tv Nikki Haley With All Due Respect CSPAN December 23, 2019 8:31pm-9:32pm EST
or cable or satellite provider. c-span your unfiltered view of government. >> starting now is book tv on c-span2. [applause] >> good evening everyone and welcome to the george washington university. i am pleased to welcome you to tonight's event presented in partnership with politics and prose bookstore and the third in the george washington university's presidential distinguished event series. we launched the series last investor to give our students the opportunity here from renowned leaders and individuals who bring illuminating dialogue, insight and inspiration to our campus. in the heart of our nation's
capital orve university is fortunate to be surrounded by the many governmental nonprofit and international agencies and organizations that make decisions that affect each of us every day. our location here allows us to be part of those decisions and allows our students access to the uniquely dc experiential tylearning opportunity and allos our faculty to provide rigorous and high-quality scholarships and research and informs policy making and problem solving. it allows our university to serve as a hub for timely discussions that areta important and relevant to all of us. tonight we are pleased to host former united states ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley, in a discussion about her new book with all due respect defending america with grit and grace. it offers a first-hand perspective on national and international matters as well as behind the scenes account of her
tenure intr the trump administration.. ambassador haley will be joined tonight by moderator and united states senator joni ernst who in 2014 was elected as the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the state of iowa. please enjoy this evening's discussions and thank you for being here. [applause] in one south carolina governor nikki haley was torn and she became the sates female govern governor. >> the results are what i promised the people of south carolina and what i'm determined to give.
>> it is the single largest economic investment in the state with more than 200 years history smack mercedes-benz fanciful manufacturing right here in charleston county. it's a greaton day in south carolina. $560 million invested, 1700 jobs right here. it's a great win. >> the best part of what is happened over the past couple of years is watching all of these jobs, not just go into cities but into rural south carolina because if you can give a person a job you take care of a family and we watched a lot of families get taken care of over the last couple of years. >> president elect trump has ace south carolina governor nikki haley to be a vessel or the united nations and she has accepted connect the daughter of immigrants is considered a rising star in the public and party. she's the first woman appointed to trucks cabinet. >> she is living proof of the promise of america. >> for anyone that says you
can't get anything done at the un, they need to note there's a new. sheriff in town. there is a new u.s. un. you will see a new way the way we do business with for those who don't have her back, were taking names. the human rights council has been a protector of abusers and a cesspool of political bias. if for any reason north korea attacks the united states or our allies the u.s. will respond. >> she is so tough and so consistent. you just know you will not move her. america said we want our embassy in the capital and that capital is jerusalem. >> america will put our embassy in jerusalem. that is what the american people want us to do. and it is the right thing to do. no vote in that united nations will make any difference. >> what we witnessed here today at theha secured counsel is in [inaudible] it won't be forgotten. >> standing her ground, un
abbasid art nikki haley making it clear. >> i will not shut up. rather, i will respectfully speak hard truth. >> some people say there's too much swagger. >> i don't think it's swagger it's passion. i amgg very passionate about the united states. >> people are respecting the united states again because of nikki haley. ♪ >> i did not know i would be elected into the legislator. i did not know i would be governor. i certainly never thought i would be a un ambassador. even though i'm a private
citizen i know i am too young to stop fighting. [applause] >> good evening. welcome everyone. welcome to gw university. thank you so much. thank you for joining us tonight. we will have a wonderful discussion with the ambassador nikki haley. can we say thank you to her one more time, please mac? [applause] >> president leblanc, thank you
so much. sj thank you for being here as well but we will have a lovely discussion this evening with ambassador haley and we will start with about 45 minutes of the questions and those are questions that i will be asking you, ambassador, and we will move on to about 15 minutes of questions from the audience. with that, ambassador, would you like to start with remarks? >> yes, first of all, it's great to be at gw. i have to tell you -- [cheering and applause] president, thank you for hosting t tonightht and allowing us toe here. sj you are a rockstar and were excited for every thing. i was here on campus because our son is looking to come to gw next fall so we will see if that happens. [applause] there iss a bit of an applicatin process we have to go through first but having said that thank you for having us but seriously i know i am here but how cool is
it to have the first female combat veteran in the senate here with us, joni ernst? [cheering and applause] you were so nice to do this and we will just have a fun conversation and hang out for a bit. that sounds great. when the folks from the ambassador office called and my staff reached out to me and said would you like to and the minute they said nikki, i i was like y. i did not even know what it was but i was excited to do it. with that ambassador we will go ahead and get started. i'm going to take us back a little bit in history because a lot of folks maybe don't know about your background or how you grew up and so we will start
there because i think it sets the stage fo the wonderful years yet to come. you really describe your american story and how you did not quite fit in as the girl growing up in the south and what was thatt experience like for yu growing up as the daughter -- indian immigrants and a you were living in rural south carolina? >> we lived in a small town called vanderburgh, south carolina and the only indian family in that town. we weren't t white enough to be white we want black enough to be black and i father wore a turban and he still does to this day but my mother or a sari and they did not w know who we are, whate were or white we were there. i remember being on the playgrounds and coming home after being teased and my mom would always say your job is not to show people how you are different but your job is to show people how you are similar. it's amazing how that lesson i
learned on the playground played out in my life in a corporate world and as a legislator and as governor and as ambassador because when you're faced with a challenge if you first talk about what you agree on first people let their guard down and then you are more likely to get to a a solution by pushing the debt challenge but little did i know if that turned out to be a great lesson along the way and what a great lesson. >> your mother is wise. wise beyond her years. >> yes, she tells me that every day. [laughter] >> of course she does but she's a great mom. >> some folks might not realize that before you were ambassador nikki haley and before you were governor nikki haley you actually served in the legislator, is that correct? >> i did bid what is interesting is my mom started a business from scratch m and a few years
into her business her account account it was going to leave and she needed to train someone and finally a few days before she left she said look, i'm getting concerned and we don't have someone to train and i happen to be walking by and my mom grabbed my arm and said train her she can do it. c she said but she's 13. [laughter] and she said train her, she will do it. at 13 i was balancing the bank account and writing out the checks, making sure we were doing bank deposits, the whole bit. w it was not until he got to college that wasn't normal. now i totally realize that was child labor. through that process i developed a love of numbers and the fact that numbers tell a story in both problem can be fixed by moving the numbers around. i ended up graduating with a
degree in accounting from clemson university, go tigers rooted and then went on to the corporate world and got tired of working for the guys down the hall. came back home to thehe family business and one day i was sitting there complaining again my mom was there and i was complaining how hard it was to make a dollar and how easy it was for government to take it. my mom said quit complaining, do something about it. i did not know you were not supposed to run against a 30 year income in the primary. truly i didn't. ignorance is bliss and i wasn't that kid in college that was in politics and i never knew to go for student government and that wasn't me. once i got into or once i realized what i had gotten myself into the only option was to win. my husband drove and i was in the passenger seat and the kids were in the backseat and we started knocking on doors and he was the longest-serving legislator at that time in the state of south carolina and i
would knock on doors and not say anything disparaging about him. i would say we appreciate what mr. kuhn has done all these years but we think or i thinkin that i could do something different. i always talked about me. i do not talk about him. was fortunate enough to get elected. fast-forward a little bit and i'm in the legislator a few years and in south carolina when ever they were passing legislation it was done by a voice vote, all in favor say i, all opposed and the eyes have it. one day there was a piece of legislation that went across the desk they gave legislators pay raises. but to this day you can't find one legislator that said they voted themselves a pay raise. i got upset and went to the speaker of the house and said this isis why people don't trust us. the next day i filed a bill that
said anything important enough to be debated on the floor of the house or senate is important enough to have a vote on the record. the speaker calledd me in and said put the bill away, we don't need to have it. we will decide what the public needs to see in what they don't. i remember going home that night and talking to my husband and saying if i can even get legislative votes on the record what am i doing here? he said go fight. i went across the state of south aicarolina and said did you know all the bills passed in the house only 8% were on the record. did you know of all the bills passed and the senate only 1% was on the record? if you do not know how your house member voted 92% of the time you did not know how your senator voted 99% of the time how did you know who to vote for when he w got to the polls and e people of south carolina were shocked and to put it all into perspective my first year in
office i was chairman of the freshman class and my second year i was majority whip and my third year i was put on a powerful business committee and my fourth year i was subcommittee chair of banking. the year i would not put the bill away they stripped me of everything. i could go to the well and no one would hear a bill and i could find and get support and i cannot get it. iran for governor. [laughter] >> and you one. >> and proud to say that one of the first bills we signed into law is now in south carolina and any c piece of legislation debad on the floor of the house or senate has to have a vote on the record and if we took a step further and they have to show their vote on the record on every section of the budget as well. very inspiring. >> yeah, i love the transparency. this next question folks and this is a hard one but really
and you have had a such an inspirational life nikki and i'm going to go back to probably some very hard dark days that you had as governor of the people state of south carolina and many of you will know what i'm referencing but out of despair can come inspiration and true leadership. this next question, ambassador, you talk about the tragic killing of nine innocents at the emanuel african methodist episcopal church in 2015. during your time as governor which led to the decision to feing the confederate flag down from the ground of the state capital can you tell us a little bit about that time and how that
incident affected the people and the state of south carolina and then ass well, if you can, what did you do to bring those citizens together, reunite everyone? >> and my heart goes out to the community in california that had the shooting today. when something like that happens it is not just the people in the room that are affected but it's the entire community affected and on that night we had 12 people who did what so many people in south carolina due on every wednesday night, they went to bible study. but on this night someone else showed up and he did not look like them, he did not sound like them and he did not act like them. they did not call the cops and they did not throw him out. instead, they pulled up a chair
and prayed with him for one hour. when they bowed their heads and that last prayer he began to shoot. these were people -- ethel had lost her dog daughter prior to breast cancer and had a broken heart. she would go around the mother cmanuel church cleaning the church and she would say [inaudible] give me the strength to do every day what i have to do. our youngest victim just graduated college and was so excited about his life but on that night he stood in front of his 87 -year-old great aunt susie and looked at the killer and said you don't have to do this, we mean no harm to you. or it was people like cynthia whose life motto was simply to
be kinder than necessary and that is who these people were. they weren't famous and a lot of people did not know them but they loved their families and loved their church and they love their communities. and when that happened it brought south carolina to our knees. it was the first time we had a shooting in a religious place and i remember all i wanted to doo was to protect the state because the national media came in strong and they wanted to define it and wanted to talk about it and wanted to immediately debate racism and debate gun control and debate the death penalty, you name it, they were talking about it. i remember strong-arming themmb back saying we are not going to do this and we will give the time to the families and we will go through the funerals and there will be a time and place where we have those discussions but it is not now. the next day the killer comes
out with a manifesto and he is holding up the confederate flag. now the confederate flag flew in front of the statehouse in south carolina and used to be on top of the dome and then they compromised in 2000 and came right in front of the statehouse. when he did that we have a lot of people in south carolina who have a great respect for the confederate flag, not out of reasons of hate but out of the fact that it's service in their ancestors and sacrifice and that was the way they looked at it and then you had obviously the small minority that sought for what it was that he hijacked what that was. take it a step further and go another day or two days after that and it was the first time the killer would be in the courthouse and facing the judge. the families showed up unprompted , unplanned and one by one stood in front of the killer
and forgave him. that forgiveness was so overwhelming that we did not have protests but had vigils. we did not have violence but we had hugs. and we went through a tough few weeks theyre are where we had to debate where that confederate flag needed to go. the good people of south carolina stepped up and the flag was moved to the museum and the people of south carolina showed the entire world what it means to get to a tragedy. [applause] out of despair that comes inspiration. i just want to thank the people of south carolina. with your leadership, ambassador, for showing us how we get through those difficult
times i sharing love with one another and not hatred and not violence butnd love and forgiveness. and q for that. we will move ahead a little bit and talk about the next step from being governor to the great state of south carolina and i'd like to tell the audience about when you were offered the position to be the un ambassador and wasn't a difficult difficult decision for you to make and what they really want to know is what were those c conversations like with president donald trump when he was asking you to take on this momentous position? >> it is interesting. i knew the president a few years prior and after i won the primary for governor the first time and i received this envelope with this great gold
trim and it had a check in it and there was a note that said you are a winner. i had talked to him then and we had stayed in contact over the years and then we had a rebuffing and primary and had 16 people on the stage and a lot of talent on the stage and i put my backing on another candidate and it was around that time where he sent out a tweet that said nikki haley is an embarrassment to south carolina. in which i responded in a tweet, bless your heart. [laughter] [applause] but we did have a respect for each other but i knew if you kicked him he would holler and he knew if you pushed me i would push back. fast-forward he wins the primary and i supported him in the general and i get a call from his new chief of staff reince
priebus and he said i need youai to come to new york and i said for what and he said for president-elect wants to see you and i said about what and he said secretary of state. i said secretary of state, i said rides i make governor i can be secretary of state and he said he t wants to see you, we need you to come. the next morning and i go into his office in the first think the president says is i guess your guy did not win. [laughter] he just cannot help himself but he just cannot help himself. i let him stew a little bit and then we had a great conversation but i said look, i'm not your person prayed i said we've got a lot going on in the world today and you don't need someone with a learning curve but i want to be helpful and be supportive and anything i can do to help you all i would be happy to. later that week reince priebus calls again and says don't say anything i just need you to listen.
u.s. ambassador to the united nations. i said i do not even know what the united nations does but i know everyone hates it. [laughter] he said the president will call you on monday and he will need you to think about this but we get home and my husband is on the computer and he said nikki, i thank you be good at this and it wasn't a good time because our son was 15 and i -- it would have been a tough time to move him and her daughter was a freshman in college and michael and i, my husband, we take care of my parents and they're both in their 80s and my mom has parkinson's who would've been a tough move to go to new york. the president called that monday and saidth nikki, will you do this? i said sir, there would have to be conditions for me to consider and he said what are they? i set a been a governor and i don't want to work for anyone again and i would want to work directly with you so it would need to be a cabinet position. he said done. i said i'm a policy girl and i enwould want to be in the room when decisions are made so i
would need to be on the national secured counsel. he said done. a said i'm not going to be a wallflower or talking head bit i need to be able to say what i think. w said that's exactly why i want you to do this. he was true to his word from the first date to the last day. i love it. [applause] >> i know we've w got a lot of young people in the audience and people asked me how i knew to ask for those things. what you have to remember is there is one lesson i learned to live by and that is pushed through the fear. when challenge comes in front of you your reaction is naturally to step back but if you lean in and push through the fear you find out you are so much stronger on the other side. if i had not pushed to the fear i would not become a legislator but i would not have pushed through the fear i would not become a governor and if i had
not push the fear i would not have said okay, i can be a un investor. what you have to do when you push for the i fear is set your self up for success. i knew what i needed in order to be successful. don't be afraid to ask for the platform that you know will bring out the best in you. that is great advice. taking risks. taking risk and challenging yourself and i think that is very good for so many folks that are engaging in their first career or looking at opportunities that exist after college. so, the book is actually and everybody has hopefully got a copy of the book but it is full of stories about working with president trump in the white house and as a member of his cabinet and i'm sure that there are monday of the stories and inside information that you can share. can you shed light on some of
the conversations that you had that would be enlightening for thehe audience? >> a lot of people ask how i got out of the administration iswithout a tweet? [laughter] and really it was just the fact that i was very honest with the president. i thought it was important to give him what i wanted for my cabinet when i was governor which is i wanted them to serve the people and i wanted them to be creative and i wanted them to speak up if they saw me going in a wrong direction. with the president i was always honest with them but if he did something that i thought was good i supported and pushed through and rallied and whatever needed to happen but if i saw him making what i thought was a wrong decision i would call or meet with him and say i think this is a mistake and it said i thank you should consider acts. he would always say how do you see that plane out and we would discuss it. he was good about hearing other
opinions. do not mean i want all the time but it meant he was open to listening. he would often make life a little interesting. when i had -- this is one of many stories but when -- ... ... >> and this was the president's first high-level week speech we had all the meetings lined up and approved everything and he gave me a call and said i just want to touch base with you did you get the speech i said yes sir it is fantastic and it was but the un is a different kind of
i said it's a serious, so when you give your speech, it's not like a rally. i said they are not going to cheer for you, but don't take it personally. i said i want you tot think oft like church, just like church. he said dot it. but i have this one idea i want to run past few and i said okay. he said i was thinking about calling, what if i refer to him as little rocket man in the speech. [laughter] i said remember the part i said about church. it's a serious crowd. i don't know how they are going r rto take it.
he said i put it off this morning and it killed. i thought it was fantastic. you can fast-forward a couple of days later he's going to give the speech. we sit down, the delegation is in the front row and then he goes and he says it and everybody is sitting there and they have their translator pieces and all of a sudden you see them go. [laughter] and then they started to laugh. but a few hours later, i'm meeting with the president of uganda and he sits back and goes so, ambassador, what are we going to do about this little rocket man and before the week
was over, everybody was referring to him as little rocket man bu man but that is oe thee stories. never a dull moment. one topic i'm very interested in of course is leadership. there is a chapter in the book. what does it mean to know the power of your boys which is something you do reference quite a bit in your book.
with the right place and the right tone i think it's something you learn over time of when the right time is. as you get further in life you get better at it. i have a 24 hour rule that i always try to use. i don't always use it but i try to and in that if something is hot and moving and you feel your blood pressure going up and dramatic, if you can wait 24 hours, usually end of the right things come out. the book with all due respect came from a time i needed to insert my voice and it came from
the fact we had a meeting of the national security council meeting and through the meeting everyone decided we were going to put sanctions on russia. i talked to the president the next daylk after we were going forward and i was never on the showshows unless the white house asked me to do and they asked me to be on face the nation that sunday morning. as we are discussing the issue with russia and the sanctions are coming down if they had sanctions coming down if he hasn't already brought them down and then we left it. i get a call from stephen who is a great fan and he says we have a little bit of a problem. what happened? he said the president changed his mind. he's not going to do the sanctions to, which is fine. a president can always change their mind. i don't fault him in any way for
that. he had another strategy in place. i said we will just fix it, he said they are going to com comet with a statement in the morning and hopefully get it addressed. the next morning the statement comes out, the press is still asking the question why did nikki say that there were sanctions, what is happening. so i called multiple people in the administration, the chief of staff, secretary of state, national security adviser at the time and i said look, we've got a problem. stthere's nothing wrong with the president of changing his mind, just go out there and told the truth. everybody is calling our office you need to fix this. they say okay. tuesday morning happened. the level is rising and i said okay this is the deal either you all fixed up b fix it by 5:00 tm going to take up by 5:00 today and it will go a lot better if you all fix it. nothing happens and then i think
it was like 4:45 or so and my friend got in front of the press and asked the question about the sanctions and he said i think nikki got momentarily confused. so that was it. i happened to look at the television and the five was getting ready to come on fox. i called my friend and said can you call me real quick. she called and said what's up and i said i needed to put out a statement. i said well you just say one sentence with all due respect, i don't get confused. [applause] she said that's it and i said that's it.
i will text it to you so you have it in writing. so she goes and she does it and within ten minutes, where he calls me. larry calls me. i'm so sorry. you know i love you. i have my tail between my legs. i'm so sorry. and i said at what point do you say i am confused and he said i know, i shouldn't have done it. trust me i will make it up to you and i said you will by going out there and telling them that youll were wrong and he said i n do that. i suggest yo said yes you can, l read and heeded. in fairness he went out, contacted a reporter but what was surprising to me is how it was a simple movement of the defending myself and how it went viral across the country on t-shirts and everything and it goes to show so many people have been in a moment. and i hope the lesson you take
from that is no one is going to protect your integrity that you. at the end of the day you have to do it. it's all you have and you have to know how to protect your self. so that was another lesson learned. a very powerful voice and we are glad that you have been able to defend your self. i loveed that. it is a true strength. >> because you can always take with a smile. you don't have to be hateful to get your point across. you think that the power of your voice you have used the power of your voice in certain circumstances to pull people together after tragedy. you've used the power of your voice to defend yourself, but there are other times you may remember this quite clearly when you use the power of your voice
to have the backs of our allies when you're serving as the ambassadoror to the united nations. how many of you remember taking names? [applause] taking the names of those who don't have our allies backs. i remember that quite clearly. i was really impressed. if he would just explain to us what does taking names mean to you? i didn't think that it was going to ruffle asul many feathers as they did and that's when i realized i wasn't that much of a diplomat. but purposely when i went to the united nations, i get a crash
course in foreig foreign policya study who our friends were, what the conflicts were, what we needed to work on but i purposely didn't study the do's y and don'ts of the u.s.. i wanted to be able to go in with fresh eyes and know that i had goals i wanted to achieve and i didn't want the bureaucracy of all of that to get in the way. so when i went in the first talked to the press the first time i said it's a new day and the united states mission at the united nations. it was important to me that the countries that tend to like us, but i wanted them to know what we were for so i wanted to be clear what it was for and against a. a. and i told them they will have the backs of our allies and they will be taking names of those that are not with us and what i
saw was you've got 193 countries, most recent us on any given day. every day felt like you had to put on body armor. you knew you were goingda to hae a site that day you just didn't know what day it was going to be.r. but they would jab and job, but uten they turn their hand out wanting foreign aid and a perfect example, you have pakistan. we were given pakistan a billion dollars of aid for the military and they were turning around and harboring terrorists that are we trying to kill them is torturous. it doesn't mean they can't be our friend again in the future
but they hav if they have to che way that we do our relationships and i think that is really important. having the backs off our friend, i went in there and it was almost like reliving that feeling when i was a 5-year-old on the playground seeing the way israel was bullied at the united nations was the most unconscionable thing i have ever seen. here you have a country that is a bright spot in a tough neighborhood. they share our democratic values. all of our values we share and use all israel constantly kick and kick so they would have one session on the middle east every single month and we had plenty of issues in the middle east, but all they would ever talk about is israel. so, you know, it was taking names of our friends and
everybody knew that we were holding each one of them to account. taking names, andd i do want to be caught dozens of our time. using the power of your voice i think that this one is really important. you were an outspoken champion for human rights while you're at the un, including in areas such as venezuela, syria and the democratic republic of congo and much of your advocacy came from the time you spent visiting those affected areas by the war and conflict. so, we thank you foror doing th. you tell us how about those experiences and how they shaped your work at the united nations.
>> i think everybody deserves human dignity. and i -- the unfortunate part about the job at the un as you go to places that most americans won't go. most americans don't want to go. and you see some things you can't un- see. i would always make a point to ask to sit in a group with white women, no offense to the fellows in the audience, but the women have a way of you could sit down with them and they could've told you what the problem was, how they got to that point and how they t fix it. they were very clear on it. and in many cases they had started their own businesses and they were focused on their kids. so for example, when i went to jordan and turkey, it's those
women that were able to tell me how their children needed psychological help because they had seen so many things did what they were dealing with in terms of finding jobs. when we went to the south sudan refugee camp there was one woman that i talked to come and she started to tell me the story about how she had six kids and she could look them in the eye in the morning for breakfast. she started to cry and i said why can't you look at your children, and she said because they saw me get raped in front of them. you hear these stories and it was at that camp there were 100 women in the room and i was sitting on a chair and they would start to tell their story and before one would start
crying and before we knew it, the whole room started crying because they had all been traumatized. so i start on the chair and end up inat the floor hugging them d helping them and you really do realize every person deserves the freedoms and the ability to worship and the ability to be safe and all those things and there are a lot of places in the world but don't dod that. if you realized that we truly are blessed. thank you very much. we are going to move into some audience questions. this is a current event one that we have just experienced in
recent weeks, audience question number one is how do you feel about the removal of the armed forces out of syria and what next actions would you personally recommend the united states government to do next backs >> this is a tough one because i think i disagree strongly with us pulling our forces out of syria and the reason is they had been there and fought alongside of terrorism for years. they lost a lot of blood. 11,000 have lost their lives and it goes back to the taking name. you hand the backs of your allies and you take names of the enemies. they had been allies with us and fought alongside of us and understand the president's point of wanting to get out of endless wars and none of us wants to be
in a war. the asset of having troops on the ground especially for intelligence purposes is soig important so when you solve the terrorist get told it's because the troops were on the ground, they had the ability to communicate and know where he was. and i think that's what we havel to remember. we have military forces in japan and south korea over the world and it's not because they are in we are in awar but it's for preo make sure we don't get into another war and it's for intel and to make sure we know what is happening on the ground. i'm glad the president has decidethat the president hasdecs there others to watch the oil fields would keep intelligence on the ground but in hotspots like that i believe we have to have a footprint. it doesn't w need to be a large one. you look at afghanistan we had well over a thousand troops and
1now we're down to 14,000. i hope that we get over than nthat. my husband is a combat veteran observed in afghanistan and having those people on the ground that can report back and tell you what's t going on we appreciate their partnership over the years. and we do, yes. [applause] i was going to make a funny quip. we do need those forces on the ground and we could use a few more of those.
when i told her i wanted to run for office i started talking to different people and everybody gave me a reason on why i shouldn't do it. i was too young. i have small children. i should start at the school board level. interestingly enough, i went to a women's leadership event at the university for all the reasons people tell you not toed do it, that is exactly the reason you should she is the
reason that i made the jump so then i have to figure ou had toi was republican or democrat. i said i don't know and she said well, do you think that the government should tell you how to live your life or do you think that you should decide and i said no i want to decide how to live my life and she said well do you think the government should control how you spend your money or should you control how you spend your money and i said if i work hard, i want to spend my money. and she said do you think the government can fix more things than not and i said the government definitely messes up more than it fixes. she said you are a republican. [laughter]
the next question from the audience as a southerner, female and conservative, how would you respond to those who don't feel the republican party is welcoming to the minorities and women? >> i think the republican party can always do better. i think we should always want to do better, no matter what situation wee are in. i look at the fact you are a strong republican women. we have some strong republican women. we need to continue to encourage women. i want women involved, because the can or democrat. we are 51% of the voting population, and i think we need to have as many out there using the power of their voices that we can. [applause] th
do i want them to be republicans, of course i do. but having said that, it is tough right now because what i have found is the left is really hard on republican women. they really give us a hard time if we don't think like they do. you can turn on the tv and see how toxic it is and all the reasons it would be tough for women to do that, but i constantly am being hit from the left for being a woman or being indian, and so yesterday he is being hit and we get badgered and the only way to fix that is to get more of us out there and more of us using the power of our voice to do it. i actually saw ben shapiro the other day gave a speech and he was criticizing anti-semitism
and hate against the albright group sent the left came out against him. so i think that, you know, republicans get a bad rep an rae could certainly do better. one thing the one thing i said,g indian american is you know, republicans shouldn't wait for minorities to come to them. we should go to those groups. i always said you should go to places that are uncomfortable to go. one, because you will learn something and number two, you will open doors of communication that you never had. i see that in the indian community in the jewish community and with so many that i do think that the republican party needs to do a better job of going out there, and i think the republican party needs to do a better job of voicing that when the left hates us to let them know they can't have the double standards of saying women on their side and bashing the women on our side.
[applause] i feel that and i think everyday -- >> we are living it every day. we are in interesting times. we do just have didn't just haw minutes here left before 8 p.m., and so i am going to ask this last question and i do think that this is very appropriate for the day and the age that we live right now. the final audience question that we have for the ambassador tobias, bipartisanship seems dead in american politics. what can american politicians do to bridge the divide and bring more stability back to american politics? >> you know, it is a very toxic time right now. i mean, it's uncomfortable. you know it's bad because if
someone puts down a good piece of policy, everyone wants to know whose it is before they decide whether to support it and that's when we know we have had kind of a low. the parts that i think bothers me is we have watched both parties now refer to each other as evil and that hits a soft point with me because i have seen evil. i've been to democratic republic of congo where they use rape as a weapon of war. i've been to south sudan where i've met with women who have said that the military came in, took their babies from them and threw them into a fire and then forced them to eat the babies watch. i've been on this time in boulevard bridge, watching thousands of venezuelans flock hours in the heat holding their babies to get the one meal they might get the day. the average venezuelan adult has lost 24 pounds.
i've had to look at pictures of children have died from chemical weapons by asad in syria. that's evil. what we have in our country are real issues that deserve real debate, but we need to be responsible and realize that through all of that real debate, still on our worst day we are blessed to live in america, and we need to be grateful forre it. [applause] before we end, i want to take a point of personal privilege. you can't write a book like this and to pour your heart and soul out without having a fantastic partner to write it with.
i have an amazing collaborator and she's here with us tonight. jessica, will you stand up, please come and let everybody, e your face. [applause] thank you. fantastic. this has been a very enjoyable evening. ambassador haley, thank you so much, and before we release the audience, we have one last thing that we would like to do in addition to our thanks again thank you for the wonderful hospitality that you have shown here at ther university. again, thank you for your wonderful leadership as well. it is a pleasure to get to know you and what we would like to finish with, could you explain what we are going to do? >> we are going to memorialize the moment with a sophie. [laughter] everybody hold up your book.