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tv   Donald Rumsfeld Campaign Speech  CSPAN  December 31, 2015 10:30pm-10:56pm EST

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hampshire. mr. rumsfeld dropped out of the '88ry presidential race about three weeks after this event. [ applause ] >> dick, i thank you very much for that fine introduction. ladies and gentlemen, i'm delighted to be with you for the eastern states sign"1ñ council seminar. i listened to that introduction and it reminded me that i mentioned one time that i was a new grandfather. i think the granddaughter was born in august of last year, so six months, something like that. and a man came up to med4ps afterwards and he said, mr. rumsfeld, how old is your granddaughter? i said, two or three months old. and she said, you're not a grandfather. i said, what do you mean, i'm not a grandfather. he said, you're not a
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grandfather until that little girl sits on your lap, looks up at you and says, i love you, grandfather. so while i am a grandfather, i'm a very recent one. i listened to the introduction and the listing of the various things i've been involved with over the years, and i can remember when my daughter called me from college and she said, dad, we're reading about you in class, and i said, oh, is it current events? she said, no, it's history. it made me feel1zv important. it is true, i went to washington straight out of the navy in 1957 as assistant to the congressman. eisenhower was president. i knocked on doors and ended up working for a congressman in ohio. it seemed like a logical thing to do having had a father who served in world war ii and we lived around the country and
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became interested in history and government. after 20 years in government, i went home and went into business. it has been a terrific experience, and i admire those of you in business. it is important to be sure it provides the taxes and the jobs and the products and the services for this country, but it also provides the economic security, the economic progress, the technological advancements of our country, and it's worthwhile and it ought not to be undervalued. i thought what i would do today would be to save some time for some questions and answers. we had a little meeting before this with your board, and i wasn't in the room two minutes before a lot of questions started coming at me. so i know this is a question-asking group. but let me just take a couple minutes to talk first about our future as a country, and second, a little bit about the 1988
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presidential campaign about which i have more than a passing interest. if you think back to the post warld w world war ii period and those of us who lived during that period, most of our adult lives we enjoyed a citizenship and a country that had a substantial margin for error. we were the military power in the world, whereas today we're one of two superpowers. we were the economy on the face of the earth and today we're one of three, part of an integrated global economy. there's been a shift in our circumstance, and indeed a shift in the world. if one thinks about our world, looks at this morning's newspaper, there are some 30,000 cambodians about to be pushed out of thailand back into cambodia where their lives are -- life prospects are uncertain. i suppose there's 20,000 palestinians in beirut which we
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were talking about earlier today without food being shot at. 150,000 soviet troops in afghanistan. wars on four continents. it's a difficult %q6/tujy a dangerous world, a world that is essentially unlike us in our belief in political and economic freedom. and as that shift is taking place, it seems to me that our margin for error has changed. when you have a big margin for error, you can afford to neglect things, be inattentive, then go in and make it right. if you have $5 and you lose $5, it's everything. i would suggest as we look out into the 1990s, our country, indeed, each of us, is going to be living in a different period, a new era when it will require new policies and a new type of leadership at all levels of
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society. the goal will not be to get into a crisis and try to manage that crisis skillful, the goal has to be to make those changes, those calibrations early so that they can be modest rather than late violent and wrenching and damaging to human beings or too late. no one with any sense suggests that the goal was to get into a nuclear war and win it. the goal was to behave before the fact in a way that we can, in fact, contribute to peace and stability in the world. so, too, in the economic area. there is no -- the latest word is competitiveness. i read that every day now and i kind of smile to myself, because the implication is that american manufacturing is gone. indeed, january of this year was the all-time high in american manufacturing. we have some problems in this country, there is no question about it. but on the other hand, we do have the weight, the capability,
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the people to do really what want over the coming period in terms of our economic circumstance. let me just offer a couple suggestions about the world and our economic situation and then a problem that i think is related, which is our character as a people, the goals we set for ourselves, the things we aspire to. because in a significant way, the goals we set and what we aspire to as a people determine the kind of people we will become. not because we always achieve them, but because they point a direction. first, with respect to the world, i would submit that we have no choice as a nation but to engage in the world. we can't think that we can go back and have those two big oceans be barriers. we are part of the world. there is speed of communications, of transportation, the range and reach of weapons mean that we do need to be engaged. we need to engage in the battle
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of ideas on political and economic freedom. and we've got the most powerful idea. a little article in the "new york times" a couple months ago about no more than two inches long. it said that the united states government opened up 5,000 visa spots for the whole year of 1987, and that within 10 days there were çv2p1,330,000 human beings from 3,000 countries that applied to come to the united states. think what that says about our country. we are the symbol, the standard, the haven. bill bennett of education said, lift up the gate and see which way things are moving. there is a reason they move. let me talk about our competitive situation. where do we have $170 billion trade deficit? why are people moving into new
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hampshire and out of some other states? why as head of gd serial do i want to put a plant in one state instead of another state? why as secretary of defense would i want to have a military base in one city instead of another city? and the answer to all those questions is the same. it's because people have choices and they make choices. and they seek something better. money does. money seeks a return. each of you know thatidu÷ in business. and you know that what you measure improves. and if you track something and focus on that, it gets better. states that decide they want to create an environment that's hospitable to enterprise, in fact, can attract things in. countries that tilt toward the freer systems, the political systems, the freer economic systems, in fact, are attracting people in. if we could look down from mars on this world, what we would see is that the systems that are highly centralized, statused,
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regulated, communist systems, socialist systems tend not to be working for their people. and conversely those systems that tilt toward economic freedom are providing more for their people. i would add one other thing. i think that it sounds simple but people ask me how do the japanese and germans walk past americans' so many industrial sectors? the answer is simple. they did it because they wanted to. because it was important to their people's economic security and economic progress. so they tested their behavior as to whether it would contribute to their becoming more competitive. in the united states we didn't. we had the economy on the face of the earth. we didn't need to worry about those things, so we were neglectful, inattentive, and went about our business. that's where the $170 billion
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trade deficit came from. now people are coming up with a lot of conclusions as to what we ought to do about it. some say protectionism. i think not. we've tried that in this world and there is no question but that it's kind of like when you take your youngster out to teach him how to ride a bike, and you run him down the middle of the street. you feel a little silly, you're holding onto the handlebars and the seat. you let go of the handlebars and seat, they may fall and skin their knee. but you also know if you don't let go of the seat, you're going to have a 35-year-old that can't ride a bike. you look all across this world at protected industries. they are weak, they are uncompetitive and they are in decline. now, by the same token, we do need to assure fair access to other markets. it's important. there are non-tariff barriers, there are unfair trade practices. and we need to organize the government of the united states to do that, to show we're
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serious. in the current time we have responsibility and it doesn't look like we're serious about it. as a result, other countries go about their business, and the playing field is indeed not level. some are suggesting what we ought to have is a national industrial policy. well, i think not. the japanese have one and they've been wrong as often as they've been right in industrial sectors to favor or not favor. and i worry about government help. what you really need is less regulation rather than government help. government help is like getting in bed with a hippopotamus. you're comfortable for about nine minutes and then the thing roll over and crushes you. i would add one thing on our economic circumstance. there are a lot of people who i would call doomsayers. they're saying things are really
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terrible. the fact of the matter is things are not really terrible in this country. we've got some problems, and there's no question but that a few countries in the world have demonstrated a greater willingness to focus on their ability to compete than we have. but we have something like 70% of the computers in the world in the united states of america, a country of 240 million people. we have the ability to compete. all we have to do is decide to do it. take the tax bill that just passed. the tax bill was tested against three things, revenue neutrality, simplicity and fairness. you heard that over and over again in the newspapers. what should it have been tested against? it should have been tested against what's it going to do for risk taking, for savings? what's it going to do to test the competitiveness in the united states of america, and it wasn't. had we tested that bill and our other behavior, public and
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private, against that goal, there is no question but that we as a country can compete. i have a great deal of confidence in this system of ours. there is an assumption on a lot of prognosticators that there will be a shift in response, that things in place will tend to remain in place. but our whole history shows that's not true. our whole history shows there is a dynamic response, a cumulative response. and when things begin to not go well, the american people come together and begin to focus on the right things. the third thing i think is related and that's really our goals and hopes and aspirations for our country. the character of our country. you know, in a burst of enthusiasm in the 1960s, everyone believes in free speech, so everyone was speaking freely, and we began behaving as though every idea were as good as every other idea. every idea isn't as good as every other idea.
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i can remember as head of the office of economic opportunity during the nixon administration, people would come running up to me and say, i've got an idea. it's bold, innovative and new. and i would kind of get excited. i would lean forward and want to hear about it. i saw more ideas that were bold, innovative, new and stupid than you can imagine. we need people in the country who have read the minutes of the last meeting. we need schools that produce people that are capable of doing the things that are necessary in our society. first, fulfilling their citizenship responsibilities. second, being able to provide for themselves and avoid this cycle of dependency which has increased in our country. and third, to open up a lifetime of learning, because, in fact, ours is a world where change is inevitable and we do all need to continue learning as we go through life. i would say in conclusion that there is no need for america to
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be too weak to be safe. there is certainly no need for america to be too confused to be competitive. there is a wonderful story about a navy man. we've got a navy pilot here. we were sitting here telling old of the story about the man in the navy who wrkd horked his wa. he finally became a full captain, four stripes. the biggest you can be is captain of the ocean. he said, captain, there is a ship out ahead. the captain said, tell the ship to bear starboard. he said, bear starboard yourself. >> he was in a ship a football field long, thousands of sailors. bear starboard immediately. back came the message, bear starboard immediately yourself. bear starboard immediately, i am
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a battleship. >> back came the signal, bear starboard immediately yourself. i am a lighthouse. [ laughter ] >> the lighthouse for the united states of america is political and economic freedom, and we need to understand it. and we need to value it. and we need to preserve it and we need to expand it. in our country and in our world. just a word on 1988. when i went home, i went into business. i stopped reading the "washington post" cold turkey and lived. can you believe it? seriously, i must say that i'm a different person having been in business for 10 years. you have a different perspective. you deal with different problems with different people. i thought about running for the
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presidency in is t1977 and made judgment to go home and be away from government for a period. a lot of my friends ran who i served in congress and the cabinet, bush and dole and anderson and crane and connelly. i looked again at it in 1985 and it looked like it would be wide open in 1988. after spending a good teal deal time the last year and a half traveling around and meeting a lot of people, i kind of concluded that it is wide open, that there is a generational change taking place in our country in both parties. and that the people who have tended to dominate the scene will be off thezlyñp scene. i guess i've learned several facts about this. i think first is it is very difficult for a vice president to run for president. we've not elected a vice president president in 150 years in our country. second, that front runners tend
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to not do too well. and third, that it's more of a marathon than a sprint. most candidates seem to defeat themselves rather than be defeated by somebody else. i know the other candidates and they're good men. they have strengths and weaknesses as i have strengths and weaknesses. and i would suspect that the test will be what the american people, in their insides, feel about our country, our country's circumstance in the world, and how the various candidates' backgrounds and hopes and aspirations for our country fit with those needs. my sense is that it's important to know how the economy and our country work as well as how washington works. my sense is that it's important to know how the executive branch of the federal government works as well as how the legislative branch works. and there is a difference between executive and legislative leadership. legislative leadership, almost by our definition of a legislature, is to kind of take
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the in box and average it, and it ends up with the lowest common denominator. but executive leadership, as each of you and your companies know, requires planning ahead and a direction to point and hiring good people and arranging them and seeing that they work well in harness together. unless you're a mozart or an einstein, most of what all of us do in our lives that's worth anything, we do with other people. last, i think the current difficulties in washington suggest that the -- excuse me, mr. fritz newman here? you have a phone call. thank you. last, it seems to me the current problems in washington suggest that it's also important to know how the world works. that a background in foreign policy and defense policy is
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important, that it does make a difference who is sitting across the table from gorbachev. and it makes a difference who is making the judgments that will affectus, our children, and our. grandchildren. last week i formed an exploratory committee for the presidency, and anticipating announcing for the presidency in late april or early march. i start behind. ly jimmy the gre at 51. i guess some of you are going out to las vegas so you can talk to him about that when you see him. on the other hand, i kind of like that position, given the history of presidential races. from time to time the voters of new hampshire have kind of taken joy in profiting the political experts and the odds makers wrong. i was asked, why do you want to
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run for president? i guess the short answer is -- is that i, like each of you, want to try to help build a better country for our children and our grandchildren. thank you very much. >> c-span has your best access to congress in 2016. the house and senate will reconvene on january 4th to mark the second session of the 114th congress. on tuesday january 5th, the house is back from legislative work and first votes with paul ryan as speaker of the house. then on monday, january 11th, the senate returns at 2:00 p.m. eastern. be sure to follow c-span's capitol hill producer craig cap lynn on twitter for daily congressional updates. c-span, live coverage of congress on tv, on the radio, and online at each week until the 2016
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presidential election american history tv brings your archival coverage of past p t shul races. on road to the white house rewind we look back to the 1992 campaign of former u.s. senator paul tsongas, a day before he formally announced his candidacy, we join the photo shoot with "people" magazine as he swam laps. mr. tsongas had battled cancer about seven years earlier amend his health was an issue in the campaign. arkansas governor bill clinton would go on to win the '92 democratic presidential nomination with senator tsongas carrying seven states and finishing third.
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>> one more stroke i could have given you a bath. >> i want to get you doing that
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at the other end of the pool, too, without the goggles on. can we try that one more time? >> how much did you get? >> quite a bit. >> there's the picture which is nice except your hands are blocking the light on your face. it will still be a pretty nice picture. >> how long have you been swimming? >> i swam in college. and when i left college, that was the end. then about a year and a half ago the doctor said the radiation had affectedlungs so i had
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to go something to exercise. so i went back to this and then i heard about the master swim competition. that would motivate me. nothing like embarrassment to get you going. so i swam last year and this year and last year competed9:v$h the swim team. >> how many laps do you swim on a given day? >> well, now that we're close to competition i swim about a mile a day. >> what do you think about when you're swimming, anything, getting to the other end? >> i think very deep thoughts like which lap is this? i just count laps and try -- if you think about anything, it's distracting so i just try to let my mind just float. >> feel good when it's all over? >> well, when i train by myself i really wasting my time. when i train with a team, it's a very different story. you cannot motivate yourself. you will not drive yourself as fast as you will


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