tv American Politics CSPAN May 2, 2010 6:30pm-8:00pm EDT
were getting beat up every day. they feel they have an issue to be on the offensive. it took three hostile votes on the floor but got the debate begun. it's unclear if they are going to tklimgration and energy or use it as an election year issue. it will be difficult to move things that complex into law before the november elections. this bill has the best chance of becoming law and republicans are saying you are going way too fast but the democrats don't seem they want to hit the brakes. >> on tuesday, seems like you cl hill. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> later today, the pennsylvania democratic primary debate. only scheduled debate before may 16. 7:00 p.m. eastern.
another debate from the british parliamentary election third and final debate among the leaders. this week's topic, the economy. that's at 9:00 p.m. earn here on c-span. >> president obama traveled to louisiana today to get a firsthand look at the response to the bp oil spill. after meeting with governor bob jindal, he held a meeting. he talked about last night's attempted car bombing attempt in new york city.
>> let me say about the incident in new york city. i want to commend the work of the nypd, new york fire department and f.b.i. which responded swiftly and aggressively to a dangerous situation. and i want to commend the citizens who noticed the suspicious activity and reported it to the authorities of the i got off the phone on the way down here with mayor bloomberg to make sure that state and federal officials are coordinating effectively. since last night, my national
security teams have been taken the steps necessary to ensure that our state and local partners have the full support and cooperation of the federal government. we're going to do what's necessary to protect the american people to determine who's behind this potentially deadly act and see that justice is done. and i'm going to continue to monitor the situation closely and do what it takes at home and abroad to safeguard the security of the american people. now we just finished meeting with admiralalen, our national incident commander for this spill and coast guard personnel who are leading the response on this crisis and they gave me an upgrade on our efforts to mitigate the damage. i want to point out i was told it was drizzling out here. is this louisiana drizzle right here? they gave me a sense of how the spill is moving.
it is now about nine miles off the coast of southeastern louisiana. and by the way, we had the governor of louisiana, bobby jindal, as well as parish president who are taking part in this meeting because we want to emphasize the importance of coordinating between local, state and federal officials throughout this process. now, i think the american people are aware, certainly the folks down in the gulf coast are aware that we are dealing with a massive and unprecedented environmental disaster. the oil could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our gulf states and it could extend for a long time. it could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of americans who call this place home. and that's why the federal government has launched and coordinated and all hands-on on
desk. after explosion on the drilling rig, it began with an aggressive search and rescue effort to evacuate 1158 people, including three -- 115 people, including three badly injured people and my heart goes out to the families of those who have not been found. when the drill rig sank on thursday, we investigated by remotely-operated vehicles, the entire 5,000 feet of pipe that's on the floor of the ocean. in that process, three leaks were identified, the most recent coming just last wednesday evening. that -- admiral allen and secretary mrs. napolitano: made clear we made clear and immediately set up command center operations here in the gulf and coordinated with all state, local and
federal governments and the third breach was discovered on wednesday. we had by that time in position more than 70 vessels and hundreds of thousands of feet of boom. and i dispatched the secretaries of the interior and homeland security, the administrator of the e.p.a., my assistant for energy and climate change policy and the administrator of noaa to the gulf coast to ensure we are doing whatever's required to respond to this event. so i want to emphasize, from day one, we have prepared and planned for the worst, even as we hoped for the best. and while we have prepared and reacted aggressively, i'm not going to rest and none of the gentlemen and women who are here are going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil on the gulf is contained and cleaned up and the people of this region are able to go back
to their lives and livelihoods. now, currently, the most advanced technology available is being used to try and stop a leak that is more than 5,000 feet under the surface. because this leak is unique and unprecedented, it could take many days to stop. that's why we are using every resource available to stop the oil from coming ashore and mitigating the damage it could cause and much of the discussion here at the center was focused on if we and when we have to deal with these mitigation efforts. thus far, as you can tell, the weather has not been as cooperative as we would like on this front, but we are going to continue to push forward. we are working with the gulf states and american families to help every american affected. bp is responsible for this leak. bp will be paying the bill.
but as president of the united states, i'm going to spare no effort to respond to this crisis for as long as it continues. and we will spare no resource to clean up whatever damage it's caused. and while there will be time to fully investigate what happened on that rig and hold responsible parties accountable, our focus is on a coordinated, relentless responsible effort to prevent more damage to the gulf. i want to thank the thousands of americans who have been working around the clock, whether it's the brave men and women of our military or the local officials who call the gulf home. they are doing everything they can to mitigate this disaster, prevent damage to our environment and help our fellow citizens. during this visit, i'm hoping to have the opportunity to speak with some of the individuals who are directly affected by the disaster. i've heard already that people are understandably frustrated and frightened, especially because the people of this
region have been through worst disasters than anyone should have to bear. every american affected by this spill should know this. your government will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this crisis. this is one of the richest and most beautiful ecosystems on the planet and for centuries, its residents have enjoyed and made a living off the fish that swim in these waters and the wildlife that inhabit these shores. this is also the heartbeat of the region's economic life. and we're going to do everything in our power to protect our natural resources, compensate those who have been harmed, rebuild what has been damaged and help this region persevere like it has done before. that is the commitment i'm making and i know that everyone who works for the federal government feels the exact same way. thank you very much, everybody.
[applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> later today we'll show the debate from the pennsylvania senate primary between senator specter and representative joe sestak. only scheduled televised debate in that race before may 16, 7:00 p.m. on c-span. and another debate from the british parliamentary election, third and final debate among the leaders of the three largest political parties. this week's topic, the economy. that's at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> now a look at last night's
white house correspondents' dinner with jaleno. the dinner took place in washington, d.c. with journalists, politicians and celebrities attending. >> and i have the distinct honor of being the only person on this panel not suped by rod blagevich. i can see the white house press club very excited. so this is it. enjoy it while it lasts. >> the president's hair is getting more gray. his mother in law moving in. that would break most men. the press can be one-sided and they would ask is obama black
enough, is he too black. never the other way around, is john boehner too orange? we never hear that. the president and the first lady -- i'm sure you remember this heart-warming photo. look at this photo. take a look here. remember that? i think it reminded us of a similar photo taken in the previous administration, take a look. >> yeah. [laughter] >> and hats off to michelle obama who made childhood obesity one of her causes. [applause] >> she has an intense program, leave no child with a bigger behind. that is going to be a wonderful thing. [laughter] >> with all the good work you
have been doing, it's been undermined by others in your administration. here, take a look. >> it's easy to stay healthy and exercise more. just as easy to say we'll start tomorrow. but our kids are running out of time. the first generation might not live as long as their parents. what can we do to help? be the example they need. make healthy choices and help them do the same. let's move to raise a healthier generation of kids. [laughter] [applause] >> and there was a big setback for nasa. president obama cutting the space program and we aren't going to be sending more men to the moon but we can point to one major achievement, we did get an astronaut on "dancing with the stars" and that's something we
can be proud of. [laughter] >> i had the pleasure of meeting president obama a number of times and critics describe the president cold and aloof. he loves to socialize, health care, car companies. things of that nature. [laughter] >> i congratulate president obama, he has done more than for the car industry, except for toyota, across toyota. [laughter] >> as you may have heard, more problems for toyota, two of the car crash dummies refused to get in the car. so things are not looking good. [laughter] >> one wonderful thing about president obama, never lost his street cred and knows how to deal with the average guy. here he is meeting a businessman on the campaign trail. and note how he can relate. >> we are about to go. the president, again, expecting to talk about small businesses and help them in this hurting economy.
what he's going to do -- [laughter] >> another piece of cake? now, mr. president, i have to admit when you were elected, a little worry that the comedy well at the white house has dried up, so thank you for picking joe biden, we appreciate that. joe is a great pick because nobody is more media savvy. here he is with andrea mitchell. the word he is looking for is "avatar." let's take a look. >> you have been a very busy man. do you ever get to the movies, oscar nominees? >> as a matter of fact, we do. and i think one of the odds-on favorite is this new program that i looked at it and wished i was seeing it in 3-d and you
watch this science fiction thing unfold in front of you. >> "avatar"? >> a lot of republicans aren't here tonight because it's dollar drink night at the bondage club. [laughter] >> michael steele is here. where is michael? michael, this has to be pretty boing entertainment for you, isn't it? i know what you're used to. a couple of guys talking. that was my favorite story. republicans in a lesbian bondage club. they don't want them getting married, but they like to watch them tie the knot. i thought that was interesting. [laughter] >> watching it is a very scary
place. the s.e.c. looking at porn, i can't wait to get back to hollywood, some place where people have values. [laughter] >> i want to talk about white house security for a moment. it's supposed to be the most secure place in the world. here's president obama and vice president joe biden, two most powerful men in the world. watch the door behind them. how does this happen? take a look. >> good evening everybody. tonight after nearly 100 years of talk and frustration -- >> who's that guy? how did he get in there? was he on the tour? did he wonder off? and according to the pentagon, al qaeda is in financial ruin. you know what broke them? health insurance premium. you know the monthly premium for suicide bomber? do you have any idea what it is?
[laughter] >> if you took all the money republicans spent trying to stop health care and all the money that democrats spent to get health care, we could have had health care a couple of years ago. supporters say that the american people will now get the same health benefits that members of congress get. and that's great. how about some of the others, free travel, envelopes with the money, get out of jail free cards? mr. president, you did a get job on the passage of the health care bill but you have to give it credit tower nancy pelosi. the way she sold it, she went to the new media, she went to youtube. take a look. >> in order to have quality, affordable health care for all americans, it's essential that everyone participate when they are well and not just join in when they are sick.
so it's all better quality, lower cost, more access if everyone is mandated. [laughter] [applause] >> and you have to admit that president obama's mood really changed once that health care bill passed, because i watch the shows every day and i would see you come into the press room before the bill passed, slumped over, looking depressed and didn't have the spark. here's the president the day after the health care bill was passed. >> he should step in here in just a second. ♪ you allredy for this? ♪ [laughter] >> defense secretary robert gates announced that the pentagon will ease up on the don't ask, don't tell policy and said they will be ask the rules but no one enforcing it, kind of
like the ethics in congress. basically the same sort of deal. david axelrod is here. one of the people most responsible helping to get president obama elected. without him it would have been john mccain and early bird dinner and be home watching "wheel of fortune." david was on my show and he was on with kick ass and he said, rahm's here? [laughter] >> eric massa claimed that he confronted him in the congressional shower. he was shorked. anyone look like they work. barney frank, it took him 30 years to get that body? harry reid bench pressing five pounds now? the president has the most diverse staff in history. they represent every ward in
chicago. and i think that's fantastic. [laughter] >> we have a lot of move -- movie stars out here. michael? michael douglas. he portrayed an evil greedy wall street broke are willing to manipulate the market. where does hollywood come up with these crazy ideas? bill mar? you here? one of my favorite comedians. he is the reason we had no opening prayer tonight. they were afraid they would boo. everyone complains about the lack of civility on both sides. you see it in sports and politics. i think we have the answer. take a look. >> the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. >> you lie! >> you tired of what people say what's on their mind? everyone's got an opinion and all compelled to share it with others.
well, those annoying comments can go away with this, duct tape. a few inches of this gray sticky fabric solves it all. the solution to everything. [laughter] >> osama bin laden now releasing tapes blaming the united states for global warming. he has run out of ideas. even the united states blames the united states for global warming. i think he wants to quit al qaeda and join al gore. president obama has been promoting alternative energy. texas state university has developed exercise equipment that operates electricity when you exercise in the hope that people will generate enough power from their home by exercising. you thought americans were hiring a lot of illegal aliens before snr manuel, keep peddling. last month, president obama threw out the first pitch at the
nationals but biden got kicked off for cursing the umpire. the pitch was not a good pitch. but to be fair, you had just come from an interview and i think you were used to softball. i'm going to get fired again. i tell you something. a lot of critics felt that president bush did a better job of getting the ball over the plate. that's what they said. but on the other hand, president obama can talk. so i think it balances. [laughter] >> as you know, president obama and the first lady very much committed to education. and in fact, here's their latest program. >> president obama says that a good education is everything to a child's future. but what do you do if a child can't learn or worse, a child that won't learn? well, thanks to a bottled new
government program, you can trade them in. it's cash for flunkers. bring in that son of yours and get up to $4,500 towards the purchase of a new or select used child. that's right. up to $4,000 500 for that wannabe gangster or that morbid punk. so don't be stuck with that tramp you gave birth to. get a kid you can be proud of. get cash for flunkers today. all children taken at trade-ins. >> i read that book game change about the 2008 election. you know what i learned? reporters hold back all the good stories in the newspapers, they can get really rich. [laughter] >> and nice to see chris matthews. chris, where are you?
chris has been on "the tonight show" and always a great guest. comes down and talks for 10 minutes and then i ask him a question and then he talks another 20 minutes. let's talk about the press for a minute. i want you to watch how different networks cover the same story. remember that story a while back about president obama, somebody had a jacket and had a big poster in times square and the president not supposed to be endorsing. this is how cbs covered it. >> and president obama no longer has a commanding presence in another new york location. remember this huge billboard with his likeness. it was removed yesterday from times square. mr. obama's picture is not supposed to be used for commercial purposes. >> now, look how fox news carried the exact same story. ok. timing is everything.
[laughter] >> ♪ ♪ [applause] >> but to be fair, it is a two-street and the white house likes to play games with fox news. this tape has not been altered in anyway. we didn't change or do anything. i'm going to show you some reporters outside the white house. notice how quiet it is when the msnbc reporters are reporting and watch what happens with fox. >> does make a couple of problems go away. >> secretary robert gibbs. emergens of this side of the party isn't a good thing. >> in the past few minutes, it made more than just congratulations.
>> republicans have held it -- >> maybe the kind of sausage making you don't want to look at. [laughter] >> you be the judge. you mentioned the situation in the gulf of mexico. there's talk now that this oil slick could end up being bigger than that huge disaster they had up in alaska. really? bigger than sarah palin? that is unbelievable. [laughter] >> and wolf blitzer is here. hello, wolf. doesn't that sound like the name of sarah palin's hunting helicopter? stay off of "celebrity jeopardy iy." sarah palin may run for president in 2012. she is a former beauty queen. if she wins it would make history, because it's the first time that a beauty queen could bring about world peace. they all talked about it, but she could make it happen.
do you see her campaign last month, beauty and the deceased. isn't that what it looked like? and my favorite democrat, senator john edwards, a personal injury attorney who turned out to and sleaze ball. who could have seen that coming? i was stunned by that revelation. there is talk about a john edwards' sex tape. there's something people never seen before. a lawyer screwing people. woy! the first lady of television, betty white is here. we love betty white. [cheers and applause] >> hi, sweetheart. betty has a long history in this town. her first stage performance here was interrupted by john wilkes booth. and that was a sad day. [laughter] >> the last time i was here was 2004 and at that time, back then, hillary clinton's campaign
had $20 million. now mark penn has it. but hey -- a little inside baseball. the rich guys get it. "newsweek" is reporting that hillary clinton has been talking to friends about stepping down as secretary of state. i think i picked up a clue in a recent interview of what she plans to do. it's a little subtle, but take a look. >> i want to ask you again. you're never going to run for president again? >> i have absolutely no interest in it. >> none? >> i know that's hard to believe. [laughter] >> and virginia governor is here. where are you? i heard him say, when he heard the president was going to be here he said what, jefferson davis is coming? [laughter] >> this is a tough room.
>> joy behar from "the view" is here. i give the ladies a lot of credit. i seen president obama in tough negotiations, a showdown with kim jung il and president i'm a nut job. but the only time i have seen him look nervous and figgetty. we have not altered this tape, but count how many times he fig et cetera. >> i'm surrounded by women. i'm surrounded by women. you always surprise me. you always surprise me. >> over the weekend, i reread "dreams of my father." >> my favorite moment of the past year was seeing all five living presidents together in the oval office and then something spontaneous happened
and i thought it was fantastic, take a look. . . absolutely nothing say it again ♪ >> this has been an honor and privilege. this is the greatest job, for the president of the united states, first lady michelle o'bauma. thank you very much. -- michelle o'baum -- obama. [applause] >> thank you all for coming, ladies and gentlemen. ladies and gentlemen. please stay where you are. and my successor will escort the
>> c-span -- our public affairs content is available on television, radio, and online. you can also connect with us on twitter, facebook, youtube. sign up for our schedule alert e-mails at c-span.org. >> now a debate between senator arlen specter and joe sestak, the two democratic candidates running for the u.s. senate seat in pennsylvania. has been rated as one of the most competitive races in the country. the latest polls show senator specter with 44% of the vote. congressman sestak has 42%. their only televised debate to place last night, hosted by the pennsylvania boss association of broadcasters. this is an hour. >> i am from the philadelphia daily news. let me tell you a little bit about the format.
there are no opening statements. each candidate will get 90 seconds to answer each question. it will also get 90 seconds to have orbital comments. . -- they will also get 90 seconds to have a rebuttal. the candidates are here. senator arlen specter of philadelphia and united states congressman joe sestak. the first question goes to senator specter. senator, what do you see as your main challenge in convincing pennsylvania's democratic primary voters that you are the best candidate to face the republican nominee of this fall? >> the fact that i have voted with democrats during my tenure in the senate on the really big issues, more than with the
republicans, and that i have supported democratic values. that is why president obama has supported me. gov. rendell. that is what the democratic state committee endorsed me with a 77% rating. i have supported a woman's right to choose, oppose warrantless wiretaps, and have stood with the democrats on the big issues. there is one item which needs to be cleared up. i want an apology from congressman's desk back for his television advertisements which calls me a liar -- from congressman sestak for his television advertisements which call me a liar. i have served the country. nobody has ever called me a liar. saying that the congressman was relieved in duty because of poor
command climate, then they owe him a top-then the zero him an apology. what i have said is based upon facts -- i have challenged him on his voting record. it is a fact. when i challenge him on his not paying the minimum wage, that is a fact. when he calls me a liar, that is out of bounds and i want an apology. >> senator, that is your time. before we go to the congressman for his first question, would you like to respond to that. i will give you 30 seconds. >> i want to thank arlen specter for being here and his lovely wife, joan. most people want to focus on the issue of regaining trust in the politicians in washington, d.c. they know that politicians will do anything in order to keep their jobs. they will switch parties. because the cannot be the
republican opponent. after a poll is taken, they become a democrat. more than anything, what i find, is that people want to believe again. they actually want to believe that they are in the position out of core beliefs and that you are willing to be there after an election, not just before. including back, -- included in that is being down there and fighting for tright policies. senator specter has advanced a republican agenda. he voted for terrible tax cuts and economic policy that ripped our economy apart. we need someone down there to change the focus of washington. we need to be focusing on working families who lost their jobs because of the misguided policies that the republicans pursued with his support, that
favored wall street and not the working family. >> congressman, that is your time. senator, you have 90 seconds. >> it does not deal with the issue of calling me a liar. i am not going to let that drop. when he challenges me on my record, i became a democrat, returning to my roots, which i had been. my parents had been democrats. i was a john kennedy democrat. they told me i could not do it -- they did not want an honest and toft d.a. in philadelphia. i tried to moderate the party. when the congressman talks about the tax cuts, we carved out $215 billion from those tax cuts for education. it was noted on the front page of a philadelphia newspaper the next day. when we talk about the party shift, i supported the stimulus
package. this country was about to slide into an 1929 depression. i was willing to take the key role and provide the vote to help pass the stimulus package. i provided the 60th vote to cut off debate for health care reform. those are principles of the democratic party. that is why president obama came to philadelphia to support me. that is why the black clergy has supported me. that is why the newspapers have noted my stand on principle. i was for the people in taking those actions. >> senator, that is your time. congressman, 90 seconds. >> i served 30 years in the united states military and i loved every moment of it. i served this nation. when i came back from the afghanistan war, i was designated as a three-star admiral to change the navy.
they said i was courageous in changing the navy purity but the in the cross hairs -- in the navy. he put me in the cross hairs. they did not say anything about me. they say more about him. in washington, d.c., to many career politicians -- too many career politicians have scare tactics because i cannot run on issues. -- they cannot run on the issues. he actually permitted millions to be kicked out of the veterans administration -- anyone who made more than $13,000. there was an increase of funding for events -- for veterans who came home from iraq. i got some of them back in.
we increased the funding for posttraumatic stress disorder by $10 billion. i went to washington for the right policies, for working families. >> that is your time. let's see if we can resolve -- there have been some controversies in this campaign. let's try to clear them up early in this debate. the question goes first to the congressman. congressman, much has been made about the circumstances under which you left the navy. let's try to clear that up. senator, there has been talk about former senator santorum supporting your last reelection in exchange for you supporting president bush's court nomination. congressman, were you reassign, demoted, or dismissed, for creating a poor command climate? bamut absolutely not. my record is public. -- >> absolutely not. my record is public.
i have been a patriot patriot -- patriot's patriot. i tried to change the navy. one senator who has nothing to run on, except tactics that are absolutely irrelevant to working families of pennsylvania -- i am very proud of my record. more than that, i have actually run on the record where we have moved money into office. it was the first movement in 12 years for children who were autistic. i actually ran for the elder abuse. we have actually had a bill that will connect our seniors -- protect our seniors who have been preyed on. arlen specter has reverted to his old, republican tactics. say anything to divert attention from what really matters. pennsylvanian are hurting.
negative attacks have not created one job. i am willing to go down to washington and do exactly what i did in the navy, which i loved every moment of -- stand up against those who actually believe that policy -- negative politics is what you have to do in order to win an election. how awful. how much we need to change. >> congressman, that is your time. senator, i know you want to respond. before you do, what about the wreck santorum thing -- the santorum thing? was there a deal? >> there was no deal. there were no vacancies on the supreme court. i have never used a let's test. -- a litmus test. i have voted for nominees who were against roe versus wade. i have there is -- there is
nothing at all to that charge. my record is unblemished. when the congressman says the record is public, he knows better than that. he has been asked to authorize the release of his records. and admiral quoted by the pittsburgh post-gazette says that people disagree with his policies was not true. in the navy, he was tyrannical. those are the words of the admiral. ms. the commanded by fear and intimidation -- they say that he commanded by fear and intimidation. he was relieved of duty because of the command climate. those are the facts. those are not my words. he can clear it all up. he has been asked to to authorize the release of his records. why do you not do it, congressman? been a congressman, you have 90 seconds. -- >> congressman, you have 90 seconds.
>> on the record, santorum said you agreed to give your next two boats to whomever the nominees were. rove-type attacks -- something the republicans did to john kerry, to max clelan. we have to change unless. -- change this. whatever you can try to dredge up falsely against someone else, i like to stand up. i am going to change things in washington, d.c. i will try to change the career politicians. i will try to -- they will actually try to keep their jobs, not just by switching parties because of bleak prospects to beat up republican, but to literally put on the supreme
court the most conservative supreme court justice -- clarence thomas -- almost in the inequity taking on anita hill. we have to have a change in washington. career politicians cannot keep it like this. we have to have somebody who believes you can stand up, even when the going is tough. >> that is your time. center? >> he says that senator santorum was on the record. he was in front of the crowd, looking for a presidential nomination, trying to explain why he had my support. he has given three different stories on the matter. there was absolutely no deal. when the congressman talks about the supreme court justices, it was arlen specter who stood up against the man nominated by a
republican president who would have changed the nature of roe versus wade. he would have had it reversed. he did not believe in equal protection for women. when the nominations have come up, i have abetted 12 of them. that is something i have to offer the people of pennsylvania and america and the future -- the kind of questioning that i do and the activity i take, the congressman would not be in a position to do that. when congressman -- when the congressman brings up my war in iraq, it was the congressman who ran for office in 2006, saying that he thought we ought to withdraw from iraq by the end of 2007. when the vote came up, he joined in voting for $100 million without any withdrawal date i all. -- at all. bear in mind -- he wants to clear up the business of the navy record. how about it? will he release or authorize the
records? >> that is your time. >> the next question is for arlen, since i got the first. >> that is correct. you have both been in public service for decades. describe a mistake that he made and what you learned from it that has better prepared you to continue in public service. senator, you get the first 90 seconds. >> i believe that in evaluating supreme court nominees, it has been a mistake to listen to what they say in their testimony, even though it is under oath. i will be specific. chief justice roberts promised that he would not jolt the system, that he would hand down decisions that are modest. he has not done that. he led the way in reversing 100 years of precedent to allow corporations to engage in
political advertising, which threatens our entire system. he said that he would be deferential to fact-finding on the basis that congress years witnesses and can decide the facts. -- hears witnesses and can decide the facts. he said that when the voting rights came up, -- when the voting rights came up, he did a 180 degree turn. when asked about the ideological warfare, the supreme court has become an ideological battleground. i should have paid more attention to those early indicators. that ideological battleground is going to be in trouble when there is a new nominee. i believe the american public would be well off to have me in
their court. >> senator, that is your time. congressman? >> i remember getting to my first ship during the vietnam war. the chief petty officers were there. i remember thinking i knew the answers. for that first six months, i do not think i listened enough to those chief petty officers. those old guys who put their arm around a young officers and say, come here, son, let me teach you. after those six months, i sat down and they gave me a good father-son talking to. if i had to do it all over again, i would be an enlisted man first. i think you kind of understand, even better, what it is like on the deck. i will carry that, as i already had in congress come into the senate. i will never forget the working family. those people are the engine of our economy. when arlen specter actually voted to deregulate all street
so that goldman sachs soaig good gamble -- goldman sachs and aig could gamble with people's savings -- i am respectful of financial reform. we should not have had a senator the voted for a corporation that invested in a foreign factory to get a tax credit. we should give tax credits to small businesses. that is where the majority of pennsylvania is work. my proposal is for 15% tax cuts for every job -- >> congressman, that is your time. senator? >> i was waiting to hear his mistakes. he went off -- that was your question. he went off on another tangent of attack. when he talks about the law, with respect to commercial and investment banks, president clinton signed the law and said
that was not responsible for the loss. what am i doing? congressman sestak was one of eight democratic senators out of about 300 -- congressmaen to voe against giving the secretary of the treasury authority to get back excessive bonus payments made. on the issue of wall street, i have taken steps -- having a hearing next tuesday to move toward criminal penalties for the fraud which goldman sachs is alleged to have committed. i do not believe that the s.e.c. action is sufficient. when you have a fine, it is just factored into the cost of doing business. from my experience as district attorney of philadelphia, corrupt politicians, the way to deal with fraud is with jail sentences.
that would be adequate punishment for the conduct and would serve as a deterrent for others. >> congressman, your rebuttal. >> for the eight years of the bush administration and for some years before that, there is been a belief that in the republican agenda, arlen specter helped advance -- that you could have trickle-down economics, where if you deregulate all street, letting them -- the regulate wall street -- if you deregulate all strewall street when the majority of the tax-cut went to the top 1% of americans -- 34% of the wealth is already there -- there was a belief that wealth would trickle-down.
when he passes a flat tax cut, he is the only one who has the bill and is pursuing it in the senate. it means that multimillionaire', in the belief that willful trickle-down -- it means that multimillionaires will get a tax cut, but the rest of us will get an increase to pay for his plan. that is why my proposal is for washington to change its focus to were working families are, to small businesses, not only to get tax cut of 15%, but the small business administration is actually reinvigorated. >> congressman, that is your time. we're going to move into a question on domestic policy. the first question goes to the congressman. 186 pennsylvania mayors are urging congress to close the so- called "gun show loophole" that
allows purchases of fun guns without proper background checks. >> i believe that because you can go out without anyone getting a gun -- i support the assault weapons ban, which arlen specter voted against. i believe our city has to be safe. why should our police have to go up against the same type of armament that our soldiers 0? when president clinton -- our soldiers do? when president clinton passed up ban on assault weapons, -- passed the ban on assault weapons -- every citizen has a right to own a gun. i believe -- the atf does not
throwaway records after 24 hours. there is a better way to keep our streets safe for law abiding citizens. those who want to hunt or do recreation can actually get a gun. it is why i came out -- i know arlen specter has 100% support from the nra, and i know i am at the other end of the spectrum. we have to have someone in washington d.c. -- washington, d.c., who is standing up for families. this is one of several measures that has to be done. thank you for the question. >> senator, where are you on closing that loophole and why? >> i favorite, based upon the backs of the increasing crime rate. -- i favor it based upon the fact of the increasing crime rate. when the talk about 100% voting record, he is wrong. and have had a lot of experience in criminal law enforcement -- i have a lot of experience in
criminal law enforcement. i believe one way to deal effectively with the problem of violence with guns is with tough sentences for tough criminals. that is why i introduced and succeeded in passing the armed career criminal bill. when i was district attorney of philadelphia, there were too many provision eric life sentences handed out by the philadelphia judges. when i got to washington, i wanted to bring the federal government into the picture. if you have an individual who had been convicted of three or more violent crimes -- robbery, burglary, arson, drugs else -- that it would be taken into the federal court, where the behalf of a mandatory sentence of 50 years still life. -- to life. the president looks to senator casey and me to make the recommendations. the way to deal effectively with crime is to deal with that
career criminals. licenses is the best approach to that issue. -- life sentences are the best approach to that issue. >> congressman? >> i met with the ncaa p today -- ncaap todya. -- today. politicians did not have the courage to do what is right. take women. 1.5 women of every 5 -- in their first year on a campus, they will have rape attempted against them or will be raped. my opponent voted against the resolution to condemn the violence that happened in columbine. i have an amendment to know talbott behind, so that there has to be a mandatory -- to no child left behind, so that there
has to be a mandatory reporting. the report -- the recently dismissed the head of the school violence committee. -- they've recently dismissed the head of the school violence committee. there was an increase of 35% in the abuse against our seniors. someone in my district defrauded them of $40,000. another senior was beaten six times with a belt buckle. we need to do things for children as they are growing up, so they do not fall into violent patterns. there is so much that can be done. that is why i went to the education committee to work hard on these issues begot senator, your rebuttal. >> the congressmen -- work hard on these issues. >> senator, your rebuttal. but the congressman talks about these -- >> >> but congressman
talks about these issues. i introduced legislation to require that colleges and universities make a frank disclosure as to what the crime rate is and what they were doing about it on campus. it has been up to the department of addition to enforce. it has been not effectively enforced. i have oppressed them through my appeared -- through my position on the appropriations committee -- i have pressed them to enforce that law. now let -- when somebody visits a college campus, the college campus has an obligation to tell the individual applying and their parents, exactly what would happen. i am still waiting for an answer to the question you posed and the question i posed. the congressman talks about it being on the record, about his reasons for being relieved of command.
but we still have not had his willingness, his acquiescence to take the steps which would clear up once and for all. will you offer us the records? >> we're going to move on. we have a foreign policy question for senator specter. i am trying to stick to this format that you agreed to. senator, you opposed the troop expansion into afghanistan when it was announced in december. do you stand by that opposition? >> yes, i am opposed to increasing the troops in afghanistan by 30,000. if al qaeda can organize as well in other areas, why fight in afghanistan, where no one has ever been successful? we have to do whatever it takes to face al-qaeda, because they are out to annihilate us. to have the loss of limbs and lives -- is so expensive. it is not the sensible thing to
do. i issued a floor statement after conferring with the officials in the department of defense and state that made a trip to afghanistan. i talked to president karzai. karzai is not a reliable ally. there are allegations of corruption, dealing in narcotics pretty does not have the competence of the people of afghanistan -- dealing in narcotics. he does not have the confidence of the people of tennesse andof. we ought to be working on rapprochement between india and pakistan. we could use pakistani troops to fight the taliban. at a congressional delegation, i saw the prime minister of india -- prime minister's singh. -- prime minister singh. i urge him to relieve them of
those troops. they're conducting a more aggressive approach. that is better than building our troops up in afghanistan. >> that is your time. was that the right decision, congressman? >> i supported president obama in what was a very difficult decision for him. it was a tough one. i supported it because -- not because of afghanistan, but because of the safe haven in the pakistan that several hundred al-qaeda leaders have. as secretary gates said, the troop increase is meant to fuel the border. as a partner with them to exterminate the al qaeda safe haven -- this cannot be an open-ended commitment. i voted for the strategy and wrote the president that the benchmark by which we measure our success and failure. every warrior knows that. if the successes -- if we're successful, we exit. if our failures are too much, we
exit to an alternative strategy as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said, after we went into iraq, such a tragic war. arlen specter supported it. there was no date certain to ever get out. afghanistan's spiraled downward. i took over the command of the aircraft carrier. in those jobs, attract other terrorists in yemen, somalia, and elsewhere -- in those jobs, i did track other terrorists in yemen, somalia, and elsewhere. >> senator, your rebuttal. >> the congressman, as i pointed out earlier, said when he ran for congress in 2006 that there ought to be a withdrawal in iraq by the end of 2007. he then voted for $100 million
without any time and for withdrawal. he has not responded to that. -- timeline for withdrawal. when he talks about a safe haven in pakistan, he is making my point. my point is that the battle of to be waged in pakistan -- ought to be waged in pakistan and we ought to get their army to do that. i have been on this area for a long time. back in 1995, my associate in india said to me, you are going to see bhutto the next day. i would like to see the content of the sub nuclear treaty. i talked to bhutto the next day and recommended to president clinton to bring the people in and bring -- and work out a rapprochement. we have had enormous concentrations on the border between pakistan and india. i urge the prime minister of
india to try to ease that tension. i think that has been done, to some extent. to use the pakistani forces. when it talks about a safe haven in pakistan, let's remove that safe haven and get them to do it. >> your 90-second rebel. -- rebuttal. >> that is exactly my point. we cannot put our forces there. there is a partnership to seal the border. they cannot flee from pakistan as they go back to al qaeda, through the taliban. yes, i did put a bill in that senaid it should end our commitment in iraq within one year. because of our military experience, i knew it would take that long to redeploy from their. -- there.
when a bill came up that said we would be out in four months, there is no way i would ever in danger our troops with my military knowledge. that is what i want to bring to the senate. i voted for that tragic war in iraq -- i learned serving with president clinton that there are limits to military power. how could we have ever gone into that war? it was no danger to the united states. because we diverted our forces, we now have a safe haven for al- qaeda. we would have been out of the conflict if someone else had not been supporting dick cheney and george bush in such a tragic misadventure, probably the most defining vote in our national security during those eight years of that administration. >> that is your time. living on, i want to ask you about something you have recently been -- moving on, i
want to ask you about something you have recently been quoted on. you said your own pockets -- the most undemocratic place there is. there are times i cannot find out what is going on. is the party of no consequence to you? and at john f. kennedy said it best. sometimes party asks too much. >> john f. kennedy said it best. sometimes party asks too much. i am not getting the support of the establishment that asks me to sit down. i honestly believe, like i did in the navy, like i am doing now, that ultimately it is about democratic principles. i understand why they had to -- when he could not win that primary -- say we now have the 60th vote. what did acting as? he is the junior senator from pennsylvania? -- what did that gain us? they denied him his seniority.
there are no entitlements in washington, d.c. we're not a nation of kings. accountability and transparency is what the people of pennsylvania said they most wanted. they want to believe again. they want to trust again. the people in washington, d.c. -- career politicians who have been there for generations -- there used to making deals to keep their jobs. they listen -- they are used to making deals to keep their jobs. we agreed no jobs during the bush administration. there has to be someone down there that wants to change washington that focuses them on the working family, and is willing to lose their jobs, not change party appeared out congressman, that is your time. senator -- not change party. congressman -- >> congressman, that is your time.
senator, is party of no consequence? >> party is a consequence. the statement was based upon my respective ability to get more republicans to support health care legislation. i was able to persuade a couple of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to support the stimulus package. when i found irreconcilable differences after that, i returned to the party of my roots. when congressman sestak condemns the democrats for inviting me to be their candidate, he is condemning president obama. this is not a decision made by some faceless and nameless caucus. this is the president of united states. he is condemning what governor rendell did in supporting my candidacy. i talked to the democratic organizations. i talked about my background, my
values. i have 77% of the democrats. when we talk about the state committee endorsement, people urged the congressman not to run for the senate, but to keep his seat in the house of representatives. that is not risk. -- now at risk. it puts at risk the seat in the pennsylvania house, too. this man has done a great disservice to the democratic party which got him elected in 2006. >> that is your time. congressman, you're 90-second orbital -- your 90-second rebuttal. >> thank goodness obama ran. i want to be a strong ally, not a yes man. he does not mean that. i want to be someone down there in the senate to actually stand
up when the going is tough -- imagine, if our senator had opposed george bush's policy, we would not have needed an economic stimulus bill. just before he voted for that, he pulled out $100 billion for that -- 900,000 americans do not have a job today because of that. when the going gets tough, we really want someone to stand up. 2000 votes for george bush -- defining votes. voting against the pell grant for times -- four times. voting against schip. now that he is a democrat, i thank you for your votes. working families need someone who is willing to lose their job over what is right.
they need to put out their plan, . there is no -- >> congressman, that is your time. senator? >> how he can complain about my book on the stimulus -- without my vote or leadership, we would not have had the billions of dollars that we received in pennsylvania, that has paid for unemployment compensation, medicaid, highway construction. the balance of this time -- let me tell you about a conversation i had with senator barack obama. he approached me on the senate floor before the 2008 election and said, i would like your political advice. i said, you name it. i could call him iraq in those days. his office was right down the corridor. -- i could call him barack during those days. there is a small town east of wichita.
you were going and raised there. the information i want is, if a jewish kid from kansas can carry pennsylvania, how can a black kid from kansas carry pennsylvania? i give him some advice and he is now president of united states. i do not mean to suggest there is a connection between the advice i gave him and him becoming president, but that is a true story. you did not get many true stories out of washington. -- do not get many true stories out of washington. it was that relationship that led him to call me. i did not talk to him in advance of becoming a democrat. he called me and said, i am glad you did it. but senator, that is your time. i'm going to try -- >> senator, that is your time. i am going to try to help all the voters. on issues that are particularly important to primary voters,
such as jobs, health care, education, environment, etcetera -- is there any real difference between the two of you? >> yes, there is. there is a great deal of difference. there is what i have done and what i am doing. if you take health care, for example, when i served as chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on health care, i took the lead with the concurrence of tom harkin, and we increased funding. when the stimulus came along, we added $10 billion more. the medical research has made enormous drive toward a cure for cancer, heart disease, autism, parkinson's -- the whole range. when it comes to the issue of a woman's right to choose, i have been in the forefront of that movement, supporting planned parenthood for their efforts to
deal with the issues, informing people, saying that it is the business of the woman, the family, the ministers, the priests, rabbis. i have been an active force on labor issues. the congressman " the percentage that he has hired an eye on labor. but afl-cio endorsed me when i was on the other side of the aisle because of the action i took in strengthening the national labor relations board and getting more money for worker safety, mine safety. i have been able to accomplish that. >> that is your time. congressman, the same question. is there any real difference between you? >> the major difference is that i am a democrat out of core beliefs and conviction. i ran against the 20-year incumbent republican, who had the same voting record as arlen
specter. four out of 5 votes for george'bushs policy. -- george bush's policies. we keep our office is open seven days a week. those policies ripped open our economy. we have handled four times the constituency caseload of the average office. there are over 800 mortgages into foreclosure that came into our office. i did serve in the united states navy for 30 years -- a very honorable service. he served in washington for 30 years, and advancing the republican agenda. he voted for the largest education cuts in the history of america 1/3 over 7 years. he stopped the clinton health care plan dead in its tracks.
i appreciate what you've done for nih. but on the key, defining issues, we need someone who is in it because -- someone who will be there not just before an election, but after. >> that is your time, congressman. senator? >> it is interesting that he says he is a democrat out of core democratic beliefs. if you look at the record, he was registered independent, until the spring of 2006 when he decided to run for congress. the record shows that he did not vote half the time in the national elections. he is hardly in a position to say that he follows core democratic beliefs. he makes the charge that -- one of many he has made without any factual basis at all -- when i chaired the appropriations
subcommittee on education, these are the facts. i became chairman in 1996. the budget was $23 billion. it was increased now in 2010 sto $41 billion. if you look at programs -- they were $2,400. are now 4800 people -- they are now $4,800. we can look at the -- i provided millions of dollars per year to date promising seventh and eighth grade students and move them into college. my record as the chairman of the subcommittee on education did a tremendous amount to increase education funding. when you talk about labor issues, which is a core matter -- >> senator, that is your time. congressman, your rebuttal.
>> i was registered independent for 31 years because i believed that the military should be non-political. i also missed some goats when i was in the persian gulf -- votes when i was in the persian gulf. we would often get our absentee ballot to give you all months after the elections -- ballot two months after the elections. we have had have of the job growth of the national average. we're the second-oldest state today because our young people have not stayed. in the last 30 years, we have lost 100,000 jobs and 14% of the population. that is why i want to focus on small businesses that create 80%
of all jobs. it is why i went to the small business committee. in my district, we have increased federal contracts to small businesses threefold. we put together a small consortium of businesses that are submitting $1 million each week for business contracts. i want to bring the same approach. it is not about the large corporations on wall street. far too long, washington, d.c., has favored them. we have to change career politicians. >> that is your time. we're quickly winding down to closing statements. we have time for another question, but not a rebuttal. you each have two minutes to answer this question. i want to give the voters a sense of who you are. help me with that. without invoking the name of a family member or relative, tell me who, in public life, past or present, do you admire, try to emulate, and why?
>> congrthank you very much. i have very much admired john f. kennedy. if i had to pick someone today, it would have been someone who stood up for his deep beliefs. he was down the congress, willing to work hard on the issues he believed in. i watched him when i was in the pentagon. although he focused primarily on national-security issues, i was quite taken by how he always did the right thing, regardless of how it might impact him. i strongly believe that what has really harmed the senate -- which actually needs reform, not the united states of america -- is were principle is subordinated for politics -- where principle is subordinated for politics.
it is sad when it is whatever needs to get you elected that is most important. we have lacked leadership down there. from integration to climate change -- to where we see challenges and actually address them, regardless of what might hurt us. i saw that in some water -- in some wonderful leaders in the united states navy. i saw it from my father, who we just addressed in the arlington. -- laid to rest in arlington. i believe we have to regain that approach in washington. for too long, and i have only been there three years, i am running against the democratic establishment. i do admire and respect, but totally disagree with it. we are not relevant -- we're not rendell-ites or biden-ites. we stand up for principle and believe we should do what is
right for working families. >> senator specter, two minutes. >> franklin delano roosevelt. he was the hero of our household while i was growing up. both of my parents were immigrants. times were very tough for our family in wichita, kansas. he pulled us out of the depression. that was on my mind when i voted for the stimulus package -- to avoid another 1929 depression. as president roosevelt took on the tough times, very much as i took on the tea party gang. i cover everyone in pennsylvania almost every year. when i started out last august, i was met with 1000 people, led by the tea party gang. one person approached me and said, got is going to stand before you.
-- god is going to stand before you. i think it requires someone who is a stand-up guy to beat the former congressman. i beat him six years ago. i can beat him again. a very overarching issue in how you select the democratic nominee is who can beat that candidate? he has a lot of money. the tea party gang is energized. where was the congressman in august when i was out in town meetings facing the tea party gang? she had one town meeting at a friendly church -- he had one town meeting at death and the church. i was out there battling. that is what it used to take this -- he had one town meeting at a friendly church. i was out there battling. that is what it takes to win this seat.
we need a seat in democratic hands. that is arlen specter. >> that is your time. we have time now for closing statements, beginning with senator specter. >> i ask for your vote on primary election day, based upon what i have done, what i have been doing, what i can do in the future. i have talked about my key role on getting the stimulus past and the comprehensive health care reform. my experience has enabled me to bring jobs to pennsylvania. we have brought more money for medical research. i know this stay at the back of my hand. it is a great privilege to be a united states senator. i have been endorsed by not only the democratic party, but i president obama, 0-- but by president obama, by vice president biden, by governor
rendell, by the philadelphia inquirer, and the pittsburgh post-gazette. there is one other endorsement i am asking for -- the endorsement that is the most important to me -- your vote. support me on primary election day. and do not forget the challenge to release your navy records, congressman. not that is your time. >> i want t -- that is your tim. >> i want to thank arlen specter for his service. you can see in every poll that if we democrats have this man as the top of the ticket, his reelect ability is less than 33%. people do not want rear politicians who will say anything, no matter how meaningless -- people do not
want career politicians who will say anything, no matter how meaningless. i was told to be accountable. we need someone in washington, d.c. i went down there to help change washington, not just in policy, but in politics. people who are careerists will do or say anything, actually hurting the integrity of the system, to where people no longer trust them. i would be honored to be or public servant, and i would value your endorsement. >> that is your time and that is our debate for this evening. i would like to thank both candidates. senator specter, congressman, thank you for being here thank you to the viewers for watching. there is an election on may 18. it is the democratic primary. if you are a democrat and get out there andvote.
. tension and get ready to vote again in the fall-- pay attention and get ready to vote again in the fall. thank you -- >> thank you for watching this debate. we would like to thank our host for the debate. if you have questions or would like further information, please contact their campaign offices. for arlen specter, please call citizens or arlen specter -- for arlen specter or log onto his website. for joseph that, please call setback for senate -- joe se stak, please call sestak for senate or log onto sestak.com. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]