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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 31, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EST

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the auditorium, you'll have an opportunity to see this crane that you see on the screen here. you'll see that on display in the lobby on your way out of the building tonight. it's very small. and we invite you to take a look at the intricacy and how carefully that was put together. you know, it's always a great day for a museum, for a library, for an institution like ours when we receive a significant donation. wisdom and
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challenge things. thank you. [ applause ] coming up on american history tv on c-span 3, programs about the presidency. next, two debates on presidents coolidge and reagan. historians and students debate which president is a better
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model for republican candidates today. jimmy carter joins a tribute to vice president walter mondale. the donation of a paper crane donated by a japanese child who died of leukemia after the hiroshi ma bombing. coming up next, historians and former legislators develop coolidge or reagan, which former president is the better model for gop candidates today. they discuss their commitment to small government and the economy. calvin coolidge presidential foundation and the new hampshire institute of politics hosted this hour and 15-minute event. thank you very much. it's nice to be back in new hampshire again. some of you may be wondering, asking yourselves as you're sitting there, why would they
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invite a guy like me to moderate this debate. two reasons. number one, to demonstrate once again that standards are falling everywhere. [ laughter ] >> and number two, because i have a lineage with the coolidge family. my first name is john. my middle name is calvin. i was named after the coolidge's two sons. and the reason for that is that my grandfather and mrs. coolidge, grace good hugh coolidge, were first cousins and they double dated their respective soon to be spouses and one of my favorite of many stories was my grandfather, arthur, who used to visit the president in the white house. he would go in and smoke his pipe while coolidge took a nap. when coolidge woke up without a word being exchanged between them, the president would say thanks for your visit, arthur. come again. [ laughter ] >> so here we are.
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another election season. i remember something that governor of louisiana and presidential candidate bobby jindal said to me recently. he said to me first the republican party needs to decide what it believes and then it can go out and try to make its case with the american people. i agree with that. does anyone know what the republican party believes these days? under calvin coolidge, under ronald reagan, people knew what the republican party stood for and they could respond for or against with their votes or with a vote for the opposition. but today it seems to be a base, a little bit of everything and a little bit of nothing. republican voters are desperately searching for a new model. we have heard about models in the previous debate and those young people are absolutely fantastic fantastic. i'm thinking of filing adoption papers on all of them. i could use the tax deduction.
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some soul searching is good, particularly during primary campaign season, but right now the gop appears unsure of what it is and what it's about. complete political outsiders like donald trump and ben carson have leading the race by a huge marg margin. actually, i'm kind of inclined toward ben carson because as a brain surgeon i think he could help congress a lot. i don't know who the donors would be, but anyway. i think a big part of the problem the republican party faces today is its forgotten its history. the closest we get to history today is the instant replay. not very helpful. what went before, we don't live in the past, but we can learn from the past. there's a verse in the old testament book of ecleezias tease that says there's nothing new under the sun. so let's learn from the past, update it as necessary, and move on. we're not the first generation to exist.
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we don't have to invent the wheel or discover the use of fire. there are people who fought through these things and had solutions that actually worked, which of course is a shameless promotion of my book which i hope you'll be for christmas, hanukkah, or the early present for the atheists whose national holiday is april 1st. the resolution tonight to be debated is this. the presidency of calvin coolidge is a better model than the presidency of ronald reagan gop hopefuls today. indeed there is a whole lot to admire about president reagan. i remember going through the receiving line when he was president. i said, mr. president, i want to thank you for bringing the portrait of calvin coolidge out of storage and bringing it up on the main level. i told him about the family
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relationship. so it's often said that calvin coolidge was ronald reagan's favorite president, but there's another model of effective republican leadership and that is the model of calvin coolidge. you can decide for yourself what is the better model to help the party confront the present challenges. you the audience will be helping to judge this debate. you received some coolidge coins. this is not welfare. you're going to vote with them. at the end of the debate we'll be sending around two hats. one for coolidge. one for reagan. you're going to place the coolidge coin in the hat of the team which you thought won the debate. that's not to say which side you agree with personally, but which side you thought did a better job of convincing you in the debate. i'll introduce our debaters, who as they say, need no introduction, but then what
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would i do? why would i be here? our first team coolidge person is the former governor of vermont, who i'm sure many know in this area, james douglas. by the way, just to distinguish them. amity is the one wearing yellow. arguing in the negative will be team reagan former new hampshire governor and former chief of staff to george h.w. bush and author of the age of reagan, biographer stephen hayward. now debaters, please come and take the stage. i've been charged with keeping time. and unlike the benghazi special kbh
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committee, all of which whom ran over, i'm going to be relentless in keeping time. governor douglas, you're first up. please take the podium. begin with your five-minute opening statement. >> thank you so much for being here. we're glad you are. we know why you're here. we're delighted to have you. i want to just say a word as the trustee of the coolidge foundation. a thank you to each of you joining us, to the institute for politics and its director who is the busiest guy in the country for the next year or so, i think, but this is a great partnership as our foundation under the leadership of amity is bringing coolidge to a wider audience all across our country. we appreciate the chance to be here with all of you tonight. calvin coolidge has the temperament, the experience, and the decency that's needed in the
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presidency today. he embodied the values of small town america. hard work, love of family, respect for the land, frugality, and the belief in the limited role of government that our first republican president abraham lincoln articulated a few years before. coolidge worked on the family farm. he lost his mother and sister when he was young and understood the path to a success and rewarding life lay into a good education and in service to others. he mixed a career in public service and law. he was the original compassionate conservative. as a state senator, he voted for women's suffrage and income tax and a pay raise for teachers. coolidge has a strong record on civil rights. he appointed blacks to federal
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positions and encouraged his cabinet to give an equal chance to everyone seeking government jobs. he was the first president not to have any known clansmen in high federal positions. he met often with democratic congressional leaders in stark contrast to the polarization we see in washington today. he was best known for his fiscal restraint. the federal government swelled dramatically. the federal debt was $3 billion. by 1920 it was 25 billion. even federal civilian employment doubled during the war years. president harding began that cutting when he died suddenly in
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1923. many thought coolidge might give up and act like a lame duck, but he wasn't a lame duck. he was an attack duck. he promised to push government back harder than harding had. i want the american people to work less for their government and more for themselves. in a foreshadowing of the new deal, farmers wanted government pensions. veterans of the world war wanted pensions. everyone told coolidge that he if vetoed a veterans bonus bill, he would lose the 1924 election. he did veto the bill and he won a strong majority in the three-way race. when fat budgets came along, he cut them. he kept laboring until the debt was reduce bdd by a third. he cut the size of government that it was smaller when he left office than when he assumed the presidency.
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coolidge was consistent. he declined to offer federal flood assistance to the tennessee valley in the spring of 1927 when his native suffered massive flooding that fall. many assumed he would relent. nope. he reaffirmed his view that the state and private agencies would bear the responsibility. coolidge took other steps we add mirror. today many want to turn to diplomacy. coolidge did too. he poured great energy into establishing international order and adopting a treaty renouncing war. the result of all coolidge's work was an economy we can envy today. growth averaged 3.5. real wages rose and spending power increased. the 1920s were when our families acquired radios, fords, and indoor plumbing. many americans don't know this outstanding record.
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coolidge gets short shrift in schools. we're smaller than the reagan library. when you visit vermont, you'll find our underrated president a shining example of leadership for our time. you'll be inspired by the beauty and tranquility of those humble beginnings from whence came the president who restrained the size of government and led an era of peace and prosperity. [ applause ] >> really? i thought i was supposed to give my presentation. >> you are. pardon me. i'm never wrong. go ahead. it was a mistake on the sheet. not mine. go right ahead. just wanted to throw you off.
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>> i'll do it either way you want. governor douglas, let's see if we can come to some mutual agreement here. i would offer you the following characterization of calvin coolidge. there were a number of areas where coolidge fell short both as man and as a president. his intuitive sympathy from free markets notwithstanding, he really never grasped the damage of his party's pro-tariff plank. he supported protectionism and trade. he spoke out against intolerance, but he did very little to stop it. he thought so well of other statesmen he never foresaw that hitler and japan would violate the disarmament agreements. do you agree that's a good characterization of calvin ko
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coolid coolidge? >> tell us how you really feel, john. i don't feel that's a good characterization. it's easy to use hindsight and say in the retrospect view of history what might have been anticipated, but it is pretty hard to do that. >> let me tell you what your problem is. that was a nearly verbatim quote from the great biography called "calvin coolidge" written by your partner. now, let me go a little further here. you're a great governor of vermont. can you tell me what it is about the water in vermont that produces such isolationists and protectionists as bernie sanders and calvin coolidge? >> bernie is from brooklyn.
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[ applause ] >> before i start, let me disabuse you all of one thing. we are nowhere going to approach the talent that you saw in the student debate earlier. we should have been the undercard. the resolution asks us to examine the presidency of calvin coolidge and the presidency of ronald reagan and then select from that, from the characteristics of the individual and their presidency, which one would be the better model for a republican candidate today. i stress to you that a model is not a clone. a model is not an exact
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replicate, but a model is an exemplar. i maintain with my colleague that the absolute correct choice is ronald reagan. now we are being asked to choose between two generally conservative presidents, and at first blush we do see some similarities. they both like smaller government. they both cut taxes. they both really didn't like government interference and regulation. and they each in their own time took a tough stand against public unions. i stress to you in trying to decide amongst the differences we're going to present to you that the model asks us that the resolution asked us to choose who would be a better model for
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today. and i think that is the operative word you have to keep in mind as you listen to the four of us up here complete our discussions. there were policy differences. on trade, ronald reagan was a free trader. calvin coolidge was almost addicted to tariffs both for revenue and his perception that the only way that he could protect american business, his erroneous perception, was to maintain high tariffs. it is almost a policy of isolationism that governed almost everything calvin coolidge looked at in terms of commerce, in terms of international trade, in terms of international role for the united states. there was a difference also in terms of their approach to
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dealing with government. calvin coolidge was the master of the nitpicking detail. he counted pencils. he changed design of brushes. all to save a few dollars here and a few dollars there. admirable. ronald reagan had a different approach. he took the big picture. he understood that social security and our other entitlements were critical issues and he stood up and negotiated a compromise with a democratically controlled congress. ronald reagan has the vision that the united states was an exceptional country and had a major responsibility in international affairs. when you compare the approach they both took in trying to maintain the peace, calvin coolidge wedded himself to the
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kellog pact, which was a joke in terms of its effectiveness. ronald reagan had a simple message. peace through strength. and he practiced that. ronald reagan rebuilt america's defenses and gained the credibility across the world and especially with our foes in the soviet union that we would stand firm in our belief that the american way, the western way, freedom and free enterprise, were the right choice and we would stand firm with our allies around the world and would defend them in order to maintain that. there's one more aspect which is a big difference and that is the stage on which they played. calvin coolidge played on a small teenastage, a small presi. not just small by circumstance, but small by his personal choice
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and decisions. he avoided the international issues. he walked away from the complex issues on the domestic side. ronald reagan had vision. he played the grand stage. he understood the role of the united states as the last super power. he understood that the united states had international obligations and he fulfilled those. ronald reagan was a grand and great president, a great model, on a great stage. thank you. [ applause ] >> now, if i have this right, governor douglas. >> i'm looking forward to this. >> be gentle, jim. >> ronald reagan didn't end the cold war. gorbachev abandoned it.
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that's an issue for another time. i've got grandkids as you do. i have grandkids in new hampshire, by the way. and they're going to inherit a national debt that's beyond comprehension. ronald reagan contributed to that significantly. it went up three times during his presidency. why should our grandkids have to bear the burden of that debt? >> ronald reagan added $1.2 trillion to the debt. it was a cheap price to pay for the dissolution of the soviet union. if your kids want to put a price tag on the fact they are living in a world where the u.s. is the sole super power, that was the price ronald reagan paid for america and the world to stand up against the soviet union and build our defenses so peace
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through strength had teeth. >> peace through strength is nice, but it doesn't pay the bills. our grandkids are going to have to pay huge interest payments as rates rise. this is unsustainable, isn't it? >> well, the current rate of growth is absolutely unsustainable, but in terms of the reduction in cost for the united states over the long haul with the soviet union gone, the money ronald reagan spent on the defense budget was more than saved during the last two years of bush and the eight years of the clinton administration. it's more than a net wash. the surpluses that you got overcame the growth in the debt. >> thank you. now for the affirmative rebuttal.
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amity? >> before you start to time, i'd just like to say thank you again from the coolidge foundation for this wonderful day. okay. you can time. i think the soviet union might be back again was the first thing i was going to say. so it's not gone forever. i'm glad my colleague governor jim mentioned grandchildren and debt. today we had some news about how there was some kind of bipartisan agreement regarding the debt ceiling and everything is fine but we know two years hence it will only be worse. you younger people are the forgotten men, and we should be more cognizant of that. because economics is important and in fact because reagan and coolidge are both economic guys,
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i will focus my rebuttal upon economics alone. i will get granular and compare the candidates on five points -- gdp, joblessness, taxes, and the deficit. coolidge noses past the great dane ronald reagan. data point by data point. gdp, reagan gave the nation good growth numbers. three more than three depending on how you reckon it. coolidges were also good, but perhaps slightly less give, so let's give reagan one point. joblessness, under reagan unemployment ranged in the sixes and the sevens. 1981, 7.6. 1987, 6.2. 6% was reagan's low number. in coolidge's case it was always
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below 6%, sometimes 4, sometimes 5. one reagan. one coolidge. inflation. in the reagan years inflation diminished our wealth, our well-being. it's true that reagan got inflation down all the way to 3%. again look at coolidge. 3% was the top of inflation for coolidge. often he had no inflation or deflation. counted another way, if you add $100 in 1980, the year reagan was elected, and bought some things and you wanted to buy the same things in 1988, you would need $150. do the same math for coolidge and this is off the bureau of labor statistics website. what you could buy for $100 in 1922 the year before coolidge was president, it would cost you
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$101.79. not much difference. this generated an enormous ek wi anymorety in the american soul. your money is worth what you think. taxes. one of the proudest feats of reagan and one we love and admire was to reduce the marginal rate on the income tax of 28%. it was said they conversed in pauses. laboring, laboring, laboring, they got the tax rate down not to 28, but 25. their capital gains rate was 12.5%. in other words coolidge
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out-reaganed reagan on tax. governor jim did address the deficit. he did address the debt, but they're very important. as you know reagan not only increased spending 22%, but also increased the number of federal employees. coolidge had no deficits. he cut the debt by 1/3. i rest my economic case. what is behind this? there comes a knowledge there can be a politician who cuts and that is so important to know about coolidge and acknowledge that you can with utter determination cut. how utter was coolidge's utter determination? he had two lions he received as a gift. he named them budget bureau and tax reduction. with all his soul, he followed his obsession, budget cutting,
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and did for america what we hope to do for our children today. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> and now steve hayward gets to cross examine amity. >> you did start off by mentioning the soviet union is back. so my first question is who would put the most fright and hesitation into the vladimir putin, ronald reagan or calvin coolidge? >> coolidge would scare putin more. in general our race with russia is an economic race. the soviet union waned because they fell apart economically. >> my second question is
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president coolidge was fortune to govern during a time of peace and prosperity. defense spending was very low. if he had governed under the circumstances of reagan, wouldn't he have accepted higher taxes or a budget deficit? >> he would have accepted more taxes. when you look at what reagan did, i think the governor said coolidge had an addiction to cutting, to budgeting. reagan had an addiction to spending. we must face that. >> the question of tariffs has been brought up. if you added in a trade policy on your granular level of things, i think you would have scored another point for reagan, wouldn't you? >> everybody has a wart or two. >> speaking of warts, your time is up.
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>> okay. >> now steve hayward with the negative rebuttal. >> thank you, cal. there's a reason that a generation of liberal historians called him silent cow. they didn't want you to know what a thoughtful person was and why his claims to statesmanship are very large. another reason not to do so is because it was dishonor reagan's admiration for coolidge. it's been mentioned that reagan put the portrait of coolidge out of storage and into the cabinet of the white house. he had to take down the portrait of thomas jefferson whi.
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therein lies the first clue as to the crisis of our time and why ronald reagan is the better model for matching up to it. coolidge said, great men are the ambassadors of providence said to reveal to men their unknown selves. that's among the things that attracted ronald reagan to him. but it also tells us why our need today is for a great statesman to roll back the fourth wave of liberalism. woodrow wilson's reformism, fdr's statism, lbj, and obama's egalitarianism. that is the crisis of our time. if this year's gop field were to
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include coolidge and reagan, i think reagan is the clear choice for numerous reasons. first of all, your stance on issues aren't always the feature for what makes you suitable to be president. i think two things, two elements, are an attachment to principle, to be sure. but second a profound understanding of the circumstances and therefore the willingness to maneuver. sometimes called compromise, but not always. we talked about how reagan and coolidge were tax cutters, but for reagan that was a stark change of his mind. up to the late 1970s he had been an orthodox reagan budget cutter. budgets had to come first. between the high inflation of the late 1970s, the stagnant economic growth, he changed his mind about the idea of having growth first as a clear way of getting the economy moving and then shrinking the relative size
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of government. federal spending, one, not the only, but one of the more important measures of the relative size of government, federal spending as a measure of gross domestic product fell to 21%. second, the soviet union and the cold war has been mentioned. you could say a lot about the contrast with the kellog pact. we're about to go to paris in a month and negotiate a climate policy. japan and germany signed the kellog pact. which is why reagan combined his policies of peace through strength and very tough diplomacy but also a willingness to bargain and reach breakthroughs. on one hand you can be tough and
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seek a breakthrough at the same time. at the heart of it was peace through strength. no sentimentality that war was a feature of political life in a rough world that could be escaped except through vigilance and strength and the willingness to stand up against tyrants. now our institutions, our constitution, are so badly degraded these days that what we need is a person of enormous audacity, of boldness, of skill the kinds of things that led us to call reagan the great communicator in office. it requires a large personality today to put a lot of changes over the finish line. i will save more for the final wrap-up argument in a few minutes. >> amity gets to question steve.
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[ applause ] >> i kind of hate to do this, but didn't -- >> no, you don't. >> i do because i like reagan. wasn't there something about iran and the contras in the reagan period, steve? >> yes. for the same reason reagan was< not as successful in lowering the budget applies to foreign policy. >> what does that have to do with shipping arms from one place to another with the cold war? >> long story, short answer. if congress had not continually changed its mind, there never would have been a moment of controversy in the beginning about diverting funds to the contras. >> i guess that was illegal.
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federal spending as a share of gdp didn't go up. you established, but how about relative to the population? did the population grow 22% the ray feder way federal spending did. >> i don't know those numbers. >> thank you. >> thank you, steve, for channelling hillary clinton. i don't remember. now the negative closing statement of four minutes. >> may i answer to that last question for my partner? gdp went up, population didn't go up as fast as gdp, which meant that personal prosperity increased at even a faster rate. we're asked to deal with the question of who is a better model, and so let me add a few points that we have not yet touched on. first of all, it's important for
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the presidential candidate to display a capacity to work with congress. calvin coolidge had republican domination on both sides of congress through all six of his years and couldn't even deal well with them. ronald reagan only had republican control of the senate for six years and had full domination on the house side by the democrats and ronald reagan was able to pass two major tax cuts and get us a compromise on solving a major part of the social security problem. it really is important to have that concept of a model in mind. communication, communication is critical in this period of time. without going into all the details, let me just ask you would you rather have as a model of communication someone who's
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most famous short phrase you lose or someone who's most famous short phrase is tear down that wall. third point, there is a reality to looking at one's legacy as a measure of whether or not you performed well and all your traits together fit together. calvin coolidge left office in march of 1929 and six months later the country suffered its greatest depression. when ronald reagan left office, there was ten years of growth and prosperity that followed and he left for his successor "the quiet man" a book you can buy over here at the end of the debate, an opportunity to finish the soviet union. i believe it is absolutely clear that those are the kinds of traits that are critical models.
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there's another aspect. ronald reagan's 11th commandment. ronald reagan, i think, was the classic example of a political figure that understood that in strength within a party comes mutual support. and ronald reagan's message of thou shalt not speak ill of another republican candidate is something else we would like to have the modern republican candidates hold to. taken all together in terms of the specifics of accomplishment, in terms of the character traits, in terms of the grand vision, in terms of the capacity to bring the country together, and in terms of being able to leave a legacy that was of value not only to the country but to the world, it ought to be clear that the correct choice for a model is ronald reagan. let me leave you with an
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analogy. i would rate calvin coolidge with a grade of "b" in a tick tack toe kind of presidency. i would rate ronald reagan with an "a" as the one who mastered the complex chess moves to deal with the modern world. i think ronald reagan is clearly the correct choice as a model. [ applause ] >> amity, you're up for the affirming closing statement. i detect a note of grief in the governor's voice, but i rise for the aggrieved one, the tic-tac-toed wrong one. we're supposed to talk about the relevance of the candidate. coolidge or reagan for the current election.
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there are four issues that i would like to name. immigration, intervention abroad, expansion of the federal government of the expense of the private sector, and the federal debt. in all four areas the 30th president proves a more relevant model than 40. if you start with immigration, and that's one where the republican party is in trouble today not knowing what it's doing, reagan would say something nice about growth and families, but there is concern in the country. it's a different time as there is in europe. what about immigration? you have to say something more than immigration causes growth otherwise the result is someone like donald trump who says bigoted things. here coolidge offers a model. coolidge loved immigrants. he felt great kinship with them. here we are all in the same boat. however coolidge did hold that
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immigration proceeds better slowly, that it requires regulation, and it ought not to be for political blocks, but rather all the immigrants become one as citizens and part of america. that's very inspiring and useful idea. second foreign intervention, today we have no clarity about where the u.s. will deploy, how many people it will deploy when it does, and for how long. leaders from both parties are knee jerk interventionists. perhaps i won't go on about nicaragua, but what happens it is time to have a president that is not a neo-con. to have a president that says because i feel this side or that side is right, we'll intervene. he abhorred gun vote diplomacy. you don't have to be an
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isolationist to see the wisdom. coolidge captured the concern and made it clear government and law have their limits. men do not make laws. they do but discover them. governor scott walker may no longer be in the race, but the problem he highlighted is for all of us that private citizens cannot shoulder the burden public employment causes. coolidge was reagan before reagan in this area with a very difficult decision when the boston police went on strike. it was there he said there is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody anywhere anytime. we need someone with that ability and coolidge did this before reagan. i would talk about the debt again, but i think i'd rather close with a few notes.
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coolidge's government was smaller when he left office than when he came in. he said it before. i'd like to repeat that. reagan's government increased, right? i'd also like to repeat -- to mention that some of the things reagan did built the time bomb or sustained the time bomb that we have in terms of debt. for all these reasons, foreign and dpomestic, we need a candidate for genuine optimism. i suggest to you that candidate is silent cow. >> closing statement four minutes. >> truman line. the case for reagan over coolidge rests on several
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factors. we often talk about the reagan revolution and we can argue about how revolutionary it was or wasn't. no one ever speaks of the coolidge revolution, do they? nobody looks back to coolidge for sustenance until reagan came along. if you think about even bill clint clint clint clinton understood when he became president that liberalism was still on probation. one of those detractors was a fellow named barack obama. if you read his books about clinton and his discussion of reagan. reagan is the only two-term president we've ever had who twice recovered from collapses
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in his poll ratings. the only president to have done that and that rested on his ability to instill trust, his great skills as a persuader, and his general character, which i think he was able to communicate to the american people very effectively. i mentioned before that he was capable of changing his mind and maneuvering while adhering to fundamental principles, of course. on the other hand, you think about coolidge and the tariff question, what was happening in the 1920s? huge expansion and trade. one wonders how it might have gone differently in calvin coolidge tried to persuade his own party to change their mind about trade protectionism. might the depression be lessened? can't blame him for that.
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the debt did grow under reagan. his graeeatest disappointment w he was not more successful in controlling spending. government grew slowest during ronald reagan's two terms. a relative achievement would have been better if it had gone down, but in contrast to two other administrations his record looks sterling by comparison. one doubts coolidge could accomplish his record. in her terrific book on calvin coolidge, amity refers to him as the great refrainer. being a great refrainer is a great thing. today we need a great reformer. it is by all means great to keep cool with coolidge, but we need
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to win another big one for the g gipper. thank you. [ applause ] >> governor douglas with mofour minutes for an affirmative closing statement. >> amity laid out policies that confirmed coolidge as the better example for president of the 21st century. character and leadership matter most. civility is a character trait that coolidge exhibited in his early years as did ronald reagan. coolidge never allowed himself to be disrespectful, even when he was furious. his most uncivil remark was calling herbert hoover wonder boy. he engaged in less name calling than most modern politicians do a current debate. once he and senator spencer were walking by the white house. spencer was trying to cheer coolidge up after a tough time
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in the white house. he asked who lives there. spencer was asking it in jest. coolidge replied nobody. they just come and go. but today politicians seek to acquire and retain power. a recent mayor of new york convinced the city council to amend the charter to give him another term. coolidge could have extended his tenure, but he said it is good for officers to rotate of a moderate length of time. coolidge was a true >> of the latest poll. a leader who stays the course in 1919, going firm against the union in boston. it appeared he'd be forced to back down. he didn't and, after issuing another famous quote, cat potted him to the vice presidency.
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our 40th president has been dubbed the great communique xx. americans came to recognize great confidence in the man behind the voice. in the ultimate display of his aversion to waste, as has been alluded to tonight, he issued only a single pencil at a time. whoever didn't use it was required to return the stub. earlier this year, it was calvin coolage whofgs competing for the washington face ball team.
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is ronald reagan? no. upon taking office, he ordered to be displayed in a place of honor. even reagan himself thought more highly of calvin coolage. i hope you'll vote to affirm. >> that is great. thank you very much.
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let's hear another round of applause for our great panel. >> and now, in let's make a deal, we have hats coming around. one that says coolage, one that says reagan. while those hats are coming around, i'll offer a few thoughts. >> you know what impressed me the moegs about this is?
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is its substance. we heard tonight about tax policy. we heard about foreign policy. we heard about immigration. and we heard about integrity. all of those things, while i heard about the first two, seemed to be missing or are less important than personalities and attacking an opponent. i think that that is something that we should applaud and we should encourage. >> lots of time, little depth.
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>> this is the kind of thinking and issues that everybody ought to be focused on. personalities come and go. reagan was said to be a great actor. when he got up to speak or when he appeared on television, you knew whether you voted for him or not. that here was a man who actually believed and fought through his positions. i thought that was also true when you looked at his experience where his desk and portrait still remain.
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not only governor of california twice, but the ge theater, what he used to call the rubber chicken circuit. meeting people and listening to them. i'm sorry to say, we don't see much of it right now. i think we can. which is why tonight -- oh, excuse me.
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>> i got carried away, i'm sorry. >> now we're going to have some questions and answers for our distinguished panel here. if i don't know the answer, i'll do like the politicians and fake it. yes, sir, tell us where you're from. >> any republican candidate today, we often hear the term smaller government. >> do you want to start on that since you wrote the book? >> yes, of course.
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>> one of the things coolage did when he retired was go on the board as a life insurance company. if you have a big enough pool, you can find just about anything. i think there's an understanding, as for example, social, the governor and professor steve could do it. and say let us figure out a way to prooiftize this so that the con tract is honored down the
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years. >> one way that i think for us to have to start thinking about and reducing government is replacing full time employees with short term contracts. one of the things i did as governor and the mental health services in the state, i wasn't doing it for efficiency at the time, although we got great efficiency.
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i think there are dozens of examples like that. i think you'll probably hear a lot more of it. >> in thinking about fiscal sounds i think there's another part of this that are more important than that.
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the second part is hard to talk about. until you get both of these things right, we're not going to be a happy country. about how coolage didn't face those entitlement pressures. but he pushed back earlier. so he had the foresighted to an tis piet how those entitlements might grow. john is absolutely right. that's the 800 pound fwril la.
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>> when i was in the office, it was during the great depression and we reduced by about 7.5%. >> i think there needs to be a change in philosophy. i think when i was growing up, you sub sill sdiezed and encouraged the things you want more of and penalized the things you wanted less of.
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you will now it's the reverse. any other questions? yes, ma'am, who are you? we'll wait for the microphone, please. >> you spoke in your intro. in a world that has the factions on the ride with the tea party, its front runner is a man that terrifies people. what do you think the future of the republican party? and do you see the future of the republican party for conservative people who want to
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follow this? >> i think the republican party has to constantly reinvent itself. the democratic party has a version of the 23rd psalm. the government is my keeper, i shall not want. i mean, its's a foal, twisted philosophy. what republicans need to do is stop apologizing, stop trying to prove that they're not racist, sexist homofoebs.
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they're always going to lose. now, neert free nor love has been in charge of things. hollywood has directed the culture. you people want to take this country back to the age of ozzie and harriet.
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and i think that can encourage the next generation. i think it can inspire them. >> can i make one point? every once in a while, they'll stand up in the back and say when are the politicians of this country going to have the backbone and the courage to make the hard decisions? and i point out that position is intended for politicians. what that says is why should the important, good decisions be hard decisions?
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the most pornts thing is anybody who believes, i tell them to talk, talk, talk. the most important thing you can do is communicate to your friends and your family what's important. a lot of them have priorities that don't allow them to have time to think about the issues as many of us do. and so we have to be part of the communication kneltwork. >> or make them listen to rush limbaugh for a week. >> one practical point is everything you said about the fractures and the party are in effect.
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on the other hand, the republican party right now, everything except the white hougs is at its highest water mark since coolage has been president. and a majority of the parties are always hard to manage. these are the kind of problems you actually want to have. the election is a problem coming up. if obama is driving us crazy, maybe we can refer to john's mental health.
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let's stake one or two more and then i have the election results for you. >> yes, sir. >> excellent summary. this is directed towards that i long believe that calvin cooliage was a very underrated president. the chief reason why i'm here. i wonder how you reconcile that calvin cooliage, 1924, the
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northwest european stock. the mule mantarian character of -- he was also, i believe, said to have embraced eugenics, i guess teddy roosevelt was also thought along those same lines. do you judge this as being a creature of the times? >> they needed -- they saw
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babies die all of the time and they couldn't save them. on the issue of immigration, a man named john blafr wrote a dissertation in getting the immigrant vote in massachusetts. we all know he had a long career. he was good with the irish people, good with the german people, good with the southern europeans who would lose out with the johnson act. because he cared about them. he feared, as would any
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politician, the rise of political blocks. his path is let us consider everyone a citizen or a near citizen or a future citizen. let us not change too fast. it's not evil. >> will're done with him. we don't like to say, i'm done because the piece of legislation is shallow. >> i signed something i didn't really like. and this would have passed over his veto if he chose an exercise
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in the past 66 and the senate was overwhelming. so he issued what we now call a sting statement, making it clear he didn't like the excollusion that was included in that act. but as it was suggested, it was quite inclusive. and you used to -- he had a lot of great quotes. the one about whether we came on the may flower or the steerage, we're all in the same boat now. >> well, actually, the the shortest line was not. it was what? >> the results are in. these are not projek tants. these are actual results. and they do include one absentee. i don't know how they got here, but according to the reagan side with modern politics, you guys
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might demand a recount or file a lawsuit. thank you all for your attention tonight. thank you all to our panelists and the young people. i hope you all learned thursday night, american history tv on c-span3 features presidential campaigns. at 8:00 p.m. eastern from 1999, former president george w. bush
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campaigns in new hampshire. at t e 9:00, also from 1999, vice president al gore speaks at a democratic fundraiser. >> road to the white house rewind on american history tv on c-span3.
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>> good evening, and quell come. i'm the executive director of calvin yooliage presidential foundation. we thank you for joining us this evening. you'll hear more from the institute of politics. dedicated to america's 30th president who served as president from 1923 to 1929. the historic site operated by the state of vermont which we hope many of you will come and visit. our foundation with cooliage and
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his programs. a major national scholar that a student desires to attend. the application opens this very award to early spring of next year. so we hope all of you will consider applying. tonight, as part of that program, but, throughout the year, we've been hundreds of school students.
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later, we'll be joined to introdu introduce competes internationally and world school's format. the u.s. debate. students from the varsity debate team here.
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from team usa and from st.anslem, rebecca pelitor. there we go. from the varsity debate team.
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>> thank you. >> before i begin, i just like to thank the cooliage foundation for hostingings this wonderful event and brings us all together to discus such a relative issue. with that, we'll get started.
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because of well-centered statesman ship, we are proud to support the resolution. the presidency of calvin cooliage is a better model than the presidency of ronald reagan for gop hopefuls today. first, that cooliage's demeanor delivered better economicsment we believe that president cooliage's demeanor delivered better gover nans. and in doing what he said he would. he would often say that it takes a great man to be a good listener. calvin cooliage's personal traits, particularly his emphasis and his importance on politics helps to keep the government small. the president once remarked that i have never been hurt by what i have not said.
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cooliage lived by the philosophy that one should believe that it would polarize american politics to do otherwise. too often, today, american people become disillusioned with politics. the most recent research polls show that america is more polarized than it has ever been before. when both parties promised to do things which the other cannot possibly be expected to agree to they represent modern american politics. we have an executive and a legislative branch that are both unwilling and unable to work together towards progress. as someone who you shaushered ia of corroboration and trust, he has strong integrity. a man who is unwilling to personally attack an opponent and refuse to make a promise which he could not keep. president cooliage's
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authenticity so much that the one that we proposed today to keep cool with cooliage. the president's ability to earn with a high level of people is particularly powerful given the context in which he took office. he did so by demonstrating a trustworthiness and delivering on the few promises that he carefully made. to put this in a present context, it would be particularly refreshing to have a candidate as genuine as cooliage is at a historical low. we may be compromised on the debt ceiling which continue to stagnate american policy-making and the economy today. we must move forward, but we have to move forward as a unified country. it is time to restore america's faith in the federal government, something that can only be done by a candidate who is willing to honestly underpromise and
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over-deliver. on the other hand, as beloved as he is, president reagan was larger than life. an actor who plays a hero in every role. we also recognize that this is a rare that can often not be replicated. does nothing to improve people's optimism about the american government. instead, it breeds disappointment. is the ability to actually deliver on his promises. that ability made him a more trustworthy political figure in american politics and will be one that powers the gop into a new era of political prosperity. let's watch the economic prosperity. he and president harding took office. by the administration's first year, the stock market had fallen by 48.8% from its peak in 1919, further than it was
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actually fall in 1929. the president reversed this trend of economic disaster towards one of success. we see the champion of economy in two areas. first, in government and second, economic firsts. let's say it's limited government, something that we can definitely look to as a model to follow today. the president believes that good governments don't hurry to ledge slat, but give administration a chance to catch up with legislation. he uses this as an impetus for slashing the deficit. something that's important to creating a stable, consistent economic growth in the present age. the railways face increasing regulations who have seen how they've suffered from lack of rail access chose them to allow to make a profit and expand. actually, to show how often the president met with his budget director.
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and it's a lot. they cut back on the utensils that changed the fabric of paint brush handles. the reward was special citations. the point of all this, all drastically reduced regulation over industry, the size and cost of government and aleaves the burden on american businesses. it would have an enormous impact on heavy regulations. calvin cooliage is the only time lower than it was when he became president. we can all agree this is something that we should look forward to. coolidge continued to cut. this time, all the way down to 25% for income over a hundred thousand dollars. the final top rate was even lower than ronald reagan's top tax rate of 28%. and the government collected tax
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revenue budget surplus reducing the national debt from $23.2 billion to $16.9 billion in 1929. not only did president coolidge cut the sign of government, but he vastly improved economic performance. gross domestic products grew substantially under coolidge. during the years of second term in office from 1924 to 1929, gdp grew adjust inflation. that is significantly higher than we've seen in recent years. and the stock market grew by 200%. so, ultimately today, when considering both the man and the mod model, we recognize that his demeanor delivered better government and his presidency created economic stable. thank you.
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[ applause [ applause ] >> when president reagan was an actor, he was always the hero. he was a good guy. his personality imbided warnt and altruism. president reagan strongly exemplifies the characteristics the gop needs in its leaders today. i will begin by refuting the proposition's arguments and then present our first two arguments. the proposition made an argument about president coolidge's demeanor. however, reagan's demeanor was just as, if not more positive.
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the institute for public policy. demeanor wise, he found sober linings in things. he liked to be a mediator. he didn't like to have enemies around him. this evidence clearly shows that president reagan was a collaborator who saw the best in everyone. but, more than that, he was an active collaborator. president coolidge's policy is one of silence and president reagan mixes the best of both worlds. i have two reasons why president reagan is preferable. reagan created greater economic change. they have led to a combination of slow growth and inflation in the teams. the budget was in deficit. reagan had a choice. he can focus on debt or growth. he chose growth. have a century of liberal, economic policies were relieved by president reagan with the
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economic recovery. by 1990, the country had 86 months of growth after reagan. under his presidency, federal spending of the gdp fell. he did so while perfectly exemplifying republican, trickle down economics. second, president coolidge's policies may not be relevant today. however, he braught the stock market to 200% growth, while he eliminated an economic recession, he created a bubble that popped turning into the great expression. going from one expression to the other is not a viable policy. in 1984, president reagan said i believe in the idea of amnesty for those who put down roots and
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come here even though sometimes they've come here illegally. his words translated to action when president reagan signed the reform act of 1986. in combination with the 18 million jobs, america flourished. although team opposition demonstrates a larger trend. it's the gop candidate's wish to succeed they must be willing to adopt their ideology for the long term good of their party. if they do not, they will continue losing electorate. a recent report suggests that part of the problem is the republican party's red rik. i would vote for them, but i have family who wants to come here. if they were more moderate, things would change. if the gop wishes to stay relevant, it needs to be more moderate.
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data demonstrate that is voters are demanding immigration reform. in fact, the wall street journal even found that up to 70% of republicans want some kind of reform for the deportation process. millions live in the yiegts with almost 5,000 daily. instead, we need a gop hopeful to offer a tangible, revolutionary plan like reagan. our second argument is that president reagan embraced international relations. president reagan envisions in america opens to commerce and peace that our commerce rested on the foundation. the freer the flow, the stronger the ties of human progress and peace among nations.
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there is also a foreign and domestic benefit. president reagan revolutionized markets. his aggressive policies and defensive freedom helped defeat the undefeatble opponent, the soviet union would and for all. he lifted the embargo, but after playing the nice guy for three years, recognized the need to take a hard approach. president reagan did not mind being combative. he called the soviet union an evil empire.
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he pushed them to the economic limits. essentially, the vote of his aggressive tactics, president reagan convinced the soviet leader to reduce arms. reagan went to the battleground of the cold war and gave a speech saying mr. gorbechev, tear down this wall. >> we should nirnlly offer the care to everyone. however, if peace and cooperation is turned down, we must give them the stick. the president's philosophy may have them run wild. president reagan accomplished unbelievable things. he ended one of the worst phases in american history, gave new bound strength to the economy.
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we have never been so proud to oppose. thank you. [ applause ] >> calvin coolidge once said that the chief business of american people is business. but when it comes to the presidency of ronald reagan, we agree that president reagan was a great man. but we think that his uniqueness is exactly the reason why he is so harsh to emulate today. in this speech, i will be decon instructing the case presented by side opposition and then introduced by proposition third argument and then reenforcing our first two. so, first, let's decon instruct
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what the opposition said in their first speech. their first argument was that reagan was able to emulate a strong immigration policy by granting amnesty to many illegal immigrants. we agree that amnesty might have seemed like a good prospect for handling the problem of illegal immigration. however, the issue is that republicans today do not support amnesty. in fact, 65% of republicans and 45% of american voters themselves opposed amnesty plans proposed by president obama alone. this showed that reagan's policy of granting amnesty to illegal imdpramigrants will serve if add today, but rather divided emp further. this is the fundamental reason while reagan's policy might have been good in the 1980s. it simply does not hold true today. but, more importantly, what we
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have to consider is that president coolige consider the changing nature of the citizen act of 1924 was signed by calvin coolidge and granted dual citizenship at a time called india. what this greatly demonstrated was able to prioritize the needs of every single individual in america instead of trying to select and prioritize needs of key pockets throughout the country. therefore, clearly, the presidency of calvin coolidge should be emulated today. let's go on to the second argument. they talked about how foreign policy of ronald reagan was extremely beneficial. we agreed that the cowboy persona was useful in ensuring that the united states was greater abroad and certainly more effective in certain policy cases like the peaceful resolutions to the cold war.
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he ignored his own state department. the american people are out raged. for example, iraq is the least popular war in u.s. history. in conflicts ranging from the situation in syria to the war between ukraine and russia. under calvin coolidge, we had a better foreign policy. you can see this in three levels of analysis. through enforcing and
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maintaining the monroe doctrine. and, finally, by establishing the kellogg pact. but, first, let's look at the collaborative nature and how he's able to collaborate with his own state department. better advance his own society. collaboration is a far better approach to solving and addressing international crises, than simply strong arming international leaders. this is something that gop hopefuls need to recognize today, especially at a time when the united states is entangled in so many issues abroad, but the second level analysis we have is to the monroe doctrine. president coolidge keeping america dominant in the western hemisphere. teddy roosevelt had gone to cuba in war, for example. but president coolidge went there in peace, traveling to the capital, havana, and all
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represented stood on the exact footing of equality. the same authority of the largest and the most powerful. his very words signified that he had adopted a policy, especially of international negotiation to ensure that every single international voice was equally heard and equally represented, which proves that the best chance to deescalate foreign conflict is to address issues abroad. but the third analysis we give you is to the establishment of the kellogg breand pact. president coolidge did, too. that's exactly why he signs the pact, which renounced war as a means of solving conflict. thought such a plan could have great power abroad. many other nations of the direct result ended up signing that pact.
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let's look at a modern example of where this foreign policy approach would be beneficial. going back between ukraine and russia, our military intervention in helping to deescalate the conflict is not a wise policy and is something that gop hopefuls should recognize, by adopting like calvin coolidge did. but we will have peaceful negotiation and discussion as a means for deescalating conflict instead of out right war. war to coolidge was a last resort. now, let's go onto reenforcing our first and second argument. now, unable to make any meaningful policy advancements because that person's voice would be drowned out. but i'd like to point something out.
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being silenced does not mean you don't make any decisions. it simply means you think before you speak, you think before you act and you think before you leap. this reinforces what president coolidge himself said. don't hurry to legislate. give administration a chance to catch up with legislation. that is the feel that a gop hopeful today needs. especially when a party is so divided. but the second argument that we braught up is the economy. grant it, both cut tax rates and there's a reason for that. it works in fwroeing the economy. reagan's spending wasn't as wide as coolidge. reagan tripled the gross federal date from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. during his two terms in office.
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it took 31 years to accomplish, yet, reagan did it in eight. yes, we agree spending can grow the economy. and we agree that president reagan had to deal with president carter's economic mistakes. but it's simply too grandiose. a better solution is to do what calvin coolidge did. promote the establishment and further advance the free market to grow the american economy as a whole. fundamentally, over-delivered to create successful policy decision. we are proud to propose the motion.
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>> there are no great limits to growth. president only reagan. when president reagan took office after jimmy carter, we were left with a literal crisis. but hechsz the great optimist. the believer. to date, when the republican party is at such a cross roads, we need the same message that there are no limits to america. in this speech, i'll do three things. first, i'm going to offer to the argument team government is going to give you. second, i'm going to rebuild on our own. and our third and final substantial argument. let's start off ronald reagan
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wasn't there with this kind of opposition when voters are leaving the party. we need someone who can inspire and motivate. others cannot emulate. when they fail, it has negative consequences. that's not the point. what we say on team opposition is that we should make -- or at least gop hopefuls should make, every attempt to make president reagan's philosophy, spirit and policy, even if they can't manage his larger-than-life actor's personality, what we advocate his core believes. but certainly, and finally against this argument low, we would say, just because gop hopefuls doesn't mean democrats and other parties will be as well.
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even if gop hopefuls have really credible ideas. so what we would say is on the gop hopeful, the next sermon they talk about is coolidge's economic policies. maybe too effective. the growth level in the stock market that team government sites as a benefit, actually should be seen as a risk in 2015 when our economy is as fragile as ever. a double topping will not be compensated. but second is a more effective and relevant job. he actually reduced spending as a share of gdp. because reagan instituted 86 straight months of gdp growth, the fact that spending is a bad job and increased proportion
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proportionally. it's president advocating for general spending cuts. in today's status quo, general spending cuts are not enough. we need specific policy. the final argument is about calvin coolidge's foreign policy. instead, his lack of mechanism. what we would say on team opposition is that leaders or dictators could potentially sign the pact and then not follow through on it. we don't need that as an effective foreign policy. president reagan instituted the
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belief of this doctrine by ending. finally, most importantly, team government needs to come up here in 2015 telling us with specific analysis. suddenly changing their tune and begin working with the united states. we have already offered them the possibility of collaboration for so many years. ladies and gentlemen, when the carrot doesn't work, we give them the stick. the next we have to attacks about our discussion on immigration. a couple of things here. first, we are not just talking about amnesty. there are other reforms, for instance, say to the deportation system that over 70% of republicans would potentially be in favor for. younger and minority voters are seeking more from the republican party on this crucial issue. they're waiting for a standard bearer to step forward and
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demonstrate strength and compassion which president reagan epitomizes. team opposition is looking out for the long term health of the gop even if immigration reform is not popular, the gop must adjust to changing demographics in the united states. let's now approach or, excuse me, let's now approach the final attack that they offered on our argument act foreign policy. they make the contention that president reagan was a cowboy with a lasso who never listened to his state department. but first of all, cowboy foreign policy is likely the reason why the cold war ended. reagan instituted realism based on'd'llism and understood when it was time to go hard line. second we bould say that the u.s. not yet a major superpower in president coolidge's time. we carry greater obligations than in the 1920s and closer to the obligations of the 1980s. now, let's go to team
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opposition's final substantive argument. president ronald reagan was a symbol of american unity. president obama who interestingly is a democrat himself said ronald reagan tapped into our feeling which was we want clarity, we want dina michl and return to the optimism that once belonged. reagan united the country. the '70s before reagan were a difficult time. economic malaise. the arab oil embargo and general discontent with the presidential office. reagan swept the nation with the campaign that not only captured democratic voters but spread a message of bipartisan team work. why do gop hopefuls today need to emulate this? it seems as if some candidates such as mr. trump are relying on rudeness to garner media attention. but more than that what we would say is that in research conducted in september other good morning hopefuls like jeb
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bush and marco rubio became most associated with strangely enough the phraseents said they wanted fighter. not many of the gop hopefuls today have shown president reagan's charismatic warmth. instead they're either too quiet or too bombastic. we need to leave the extremes. aside from the appearances poll shows that current gop hopefuls unlikable because of the unwillingness to compromise. according to politico, when confronted with deficits, reagan reached to the democrats for a deal to cut spending. now, when questioned about rising deficits in recent interviews, all the gop presidential candidates rejected reagan's approach. president reagan's take away is this. political brinks ma brinksmanshr
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worth it. today we need someone to clear the air for the gop and bring our nation back together. thus, we oppose. >> over the summer i was given the chance to visit the coolidge presidential foundation in plymouth, vermont. there, i came to recognize that while president coolidge may be little known he has lasting lessons to apply to today's politics and today's politicians. it is for this reason it's integral for us to apply them to today's politics and today's politicians at this great


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