tv [untitled] CSPAN June 22, 2009 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT
everybody has forgotten, we made that an option along with income intention repayment for college students, and when we did it, the students of america said it $9 billion prepaying their college loans, $1,300 for every $10,000 they borrowed, and the taxpayers saved $4 billion because nobody could default on their loans anymore once we made it possible to repay them. . the dlc first proposed it. i am pleased that a revitalized the community development financial institutions bill and found it, funding micro credit. again, it is something that we all ran on. i am pleased we have a secretary of education who believes in public school choice and charter schools. the dlc, i believe, was the first organization to talk
about charter schools. i went all over america advocating at in '92, and finally, one guy knew pretty well set, bill, i do not know what the heck you're talking about. i said one, where is it? minnesota. minnesota. how many set them up? as far as i know, too. minnesota and arkansas. you think about it. from the time i left office, we had 2000 charter schools. congress had given funding for 3000. now we have schools in new york city where my foundation is in importance neighborhoods where there are 20 applicants for every one seat open in the charter school. you should be proud of that, al from. i love the fact that the president and former secretary of education committed to that kind of reform. so that is my second point.
it does not matter what president obama -- it does not matter that he has a special style and a special brand. he has put a lot of people who think like us and your part of our ranks who have a lot of ideas that were hatched in al's brain or in the lab of will marshall, bruce reed front and cetnenter because he has a good test. the most important thing by far is that any organization committed to finding new ideas that the real challenges will never be out of fashion. there will never be a new time. i was under no illusion that no matter how good a job i did, i could make all the problems in america go away. my goal was to leave you with a new set of problems.
i did not want you to be stuck in the same box like a laboratory animal running around in the cage. you just think about the challenges facing the president now and the congress. i think we're going to get a health reform bill. i have been waiting all my life for this. [applause] i think will be able to get one that has republican support. i want one that will not be filibustered. if we just have universal coverage without doing something to break the cost spiral, five years from now, we will not have universal coverage and more, because we will not be available -- we will not be able to afford it. if we had any other country pose a health system, we would cover everybody and get better health outcomes -- if we had any other country's health system, we should -- we would cover everybody and get better outcomes.
we want to make health care affordable to everybody, including those parents who had kids with autism and problems at birth that they could not manage. i couldn't -- i was sick of having people coming to me telling me that they had to give up their jobs so they could keep their kids healthy, and if they went back to work, their child might die. we have a moral obligation to extend coverage. we also have an obligation not to bankrupt them by continuing the same cost curve. if you look at the problems of medicare when the old geezers like near tyre, all the baby boomers get in the medicare. only -- 80% is because of the projected inflation of health care costs. that is a job for the dlc. i think the congress will pass the climate change bill.
senator lieberman, thank you for your years of work on it. i think it will pass a good climate change bill. [applause] but if we cannot prove that we can do this in a way that creates more jobs and create economic opportunity and works to enrich the lives of all americans, we will not meet the targets, even if they pass the bill. and even if we do, other countries won't. the dlc has always been a practical and tried to merge federal policy with state and local actors in the private sector. we need to be on the forefront of that. we still have big problems in education. we have lots of success for public schools. we still have 25 years, 26 years after the nation at risk report.
until we do, we're compromising the future of this country. we still have the best system of higher education in the world, but we have fallen to the percentage of people between 25 and 35 because of the price it out of range. we have to figure out how to improve the delivery system. why did will not work anymore. after i gave you the biggest increase in college aid since the gi bill in my second term, the benefits of that the real students were gone within 56 years. zero. none. it just allow them to hold on because of inflation. 17 states have allowed their colleges -- a community colleges to offer for year degrees. to change the delivery system. the dlc should figure out how to change the delivery system so
america can not only have the best colleges and universities in the world, but the nber one percentage of people with 4 year degrees in our country if you care about keeping america at of the curve. -- ahead of the curve. [applause] how'd you spread the benefits? we have to do that. we have some serious national- security issues. throughout history, offense went first, and people figured out a defense. then somebody has to think of a new offense. meanwhile, with conflict becoming more and more bloody, we have to find more and more people that are willing to entertain our values. when when solutions, a common community. we have seen ample evidence, ever since the end of world war two that whenever we fight on at their own turf, we can defeat the strong. particularly if the week did not
represent a nation state. . >> we need to be part of the debate. what kinds of weapons systems do we need? what will we do to avoid conflict? are you not embarrassed that american and other countries spend more than half of the foreign aid before a gets to the countries it was intended for? put 80% of the money we appropriate into the country was meant for. i say this to make the following point. the best tribute i can give to you is that all of your critics were wrong, and you were right. i say that in good humor and in gratitude. you could have quit. you could have given up. you and ginger it started out in the civil rights movement.
you spent half of the 1980's being derided as a closet conservative he did not care about that. -- who did not care about that. you did not give up. he now evidence that what you did worked. you have the compliment that people you worked with for years and the politics you advocated have been embraced by our new president. he is succeeding in doing a good job with them. you have the sure knowledge that as long as people are people, we will need a new generation to pick up the torch that you have carried so nobly. i would never have become president without you in bed dlc -- in the dlc. i know that. when i was fortunate enough to win, i never one day have to wake up in the morning wondering what i was going to do.
you helped me to realize the importance of ideas and policies, and answering the simple question of how to turn good intentions into real changes in people's lives. most people in politics debate what they are going to do and how much they will spend on it. we spend almost no time debating how we propose to do it, what ever it is. you spent your life in the " howell" business. that is the business you got me into. that is what i try to do in my foundation. i owe you more than i can ever say. i love you more than words can express. those who know what the last 25 years were white, have to say that they were much better than they would have been if al from and the dlc had not been there.
>> mr. president, thank you. sit down and don't worry, i'm not going to talk now, you can eat your dinner. i want to thank you because you honor me by your presence here. we've done a lot of good things and sometimes, as you said, it wasn't always appreciated. but when i think about what you did to modernize progressive governance, it really saved progressive governance not only in this country but all over the world. i don't think we can thank you enough. that is the most incredible legacy anybody can ever have and i'm just honored that you're my friend. thank you. [applause]
>> at 2:00 p.m. eastern, we will be live with the senate republican conference and the possibility of increasing the number of nuclear plants. the senate health committee meets at 3:00 p.m. eastern to continue marking up health care legislation. they are going through the measure line by line and making changes. you can see live coverage on c- span-3. at 8:00 p.m., president obama's choice to lead the fcc. that is on "the communicators" tonight on c-span-2. >> discovered an unfamiliar side of our nation's first president with the historian and author.
join the three-hour conversation live on sunday. >> president barack obama announced an agreement on a senior citizen prescription drug costs. drug companies have pledged to spend $80 billion over the next decade to reduce the cost for seniors and pay a portion of the proposed health care plan. the president was joined today by the new head of a barp. a new book about donald rumsfeld is on the bookstands today. earlier today, we spoke with him. we're going to show you a portion of that now. portion of that now. cover the bradley gramm has a book that goes on sale today.
-- bradley graham has a new book that goes on sale today. how did donald rumsfeld du public-service? guest: he was interested in public service from a young age. he was inspired in his senior year of college when adlai stevenson came to speak to his graduating class at princeton. he urged the students there to use their educations and put them to work in public-service. not long after that, rumsfeld ran for congress. he became the youngest republican member of congress in the 1960's. he believed very much in public service. he served not only in congress but in the nixon and ford administrations. he then came back in the bush to administration. even in between, when he was a corporate executive, he stayed involved in government serving
as a presidential envoy and on a couple of government commissions. host: the book is 800 pages. it is an extensive biography. some presidents do not get this kind of treatment. he spoke about him running for congress. did he ever have presidential aspirations? guest: he did. some of his old classmates remember him expressing an interest as a teenager in becoming president someday. a lot of kids may express that. what was interesting was to hear a number of his former classmates say that with rumsfeld, they took it seriously. the thought of all their classmates, he would be the one. he did try it in 1987. he did not get very far. he had been out of government for over a decade. he could not get much traction or raise much money. you mentioned at the length of
the book. it is quite long. rumsfeld is a very consequential figure. he is a very powerful figure pity is the most influential secretary of defense since mcnamara, as well as the most controversy. i thought it was worth the lengthy treatment. host: how many times did you interview him for the book? guest: i talked to him eight times. some sessions went on for several hours. i spent much of a day out with him at one of his homes. he has a large farm out in taos, new mexico. i met with him a number of times in the washington heat maintain -- in the office he maintains in washington. i have been to his home. he was wary in cooperating with me. he wanted to make sure that this could not be seen as an authorized biography.
it is not. he had no control over it. i think he felt was going to write a book anyway, and it was probably better for him to cooperate with me more than not. host: by any stretch, he has had a distinguished career as a private and public figure. what are some of these public failures? with the secretary agreed with your assessment? guest: in my view, he was a tragic figure. he was enormously successful for much of his life in government and in business. he entered the pentagon under george bush at 68 with a lime time -- with a lifetime of accomplishments behind him. he is the only person to get a second shot at secretary of
defense. he held the same job before under president ford. he had enormous potential and a lot of talent. much of the story in the book is how he ran into trouble and was eventually compelled to resign six years later. in terms of the failures, there were failures of strategy, to adjust to changing conditions, in his relations with the military, congress, and colleagues in the administration trade ultimately, there was a failure in leadership. it is a tough book. i do try to be balanced. i do not think he would agree with a number of my conclusions. host: use start a book at the end of his career with his resignation in 2006. we just showed a bit of his
resignation ceremony. why did you start at the end? guest: that was one of the moments of his life that had not been fully explored or explained in terms of how much he may have known and whether he was planning on resigning or not. the president decided after months and months of resisting advice from aides and others to replace him, bush finally decided to do so. i felt it was very important to frame the story of his life by starting at the end. host: the book is on donald rumsfeld. the first phone call is from louisiana on the independent life. this is ed. go ahead. caller: thank you. donald rumsfeld was the
president and ceo of several corporations. in 1983, he brought his company into the public domain and it cost several people to die of brain tumors. i wonder if he feels he is responsible for those deaths. guest: the product ascertain -- aspertame is now known as nutrasweet and found in many products. it remains controversial. i am no expert on the scientific findings. my understanding is that the great predominance of evidence has not established any link between aspertame and the dens
aths that you speak up. he remains very proud of bringing that product to market. it had been in regulatory limbo when he took over at searle. he tried very hard to get permission to market that. host: that company was instrumental in the development of hdtv. guest: that is right. he has an impressive career in business as being an agent of change. he took companies that were struggling and turned them around. he made them successful. he also brought to market very significant products. host: he did not enter private industry until his 40's. he had been in government service before that. would he have been happy to stay
in government service? guest: i think he would have been. he did not see an opportunity at the end of the ford administration to run for president or governor. he was not ready to run for president. he also believed in people moving back and forth between government and industry. host: let's here from florida on the republican line. you are on the democrats' line, correct? go ahead. do us a favor. i am going to put you on hold. turn down your television or radio when you call in so that you do not be back. we're going to take a phone call from springfield. caller: i was listening to how they said that donald rumsfeld originally had presidential aspirations. are we looking forward to see rooms fille -- rumsfeld run for
president in the next four years? has the everest region has ever admitted responsibility or that we should have sent more troops on the ground when we invaded iran? is this something that has been glossed over? >> when we invaded in rock iniraq? guest: he has never shared an intention with me about coming back into government. he is spending time working on his own memoir due out next year. he has not expressed any regrets or second thoughts about the troop level issue. we will probably hear more from him about that. i deal with that at length in my book. he was not the only one. -- i do with that issue in mine.
he was not the only one for limiting the number of trips. that was also the favor of his top generals in iraq at the time. they all shared the view that it would be better to turn over responsibility for security as quickly as possible to the iraqis and bring down u.s. forces as quickly as possible. host: this is a republican caller from detroit. caller: i believe the reason why donald rumsfeld was forced out of office comes from -- what i would say 9/11, the attacks at the world trade center and everything. they say in certain reports he was on the other side -- of the
pentagon. when he was on the other side of the pentagon everything had taken place. they believed he probably had something to do with it. host: what was his response that day and how did 9/11 affecting both personally and from a policy point of view? guest: i guest: it had a profound effect on him. he was on the other side of the pentagon from where the american airlines plane hit. his immediate response was to run outside the building to see what happened. he spent a few minutes helping, trying to deal with the victims, and so on before running back into the building and joining the other top administration officials in planning the response to the disaster.
he never forgot that they, like other top officials in the administration. it gave him an even greater sense of urgency than he had before that date in terms of trying to effect change in the military. he came into the job as secretary with the main assignment from george bush to transform the military. he was pushing for that before 9/11. afterwards, the whole mission gained greater urgency. host: week are going to take a look at the comments from one of many briefings he held at the pentagon. this is in response to a question about a kuwait town meeting. he said you go to war with army you have instead of the army that you want. this is his response to one of the questions from reporters.
>> i am truly saddened that anyone could have the impression that i or others are doing anything other than working urgently to see that the lives of the fighting men and women are protected and are cared for in every way humanly possible. i hope and pray that every family member of those who have died so bravely knows how deeply i feel the loss. when i meet with the wounded, with their families, or with the families of those who have been lost, their grief is something i feel to my core. host: those are some very personal moments to the critics of his policies. guest: those remarks in kuwait to the troops are among those that people remember the most about rumsfeld. he was very upset at the way those remarks were reported. he thought they were taken out of context. if you read all of them, he
argues that he showed more sympathy and understanding for the position that the troops were in. nonetheless, the town of what he was saying did resonate with the troops there and throughout the military. it seemed to reinforce the image of him as insensitive and somewhat and caring. he did come back from that visit and fired off a few memos. i report them for the first time in the book. there were memos to senior commanders saying we were not doing enough on the armor issue. he started setting deadlines for when all the vehicles had to be properly equipped. he was certainly bothered by it. the reaction to those comments had tremendous significance in washington and