into this country? it's gone from talking about 10,000 to 60,000 to now talking big numbers. and also -- this real floored me -- i am a free trader. voted for every free radiate. voted for nafta.a. the north american free trade agreement.re -- i would vote for the tpp right now with some side agreements. you have to -- sometimes you have to adjust them, but be, including me, have lost -- we lost track of the way people are
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feeling in america about trade. they think we have been having our lunch eaten, and i'm always used the language, i want free but fair trade. shouldn't put up with manipulation by the chinese of their current si. we need to make sure the european tore asians is not going to be able to cheat.to also think it's insane what we're doing in america that basically forces companies like carrier, to leave america, leave indiana, a good, wholesome, midwestern state and good to mexico. what the'll is going on? and yet the congress, including -- i didn't get it done -- we're too stupid to be able to pass a corporate tax reform that would keep these jobs and the growth that it contributes to our country from leaving. those two issues, i think both parties have been asleep at the throttle. we just didn't know what was happening. but the other thing really worries me issue don't find a lot of people saying, this deficit thing is bugging me.
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what are we going to do to grow the economy and get the kind of growth we really need and to create new and better and high-tech modern jobs? anybody talking about that? anybody thinking about that? not really. so, i just think both parties -- maybe all of us -- have been coasting, and i think we have been coasting for ten years. this is serious. this is -- >> one of the striking things this year historically we have the least conventional majoron party nominee running against the most conventional party nominee. it's hard to knowledge a more conventional person that secretary clinton, and it's impossible to imagine i less conventional person than the republican nominee. you mentioned the jackson example. i get asked all the time is this like 1828? you can till e tell i hang out h with exciting people, that's
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what they ask. i'm a lot of fun to be around. >> 1828. >> but it's actually not fair. because jackson was a judge, senator, general. he won the popular vote for years before. and he had a very coherent a vision of what he wanted to use the federal government to do. and in many ways that was to get out of the way of the states. by the way, his quote about calhoun, since we're dorking out about that, his only two regrets in public life he had not hung calhoun and shot henry clay. and calhoun was his vice president. [laughter]ghter] >> no other major party nominee felt that we about their running maten in john mccain. [laughter] [applause]
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>> never gets old. the only room in america that would laugh at that. thank you. so, it really -- historians, biographers should be careful with the word unprecedented but this is as damn near as you can get. to me one of the great questions -- and mississippi with clark reid and senator lott and doctrine -- cochran and others, you built the rep part because you needed a two-party system. in tennessee, nine members of the house were democrats and two were republican. today it's flamed. being a democrat in tennessee is not a ticket to the higher office. in any way. so, the question, i think, that really important here, is depending on the long -- what is the long-term effect of the
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trump nomination on the republican party? because we need a healthy two-party system. we need people to feel confident enough in their bases they're actually able to reach out and compromise. because it's the fear of the -- i would submit, and senator check me on this -- i would submit it's the fear of the base that is limiting and disincentivizing compromise. i remember six years ago, senator from a swing state, a border state, called me -- actually talking about andrew jackson. there's a theme here. and it was middle of obamacare, the debate, and he was in the house then, and i asked him, tell me how is the caucus? what's the feeling?t he said it's never been more conservative. ever. and i said why? he said -- i've never heard thiw used as a verb. he said arch lives in mortal terror of being primaried.
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the great fear is you lose your base, your local talk radio folks you local activists, rise up againous, you're seen an rhino, a shellout, and if we don't have a healthy system where the imculp bents has confidence of the bases and the bases have confident in them you won't get that two out of ten, three out of ten reaching acrost the aisle. think what we're seeing with establishment republicans right now, with their very delicate dance, not so delicate in some cases, dance around the nominee, who has become the nominee opposed to who he is. >> not a good sign.as >> not a good sign. >> you're seeing people trying to prevent the day where the 20 percent, the 30 percent of the district or state devoted to trump rises up against them in the next primary.
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>> let in the jump into that. there's no question that fear permeates the congress now, and another verb is to be lugerred because we had senator luger, outstanding senator, great expert on foreign policy, and by the way, pretty conservative. was shocked win we would show our voting percentages and my voting record was about the saml as senator luger. his pretty conservative buts yet -- he mad some dumb he made mistakes. we never sold our house. katrina took it but we couldn't sell it because we knew if we did that, people would say, he's gone to washington, but luger didn't have a house in indiana and he was accused of been an stab establishment moderateab republican.lish so lugerred on the republicans. no question that members now are more concerned about losing the primary, a lot of them, than in the general, and with the way, that's all on the democratic side, too. blanch lincoln, a good senator from arkansas, good, fine lady,
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i really had a great relationship with her, married to a doctor and i think he actually may have gone to some school in mississippi. plus one time she came, she had twins. she came to me when i was the majority lead are -- i was going to keep the senate in late, she said my sons have a baseball game. and i really need to go to the game. said you go to the game, blanch. won't be anymore votes tonight. i got a lot of good votes out of blanche just because of that. so, i wanted to make the point that fear is there on both sides. and by the way, thank you for those of you who voted for me over the years can few for your votes.ve i'm consistently conservative. used to think i was a right, winger. now i probably would be identified as a raving moderate establishment.ob and i don't know when that happened. i haven't moved my philosophy at all.
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i like the jack kemp type of conservatism. i ain't mad about being conservative. i'm happy about it. but i'm willing to give a little to get a little. damnity. ronald reagan used to say give 60% of something i'll take and it now i'll come back later. now it's all or nothing. and the result, it's not -- i want to make sure that reagan -- what is going to be the impact of trump on the republican party? it depends on how this election turns out. i'm not sure how it's going to turn out. a lot of people think it's over. i'm telling you now, this is going scare everybody before this is over.he bee because there are warts on the other side, too, and i could tell you a lot of stories about things i had to do as majority leader to work with bill clintoa when the first lady didn't like what i was doing, on welfare reform and on the balanced budget.
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i've been there. and i've known hillary since 1973, when i was on the house judiciary committee during the impeachment trial of nixon and she was a democratic staff member. a history there. if you're interested, look it up. won't use it on this occasion. think both parties have to take a look at, where are we? we can't let the impact of trump be the lasting total ramification of what the republicans are going to be. but my problem with the o republican party -- i asked thi question in 2006. stood up in the republicany conference of senators, and at that point we were still in the majority, but we were going to -- no. it was in 2004 because we lost the majority. asked the question, what would we stand for? what are the three things we are going to do if we are in the majority? a and you know, nobody stood up.
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and i'm not sure where the other party is. but it is not about the party in the final analysis. it is about the dad gum -- it's about the country. and what were going to do to preserve this great, young republic, that we have been so blessed to have? so, i refuse, even in my advanced age, stuart, to give up on my country or my party. and i believe the old adage, this, too shall pass. but how will it pass? i don't have all those answers but we better be asking them. and no matter which one wins, we got to find a way to help make sure that they address some of the serious problem wes have pending in america. right now, internationally, i'm scared. the world is dangerous as hell. putin is pushing the envelope.
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the middle east is a mess.ess. iran has done all kind of strange things, and it's the threat to israel and all of the middle east, and china is pushing the envelope. how are we going to deal with all these things? so, these are serious times.hi but when you got people like you that take the time on a saturday to come out in a book festival like this -- don't want to filibuster again but there absolutely is hope but it's going to take some strong leaders. i can't tell you wright now who they're going to be. i've got some good friends in the senate that have the potential to be strong leaders. but they've been risk averse. they won't step up.. because of what you said. they are worried about being primaried. you have a guy right now that has a potential threatened race in the leadership. roy blunt from missouri, number two man in the house of representatives, now in senate,
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really good senator, he is not absolutely sure to get re-elected. he has a serious contest. same thing in north carolina with richard burr. so, these -- that could be one of the fallouts from this election. if trump goes downing know minimum obviously he could take down not only those that are obviously threatened in states like wisconsin and illinois, but it could extend to other states -- even mccain is having a hairy race in arizona. so this is a year that tests mens and women's souls to say the least. thank you. >> roy blunt is a client of ours. he is going to win. the rest i'm not so sure. >> he should. i'm sure he will. >> it's just worth noting that
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only -- in 2012, only one republican in a rural race ran ahead of mitt romney. he ran ahead of all the rest. and right now when you have trump losing georgia, that's an ominous sign, but anyway, please.s go ahead. >> from a historical perspective, maybe, we're into totally new ground with the 24/7 news cycles and social media, and i'm wondering if youif you gentlemen think this has in any way impacted the porlarization of the parties and the -- just almost seems to sustain itself, and i feel like it's been a new era of yellow journalism. remember that word from history 101? where journalism is changing rapidly as well as the technology, and i'm just wondering what sort of impact
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you think that is having -- or you see on porlarization. thank you. >> i can just tell you historically you're right.is the 20th century was an anur serration in media terms because the 18th, 19th centuries, all media was partisan. so if you were a mug wonderful who was prolife you had your own paper. one reason we had "the new york times" style of without fear or favor, is when adolph ox moved up from chattanooga to new york to buy "the new york times." there were something like 40 newspapers in business in new york. the an place to find a market niche is to show he was neutral. and that worked up to the top of the chain. when we had broadcast there was a sense that because the air waves were public you required a
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certain amount of even handedness. so it's really a 20th century post progressive era phenomenon that you would have what you -- even what you think of as a neutral media. what you have now is, a., every one in this room is in thes ev media.eryone everyone has access to the same platforms. if you have something to say that attracts enough eyeballs it will be as -- can go around the world as muching a anything, dan rather, or walter cronkite ever did. and we do have a problem of self-selection. extraordinary number of people now only get their news, only encounter their news from a facebook or twitter feed, which you choose what comes in. or you choose the sources of what comes in. so, the serendipity of news, the serendipity of looking in inside low media and looking for -- inside low media and looking for
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something under r-a orr e'er and read a newspaper and something catches you eye, that serendipity is almost extinct. and i do think it's increased be porlarization. think it's increasing a kind of cultural siloing. that is inherently bad for democracy. the senator mentioned an idea for a year of public service. that's exactly right. we know each other too little. we stare at screens. we filter our news. we don't tend to talk to people who don't agree with us.o peop and if you don't do that, then you're in trouble. the great era, i would argue, of both domestic and successful cold war legislation, and activity, was in the '40s ands d '50s, and '60s, where you had people who had gone togo
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public school, it was a military draft, people knew arch other from different classes. the famous story of the pt-109 boat that john kennedy of boston commanded, had plumber from brooklyn and a pipefitter from pascagoula and extraordinary number of different people. it's almost impossible to o imagine that happening in anyy common way now. i'd also submit because it's an important point, does anyone think that if we had selective service draft, in a serious way, that we would have conducted our foreign policy the way we have over the last 14 years? ... >> the fact that you would say that immediately is really disturbing, isn't it? it's so obvious that if all sons and daughters of the country were eligible to serve in the military we would do things differently. i think that's a very deep issue at the heart of the republic right now. i do think the modern media, al

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