tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN September 4, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EDT
time to meet with the british, who had all the intelligence on what was going on on the german side. if there was anything, they knew about it. and we, in america, had no real good intelligence services. so we had -- we relied on the british as a major source. eventually by -- i went around and talked to all the various army, army headquarters and navy headquarters to let them know what i wanted to know without telling them what we were doing. and eventually some reports trickled back to me. but for the most part, they were interested in the great major
buildup of armaments and military troops and supplies. and they didn't have much time for intelligence. we did pick up some very interesting information from them. and we picked up information from dupont and a lot of the larger corporations who had corporate intelligence services that they kept in touch with around the world. this led eventually to -- well, i should say that you might say the whole project, the manhattan project, was built on fear, fear that the enemy had the bomb or would have it before we could develop it. and this they knew to be the case, the scientists did, because they were refugees from germany, or a large number of
them, and they had studied under the germans before the war broke out. we knew -- as a result, i knew of 40 different german scientists that could be involved in a project that could develop a bomb. and during the rest of the whole time i was there, we were constantly looking for those names to appear in publications or whatever reports we could find. so that we, we knew -- if we knew what they were doing we could better assess as to whether they were on track for developing a bomb. very serious business. eventually, as the war progressed, general groves
decided to put a mission following the armies in europe. it would be a scientific mission. it would be a mission composed of scientists representing all of the various scientific tracts. and buried into it would be two or three atomic scientists. and this mission would be there to answer questions by the major -- by the generals as they went forward, who were constantly receiving threatening reports of devastating weapons which might be thrown against them. the mission was called the alsos mission. it was put together in g-2. that's the army intelligence department.
the name was a mystery name for the whole war, and for ten years after the war nobody could figure out why -- where the name came from. eventually, i had to tell them that the colonel that i worked with was a greek student, and alsos is a greek word for grove, grove of trees. now if general groves had known that, i would have been put up to the firing squad, because he didn't want any secret like that to get known. but sort of an interesting little quirk of how this colonel got the project properly named after all. anyway, this scientific mission was very effective, and as the
army moved forward, it interviewed german scientists, all kinds of scientists. french. belgian, whatever. and to pick up information as to what the germans were doing. one of the most important reports that wrote was called the straussburg report which really told general groves and president roosevelt that the project -- that they didn't have a project, that it was -- they were focussing on rockets. and of course, i must say, we focussed very -- focussed our attention on heisenberg who was the chief scientific atomic scientist in germany, and we knew that wherever he would be, that that's where the project would be.
later on, when the bomb was ready, general groves sent me out to pick it up in arizona, new mexico, rather. at los alamos, and i traveled with the bomb, took it all the way over to tinian. first by air to california and then on to indianapolis, the cruiser indianapolis to tinnian. and i waited there until the bomb was dropped. after that, i went into japan on a special mission that general groves set up to look at all the universities, all the colleges, factories, to see if we could
determine what the capacity of the japanese were, whether they had something going or not. and i came home and very soon got out and started my construction business. and that, briefly, is my war story. and i think the bomb was -- it's a miracle the bomb was developed. it's wonderful that we were able to use it to end the war. if it had not, if the bomb had not been dropped and the war had continued, thousands of people would have died on both sides, particularly if we had invaded japan. like we might be talking about a million people in such a
terrible invasion process. the miracle, the biggest miracle is that after the war we had, after 60 years now, we have not had another atomic bomb incident. it's been lucky. and we should direct our attention to every effort to prevent any possible occurrence, such as a war which might use nuclear weapons. the mission to japan was divided into three parts. there was a medical mission and million mission that went directly to hiroshima. another similar group went to nagasaki. what's the other city? >> nagasaki. >> nagasaki.
and then the third was the one i had, which went to all the factories and universities in japan and korea, looking for a trace of nuclear action. the people in these missions was really composed of those already at tinian, you know, a tremendous team of technical people, medical people there and, and interpreters. so each team had medical people and had interpreters and scientists. philip morrison went with me. philip morrison recently died. he was a professor of physics at
cornell, i think, when he died. but this, this is where they covered all the fronts. and those reports are available, and they completely tell the story of what was found when, when these, the americans first arrived at hiroshima and nagasaki and what i found in the various university towns. one of the things we forget or we're apt to forget is the tremendous and important role that the emperor of japan, hirohito, played in ending the war.
opposing his army, he got on the radio and called the war off. it was not easy. now the people where i went did not complain about the war being over. i can remember that. there was no, they did not express complaints about the use of an atomic bomb. the general impression i got was that they needed to get reorganized and back up on their feet, and i think that sums it up, really.
in other words, there was no -- i didn't experience any great hatred for americans. as we proceeded with the -- into the peacetime. and well, that's about all i can say about that. >> are there, have you, i assume been in contact with japanese on and off over the last 60 years. i'm presuming you've had some contact with japanese, or you had some impressions. no? >> no, i have not had any -- never traveled in that direction. got as far as alaska. >> how many weeks after the
bombing did you have that mission? how long ago was that? >> well, the bomb was, the first bomb was august 6, second bomb about six or eight days later. the mission was formed early in september. we got back to the states in late november and i got out maybe about the first of january, something like that. >> so you were in japan about two months? >> yes. >> tell us more about your mission, and was it like the alsos in looking to see if the japanese had been developing an atomic bomb. >> in order to determine whether there was a project or not, we went to the universities,
because we knew that if there was a project, the scientists had to come from the universities. this was, it would be a scientific project. physicists would be involved. we had the names of eight, about eight japanese scientists who had studied in japan, studied in germany, and were capable of running, possibly capable of running a project if japan had one. so then we went to the big corporations, and to look -- just to inquire about their facilities. and went into their research departments. quizzed people. went out into the field. looked at properties. went to, went to korea.
don't forget, if they had a project, we knew it would have to be a tremendous project like our -- like oak ridge. if somebody showed us a 40,000 foot warehouse and said that that was their project line, we felt pretty safe, because, you know, oak ridge was 1 million feet. our project, half the size of the state of rhode island. and we, as far as we knew, nobody could do it any quicker or any faster. although, that was one of our fears, that maybe somebody would figure out a way to produce an atomic bomb in a different way than we were doing it. so that's about what we did.
and we also -- and particularly in korea, where they had mineral resources, we checked out all the mines to see if there was an interest in mining uranium, radium. that's where it would have to start. and from our report, from this, we could make our report back that there was no serious project, and i think that report has stood up under questioning over the years. every once in a while somebody wants to write an article saying that a secret plant was
producing atomic bombs and this we could easily check out. force them to remove the report. >> i'd like to go back to -- one of the things that stan morris says about you is that you were at the first atomic intelligence unit. is that what they called it? or what was your title? >> well, general groves faced this problem with the scientists. who had this tremendous fear of the germans having a bomb well ahead of us, since most of his team of scientists had studied under the germans, and the germans were still there.
and we didn't have any reports saying that -- denying that they weren't busy and active. so until i came on board, there wasn't, there wasn't any effort, hadn't been any effort to try to find out more than they had -- more than they knew at that time, find out more about what was going on in germany. and general groves' intention was to find out as quickly as possible in order to calm down his scientific team on the job and not be scared all the time. so we, there was a group of
scientists that i met with, major people that were involved with the project, compton in chicago, and uri up in new york, and lawrence out in california and oppenheimer. and they fed me some names that i could work with. and we -- this team of scientists suggested that we, for one thing, that we would go try to get scientific publications out of germany and let them look at them. because if the scientists that we knew, i would say going back to the 40, we knew of the 40 german scientists that were
nuclear scientists and would be involved in a project. if they were publishing, this would give us some idea what they were thinking about. so through switzerland, mainly, we obtained scientific reports and i passed them on to this committee. they read them and made their comments. and passed them out among the other scientists, all in avenue or the to calm down the scientists there. and also, if we found something important, we would be gratified. but we never did. we never found anything. except negative stuff. negative by means that these 40 scientists that we knew were not in any big nuclear bomb project. then the alsos mission, he got
reports back from the german scientists as the armies went through eastern france and over into germany. the scientists were picked up and talked to, and these reports went to groves and he got it out to all the scientists on the project, which gave the project scientists some relief to know that there probably wasn't a project going on. now, what we didn't know was that -- we didn't know that the british had broken the code and that the british, the british, of course, weren't willing to
tell us they had broken the code, for fear that this would leak out back to the germans. leak out back to the germans. so we -- the british themselves were kind of quiet, they passed on information carefully to us to make sure that we, nothing could be tied back to this fact that we picked, that they had picked it up off the code break. and so right to the end of the war, there was a gap there that we never knew about. but, and the british had, of course, their own opinion well declared to us from the very beginning that their information was that the germans had no
project. no backup to it at all. it just, and then they were, of course, completely, the british were completely absorbed in their efforts just to stay alive, survive the bombings and put their troops in the field and win the war. so that's about the atmosphere that we had to work with. and -- >> were there british who actually went in france with you? were you sort of an allied team? was it an american force with some british scientists or, i mean, did you work with the british as you were going into france and germany? >> yes. >> yeah. >> the answer is, yes, the british worked right with us. on our scientific efforts or scientific project, even had some people in the alsos mission occasionally visiting, and we would consult with them when we
found out information. they always were very helpful. but you've got to remember, their country was being devastated by this war, and they were doing all they could just to stay alive. >> i recall that it was december 1944 that joseph brockland left the project, because he had learned that there was no bomb from some british reporter. i don't know. do you know, does that ring a bell? december '44, was that a time when the british had told us that they had evidence there was no german effort? >> it doesn't ring a bell with my memory at all. >> i don't know what -- because obviously alsos continued far beyond that. you were involved in what, april
of '45, may, just as the vj-day was approaching? >> mm-hm. >> i thought one of the exciting parts of stan norris' book is his descriptions of some of the situations you were involved in personally on your mission. >> yeah. >> some ducking bullets and -- >> no, not much. i was never in great peril. we stayed back of the lines, 50 miles. one of the interesting things was that general groves sent me a cable saying that sir charles hambro, head of the bank of england was coming over to the alsos mission for a visit.
he also was a big wheel in the brit itch government. he also ran railroads. big cheese. and take care of him. so sir charles appeared, and we found out immediately that he'd like to get around the battlefields. i think the armies were up north, hadn't crossed over into germany yet. and one thing he wanted to do was put his feet in the rhine river. he was a world war soldier. so we took him out to visit some of the old world war i battlefields, which were still, still visible. and we actually went to strassburg.
and on a foggy morning he went down and put his feet in. it upset us that he would even try, because the germans were on the other side of the river. maybe they could see through that fog, i don't know, but we didn't want this guy hurt. and after five days of touring, he said to me, he said, furman i want to throw a big dinner of my appreciation of what all you've done. i said fine, so we went to a french inn. and we gave -- the french didn't have much food, so we gave the french inn our rations and they cooked up something. i remember they went down into one of their cellars and came up through the floor with a choice bottle of whiskey or wine or something. this was going to be a big celebration. and we had a great time, great meal.
and after it was over, i got -- the bill came in, and i gave it to hambro. and he looked at it and says, furman, i don't have any money, will you pay this? here's the head of the bank of england. and i, i had to take -- i had to pay for it. so the next day or the day after, we took him back to the airport. and it was springtime, and i still remember him getting on the plane with five or six daffodils in his hand. and great guy. that was an incident that we all remembered. >> no doubt. that's great. wow. let's see. i'm just looking at -- actually,
you personally were involved in discovering the scientists. i know that john lansdale writes in his memoirs, coming upon otto hahn. were you with him at that time? were you working with lansdale on that? >> yes, i was there. >> can you -- >> and pasch was there. >> can you start again? >> you're now talking about the armies having moved forward. and we were able to go to the home of otto hahn, a german, principal german scientist. and pasch, colonel pasch was head of the military side of the alsos mission and they
interviewed him, and i was there, too. and which, it was quite clear that he, at least he was not involved in any atomic bomb project. and this, this occurred several times with other scientists as we came upon them. we would, the same people, where other people in the mission would interview them, and then we would write up the reports and send them back to the states. one time general groves sent a message over that i was to go to the rhine river as soon as the troops got past, went over the bridge and scoop up some water and send it back so they could test it.
the theory being that the scientists knew that if there was an atomic plant anywhere on that river, that it could be detected in the water. unless they took extreme measures to not dump the radioactive substances back into the river. so we did that. we set up a project and went north and picked, went out on the bridge and got the water, brought it back to paris. and boxed it up, four or five bottles of it, and sent it to chicago.
but before we put, put the -- sealed the case, we put in two or three bottles of french wine, with a little note on it. i wrote, okay, test this, too. meaning, look, have a good, have a good french wine. well, wasn't long before we got back a message that the water tested negative, but the wine was positive. send more wine. and we didn't know how to take that. mainly a joke. finally, i got a message back. this is not a joke. the wine is radioactive, send us more wine. well, we went back. we traced this wine back to a winery. we found out that the wine that the soil there where the wine
was grown was, had nuclear deposits of uranium or something in there, which was soaked up into the moisture that got into the wine. and we did. we went, got several cases of wine, sent several cases back to the states. kept two or three cases for ourselves to enjoy. and that was the end of the wine incident. but the wine, the wine was radioactive. . >> that's crazy. >> i bet you, i bet today, if you went very carefully tested wines on the market today, you'd find some that had some radioactivity in them. >> sure. >> not enough to be harmful. as our armies moved forward into germany, and it seemed that the war would quickly end there and
that we, on groves' attention for targets for the bomb, concentrated, he concentrated his attention on targets in japan. and he passed on a list of targets to, well, to stinson and to general, to roosevelt, truman, and several other targets were dismissed, such as kyoto, and there were great problems trying to find targets, because we had bombed so many cities. and we wanted a city which had not been bombed yet, if we could. and gradually, they got at least two, two cities decided upon. maybe a third.
i never could -- i can't remember. of course we had to wait till august 6th to get that plane up in the air and over into japan. so there wasn't any real effort made to bomb in europe. and there was this concentration of, on targets in japan. and all in an effort, maybe, to end the war. >> so what do you think of truman's decision to decide to drop the bomb. >> well, i would say almost everybody in the project, from the military side, wanted to see it dropped. the scientists, i don't know.
but anyway, all you can, history is really shown us that dropping that bomb was the best thing to do to end the war. they ended it almost immediately. and that was pretty much, pretty solid information on which to base that decision. if you can end the war immediately, it would be worth it to drop the bomb. there was no, no talk about using the bomb anyway. i mean, just because we developed it. there was no talk like that that i recall. if we could have ended the war without dropping the bomb, that would be fine, but that was
never an option. >> do you, it might be helpful if you could also add -- i mean, maybe this is something we can get from other sources, but just how many, you know, that the japanese -- the perception of the japanese as being unwilling to surrender. having had all of the battles over island after island that ended in, you know, death to the end. the same kind of severe bombing where they lost a lot of -- 550,000 people died from our air raids or our conventional bombing raids from march until august. >> mm-hm. >> do you want to say something like that, that that showed that the japanese were in no --
didn't seem to have -- to be wavering in their commitment to fighting to the end? >> well, from where we sat, the japanese were determined to fight to the very end. they were under the military. the whole country was being directed by the military. and the military would not give up. that's why it's important to remember the -- how important hirohito's decision to get on the radio and stop the war, how important that was. because he had to override the military to do it. now this has all been written up in great detail, and i'm sure you can read about it. but this is very important that we remember that hirohito's decision was trying to end the war.
>> you had mentioned earlier the soviets. and the role that they played, the fear that japan had of their entering the war. do you want to add anything about that? >> i didn't understand. >> you had mentioned earlier that japan was worried about russia, about soviet union entering the war, and that if they had to face the russians coming in through -- >> yeah. >> -- into the war, that they may lose, you know, various possessions, including some of the homeland. i don't know. i don't know what their -- >> yeah. it's often discussed as what would have happened if the war had been continued and the russians were allowed to come
into the war against japan. everybody feared that, including most of the americans. we didn't want to have an endless war, we wanted the war in the pacific over. all we can say is that by ending the war the russians didn't have that choice. they got all they could, but that didn't actually enter the fight and get more territory. >> can you remember in your discussions -- i get the sense that no one expected that the war was necessarily going to end after two bombs. there's a third one on the way. and the people assigned to tinian were assigned for the duration thought they'd be there for six more months, or i don't
know. can you -- if that's correct, or whatever memory you might have of what people's expectations were. >> it's often discussed just how many bombs were, could be dropped on japan. we had two bombs. the third bomb was, perhaps, three weeks off. and then there were bombs after that. but we were lucky. we never had to go beyond that. beyond the two that we dropped. that's about -- it's just, just a piece of luck that we could end the war when we did. >> was indeed. let's see.
do you remember being on tinian island in august, what it was like when the enola gate crew returned? did they return to tinnian, and the feeling of the people? i mean, when you learned -- when did you learn that the bomb had been successful? the first bomb. >> well, enola gate took off from tinnian with the first bomb and returned. they went into a debriefing section, which many people attended. and we were all quite pleased at that point that so far so good. took a second bomb to end the war. but there was no -- we didn't
have any -- i don't think there was any, any real expectation that the second bomb alone would do it. there was the need -- we all did not know how long we would be in tinnian or in japan. and great war plans were being -- had been developed, which would move tremendous numbers of troops into japan almost immediately. so the end of the war was greatly appreciated. i don't really know whether i would be here if it hadn't ended then. >> were you scheduled to go to japan then in. >> we were scheduled to go
wherever we had to go. everywhere i go where there's a war veteran, i find a war veteran with orders -- who had orders in his pocket which would take him on the invasion of japan. everywhere i go. there was no dream. we were going right on in. >> those people knowing that you were involved in the project, what do those people say? do you find people thanking you for your part in the atomic bomb project? >> well they may not thank me but they were glad the war was
ov over. no war really ever ended like that. the atomic bomb is such a devastating bomb. i want you to read some day the report that bombing analysts wrote after visiting targets in japan that had been bombed. that was his job. he went -- after each bombing mission he went to the project -- went to the bombing project and assessed the damage. 30%, 50%, whatever percent of the city. but when he learned that one plane over hiroshima had completely devastated the city,
it wasn't there anymore, he practically went into shock. in other words, the bombing missions don't do that. they destroy but not completely. they're bad, very bad, and we lose a lot of planes doing it. but the atomic bomb has a force which is almost impossible for us to appreciate. and looking into the future we've got to remember that. because we've had enough atomic bombs and we hope we don't have to use any more, anybody anywhere. one of the things i was asked to do was take the bomb to tinnian.
i went out received the bomb. and i remember they -- the authorities wanted a receipt, that i had received it. so i signed a receipt for an atomic bomb, which is -- would be kind of nice the frame, wouldn't it? then they decided that i was too secret for me to keep the receipt, and they actually developed a receipt for the receipt that they just -- that i had just given them. then i took the bomb in a convoy down the mountain. i was in the center jeep with the bomb and there was a couple of jeeps ahead of me, a couple
behind. and we were on the way to al albuquerque, the air force base there where we would pick up three planes. pretty much -- the trip was pretty much without incident except we had a flat tire. and the project, very secret important project stood by the side of the road while some gi fixed a tire. but we went on down -- makes you think of the, you know, the gi, the picture of the gi with a mine sweeper walking ahead down the road. you could see that the whole -- behind him was 75 trucks,
following this one man with a mine sweeper. same thing. anyway. but at albuquerque, we had a delay in which -- because the planes weren't ready weren't ready. finally i got on a plane with the bomb. there was a plane ahead of me and one behind me. my orders were to make sure that i went with the bomb. whenever it went, i was to go. we all had parachutes. we flew without incident over to san francisco and turned the bomb over and took the bomb aboard the indianapolis, which then sailed the pacific and dropped -- delivered the bomb to the air force over there, the
509th composite group that then flew it into japan. this was -- what i carried was really half the bomb. if i had the whole bomb, the thing would blow up at any time under certain circumstances. so the other half was flown over. i kind of think the navy wanted to be part of this project, so that's why they -- half of it went on a navy ship. the other part, the air force took. of course, the "indianapolis" is a story all by itself. fortunately we got off at tinian. a few days later, the
"indianapolis" was sunk in the chinese sea somewhere, the yellow sea. >> it's an incredible story. i mean, that whole story. >> yeah. >> you must have been glad you were no longer on it. >> oh, boy. >> my goodness. wild. did you get to know the captain? >> oh, yeah, sure. >> very tough. there's been a lot talked about morse or mo berg. did you know him? >> yes. >> can you tell us how -- >> mo berg was a baseball player
of some note in the major leagues. he was recruited by the oss and became an agent for them and went abroad during world war ii. we used to see him occasionally. now, he became -- we ran into him occasionally because he was -- he might be in the same spots, same places that we were. he was -- i was not part of this, but apparently grose
decided to see if heisenberg could be eliminated. that's another story where mo berg was involved in tracking down heisenberg in switzerland. but that's really the end of the story. probably a good idea that such a plan was not carried out because it would have caused the germans to see the immediate importance of an atomic bomb and our involvement and our manufacture of the bomb would be more apparent to them. they might have changed their
targe targets. >> he went to princeton too, right? >> yeah. >> but you didn't overlap? >> no. i don't know what class he was. >> i read he spoke seven languages or something. since you were in europe all those months, do you know or did you learn french and german? >> i got -- i got so i could speak french. german, i -- no. i immediately -- i was very poor anyway in french. the little bit i knew got me into trouble because as soon as you began to speak french, they immediately would not speak english anymore. so yes, i studied french and tried to get so i could talk to the french people, but it
probably would have been better if i hadn't because you really have to be awfully good. probably have to live there for a while. did you take french? >> yes, i did. i agree completely. you have to live there to really become fluent. >> yeah. >> and i completely sympathize. let's see. talked about that. oh, i know. i wanted to have you tell us the story that you told before, but it's going to be better quality on this, about mrs. o'leary having to find a man who some of her generals could ask questions of. you want to tell that story? >> yeah, well, general groves
had an executive secretary. her name was jean o'leary. she sat right outside his office and received his calls, took all his -- took all his dictation, made all his arrangements for him. she was a terrific person. quite -- very, very able. but in those days, not like today, women weren't recognized. and some of these generals would not talk to a woman if they -- and they would demand to talk to somebody else. so a call would come in from, say, general clay, for general groves. i don't know whether clay was the one or not.
but anyway, she would turn the phone over to me. i would make notes and give her the notes, and she would tell me what to say through clay, see. so there was this problem, and it was something which we have gradually overcome over the years, but it was quite prevalent then. not too many women were heads of organizations. not too many women ran companies. today it's kind of common. she was a great friend and a good organizer. the general depended upon her completely. >> you can see more of robert furman's oral history at c-span.org/history.
tonight on american history tv, oral histories from the u.s. holocaust memorial museum. including an interview with leslie swift, the museum's chief of film, oral history, and recorded sound. then kurt klein talks about escaping germany in the 1930s and helping to liberate holocaust survivors. gerda klein recalls spending most of the war in a jewish ghetto and being sent on a death march in 1945. later, mayor adler remembers being deported to auschwitz. all of this on american history tv tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span3.
republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is. i further pledge that i will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate, nor will i seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party. that's it. that's the pledge. donald trump signed it up in new york during the 1:00 hour yesterday. he was at a meeting with reince priebus, head of the rnc. then he came out at 2:00, donald trump d and spoke with reporters. here's what he had to say. >> the chairman just left, as you probably know. he's been extremely fair. the rnc has been absolutely terrific over the last two-month period. as you know, that's what i've wanted. i've wanted fairness. i don't have to be treated any differently than anybody else. i just wanted fairness from the republican party. we're leading in every single poll. a new poll came out today where we're over 30%. we've actually hit numbers as
high as 35% and 40%. and frankly, i felt that the absolute best way to win and to beat the democrats and very easily, i think, beat the democrats no matter who it may be, whether it's hillary or anybody else, and i think maybe hillary's going to have a very hard time, frankly, with what's happening getting to the starting gate. the best way for the republicans to win is if i win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up. for that reason, i have signed the pledge. so i will be totally pledging my allegiance to the republican party and the conservative principles for which it stand. we will go out and we will fight
hard and we will win. we will win. and most importantly, we will make our country great again because that's what it's all about. >> so what's being written about all of this, this morning. robert costa, "washington post," the headline says, trump's gop loyalty vow ends republican problem, but it brings others. he paints a little bit of the picture from yesterday in new york and says the bustling scene attended by a crowd of reporters and tv cameras was more political theater than the marking of a formal pact, as trump is under no legal obligation to abide by the document. but it does bring him closer to a party whose rank and file activists he's thrilled this summer and whose leadership has at times viewed his rapid ascent with alarm, especially the prospect of an outside bid that could siphon away bids from the eventual republican nomination.
republicans gain reassurance. that's in "the washington post." we'll take this just a little bit further now with jonathan easily. he's a reporter for "the hill" publication. good morning. >> good morning. >> thanks for joining us. so more of the back story here. what led up to this event yesterday? what was happening behind the scenes, and what finally made mr. trump sign this pledge? >> yeah, well, what led up to it was donald trump refusing to take the option of a third-party run off the table. you probably remember the very first question at the republican debate in early august. the moderators asked everyone to raise their hand if they were, you know -- or to take it off the table. trump was the only one who refused to do so. he said he wanted to keep the option out there as leverage to make sure that the national party treated him properly.
you probably remember also there was some tension early on between republican national committee chairman reince priebus and donald trump. priebus called trump, reportedly asking him to tone down his rhetoric about hispanics. republicans have been trying to make inroads with minority voters. the party didn't think trump was helping with his rhetoric. there's been tension there, but i think trump has been kind of moving in this direction for some time, and his hand was forced a little bit. the early voting states, south carolina in particular, are probably going to have this loyalty pledge as a requirement to get on the ballots there. so he was probably going to have to do this anyway. but the national party quietly circulated a pledge on wednesday to all the candidates. the news got out there, then news priebus was going to travel to new york city and try to get trump to sign this. so it's all kind of happening on
donald trump's terms, i think. you know, priebus didn't travel to see any of the other candidates. he went to new york city to do it. then as you said, there was the little bit of political theater directly after where donald trump had a press conference with supporters at trump towers, supporters in the background there answering questions on tom brady, on kanye west, kind of the spectacle we've become used to with donald trump. yeah, ultimately he ended up signing it. but like you said, it's also nonbinding. so it's going to be interesting to see if trump continues to do well in the polls, if he wins early voting states, if national republicans decide to rally around an alternative to trump, if he's going to keep his word and stick to that pledge. >> you did write a recent story about trump hitting 30% in one of the most recent polls. we could take another look at that headline. so what do you think? does this decision to sign it improve those number, keep them
stable, perhaps go down? what's the speculation out there? >> i mean, that's really hard to say. for now in the near term, it removes some of the drama surrounding this. you know, it's really difficult, i think, to launch a third party bid. it's going to be expensive. it's difficult to get on these ballots. i don't know how realizistic a prospect it ever was. if anyone could do it, donald trump could. he's got the money to do it. but also, you know, i think there's still a question out there, who are donald trump supporters? these polls show he does well across the conservative spectrum with tea party people, with people who describe themselves as very conservative, people who describe themselves as moderates, people who describe themselves as liberal. young people, old people, men and women. so i think a lot of pollsters are still trying to figure out who donald trump's supporters are, and it's hard to say whether they want him to run as
a republican for if they'd be fine with him running as an independent. so i don't necessarily know if it's going to boost him in the polls, but right now i think what it does is just relieve some of the tension that's been out there between him and the national party. because like you said, were he to run as an independent and successfully get on the ballot and do all these things, it would essentially kill republican hopes of taking the white house. i think that's what a lot of republicans are concerned about, and they wanted to hear from him that he's committed to only running as republican. for now, at least, that's what he's saying he'll do. >> jonathan easley, reporter for "the hill," thanks for the insight this morning. appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> let's get right to calls. the first one is from paul from appleton, wisconsin, democratic caller. good morning, paul. >> caller: hi. yeah, i can't believe how the republican party is drinking the trump kool-aid. i never liked republicans, but
they're at a new low supporting this celebrity blowhard. that's all he is, an arrogant billionaire that wants to bully people. every single dime he ever made in his life is because he ripped people off all his life, conning investors into investing with him and then going into bankruptcy and collecting all the money. i mean, i would have voted for romney in a second over this guy. i can't believe republicans are going for this kook. he's a kook. he's a celebrity. >> 30% is the number, or even higher in recent polls, paul. what do you think? >> caller: it's shocking. it's shocking. it's like the republicans, they collect the biggest crook in the world and they'll support him. that's my view of trump. that's all he is, an overgrown billionaire bully that thinks
he's going to bully his way into the white house. all the stuff he says is nuts. >> that's paul on the democratic line. let's go to the republican line to austin, texas. lorenzo, you're on the air. what do you think, should donald trump have signed the pledge? >> caller: i think he should, but i also think he truly does believe and he will win the gop nomination because yes, he has 30% right now and his lead hasn't really grown beyond the margin of error in the last couple months, however something to consider is fact that if not him, then who? okay, republicans based on their favorability ratings have not liked bush. he only had 8% of the polls right now. if you look at ben carson, his record on abortion has been -- with his fetal tissue research is going to be controversial in the primary if it becomes exposed. trump is the only one by default i can see winning the nomination. as for the previous caller with his calling of mr. trump a crook and a crony capitalist, it's
just obscene to me considering the fact that hillary clinton has taken millions and millions of dollars from corrupt people who only want to control the system, who has had scandals such as benghazi, all the way from white water. she's the only first lady ever to be fingerprinted. she has such baggage. the reason people are supporting trump is he's the only person who's ever truly -- who is ever speaking against the idea of political correctness. that's why he's so appealing. i think if he does win the nomination when it comes time, he will win the general election believe it or not. the american people are sick and tired of the status quo of politicians saying whatever they want to say just to get the right answers. >> all right. let's hear from julius now in north carolina. democratic line. should donald trump have signed this pledge? >> caller: well, it don't make any difference whether donald trump signed the pledge or not. donald trump played reince
priebus like a fiddle. if he don't get the nomination, he going to go to third party anyway. i really can't believe the republicans are really trying this tactic. but like i say, donald trump really played reince priebus like a fiddle. thank you, have a good day. >> first couple calls. here's our first tweet. trurp is being a realist. it is difficult running as an incompetent, which makes it almost impossible to win. this helps trump and gop. to "the new york times" this morning. they put it on page a-16. he signs the pledge. there's a passage in here i wanted to point out. why mr. trump was asked wasn't mr. priebus appearing with him at the news conference. that would have looked like an endorsement, mr. trump insisted, saying he urged the party chairman to avoid it. but the optics of this event in new york were clear. head of the republican party had come to mr. trump's flashy
office in midtown manhattan, the tribute that was unlikely to be accorded to the other candidates. one reporter asked about governor chris christie of new jersey calling mr. trump self-obsessed and pointing out mr. priebus didn't give him the same respect for his signature. a little bit more of the flavor from new york yesterday. greg is on the line now. independent caller. hey, greg. >> caller: yes. thank you for having me this morning. >> you bet. >> caller: i just want to make a comment. the republicans are using a cue direct lly from -- they need donald trump.
for me, you are fired. thank you. >> all right. carolyn from winston, salem. democratic caller. we're asking folks whether mr. trump should have signed this pledge. what's your perspective? >> caller: i think he shouldn't have. i'm a democrat. when i heard trump -- i've been following him and listening to him. he got on the stage and said he would not sign, lifted it his hand, and said he was not going to sign it. then he turned right around and signed it. i thought the gop had been dominating negativity about the democrats and president obama for years. he was different. i thought he was going to stick with not signing, and he's signing. i find out donald trump actually planting negative seeds about other candidates, especially jeb bush. i don't really care about gop,
but he planted bad seeds. oh, he's weak. he's this, he's that. and the republicans believed it. just like they did the kool-aid of obama. he's weak, not a good leader. i want the democrats to wake up. stop being weak minded, letting people plant negative seeds in your head and you believe it. especially about hillary. hillary would be -- donald is not level headed to even think about war. you see how he do people that attack him. if putin say something he don't like, what he going to do to him? we would be in a war. he's the one unstable. we need to stick with hillary. she has the experience. stop letting these gops plant negative seeds about hillary, stop drinking their kool-aid. >> all right, carolyn. appreciate your call. rick writes on twitter that he was shock eed trump signed the
pledge, but on second thought, it represents another deal he can renege on. linda writes on facebook, there are still staunch republicans who would not have voted trump's way had he not signed the pledge. everyone who follows knows trump's reason for hesitation. donald writes, i had better see the gop make everyone ever wants to run for the president in the future sign the same pledge, and. they ever miss one person, trump should sue the board of directors or whoever is in charge. daniel writes that trump will make more money by signing the pledge. he needed to sign that pledge. yes, of course, the potential nominee should have signed it. you can leave comments @cspanwj on twitter, facebook.com/cspan or send us an e-mail. little bit more reaction this morning from "the washington times." it's a story on page a-3. trump signs pledge to support the nominee.
a senior adviser to mitt romney's 2012 campaign said that mr. trump's decision is good news for the gop as long as he doesn't change his mind. quote, all along i felt like -- it's felt like trump has had a gun to the head of the republicans basically saying vote for me or i'll kill the gop. by signing the pledge, trump loses his extortionate power over the party, but at the end of the day, i don't think the pledge is worth much because trump can always invent a reason for backing out of it, claiming the party violated its pledge to him to be fair. they point out for his part, mr. trump said he has no intention of changing his mind. that's a "washington times" piece. merrill, you're on the line from maryland, democratic line. good morning. >> caller: yes, i would simply say when you sign a pledge to an organization, my question is, shouldn't his pledge be to the american voter and let your message be the pledge?
>> anything else? >> caller: thank you. >> we'll take more of your phone calls here for the next 30, 35 minutes or so. looking forward to more of your facebook postings and tweets as well. we're asking whether donald trump should have signed the republican loyalty pledge. we have phone numbers for democrats, republicans, and independents on the bottom of the screen there. i want to point out we have a fourth line this morning just for supporters of donald trump. so we look forward to more of your comments. joshua green at bloomberg politics writes that donald trump just signed his political death warrant. he gives a couple different reasons for it. he says it's unlikely to accomplish some of what he wants it to accomplish. there are a number of reasons why it will hurt him. first t shatters the independent image that's the key to trump's appeal. the idea he isn't behold on to anyone or anything and will make a great president precisely
because of this. second, rather than quiet the attacks against him, this gives the gop license to amplify them tremendously without fear of repercussion down road. third, they write, by signing the pledge, trump invites everyone to judge him by that standard, but it's not a standard that favors him. he espouses all sorts of republican apostasies like opposing cuts to medicare and social security. until now, his political image was larger than that of either party. after today, he'll be easier to attack as a republican who won't get with the program. one more point at bloomberg politics. finally trurp seems not to understand the dynamics of the republican primary process. the fact he's leading not polls while plainly gratifying to his ego doesn't mean very much. anti-trump sentiment among gop voters is actually quite strong. john, thanks for waiting.
new york, democratic line. >> caller: good morning. this is funny to me. republicans, they open up this pandora's box. you know what i mean? this reminds me of -- what the heck is that dang game? like a story that says the fox and the scorpion wanted to get across the river. the fox let the scorpion get on top of him to get across the river. and then when the fox -- when the scorpion stung the fox and when the fox said, why did you sting me, well, it's because i always do that. that's what the republicans is going to get. they going to get stinged. and don't blame the democrats. don't blame anybody else. it's your own fault. you'll open up a pandora's box and you're going to get stung. i like it because y'all did it.
y'all open up the box and you're going to get it. >> thanks for calling. rick from florida. republican caller. >> caller: yes, sir. my question is trump's a real estate mogul. i haven't heard him mention anything about the names of people who lost their homes due to the financial bubble in the real estate market. why is that? >> why do you think that is? >> caller: well, i guess the reporters just haven't got around to asking him. >> something you look forward to hearing about in the future though? >> caller: i hope so. >> what do you make of this pledge, the whole idea of a pledge of loyalty to the party and fact that mr. trump and others are signing it? >> well, i believe that he's a smart man that can get things done. that's why he signed the pledge.
and i hope he does become president because he can make things happen for this country, make things good for this country. >> okay. and john from pennsylvania. hey, john. >> caller: good morning. yes, i'm a registered republican, but i do vote independently sometimes. but i will be voting in the republican primary. my comment is i would hope never to have to vote for a bush or a clinton, but donald trump has more scandals and more skeletons in his closet than the bushes and the clintons combined. if anybody would go to atlantic city today, they would see the taj mahal is still the trump taj
mahal by name. the cards you get to play there is from trump entertainment. now, some years ago when trump was the major owner of that property, a gentleman walked into the taj mahal, shot the casino manager dead, and then killed himself. before he done that, he mailed a letter to the newspaper saying why he was doing this. i guess trump was able to keep that letter from getting out into the public. but supposedly, he played table games, and supposedly it was because he was accusing trump of controlling the card games electronically. >> how did you find out -- how did you know about all this, john? >> caller: well, this was in the
newspapers that this gentleman walked in there and shot. they couldn't keep that out of the newspapers. but it was in the newspaper that this letter had been mailed in to the newspapers. >> so what is -- >> caller: i do not know if the table games are filled electronically. but every slot machine in the casinos is ran electronically. >> let me jump in. not trying to cut you off. everything you just said, what do you think that has to do with being a good candidate for president or even a good president? connect the dot, if you can. >> caller: well, i think anybody that has gone to atlantic city knows that these machines, these slot machines are being controlled electronically. they know who's playing those machines, and they pay off them jackpots to their friends. i mean, trump has made it perfectly clear here in the
debate that his reason for bribing hillary clinton, he gave $100,000, and he made it clear he thought he was just such a beautiful person that he had to have her attend his wedding. now, i think there's probably 30% of the people will believe that, that that was the reason why he bribed her. but i don't think the majority of people would ever believe that's what he wanted off the clintons. he wanted a favor that was going to benefit him financially. >> all right, john. thanks for calling. want to get some other view points in here. robert simpson is one of them. he wishes that -- or he says a pledge to work for all americans' interests would have been better. as for other reaction, here's a headline at cnn.com. carly fiorina, another republican candidate, says that the rnc pledge aimed at trump is simply unenforceable. also, we have some tape of chris christie, the governor of new jersey, and another gop
candidate actually signing the pledge yesterday on fox news. here's a look. >> all right. we have a pledge for you, sir. >> excellent. let's bring it over. >> here's the pledge. we printed it out. we heard you hadn't signed it yet. are you going to run as an independent candidate? >> i'm not. and i don't need reince priebus to come and meet with me before deciding whether to do this or not. there you go. september 3rd, '15. i'm in. i signed. >> we'll put this on the file. >> more of your calls now. dave in madison heights, michigan. go ahead, david. >> caller: hi. thank you for c-span, and thank you for taking my call. i think it's the biggest joke in the world, donald trump. the republican party is fake. he is a five-time taxpayer bailout boy. and i can't believe that republicans are supporting him because they're against taxpayer
bailouts. he also had said the country runs better under a democrat president. they have so much ammunition after this guy, it's a total joke. the whole republican party is a joke. the presidential debate was a total comedy skit. vote democrat, man. thank you very much. let's hear from lauren in fayetteville, arkansas. lauren is an independent caller. hi there. >> caller: well, good morning. i'm just listening to the comments this morning, and it seems like the iq of the callers this morning is just atrocious. >> what do you mean? >> caller: misinformation -- well, they're just making comments as far as his bankruptcies. he just using the law like tens of thousands of people did when the turndown hit. that's what business people do. he wasn't doing anything illegal
or immoral. on the other hand, you have a potential felon, a communist socialist. there's nothing over there. i think there's a lot of democrats that are going to cross over to this man because he's offering us something. we have a last-ditch effort here to maybe save this country. if it doesn't happen this go around, i don't think there's any saving it. that's my comments. thanks a lot. >> and louise is calling in from ft. washington, maryland. >> caller: good morning. >> what do you make of these -- >> caller: can you hear me? >> yeah, i can hear you, but first, what do you make of this pledge? do they matter ? do they make a difference? >> caller: i think donald trump just hung his neck. i don't think he should have signed that pledge. this has become a comical game.
see which one can be the funniest and do the most stupid things. he did have a little bit of rationality when he had not signed that pledge. i think he's put himself in a noose. i don't think he's any better off than hillary clinton for what she has done. i think it's a shame for america, and if americans don't wake up, we're going to go down boob tube. that's all i have to say. >> all right. one more clip we want to show you making news this morning. politico has this headline. trump fumbles hewitt question on terror leaders. basically he went on with a conservative talk show host. his name is hugh hewitt. the line says that conservative host hewitt found something donald trump doesn't win at on thursday, knowing his terrorists. basically it was an exchange on foreign policy and terror leaders. we have a little bit of tape we can listen to and then we'll be back for more calls.
>> i'm looking for the next commander in chief to know who hasan is and al baghdadi. do you know the players without a score card yet? >> no, you know, i'll tell you honestly. i think by time we get to office, they'll all be change. they'll be all gone. i knew you were going to ask me things like this, and there's no reason because number one, i'll find -- i will hopefully find general douglas macarthur in the pack. i'll find whoever it is i'll find. but they're all changing. those are like history questions. do you know this one, do you know that one. >> i don't believe in gotcha questions. i'm not trying to quiz you. >> well, that is a gotcha question. when you're asking me about who's running this, this, this, that's not -- i will be so good at the military, your head will spin. but obviously i'm not meeting these people. i'm not seeing these people. now now, it probably will be a lot of changes. by the time we get there, which
is still a long period of time. you figure out nominations and who's going to represent the republicans, and let's say february, march, april, you'll start to get pretty good ideas, maybe sooner than that. that will be a whole new group of people. >> more reaction this morning. fizz guy at twitter says, now that trump has signed the pledge, the gop has carte blanche to go after him full throttle. we have charles from livermore, california. independent. good morning, charles. >> caller: yeah, we want someone to run the country, not a reality show. bernie sanders is a straight-up guy. you can trust him. you can't trust trump. >> anything else? i think we lost charles. let's go to al in jiacksonville florida, democrat. >> caller: thank you for taking my call.
>> you bet. >> caller: it's amazing as a 67-year-old male sitting and listening to other adults who can just indiscriminately call each other names. they can denigrate each other. they can have a person who wants to be my leader, who will not say how i'm going to support another individual who is as human as i am. my don't get it. where's the disconnect? we have news media that goes after that kind of vitriol with impunity. it seems they just eat it up. they feed on it. what happened to issues? what happened to when the individual actually talks about how they are going to implement the things that they are saying?
if you put that in perspective with our current president, all of the things that he's done, all the things that he's doing, and it's being totally just denigrates as if it's insignificant, but another individual, simply because they're from another party, can come and don't even have to say what they're going to do but can get all kinds of exposure. that's the two thube that peopl should be talking about the country's going down. i'm not that weak that i'd allow someone to come in and take my ability to be who i am simply because of what they say. that does not scare me. so i really would wish that we could elevate the conversation to a level whereby we can talk about how we are going to
continue to improve our country for all of its citizens. >> what's it going to take to do that, al? when you look at the candidates or the process or the media or whatever the influences are, what's it going to take? >> caller: adults in the room. obviously there are very few of them. you sign a pledge of allegiance in high school. if you're weak minded, you join gan gangs. you either become a biker gang member or you become some other kind of organized crime member. some people just have to have some kind of organization in order to validate themselves. >> all right. that was al. it's a little bit after 7:30 in the east. we really should take a step
back and talk about this migrant story. it's everywhere. some extraordinary photos continue in the papers today. here's "the new york times," which spread one photo over page a-6 and a-7. it's a migrant family in budapest. as we look at that, we'll read a little from "the new york times" piece. chaos mounts while divided europe stumbles for response. they write that the struggle among european leaders to develop a coherent response to the spiraling migrant crisis intensified thursday as fresh calls for a block-wide plan were met with recriminations about the continent being swamped with muslims, even as wrenching photographs of that drowned 3-year-old syrian boy riveted world attention and galvanized public demands for action. the leaders' fumbling efforts only seemed to highlight divisions. that's the way "the new york times" is putting it.
"the washington post" has a strong editorial today. europe's abdication, they write. they give credit to germany and write angela merkel's response to the crisis has been a bright response so far in a bleak landscape. a tableau of shame that extends to the u.s., which has resettled fewer than 1,000 syrians, berlin, by contrast, now says it expects to register 800,000 refugee applications this year. it is loose in procedures for accepting syrians and has approved 40% of the applications it has received. so some credit there to germany so far. lots more of these pictures in the papers. we can take another one, look at another one in the "new york times" while we go back to our phones. we're going to tom now in ft. lauderdale, florida. tom is a republican. talking politics today, tom. donald trump signing that pledge, the loyalty pledge to the gop. what do you make of it? >> caller: well, you know, i think it's pretty obvious that he had to sign it because people
won't want to lend their support to somebody who might break off and go in a different direction and blow up the election for the republican party. i think it's pretty simple. you know, this country is -- hungers for a leader. they want a leader, a strong leader, and that is why donald trump is important and that's why he's getting support. you know, donald trump, if he's president, will not create a bipartisan economic committee and then find out when he hears a bipartisan solution walk away from it. that's what this president did. we are wallowing in racism. we are wallowing in economic
strife. we are wallowing in international incompetence. we want a leader, and that's why he's getting votes. you know, another thing is i get very intense when i hear people talk about the financial crisis. it should be pretty evident to people that if everybody paid their mortgage, we wouldn't have had a financial crisis. why did people stop paying their mortgages? it was irresponsibility of the people who signed the paperwork on those mortgages. you know, they keep saying they're bamboozled. have you ever bought a car? did the salesman ever try to talk you into a car that may have been more expensive than what you could afford? have you ever bought a vacuum cleaner, and maybe the salesman was trying to sell you the top vacuum cleaner? look, people have a responsibility in their own actions when they're shown in black and white what their
payment is going to be and being able to honestly commit to the fact that they can make those payments. that's the real story of the financial crisis. personal responsibility went out the window, and you know what, if that's going on right now, the housing industry will go through it again. we need responsibility at the personal level. >> we do get the point, tom. thank you for checking in. steve writes on twitter that trump likes to say he isn't behold on to anyone. you can be sure that includes the american voter if the latter is stupid enough to elect him. a little more news out there. we're going to hear a jobs report in less than an hour. "usa today" says this could be the tipping point for the fed. it could take a blockbuster payroll report today to nudge the fed into raising interest rates. but after recent market turmoil, some economists say the fed won't move even if the job gains are eye popping. economists expect labor to report that employers added a solid 218,000 jobs in august, in
line with the 211 average monthly additions so far this year. so we'll see what happens later and tell you all about it. "washington times" reminds us that the saudi king is in town today. he's going to offer support for the iran deal. he wants u.s. backing on foreign policy. so the president is set to receive an official albeit reluctant nod of approval for the iran deal. analysts say it will come at a price. so king solomon is here today. should he and the president do anything out in public, we can look and record for you. there's one more political story to bring up, at least for now. it's joe biden. he was in the south last night. he is again expressing uncertainty about 2016. he said on thursday night he was unsure whether he and his family
had, quote, the emotional energy at this point for a presidential bid, telling an audience in atlanta at a synagogue that i can't look you straight in the eye and say now i know i can do it. here's a little more tape from the vice president last night in atlanta. >> i'll be straightforward with you. most relevant factor for my decision is whether my family and i have the emotional energy to run. some might think that is not appropriate. but unless i can go to my party and the party and the american people and say that i'm able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.
everybody talks about a lot of other factors. the other people in the race and whether i can raise the money and whether i can put together an organization. that's not the factor. the factor is, can i do it? can my family undertake what is an arduous commitment that would be proud to undertake under ordinary circumstances. but the honest to god answer is i just don't know. >> last night in atlanta there, the vice president. we have a couple minutes left on donald trump and this gop loyalty pledge. john has been hanging on in akron, ohio, democratic caller. hey, john. >> caller: thank you, c-span, for taking my call this morning. i've been a democratic supporter all of my life, crossing the line one time to vote for ross perot. but i can make this pledge. if donald trump is on the ballot
in 2016, i will vote for him. >> how come? >> caller: all of the other candidates running -- i know there's three that are not politicians, but at this point in the race, they have been bought and they are owned by special interests and those donors that have supported to their campaign. donald trump is the only one. and we must remember that this country, when it was started, was not started by politicians but was started by businessmen and people like donald trump. all i want to say is go trump, i support you. and thank you for taking my call. >> all right. greg now in chattanooga, tennessee. greg is an independent caller. what do you think about all this, greg? >> caller: i'm getting real interested in it. i like what the last caller just said. the only thing i see possible that's holding back the country at this point is attached to you know who.
the country we fund and support that's pretty much wiping out palestinians over there. until we get ted cruz -- i love him to death. until he opens his mouth about israel, then it's all over. infowars.com had a very interesting conversation a couple days ago with david duke and alex jones. it really opened a lot of people across this country's eyes. alex jones, he opened more eyes on the condition of our country than people to c-span, cnn, msnbc, all the false propaganda that -- c-span is about the best channel going, period. and i support y'all all the way. until we get out from under that burden, we have no reason to be supporting them people over there like that. >> all right, greg.
let's get james. we're just about out of time. james from virginia. he's a democratic caller. hey there. >> caller: how you doing? >> good. how are you, sir? >> caller: i'm doing good. >> what's your perspective? what do you think about all this? >> caller: well, i don't think donald trump is the man to be president. he's just a businessman, a showman. just like that last caller said, he back ross perot and never backed nobody but a democrat but ross perot. but look what happened to ross perot. that's what's going to happen again. go vote for joe biden. joe biden is the best person to run for president. >> how come? what is it about him that appeals to you? >> caller: because joe biden is a good, honest man. he's a good family man. you can tell that. he's hurting now because he lost
his son. i haerds him last night talking. he's still hurting. that's one reason he hasn't jumped in the ring yet. he said it had nothing to do with money. he said, i can raise it just like that. he can because obama people will help him. he said it's just a hurt that hasn't gone away yet. he's lost family before. his family comes first. when a person puts his family first, that should tell you what kind of person he is. i'm almost choked up myself talking about it. >> what kind of race do you think it would be, james, if he got in against hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and the others? >> caller: i think it would be a good race because he's a different joe now. he's a vice president. before, he was just a senator. you know, it makes a big difference when you say he's vice president. it makes a big difference.
he's a much different person now than he was then. you say vice president, people look and say, oh, man. it really makes a difference by being vice president because he got a lot more support. he could win it. it's no doubt in my mind because these e-mails are just pulling hillary down. all that is just a scam by the republicans. she hasn't done anything wrong, and i ain't got nothing against hillary. it's a shame that they do her that way. >> all right. that was the voice of james from virginia. that's it for the first section of this friday edition of "the washington journal" as we talked about this pledge. lots more politics coming. at the table now, jenny beth martin, president and co-founder of tea party patriots. thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you so much for having me. >> sure. wanted to start with donald trump and specifically a politico piece that came out recently. the headline says how trump exposed the tea party. the writer of the piece puts it this way. the success of trump's campaign
has, if nothing else, exposed the tea party for what it really is. trump's popularity is in effect final proof of what some of us have been arguing for years, that the tea party is less a libertarian movement than a right-wing version of populism. think william jennings brian or huey long. tea partiers are less upset about the size of government overall than they are that so much of it is going to other people, especially immigrants and nonwhites. they are for government for them and against government for not them. and this is what explains a lot of what is going on right now. what's your reaction? >> well, i'm not sure i understand why what donald trump is saying exposes that, but i can tell you the people i work with around this country are concerned about the size and scope of government. it's what got us involved in this tea party movement to begin with. we've maintained all along that one way to balance the budget would be to use the penny plan, which reduces spending by one penny out of every dollar that
the government spends. that can happen across the board in government as far as we're concerned. we just want to make sure that we get to a balanced budget so we have a debt-free future. >> phone number is on the bottom of the screen for our jests. jenny beth martin of the tea party patriots. we'll get to your calls in a couple minutes. before we came on air, we were looking at this pledge that donald trump signed yesterday. so 1:00 in the afternoon, he's with the head of the rnc. he signs this thing, and then he comes out at 2:00 and speaks to reporters. let's take a look at what he had to say, then we'll talk more. >> okay. >> the chairman just left, as you probably know, and he's been extremely fair. the rnc has been absolutely terrific over the last two-month period. as you know, that's what i've wanted. i've wanted fairness. i don't have to be treated any differently than anybody else. i just wanted fairness from the republican party. we're leading never single poll.
a new poll came out today where we're over 30%. we've actually hit numbers as high as 35% and 40%. and frankly, i felt that the i felt the absolute best way to win and beat the democrats and very easily, i think, beat the democrats no matter who it may be, whether it's hillary or anybody else, and i think hillary will have a hard time what is happening getting to the starting gate. the best way for the republicans to win is if i win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up, and for that reason i have signed the pledge. i will be totally pledging my allegiance to the republican party and the conservative
principles for which it stands. we will go out and fight hard, and we will win. most importantly, we will make our country great again because that is what is all about. host: your reaction? guest: i think it is very interesting that he has done that. i think it will put some voters at ease who are looking at who they want to vote for in the republican primary. to look more begin at the records of each of the candidates. i'm glad to hear that he will be true to conservative values. that is an important part of what the republican party stands for. host: what do you make of the broad numbers here? this is the poll that made so much news, donald trump at 30% person field. guest: when you see that donald
, and carlyen carson fiorina, are doing so well in the polls, it shows that people across the country understand that something is not working in washington, d.c. willnt to find people who point out and expose the problems with washington, and show is a plan for how they will make our country work the way it was intended with constitutionally limited government, more personal freedom, more economic freedom. host: slate has this headline -- i want to show you the headline. donald trump is not the gop's biggest problem, but the party doesn't have a plausible champion waiting in the wings, a backup candidate. would you agree with that? >> we have 17 people willing to step up and talk about what they believe and how they think, what their vision for america is is better than the direction we
have been headed in the last 7 1/2 years. i think we do have several people who are there and who are willing to step up and talk about what they're willing to do. right now it's donald trump and we will see how long that continues to stand, if it goes all the way to the general election or not, but we certainly have a lot of people willing to stand up and talk about why they want to see our country better. >> can any of the folks on the gop side win over the key demographics everybody keeps talking about? >> yes, i think most if not all of them can, and the way to do that is to talk about the conservative principles and to mean what you are talking about, and not just talk about it and have a track record of showing that you want to give more freedom to americans in this country and you want to limit the size and scope of government, and you understand that right now the way our country is working, the people
inside washington, d.c. get -- get their way and make deals with big business and big labor, and then in big government, you tie that together and it leaves the average american out of the entire process. >> before we get to calls, how do you gauge support for the tea party movement at this point? >> we can tell trump is talking about principles and issues that the tea party movement has talked about for many years, and we are seeing that he's doing that, and carly fiorina is doing that and ben carson is doing that and they are in the lead and that's what voters want to hear. >> let's go to the phones. randy, first call, prescott, wisconsin, republican, good morning. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i would really like to have got
on there. them. soros supports trumpke a guy like donald , he is talking what we want to hear, what people want to hear. moveon.org, they're giving money now overseas -- it's a shame what is going on there. make thisd trump, country great again. do what the people of the united states have been wrong before. the tea party is doing pretty good. i would love to have the lady from moveon -- asked the lady g what is ther difference between a socialist and a democrat. let's make this country great again. we have a democratic president there's nothing but running this country down. livesse matter -- black matter, correct. ves matter.
it is up to the president to come out and say stop this, but you do not hear him saying this. the tea party, and everybody else, i tried to get this country back on track. we have to make a change, and we have to do in 2016. donald trump is saying what we want to hear, ben carson is saying the good stuff we want to hear, carly fiorina. we have to get behind them. hillary clinton is done. forget about her. quit wasting your time. host: what do you think? guest: that was randy. what do you think? >> i think, randy, thanks for calling in, and i think that you are right, these candidates are talking a lot about what we want to hear, and we want to see solutions for how we can expand our freedom and how we can get the government out of our lives so we can live our lives the way we see fit without interference with the government, and as long as we are not harming others or
infringing on their rights, and we need to make sure we are listening to all the candidates in the crowded field for the republican side, and compare what they are saying with the track record and where we want to see the country go. >> the caller wanted to see the difference between a socialist and a democrat? remind us of a tea party patriot? >> tea party patriots, we believe everybody -- we want more freedom so everybody can pursue the american dream. that's essentially what we want. our core values are personal freedom and economic freedom and a debt-free future. >> john, great falls, montana, democratic caller. good morning. >> caller: jenny, sorry, i am an independent caller and the only line i could get through was on the democratic one, and i would like you to answer a couple questions that gal on before couldn't answer.
if there is so much money in politics how can i get some of that put in my pocket and i want to understand how this money affects my personal decision to vote for who i want to vote for. all i hear is "too much money in politics." it's their money and they can do what they want with it, and it is not going to affect my vote one way or another, and if it will affect the other democratic votes because there's money in politics, it's wrong. answer some of the questions about money in politics. thank you. >> as far as money in politics go, certainly the tea party patriots we have been targeted by the irs and we understand that when that happens it can have a silencing affect on people across the country and we have seen that happen firsthand, so i think the best thing right now that -- from my perspective that we can see is that we continue to make sure that we
live by the rules the way they are intended and currently written so the government bureaucrats are not changing them on the fly and using the rules and making rules up to target groups like mine. when it comes to campaigns and elections, the money must be disclosed when you are advocating for or against a candidate, and that needs to continue to happen. >> jeff calling from clifton, new jersey. independent caller. let's hear from jeff. >> caller: good morning, and thank you for taking my call. >> you bet. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i just wanted to make a statement about the deportation of immigrants. it's something that has been done before in american history during the eisenhower/truman administration, and nobody brings that up. also before the revolutionary war, probably before the start of it, we were forced to house and feed and probably school british soldiers and that was probably one of the causes of
the revolutionary war and nobody brings that up either in american history. >> any reaction? >> thanks for letting me know about those things that happened in our past history. i was down on the border last year in the summer and i can tell you that we have got to make sure that we get our border secure. it is truly frightening when you see that the laws of this country that are written and have been passed are not being obey obeyed. when that happens we are living in essentially a lawless society. and the people that live there are being impacted by the crime that is happening in their homes and backyards and neighborhoods, and you want to make sure that we get the problem under control and the first step is securing our border. >> how about the rhetoric, the dialogue on the gop side regarding immigration beginning with donald trump? the right way to go? >> i think