tv 1984 Presidential Candidates Second Debate CSPAN November 5, 2016 4:53am-6:22am EDT
regrettably, i have to inform you that we have come to the end of our questions. that's a pity. before i ask the candidates to make their closing remarks, on behalf of the commission on presidential debates i would like to thank all of you for joining us this evening. governor dukakis, yours is the first closing statement, sir. >> 28 years ago i was a young man just graduated from law school and i came to this city, came clear across the country to watch john kennedy be nominated for the presidency of the united states here in los angeles. i never dreamed someday i would win that nomination and be my party's nominee for president. that's america. that's why i'm proud and grateful to be a citizen of this country. 26 days from today you and millions of americans will choose two people to lead us into the presidency and vice presidency of the united states.
our opponents say things are okay, don't rock the boat, not to worry. they say we should be satisfied. but i don't think we can be satisfied when we're spending $150 billion a year on interest alone on the national debt, much of it going to foreign bankers or when 25% of our high school students are dropping out of school or when we have two and a half million of our fellow citizens, a third of them veterans, who are homeless and living on streets and doorways in this country or when mr. bush's prescription for our economic future is another tax give away to the rich. we can do better than that. not working with government alone but all of us working together. lloyd bentsen and i are optimists and so are the american people. we ask you for your hands and your hearts and your votes on the eighth of november so we can move forward in the future. kitty and i are very grateful to all of you for the warmth and
hospitalitity you've given to us in your homes and communities all across this country. we love you and we're grateful to you for everything you've given to us. and we hope that we'll be serving you in the white house in january of 1989. thank you and god bless you. [ cheers and applause ] vice president bush? your closing statement, sir? >> sometimes it does seem that a campaign generates more heat than light and so let me repeat, i do have respect for my opponent, for his family, for the justifiable pride he takes in his heritage. but we have enormous differences. i want to hold the line on taxes and keep this the longest expansion in modern history going until everybody in america benefits. i want to invest in our children
because i mean it when i say i want a kinder and gentler nation and by that i want to have child care for the families, the parents have control. i want to keep our neighborhoods much, much better in terms of anti-crime and that's why i would appoint judges that have a little more sympathy for the victims of crime and a little less for the criminals. that's why i do feel if some police officer is gunned down, that the death penalty is required. i want to help those with disabilities fit into the mainstream. there is much to be done. this election is about big things. and perhaps the biggest is world peace and i ask you to consider the experience i have had in working with the president who has revolutionized the situation around the world. america stands tall again and as a result we are credible and we have now achieved a historic arms control agreement. i want to build on that.
i'd love to be able to say to my grandchildren four years after my first term, i'd like to say "your grandfather, working with the leaders of the soviet union, working with the leaders of europe, was able to ban chemical and biological weapons from the face of the earth. lincoln called this country the last best hope of man on earth. and he was right then and we still are the last best hope of man on earth and i ask for your support on november 8 and i will be a good president working together we can do wonderful things for the united states and for the free world. thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ]
[ indistinct audio ] with just a few days before election day, the presidential candidates remain on the campaign trail. this weekend, donald trump has several stops planned, including one in tampa, florida. you can watch that stop live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span and in the evening hillary clinton will speak at a get out the vote event in philadelphia, also featuring a performance by singer katy perry. watch that live at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. election night on c-span. watch the results and be part of a national conversation about the outcome. be on location of the hillary clinton and donald trump election night headquarters and watch victory and concession speeches in key senate house and governors' races starting live at 8:00 p.m. eastern and throughout the following 24
hours watch live orge h.w. bush and former massachusetts governor michael dukakis in 1988. >> leading up to the 2016 election, "road to the white house rewind" brings you archival coverage of presidential races. next, from 1984, the second and final presidential debate between incumbent president ronald reagan and his democratic challenger, former vice president walter mondale. the candidates answered questions on defense and foreign policy. cia activities in central america. nuclear arms negotiations with the soviet union. and fighting terrorism in the broader middle east. ronald reagan and george h.w. bush defeated waul eed walter md geraldine ferraro in the general election. this debate from kansas city is just under an hour and a half.
[ applause ] >> good evening. good evening from the municipal auditorium in kansas city. i am dorothy ridings, the president of the league of women voters, the sponsor of the final presidential debate of the 1984 campaign between republican ronald reagan and democrat walter mondale. our panelists for tonight's debate on defense and foreign policy issues are georgie anne geyer, syndicated columnist for universal press syndicate. marvin kalb, chief diplomatic correspondent for nbc news. morton kondracke, executive
editor of "the new republic" magazine, and henry trewhitt, diplomatic correspondent for the "baltimore sun." edwin newman, formerly of nbc news and now a syndicated columnist for king features, is our moderator. ed? >> dorothy ridings, thank you. a brief word about our procedure tonight. the first question will go to mr. mondale. he'll have 2 1/2 minutes to reply. then the panel member who put the question will ask the follow-up. the answer to that will be limited to one minute. after that, the same question will be put to president reagan. again there will be a follow-up, and then each man will have one minute for rebuttal. the second question is going go to president reagan first. after that, the alternating will continue. at the end there will be four-minute summations with president reagan going last. we have asked the questioners to be brief. let's begin. mrs. geyer, your question to mr. mondale. >> mr. mondale, two related
questions. the crucial issue of central america. you have said that the only policy toward the civil wars in central america should be on the economic development and negotiations. do you believe that these answers would in any way solve the bitter conflicts there? do believe that there's no need to resort to force at all or not the solutions to knowing the problems and simply again too weak and too late? >> i believe the question oversimplifies the difficulties of what we must do in central america. our objection must be to strengthen democracies and stop the communism and other influence and stabilize the community in that area.
to do that, we need a three-pronged attack. secondly, a strong and sophisticated economic aid program and human rights program that offers a better life and a sharper alternative to the alternative offered by the totalitarians who oppose us. and finally, a strong diplomatic effort that pursues the possibilities of peace in the area. that's one of the big disagreements we have with the president. that they have not pursued the diplomatic opportunities, either within el salvador or as between the countries and have lost time during which we might have been able to achieve peace. this brings up the whole question of what presidential leadership is all about. i think the lesson in central america, this recent embarrassment in nicaragua, where we are giving instructions for hired assassins, hiring
criminals and the rest. all of this has strengthened our opponents. a president must not only assure that we're tough, but we must also be wise and smart in the exercise of that power. we saw the same thing in lebanon where we spent a good deal of america's assets. because the leadership of this government did not pursue wise policies, we have been humiliated and our opponents are stronger. the bottom line of national strength is that the president must be in command. he must lead. and when a president doesn't know that submarine missiles are recallable, says that 70% of our strategic forces are conventional, discovers three years into his administration that our arms control efforts have failed, because he didn't know that most soviet missiles were on land, these are things a president must know to command.
a president is called the commander in chief, and these called that because he's supposed to be in charge of the facts and run our government and strengthen our nation. >> mr. mondale, if i could broaden the question just a little bit. since world war ii, every conflict that we as americans have been involved with has been in nonconventional or irroll terms. and yet we keep fighting in conventional conventional military terms. the central american wars are very much in the same pattern as china, lebanon, iran and cuba in the early days. do you see any possibility that we are going to realize the change in warfare in our time or react to it in those terms? >> we absolutely must, which is why i responded to your first question the way i did. it's much more complex. we must understand the region. you must understand the politics of the area. you must provide a strong alternative and you must show
strength and all at the same time. that's why i object to the covert action in nick raug waugh. that nicarag nicaragua. that's embarrassed us, strengthened our opposition and undermined the moral authority of our people and our country in the region. strength requires knowledge, command. we've seen in the nicaraguan example a policy that's hurt us, strengthened our opposition and undermined the moral authority in that region. >> mr. president, in the last few months, it has seemed more and more that your policies in central america were beginning to work. yet just at this moment we are confronted with the xroord story of a cia guerrilla manuel for the cond northeastas whom we are backing which advocates assassinations of sandinistas in
order to create martyrs. is this not in effect our own state-support terrorism? >> no, and i'm glad you asked that question because i know it's on many people's minds. i've ordered an investigation. i know that the cia is already going forward with one. we have a gentleman down in nicaragua who is on contract to the cia advising supposedly on military tactics the contras. and he drew up this manual. it was turned over to the agency head in -- of the cia in nicaragua to be printed. and a number of pages were excised by that agency head there the man in charge. and he sent it on up here to cia where more pages were excised before it was printed. some way or other there were 12 of the original copies that got out down there and were not submitted for this printing process by the cia.
now those are the details as we have them. as soon as we have an investigation and find out where any blame lies for the few that did not get excised or changed, we certainly are going to do something about that. we'll take the proper action at the proper time. i was very interested to hear about central america and our process down there. and i thought for a moment that instead of a debate, i was going to find mr. mondale in complete agreement with what we're doing because the plan he's outlined is the one we've been following for kwis some time, including diplomatic processes throughout central america. and working closely with the contadora group. so i can only tell you about the manual that we're not in the habit of assigning guilt before there has been proper evidence produced and proof of that guilt, but if guilt is
established, whoever is guilty, we will treat with that situation then, and they will be removed. >> mr. president, you are implying then that the cia in nicaragua is directing the contras there. i'd also like to ask whether having the cia investigate its own manual in such a sensitive area is not sort of like sending the fox into the chicken coop a second time. >> i'm afraid i misspoke when i said a cia in nicaragua. there's not someone there dre directing all this activity. there are cia men stationed in other countries in the world and certainly in central america. and so it was a man down there in that area that this was delivered to. and he recognized that what was in that manual was direct contravention of my own executive order in december of 1981 that we would have nothing to do with regard to political
assassinations. >> mr. mondale, your rebuttal? >> what is a president charged with doing when he takes his oath of office? he raises his right hand and takes an oath of office to take care, to faithfully execute the laws of the land. the president can't know everything, but a president has to know those things that are essential to his leadership and the enforcement of our laws. this manual, several thousands of which were produced, was distributed ordering political assassinations, hiring of criminals and other forms of terrorism. some of it was excised but the part dealing with political terrorism was continued. how can this happen? how can something this serious occur in an administration and have a president of the united states in a situation like this is a he didn't know. a president must know these things. i don't know which is worse. not knowing or knowing and not
stopping it. and what about the mining of the harbors in nicaragua which violated international law. this has hurt this country and a president is supposed to command. >> mr. president, your rebuttal. >> yes, i have so many things there to respond, to i'm going to pick out something you said earlier. you have been all over the country repeating something that i will admit the press has also been repeating that i believed that nuclear missiles could be fired and then call back. i never, ever conceived of such a thing. i never said such a thing. in our discussion of our strategic arms negotiations, i said submarines carry missiles and airplanes carry missiles were more conventional type weapons, not as destabilizing as the land-based missiles and that they were also weapons that were -- or carriers that if they were sent out and there was a change you could call them back before they had launched their missiles. but i hope that from here on,
you will no longer be saying that particular thing which is absolutely false. how anyone could think any sane person would think you could call back a nuclear missile i think is as ridiculous as the whole concept has been. so thank you for giving me a chance to straighten the record on that. i'm sure you appreciate that. >> mr. kalb? mr. kalb, your question to president reagan. >> mr. president, you have often described the soviet union as a powerful evil empire intent on world domination. this year you've said if they want to keep their mickey mouse system, that's okay with me. which is it, mr. president? do you want to contain them within their present borders and perhaps try to re-establish detente, or what goes for detente, or do you really want to roll back their empire? >> i have said on a number of occasions exactly what i believe about the soefts union. i retract nothing that i said.
i believe many of the things they have done are evil in any consepts of morality that we have. but i also recognize that as the two great superpowers in the world, we have to live with each other. and i told mr. gramico, we don't like their system. they don't like ours. we're not going to change our system and they sure better not try to change ours. but between us, we can either destroy the world, or we can save it. and i suggested that certainly it was to their common interest along with ours to avoid a conflict and to attempt to save the world and remove the nuclear weapons. and i think that perhaps we established a little better understanding. i think in dealing with the soviet union, one has been realistic. mr. mondale has made statements in the past as if they were just people like ourselves and if we were kind and good and did something nice, they would respond accordingly. and the result was unilateral
disarmament. we cancelled the b-1 under the previous administration. what did we get for it? nothing. the soviet union has been engaged in the biggest military build-up in the history of man. at the same time that we tried the policy of unilateral disarmament. of weakness, if you will. and now we are putting up a defense of our own, and i made it very plain to them. we seek no superiority. we simply are going to provide a deterrent so that it will be too costly for them if they're nurse anything ideas of aggression against us. now they claim they're not. and i made it plain to them, we're not. but this -- there's been no change in my attitude at all. i just thought when i came into office it was time that there was some realistic talk to and about the soviet union. and we did get their attention. >> mr. president, perhaps the
other side of the coin, a related question, sir. since world war ii, the vital interests of the united states have always been defined by treaty commitments and by presidential proclamations. aside from what is obvious, such as nato, for example, which countries, which regions in the world do you regard as vital national interests of this country, meaning that you'd send american troops to fight there if they were in danger? >> now you've added a hypothetical there at the end about where we'd send troops in to fight. i am not going to make the decision as to what the tactics could be but, obviously there are a number of areas in the world of importance to us. one is the middle east. and that is of interest to the whole western world and the industrialized nations because of the great supply of energy on which so many depend there. our neighbors here in america are vital to us. we are working right now and
trying to be of help in southern africa with regard to the independence of namibia and the removal of the cuban surrogates, the thousands of them, from angola. so i can say there are a great many -- i believe we have a great interest in the pacific basin. that is where i think the future of the world lies. but i am not going to pick out one and advance hypothetically, oh, y we would send troops there. >> i'm sorry, mr. president. sorry. your time was up. >> mr. mondale, you have described the soviet leaders as cynical, ruthless and dangerous, suggesting an almost total lack of trust in them. in that case, what makes you think that the annual summit meetings with them that's you proposed will result in agreements that would satisfy the interests of this country? >> because the only type of agreements to reach with the soviet union are the types that are specifically defined so we
know what they must do. subject to whole verification which means we know every day whether they're leading up to it and follow-ups wherever we find suggestions they're violating it and the strongest possible terms. i have no illusions about the soviet union leadership or the nature of that state. they are a tough and a ruthless adversary and we must be prepared to meet that challenge, and i would. where i part with the president is that despite all of those differences, we must, as past presidents before this one have done, meet on a common ground of survival. and that's where the president has opposed practically every arms agreement by every president, of both political parties since the bomb went off. he now completes this term with no progress toward arms control at all but with a very dangerous arms race under way instead. there are now over 2,000 more
warheads pointed at us today than there were when he was sworn in. we must be very, very realistic in the nature of that leadership, but we must grind away and talk to find ways to reducing these differences, particularly where arms races are concerned and other dangerous exercises of soviet power. there will be no unilateral disarmament under my administration. i will keep this nation strong. i understand exactly what the soviets are up to. but that, too, is a part of national strength. to do that, a president must know what is essential to command and to leadership and to strength. and that's where the president's failure to master in my opinion, the essential elements of arms control has cost us dearly. these four years, three years
into this administration, he said he just discovered that most soviet missiles are on land and that's why his proposal didn't work. i invite the american people tomorrow, because i will issue the statement, quoting president reagan. he said exactly what i said he said. he said these missiles were less dangerous than ballistic missiles because you could fire them and you could recall them if you decided there had been a miscalculation. >> i'm sorry -- >> a president must know those things. >> related question, mr. mondale on eastern europe. do you accept the conventional diplomatic wisdom that eastern europe is a soviet's sphere influence of influence and what could a mondale administration do to help the people of eastern europe achieve the human rights guaranteed to them as a result of the helisink i accords? >> i think the essential strategy of the united states ought not accept any soviet control over eastern europe. we ought to deal with each of these countries separately. we ought to pursue strategies
with each of them, economic and the rest, that help them pull away from their dependence upon the soviet union. where the soviet union has acted irresponsibly as they have in many of those countries, especially recently in poland, i believe we ought to insist that western credits extended to the soviet union bear the market rate. make the soviets pay for their irresponsibility. that is a very important objective to make certain that we continue to look forward to progress toward greater independence by these nations and work with each of them separately. >> mr. president, your rebuttal? >> y i'm not going to continue trying to respond to these repetitions of the falsehoods that have already been stated here, but with regard to whether mr. mondale would be strong as he said he would be. i know he has a commercial out where he's appearing on the deck of the "nimitz" and watching the f-14s take off and that's an image of strength. except if he had his way when the "nimitz" was being pland, he
would have been deep in the water because there wouldn't be any "nimitz" to stand on because he was against it. he was against the f-14 fighter, the b-1 bomber. he wanted to cut the salary of the -- all of the military. he wanted to bring home half of the american forces in europe. and he has a record of weakness with regard to our national defense that is second to none. indeed, he was on that side virtually throughout all his years in the senate and he opposed even president carter when toward the end of his term, president carter wants to increase the defense budget. >> mr. mondale, your rebuttal? >> mr. president, i accept your commitment to peace, but i want you to accept my commitment to a strong national defense. i propose a budget -- i have proposed a budget which would increase our nation's strength in real terms by double that of
the soviet union. i'll tell you where we disagree. it is true over ten years ago, i voted to delay production of the f-14. i'll tell you why. the plane wasn't flying the way it was supposed to be. it was a waste of money. your definition of national strength is to throw money at the defense department. my definition of national strength is to make certain that a dollar spent buys us a dollar's worth of defense. there's a big difference between the two of us. a president must manage that budget. i will keep us strong, but you'll not do that unless you command that budget and make certain we get the strength that we need. and you way $500 for a $5 hammer, you aren't buying strength. >> i would ask the audience not to applaud. all it does is take up time we'd like to devote to the debate. >> mr. mondale, in an address earlier this year, you said that before this country resorts to mltd force, and i'm kwoetding,
american interest should be sharply defined, publicly supported, congressionally sanctioned, militarily feasible, internationally defensible, open to independent scrutiny and alert to regional history. now aren't you setting up such a gauntlet of tests that adversaries could suspect as president you'd never use force to protect american interests? >> no, i believe every one of those standards is essential to the exercise of power by this country. and we can see that in both lebanon and in central america. in lebanon, this president exercised american power all right but the management of it was such that our marines were killed. we had to leave in humiliation. the soviet union became stronger. terrorists became emboldened, and it was because they did not think through how power should be exercised, dead not have the american public with them on a plan that worked that we ended up the way we did.
similarly in central america, what we're doing in nicaragua with this covert war which the congress, including many republicans have tried to stop, is finally end up with the public definition of american power that hurts us. where we get associated with political assassins and the rest. we have to decline for the first time in modern history jurisdiction of the world court because they'll find us guilty of illegal actions and our enemies are strengthened from all of this. we need to be strong. we need to be prepared to use that strength. but we must understand that we are a democracy. we are a government by the people. and when we move, it should be for very severe and extreme reasons that serve our national interest and end up with a stronger country behind us. it's only in that way that we can persevere. >> you have been quoted as saying that you might quarantine
nicaragua. i'd like to know what that means. would you stop soviet ships as president kennedy did in 1962, and wouldn't that be more dangerous than president reagan's covert war? >> what i'm referring to there is the mutual self-defense provisions that exist in the inter-american treaty that permits the nations, our friends in that region to combine to take steps, diplomatic and otherwise, to prevent nicaragua when she acts in asserting power in other parts outside of her border to take those steps, whatever they might be to stop it. the nicaraguans must know that it is the policy of our government that that leadership must stay behind the boundaries of their nation. not interfere in other nations. and by working with all of the nations in the region, unlike the policies of this administration, unlike the president said, they have not
supported negotiations in that region, we will be much stronger because we'll have the moral authority that goes with those efforts. >> president reagan, you introduced u.s. forces into lebanon as neutral peacekeepers but then made them combatants o the side of the lebanese government. you were forced to withdraw them under fire and now a syrian element is dominant in the country. doesn't lebanon represent a major fail our the part of your administration and raise serious questions about a foreign policy strategist and as commander in chief. >> no, i don't agree to all of those things. first of all, we and our allies, the italians, french and united kingdom went into lebanon, we went in there at the request of what was left of the lebanese government. to be a stabilizing force while they tried to establish a government. but the first -- pardon me. the first time we went in, we went in at their rekwefquest bee
the war was going on in beirut. israel could not be blamed for that. those terrorists had been violating their northern border consistently. israel chased them all the way to there. then we went in with a multinational force to help remove and did remove more than 13,000 of those terrorists from lebanon. we departed. then the government of lebanon asked us back in as a stabilizing force while they established a government and sought to get the foreign forces all the way out of lebanon and that they could then take care of their own borders. and we were succeeding. we were there for the better part of a year. our position happened to be at the airport. occasional snipings and sometimes artillery fire. but we did not engage in conflict that was out of line wither mission. i will never send troops anywhere in a mission of that kind without telling them that if somebody shoots at them, they can darn well shoot back.
and this is what we did. we never initiated any kind of action. we defended ourselves there. but we were succeeding to the point the lebanese government had been organized. there were the meetings in geneva in which they began to meet with the hostile factional forces and put together some type of a peace plan. we were succeeding and that was why the terrorist acts began. there are forces there, and that includes syria, in my mind, who don't want us to succeed, who don't want that kind of a piece with a dominant lebanon over its own territory. so the terrorist acts began and led to the one great tragedy when they were killed in that suicide bombing of a building. then the multilateral force withdrew for only one reason. we withdrew because we were no longer able to carry out the mission for which we went in.
we went in to keep israel and syria from getting into the sixth war between them. i have no apologies for going on a peace mission. >> four years ago you criticized president carter for ignoring ample warnings that they may be taken hostage. haven't you done the same thing with 300 americans, not hostages, but dead and you vowed swift retaliation against terrorists but doesn't our lack of response suggest you're just bluffing? >> morton, no. i think there's a great difference between the government of iran threatening our diplomatic personnel and there is a government that you can see and can put your hand on. in the terrorist situation, there are terrorist factions all over -- in the recent 30-day period, 37 terrorist acts in 20 countries have been committed. the most recent has been the one in brighton. in dealing with terrorists, yes, we want to retaliate but only if we can put our finger on the
people responsible and not endanger the lives of innocent civilians there in the various communities and in the city of beirut, where these terrorists are operating. i have just signed legislation to add to our ability to deal along with our allies with this terrorist trouble. it's going to take all our allies. we pretty much resolved the whole problem of skyjackings some time ago. well, the red light went on. i could have gone on forever. >> mr. mondale, your rebuttal? >> graucho marx said, who do you believe? me or your own eyes? and what we have in lebanon is something that the american people have seen. the joint chiefs urged the president not to put our troops in that because they're indefensible. they went to them five days before they were killed and said
please take them out of there. the secretary of state admitted that this morning. he did not do so. the report following the explosion of the barracks disclosed we'd not taken any of the steps that we should have taken. that was the second time. then the embassy was blown up a few weeks ago and once again, none of the steps that should have been taken were taken. and we were warned five days before that explosives were on their way. and they weren't taken. the terrorists have won each time. the president told the terrorists he was going to retaliate. he didn't. they called their bluff. and the bottom line is, the united states left in humiliation, and our enemies are stronger. >> mr. president, your rebuttal? >> yes, first of all, mr. mondale should no know that the president of the united states did not order the marines into that barracks. that was a command decision made by the commanders on the spot and based with what they thought was best for the men there.
that is one. on the other things you've just said about the terrorists, i'm tempted to ask you what you would do. these are unidentified people and after the bomb goes off, they are blown to bits because they are suicidal individuals who think that they're going to go to paradise if they perpetrate such an act and lose their life in doing it. we are going to, as i say, we are busy trying to find the centers where these operations stem from, and retaliation will be taken. we're not going to simply kill some people to say we got even. we want to know when we retaliate we're retaliating with those responsible for the terrorist acts. and our own university capitted capitol in washington has been bombed twice. >> your question to president reagan? >> mr. president, i want to ask
a question that's been lurking for two or three weeks and cast it in national security concerns. you are already the oldest president in u.s. history and you retired after your most recent encounter with mr. mondale. president kennedy had to go for days on end with very little sleep during the cuba missile crisis. is there any doubt in your mind that you'd be able to function in such circumstances? >> not at all. and i want you to know that also, i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. if i still have time, i might add that, it was seneca or
cicero, i don't know which that said if it was not for the elders, correcting the mistakes of the young, there would be no state. >> i'd like to catch that one. you and mr. mondale have already disagreed about what you had to say about recalling submarine launch missiles. there's another similar issue out there that relates to your -- you said at least you are unaware the soviet retaliatory power was based on land-based missiles. first is that correct? secondly, if it is correct, have you informed yourself in the meantime, and accide, third, is necessary for the president to be so intimately involved in strategic details? >> yes, this had to do with our disarmament talks. and the whole controversy about land missiles came up because we thought that the strategic nuclear weapons, the most destabilizing are the land based. put your thumb on a button and somebody blows up 20 minutes liter. we thought it would be better to
negotiate with those and second phase, take up the submarine launch, the airborne missiles. the soviet union, to our surprise, and not just mine, made it plain when we brought this up that they placed a greater reliance on the land-based missiles and, therefore, they wanted to take up all three. and we agreed. we said, all right. if that's what you want to do. but it was a surprise to us because they outnumbered us 64-36 in sub marines and 20 pers more bombers capable of carrying nuclear missiles than we had. why should we believe that they had placed that much more reliance on land-based? but even after we gave in and said, all right, let's discuss it all, they walked away from the table. we didn't. >> mr. mondale, i'm going to hang in there. should the president's age and stamina be an issue in the political campaign? >> no, and i have not made it an issue, nor should it be. what's at issue here is the president's application of his
authority to understand what a president must know to lead this nation, secure our defense and make the decisions and the judgments that are necessary. a minute ago, the president quoted cicero, i believe. i want to quote somebody a little closer to home, harry truman. he said the buck stops here. we just heard the president's answer, or the problems at the barracks in lebanon where 241 marines were killed. what happened? first, the joint chiefs of staff went to the president and said, don't put those troops there. they did it. and then five days before the troops were killed, they went back to the president, through the second of defense and said, please, mr. president, take those troops out of there because we can't defend them. they didn't do it. we know what happened. after that, once again, our embassy was exploded.
this is the fourth time this has hand. an identical attack in the same region, despite warnings, even public warnings from the terrorists. who is in chge? who is handling this matter? that's my main point. now an arms control, we're completing four years. this is the first administration since the bomb witneent off tha made no progress. we have an arms race under way instead. a president has to lead his government or it won't be done. different people with different views fight with each other. for 3 1/2 years, this administration avoided arms control, resisted tabling arms control proposals that had any hope of agreeing. rebuked their negotiator in 1981 when he came close to an agreement, at least in principle on medium range weapons. and we have this arms race under way, and a recent book that just came out by the nation's most
respected author in this field strobe talbot called "deadly gamble" concludes this president has failed to master the essential details needed to command and lead us both in terms of security and in terms of arms control. that's why they call the president the commander in chief. good intentions, i grant, but it takes more than that. you must be tough and smart. >> the next question of leadership keeps arising in different forms in this discussion already. and the president and mr. mondale has called you whining and vacillating among the more charitable phrases, weak, i believe. it is a question of leadership. and he has made the point that you have not repudiated some of the semidiplomatic activity of the reverend jackson in central america. did you approve of his diplomatic activity? and are you prepared to repudiate him now? >> i read his statement the other day. i don't admire fidel castro at all.
and i have said that. shea guevarra was a contemptable figure. i know the cuban state as a police state, and all my life, i've worked in a way that demonstrates that. but jesse jackson is an independent person. i don't control him. and let's talk about people we do control. in the last debate, the vice president of the united states said that i said the marines had died shamefully and died in shame in lebanon. i demanded an apology from vice president bush because i instead honored these young men, grieved for their families and think they were wonderful americans that honored us all. what does the president have to say about taking responsibility for a vice president who won't apologize for something like that? >> mr. president, your rebuttal? >> yes, i know it will come as a surprise to mr. mondale, but i am in charge.
and as a matter of fact, we haven't avoided arms talks with the soviet union. we proposed something that was never proposed by any previous administration. i proposed a total elimination of intermediate range missiles where the soviets had better than a ton -- and still have better than a tep-1 advantage over the allies. when they protested that and suggested a smaller number, perhaps i went along with that. the so-call eed negotiation tha you said i walked out on was the so-called walk in the woods between one of our representatives and one of the soviet union, and it wasn't me that turned it down. the soviet union disavowed it. >> mr. mondale, your rebuttal? >> there are two distinguished authors of arms control in this country. there are many others, but two that i want to cite tonight. one is strobe talbot in his classic book "deadly gam but."
the other is newhouse who is an arms control specialist in our country. both said that this administration turned down the walk in the woods agreement first, and that would have been a perfect agreement from the standpoint of the united states and europe and our security. mr. nitza, a good negotiator returned, he was rebuked and his boss was fired. this is the kind of leadership that we've had in this administration in the most deadly issue of our time. now we have a runaway arms race. all they got to show for four years in u.s./soviet relations is one meeting in the last weeks of an administration, and nothing before. they're tough negotiators, but all previous presidents have made progress. this one has not. >> ms. geyer, your question to mr. mondale? >> mr. mondale, many analysts are saying that actual lear our number one foreign policy problem today is one that remains almost wholly
unrecognized. massive illegal immigration from economically collapsing countries. they are saying that it is the only real territorial threat to the american nation state. you yourself said in the 1970s that we had a, quote, hemorrhage on our borders, unquote, yet today you've backed off any immigration reform such as the balanced and highly crafted simpson/mizoli bill. why? wou what would you do today, if anything? >> this is a very serious problem in our country, and it has to be dealt with. i object to that part of the simpleson/mazola bill which is very unfair and would prove to be so. that is the part that requires employers to determine the citizenship of an employee before they are hired. i am convinced that the result of this would be that people who are hispanic, people who have different languages or speak with an accent would find it difficult to be employed.
i think that's wrong. we've never had citizenship tests in our country before. and i don't think we should have a citizenship card today. that is counterproductive. i do support the other aspects of the simpson/mazola bill that strengthen enforcement at the border and other ways of deal with undocumented workers in this difficult area and deal with the problem of settling people who have lived here for many, many years and do not have an established status. i strongly recommend that this administration do something it has not done. that is to strengthen enforcement at the border. strengthen the officials in this government that deal with undocumented workers, and to do so in a way that's responsible and within the constitution of the united states. we need an answer to this problem, but it must be an american answer that is consistent with justice and due process.
everyone in this room practically here tonight is an immigrant. we came here loving this nation, serving it, and it has served all of our most bountiful dreams. one of those dreams is justice. we need a measure, and i will support a measure that brings about those objectives but avoids that one aspect that i think is very serious. the second part is to maintain and improve relations with our friends to the south. we cannot solve this problem all on our own. that's why the failure of this administration to deal in effective and good faith way with mexico, costa rica, with the other nations in trying to find a peaceful settlement to the dispute in central america has undermined our capacity to effectively to deal diplomatically in this area as well. >> sir, people as well balanced
and just as father theodore hesberg at notre dame who headed the select commission on immigration have pointed out repeatedly there will be no immigration reform without employer sanctions because it would be an unbalanced bill and there would be no way to enforce it. putting that aside for the moment, your critics have also said repeatedly that you have not gone along with the bill or with any immigration reform because of the hispanic groups -- or hispanic leadership groups who actually do not represent what the hispanic americans want. because polls show that they overwhelmingly want some kind of immigration reform. can you say or how can you justify your position on this, and how do you respond to the criticism that this is another -- or that this is an example of your flip-flopping and giving in to special interest groups at the expense of the american nation? >> i think you're right that the polls show that the majority of
hispanics want that bill. so i'm not doing it for political reasons. i'm doing it because all my life i've fought for a system of justice in this country. a system in which every american has a chance to achieve the fullness in life without discrimination. this bill imposes upon employers the responsibility of determining whether somebody who applies for a job is an american or not. and just inevitably, they're going to be reluctant to hire hispanics or people with a different accent. if i were dealing with politics here, the polls show the american people want this. i am for reform in this area, for tough enforcement at the border and for many other aspects of the simpson/mazola bill, but all my life, i fought for a fair nation. and despite the politics of it, i stand where i stand, and i think i'm right. before this fight is over, we're
going to come up with a better bill, a more effective bill, does not undermine the liberties of our people. >> mr. president, you, too, have said that our borders are out of control. yet this fall, you allowed the simpson/mazoli bill which would have at least minimally protected our borders and the rights of citizenship because of a relatively unimportant issue of reimbursement to the states for legalized aliens. given that, may i ask what priority can we expect you to give this forgotten national security element? how sincere are you in your efforts to control in effect the nation state which is the united states? >> we, believe me, supported the bill strongly and the bill that came out of the senate. however, there were things added in in the house side that we felt made it less of a good bill. as a matter of fact, made it a bad bill. in conference, we stayed with them in conference all the way
to where even senator simpson did not want the bill in the manner in which it would come out of the conference committee. there were a number of things in there that weakened that bill. i can't go into detail about them here. but it is true our borders are out of control. it is also true this has been a situation on our borders back through a number of administrations. i supported this bill. i believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally. with regard to the employer sanctions, this -- we must have that. not only to ensure that we can identify the illegal aliens, but also while some keep protesting about what it would do to employers, there is another employer that we shouldn't be so concerned about. and these are employers down through the years who have encouraged the illegal entry
into this country because they then hire these individuals and hire them at starvation wages and with none of the benefits that we think are normal and natural for workers in our country, and the individuals can't complain because of their illegal status. we don't think that those people should be allowed to continue operating free. this was why the provisions that we had in with regard to sanctions and so forth. and i'm going to do everything i can and all of us in the administration are, to join in again when congress is back at it, to get an immigration bill at a leaves so many people
in poverty and unemployment. they are going to seek that employment across our boarders and we work with the other countries. >> mr. president, the experts say the situation today is different than what it has been in the past because of gigantic population growth. many of these people will be coming into the united states not as citizens but as illegal workers. you have repeatedly said that rerecently that you believe that armageddon the destruction of the world may be imminent in our times. do you ever feel like we're in for an armageddon or time of anarchy regarding the population explosion in the world? >> no as a matter of fact the population explosion if you look at the actual figures has been
vastly exaggerated, overexaggerated. as a matter of fact there are some solid fig where you ares about how much space there still is in the world and how many more people we can have. it's almost like going back to the theory when even then they were saying that everyone would starve with the population then but the problem with population growth is one here with regard to our immigration and we have been the safety valve whether we wanted to or not with the illegal entry here in mexico where their population is increasing and they don't have an economy that can absorb them and provide the jobs and this is what we're trying to workout. not only to protect our own borders but to have fairness and recognition of that problem. >> your rebuttal. >> one of the biggest problems
today is that the countries to our south are so desperately poor that these people who will almost lose their live ifs they don't come north come north despite all the risks and if we're going to find a pearl nrm fundamental answer to this it goes to trade policies that permit these nations to have a chance to get on their own two feet and get prosperity so they can have jobs for themselves and their people and that's why this international debt is harming these countries with the immigration. these high interest rates that doubled under this administration had the same effect of mexico and so on and the cost of repaying those debts is so enormous that it results in massive unemployment, hardship and headache art ache t drives them up into our region
and we need to end those deficits as well. >> mr. president, your rebuttal. >> my rebuttal is i heard the national debt blamed for a lot of things but not for illegal immigration across our border and it has nothing to do with it but with redpaurd to the interest rates at least give us the recognition of the fact that when you left office there was 21.5 the prime rate. it's now 12.25 and it will be coming down more shortly so we're trying to undo some of the things your administration did. >> mr. president i'd like to pick up this theme. you have been quoted as saying you do believe we're heading for a biblical armageddon. there's plans for the united states to fight and prevail in a nuclear war. do you feel that we're heading
for nuclear armageddon and do you feel this country and the world could survive this. >> what has been hailed as something that i'm discussing as principle is the philosophical discussions of people interested in the same things and that is that the prophesies down through the years of what would portend the coming of armageddon and so forth and that a number have believed that this is true but no one knows whether those mean that arm degone ageddon is a th years away.
i never said we had to plan. let me also point out that to several parliaments around the world in europe and in asia i made a statement to each one of them and i'll repeat it here, a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. and that is why we are maintaining a deturrent and trying to achieve a capacity to where no one would believe they could start such a war and escape with limited damage but the deturrent an that's what it is for is also what lead me to propose what is now being called the star wars concept but proposed that we researched a sea if there isn't a defensive weapon that could defend against incoming missiles. and if such a defense could be found. wouldn't it be far more humanitarian to say that now we
can defend against nuclear war against destroying missiles instead of slaughtering millions of people. >> mr. president when you made that proposal the so-called star wars proposal, you said if i'm not mistaken that you would share this very supersophisticated technology with the soviet union. after all the distrust over the years that you have expressed toward the soviet union. do you really expect anyone to take seriously that offer that you would share the rest of america's technology in this weapon's area with our principle adversary? >> why not? what if we did and i hope we can. we're still researching. what if we come up with a weapon that rendered those missiles obsolete. there's never been in the history of man. but suppose we came up with
that. that would make a war imminent because they would think we can launch a first strike because we can defend against the enemy but why not do what i have offered to do and asked the soviet eun whereon to do and say here's what we can do. we'll even give it to you. now will you sit down with us and once and for all get rid, all of us of these nuclear weapons and freeman kind from that threat. that would be the greatest use of a defensive weapon. >> you have been shartly critical of the strategic defense initiative and what is wrong with the major effort by this country to try to use it's best technology to knockout as many nuclear war heads as possible. >> let me disagree on sharing the most advanced, the most dangerous, the most important technology in america with the soviet union. we have had for many years
understandably a system of restraints of high-technology because the soviets were behind us. and any research would develop along the star wars schemes and would involve our most advanced computers and engineering and the thought that we would share this with the soef wret ruin i don't know is in my opinion a total non-starterful i would not let the soviet union get their hands on it at all. what is wrong? there's nothing wrong with the theory of it. if we could develop a principle that would say both sides could fire all their missiles and no one would get hurt. i suppose it's a good idea but the fact of it is they're so far away. that research comes close to that and the director of engineering research and the defense department said to get there we would have to solve 8 problems each of which are more difficult than the atomic bomb and the manhattan project.
it would cost something like a trillion dollars to task and deploy weapons. the second thing is this all assumes that the soviets wouldn't respond in kind. and they always do. we won't get behind and they won't get behind and that's been the tragic story of the arms race. we have more at stake in space satellites than they do. if we could stop right now the deployment of these space weapons and the proposals go clear beyond research. if it was just research we wouldn't have any argument because maybe some day somebody will think of something but to commit this nation to a build up of any satellite of space weapons at this time in their state would bring about an arms race is very dangerous in deed. the most dangerous aspect of this proposal is the fist time we would delegate the decision
tooz whether to start a war. that was dead wrong. there wouldn't be time for a president to decide. it will be decided by these remote computers. might be an oil fire. might be a jet exhaust. the computer might decide it's a missile and off we go. why don't we stop this madness now and draw a line and keep the heavens free for more. >> in this general area of arms control. president carter's national security advisor said, quote, a nuclear freeze is a hoax, end quote. yet the basis of your arms proposals as i understand them is a mutual and verifiable freeze on existing weapons systems. in your views which specific weapon systems could be subject to a mutual and verifiable freeze and which could not. >> every system that is verifiable should be placed on the table for negotiations or an
agreement. i would not agree to any negotiations or any agreement that involved con duck on the part of the soviet union that we could verify every day. i would not agree to any agreement in which the united states security interest was not fully recognized and supported. that's why we say mutual and verifiable freezes. now why do i support the freezes? because this ever rising arms race madness makes both nations less secure. it's more difficult to defend this nation. it is putting a hair trigger on nuclear war. this administration by going into the star wars system is going to add a dangerous new escalation. we have to be tough on the soviet union but i think the american people -- >> time is up.
>> people want it to stop. >> president reagan, your rebuttal. >> yes, my rebuttal once again is this invention that's just been created here of how i would go about rolling over for the soviet eun whereon, no my idea would be with that defensive weapon. that we would sit down with them and now say are you willing to join us? give them a demonstration and then say here's what we can do. approximate you're willing to join us in getting rid of all the nuclear weapons in the world then we'll give you this one so that we will both know that no one will cheat. and i never suggesting where the weapons should be or what kind. i'm not a scientist. i said and the joint chiefs of staff agreed with me that it was time for us to turn our research ability to seeing if we could not find this kind of a
defensive weapon and suddenly somebody says oh it has to be up there and i don't know what it would be but if we could come up with one the world would be better off. >> your rebuttal. >> that's what a president is supposed to know. where those weapons are supposed to be. if they're space weapons i assume they'll be in space. if they're anti-satellite weapons i assume they're going to be armed against anti-satellites. now this is the most dangerous technology that we possess. soviets try to spy on us and steal this stuff and to give them technology of this kind i disagree with. you haven't just accepted research, mr. president. you have set up a strategic defense initiative and agency. you're beginning to test. you're talking about deploying. you're asking for a budget of some $30 billion for had this purpose. this is an arms escalation and we will be better off, far
better off if we stop right now because we have more to lose in space than they do. if some day somebody comes along with an answer that's something else but that there would be an answer in our lifetime is unimaginable. why do we start things that we know the soviets will match and make us less secure? >> you say that with respect to the soviet union you want to negotiate a mutual nuclear freeze but you would give up the missile and the b-1 bomber before the talks have ever begun. now reaching an agreement with the soviets is the most important thing tin the world t you. >> as a matter of fact we have a vast range of technology and weapon ri right now that provides all the bargaining chips that we need and i support the air launch news missile, the
trident sub marine and d-5 sub marine. the stelth technology. we have a whole range of technology. why i disagree with the mx is its a sitting duck. lit draw an attack. it is a dangerous destabilizing weapon and the b-1 is similarly to be opposed because for 15 years the soviet union has been preparing to meet the b-1. the secretary of defense said it would be a suicide mission if it was built. and a weapon that will contribute to an incentive for arms control. that's why to build a stelth bomber that can penetrate the
air defense system without any hope that they can perceive where it is because their radar system is frustrated. a president has to make choices. this makes us stronger. the final point is that we can use this money that we save on these weapons to spend on things that we really need. our conventional strength in europe. we need to strengthen that in order to assure our western allies of the presence there and strong defense and to diminish and reduce the likelihood of commencement of war and use of nuclear weapons. it's in this way by making wise choices that we're stronger and we enhance the chances of arms control. every president until this one has been able to do it and this nation, or the world is more dangerous as a result. >> i want to follow up on his question. it seems to me on the question of verifiability that you have
problem with the extent. testing would be difficult because the soviets encode it. it would be possible to verify by satellite an production of any weapon would be possible to verify. now in view of that what is going to be frozen. >> i would not agree. it's not verifiable. let's take your war head principle. whenever a weapon was tested we count the number of war heads on it and whenever that war head is used we count that number of war heads whether they have that number or less on it or not. these are standard rules. i will not agree to any production restrictions or agreement unless we have the ability to verify those agreements. i don't trust the russians. i believe that every agreement we reach must be verifiable and i will not agree to anything.
we cannot tell every day. and in order to stop this arm's madness we have to push ahead with tough negotiations that are verifiable so that they're leading up to their agreement. >> i want to ask row about a question about negotiating with their friends. helping to undermine two dictators that got into trouble with their own people. and now there are other such leaders head r for trouble including the president of the philippines. what should you do and what can you do to prevent the philippines from becoming that. >> i did criticize the president because of our undercutting of what was an ally. and i am not at all convinced that he was that far out of line with his people or that they wanted that to happen.
i did think it was a blot on our record that we let him down. have things gotten better. whatever he might have done was building low cost housing and they can be land owners. things of that kind and we turned him over to a fanatic that slaughtered thousands and thousands of people calling it executions. and as a matter of fact the previous administration stood by and so do i. not that i could have done anything with my position at that time but for this revolution to take place and human rights free labor unions,
free press. they ousted the other parties to the revolution. many of them are now -- they exiled some. they jailed some. they murdered some. and they installed a totalitarian government and what i have to say about this is -- many times and this has to do with that so i know there are thing there is in the philippines that do not good look for us to the standpoint right now with democratic rights. what is the alternative. it was a large communist movement to take over the philippines. we have enough of a record of letting under the revolution someone that we thought was more right than he would be letting that person go and then winding up with it pure as simple as the
alternative. and retain our friendship and help him right the wrongs we see. rather than throwing them to the wolves and then facing a communist power in the pacific. >> mr. president since the united states has two strategically important bases in the philippine will it constitute a threat to vital merge interests and if so what will you do about it? >> we have to look at what an overthrow there would mean and what the government will be that would follow. and that will be a severe blow to our abilities there in the pacific. >> what would you do about it. >> sorry you asked the follow up question. your rebuttal. >> perhaps in no area do we disagree more than this administration's policies on
human rights. i went to the philippines as vice president pressed for human rights and made progress that had been stalled on both the airfield bases. what explains this administration after they took over? fortunately a democracy took over but this nation was embarrassed by this current administration's adoption of their policies. what happens in south africa where for example the noble prize winner two days ago said this administration is seen as working in that region of south africa. that hurts this nation. we need to stand for human rights. we need to make it clear we're for human liberty. national security and human rights must go together. but this administration time and time again has lost it's way in this field.
>> president reagan yourrebuttal. >> the invasion of afghanistan didn't take place on our watch. i have described what has happened in iran and we weren't here then either. i don't think that our record of human rights can be assailed. >> we have seen that human rights are across the world. he unveiled a plan to get the democracies to together and work with the hole world to turn to democracy and i was glad to hear him say that. that's what we have been doing ever since i announced to the british parliament that i thought we should do this. human rights are not advanced while at the same time you would stand back and say we didn't know the gun was loaded and you have another totalitarian power on your hands.
>> in this segment because of the pressure of time there will be no rebuttals and no follow up questions. your question to president reagan. >> one question to each candidate. >> mr. president could i take you back to something you said earlier and if i'll misquoting you please correct me but i understand you to say approximate the development of space military technology was successful you might give the soviets a demonstration and say here it is which sounds to me that you might be trying to gain the advantage which would enable you to dictate terms and then i would then suggest to you might mean scrapping a generation of nuclear strategy in which we effect hold each other hostage? is that your intention? >> well, i can't say that i have round tabled that and sat down with the chiefs of staffs but i have said that it seems to me that this could be a logical step in what is my ultimate goal. my ultimate dream and that is the elimination of nuclear weapons in the world and it seems to me that this could be an edge up or certainly a great
assisting agent in getting that done. i'm not going to rollover and give them something that could be turned around and used against us but i think it's a very interesting proposal to see if we can find first of all something that renders those weapons obsolete. incapable of their mission but he seems to approve mad. mutual assured destruction. meaning if you use nuclear weapons on us the only thing we have to keep you from doing it is that we'll kill as many people of yours as you'll kill of ours. i think to do everything that we can to find something that would destroy weapons and not humans is a great step forward in human rights. >> could i ask you to address the question of nuclear strategy and then -- i'm going to ask you
to deal with it anyway. do you believe in mad, mutual assured destruction as it has been practiced? >> i believe in a sensible arms control approach that brings town these weapons to manageable weapons i'd like to see their elimination and in the meantime we have to be strong enough to make certain that the soviet union never attempts this. now here we have to decide between generalized objectives and reality. the period president wants to eliminate or reduce the number of nuclear weapons but the last four years have seen more weapons built, a wider and more vigorous arms race than in human history. he says he wants a system that will make nuclear arms wars safe so nobody is going to get hurt and maybe some day somebody can dream of that. but why start an arms race now?
why threaten our satellites on which we defend a president defend this country and to get arms control must master what is going on the hard reality is we must know what we're doing and pursue the objectives that are possible in our time. if you want a president that draws the line in the heavens. >> we arrived at the point in the debate where we call for closing statements. you have the full four minutes.
you go first. >> i want to thank the voters and kansas city and president reagan for the debate this evening. i believe we need to be strong and it will keep us strong. i think strength must also require wisdom and smarts in it's exercise. that's key to the strength of our nation. but a president must also have a vision of where this nation should go. tonight as americans you have a choice. your entitled to know where we would take this country if you decide to elect us. as president i would press for long-term vigorous economic growth. that's why i want to get these down and interest rates down and
help rural america that is suffering so much and bring the jobs back here for our children. i want this next generation to be the best educated in american history. to invest in the human mind and science again. i want this nation to protect it's air it's land it's water and public health. america is not temporary. and as americans our generation should protect this wonderful land for our children. i want a nation of fairness where no one is denied the fullness of life or discriminated against and we deal compassionately with those in our midst who are in trouble. and i want a nation that's strong. since we debated two weeks ago united states the soviet union have built 100 more war heads. enough to kill millions of
americans and millions of soviet citizens. this doesn't strengthen us. this weakens the chances of civilization to survive. i remember the night before i became vice president. i was given the briefing and told that any time night or day i might be called upon to make the most faithful decision on earth, whether to fire these atomic weapons that could destroy the human species. that lesson tells us two things. one, pick a president that you know will know if that tragic moment ever comes what he must know because there's no time for staffing committees or advisors but above all pick a president that will fight to avoid the day