tv Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Gillibrand Meet Greet in Ames Iowa CSPAN January 22, 2019 3:35pm-4:14pm EST
every aspect of life in this system, even the swoosh adorned ivory tower known as sports. >> join our conversation with dave zirin with your calls, e-mails, tweets and facebook questions, live, sunday february 3, noon eastern on c-span2. presidential candidate senator kirsten gillibrand visited a coffee shop in iowa. she spoke about why she's running for president, highlighted her policy goals and took questions. >> can i get a picture with you? >> of course you can. >> thanks. >> there's a lot of people here. let's get started. how are you? >> good to meet you. >> whenever you want to get started, let me know. >> hi.
i'm kirsten. >> fellow new yorker. i'm from upstate new york. >> i think we should do it from here. more people can hear. >> right here? >> right in the middle. >> good morning, everyone. [ applause ] >> she will be over there. have patience. i know she wants to get around. i get the honor today of introducing senator kirsten gillibrand. welcome to iowa. welcome to ames. i hope you are not too offended by the weather we have here for you. >> are you kidding?
loving. >> is this home? come back for the state fair. when you come back, you will see something different. our other extreme. we're happy to have you here. we're excited to listen to your ideas and what you have to offer. we hope you want to hear from us also. you will have feedback. when president obama had his first caucus here, i remember hearing him say a couple of times that iowans like to kick the tires and look under the hood and make sure that we got the right candidate. i hope you are not -- you don't take anything personal. we ask a lot of questions. >> good. i want questions. >> we're happy to have you here. we are so looking forward to every spectacle and progressive and honest administration in two years. [ applause ] a little bit about the senator. she's an attorney and she's serving as the junior united
states senator from new york from since january of 2009. she's known for working to improve the handling of sexual assault cases in the military and to repeal the do not -- don't ask don't tell policy in the military. she's also known for her work in transparency for government. join me in welcoming senator kirsten gillibrand. [ applause ] >> i am so excited to about be . i'm excited to hear from you. i hope i can hear what's on your mind. i want to thank our county chair for being so awesome and for doing so much for democrats for so long. [ applause ] i want to thank all of you. i think iowans have been on fire for a while. the fact you sent go new members
to washington is good. jd can do it and win. [ applause ] i don't know jd well. i'm very jealous of his rd. i will be acquiring one so i can have one when i'm here in the summer for your fair. and for everything else fun to do in the summer. i'm going to run for president because i really believe that i will fight for your children as hard as i fight for my own. because i believe that so deeply, it's why i care about health care as a right, not a privilege. it's why i believe we should have better public schools, better access to college. no matter what block you grew up on and whether or not you could afford it. the student debt crisis in america is an outrage. i think it's stifling the ability of someone to start a business or start a family or buy a home. we have to change it. we have to absolutely make higher education, skills training more accessible.
it has to be able to lead to a real job. a job that has opportunity for the future. so you can continue to earn your way into the middle class. i believe this country was founded on the notion that if you are willing to work hard, if you are willing to never give up, you should be able to earn a living, provide for your family and earn your way to the middle class. that's what the american dream has been about. that's what's been lost. to get any of this done, any of it done, you have to recognize what's stopping up. this is the part that everyone has to recognize. democrats and republicans. there's so much corruption in washington. we no longer have a direct democracy. we need open government. what open government means is you are willing to take on the special interests that decide everything. laws, legislation, bills, they're written in the dead of night by the people with all the power. there are so many stems ystems power in this country that control everything. it's why health care is not a right and it's a privilege in
this country. because if we're unwilling, as democrats, to take on the insurance industry and make sure that you can have access to health care like medicare for all, you are never going to get there. if you are not willing to take on the drug companies, you will never -- and the opioid crisis. if you are a senior, we will never have the cheapest drugs in medicare because the dead of night folks, they put the bill in that says they can't negotiate. it's the law. we don't get to buy in bulk. we don't get affordable medicine. if you are unwilling to take on the nra, we will never end gun violence in this country. everything they do is about corporate greed. it's actually about making sure manufactures can make more money selling automatic weapons to teenagers in a walmart. that's not right. that has nothing to do with the second amendment and hunters'
right. it has everything to do with corporate greed and profit. if you don't name it and see it, you cannot return the power of this democracy to the people. you cannot have a direct democracy and you cannot have open government. that's what's standing in the way. it's nothing else. it's complicit politicians who only do the bidding of those powerful interests. they do not represent you. so we have a moment right now where we have to take back our democracy. we, the people, have to take back this democracy. we, the people, have to fight for it. if you are unwilling to fight for it, you will get what you got. what you have today is not good enough. people don't believe that they have a chance to live the american dream. after the last election, my state was red. i think yours was pretty red, too. i went to all those red areas around new york and asked folks, what's going on in your life? what's happening? they feel left behind.
they feel like the american dream is not possible for them or their kids. they feel like no one has their back. the fact that 50% of union members voted for trump shows that they know we have not fought enough for them. we have to fight for workers' rights. we have to reward work in this country again. what does rewarding work mean? it mean sticking up for people to be able to unionize, to have collective bargaining. it means having a national paid leave plan so when your mom is sick and dieing, you can be by her side. so when you have a baby and a new family member or a sick person in your family, you can be by their side. if you don't have national paid leave, you can't earn your full potential. if you don't have equal pay for equal work, affordable day care, universal pre-k, it's an impediment for families to succeed. rewarding work means making sure you can earn a living and provide for your kids. if you are working two jobs and
you are on minimum wage or just above, but you can't get enough hour, you can't earn your way into the middle class. we have to understand the basic challenges that people are facing and solve them and fight for them as hard as you would fight for your own children. that is why i'm running. because i will fight for your children as hard as i will fight for my own. i am a mom with young kids. it's how i see the world. every bit of discrimination that anyone feels, if i imagine that happened to my child, it creates a rage in me that will not subside. i will not tolerate it. when people around my state come to me and say, will you fight for me, will you fight for my kids, i say, yes, i will. because that's who i am. i have never backed down from a fight. it doesn't matter if it's inconvenient. it doesn't matter if it's not politically expeexpedient.
if you want me to fight for you, join me. fight together. we claim this democracy. open the government. own this democracy. it's ours. i'm here for you. [ applause ] all questions. any topics. please say your name and who you are. >> i'm jake. i'm a sophomore at iowa state. you are my home state senator. it's nice to meet you. >> where are you from? >> if you have a democratic house and senate, what can you do on gun control? >> well, i think the first thing you have to do is bring people together about what we share in common. i can promise, if you ask the american people no matter where they live, if they think we should have universal background checks so people who are
mentally ill, people who have violent criminal records, people on the terrorism watch list shouldn't have access to weapons. i promise you, they will say yes. if you then talk to people and say, listen, we don't need military-style assault rifles anywhere. hunters don't need it. they would destroy that deer if they were using one. you need to be able to actually make sure the only people who have access to those military-style assault weapons are the military. they so highly trained. ban assault rifles. ban large magazine clips. end gun trafficking. it's not an issue for here. but it's an issue for states and cities where the murder rate is so high, because what happens is guns come from other places where there aren't good laws. they are trafficked by criminals directly to the hands of criminals from the back of a truck. there's no chance for a background check. there's no chance to make sure that you are eligible. it just gets sold to gang members.
you have to get rid of gun trafficking. make that a federal crime with real penalties. i wrote that bill. that's the bill i wrote. those are the three basic things i would do. of course, you should be able to ban bump stocks, simple stuff. we should have been able to do that by now. have the strength and courage to take on the nra. they don't have hunters' interests in mind. [ applause ] they don't have real people's interests in mind. they have the interest of the greed of the bottom line for the manufactures. it's not good enough. it's not good enough. i think those are things we can get done. if you talk to people about what matte matters, they will be with you. go ahead. >> jessica. i think your youngest is about a year younger than my son. a lot of what you said hit home about education and needing to do things to help revitalize the united states. it's depressing at this point.
one of my biggest concerns for his future is climate change. our water and air quality. iowa, i don't know if you know, has over 700 impaired waterways. there's places across the u.s., flint, michigan, that don't have clean water. do you have a plan to address that? >> sure do. i heard 50% of your water is polluted. >> over 750 waterways. >> that's bad. we have similar problems in my state. i'm familiar with it. the county i live, we have pfoa in our water. there are families who have -- their water has been polluted by manufacturers who manufacture plastics and other chemicals. their children have higher levels of pfoa in their blood than -- 100 times normal. it's so frightening for these moms and dads. they don't know how to protect their kids.
they don't know what the outcome will be. one thing that i think is common ground is all of us want to protect our children. all of us, no matter where you live, red, purple or blue, everyone wants to make sure our children can drink safe water, the air won't cause asthma attacks. one place i represent, the asthma rate is so high because there's so many highways that the pollution and toxins get absorbed by the kids. they miss school. if the teachers don't have asthma kits on sight, they die of asthma attacks. we have to understand that clean water and clean air is a priority. second, we have to understand that the consequence of stepping away from the world stage on global climate change is a life-threatening decision. it's going to result in more people dieing. [ applause ] president trump doesn't have the courage to stand up to the special interests and get things done. he doesn't stand up to putin.
he doesn't stand up to anybody. [ laughter ] >> say it. >> back to climate change. so he's stepping away from the world change on global climate change. and what we have seen around the country -- around the country is people are losing their lives. severe weather is caused by the warming seas. by the sea level rise. that's the science of it. it's just a fact. it's not up for debate. and so what that happens to my state, massive flooding. super storm sandy flooded upstate new york. flooded rural agricultural valleys, destroying all the crops for a whole season. and then the ground -- because with massive flooding, let's put it in a rural context. when the ground is flooded, the
oil and the chemicals that leak from people's -- all the stuff -- their tanks, their oil tanks, it spreads to the crops and then it poisons the ground. and so you have to clean it. it's very expensive. but let's just talk about life and death. superstorm sandy, i'm a mom that when the sea level rose by ten feet, she was stuck in her car with two boys. she grabbed them and the water took them out of her hands. she lost them. that's what happened across america. i talked to people in california in those towns where fires came so fast, they couldn't get out. and people lost their lives and their homes and their community. and so it's a life or death issue. and people understand that. no matter where you live, there is going to be an impact on you, on your ability to protect people, on your ability to make a living, on your ability to have a safe community. and it will be harsh. and there's not going to be enough money in the world to do
all the recovery that we need to make communities and people whole. and so if we don't address global climate change, we are creating a horror for this country and the world that we are leaving to our kids. and our grandkids. so it's got to be a moral issue. and that's why we should put a price on carbon. it's why we should do all the kinds of things infrastructurally we can do for global climate change to have green jobs and inspire innovation. we can -- we have so much opportunity, if we just take it seriously. i think we should have a moon shot and say in the next ten years, not because it's easy, because it's hard, we will innovate our energy resources until we are an energy-independent economy. the fact we still have to get oil from the middle east is outrageous. i think it hurts our foreign policy we are beholden to to saudi arabia. it does not work for us. so we should take this as an opportunity to do what's right. but also to do what's good. and can make a difference for
all our communities. [ applause ] >> so i have a question for you. i am -- i know -- [ inaudible ] probably, most if not all -- >> you like my preaching? >> i do. >> i thought i wanted to be a preacher when i was younger. >> i like it a lot, actually. but i also know that there's -- by the way, julia sanger. i live here. >> thank you. >> i'm concerned about the apparently somewhat over 30% of the american population who denies climate change is human-caused. who is -- what looks to me to be sort of deliberately blind to a number of things going on. and one of the things that i'm very concerned about is this matter of us not only stepping away from the world stage on climate, but also on joint
protection of europe. and i'm very concerned about -- let's talk about nato. i'm concerned about world war iii. i feel that -- i've seen the conditions that led up to world war ii. >> yeah. >> and they're happening again. could you address, you know, how you approach that? >> so you have two questions in there and i'll address both. the first question to me sounded like -- how do we bring people together to understand this is an urgent crisis for our country. that it's not about red places or blue places, it's about a human issue. >> yes. >> i think the first thing you do when you're trying to convince somebody about what you care deeply about is listen. you have to listen to find out why don't you believe this? why is it something you're hesitating on? why do you think creating a green economy is a bad thing? and just listen. to find out what it is. and then from whatever they say to you, talk about how you see it differently. bring them along by explaining -- you can explain the science.
you can explain how global climate change has affected your interest rate. if you talk to a farmer -- you talk to a hunter in upstate new york, they will tell you everything has changed because the season -- everything has changed. they see it, because they live in the world. they're outdoors. they understand how it's affected everything in their world. you will find some common ground. and then from there, you build a consensus you need to build. that is possible. you just need someone in the white house who speaks truth. this person -- this president does not speak truth. he lies to us every day. he lies to the american people. and he creates fear! the division, the hate, the fear he has created across the whole country is heartbreaking. i met with a woman who is a republican yesterday when i was at a little woman-owned business and happened to be the only shopper in the place. and so i said, do you mind if i talk to you? and she said yeah. and i said what do you care about? and she said i really care about the border. and i said why. and she said i'm afraid. and i said what are you afraid
of? she said i'm afraid of crime, terrorism. the president created that fear in her. but that fear is real. you have to address it. maybe some people's fear about global climate change is they're afraid that jobs will be lost. maybe they're afraid it will hurt the economy. maybe they're afraid that tree-huggers get to make all the decisions, and therefore things that need to be done in the community won't be done. well, explain to them, that's not true. and that this is the greatest economic opportunity of our generation. it literally is. america is the best place in the world to make things. we are the best inventors, we are the best entrepreneurs. we invent things and always have. so when we decided over the last ten years not to have the tax benefit so people could focus on wind and solar and geothermal and biofuels, all the renewable energies that are possible, what happened when we stepped away from that? guess who took the lead? china. because they started manufacturing, becoming the leading manufacturers. and you know what happens when you make something? you get to innovate next
generation. you get ahead of the curve. you get to be the next industry that grows. and we literally lost our opportunity, because congress wasn't smart enough. congress couldn't think ahead. they don't understand, you can't pass tax cuts, you know, three months late, because a whole business has just decided, we can't make money here. so we can't invest any more. and that's why jobs went to china. so i want to address the fear and find out what it is and explain, that fear -- someone has told you that to make you afraid and it's not true. so speak the truth. in all things. speak the truth. and then your second question -- >> nato. >> nato. okay. so you're worried about world war ii. -- world war iii. [ laughter ] she's worried about world war iii. she's worried about world war iii. you're worried about our national security. you're worried about stepping away from our allies in the world. i share those worries. because we have stepped away from our allies in the world. we've actually stepped away from
the mantle of leadership. when president trump said, i'm going to initiate and step away from the iran deal, that's a huge problem. it's a huge problem, and i'll explain. that deal was something that president obama put in place, because he had the world community at his back. saying we got it. we got this together. we're going to work together to make sure this country does not acquire nuclear weapons, because if they do, what happens? every other country in the middle east acquires nuclear weapons. what every country in the middle east has nuclear weapons, what do you think the risk is? world war iii. that is the problem. and so you have to understand, being a leader in the world means fighting for what's right. and doing what's right to protect all of us. and that's what he refuses to do. and so the next president must reclaim that mantle, be a leader on the world stage, bring people together for world security. do the right things that are necessary, even when they're
hard. especially when they're hard. those are fights i will not back down from. [ applause ] somebody should be calling on people, because i don't want to play favorites. you go ahead. >> one more question. i'm ann. i teach high school government to seniors. >> yeah. >> and so every year a concern for my seniors is -- >> in high school. >> in high school to go off to college and get into debt. is it worth it for their futures? what are your plans for education, college tuition? how can i help reassure them that their future will be okay if they jump into college and take on that debt? >> i have to tell you, their concern is not unfounded. because there are so many students across america and graduates who have so much student debt that they can't start a family. that they can't start a business. they can't buy a house. that's just the facts. and i don't think college should cost that kind of money. i really don't believe it.
i don't think we need degrees that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. people can get a great education at many places. and so we have to make access to college something and access to higher education something that's a real right. and so that means providing better job training and lots of ways for people who want lots of different careers. and we need more investment in community colleges, we need more investment in state schools. we need job training to -- let's see. student-to-job training. and let me explain. so what's happened to my state is we have really begun to use our community colleges and state schools effectively. one of our ag state schools is entirely devoted to preparing business people to serve in agriculture. so they just know -- you know, and margins are small for farmers in our state. it's really hard to make a living as a dairy farmer. it's really hard to make a
living as a specialty crop producer. and our margins are very tight. so you need to be the best business people in the world. and so that's the entire school is made to make our agriculture industry thrive. we have another state school focused on green energy. the green jobs economy. last time i visited, they said that because they teach kids how to build an l.e.d. certified home, to install solar panels, energy efficient appliances, wind turbines, anything in this sector, 98% of their seniors have more than three job offers. that's -- i mean, if that was true, that's shockingly amazing. but that is what's possible. when a manufacturer in upstate new york in the north country, bombardier, needed advanced welders, they couldn't find anyone to take those jobs within a 500-mile radius so they went to the community college and said, if you offer this coursework, we will hire those graduates and it is a $70,000 a year job. so job training needs to be linked. you have to give more opportunities to people to get a
real job with the higher education they're receiving. and so i think more pairings and more of this synergy when you work with local employers to say this is the coursework that is necessary to train these future workers. if we create that synergy and fund it, that matters. i think full employment is really important. i think anyone underemployed or unemployed should have access to whatever job training it takes to get that job. an example. a not for profit in the bronx called perscola. they do job training for s.t.e.m. subjects, for computer -- sorry. computer fixing, computer building, cyber security, coding, game coding, all of it. and they have already trained and placed in real jobs 800 students. they provided that education for free. it's a not for profit. so there's a lot of ideas out there how to do it. immediately, the most immediate solution i would give for all people laden with debt, i would
refinance all federal debt at 4%, which is the going fed rate, automatically. and the last -- [ applause ] that alone is $15 billion right back into the economy. >> i'm sorry. we've got time for one more question. >> one more question. >> one more. >> the conservative party did a great job in making sure that they got the judicial branch. they -- i think they sold their soul, sold their spirit, so they knew they would not look at some of these immoral values of our president. i heard you talk about the judicial branch. what will you do, or what will you make sure all our other candidates do to talk about that? talk about what's happening with our federal judiciary? because remember, all these
wonderful evangelical groups basically cut a deal with trump, saying we will let you -- we will support you if you let us basically select the next federal judge. and we're losing. what would you say positively, proactively, for what you will do and for what you also will encourage all the other democrats to do? because you have a unique opportunity to do that. so if you could address that. because the other side has been very successful. thank you. >> so your question is really an important one. and not all americans understand why it's so important. so what i think candidates have to do is just explain to the people they want to represent that elections really do have consequences. and one of the gravest consequences of a presidential election is they get to choose justices. and that justices are lifetime appointments, and every issue you care about is decided at the supreme court level.
so if you're most invested in clean air and clean water, they get to decide. if you care about women's reproductive freedom, they get to decide. if you care about voting rights and equal rights, they get to decide. so i would really speak from your heart to every voter, every democratic party, and to anyone who cares about the future about what they care about and then point out to them, that's decided in accordance. and so it just means we as americans have to fight for this democracy more. we have to win elections. we have to keep this majority in the house of representatives. and, again, thank you for electing two new iowan women to represent us. [ applause ] thank you for all you do on the grass. because these elections do matter. we have to keep our majority in the house. we have to flip the u.s. senate, which i think there's a lot of seats open to us that we can actually compete in. and we have to flip the white house. and if we do those things, then we can focus on rebuilding our judiciary. because president trump -- one of the worst things that president trump has done is he
has taken on the tenets of our democracy. he has tried to undermine the independence of the judiciary by calling out judges and trying to demonize judges. never before in our history have we had a president who has tried to demonize a whole branch of government, particularly the judiciary branch. he's also tried to undermine free speech. i mean, how many attacks has he made on the free press? how much demonization has he given to you when your job is actually to make sure the truth is told? he's literally trying to unwind the basic structure of what keeps this country strong. the three branches of government that provide oversight and accountability over each other. and so this is a moment where america must fight for our democracy, perhaps harder than we have ever fought in our entire lives. because if we don't, those judges and everything president trump is trying to do will take away our rights. it will take away our fundamental civil rights. as a woman, i need to decide
what happens with my family and my body. i have a civil right to make that decision. and he doesn't believe it! [ applause ] >> yeah. i want to thank the senator for coming and also make an announcement. our soup supper, which is the biggest fund-raiser of the year, is going to be held on february 23. one of our featured speakers will be lee scholten! and there will be a press release on wednesday about what his plans are. so everybody please watch for that. we're very excited. we also are going to be having our caucus, march 9th. our party runs on volunteers. we don't get money from the big corporations. so we need people to come to this. we'll be at the high school, and that's where we will elect people to represent their precincts. so i hope you all can come to that. and i -- think that's all i had to say. >> i just want to thank you for turning out. i am not a national name.
and so the fact that you turned out to meet me is a blessing to my heart and i'm very grateful. i'm also very grateful that iowans care so deeply about what's happening in our country. i really care that you show up to ask tough questions. it's what makes our democracy great. and i'm very grateful to all of you for taking time today to meet me. i plan on being here a lot. and so i really just appreciate this first opportunity. [ applause ] >> i ran in 2006 in the republican district. >> i lost someone --
[ inaudible ] >> i'm sorry. >> and it's the first -- this is the first year that 18-year-olds are going to start registering for a war that started before they were born. and that's truly heartbreaking. >> i don't think he should have the right to do what he's doing right now. he doesn't have the right. >> we have to head out. [ inaudible ] >> oh, nice to meet you! thank you for your leadership! >> whew-hoo! >> strong and mighty! >> we have to head out. ready? >> thank you so much. >> thank you for turning out. i really appreciate it. >> so wonderful. >> so we have this question. how are you going to win the primary? how are you going to beat trump? >> so i'm going to win the primary by speaking from my heart about my values and who i will fight for and fighting for
your kids and grandkids as hard as i would fight for my own. and really explain why -- if you fight for people that way, do fight for health care, do fix our public schools. and do care about class. so talk about why, what's in my heart. i think that's how you win the primary. and in the general, you do the same exact thing. and you keep talking about what you care about and why to every voter across america. and find the common ground that brings us together. because there is so much we share. and i think peop-- i don't thin people should be left behind. there is a conversation for all of us to have, and you've got to take on those systems of power that destroy everything. because if you don't, you can't do all the things you want to do. >> okay. i'm so sorry, senator. we have to head out. >> bye!
great. >> i love this! the government shutdown is now in its 32nd day, longer than any previous shutdown. the standoff continues over border wall funding, but word this afternoon that there may be a breakthrough in the senate with a couple of votes planned for later this week. on thursday, the senate will hold two back-to-back procedural votes. one on president trump's plan announced on saturday that would fund the border wall and reopen the federal government. and the other, the house-passed short-term funding bill through february 8th. both of them would need 60 votes to advance. that will happen on thursday in
the senate at 2:30 eastern. that's live on c-span 2. and coming up here this afternoon, the house moving ahead with their efforts. they'll meet to consider the rules committee -- the rules committee will meet to consider one of the spending bills. the house is meeting to provide funding for several agencies, reopening those agencies. that house rules committee hearing will come live at 5:00 eastern, over on c-span2. not running down the clock. a deal negotiated with the european union to the house. the house has rejected that. the house has rejected that. but i say once again to the right honorable gentleman as i did to other members of this house. and it's very simple. you cannot wish away no deal. either you say in the europetay union or you have a deal. i believe it's right for us to leave the european union, because that's what people voted for in the referendum in 2016. so if you don't want no deal,
they have to be winning to agree a deal. and the point about sitting down -- the point about sitting down and talking with people across this house is to identify those issues on which it will be possible for us to secure support, to make changes, such that we can secure the support around this house. >> on monday, prime minister theresa may reported a new brexit deal back to the house of commons. and tomorrow the british house of commons meets for their weekly question time. watch live coverage of prime minister's questions wednesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. now a look at the president's recent decision to withdraw u.s. troops from syria. we'll hear from the former assistant secretary of state for political military affairs in the george w. bush administration and a group of academics. this was hosted by the foundation for political economic and social research. it's about an hournd