tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 23, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EST
my also. i always say it's not my dad's manufacturing. my dad -- once upon a time rhode island was the mecca of jewelry manufacturing. spydell, bulova watch, tiffany. that's what we did in rhode island. we made beautiful jewelry and beautiful watches. and that's all gone. my dad worked forever at the bulova watch factory. that factory went away and the jobs went away. that manufacturing is gone forever. but new manufacturing, high skill, high tech, knowledge-based manufacturing, if you will, is coming back to america. and rhode island is absolutely poised to get its fair share of that manufacturing in areas of excellence like marine technology. i believe rhode island ought to be the boat-building capital of the world. we have newport. we have bristol. we want to go where we can be great and build upon our strengths and yeah build some advanced manufacturing. >> now what are your critiques
in the powerpoint presentation was that there wasn't enough flexibility in the tax code in rhode island to attract businesses. that's a very controversial position. there are a lot of people who think that you give away the store to get some factory that's going to be in massachusetts 20 miles away and move it to warwick and that looks like a big success for the governor of rhode island but in fact it's a zero sum game that is hurting all those neighboring states. do you think that could work though? >> i do. it's a balance. what i said in the campaign and this is a core difference between me and my republican opponent, often the republican playbook is just cut taxes as low as possible and all good things will happen. i don't agree with that. you have to have low enough taxes so businesses want to be there. i used to run a business. i made my career for over a dozen years in business. you need streamlined regulations, transparent government, and reasonable
taxes, but you also have to invest in your workers. you have to have high-skill workers. in rhode island i'd like us to raise the minimum wage. i want to have, you know excellent training programs. so businesses -- here's the thing. give you the bad news. rhode island in america we can't compete on price anymore. if a company wants the lowest cost labor they're going to china. and i don't want to be the lowest cost. i want to compete on quality. yeah, we have to be low cost enough to be competitive including with taxes and provide incentives, but at the end of the day we have to compete on quality, which is skill and know-how. and that takes some investment. >> mainly education you're thinking of? >> absolutely. mainly education. innovation. research and development. if you look at the economies in america that are really humming including massachusetts where i
know you're from, there patents, the number of patents per capita is through the roof. again, they're competing on quality. companies want to be there because they're centers of innovation, research and development, and new ideas. i need to position rhode island in there. >> what is your theory on sort of what went wrong? you were mentioning massachusetts. the traditional idea is massachusetts benefits because it's got all these universities there. it also has in boston, a place where the snow is six feet high, a high quality of life. people generally like to be there. that emphasize the historical, whatever, there's an attractiveness to that kind of lifestyle. but it's the same attractiveness that providence and newport have. and you have brown university and providence college. you have university of rhode island. you have a large number of colleges and universities. what went wrong in rhode island? how'd rhode island not benefit from the same forces that helped massachusetts and new york? >> i'll tell you what i think.
my theory. massachusetts has done a great job of partnering and collaborating. you know government can't do everything. government cannot make an economy work. it has to be collaboration and bottoms up. great things happen at the intersection of universities working with government working with business and massachusetts and pittsburgh and other places that have had a renaissance, they've nailed that. and rhode island hasn't. we just haven't brought together -- yes, we have brown university. we have rhode island school of design. but we haven't married them with industry. so we haven't tapped the intellectual capital there to turn those great ideas into comers. the other thing candidly is as a state we were just too reliant for too long on manufacturing. just so everyone knows rhode island was hurt more than almost any state in the country, more than michigan, in the number of
manufacturing jobs we lost. and we were very dependent on manufacturing ten years ago. so we waited too long to reposition ourselves where my dad, he always had a simple way of describe things. he'd say you know, gina, i could see it. when i was working in the jewelry shop, all the jewelry shops were going away. in massachusetts they got into computers. that was his way of saying they got into i.t. they tapped into m.i.t. and harvard and turned those into businesses. we stood still. rhode island stood still. so it's my job now as the new governor to shake it up and move. we've got to move. we can't stay still anymore. because we're getting passed by. >> is the difference between massachusetts, new york and rhode island also something about the political culture there? is there a more cohesive culture in those other states? >> i think so. i think culture has a lot to do with it. rhode island for a long time has been parochial inward thinking inward looking, and we need to be a little bit more outward facing and embracing of new
people and new ideas and innovations. you know inherently if you're inward looking you're not innovative. and we need to be more innovative and more collaborative. and we need to move faster. we need to move faster. it's not acceptable. it drives me crazy. when i hear from people it took me a year and a half to get a permit whereas it took me three months to get a permit in massachusetts, i was online for 45 minutes waiting on hold to get my unemployment insurance, you know that's not okay. that isn't okay. i've got to fix that. the basics of government needs to work and we're going to get after that. >> there's also been a lot of attention to congressional inaction on a range of issues including transportation most prominently. but a lot of things that helped the states slow down have become subjects of dispute here in washington. what do you want out of the federal government to help rhode island? >> i want them to show up and get things done. sometimes it feels like the
federal government's left the building and nothing is happening. it's figure out a way to fund infrastructure. i don't know a single person who thinks it's a bad idea. i was telling you about pensions. when i fix pensions, i said look, don't talk to me about management versus labor, us versus them. we've got a problem people. let's get to work. let's be practical and fix the problem. our infrastructure's falling apart. we have the money as a nation to fix it. there's no question we have the money. there's no question lack of infrastructure investment is holding us back. we're less competitive. just travel to europe and asia. they're ahead of us. and we have the money to do it. so get to work. fix your problems. >> have you talked to folks in washington about that? >> as you might expect i'm pretty aggressive and vocal because i've got a state that's 48th in job growth. so i need to get everyone to do everything i can. i talked to our delegation. right now we're in the minority
but they are working hard. and i've encouraged them to speak up. don't sit it out. don't sit on the sidelines. don't be afraid. don't care about your next election. do what's right. >> great. well i was wondering, we have some microphones here in the crowd. there are people who might have questions for governor raimondo. right over there. >> i guess somebody has to break the ice, i should say. governor, how can we address the increased costs of medicaid without decreasing eligibility or decreasing benefits? and at the same time deal with an uninsured population that's accessing care in the wrong location at the wrong time in. >> yes, thank you. i think what you said at the end
is the answer. just because we're spending a lot of money doesn't mean we're doing a good job. there are many people who are in nursing homes or long-term care who could be at home and frankly would rather be at home if they had the proper wraparound services so that they could be at home. which would mean better care and save enormous amounts of money. the reality is that in medicaid a small number of very complex patients consume the lion's share of the money. so we need to do a better job of managing those patients. these are patients that have many different kinds of medical issues. and if you just let them keep running through the system they just keep showing up in the emergency room getting readmitted to the hospital getting infections, back in the hospital, back in the nursing
home, back in the fall. before you know it 2/3 of what we spend is on a tenth of the population. so let's identify those people and manage them properly so they get proper care and we bring costs down. that's going to be the way i approach it. if you just go after it and say i'm going to cut eligibility or you're going to cut rates, you're going to hurt people. and in the long run i'm not even sure you're going to save money. we all know -- as a mom my son, he gets a lot of ear infections. and thank god we have great health care. so i'm able to zip him right to the doctor. we can get him on his meds right away. i'm at work by 9:00. and life is good and he's taken care of. if i didn't have health insurance, he'd get sicker and it would get much more expensive. so cutting eligibility for poor kids and denying them access is mean, is not good health care, and doesn't save money. because if my kid wound up in the e.r., it would be more
expensive. so that's how i think about it. >> hello, governor. 20-year resident from lincoln, rhode island. now moved to virginia. >> move back. come back. >> no i probably won't. i was also finance director in a coastal community in rhode island. it's just the level -- i hate to use the word "corruption." but it's pervasive and i think it's just because of the smallness of the state. no deal is too small. everyone wants to get connected, and once they're connected they think they have an inroad. and the other issue governor, is the most powerful person in the state is the speaker of the house. and how can -- i thought you had more power as treasurer than you may have as governor in the
state. and just some of those issues if you coax pound on. >> it's funny. tell me your name. >> rob. >> rob. so it's funny, rob. i had no power as treasurer. the power that i got was derived from the people. and that's the power the governor has. the governor has the power of the people, which is to make the case to the people p, and this is what i'm going to do. i'm going to tell the people of rhode island what i think is best for them and for me and for the whole state. and for our kids. and then i'm going to invite them to get engaged because for too long what's happening in rhode island and it may be in other state houses is the governor proposes a budget and then the general assembly takes the budget and often in the dark of night in a quiet room the lobbyists and the general assembly get together and they hack it up every which way and that's the budget. that's bad for everybody as far as i can tell. so my job is to shine a light on
that whole process and make sure the voice of the people is in that room. and even better that the hearings take place in public in the day and give everybody an opportunity. and the truth of it is for pension reform at the end of the day the reason that that happened is because the average member of the general assembly was more afraid of their regular constituents than they were of the special interests and the lobbyists and they did the right thing for all the people. and so that's what i need to do. and that's what any leader needs to do. that's what any executive needs to do. that's what the president needs to do. you can't force your ideas on the people. you've got to make the case to the people and fire them up enough to get behind what you're trying to do. >> one thing that occurs to me talking about this we'll get other questions in too. but the issue of regionalization within new england, a lot of what you're talking about is rhode island, what massachusetts did right and rhode island may
not have done right or what new york is doing and all that. the states in the northeast don't do a great job except on a few discrete issues of collaborating with each other. you put them all together and they're as big as texas but individually they all have different cultures and things. i heard you attended charlie baker's inauguration up in boston. which was a gesture of kind of -- a statement i guess that the two states aren't competing, they have common interests. what could help all of the states in terms of regional cooperation? >> i did attend governor baker's inauguration. of course he's a republican and i'm a democrat. he came to mine. and that was an important symbol i suppose that we want to work together. the particular thing i'd like to work with him on is energy. energy policy. energy is clearly a regional issue. it's a regional challenge.
energy cost is very high not just in rhode island but in massachusetts and throughout new england it's a supply issue. and no one state can solve that on their own. and so that's a specific issue that i want to work with him on to see if we can come up with a regional strategy to in the long run move to renewables and in the short run see if there's a natural gas opportunity to increase supply so we can bring down prices. because you talk about manufacturing. you talk about missouri. manufacturers consume a lot of energy. even if i create great skill programs which we will do, and bring manufacturers next to the r&d they want to be next to, if our energy costs are 25% higher than in other regions that's a hard thing to overcome. >> and how would you manage the transition to renewables? there are a lot of benefits for northeastern states in moving to renewables including creating an industry there that can build
wind farms and things like that. but it's still much more expensive especially than natural gas. it's not in the short term going to help the manufacturing cause to be converting to renewables. how would you manage that? >> it's true. my own view is i am a proponent of natural gas as a bridge to renewables renewables. because we need energy pricing relief right now. and as a practical matter it's -- at least where we live it's the only option. most consumers in rhode island that's what we use is natural gas. and i know charlie agrees with me on this. the challenge is the pipeline has to go through massachusetts to come to rhode island, which is why i need to collaborate with him. but i think it's in his best interests as well for the consumers in massachusetts. so the first thing is in the short term work on the natural gas to increase the supply,
which brings down cost. while over time i get to renewables. >> i have a couple twitter questions i can go through here. one is how does the governor plan to implement the common core? >> i'm a supporter of the common core. i think we need to stay strong and stick with it. i'm of the view that most of the folks who don't like the common core it's for a political reason, not a substantive reason. i think we're letting our kids down if we lower our standards. the world's not lowering its standards. when companies want to hire people, they're not lowering their standards. they're hiring people that have the skills. and the brutal reality is that education is still the great equalizer. it's the reason i am where i am. it's the reason in my family we kind of -- my grandpa started as a cook's helper and i wound up at harvard with a successful career. so i think we need to move to the common core. we need to set aggressive targets. and keep our standards high.
now, the way that teachers teach to teach the common core, i think there should be flexibility. i think there should be great flexibility. so teachers can figure out how to get to those standards. but i don't think we should lower our standards. >> one final question. hillary clinton came out and campaigned with you. obviously, you're somebody who's quite comfortable with the idea that she could be the nominee in 2016. is there really a difference in -- you're the first woman governor of rhode island. being a woman leader. and what is that difference? if you were making the case for why we need a woman as president right now, what is the value added for the whole country? >> for everybody. i do support hillary clinton. i hope she runs. and if she runs i'll support her. because i think she's a person of action. and i think she knows how to get things done and is willing to do the right thing. and that's primarily what we
need. having said that, i think it's time for a woman president. i do. and i sure think we were overdue for our first woman governor in rhode island. and i hear that every day. every single day i've been governor i hear from a little girl who thinks it's the greatest thing ever that we have a woman governor. and the thing of it is, it's this powerful unspoken symbol of you can be whatever you want to be if you work hard enough. you don't have to be a man to be in the top job. and so having women in positions of authority makes a difference. it's greatly empowering for other women and also young girls. i also think it's a good thing to have a mom as the chief executive. we recently -- yeah you agree with me. we recently had a blizzard in rhode island. and we got through it.
the things they don't teach you in governor's school. you laerp about taxes and the economy, not how to deal with blizzards. but anyway. i immediately called for a travel ban because i wanted people to be safe. and i took to the airwaves and said i want everybody to stay home. and my kids said, they're like mom, you had that serious mom voice. that's why -- that's why everybody listened to you. but you know i heard over and over again from people that i was the first governor that talked about the safety of the guys driving the plows and just please stay off the road so we can keep them and their family safe so they can do their work. we all bring our own perspectives into the office. and clearly i bring a different perspective as a woman and as a mom. >> you're also an economist. is there an actual economic benefit to inspiring girls to reach higher? >> absolutely. i fall into the camp that the single greatest underutilized resource we have as a nation is women and girls. it's 50% of the talent pool.
and 50% of the brains and innovation and the creativity that is underrepresented across the board. and it is -- it's not a woman's issue to help get women and girls into science and technology and business and government. it's a societal issue. if we could figure out a way to totally empower half of the brains in america imagine how much better and more productive we would be. >> you think a woman president could do that better than a male president? >> i do. look, i think it's the person. i think a person who is committed to making that happen will get that done. but i think on balance it is powerful that you can't underestimate the value of a role model. >> well, governor raimondo, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we have run out of time. it's time to wrap up.
[ applause ] next i'd like to welcome back politico's editor susan glasser with governor terry mcauliffe for our last conversation. thank you. thank you all. thank you again too. [ applause ] >> gina must have wowed them so much. >> you know they're cowed by the cold governor mcauliffe. cowed by the cold. we just got started out there. so we'll clue the rest of you into our conversation. many thanks again. we are saying this is the fifth annual version of these conferences that microsoft has sponsored.
and we had republicans this morning and you get to bat cleanup here. >> great. >> democratic governors are kind of a vanishing species. >> so how many have you had today? >> you're the fourth. so we had rick scott and haslam this morning. >> oh great. he was on council government with me. >> so we were talking pentagon. and i think that's a great starting point for our conversation. perhaps more than anyone else in our ranks of governor today you straddle national politics and how we play the game here in washington but you don't have your dnc chairman hat on anymore. you're a governor. you need to get stuff done. >> yeah. >> washington dysfunction does it look different to you sitting where you sit now? >> yeah. it really obviously as governor of the commonwealth of virginia virginia as you know is the number one recipient of department of defense dollars. we have so many military assets. the largest naval base in the world. the pentagon is in virginia. the cia's in virginia. quantico. so anytime we have dysfunction up here it really
greatly. just in the last three years virginia lost about $9.8 billion of defense contracts, mostly in northern virginia. sequestration is a real calamity for virginia for our economy. i hope it doesn't happen -- i was over at the council of governments, which the president's council advises him on national security. five democrats, five republicans. and jeh johnson came in and gave us a presentation. and it really woke every governor in the room. i was aware of it, but everybody else in the room clearly understands if the dhs shuts down, even if the dhs has a continuing resolution with continuing resolutions you cannot fund the states as they do presently today. so all of our funding for us at department of emerging management, our sheriffs, our localities, all our first responders that are dealing with training, they get shut off. even with a continuing resolution. and i don't think folks realize the implications for every state. because every state's impacted. i think secretary johnson said nearly $2 billion last year went out to the states in grants and
emergency management. that all gets stopped. so the dysfunction here in this dhs makes this whole issue that for partisan political reasons you are going to shut down a vital government entity which has an important purpose. and as governor of virginia many of these employees who will be furloughed live in the commonwealth of virginia. for us it has a dramatic impact. i don't have time for partisan politics. i've got to create jobs, economic activity, and the dysfunction in washington today they're really doing a real disservice to their constituents. >> it's striking that we're already talking about government shutdown again. it was only in december of course the new republican congress came in and made a deal to avoid a shutdown of overall government and that seemed to be part of their pledge was we're going to show we can govern no shutdowns. we're back to brinksmanship politics so quickly. what do you make of that? were they not serious? >> i don't think probably leader
mccown, speaker boehner maybe they hoped they could get their members in line, but they haven't been able to do it. tying this whole issue on immigration to the dhs funding is nothing but a partisan political maneuvering. we shouldn't do that. we shouldn't do it with our budget. and we clearly shouldn't do it with the department of homeland security. it is too vital for our nation's security interest. as i say as a governor it will have a tremendous impact on our economy and it will hurt people. they're not going to get paid. let's be very clear. the secretary made it clear to all of us governors. understand next friday every check will stop to your states. >> so two quick questions. you're a better reader of the political politics of this than i am. what's the percentage chance that that really happens next week? >> i asked the secretary that. he asked us all for help. but i read all the papers today. doesn't seem -- they've all gone home. i just find this -- every time she's shutdowns happen, of course, it adversely impacts the republican party.
and elements of the house of representatives that loves to do these types of things they pay a huge price for us. i'm sure speaker boehner's trying to get it worked out. but you've got to control this caucus. >> that goes to this question of how the president and congress work together or don't work together anymore. you have a perspective on that over multiple administrations. talk to a republican last week about this dhs issue. and he said you know, this is somebody who's more on the deal-making side. democrats don't understand the extent to which obama with this immigration order is like waving a red flag in our rank and file's faces, that this really is about president obama it's a personal issue at this point. >> i wouldn't dispute, that the personal issue against president obama. but this is something president obama ran on. and he's doing what he said he would do. i have the same issue in virginia. i ran on a lot of issues. you know, i ran a very unique
campaign for governor of virginia. i talked about women's rights and that would be a brick wall to protect women's rights. i talked about protecting members of the lgbt community. i talked about responsible, safe gun laws that we have and rolled back and put some restrictions on folks who should own guns. i talked about a lot of that during the campaign. it's not normally what you talk about when you're running for the governor of the commonwealth of virginia. but i tied it all in to the context w50e6 got to grow and diversify our economy. for exactly what we're talking about we have to be less reliant on the federal government. i can't grow and bring new businesses to virginia if we don't match what 90% of fortune 500 companies do with their non-discrimination clauses. so i'm trying to put virginia in line. and you know what? i won. i broke a 38-year trend. whoever wins the white house. the other party wins the governor's mansion. so i broke a 38-year trend and i brought in with my lieutenant governor, attorney general, first time in 24 years the democrats swept all three statewide offices in virginia. now, i'm doing exactly what i
said i'd do. i'm focused on jobs. we've had a great year on job creation. $5.6 billion of direct investment in my first year, which is double what any governor in the history of virginia has done. i just announced our lowest unemployment rate since 2008. we are creating the jobs. but i'm also doing the things i said i would do. no women's health clinics have closed down. i just put out what i thought were very responsible restrictions on people who want to purchase guns. if you're convicted -- if you're a stalker or domestic abuse, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun. i think that's common sense. i'm the first southern governor to perform a gay marriage. the day of the supreme court act, next day i did an executive order to allow loving gay couples to adopt children. i'm doing exactly what i said i was going to do. president obama was doing exactly what he said he'd do. and you know, it's -- people, we've got to get together we've got to work together. you've got to compromise. unfortunately, somewhere up here in washington the word
compromise is gone. you don't get everything you want in life. nobody does. you've got to work together, come to the middle and give and take. and that's what's macing up here. >> in terms of getting stuff done this is something that connects to president obama and his agenda but also your agenda. the medicaid extension. connecting that with obama care. you have not been able to get that done. and of course across a broad swath of the south it has undermined the basic premise of the affordable care act. what's your conclusion? >> governor haselman was here early. i was in the last meeting with him. he just tried his legislature, he is a republican governor and a republican legislature. 27 states have closed the coverage gap. i tried to make the argument, hey, listen, i knew that my legislature was never going to pass it. but that doesn't mean, susan, you don't try. i worked my heart and soul out every day. i traveled all over the commonwealth. i went to clinics. i went with folks. and i've got to tell you as
governor when you go into a clin spik some woman comes up and grabs your coat and says governor, if you don't fix this i'm going die, or in people's lives they need health care. and we have the ability in virginia to close the coverage gap and provide health care for 400,000 virginians. and what i try to say to everybody is you can dislike the president, you can dislike the health care law, but it's the law of the land. i can't change it. the supreme court decided that. so right now in virginia about 13 different taxes you now pay under the new law. you ship $2.5 billion a year to washington. that's done. i can't stop that. we have a right to bring 100% of that money back for three years. then it goes ultimately down to 90. this is our money. it will help our hospitals. it will save our clinics. it will provide health care. and as a governor competing for business all my neighbors maryland west virginia kentucky arkansas, they all closed the coverage gap. almost every single chamber of commerce, most of them very republican, all endorsed my
effort to close the coverage gap. but it was unfortunate that partisan politics overtook common sense. and i think for many folks intellectual politics, they're worried about a primary challenge. let it be a tea party challenge or whatever it may be. if they vote for so-called obamacare obamacare. so i'm going to continue to work for it. it's the law. i can provide health care to 400,000 virginians. you know i went to the ram clinic last year. this is thousands of people who come saturday and sunday doctors, dentists volunteers free health care for one weekend. thousands of people show up. >> we ran a photo essay from that in politico. >> it breaks your heart. these folks get health care one day a year for free. and they come -- many of them will tell you, they come down from the mountains, this is it for them. and i walk through and there's bed sheets in between separating -- it's out in a field. at 4:00 in the morning it hit capacity and they turned over 1,000 people away. this is their only hope. we met a young gentleman, had
all of his teeth pulled out of his mouth. and i asked him why. he said well, we equate teeth with pain. and the sad part of it is this is why virginia -- if you got in a car and drove 40 miles west to west virginia they get health care 365 days a year because they closed the coverage gap. >> do you think -- you said obamacare because it's obamacare -- >> that's what they defined it as. >> i know. we had an event with kathleen sebelius and she said one of our biggest mistakes was we shouldn't have embraced the name, i wish it wasn't called obamacare. >> i couldn't agree more. >> if you changed the name could you pass it in virginia? >> we did. we changed it a bunch of times. it still didn't work. it's beyond changing names. but listen -- and i'm still working with them. i put it back in my budget this year. knowing it wouldn't pass. but i just want to keep the dialogue going. and i've told them -- and i've had leadership in my office time and time again. i know i can structure a deal where all the money i could
bring to virginia not a cent would have to come from virginia state government because when it comes off the 100% the private providers, the hospitals would cover that difference. so the state would have no obligation. it would not cost us one single penny. and as governor i would bring $2.5 billion back to my economy run through my economy. the jobs saved, the hospitals shored up. there are hospitals throughout the commonwealth of virginia today that are cutting services because as you know part of the law is you've got disproportionate share of payments. if you took care of indigent individuals the federal government would give you 100%. all those reimbursements are ending. billions of dollars. they're stopping that. but in consideration for doing this they're giving you this pot of money over here. so we're taking the worst part in losing for our hospitals the dish payments. vcs and vcu are two big hospitals providing indigent care. they're losing hundreds of millions of dollars. >> it's a classic unintended consequence. >> supreme court allowed states
to opt out. when the supreme court validated the health care, aca bill, and they gave the states the option to opt out that was unfortunate because then it became -- it got into the politics. governor haslam and i talked about it today. he tried to do it in tennessee. other states are lining up. another perfect example. i bring everything back to jobs. lee county southwest virginia, rural, rural community. in parts of virginia, the south side, southwest, coal, textile, furniture manufacturing, so many jobs have been lost and they really need help and i'm trying to focus on bringing manufacturing there. but lee county just lost their hospital. now, i'm pretty good at sales and i love to try and convince businesses to move to the commonwealth. i had no chance of bringing a business to lee county. a manufacturer's not going to move his business or her business to a county that doesn't have a hospital. with in the manufacturing plant one of your employees has a heart attack. are you going to take an
ambulance for 110 miles? are you going to have to pay for a helicopter? it's just common sense. so unfortunately, the most rural parts of virginia are the most adversely impacted by us not closing the coverage gap. >> so i know we have a lot of questions in the audience. they're going to get mad at me if i don't ask about the elephant in the room. we are talking politics. >> elephant or donkey. >> donkey. exactly. donkey. speaking of a particular donkey you know, everyone here wants to know -- >> you never referred to hillary as a donkey. >> a proud one, right? pick your metaphor. >> i just broke seven ribs and punctured a lung on a horse, so i'm sensitive to animals right now. >> okay. so obviously, we'll end the metaphors here and go right to the direct questions. when is she announcing, what's your role, and how is she going to do in virginia? >> if she chooses -- listen she's going to do this on her
timetable. she's in a very good position today. there's no rush for her to get in. the other side, they're all in republicans. they have a tough primary going on. no need to get in the middle of that. there's no pressure for her. i certainly hope she runs. in 2008 i was the chairman of her campaign. now i'm the governor of the commonwealth of virginia. i think this time the most i can do to help her is the model that we have in virginia that's working. job creation off the charts, economic development. that you have a pro-business governor, socially progressive that brings all the sides together, works in a bipartisan way to get results. today it's really working in virginia. that model -- and i think if i can be a successful governor in virginia it's probably the best thing i can do for hillary if she decides to run. >> does that mean you won't be helping on the fund-raising front? >> listen, i've known the clintons since 1980. i'm personal friends with him. i'm going to do everything i possibly can. but my job now as governor of the commonwealth of virginia,
it's different. when i was chairman of the campaign before, i'm now governor. i have to be governor. it's my top priority. of course i'm going to help her. but i honestly believe that listen virginia, any electoral map that you cut up virginia's going to be a key swing state. there's no electoral college numbers that get you to 270 without putting virginia in it. i don't know what's going to happen on the other side. you look at the map if jeb's the nominee, florida. you've got -- looking at the -- every time you come back you have to win virginia. working hard in virginia creating jobs, people are very happy today both sides. we have bipartisan agreement on the budget. the "washington post" just wrote a huge story how reporters are mad because nobody's fighting in richmond, we're all getting along. we're acting like adults and we're coming together. and i neet with the budget committee chairs. we privately work together to do what's in the best interest of virginia. that is a great message. and you continue to do that, that's a message that hillary should run on as well. >> a lot of people have said
that in fact when you look at what her economic message is going to be it's going to be framed around president clinton's economic -- do you think that still works in this context, this context of 2015 and 2016? >> well, clearly times are different than we had in the '90s. 21 million new jobs, booming economy, it's a different time. our economy today is in very good shape. we've come back. we've come out of the great recession that we just had. it's a different economy than what then president clinton inherited. when he was in office we were still in a recessionary mode. the economy's coming back. jobs are being created. on average you saw, what, 230,000 jobs last month. that's all good news. she will focus just as her husband did about bringing -- if she runs. i just want to qualify while the cameras are here. but listen, she gets it. on the economy. and she gets it that job creation is critical.
she will work in a bipartisan way to move the economy forward. i think the big issue, susan, this election's going to be where the economy's coming back but the middle class today feels squeezed. there's still a lot of angst with the economy. even with the numbers going up. so i think this whole issue of going to be some income inequality, disparity, whatever you want to call it, is really making sure in this middle class here that you're focused on quality jobs. it's a quality job that pays well with benefits. a job that doesn't pay well and you've got to work two or three and you have no time to see your children is not a job. and we should do more. and i think she will focus on that. >> this economic inequality issue, there is a big concern among some democrats that the clintons are seen as wall street democrats, if you will. they've obviously become multimillionaires themselves, raising money including from governor governments.
do you think that's a problem for the clintons? >> if you look at the upbringing of both hillary and bill clinton, neither one of them have ever forgotten their roots. if you read all the biographies on hillary and her family they scrimped and saved her entire upbringing. you know the same story with president clinton. neither one of them will ever forget their roots. and that's what they're going to focus on. you look at the two of them and what they have done in public service through their careers. they clearly could have gone off and done a lot of different things with their lives. they chose to stay involved in public service. even after president clinton has gotten out of office the work he has done, i used to be on the board of the clinton foundation. what he's done in africa and all over the globe in helping people. that's who they are. they like to help people. making sure people have opportunities for success. and that's what their focus will be. >> let's get the audience in. i'm sure they have lots of questions. in the back there sir. do identify yourself thank you. >> larry goldman.
nice to see you again sir. >> hello, larry, how are you? >> great. as a good va vann zblsh good virginian too. >> everybody's a con situate. everybody's a good constituent. >> let me ask you how many live in virginia? fantastic. >> home court advantage. >> there was an editorial in today's post about the gerrymandering issue and what the senators do. what can you do to balance that environment so we in virginia have a good chance at competitive elections to find the best people? >> that's a great question. i've already said i'm going to veto this particular bill. you have a particular member of our state senate to draft the bill that took one republican precinct from a democratic senator and put one democrat and the democrats said we're not playing this game. but of course i would veto that. but larry raised a very interesting point. and i talk about this a lot. i go back. and the issues we have in what's going on up here goes back to -- i put everything back at partisan gerrymandering. what happens in elections today,
let's take the house of representatives, i think over 80% of members of congress have no chance of losing a general election. they don't even have an election because it's a guaranteed -- >> over 90% really the last few years. >> which is ridiculous. in business you have competition every day. keeps you moving, keeps you thinking, keeps you working hard. so we've got to get back -- i'm all for non-partisan. when i was chairman of the national party i advocated for it. i'm all nor non-partisan redistricting. we want to get lines as close as you can to 50-50. i think it's important. what happens today is the only way you can lose an election is get a primary challenge within your own party. so it pushes you to the extremes. the middle has somewhat evaporated. and nobody should be guaranteed of anything in life. you should have to work hard for it. that's the problem. what happens is you don't worry about winning re-election. you worry about a primary opponent. and sometimes you're not always working for the best interests of your constituents. i think we've got toned this partisan -- i'd love it if we had non-partisan redistricting
in virginia. i've advocated for it. i'm going to continue to push for it. there are certain things we can do. we are now under a court mandate to redraw our congressional lines. and by april 1 we have to have a map approved. and if we don't it is not a bill that i sign that will go to the court. so right now we are under a court order to redo our congressional alliance. but it's a great point and we've got to get these districts back to where they're competitive. competition is good. it keeps you smarter. it keeps you working harder. i think that's what's happened. the partisan rancor, at the end of the day you're supposed to be up there doing the constituents' work instead of fighting on partisan political issues. it's unfortunate. is. >> i wish we could flash back to your dnc chairman's role. >> listen, i was the national -- >> no, it's a different -- >> i was supposed to be tough and partisan. you were the head of the party. but it's a different job. i had quite a few hats. >> it's great. thank you so much. in the back there, sir.
>> governor mcauliffe, since you were associated very close to hillary clinton, and i'm sure if she decides to run you'll be summoned to join her trusted adviser group. given that my suggestion is one of the reasons she lost against obama during the first term was her hawkish position on international sphere and in the wars and so on. and that's the reason i didn't vote for her. i've always voted democratic. so my suggestion would be that she should focus on jobs as the lady earlier, the woman governor emphasized, you should do that. you should suggest that. and play evenhanded role that the america is the victim, the war has been imposed on america
and not america is doing any unilateral war, which is the impression most people get from this current administration. >> thank you. no question i guess. so we'll just move right on here. ma'am. yeah. >> hi. marisol morales. follow-up question to the gridlock and the word compromise being a four-letter word in washington, d.c. how do you feel about term limits for congress? >> i've always been an advocate for term limits. it's just my personal leejs. i'm nor non-partisan redistricting. i think people spend too long in politics. and i don't know what the number is. let it be ten years or whatever it might be. i just think listen, if you look at my career, i've done 30 different things in my whole career. i just think it's important always to try and recruit, get new blood fresh blood involved someone to come in with new ideas, and you can say doing something too long you just don't have that same vigor that you had when you started. so i've always been an advocate for term limits.
people need to move on do something else. serve. be a public servant, which i think is great. but there are a lot of other things you can do in your life and i think it's time to bring some fresh ideas. anything you do in life, you're not going to be as excited about ten years or 20 years after than when you started the first couple years. i support term limits. and i think we have time for one or two -- >> i'm und dwrerm limits. i'm the only governor in america who has one four-year term limit. they asked me about it all the time. i'm fine with it. i can get a lot done in four years. you're focused. four years, boom get it done. >> two more questions. this and then this. thank you very much. >> governor mcauliffe thank you for your time. i live in the clarendon area. constituent as well. when you're talking about having the insurance coverage i always get more into does insurance coverage translate into better health better outcomes for citizens. i know in california, for instance, i don't know what the numbers would be exactly for virginia but they've had a large
increase in their expansion participants, people that are enrolled. but they haven't seen a translation, an increase in the number of doctors. oftentimes there's a gap there. do you have any sort of assessment of what that means for it? since you mentioned the rural health care area, i believe virginia has some rather stringent certificate of need regulations. if you want to do additional -- are you interested in doing reforms on that front to maybe improve on the supply side, making it easier for hospitals to expand? >> they willtaker this as a planted question. i just have a bill that's passing through the general assembly as a certificate of need. we are reforming the certificate of need which has needed to be done for a long time to allow more access for more folks to come in, to have more competition. i think that always is a good thing. i think on your health question no quet healthier your workforce is -- i mean let's be clear here. folks understand this. these 400,000 virginians today, now, if they get sick where are
they going? they're going to an emergency room. that's happening as we speak. the point i used to make to the business community, who do you think is paying for that? you are. but you've now paid twice. you've already paid through the aca taxes. that's done. you're now paying twice. these folks are not not getting care. they're going to emergency rooms and places like that and totally tying up the whole health care delivery system. i don't blame them. they have no other option. but if you're a mother with a sick child you're going to do everything you humanly possibly can do to make sure your child gets health care. that's what we're trying to do with a lot of these folks. remember in the 400,000, these are working folks. i mean if you don't have any income, you're already on the medicaid, you've got that. we're talking about the gap here. they make too much to get medicaid here. but they don't make enough to have a high deductible or a high premium.
they're in the gap. they're working. and when i talked about the folks having two or three jobs doing home health care, a lot of these folks areyou that's tough work. driving and taking care of an invalid in somebody's home. driving, working two or three jobs, they don't get to see their kids at all. this is the community that i'm talking about. to provide them with the health care, it would be life-changing for them. it will be better for their health. better for their whole outlook. and it's important. we should be doing this. as i say, we've already paid for it. and in west virginia, they're now getting that care paid for somehow by virginia because we've paid into the big pot. it doesn't make any sense. so, yeah, you want a healthy workforce. jobs is my whole issue. jobs, jobs, i talk about this every day. we're doing it it's working. part of my pitch is you've got to have a healthy workforce. this is part of that.
in addition to the economic driver of $2.5 billion coming back through my economy, it's having a healthy workforce i can convince a ceo -- i went to china twice last year, tremendous success. the largest deal ever done by a chinese company, green field ever done in the history of china. i just opened up a factory, brought another chinese company back, a factory that had been shut for years and years in appomattox appomattox, hard-admit area in virginia. been closed for years. we are reopening that plant with chinese investors. you're going to love this. reopened this plant. first deal in 44 years. reopen it, we're going to manufacture pollution-control devices, and guess what. after manufacture, we're shipping them back to china and selling it to them. let me tell you, that is a new virginia economy. but a healthy workforce. and i'm just getting warmed up. >> i think we're actually out of time. >> oh! >> it seems like a perfect note to end on.
governor mccaul, i want to thank you, i want to thank all of you, it's been a terrific conversation today. >> thank you very much. thank you, susan. let's give her a round of applause. tonight on "the communicators," we spoke with two industry executives at the consumer electronics show in las vegas. alfie and scissor senior vice president kelly ahuza talk about their companies and the technology on which the internet, mobile phones and the
cloud operate. >> we talk about the network society. and the network society is a society where everything that can benefit from having a connection will actually have one. we put a vision forward in 2009 in barcelona, in the trade show that's going on there of the 50 billion connected devices in 2020 which has caught on very well in the world. and that i think opened many people's minds that the mobile industry is not limited to the smartphones and the devices that we carry around personally. it also is a great technology to connect so many other things and to be able to build a better society based on those kind of technologies. >> the internet started with this thing that people needed to get to somewhere or somehow by dial-up connections, et cetera. we brought the internet from that thing somewhere, to your home. we've brought that internet from being your home, to be with every device that you carry around, the mobile internet. the next stage of the internet is about taking it from all
these mobile devices to things, to information, and connecting not just people, but things with people. information with people. and processes with people and things. so we can actually create a whole what we call internet of everything. so i think we're at the early stages of building up that internet of everything. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern, on "the communicators" on c-span2. the net senate monday failed to move forward on the house-passed homeland security spending bill. the measure was 13 votes shores short of advancing with 47 senators voting in favor and 46 voting to block the bill. this was the fourth attempt in the last month on proceeding to the measure which has faced opposition from democrats because of provisions that roll back the president's executive order on immigration. after the vote mitch mcconnell introduced a new bill that would overturn the president's actions without dhs funding attached. the move would still require the senate to come up with a way to
fund dhs before the funding expires later this week. c-span radio and cspan.org. >> federal reserve chair janet yellen was scheduled to deliver her semi-annual monetary policy report to congress. that's live at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span3. and later in the day, we'll have another hearing with secretary of state john kerry. he'll be before the senate foreign relations committee to go over his department's budget request for 2016. that's live at 2:30 eastern. the c-span cities tour takes book tv and more than history tv on the road, traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their
history and literary life. next weekend we've partnered with comcast for a visit to galveston galveston, texas. >> with the opening of the suez canal in 1869 sailing ships really were almost dealt a death blow. with that opening of the canal coal-fired ships had a shorter route to the far east, to india to all of those markets. so sailing ships really needed to find a way to make their own living. so instead of high-value cargo, they started carrying lower-valued cargos. coal, oil, cotton, et cetera. so alisa really found her niche in carrying any kind of cargo that did not requiring getting to market at a very fast pace. alisa's connection to galveston
is really unique in that she sail the and arrived here in galveston probably about 100 yards from where we're standing right now back in 1883 with a cargo full of bananas. and she came again a second time later on in the 1880s in 1886, and it was real important for galveston historical foundation to find a vessel that had a connection. and the fact that she was a sailing vessel was all the more important. >> watch all of our events from galveston saturday, march 7th at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv sunday march 8th 2:00 p.m. eastern, on american history tv on c-span3. with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and the senate on c-span2 here on c-span3 we complement that coverage by showing you the most relevant congressional hearings and public affairs events. and then on weekends c-span3 is the home to american history tv with programs that tell our nation's story, including six
unique series. the civil war's 150th an ver satisfactory, visiting battlefields and key events. american artifacts. touring museums and historic sites. history bookshelf with the best-known american history writers. the presidency, looking at the policies and legacies of our nation's commanders in chief. lectures in history with top college professors delving into america's past. our new series "reel america" featuring archival government and educational films from the 1930s through the '70s. c-span3. created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd like outside facebook, and follow us on twitter. here on c-span3 tonight a look at the obama administration's foreign policy priorities. then a discussion on terrorist groups and the recruitment of foreign fighters. and later a look at ongoing violence in yemen and libya.
deputy secretary of state antony blinken discussed the obama administration's foreign policy priorities today at an event in washington. topics include iran's nuclear program, u.s. relations with china, and the current conflict between russia and ukraine. this is an hour and 20 minutes. before we start i want to introduce general powell who has been giving me questions to ask. general powell, what question should we start with? >> if you don't know, i'm not going to tell you. you've got a great group here and i'm sure you're going to have an excellent discussion. and i think tony is uniquely qualified to deal with the issues of the day and to answer the questions that might arise.
in earlier session walter and i spent an hour and a half talking about these issues. but doing it in a way that's going to be for teenagers kids high school kids. which is where i spend most of my time with students now. because nothing i could do about my past, little i could do about the future, except watch it. but there's a lot i can do about the real future which is our youngsters coming along in a nation that's going to be increasingly minority. we've got to prepare these minority kids for the leadership positions that will be waiting for them. that's kind of my passion and i thank walter for his support in this over the years. i thank the aspen institute for what they do on a daily basis. now ask a question, for god's sakes, don't just sit there. >> thank you very much, general. it's my pleasure to introduce the deputy secretary of state tony blinken who's been a great public servant and also a friend of the aspen institute. i know you're about to embark on
a trip this coming week, so why don't you just open up by telling us what you're doing and what we should be doing about it. >> walter, thank you very much. it's great to be here with all of you. i have to say, following secretary powell even briefly makes me empathize with two people in particular. alan and rossy. they were the act that followed the beatles on "the ed sullivan show." so with that said actually thought i'd spend a few minutes then we can get into the specifics of that with you walter on some things we'll be doing next week, including going to ukraine and visiting with our close european partners. just sort of stepping back for a second and putting some of where we are in a little bit of perspective, because there are constant narratives out there about u.s. leadership or not, u.s. retreat from the world or not. and i think it's useful to create a little context for the
discussions that we're about to have. i would maintain that never has the united states and its government been more engaged in more places than at this char time. and if you look at what we've done in recent months and in recent years mobilizing, quite literally, international coalitions and countries to deal with isil, to deal with ebola, to deal with climate change to deal with ukraine and afghanistan, you see that leadership in action. you saw it recently this summer when we brought the leaders of 50 african countries to washington for the first african leaders summit here in washington connecting them with the private sector, putting in place a new foundation for moving forward on growth on collective security, and building institutions. you saw it in central america the vice president brought together countries of the interamerican development bank to propose a new deal for central america where, if their leaders stand up and take
responsibility for dealing with problems of governance, of corruption, of security, we and like-minded countries in the region will support them. and you see it in asia. i just got back from japan south korea, and china. and you see it in an effort that's been ongoing for several years, that is the so-called rebalance, where we are in a very material and concrete way building institutions, strengthening our partnerships with existing allies, building new partnerships with new ones, opening up even further to trade through tpp. and building a more cooperative relationship with china even as we deal directly with our differences. and you're seeing it in places like iran and cuba. think about this. the change that was made with cuba the possibility of an agreement with iran at least on the nuclear program, opens the prospect in the space of about nine months, two of the most
difficult elements in the psychology of american foreign policy for the last decades will be in a new and different place. doesn't solve the problems. we'll still have, if we do get a nuclear agreement, acute problems with the way iran acts in the region and beyond. but quite significant. and the reason i say all this again, because there is this notion somehow that america is in retreat or is not leading. again, i think nothing could be further from the truth. maybe the best way to test the proposition is to think of what is probably a favorite movie among many people in this room, at least one that you're subjected to just before christmas every year, "it's a wonderful life." we know what happened to bedford falls when george bailey was out of the picture. we know what would happen in each of these instances i just talked about if the united states was out of the picture. imagine where we would be for all of the deficiencies and challenges that remain where would we be without the united states in the campaign against isil? where we we be when it comes to
dealing with climate change? where would we be on ebola, ukraine, et cetera? the fact of the matter is we are leading. so the question really should be and the debate should center around, how are we leading? with what means, toward what ends? that is the proper subject for debate and one that i'm very happy to be engaged. >> now, you were going to say that you're going next week to europe mainly to deal with the ukraine issue. explain what that trip is about and what you're going to do. >> well, we have secretary horace is in europe now, he's working on iran, he's also working closely with our european partners on ukraine. it is a very challenging situation. let me put it in perspective. because i think there too it's important that we have specifics. there are a couple of big principles at stake in ukraine. because you can make the argument that what happens in ukraine doesn't go to our fundamental strategic interests. but i think when you look at the principles at stake there really is a lot here that we need to be
mindful of and it explains why we've been so focused on this and why we've been leading the effort to put pressure on russia to reverse what is going on in ukraine. first, the notion you can change the status quo by force in particular a big country can do that to a small one, is not a police department we want to allow to stand in the beginning of the 21st century. were that to happen i think you'd see serious and very negative repercussions not just in europe, but in other parts of the world. second and this is something that doesn't get a lot of attention. when i served in the clinton separation, one of the great achievements early on was making sure that the successor countries to the soviet union that inherited nuclear weapons -- belarus kazakhstan, ukraine -- actually gave up those nuclear weapons. and in the case of ukraine, the deal was this. they said, we'll give them up but we want our sovereignty and territorial integrity guaranteed. and three countries signed on to those guarantees. the united states, the united
kingdom, and russia. imagine what this says now if we allow russia to in effect ignore and tear up that agreement, the so-called budapest memorandum many of you are familiar with. what does it say to a country like north korea that has nuclear weapons and we're trying to persuade to give them up? what does it say to a country like iran that doesn't yet have nuclear weapons, we're trying to get iran to forswear them, if the kind of assurances the countries with nuclear weapons want to give them up are in effect ignored? big things at stake here. >> i was just rereading "russia hand" where he talks about negotiating that. that budapest memorandum actually commits and obligates us to certain things. will you explain what those obligations are? >> we made a commitment to stand with two other countries ironically, for several propositions. and critical among them were the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of ukraine. and that has been grossly violated over the last year.
so where are we? i think there are -- there's a good news piece of this and a bad news piece of this. the good news is this. because of the pressure we were able to exert with president obama leading throughout this process in working with the europeans, getting them to exert the pressure with us keeping the unity that was so necessary to making that pressure effective, we did create space for ukraine to have two successful elections and produce probably the most effective government that it's had since it's been independent. we created space for ukraine to sign the association agreement with the european union which was part of the cause of the crisis in the first place. but what we haven't seen, unfortunately, is the separatist land grab fueled by russia supplied by russia, organized in many cases by russia -- that has not stopped. there was a basis for stopping it in the mins agreements. the first ones concluded in
september, now an implementation plan that was agreed by the countries in question just a couple of weeks ago with germany and france's leadership. there's a clear way out there. if russia makes good on the commitments it made in these mincing agreements there is what we call an off-ramp. if russia takes that off-ramp the pressure that's been exerted, the sanctions that have been exerted, those begin to be removed. you always have the crimea problem and that's significant and that's not going away any time soon and the pressure won't go away there. but for the east it could and it should. russia is playing a huge strategic cost for what president putin has gained it in in ukraine. we see the devastating impact on the economy, taking deeper and deeper root. we've seen capital flight of a rather extraordinary proportion. more than $150 billion over the last year. we've seen a virtual standstill in foreign direct investment. we've seen the ruble at an all-time low despite the fact that they've spent over $100
billion in reserves to try and bail it out. we've seen the country get ratings of junk bond status from the major rating agencies. we've seen growth go from about 2.5% to zero, they're basically in a recession. the drivers of the economy in the future have actually been singled out for the sanctions program, particularly the energy sector where the technology russia needs to actually take the next step in exploiting more difficult resources will be denied them. so this is not a good path. also, it's worth pointing out that to the extent the russians have gained crimea and may now have this foothold in the east they really have lost ukraine. the country is now more united and more focused and western-oriented than it's ever been in its history of independence. nato is more energized than it's been in recent years. there is now a greater seriousness of purpose about energy security in europe than we've seen in recent years. in other words strategically president putin has precipitated
virtually everything he sought to prevent. my concern is that he's been left with playing the nationalist card because there's not much else left to play. the combination of the sanctions, obviously the fall in oil prices, mismanagement of the economy, all of those things don't give him a strong economic hand to play. so you play the nationalist carved and it work in the short-term. you see that in his numbers. the problem with the nationalist card is you have to keep playing it. as soon as you stop playing it then people start to focus on all the things that are going wrong. that's why we try and continue to try to propose an off-ramp that allows him to move away from the direction that this is going. right now the critical thing is to see the obligations and commitments made in mincing, both in september and the implementation plan that was reached a week or so ago. those commitments need to be implemented. there needs to be a cease-fire. the heavy weapons need to be pulled pack. ukraine has certain obligations
too in terms of moving forward on decentralization legislation. critically, the international border has to be restored between russia and ukraine. absent that border it's basically russia has a free hand to throw -- >> if that doesn't happen do we arm the ukrainians? >> this is something that has been on the table and remains on the table as a possible course of action. let me say a couple of things. first, we provided over the last nine months or so about $150 million, $130 million worth of security assistance. it's not just the infamous meals ready to eat. by the way, meals ready to eat are kind of important. if your soldiers aren't eating they're probably not going to be able to do a good job. beyond that we've had counter hour tar raid yaurs that have been very important, night vision goggles, kevlar vests, et cetera cetera. we don't think that this conflict is going to be solved militarily. and the hard part about thinking
about lethal assistance even defensive, to the ukrainians, is that you do that and the russians are likely to match and it top it and double it and triple it. so where does that lead? on the other hand, there's obviously a compelling case to be made for helping the ukrainians defend themselves infancy aacongress. that's what we've been doing and that's why the question of additional defensive assistance remains very much on the table. >> let me move to iran. we're going to do that then i'm going to open it up because everybody here i'm sure has questions. the -- secretary kerry's been in geneva this weekend and he seems now to be getting closer and i think has even told people at the state department perhaps in case there is an agreement, how we're going to sell it what we're going to do with congress. can you give me the outlines what was you think that agreement could be? >> so where we are, first of all, is we've done a lot of hard work.
and the secretary's done extraordinary work in trying to get the elements of an agreement in place. we're not there yet. whether we'll get there as we sit here today i can't tell you. we are making progress. serious discussions, hard discussions. and moving, but we're not yet there. but at the heart, any agreement has to do a couple of things. and this is what it should be judged on if we get there. the most critical thing is, as a practical matter, it has to cut offer raun's pathways to fissile material for a nuclear weapon. so what does that mean? it means that they have potentially a pathway through their facilities that are uranium-based. tauns, which has most things on the surface. that as a practical matter needs to be cut off. they have a plutonium program at the iraq reactor. that too needs to be cut off.
and then the fourth pathway that is a covert program needs to be dealt with, principally through transparency, inspections, access, so that we have confidence that they won't be able to pursue that. now, what we'd be looking at and the measure that we've set is, we want to make sure that on all of these pathways we have confidence that were iran to break out of them that is to decide to renege on its commitments or cheat that it would take at least a year for iran to produce enough fissile material for one nuclear weapon. >> did israel initially agree to that framework? >> there is a -- look, i think from the israeli perspective, from everyone's perspective, if we could achieve zero enrichment in iran, that would be great. so i think if you ask the israelis i suspect they'd continue to say that would be their objective. the fact is iran has mastered the fuel cycle.
we can't sanction that away we can't bond that away, we can't argue that away. most of our partners i think have accepted that -- that proposition. the question is not whether or not -- >> you say most of our partners, does that include israel? >> i'm talking about the ones who are negotiating with us, that is in this group in the p5+1. the question is whether you can design a program that is so constrained, so limited so checked, so monitored, that you have confidence that they will not be able to produce fissile material for weapons should they choose to do so in less than a year. which gives you should that take place, plenty of time to do something about it. keep in mind two other things. it's not just the is fissile material. you actually need a weapon. our experts believe while they were pursuing a weaponization program until about 2003, that was put on -- that was halt the. you also need a way to deliver the weapon. that goes to the missile program. then even if you got all of
that, when it comes to fissile material, the idea that most countries would actually break out for one weapon's worth of material is pretty unlikely. so we've been very, very conservative about this. and if we're able to achieve that, then i think we would be confident in moving forward. the other thing that's important is this. in any of these situations you always have to; as compared to what? so if there's no agreement, what happens? well, a lot depends on why there's no agreement. if we're seen as seeing the -- that's going to make it very difficult to sustain the sanctions coalition that we've spent so much time building up. congress put in place very strong sanctions. has done a very good job on that. but the sanctions are much less effective if other countries don't join in implementing them and enforcing them. and this president has spent enormous time building and strengthening that coalition. if that starts to go away the pressure's off and it moves in a
bad direction. the other alternative is potential military action. and i think it's clear that, you know, one could certainly set back the program for some period of time. and that if it comes to that someday. but you're also probably looking at setting it back not stopping it. because again, the iranians have the knowledge. they'll build it back up. and it will probably be driven underground. so that's not an ideal solution. of course with military action there tend to be unintended consequences that are something -- >> how important is it in such a deal that the iranians come clean about what they were doing and the international agencies where they've not exactly come clean? >> the iaea has been as many of you know, been engaged with the iranians to try to do just that to get transparency on what has taken place. what they were trying to do in the past. and that is important. and i think -- >> so is that part of a deal, you think? >> it's technically separate from the deal in the sense there's a separate dialogue going on with the iaea.
but we would like to see satisfaction of that. i think -- >> i'm sorry, so you're linking those two now? >> it's important for the iaea and iran to come to conclusions about the so-called possible military dimensions of the program. the most important thing, though, when you think about this, going forward that is putting in place the regime that we need and that our partners need to give us the greatest possible assurances that iran is making good on its commitments, not deviating from them, not cheating on them. . and that goes to what kind of inspection regime you have what kind of transparency. and what has to result from any agreement is the strongest, most intrusive inspection and access program that any country has seen. because iran has forfeited the trust of the international community -- >> you think you'll be able to get an intrusive inspection? >> that will be a test of any agreement. i think what we've seen already in the interim agreement is much greater access than the
international inspectors have had before. and in places that they didn't have it before. what's interesting among other things about it is they've had access along different points of the production chain for fissile material. for example, the mines and mills. not just the places where the centrifuges are spinning. the more you have of that the greater the certainty you can have that iran is making good on its commitments. >> how do you respond to netanyahu's comment that it was "astonishing" that you were going forward without having resolved the coming clean irissue? >> again that's an ongoing process. the iaea has been engaged in it. they've made some progress. also had a lot of frustration with iran not coming fully clean. that's something we want to see move forward over the coming months. and i think -- keep in mind, even if there is an agreement the actual relief that would come to iran in terms of initially the suspension of
sanctions and then ultimately the lifting, the repeal of sanctions. they will have to make good on their commitments up front. and i think one of the things we would expect to see is some resolution of the issues with the iaea. >> do you think it's problematic that netanyahu's coming to speak to congress? >> so let me say a couple of things about that. first, prime minister of israel is always welcome in the united states. to speak any place, any time. i think what's unfortunate here is the way this came about. and because of the way it came about, it turned it into a political issue. and the relationship with israel should not be a partisan or political issue. the fact of the matter is over the course of the last six years, when it comes to israel's security, in my judgment no administration has done more than this administration. and the relationships at every
level, whether it's among the political leaders, the intelligence officials, the defense officials, i don't think there's been more coordination, koochings, dialogue exchanged than we've seen in the last years ever before. and where it really matters. the provision of what israel needs to defend itself and protect itself. this has been an exceptional period. let me give you one quick example. this is something i happened to see up close and personal. this past summer during the gaza crisis i was in my office at the white house at the time. i got a call from israel's ambassador. "i'd like to come see you on an urgent basis." came over about 8:30 at night. and he said, "we really need an urgent resupply and funding to buy more intercepters for iron dome," the missile defense system that has saved many, many lives. and he and the defense attache
ran through the substance of why they needed it and why they needed it then and there. the very next morning, this was on a thursday night. friday morning, i was the oval office with the president and i ran through what i heard from the israelis. and he said, "make it happen." and by tuesday, we had $250 million from congress to do that. so whatever the tensions, whatever the disagreements on various issues, when it comes to the core of the relationship that is, our absolute commitment to israel's security, it's never been stronger. >> if you get a deal that you feel is good and the rest of the negotiating partners feel is good, to what extent do you think you need congress' approval and for what aspect dozen you or do you not need congress' approval? >> congress is an absolutely integral part of this entire process. from takeoff tonight to flight to
land. the sanctions regime that congress legislated and then the international component that we help bring to bear, without that iran would not be at the table. simple as that. congress was absolutely critical in getting us to the point that we're at. going forward, congress is going to be critical because, as i said what we're looking at doing if we get an agreement is initially suspending sanctions, which the president can do under his own authority. but then ultimately ending them. and congress has to do that. and the reason we do it this way or we propose to do it this way is that having the sanctions suspended creates real leverage to make sure that iran makes good on its commitments. as soon as you end them that may take some of the -- >> in other words, you're not going to go to congress and ask that the sanctions be ended right away? >> not right away. what we want to see if we get an agreement is iran demonstrating it's making good on commitments. then congress has a very strong role to play 9 cysting on them, and then not actually ending as
opposed to suspending sanctions until iran has demonstrated it is making good. >> david? >> thanks very much. good to see you tony. one more question on iran while we're still on this. many people in congress who i've spoken with seem surprised that at the end of this agreement whenever this agreement ends the iranians are basically free to do what any other signatory of the iaea treaties and so forth -- they could go back and build the number of centrifuges in the tens of thousands the supreme leader has discussed. tell us what we're supposed to think about that. that's a big israeli concern. it's a big concern in congress. and also tell us how this concept of a phased agreement in which the iranians would be frozen for ten years, then may be able to build up slowly, might work to alleviate those
concerns. >> so without getting into any of the details of the negotiations, because keep in mind, what's so challenging about these is that it's a classic -- it really is the classic example of nothing's agreed until everything's agreed. and because of these elements are so interrelated sometimes you hear -- one thing comes out in the media. allegedly something we're proposing to do. and absent the context, it's often misunderstood. let me give you one quick example of that, then i'll answer the question directly. there's a lot of back and forth sometime in the media about how many centrifuges might iran have at the end of this process? we see different numbers. the reason that is going to be a subject of negotiation and the reason that that number in the abstract is meaningless is because if you're looking at assuring that iran must have -- it must take at least a year for it to produce enough fissile material for a weapon, the number of centrifuges is an
important xoent nent of figuring that out. so is the type of centrifuge, so is the configuration, so is the stockpile of material that they're allowed to work with. depending on the configuration of those elements you could have more or fewer centrifuges and still get to your one year. so that's why looking at some of these elements in isolation is really the wrong way to go. with regard to the end of the process, that is, let's say there's an agreement and it lasts for years in the double digits. what happens at the end? and the fact is this. there will be a permanent ban on iran pursuing weapons activity. it will have to apply the additional protocol in perpetuity. there will be extensive iaea safeguards that are very significant. and during the process and during the agreement itself for however long it lasts what we will be learning about the program, every person involved,
virtually, if not every nook and cranny, that base of knowledge will exist beyond the duration of the agreement. and then of course, we would retain the same capacity and probably a greater capacity than we have now to deal with any efforts by iran to actually go to some kind of nuclear weapon. the bush administration put on the table the proposition that iran would be treated as a nonnuclear weapon state after it complied for some period of time with any agreement. and that's exactly what we're doing. that is the purpose of this very very challenging exercise. at some point in the future, having demonstrated that it's making good on its commitments, iran would be treated as a nonnuclear weapon state. but it is going to have a -- we're going to have a knowledge
of what's going on that far exceeds what we have now. and again there will be a permanent ban on weapons. if we see it moving in that direction we would be able to do something about it. we will have the same capacity we have today and probably a greater capacity to act on it than we -- in however long it is for the duration of the agreement. >> given the point you just made about having to see the agreement as a whole to get to the one-year breakout period have the selective leaks been very problematic and have they come from israel? >> i think that selective leaks on anything create more confusion than daylight. and that's unfortunate. you know one of the challenges of this business is that -- and i know david appreciates this -- is that we in government are constantly trying to plug the leaks and our friends like david are constantly trying to pry them out.
i think the challenge is whenever there is a leak whether it's on the iran negotiations or anything else one of the obligations that those writing about them have i think is to give it the, if possible, the context and the explanation. so things are not seen in isolation. >> speaking of davids who get leaks, david ignatius. we'll go to the goliaths after this. >> i'll happily answer to that summons. tony let me ask you about two issues that will arise if you do get an agreement. and the first is the i would say likely demand of other countries in the region that they be allowed to have the same nuclear capability threshold capability, with enrichment, centrifuges, et cetera, that the
agreement with grant iran. and how do you envision dealing with that problem from a? second, the day after the agreement is the day before iran's threat to regional security througha? second, the day after the agreement is the day before iran's threat to regional security through? second, the day after the agreement is the day before iran's threat to regional security through its proxies, through foreign policy, from yemen, damascus, beirut to baghdad. it's going to be there. how does the administration envision dealing with that problem in a world where you have an agreement? >> great. thanks, david. so with regard to whether other countries may see this as a model to follow i think it's about the last model any other country would want to follow. what is the iranian model? it as decade or more of sanctions, of isolation of economic decline as a result of its efforts to pursue enrichment
and reprocessing programs. and our policy remains that countries that don't have that technology ideally should not have it. the other thing that i think makes iran no role model for anyone is that, as i noted, any agreement is going to have an exceptionally intrusive access/inspections monitoring regime. i doubt strongly other countries in the region or elsewhere would want to have what iran is going to have to accept if there's going to be any agreement. so i really don't see it as a model that anyone would want to follow. with regard to threats to regional security, you're exactly right. i want to make it very clear that even as we pursued this agreement with iran on the nuclear program we have worked very, very vigorously to push back and counter and enforce the
various sanctions and mechanisms that are out there to deal with iran's actions and behaviors that are profoundly objectionable. whether it is support for terrorism, whether it is destabilizing activities in other countries that threaten some of our partners and allies or indeed for that matter its own activities at home. and so what you've seen throughout this effort is the very vigorous enforcement of sanctions, including in the nuclear area which we made very clear we would continue to strongly enforce all the existing sanctions and we have. but also in the terrorism area. in the issue of destabilizing other countries. we have over the course of the interim agreement designated sanctioned, more than 100 entities and individuals in all of those different areas. we've interdicted shipments to various countries that have been problematic. we've continued to vigorously enforce and monitor all of the
anti-proliferation requirements. and we've also worked over the last six and a half years to build up the capacity of our partners in the gulf to deal with iranian aggression and destabilizing activities. we've worked very closely with the gcc. we've put in place different capabilities that strengthen their ability to deal with problems. we are working with the gcc as an entity. in fact, one of the things that we did in terms of arms, the supply of arms and weapons, they can be treated as an entity for the pump of acquiring arms from the united states. so all of that will continue as long as the activities that iran is pursuing continues. let me just add two things without exaggerating. first of all inherently the biggest threat to stability in the region would be iran armed with a nuclear weapon. so to the extent the agreement
takes that off the table, that is profoundly in the interests not only of the united states but also of countries in the region. second i think that there are some elements in iran that are trying to approach their policies around the world in a somewhat more pragmatic fashion. not because they are necessarily good guys or like us, but because they see it as in iran's interests. to the extent that those people emerge in a stronger position and those who are pursuing the most noxious policies around the world are in a different position that wouldn't be a bad thing either. but again that's not a big aspect of this, but at least it's something to consider. >> you just said something that caught my ear which is that you're allowing the gcc to acquire weapons directly. do you think that should or could lead to a path where some arab nations create their own
nato, as general sissy in egypt and the saudiss, emiraties and others, and is that something we should encourage? >> we hear money morp from our partner interests in doing something like that. you're hearing from the jordanians saudis emirates egyptians, different ideas in that direction. moving from talking about it to acting on it is of course, a big challenge. but as a general proposition, their ability to come together and act in a unified way to deal with challenges would be a good thing. now, we're seeing some of that in the context of the anti-isil coalition where these countries are flying with us and flying together and that's helpful. but i think seeing this kind of initiative coming out of the region coming from these countries, is important. and now the question is whether
they can move from thinking about it and talking about it to starting to put in place some practical elements. >> p.j. crowley? >> picking up on isil, you and the vice president have spent probably as much time focused on iraq as anybody else in the administration over the past six years. how do you assess the performance of the body governments so far? they seem to be saying the right things but on the ground do you see a change as of yet in the relationship between the baghdad government and the sunni community? and then secondly on libya, given the egyptian action and the aftermath of the beheading of the cop ticktic christians should we view libya as a third front in the campaign against isil? >> thanks, p.j. i think the abadi government has taken significant strides to try to improvement the relationship
with the sunni community and create buy-in so that community sees its future not with isil but with iraq. it's a work in progress. it's usually challenging. i think they're in the middle of it, not at the end of it. but specifically we saw the formation of a more inclusive government. we saw the naming after this had been on ice for a long time of a sunni defense minister. we saw the prime minister take important steps, for example, expanding the office of the commander in chief, which had been prime minister maliki's way of having control over the military outside the chain of command. that was disbanded. dozens of generals were dismissed who were either ineffective or had very sectarian agendas. we've seen legislation that had been stalled start to move including on debathification. the council of ministers sent it back to the council of representatives a couple of weeks ago, there's back and forth there. then very sugly, legislation to form a national guard that would allow members of sunni tribes to
be part of a security force defending their own communities but attached to the state through training and equipping and salaries. that legislation is probably going to take time, about but in the interim, the abadi administration agreed that it would try to train and pay for and integrate with the iraqi security forces tribal fighters. and they made a commitment to do that with about 7,500 primarily in anbar and innua and they've reached that number. so on all of those fronts we're seeing progress. we also saw a budget that was passed that provides significant resources for the sunni governance. on the other hand, one of the big challenges has been that as the iraqi security forces in some maces have moved to take back territory lost to isil, in the early going the shiite militia were a critical component of their success. and a number of those militia
have been responsible for abuses and for revenge on the sunni community that had nothing to do with isil, they were victimized by it. that's something that needs to be reined in in a very serious manner. what's interesting has been that leaders in the shia community, especially the grand ayatollah sistani, have very publicly pushed back on the abuses of the shia militia. i would say it's a work in progress. but what's critical is in taking back the territory lost to isil, the integration of the tribal fighters with the iraqi security forces. we're intimately involved in that. we're putting them together at the al assad base where we have trainers. as that moves forward then i think you'll see that you know abadi's making real progress in actually showing the sunni community that the future is with iraq and not with isil. >> james? >> and libya. >> libya. so libya presents a real
challenge. because it -- to the extent that it becomes mired in civil war and truly chaotic, then it becomes a natural area that extremists will look to for a haven. because they prey on places that have weak governments, weak security forces and are in conflict. so we have a very strong incentive to try and prevent that from happening. right now there's a significant effort under way led by the united nations to try and form a national unity government. the only good thing that's emerged from the recent atrocities in libya conducted by isil or affiliates is it seems to have at least marginally concentrated the minds of all the different actors that there's something even more dangerous at stake than the differences that they have. and that is the potential for isil and affiliated groups to get a real strong foothold in libya. so that may help us get to a unity government. if that happens the
international community is in a better place to provide the assistance libya needs and start to build the bulwark against extremists taking root in libya. >> coming up on this switch continents for a second asia you were just out there take a wild stab and guess china may have come up with our allies. i wonder -- i want to ask two related debates. one is how all-powerful is xi jinping now? is there anything left of collective leadership in china? and the other is a narrative i see taking shape -- versus other views that we really -- what we saw now as far as fairly tight repression began in '99 or going by back, maybe 1989.
but where do you see him now? >> look, i think it would be hard for me or for anyone else to really decipher exactly what is going on internally in china in terms of the sort of internal power politics of it. but it does seem, as a sort of outside observer, that the president has worked hard to consolidate his authority and his power and has had some success in doing that. what i can talk about really is the state of the relationship and what we're trying to do together. and i think what we've seen, especially over the last year or so, is we've expanded the foundation for cooperation. and we're working together in more places productively than we have i think at any time in the past. and so just at the end of the year, as you know and saw, the leadership that we were able to exert with china on climate change was significant.
china's efforts to deal with ebola, in part at our urging, were significant. and beyond that, the military to military relationship is in a better place than it's been as a result of efforts, exchanges confidence-building measures et cetera. going forward into this year with the state visit to president xi and a pretty active agenda, we have i think the ability to continue to expand and deepen some of that cooperation. at the same time, part of this relationship is being very direct and very forthright about our differences. and not trying to sidestep them or ignore them. and that's exactly the nature of the conversations that i had when i was out there, and obviously others have had, and the secretary of state, the president, et cetera. but i think when i step back, i guess i think about two things. when i try to imagine how china
should be looking at this or might want to think about looking at this. and i had these conversations with some of our counterparts. first, one of the primary sources of friction as you know, jim, better than anyone in the region region, is china's activities in the south china senkakus, et cetera. this has caused a number of countries to come to us in ways they haven't in the past. one of the things i suggested to counterparts in china in some of our meetings, you know, our countries are obviously very different. different systems, different evolutions et cetera. and this was a little simplistic but nonetheless relevant. and that is in many ways, china now, at least in the region is where the united states was after world war ii. then our leaders had to decide how to use our emerging power on the world scene. and they made incredibly wise
decisions to take the lead in creating institutions, writing rules, establishing norms, that bound us. and so on one level, restrained the full exercise of our power. but at the same time, had the incredible beneficial effect of telling other countries oh, you don't have to band together against the united states to check its power because you have a voice you have a say you have the ability to help lead the direction of the world. and i suggested to some of our colleagues in china that this was relevant and interesting history as they thought about their approach to their emerging power. the other thing i'd say is this. when you think about the wealth of a nation today, in the past we defined it classically, how many people do you have? how big is your land mass? what's the size of your military? what's the abundance of your natural resources? all of those things are critically important and the good news for the united states is, we're doing very well our
wealth is great in all those areas. but i think there is a very strong consensus that in the 21st century, the true wealth of the nation is measured by its human resource and the ability of a country to maximize that resource, to allow it to debate to create to innovate to think for itself. and there we also have i think a position of great prominence and privilege in the world. and it's something too that our chinese friends might want to reflect about. >> kimberly dozer, maybe you can get congress bowman's microphone and move up a little bit. thanks. press the red button, yeah. >> two-part question on countering violent extremism. first of all, how do you keep the pressure on? and second of all, how do you deal with the fight over what to call the militants? on cve a number of people i spoke to who attended the meetings this past week said
great ideas but the same ideas as before. and the moment the attention is gone, there's not enough money there's not enough consistency. and in terms of calling them islamic militants versus criminal extremists, which are your arab partners that asked you to call them criminal extremists instead of the other? and how do you keep the republican comments about this from destroying your gnaw tralty? neutrality? >> i've got to say i sat through a big part of the meeting last week and then read the parts that i wasn't able to stay for. i learned a tremendous amount. from listening to people who had been confronting this problem in different places and different aspects of the problem around the world. and just for that reason alone, i thought it was an incredibly valuable exercise. but it also builds i think solidarity and a common plan of action going forward.
so let me just say a couple of things quickly and i'll get to the specific questions. first, one of the questions we grapple with is, why do we see this? why is this happening? and particularly, you've seen a significant expansion in the number of foreign fighters. people who travel from one country to another to get into the fight or to conduct acts of terrorism, more accurately. and one of the things that was striking, i think in listening to this is that you know, there's actually no one story. when you talk to the experts who have had a chance to talk to people who have gone from one country to another to join extremist groups, it's an incredible mix. some are pious. some are not. some are troubled, some are incredibly well-adjusted and would do very well in their societies if they stayed put. some seem to have a humanitarian calling because they believe some of the false stories that are told to them. others are attracted by the
notion of adventure and thrill-seeking. and then some, of course, actually are committed to the sort of totalitarian vision that isil and other groups have. so one of the first so the first challenge is actually, at least this is one of the things that i picked up is that there's actually no one story. which makes it even more complicated to deal with. if there was one driving reason or one clear explanation for why people engaged in these activities, it would be a lot easier to deal with. now, there are some common denominators that did come out. one of the driving things is a perception amongst some that somehow, islam is under threat. and, again, this is a per verted narrative. but that's one of the elements that seems to come out. another lmt that seems to be something of a common denominator is individuals who feel like they have no stake in the societies that they're in. and no future. that, too, can be a driver. a lack of critical thinking skills.
is a common denominator in the studies that have been done. and then of course in the countries in question themselves state repression corruption, et cetera, are all drivers. and, of course for those of us who are dealing with foreign fighters who are coming back some of these folks are coming back disz illusioned because the stories they were told by isil or other groups turned out not to be true. and, hopefully, they can be reintegrated. oirs are going to come back deeply troubled. psychologically, they have to be helped. but then you're going to have a very dangerous core to come back with experience, with skills, further radicalized who are going to try and make trouble at home and they have to be dilt with very drektly. so what do you do about all of this? i think there are two components, at least, in what we've been trying to do.
most parents don't want their kids to go off to syria or iraq. they desperately want to finds way to convince their kids if they get any knowledge that that's what they're thinking, not to do. >> identifying the right individuals who actually have the ability to reach people, that's critically important. and we're working on that.
and then, two other thinks. this notion, and this is a much longer-term effort. how do you convince people in france or germany or denmark that they really do have a stake in the future of their societies. and that they don't become as susceptible as they are to some of these extremist narratives chlts one other element that's interesting to me, prisons. its's exactly what they want. they want to be legitimized by
an association with religion. we would be playing into their narrative. second, and, by the way, i think this was pointed out in a piece the other day. there are 1.6 billion muslims. we would be allowing 0.0019 per cent of a particular rely jousz group to define the entire group? that makes no sense. and, beyond that, the second reason is it actually has the potential to alienate the people that you need on the front lines combatting this problem. and that's exact lyly what we heard from most, if not all, from what i've heard from ministers and other delegates in the town last week. >> maybe you can grab david's mic or somebody. greg, you're coming next. so you can keep the mico. >> thanks, tony. last week, the u.n. special
envoy for sere ja, i believe you met with him, as well. he said in a private briefing that iran has been supporting sere y regime to the tune of $35 billion annually. k4 is an astonishing figure. but over the last year and a half,have you seen any difference in the regional policies? thank you. >> thanks. second question first. i haven't seen any difference. if anything i've seen iran trying to take advantage of different openings for example in yemen. and we've seen a continuation of destabilizing activities support for terrorist groups. i think there's been -- you could make the case that for
reasons of their own they've done some positive things in iraq, not in any coordination or coop ralgts e ration with us because it advanced their interest. but that's their own agenda. the people who are responsible for trying to pursue the greemts on behalf of iran are not the same people e people in charge of their policy and other areas. so there seems to be a little bit of a dichotomy between the way they're approaching the nuclear issue, which has been, you know, i would say largely prague matic, which doesn't mean we will get to an agreement versus their activity in other areas which have been arguably accelerated. second, with regard to the support of syria, i can't vouj for the number that stefan said
but there's no doubt a significant amount of resources. and these are resources that rgth arguably, can't really afford. which, hopefully, may be one insentive for iran to think about putting its weight and influence behind some kind of negotiated political tran sigsz. and, by the way, if same goes for russia. they are also expanding significant resources to support asad. resources that they also don't really have the luxury of spending in that way. and one would hope that they will think twice going forward that it might be to their benefit to not have to make those same kind of expendstures and to help move in the direction of a political transition that allows syria to remain in tact, its institutions in tact. but takes the magnet for extremism, which is bad for russia and bad for iran in terms of isil away. and that's asaad.
>> you spoke today about the impact of our sanctions on russia. to what extent is the concern of the administration that there may be linkage? particularly the following question. to what extent are we relying upon russian cooperation for successful result with iran? >> >>. >> it's a really interesting
question and one that we've been looking at. again, it's a malter of self interest. when it comes to the iran nuclear negotiations, the russians have been a con struktsive partner and they remain a con struktsive partner. them tried to vangs in the course of these negotiations. so the profound difference that we have over them in the ukraine has not bled into the iran nuclear negotiations. i would say similarly, that has not been especially problematic u either. i think what one can take from that is, in part that where russia concludes that a particular issue and cooperation in the context of that issue advances its own interest, it's going to keep doing it irrespective of what's going on with crew yan or anything else. tlooesz that's