tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 21, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT
we want to hear from you now on rand paul. linda, democrat. hi. caller: my opinion on mr. paul is a bad -- that for about 18 months we had to watch the tea party come out. as a military mom, when this first part of happening in august i would talk to my daughter in afghanistan and then i would watch the news with tea party years with a racist signs and disrespect. for me as a military mom -- i'm
a person of color. we have had slavery for 400 years and now to have the t -- tea partieers saying they are not racist, i could smell the stench. mr. paul is deeply imbedded in the so-called movement. host: detroit, independent line. caller: yes. rand paul, it is ironic that his first name is rand like ayn rand, the noted libertarian. the political small in our society is -- smog is racism and the tea party is just an offshoot of the republican party that over the years has been a racist party. number one, when of ronald reagan ran for president he
opened up down south when there was a major racial incident in the 1960's. when they speak of small government they are speaking of cutting out the advantages government has given to the majority of the society but when it becomes available to the minorities and then the government is too big. and they had nothing to say when the republicans was in office and led to the major problems we are facing now on wall street, namely the bill that they wrote during the end of bill clinton's administration when they allowed all of this securities types of activities going on. host: terry, we will and your comments there. we appreciate it. back to the political article.
next call is lake geneva, washington, tom on our republican line. what you think iran paul's,? caller: why are you going after ran the ball this morning and not mr. blumen bought of connecticut -- whitey going after rand hall this morning and not mr. blumenthal? why is it what you are on you always attack republicans? are you that much in the back of the obama administration? what is your story? tell our audience, your audience, why you are so anti republican? whenever you host the show you bring the top backs up against republicans and you never bring them up against democrats.
why is that? host: manhattan, gregg, a democrat. what do you think about the grand -- rand paul remarks. caller: it goes back to his father who i sort of had an interest in. i'm a person of color, also a native american. but going back to his father who aligns himself with the idea of older goldwater. rand paul stands up and tells the country he has no current -- problem with a private business telling you whether you are jewish, italian, male female, that i am not serving you. it has nothing to do with black people in general. when we talk about civil rights, it is not just a black folks but
of every american in this country. so, as c-span and other media stands up and endorses and publicizes the tea party for the past three months, which is ok, because they are part of the country, too, we have to have a fair and balanced attitude toward -- to the fellow who says that c-span picks and chooses to get going to be up based on the host, it is not true. we all can complain about them. the idea is, how we discuss the topics and comes up with the conclusion that is best for the country? host: this is from "roll call." rnd paul and civil rights, milwaukee, myron, independent line.
caller: i would like to say that his true colors are coming out and apple does not fall too far. i agree with the last caller, rolling back what has been a historic monumental movement through civil rights and as a private businesses can discriminate, what is left other than taking economics and sit -- sanctions against the businesses and then it creates a fireball that this country should not go through. i believe that rand paul basically put his foot in his mouth and it will be something that sticks with him. host: do you think people should be allowed to privately and freely associate with whom they want? caller: this country was built on free speech. we may not agree with that but it was built on free speech. so, i have a choice that if someone is going to discriminate against me than my decision is to take economic sanctions and not spend my money or patronage that business. host: what did you do in
milwaukee? caller: i am a personal trainer, also of african-american descent but i also work with a broad variety of culture is. host: thank you for calling in did charlie on the republican line from fort wayne, indiana. caller: this is all just a little bit more smoke street -- smoke screen to try to dirty up a republican. you have obama, since he has hit rough water, will pull out the race card. it is inevitable. he sat there and said he will bring the country together and the only thing he has done is to or it apart and poured gas on the fire. host: since you are from fort wayne, can you ask -- i ask about your congressman? caller: disgraceful. he knew it before the primaries and should have bowed out and let the people in the primaries fight for that seat. it is a disgrace. host: did you vote for him in the primary? caller: know, mike pence is my
congressman, sir. host: all right, thanks. texas, lela, democrat, what do you think about rand paul? caller: first of all, good morning, thank you for c-span and i watch you all the time did definitely i think the republicans would do very well to dump rand paul. i think his beliefs are way, way back in the 1960's and i'm an older citizens so i have seen this in the 1960's. by the same token, i think the democrats should dump blumenthal from connecticut because he lied and the american people are tired of that. i am a democrat but i am first and american. the other thing i want to say about the tea party, the theme song, the sheets coming out at night. i think the republican should
dump rand paul and democrats should randblumenthal. host: you say you are older. do you remember segregation? caller: i absolutely do. i was born in the 1940's, i am 64 years old and i went through all of that and what is happening in the country right now feels very much like what happened in the 1960's and 1970's. host: in "the washington post" this morning.
back to your calls. jonesboro, georgia. joe, independent line appeared rand paul. caller: a quick comment on the previous caller. they got it totally, totally wrong. number one, during the civil rights time, the federal government was the one that supported the discrimination and segregation. now, and our free market -- or our suppose it free market society, if i own a private business, i should let whoever i want to do business with and exclude the wherever i don't want to do business with. and anybody who pulls out this race card and racism should automatically be discredited. it is so easy to say, it is all about racism or it is racist. it is not racism.
it is not racist. and if they pull the race card, they should be discredited because they did not have a true argument as far as the free market. host: you think that if you on a business you can decide who and who does not come in? caller: that is correct. because it is my business. it is the money that i could make or i could lose. it is a gamble. host: so you agree with rand paul that it is an economic argument? caller: without a doubt. i'm a car salesman. host: do you think you should be able to restrict who comes into the auto dealership? caller: based upon that attitude -- if someone comes in with a bad attitude and i did not want to do business with them, then it is up to may -- i did not own the dealership -- but if i owned a dealership and the owner of my dealership has done it. we don't have to do business with any and everybody.
host: would you restrict on race or sex? caller: god, no. and his argument is not about restricting on race. it is about private ownership and free market. host: have you seen business picking up? caller:no. when the credit was easy and interest rates were artificially low and they were lending money to any and everybody, yes, i benefited from it. but it hurt the economy through inflation. car business is down as long as there are roads, people are going to need cars. the prices need to come down, of course. the interest rates need to go up. people think i'm crazy when i say interest rates need to go up but it encourages us to save our money instead of following this artificially low interest rate and living beyond our means, and that is the problem with america. and we have been living beyond our means -- it has been almost
a half a century. host: joe, we will have to leave it there. appreciate you spending a little time with us this morning. john in erie, pennsylvania, a republican. what do you think about rand paul and his civil rights arguments? caller: the last caller said it right. i watched the interview. i actually watched for rachel maddow, her interview with rand paul. i heard the question and you spun it exactly the same way she did. you tried to make about race, and it is not. the way the question was put, she wanted to make it a racial issue and he was stating that the government should not come in and tell you how to run your business. i work for an aerospace manufacturer of in. -- up in erie. there was a union in it. he said he dislikes the government more than the union because during world war ii they came in and took his business away because he would not adjust
its prices the way they wanted him to appear he said, i will do business with any union any day of the week, but he said i have no trust in my government whatsoever. god rest his soul, he is now gone now. but the media has spawned this to keep this going so they can have something to talk about. the liberal media and the progressive media has spawned this to keep raise the issue. and i have a question for since when are white people the only race in this country? i would like to have an answer to that. host:ro fromll call." congressional black caucus chairwoman calls his remarks deeply troubling. this is the front page of "the
kentucky, roberta on our democrats live. what did you think about rand paul's comments? are you with us? hello? and i hitting the right lines. sorry about that. hang on, roberta. i guess the eyes are not as strong as they used to be. caller: we worked very hard in 2004 to defeat bunning and now they have a perfect candidate for the republicans. we just might see a democratic senator in kentucky. host: who would that be, in your view? caller: hopefully it will be the fellow who won -- jack conway. host: did you support him? caller: i support conway, yes. host: how is this playing in the kentucky, the local news and the paper? caller: not too much into the local paper that i have read so
far. i don't get local television because i am on the satellite. i don't know. i know a bunch of us democrats are going to be very, very happy. host: the next call comes from maryland, independent line. caller: i think rand paul is a threat, not because he wants to liberate -- he wants to liberate all 300 million people in america from the government. he is a threat to this establishment. so, just like the u.s. is still in iraq because black water is able to plant bombs and blame it on shia and sunni, these are kind of like the market bonds the media is throwing at us with this racism. he is not racist. if you want to liberate yourself
from the zionists that control america and control and own but that reserve, you have to stay above this and know that the media -- host: where are you from originally? caller: it does not matter, i am human. i would like my gentiles human race to be liberated from the central bankers. host: washington post -- pakistan shut down youtube and other sites.
that is a "the washington post." the next article is in the politico on guantanamo. president barack obama's hopes of closing guantanamo bay prison is slipping further away. market heights, illinois. david on the republican line. what do you think about rand paul's comments? caller: i think they're good and they were switched around. i'm a tea party coordinator from illinois. i think the tea party, we are winning these elections, these primaries, all over the countries. the racist rhetoric is starting
to become more and more louder. i am not going to make any judgment on anybody, but all of the comments that, in are from the democrats and i guess you say the african american people, they keep coming -- calling in with a racist comments. we have a $100,000 promotion going on for anybody to provide any photos or audio of any racist things from tea party members and it is on our website -- $100,000. host: what do you do as a tea party coordinator and how did you get that position? caller: i have just been working for years trying to -- there is no difference between r and d in this country. we are trying to take back for the people our liberty and our freedom back, and it is really hard fight in illinois because we are run by chicago. but we are just tired of hearing all of these racist comments.
we are not the racist. i do not know who is, but we are not. but thank you for c-span. host: if you are interested in the tea party movement, on book tv this weekend, michael graham, the radio talk-show host in boston, he has a new book called "that is not the tea party, that is my mom." he is on our after words program on dtv -- book tv. he is interviewed by abc news congressional correspondent. in "the washington times" house panel okays probe of gtmo attorneys.
the next call comes from. right here from washington, d.c. caller: two points. i am an african-american, a democrat. the point i want to make is we talk about the free market system. the reality is the government licenses all businesses to operate. they cannot operate outside of government regulations, and what have you. so, i think to say that a person can own a business and operated any way they want to is just not acceptable the government has a right to say who can go and who cannot go into the business. that is number one. the second thing, a white man called in earlier to say that whites are not the only racists, and that is because whites did not have a universal definition of racism. racism is an accommodation mechanism used by one race to secure, maintain, and expand its
power while subordinating. the only group in this country that has the power to subordinate people are whites. so, if we look at it that way, blacks cannot be racists. just because i think something does not make me that. it is when i am able to act on what i think that makes me that. so, i am saying that racism is clear in this country but it is something only white people and practice. host: from "the politico" rumblings from the national archives that run the clinton presidential library that it may not be possible to produce more than 160,000 pages of documents related to supreme court nominee elena kagan by the scheduled start -- start of the confirmation hearings. now, this is an "the washington post" this morning. two op ed's, pros and cons. a captain of the marine corps
on the other side is the president of citizens united. this is what he writes -- y. elena kagan shouldn't be confirmed. so, that is an "the washington post" this morning. back to your calls. ohio, ron on our independent line. what you think about rand paul and his civil rights,? caller: good morning, thank you for c-span. i support rand paul. i think he's got the right attitude of what this country
needs. we are headed down the wrong road. we're turning this country into a nation of bombs and beggars, and it should be my right to choose to i provide my services to. i don't think the government should dictate to me in any way how i should run my business. host: do you think you should be able to restrict who comes in and out of your business? caller: yes. i should reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. host: do you think you should be good to refuse and restrict on the basis of race, sex, or some other national origin? caller: all, yes. i think that is strictly up to the individual. host: all right. next call is florida, republican, you are on the. caller: just a couple of comments. there was a black denim and who called the give us a definition of racism that was patently
upsurged. i think the german needs to take a look at who is occupying the white house, -- gentleman who needs to look at who was occupying the white house. he said the haft have the ability to institutionally oppressed people. if that were the case, certainly the definition applies to everybody at this point in time. the second point i would like to make is the disingenuous and intellectual dishonesty that is going on today. in order to oppose any body that is opposed to the president agenda, the democratically controlled congress, they take anybody with reasonable ideas and paint them as a racist. that card is being played over and over again to the port of dew point that ad nauseam. they dig up anything and everything they can and try to vilify somebody with good, solid ideas. rand paul just once the country to stop spending like drunken sailors. he wants to get us into good fiscal footing. create a situation where businesses can grow and save
again, "the hill" newspaper. loizeaux, ky. another democrat. caller: i would like to say that i did not think rand paul is a racist. i think what he is saying is his pure libertarian views. but i think they are horrible views. this philosophy of government, hands of everything, it is a shame the government does overstep but when you don't overstep, look at the gulf coast, look at the financial crisis. i used to be a republican and i switched parties because i
thought that the southern strategy is that was discriminatory in the south and it did give them a lot of votes but it hurts a lot of people. host: who did you supported the democratic primary? caller: conway. host: so you are happy? caller: really happy. host: how is this story playing in louisville? caller: not playing as big as nationally. just starting to play locally. it seems to be more of a national story. host: have you looked at the career-journal? caller: i just got up. but it was on the news last night. i talked to friends of mine last night who were republicans and they were sort of shocked by it, and i really do not think when people went in and voted they knew anything about this. this man is also against american disabilities act. i think it is philosophic, but it does heard people -- hurts people and any time have a first republic like we do right now
you are going to have -- frustrated republic like we do right now. we need solutions, we got real problems. i tell people to try to come up with real solutions. with this libertarian purism, it has some merit to it but when the government does stay out, we saw the eight years of the bush administration and we have the gulf coast flooded with oil and a financial crisis. it could let us leave it there, john. thanks. support for of whitman -- support for whitman drops.
arlington, virginia. lisa, independent. caller: the answer to this is my private business and i can support who i want to support, you are using the government infrastructure, first of all. the port that brings in your goods are federally owned. the trucks are federally owned and paid by the taxpayer.
the streets that people go to your business is state and locally owned and paid by the taxpayer. and i'm appalled -- we have got black men and white men and all types of men and women serving this country to protect your business and when they come back home you think you can receive -- refuse to serve them a hamburger because of their race? this is getting out of hand. i, too, and 50 years old and i can remember my brother is marching in and what my parents had to go through. my father was a world war ii officer, got back home and could not even use a public bathroom. this is ridiculous. host: joan in knoxville, tennessee, republican. what do you think about the comments? caller: i think a lot of it has definitely been overblown, as the gentleman from louisville said. i watched his statement from last night again and he is not
against civil rights and he is for it and there was only one part, he said it was the privacy act that bothered him, and they took that and ran with it as just like the media does. i want to know why c-span has not talked about air holder, our national security adviser and president, having never read arizona blog -- eric holder, and then they go out and-it not knowing what is in it. and our congress people yesterday standing and cheering a president from another country coming in here and bashing us and he does not even know the law. i find it appalling that c-span has not done this. host: indiana, francis, a democrat. caller: good morning, peter, and c-span. please, let me tell you this story. i am 73 years old and i will tell you something about the civil rights amendment to the
constitution. i worked in my grandfather is gross restore since age 7 -- grocery store since age seven and worked at 14 as a carhop for 30 cents an hour and when i graduated from high school and i went to lincoln life insurance co. in fort wayne, indiana, and i got married in 1956 and i wanted a baby but i knew if i got pregnant i would have to quit when i was six months along because that is their policy. women were heads of departments in that company because they were old maids. if they got married in their 20's and 30's they had to quit jobs. so, in 1961 i had to quit after five years. and i had my son, who is now 49. and he was 3 months old and my boss called me up and wanted to know if i would come back to lincoln life, but i would have to start all over.
so, i did. in 1963 i wanted to have another baby. i had to quit when i was six months along, 1963. and i thought, where can i go to get a job that i don't have to quit to have a baby? and diet -- and i thought, i will go to general electric where they have a union that protect women and treats everybody the same. i am a white woman, but i did not know discrimination until i worked at lincoln life. i work for ge for 20 years, in 1965 they passed the equal rights and then it to the constitution and i used it all these letters from lincoln life wanting to know why i had quit my job. i never filled out, just wrote pregnant across the page. these women in this country -- half of the workers are women.
host: tie this in very quickly to rand paul. caller: this man it in even criticizing the equal rights amendment where people are treated under our constitution as equal citizens and individuals, what a blessing to have in our constitution and how anybody can disparage that. wal-mart has many class action lawsuits. host: ok, frances, we got the point. appreciate your story. indiana, brian, independent. caller: good morning. i would like to bring up of the subject of false pride. whenever i take pride in something, it is an accomplishment that i have made. i don't have false pride in the color i'm, false pride in how tall or how pretty i was born.
i just think that before anybody can start bidding along, you have to get over your false pride because you have no control over what color you were born, what parents you were born to, not even what country you were born to. that is all i have to say. thank you. host: thanks for watching c- span. this is "the wall street journal" lead editorial. the fear returns. even more ominous is the return of fear in the credit markets. talking about yesterday's stock market drop.
we have a man of color in the white house. if that is not progress, i did not know what is. and we keep referring back to the old days. ok, well, you can do that for the rest of your life and not get anywhere. i am an american. i did not care if i'm hispanic, but i am american, i am a proud american, and i wish that everyone can unite as americans instead of black, brown, beige, yellow, whatever color. i just get very frustrated listening to all of these people dwelling about the past and not moving on and realizing how much progress we made in this country with the barack obama, not only his race, but his name, barack obama, in office. and it still complaining. and finally, real quick, the president of mexico, over here
stockton, california, michael, independent line. rand paul and civil rights. caller: good morning. rand paul is making a big mistake coming off the way he is coming. i do not know if he had real life situations where he had to deal with in his actual civil rights for violations of people of color. i can give you an example, once i was driving down the street and i saw two black guys
attacking a white person -- i am black, african-american. and i just going to drive by and let this man be attacked or help him? i got out and i helped him, i took that chance of anything happening to me. they could have had guns, whatever. the way i handle it, i said, i will not let both of you guys attack and bonds. i will allow one of you to fight him if he is will the to do that and that is what happened and actually the white guy beat the one black guy up and he just sat there and of the one fought him and he beat both of them up. host: michael, tie this into rand paul quickly. caller: that is what i'm saying. i did not know if this man has actually been in real life conditions. he is talking politically, verbally. in real life what he is saying does not work. if you take too big of a step at once, you will hurt yourself. physically, if you walk and
take a big giant step you will hurt your hamstring muscle, whatever. host: michael, thank you for adding to our conversation. it here are three headlines we want to show you. "the wall street journal" -- and then the new york times and their lead story. the financial overhaul -- that is our next topic. we will talk to sudeep reddy of "the wall street journal." president obama had some comments at the white house. >> i will ensure that we arrive at a final product that is both effective and responsible, one that holds wall street to high standards of accountability and secures financial stability while preserving the strength and crucial functions of a financial industry that is essential to our prosperity and our ability to innovate and compete in a global economy. our goal is not to punish the
banks but to protect the larger it -- larger economy and the american people from the upheavals we have seen in the past two years and today's action was a major step forward in achieving that goal. because of wall street reform, we will soon have in place the strongest consumer protections in history. if you ever applied for a credit card, student loans, or mortgage, you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print. it is a big step for most families, but one often filled with unnecessary confusion and apprehension. as a result, many americans are simply duped into hidden fees and loans they cannot afford by companies that know exactly what they are doing. those days will soon end. from now on, every consumer will be empowered with a clear and concise information that you need to make following financial decisions that are best for you. this bill will crack down on predatory practices and unscrupulous mortgage lenders, it will enforce the new credit
card law passed and ensure faults are not unwittingly caught by overdraft fees when they sign up for a checking account. host: on your screen is sudeep reddy from "the wall street journal." in your paper this morning is this article -- wall street firms breeze for seismic changes. is the financial regulation bill seismic? guest: it will for significant changes in the way do business. we have the financial crisis that really expose the fault lines in the sector -- there were big banks, banks that became too big to fail that led to the downfall of the financial system and the deep recession we are still dealing with now. to expose how mortgage companies were able -- able to dupe or draw customers in, to make mortgage loans, to get mortgages they probably could not afford, and expose some of the underlying issues with
derivatives and credit default swaps, adding more risk in the financial system and create more risk that could probably come up and down the road if they are not addressed. >> what does this mean for wall street? however goals going to change? guest: there are dozens of different ways the rules will change for wall street. for companies across america, they will seek changes in how they operate their corporations. if they are publicly traded, there are measures that deal with investor protection and proxy access to nominate directors to boards. there are rules with any companies that sell financial products to customers, they would be regulated by a new consumer protection agency, depending on which bill. it is unclear where it will be located, but those firms will be subject to a new layer of regulation. more broadly, anybody who interacts with a bank is probably going to notice that there is going to be
limitations. we have already seen from the credit-card law passed a year ago some significant changes in how people can access credit through credit cards, and now a year later we will see that banks will probably be more likely to lean more toward these and cost -- fees and customer charges that different from what they were able to do before because they were not able to operate into other forms of business. host: what specifically would affect a bank's consumer? guest: first will notice probably more disclosure at some point, but also will notice in buying a financial product, a checking account, there will be rules on deposits. it is probably going to be clearer in terms of what terms and policies are there. there are a number of amendments in here that are going to try to shine some light on the interaction between consumers and banks in this case.
more importantly, though, it will force banks to change their policies in terms of how the account for capital, and that may lead them to want to take in more deposits. so perhaps, they will begin airing in a different direction to do that. it is still a little unclear, until we see the new agency developed within the federal reserve or independent agency for consumer protection, what specifically will be done on a whole range of financial products -- products. that is the intent. host: you talk about oversight. we will put the numbers up in case you want to participate on the conversation about the financial regulations bill that passed the house and senate. there are some differences and we will discuss those a little, too. what about when it comes to regulations? who is getting more power, less power, or no authority? guest: you will see a bit of shuffling. over the course of this debate we have seen proposals to fundamentally alter the
regulatory landscape, clear away the number of bank regulators. there are now four of the federal level and there is a dual charter system because there are state and federal regulators. that was killed back in the process of lobbying on the bill. -- that was scaled back. the federal reserve will get significant additional power to oversee the broader financial system. one of their problems bring the crisis is they could look at individual firms and the safety and soundness of an individual firm. now they will be empowered to look at risk across the financial system. it is kind of an open mandate for the fed to look broadly at the financial system. the fed will also have enhanced oversight over those firms that are non-bang financial institutions that are larger than $50 billion. it will lose a few things. now the federal reserve board, those members appointed by the president, have a direct role
in consumer protection and under both of these bills, it will either be transferred to an independent division within the fed or separately to an outside agency. the fed is still up in the air on how both of the bills deal with oversight by congress. there is a measure in the house bill that was championed by rep ron paul that would force some audits of the federal reserve, not just lending but monetary policy. -- perhaps a watered- down version in that bill. host: the senate bill also eliminates the office of thrift supervision. what does the office do now and what does the elimination mean? guest: it oversees the thrift savings and loans associations. in the late 1980's we have seen these s & l's all into considerable distress. ots was probably hit hardest in
terms of reputation because it was the overseer of aig, american international group. it merely failed if not for a federal bailout. became clear that ots had responsibility for the thrift and holding company of aig, but it certainly was not equipped in terms of staffing or expertise to deal with the company the size of aig, so that agency would be moved into office of comptroller of the currency, another division of the treasury department, and emerged in the and the occ, which oversees national banks, not overseen by the fed, would take responsibility. host: what other agencies should we keep an eye on for increased or less authority? guest: the fdic that insures bank deposits, it will have a role in winding down firms that are too big to fail. if they are in trouble, the fdic
has given that authority to take control of the firm and break it down as it does with failed banks now when it takes them over. there are a number of differences between house and senate versions that need to be worked out. the securities and exchange commission is actually going to sing a number of changes, more mandates for investor protection, a lot more responsibility in did giving shareholders access to nominate directors. and past and a senate amendment, by senator al franken, changing the credit ratings were done. it would create a panel in the sec that would basically route companies to the credit rating firm to give out credit ratings rather than letting them go out and select their own credit rating agency and that was seen as one of the calls of the crisis in terms of allowing companies to go and find a rating firm that would rate its
securities at the highest rating and ultimately -- obviously we do with mortgage juries, a lot of them were far from it. host: the market dropped big yesterday. was it a reaction to this bill? was it part of it? guest: it certainly may have weighed on some investors' sentiment but the market drop is something that has been building for days, if not weeks and months, with the broader economy in the u.s., and especially globally -- we have seen these problems in europe, starting with greece and going across the continent and leading to concerns about the fragility of this global economic recovery. there is concern now that the european authorities are not going to be the to get greece in order quickly enough. .
guest: it will force them more into the regulated sphere so her monitored more closely. there is a provision in the senate bill to force derivatives trading in large firms to be spun off into subsidiaries. there is considerable debate whether that will go forward. there is also debate on how -- derivatives are essentially contracts tied to other market instruments and end users, for example electricity and natural gas users want to be exempted as
in the house version and that will probably be a key rallying point in the house senate conference. host: what are the key differences between the house and senate bills? guest: there are a number of key differences. one is on derivatives. there are issues on how to wind down systemically important firms. the house bill creates a fund at the outset that charges banks for building up that fund due to some pressure from the g.o.p. the national bill removes that and it is looking more likely the senate bill will take the lead on that. there are differences -- there is a financial stability oversight on both bills and some differences need to be ironed out there. for the federal reserve there are a number of distinctions between the house and senate bill in oversight of the fed. the ron paul measure in the house bill, a narrower version
led by bernie sanders in the senate bill and that needs to be reconciled. host: sudeep reddy an economics reporter with the "wall street journal." we are talking about the financial regulations bill passed by the senate last night and the house in december. both leaders hope the bill will reach the president by july 4. ludlow, massachusetts, gary, a democrat. hi. caller: hi. i have a question for the gentleman there. basically, i'm a 99-week unemployed -- he is the economic writer for the "wall street journal" -- and my benefits ran out six weeks ago and i'm wonder ing what he is thinking about unemployment and how congress can help us to help me. i'm trying to feed my family. my life savings a run out. i'm wondering what his take is and why the press is not reporting more about us,
hundreds of thousands of people still without jobs. and i think some of the numbers that are being reported are very frightening. i wonder what his take is on that. guest: the numbers are actually very frightening. it is in the millions of people and depending on how you calculate it in terms of underemployment perhaps tens of millions of people who don't have jobs who might want one. that is a problem that i think the press is reporting on it substantially because we have a 9.9% unemployment rate and i think you will see going into the summer and fall more attention from congress on this issue because the jobs problem are weighing so heavily on some of these elections around the country. you are seeing congress debate, starting debate on another jobs bill. it is unclear. you have employers still
reluctant to make new hires in this new environment. you are seeing the uncertainty in the stock market and in the global recovery. so, it is going to require a little bit of self-starting recovery. you have seen it in manufacturing. you have not seen it across the board. that needs to pick up. there are measures that congress has already put in place to incentive i incentivize small business owners to make new hires, to extend credit more, to small businesses in particular hit hard. so you are seeing measures on that front. but you talk to most business owners they are not going to hire based on congressional regulation. host: that gentleman called from massachusetts. here is the front page of the pwofrboston globe. it says that massachusetts companies expanded payroll by nearly 20,000 jobs in april, the
third consecutive monthly increase and biggest gain since april of 1993. dilco, north carolina. debby, a republican. hi. caller: good morning. i was wonder iing how the new bl they have just passeded is going to actually affect the derivatives, which i believe should all be illegalized because i think it is rolling a set of dice. and i would lying to know how it will affect the credit unions around the country that are owned by companies. host: thanks for calling. guest: on the derivatives measure, there are a number of provisions in the house and senate bill. the most important is it will
draw into exchanges so they will be able to be seen, these derivatives contracts. trillions of dollars of derivatives contracts are now traded over the counter and they would be brought on to the exchanges to be monitored more easily. there are other provisions in the senate bill that would actually restrict companies that are using derivatives, trading derivatives and force them to spin them off into subsidiaries. there are debates that are going to be about end users. derivatives do have a useful purpose to a lot of companies that are hedging risk in products that can change over the course of minutes and hours, so they want to be able to hedge their risk, whether for oil or wheat or corn or any other commodity and manage that risk appropriately. and there is still quite a bit
of debate within congress on how to do that. host: we often here wall street just wants to know what the rules are. in this case is that true? guest: wall street does want to noah the rules are and there is a fair amount of uncertainty what they can do going forward. they also don't like a lot of the proposals we have been hearing about the last few months. so it is not just a matter of having rules set. they want to s&p them and want -- they want to shape them and have latitude to make business decisions whether lending to consumers or big businesses and engaging in activity that people on wall street think will help restart the economic recovery and push us forward. it is an interesting issue with what wall street wants. there are a number of things that this bill does that will restrict wall street, but as we found over the last decade, people on wall street are creative and they are highly paid for a reason. they will find other ways to
make money and shift to other directions. host: if you were president of bank of america would you be happy with the senate bill? >> i might not be complaining about the senate bill because there are a lot of things that probably could have been worse for big banks. in this case bank of america is probably looking at this and trying not to anger a lot of its regulators who stepped in and helped save it. you are seeing that with a number of big financial institutions that received government aid. but bank of america and its trade associations have stepped in in and criticized some significant aspects of it, whether it is on the derivatives provisions, whether it is on how systemically important terms could be broken down. a lot of people within the banking community think there are too many additional layers on them through the bill through, for instance, the consumer protection agency that would be created.
host: if you are a stockbroker would you be happy? guest: they will find some provisions within the s.e.c elements that could give some added measures of confidence perhaps to the investment community in terms of investor protecti protection. if you are an investor you are going to get more information about your companies and engage more in the companies. while companies have protested that, a lot of big publicly traded corporations don't like the provision say on pay allowing investors to make -- vote on executive pay and these would be nonbinding votes but it is still a voice for investors that didn't exist before. host: port arthur, texas. john an independent. caller: good morning. i'm very interested in finding out why they left out fannie mae and freddie mac on this bill,
excluded them. it seems like they are more involved in helping the large investment corporations and the little guy is left out again. why are you not included fannie mae and freddie mac in this regulation? guest: that is a great question. fannie mae and freddie mac are the companies that own our guarantee almost all mortgages in the country and they were a significant source of the crisis, at least the practices that were built up around them in mortgages being doled out to anybody who wanted them and they were taken offense essentially by the government in 2008. and those issues have remained in the spotlight throughout this because the housing crisis has been so central to the economic downturn. what you have seen instead of deal with the underlying issues you have seen the government
pour more money into the two firms and try to maintain their role in supporting the housing market because that is so important. what you have not seen is enough of the hard decisions from congress to force a change. the regulators, many of the regulators including the fed, have offered proposals on how to deal conceptually with fannie mae and freddie mac, making them entirely public entities since they were operating in a private-public sphere before, or perhaps taking them in private hands and splitting them into smaller entities and not creating as much a risk to the system. the government just needs to decide how much it is going to stand behind the two firms and make that clear to investors. host: greensboro, nuclear. larry our on with sudeep reddy of the "wall street journal." caller: yes, my question is just like the gentleman said before. i remember in the 1901 and 1990's -- i remember in the
1980's and 1990's fanny and freddie had a program where you could assume home loans and it faded away. i know back in those days people that had loans had property and probably sold it to somebody else. what happened to the program back then? and the houses on the market now you can't get a loan assumption. guest: i'm not familiar with that specific program but fannie mae and freddie mac have programs now to assist people struggling with a mortgage to work out loans because they are effectively under the supervision of the federal housing finance agency and treasury department and the administration has been weighing in consistently to figure out ways to keep more people in their homes. the administration is also trying to make sure fannie mae and freddie mac continue the
role of backing mortgages to make sure people can get home loans. but in have been clearly changes in the mortgage availability, higher standards, more restrictions on getting the home loans, higher down payment requirements and tighter policies. host: how heavy feels the lobbying the last couple of weeks in the senate? guest: there was enormous hroeurbing because you have enormous financial institution was a lot of of money behind them and weight and they have been stepping up to deal with this. perhaps more interesting is how the community banks have really stepped up around the country, come to washington, lobbied their lawmakers very closely. in the house they were able to prevent falling under a lot of measures. community banks were able to get out of the oversight of the consumer protection agency proposed. in the senate they were able to beat back a provision to remove a lot of bank regulation from
the federal reserve. this was a proposal to move it from the fed to other agencies. and community banks wanted to be able to continue choosing whether they were overseen by the fed or fdic at the federal level. they get to choose and senator chris dodd the bank committee chairman who led the senate effort, wanted to remove that ability to pick your regulator because it does smack of something that people think is wrong with the system of being able to shop for the regulator you prefer. but community banks stepped up and they were really aggressive in their lobbying and doing what you would consider grassroots lobbying to be able to maintain the position. and the fed and its supporters did its role because they wanted to make sure in their portfolio at the fed banks interacting with people at the most local level were age to maintain their -- able to maintain their oversight so the fed could see
through the community banking system what is going on in the community. the fed has a handful of lobbyists and they probably use most importantly with members the federal reserve chairman and governors to meet with members directly. so the fed in the loosest sense has been lobbying by talking with members and pushing its case for what it thinks is best for the financial system and economy. it does have a number of lobbyists and government people to meet with staff and support the leadership of the fed. host: charlotte, north carolina, sandy, independent line. you are on with sudeep reddy of the "wall street journal." >> thank you, c-span. i'm curious why the republicans were able to add an amendment to this bill that would exempt the car dealerships, many of whom do their own financing, which basically do the same practices like in the mortgage business
where they en trtrap people in these overinflated new vehicles. why were they allowed to be exempted from this bill? guest: this is probably one of the three or four areas that had the heaviest lobbying the consumer protection bureau the agency that would be created to ov overfinancial products of all kinds. mortgag mortgages, bank products. and there is a senate provision that has not come to a vote yet, it comes to a vote on monday as a separate measure sponsored by senator brownback to exempt auto dealers from this bureau. the auto dealers of course have relationships with members of congress since they became lawmakers probably at the state level so they have been lobbying in that sense trying to stay out of the new bureau. so, you are going to sigh --
you will see a vote on this. it has been protested by the obama administration. the administration wants the auto dealers to fall under that rubric. the house removed auto dealers from the agency as well. but there is still considerable dissent on this point in the senate and this is probably one that, if it is not completely cleared up on monday with this vote, that it will become a contentious issue. host: if you work for a mortgage company are you happy with the senate bill? guest: the mortgage companies are going to see some practices change that they probably knew were already coming in the aftermath of the crisis. a lot of them changed their policies any way because they were forced to by regulators that saw they were risky or that they recognized on their own, especially big banks that gave out mortgages, they recognized these were creating problems and they didn't want to lose their
millions of homes that are in foreclosure or headed to foreclosure. so they recognized as a lesson of crisis they need to change their practices. so, mortgage companies are going to see some alterations in this. the senate bill would limit prepayment penalties for people that want to pay off mortgages. in some cases it will address yield spread premiums, which is one of the forms of payments to mortgage brokers. that is addressed in this bill. there are some other provisions with disclosure that are probably going to fall more under the new consumer protection agency and i'm not sure of any companies that are actually happy about falling under the oversight of a new agency. host: if you are a salaried or hourly worker with a mortgage and checking or savings account are you happy? does it matter to you? guest: it may not matter in the
micro sense for your own finances. it could depend if big banks change business practices and may start adding fees to checking accounts if you don't have high enough deposits. you will see banks reevaluate their relationship with individual customers to some extent. so, in some cases that could leave consumers at the most local level to head to other community banks perhaps. on the broad sense, this is a far-reaching bill in terms of what it does. there are hundreds of issues addressed in this bill. that is why it is so hard to analyze in a single moment, because there are aspects of investment protection and consumer protection aspects dealing with big banks that really go across the financial system, some in small ways, some in big ways. and for consumers who have been watching this down tuturn since
really, the middle of 2010, they have -- 2007, they have been wondering why the financial firms could put the economy at risk so they may say at least the government is doing something. there are probably a lot of questions in americans' minds about the role of government, perhaps too much spending, not enough attention to the deficit. there is very interesting, this regulation bill, because it is almost overwhelmingly supported by the public. they want to see washington do something on regulation and get government in rather than pull it away because you see the effect of what happens. tkpwhr next call for due deep reddy -- for sudeep reddy is from ohio. caller: as a democrat every time i talk to republicans the essence of the crisis we had in 2008 was only because of freddie
and fanny. they constantly throw that in your face. i am somewhat confused as to why it appears the issue, if there are issues to regulate freddie and fanny, at least that i don't understand have not been brought up. it seems like it is a separate issue. and last week i read in the "dispatch" here we are continui continuing, as taxpayers, we continue to put money into freddie and fanny to shore up bad loans that were $150 billion or so that continue to go on because we still have that foreclosure mortgage issue. so, i'm confused as to why the reform and freddie and fanny is not part of that and it seems as
a democrat i want to do that because the republicans throw it in your face. guest: first i would point out that democrats and republicans when each had control of the white house had opportunities to deal with fanny and freddie and when each had control of congress had that chance and didn't. they may claim that certain moments in time they took the steps but a lot of them were moments when nothing else would have worked out in leading to fundamental overhaul of the agencies and their relationship with markets and the public. so, it is often drawn by members of the g.o.p. as a core cause of the crisis, and certainly is clear that housing was a core cause of this crisis and inability to address some of those underlying issues was -- goes back to the beginning of the decade and to the prior
decade. so this is not an issue that easily falls under lines in that sense. why you don't have democrats doing it now, i think, is probably a couple of reasons. one, they don't want do derail the housing recovery and you have come to the point why freddie mac and fannie mae are so traditional that you can't step in without causing more turmoil with the housing recovery. you already have millions having trouble with homes so a point of view of democrats is they don't want to disturb that yet. i think congress had an opportunity to start more of a debate on freddie and fanny. and it is an enormously complicated issue and they essentially decided not to take it up now and to try dealing with it later. some may see it as a missed opportunity, but it is something we know is going to hang over
them and they are going to have to deal with in the coming years. host: next call. caller: i have two basic questions for you. they sort of tie together. what kind of integrity do you think the fed has, the federal government, has of oversight of federal institutions considering the poor job they have done so far and not the fact that they don't have laws but the incre e increasous -- incestuous relationships with paulson working with a industry and they are the lator. it is the lack of moral hazard or all the taxpayers being the creditor of last resort that have to pay off the stuff i think is the major issue with it. i'm interested in your opinion because you seem to be rather fair. i'm rather pleased. but i had like to see how much the industries of the financial
and government, you know, for example, the banks have 90% fractional reserve. they can loan out 90% of their money. guest: this is an interesting question, this relationship between regulators and the firms that they regulate. there is certainly an argument that could be made and is probably in many cases that regulators were too close to the firms they regulated and didn't do enough to monitor them. going forward the next couple of years if this bill is signed into law this will be an important test on how tough regulators will be and how much they will remember the lessons of the crisis. there are certain things you could say the legislation will do that are important, but a lot of the regulators have already started cracking down. and of course it is after the fact which is the big problem and they have been cracking down, forcing basics to maintain -- forcing banks to keep a higher capital level and monitor
risks more closely. the real test colonels -- the real test comes five years from now when the economy is better and when regulators see a problem. if you look back to 2003 and 2004 that is when the mortgage crisis was developing. there were warning signs and there was pressure from people in the public, in consumer groups, a lot of different constituencies were putting pressure on example regulators and there was push back and you will always see that tension between firms that are regulate d and the regulators. but that becomes the real test of, i suppose, integrity for the regulators five years from now, whether they are willing to push back and say this is something that could cause a crisis. the truth is we will never know whether they were able to actually prevent more than they allowed to go through. there are all sorts of things that will never happen as a
result of this legislation. so, it is an existential question of what happens when you have derivatives brought on to exchanges rather than traded the way they are now. we may have averted a collapse 10 years from now or perhaps we have brought them into a different form that allows a different phropbs terror to form. host: las vegas, paul, hi. tkpwhrao good morning. i think the gentleman referenda columbus was right. fannie mae and freddie mac had very little to do this or the subprime mortgage bonds. what caused this was the wild spalgs with credit -- speculation with credit default swaps and the way they were drawn. if the public had understood at the time they never would have stood for any of the tarp stuff or other bailouts. frankly, i think the financial press -- i hope i'm not being unfair -- dropped the ball by
not explaining this properly. it is not hard to understand. you want to get a book by michael lewis he lays it out quite well. it was just wild speculation and the way the credit default swaps were structured that caused the horrible problem. guest: the caller makes a great point that it was at the core speculation that fed into this crisis. it was speculation -- there were subprime mortgage bonds that were at the center of this in terms of the bank iing catastroe and that was critical in getting to the point where we are now. but this is a great point about management of risk and where to draw the line. so, if there is speculation, there will always be speculation in an economy that allows as much free market forces to run the economy as we have now. so, do you decide to ban all
speculation? there are some aspects of speculation that would be limited in derivatives contracts, for instance proprietary trading by big banks in this bill but it is a question of where to draw at line as a government and something we need to see as a society how much risk we want in our financial institutions. congress has the authority to go in and limit the risk-taking activity of big banks. there are some products that would be significantly affected by doing this. they did this a year ago with credit cards. a lot of people can't get credit cards right now and are seeing their credit lines change. that is a decision that elected representatives made on the tradeoff between access to credit for constituents and the risk to the overall system. host: front page of the "washington post" stocks dive as germany gets tough on speculators. what happened and why did the stocks dive? and we only have 45 seconds. guest: this was germany trying
to cool with -- trying to deal with speculative behavior in stocks and they are using regulations fairly closely in this case and there is probably this running threat throughout firms around the world of seeing more regulation and what that -- how that will weigh on them. we have seen that with our own s.e.c as it instituted rules. it is because of the state of the economy in europe and whether we are going to get out of this downturn in a rapid way. the troubles in europe underscore the fact that we have a long way to go to rise out of this and anything that adds concerns to investors in europe is probably going to weigh on us as well and create problems here. host: one economist says the stocks will tumble another 20% and cash is the the safest
place? guest: he is a very smart man who is one of the handful of people who can probably say he saw it coming and he did call it. i'm not quite sure a lot of people would back his view of another 20% drop in the stocks any time soon but in is always a risk of that and there are a lot of risks in the financial system. so i wouldn't want to bet entirely against him. host: he will be on book tv this week and find out when it will air. sudeep reddy of the "wall street journal," thanks for being with us. this is newt gingrich's most recent book. he will be right out here to take your calls.
>> the angle conference for the center of oceans law and policy host as forum on senate secur y security. that is on c-span at 10:00 eastern. also 10:00 a.m. eastern on sp c-span 2 a hearing on accounting and auditing starbtdndards. >> this weekend on c-span 2 book tv boston radio talk show host michael graham defends the tea party against accusation from the left while making a few
accusations of his own. find the entire schedule at booktv.org and follow us on twitter. >> supreme court justice sonia sotomayor on the confirmation process. >> questions even over three days are not going to tell you much about a prospective judge. you have to look at their life wo work. that will be a clearer reflection of who they are and how they think and what they will do. >> with the new supreme court nominee heading in the process, learn more about the nation's highest court in c-span's latest book "the supreme court." conversation with all the justices, active and retired available now in hard cover and also as an e-book. "washington journal" continues. host: newt gingrich the tpeufir line in your new book is "i
never expected to have to write this book. "what do you mean? guest: when i was a very junior congressman working with ronald reagan, the world looked bleak. the soviet union was on offense, our economy was collapsing under president carter. people had lost morale. then reagan came in and we had this extraordinary eight years and the soviet union disappeared, the economy took off. jobs were created. inflation was defeated. and i'm proud to be an american was a popular song and civic cultural rebuilt. by 1991 or 1992 i thought northeasterlily in retro -- naively in retrospect that we had won the big arguments. we had a series called the commanding heights which argued
that hiayek and freedman and others had defended the keynesians and it turned out that we were wrong. that underneath all of this that the hard left and the universities and the government employee unions and bureaucracy and courts and among the labor union leadership and politicians that the hard left continued to grow basically ignoring every lesson. so, when the republicans failed in 2006 and 2008 and the country decided to repudiate them, the people that they elected were very hard left. you end up with a nancy pelosi and harry reid and barack obama. and while obama's style is moderate his underlying policies are very, very left wing. and so now you have a country which i think is under two great threats. one from radical islam and the other from secular socialism.
i think that it is very important that the average american realize that we are actually in a struggle to decide whether or not the american system, which has been endowed by our creator with rights which involves the work ethic and right to have big dreams and rule of law and right for you to be served by your government, not for you to be controlled by your government. that whole system, i think, is under siege. host: what do you mean when you use the term secular socialist? guest: that is in contrast to the communist it wants government to control the entire economy. and i think if you look at the democrats' taking over and nationalizing the student loan program, the underlying parts of obama care which encourage in 2014 every american business to drop their health insurance and make money by giving up on insuring employees. if you look at current ownership of a.i.g., the largest insurance company in the united states, general motorsers chrysler, if
you look at the new federal regulatory bill that will dramatically expand politicians' power and look at fannie mae and freddie mac the largest unfunded liability we have on the books and basically run by politicians for politicians, again and again you see this expansion of politicians and bureaucrats and shrinking of free enterprise and entrepreneurs and small business leaders and people who work and pay tabses. so -- pay taxes. the second kau similar part is -- the secular part is tied into socialism. it is you believe the state can control and define. our declaration of independence says we are endowed by our creator with certain unalien able rights which you mean power comes from god to you. you then loan power to the state. but america unlike any other country the center of sovereignty is the citizen, not the state.
that is abhorrent to a true socialist and you end up with for example the democratic candidate for the senate in massachusetts saying if you are catholic maybe you should not work in an emergency room. you end up with two democratic legislators in connecticut introducing a bill that would abolish the catholic church. you end one a judge in wisconsin who says a day of prayer is unconstitutional. you have to be totally 100% ignorant of american history or have repudiated american history to believe that having a day of prayer is unconstitutional. for the last 40 years we have had a relentless march of secularism driving god out of public life where one of obama's nominees was a person who ruled the indiana legislature couldn't open its daily meeting with a prayer. host: why do you include the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous in your book? guest: because i want to drive
the point home in the most successful recovery group in the world there is an important for a higher power. a former reagan official who was a recovering alcoholic who said he was approached by a federal government official saying it is clear that alcoholics anonymous works and we would love to fund it and if you could drop that second step where you acknowledge a higher power we could fund this. the guy said i don't think you understand why it works. if you notice in there i think six of the 12 steps involve a reference to a higher power. host: this book is rather infused with spirituality i guess we ka call it. are you spiritual man? guest: well, i pray and i believe in god and i believe that there is a fate side of life that is more important than the secular side of life. and i think that if you can't see and understand the world of faith there are all sorts of
behaviors -- you could never appreciate george washington if you didn't realize how deeply he had faith in providence and how much he believed that god was on the side of the american revolution. host: in the chapter secular socialism, look at h.r. 3590 one the senate democrats passed christmas eve and in 2000, 409 pages the word shall appears 231 times. the law has the word tax 208 times. not once to cut taxes. the word require appears 198 times usually referring to the people who are required to do something, not government. it ads 159 new federal agencies, offices and programs to what is already the largest department in the federal government. why is that seklar?
-- secular? >> it is more socialist than secular. should the secretary of health and human services have the power to establish waiting lists for whether or not your life is going to be saved? should the government have the right to decide what is available to you? it is very clear, i can't cite the page number in the senate bill but in the house bill on pages 25 and 26 it says the secretary of health the people who don't have coverage and have serious problems, if those pools if they run short of money the secretary of health and human services, by themselves as a government bureaucrat, can raise the cost of your premium, reduce the benefits or establish waiting lists. i don't know that you want to have in a free society your decisions about your values and about what you would do about end of life decided by a secretary establishing waiting
lists which decides that because you could have a secretary of health and human services who doesn't believe in kidney dialysis or chemotherapy or doesn't think dealing with people with alzheimer's is appropriate. i think it is dangerous to centralize those decisions in one appointed official. host: you have several chapters here with co-authorities. one of them is terry maple president and c.e.o. of the palm beach zoo. green kevin teufpl versus left wing environmentalism. guest: he is a tremendous guy. he was a full professor at georgia tech. his specialty is primate psychology. when the atlanta zoo was in danger of being closed because it was so badly run, mayor young had the courage to say the city couldn't run it and bureaucracy couldn't handle it and they outsourced it to the friends of the zoo, terry took over and for 20 years was one most entreprene.url
he rebuilt the zoo, built a research program. then he went down to palm beach to the west palm beach zoo where he continues to do a great job. he and i both believe entrepreneurs are more likely to solve the environment -- i just saw this morning an entrepreneur who developed a mattress which floats which absorbs oil and you can't get the coast guard or b.p. you could pull this mattress behind a boat and absorb the oil that floating and i saw a demonstration on tv and entrepreneurs are naturally creative people. so, terry and i believe you ought to care about the environment and wildlife. but you ought to do it in a dynamic way that incentivizes people to come up with better solutions, not in a regulation, litigation model that punishes people. the solutions academy is being developed at the american
solutio solutions. we believe you have to have enormous change for the united states to be competitive with kline and india -- china and india. we believe this is a country that has an enormous depth of government. there are 513,000 elected officials from school board to city county to county commission to state legislature and we are trying to develop a program where you could find what has governor chris christie done well, what did steve goldsmith do as mayor of indianapolis. you could come to sort of a central point to learn new best ideas across the range of government. host: newt gingrich is our guest. to save america is his newest book. the first call is from illinois. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. mr. gingrich, first of all it san honor to talk to you. i want to thank you for all that
you are doing with american solutions to try to help our country in these troubled times. i wanted to ask you -- and i know you probably won't say but i'm hoping that you will consider running for office in 2012. we need somebody with your ideas, your experience and your faith. guest: first of all, thank you for that call. and my wife and i are looking very seriously and trying to get our businesses in order. we run for businesses and we are trying to organize everything so next february or march we could make a decision. but i'm focused totally this year on the november elections. i believe these are among the most consequential elections in american history and it is extraordinarily important that we have a huge turnout and have a very successful election. and i don't want to think beyond 2010 until we get the job done
this year. host: what kind of work do you have to do to get your businesses in order? guest: we have a number of organizations that have been very successful, but they have been very successful with us in leadership roles so you have to find new leaders, expand the structuree structure, reshape it. we have taken a year to think it through. it is a pretty daunting challenge. host: if you were president what would you be doing about the b.p. oil spill? guest: well, first of all, if you are president and you would focus on the navy and coast guard and national academy of sciences. when you watch tv this morning and you see somebody who has what looks like a very useful device and they can't get anybody -- this interviewer said and he is the head of the company into manufactures this and he says we can't get anybody in the government to return our call because they are all in meetings and b.p. returned the call one time. i think what you get -- and this
happened with katrina -- the bureaucracies can't function. i was involved in several panels after katrina including some of the business executives for national security trying to figure out how do you open the system up so that you get new ideas rapidly and find new break-throughs. there is a longer-term answer which is why would 4,000 platforms drilling for oil off the shores of the united states, why has the coast guard not been looking for new break-throughs because sooner or later there will be a spill or blowout in there case. the second thing is they should have been developing things in parallel, not in sequence. and they should have said from day one what if the first idea doesn't work how do we get to the second idea in 24 hours, not in six weeks. governor bobby jindal has been critical of the government and
b.p. and people can google governor jindal, if you read what he has had to say this is the second time the government has failed new orleans and louisiana this decade. host: next call is from new york a it democrat. caller: good morning. it is difficult to snow where to start with you. i don't want to get disrespectful but when you try to demon iize things lake socialism that is a system that functions and communism, there are systems that function for many decades. isn't it time that we begin to pick and choose what we know to be positive of certain systems and utilize that? host: could you give an example? caller: capitalism doesn't
belong in areas like healthcare, in areas like food production. host: there are two examples. guest: well, i would have liked to have had a dialogue with him. i'm happy to say ronald reagan was right when he said the soviet union was an evil empire. i think communism everywhere it has appeared, has been an evil system. it has involved killing and imprisoning millions of people. i know of no successful communist system because they all involved centralized power in which the politicians run the country. in terms of free enterprise and food production, american farmers who own their land and produce food for a profit and work with seed and nutrition and other companies on a for-profit basis and are part of a mixed system in the sense of agricultural extension, that system has created more wealth in agriculture, greater food production, greater
opportunities than all of the communist systems combined. historically the soviet union turned a great grain exporting company, russia, into a grain importing country because they totally mismanaged agriculture. historically the chinese had to give up communism. they had to go back to a great market economy in 1978 and they would have said communism doesn't work. it is not picking and choosing. it doesn't work in healthcare. would you rather have the russian or cuban health system and no wealthy person goes to cuba for advanced disease. so the objective fact is that free markets and free people create more opportunities, create more products and services, create more new invention than any government controlled system. we have a fundamental disagreement. i say it respectfully but it is
very important, that is why i wrote this to create an intellectual baseline to say this stuff doesn't work and it is dangerous to your freedom because when you put that much power with politicians they use it. host: who is nancy desmond? guest: she is the brilliant president of the center for health transform allegatiation. our center for health transform ation is a system designed to create a collaboration of leadership. about 100 companies belong to the center of all kinds from hospitals to pharmaceuticals, to information technology to employers. what we are trying to do is find a way to build a 21st century intelligent personal health system in which we use all modern science and breakthroughs to give you the best outcome so you live the longest life at the greatest independence at the least cost. we began moving that way in 2002
when i wrote a book called "saving lives and saving money." she is the president and c.e.o. host: as a former speaker do you get healthcare through the government? guest: as a retired federal employee i have access to the system. host: is that what you use? guest: i use a blue cross program. host: next call is from new york, arnold. caller: just wanted to say i'm sure that we could all agree that we would like truth from our government so we can make good decisions if we get all the facts from the government. and i have one question for you that will take a one-word ans r answer. the second you may want to lab be rate. but back -- elaborate. back in the days of the pentagon hero or trader? guest: trader. host: if you were the ninth vote
on the supreme court who will determine whether the paramedics would be allowed to be published would you have voted to allow them to come out or have restricted the publication? guest: restricted. national security documents that involved the united states one way or another should be decided by the congress and the president. how can you set a precedence for some well meaning person without proper credentials and proper understanding of the system can randomly decide what to release? when pollack did that we decided he was a spy. as a result, he has served in jail and is still in jell and will probably end his life in jail because we decided the documents he sole were so dangerous to the security of the united states. now, who was ellsworth to decide that he personally had the moral authority to overrule the
president of the united states and overrule the chairman of the joint chiefs and joseph rule the united states congress and he would decide what documents to release? i think that it is very important for us to understand, you can elect anybody you want, they can fight in the u.s. congress all they want. you can nominate somebody for president. that is totally appropriate. but what you can't do is work in a classified job, deal with the secrets that keep america safe and unilaterally decide that you are going to abandon that principle and you are going to reveal secrets. that is a very dangerous principle. host: long island, new york. peter, republican. hi. caller: yes, good morning. mr. gingrich, it is more than an honor speaking to you, my friend. my concern is i'm very concerned about the national debt for years now. i believe personally, me and actually my family and friends
believe you are our only hope to bring back this country. i know in my heart and i'm hoping that you run for president and we are all behind y you. and actually, i believe when you were house speaker you didn't get enough credit. clinton got all the credit for budgeti budgeting, you know, coming in with a budget. and i believe that if we have you as our president every day we will pray that god gives you the energy to keep up the good work with american solutions and everything you are doing right now. guest: well, first of all thank you. that is a pretty overwhelming stateme statement. it certainly makes my friday a lot brighter than it would have been otherwise. but let me make three quick points on what you said. first, whatever i end up doing and decisions i decide, saving america is about you and your family and your neighbors in long island. it has to be done by 305 million
people. it is wrong to focus on the presidency as a magician. he can only lead if the country will roll up its she was and wants to save itself. so i want you and your family in addition to wishing me well would work hard this fall to make sure that we elect a generation of people committed to controlling spending, balancing the budget and cutting taxes. second, i give president clinton some credit. i was speaker of the house. 1994 was a remarkable year. we did keep spending under control. it only grew an average of 2.9% a year the four years i was speaker which is the lowest since calvin coolidge. we cut taxes and balanced the budget so we accelerated economic growth. we also priorities even controlling spending. we doubled the national institutes of health budget because we believed deeply in medical research. but president had the signed bills and they have to get half the credit if something happens because without the signature we
cannot have reformed welfare or cut taxes or balanced the budget. so i think that is fair. finally, to the core point, which is really important. we used to an country that worked hard, saved, paid off the mortgage and left children the family farm. we are becoming under obama a country that sells off the farm, doubles the mortgage and leaves the kids with interest payments. i think that is wrong. they currently are projecting $10 trillion in deficit. i think we ought to make a commitment that we will balance the federal budget by 2015. it took two years to balance it when i was speaker. we can balance it by 2015 if we start now. we can control spending and i would rename the deficit commission the spending control commission because it brings back any tax increase proposal i would urge it be dead on arrival. we do not need to raise taxes in a country which is overgoverned
and overspent. it is not undertaxed. and at a time of 9.9% unemployment we have no interest in raising taxes on working americans and businesses and killing more jobs. host: the house is about to come in to pro forma session and we are going to go to that as we always do on c-span. we carry the house live. it will be short and we will come back with mr. gingrich. describe quickly why is the house going in pro forma on a frid friday? guest: you have provisions that the speaker can have the house pro forma session without votes but if you go for several days without a session you have to have a formal vote to adjourn and it is more complicated so there is a standard procedure which i think has been used since the beginning -- i don't know how far back but i think it goes back to the very first time. host: so it can go down to 30 second? >> guest: you could although they usually have a prayer, say the pledge of allegiance and say a few things. host: what do you miss most about being speaker?
guest: i think it was extraordinarily invigorating. working with other members and looking at the level of creative talent like john casey, bob livingston. host: tell the callers to to hold on because we will be back as we go to the house. we are talking with newt gingrich about his latest book. it is published by by regnary and we will be right back after this pro forma session. .
like to be speaker of the house and how would you describe it? guest: an enormously complex job and in some ways it is more complex than the presidency. not more burden because the president has life and death on his shoulders, but -- shoulders. but you're dealing with all independent entrepreneurs and then you have to deal with the senate and the executive branch and you have to do all of that while you are doing public appearances. and i think any speaker who is effected is balancing so many different talents. and whether you like or dislike speaker pelosi's politics -- and obviously i am very critical of her politics -- you have to respect the fact that she has dominated the house, she has driven through her agenda and while i think it was a huge mistake and will cost them probably control of the house this fall, nevertheless she has for six years has been a very effective leader of her party and the house.
>> the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces the house approval there of, pursuant to clause 1 of rule one, it stands approved. the chair will lead the house and the pledge of allegiance. >> pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the united states of america, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> the chair announces to the house that in light of the resignation of the gentleman from indiana, mr. souder, a whole number is 431. the house stands adjourned until 2:30 p.m. monday. host: new gingrich. guest: i am not sure we were never quite that efficient.
host: newt gingrich, what is on your summer reading list? guest: in the middle of reading hasting's new book on winston churchill. a really interesting book, really thought of. it also reading mcpherson's book on lincoln as commander in chief, which is a very interesting study of lincoln. i just finished a book on lincoln and his cabral's. i am reading john sanford, who i got to meet this week, a great mystery writer from minneapolis and is the was book i think is called "stormy pray." he has a whole series of titles. i'm vergie -- read virtually every book he has written. he and robert parker are my two favorite mystery writers, so whatever they bring out i can't help myself. i have a firm rule, read like fiction first and all the non- fiction step will be available later so read the stuff you enjoy first.
host: "to save america" is newt gingrich's latest book and the next call is from jacksonville, florida, bob, democrat. caller: thank you. i would like to make a short statement and two quick questions. statement -- when you referred to the president as hitler and paula pot, i think your friend joe scarborough explained best when he said i think selling a book compared to running for president -- what he said was, he thinks you put selling your book ahead of running for president and it will follow you, he said. he thinks you were singing to the wing nuts. two questions. the judge you keep referring to in wisconsin, wasn't he appointed by a republican president? second question -- real
important to me because i am trying to win a bet down here. a local talk show host insisted that you were married six times but i know you will only married four times -- help me with this. guest: you are both wrong. you should each donate $100 to charity because you're both wrong. let me just say that i did not say the judge was partisan, i did not say democrat. but the judge clearly is a separate arrest and part of a secular socialist culture and what the judge decided was it was funded -- fundamentally wrong in american history. add to your initial comment, i cannot compare president obama to anybody. i said publicly president obama is an attractive person, a personality in which he seems to be moderate in temper. i think his family seems to be a lovely family. i think what michelle obama is going on obesity and a diet and exercise is exactly right and i applaud her for what she is doing. but i said that the secular
socialist movement as a movement and the machine that is now running washington, albany, and sacramento, are as grave a threat as any totalitarian system we have ever seen. by that, i mean, if they gain in total control, if they eliminate got from public life, if they suppress your religious liberties, if they take away your right to earn money and politicians decide who should learn how much and who should be distributed, if bureaucrats in washington can decide every detail of your life, whether it is health care or energy or the environment or you name it, then america as we have known it has ceased to exist. and i think it is that serious a threat. by the way, if you go back and looked at george orwell's 1984, remember, george orwell, and left wing intellectual, so feared centralized planning and government that he wrote in 1984 not about the soviet union, not about not see germany, he wrote it about great britain and he said in his interviews that it
is a warning to all of us that too strong a central government with the best of intentions can end up creating the end of freedom as we have known it, which is also what hiatt said to all -- in "the road to serfdom," and not describing the soviets with the fascists but describing the threat of centralized plant your credit system. host: on page four of new gingrich pocket was book, the words are, the secular socialist machine represent as great a threat to america as nazi germany or soviet union. atlanta, richard, independent line, you are on what newt gingrich. caller: good morning. we miss you in atlanta. guest: thank you. caller: you are right about the zoo. it is a huge change. it is a neat place. first of all deaths, let me get your take -- should congress be the only authority to make war? guest: no, i think there is a
distinction. congress is the only authority which can declare war. but from the very beginning of the george washington and thomas jefferson and john adams, the commander in chief, president, has the capacity to wage war. and because of the nature of warfare, protecting america may require decisions that occur faster than congress. i did urge in 2001 that we enact a declaration of war after 9/11 because i thought it was important to create the legal framework of warfare. but frankly, it was the lawyers who said don't do it. i think in retrospect they were wrong. when the united states engages in prolonged, that it was should be in the framework where we declared war and i think there is some danger of having this sense of permanent conflict without any kind of a program illegal status. host: that caller mentioned the zoo atlanta. if you go to the c-span archives you can see a tour that c-span did with newt gingrich when he
first became speaker down at the zoo. farmington, new mexico, city, republican. callego-ahead. caller: mr. speaker, i talked to you two years ago when i predicted the route to republicans took in congress. the whole thing has had me mystified until recently. a very dear friend of mine in phoenix loaned me a book called the fabian freeway by rose miller -- sorry, rose martin. it made everything come together. the fabian socialists have been around since 1886. i can see what is happening today as just a continuation of what mrs. martin wrote about in 1966. the people we are dealing with now to not carry cards and their pocket talking about the fact that they are socialists, but
they are. when you look at what they are doing, it is looking toward a world socialist government. in the united kingdom or england today is just about taken over by them. the parliament is all fabian socialists. guest: i actually think you are onto something. the reason why i wrote to save america and the reason why describe a secular socialism machine it is that i think our friends of the left would like to pretend to be moderates while the things they're doing are extraordinary. if you look at the obamacare bill, which will turn out to be absolutely impossible to sustain -- for example, the estimate for the cost of the high risk pools just came out this week. eight times, that is 800%, more expensive than the estimated three months ago if you look at the congressional budget office recent recalculation, it pushes the cost of the bill above $1 trillion. if you look at -- we produced at
the center for help transformation -- you can go to help transformation.net, and we produced a chart of the 159 new offices and agencies. the chart is 3 feet by 6 feet because and ordered to be a book to read 100 but denied different agencies and office said it took 3 feet by 6 feet. how can these people believe in such gigantic centralized bureaucratic government and then, as you point out, you go back to the fabian socialists and you sort of begin to understand. they are honestly and authentically secular socialist spirit of the system they are trying to build a machine. that is why i have been running things through the matter what the american people think. and the purpose of "to save america" is to outline both the challenges and solutions that would enable us to meet the challenge. host: santa cruz, california. john, democrat. caller: full disclosure -- and i will toss out this anecdotal
thing. i have the emotional maturity of what i call a democrat, and that is not a bad thing. i think if he's there to but we talk about the democrats, they think what they're -- stereotypically, but democrats, they think what their feelings. i am a registered republican but i am a disenchanted republican. i tried calling on the independent line. host: we got that. what is your question? caller: the moral undertones' i really admired from president reagan seems to be really lost. there are a lot of people out there trying. they are taking it as best as they can. and i'm looking for that in a leader. there are a lot of cunning and clever ways people seem to be putting on that fake moral undertone and trying to catch up with it emotionally and their character development. but i see it in mr. gingrich's,
to a degree, but he is also very bright and smart and it is too much for somebody like me as i am trying to grow. guest: i am not quite sure what that means. i can tell you that we did a movie called "ronald reagan: rondo with destiny" which was as study of reagan's life and what he achieved. i agree about his ability and the way he dealt with things and a power that he had appeared -- that he had. but i think the deeper points you are making, is when you are in a period of very great difficulty, sort of like a boat that is at sea and the storm is overwhelming, and you want a captain of the ship who is calm and confident and knows where they are going and who knows how to survive the storm.
and i think president reagan had those characteristics. and i suspect as we watch the europeans it was in get worse, as we realize how deep our economic challenges are, as we understand how serious a threat is from the radical wing of islam, that somewhere in the process your instinct is right and we will go back to looking for a leader that has gone of the strength and calmness and firmness of purpose that president reagan had. host: is there an overlay of morality in "to save america?" guest: in a sense that there is an overlay and faith in america. i declare to drive this one point home, peter. our declaration of independence, our first political document says we are endowed by our creator with certain in the liberal rights, among which are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. and the scottish enlightenment, where jefferson took pursuit of happiness, it meant wisdom and
virtue, not hedonism and acquisition. i would say to the american has to be in the end to be concerned about a life of faith, you have to approach god in your own way, but how can you describe a country whose rights come from their creator of your school system refuses to describe creator, if you refuse to teach its children what the declaration of independence is? host: last call, illinois. fran. caller: thank you so much for writing this book. i really appreciate it. i in my youth read "1984" and it scared the heck out of me and now i see barack obama implementing these things that i read in 1984. i thank you very much for bringing this out. i do live in illinois. i know all about obama and i know about his questionable behavior is politically, and about the university of chicago where he and the thinkers that he brought into his
administration come from. thanks again. guest: thank you. part of the reason why i described as a machine comes out of the chicago background and the fact that if it gets $787 billion out of congress and a stimulus bill that no elected officials read, that is the behavior of a machine. host: you started out as a backbencher. guest: i started out as a failed candidate. lost twice. host: good point. are you part of the establishment today? and quickly assess arlen specter and rand paul. guest: i think it was good that arlen specter lost. i think to switch out of personal ambition is wrong, just like what i think charlie crist and where is doing is wrong. and it is good the people in pennsylvania said know. i think rand paul does represent an insurgency against the establishment and i think you will see more of that.
i am a little bit like reagan -- reagan was president for eight years. he spent one out of the eight years at the ranch. and i think he never once was inside washington in his head. i think he was always leading the country from the white house, but going to georgetown was never part of his life. and i would say i have been actively studying government and national security and politics since between my freshman and sophomore years in high school when my dad was serving in the army in europe and the french fourth republic died when we were living in france and i became startled by the fact that really bad leadership can destroy a country. so i have been doing this since august of 1958. and in that sense, you would have to say that i'm part of the system, but i think i have pretty consistently been a part of the insurgent change- oriented take on the establishment in both parties part of the system.
and it makes for an interesting, complex balance. host: new contract for america needed for 2010, and what would take things you would recommend? guest: i think kevin mccarthy is going to undertake developing that for the house republicans and for john boehner. i think the number one thing i would take on now after yesterday's disgraceful performance by the democrats in a plodding, standing and applauding the mexican president as he attacked an american state, i think republicans ought to commit themselves to control the border within six months and let the democrats oppose them. i think the country will overwhelmingly choose controlling the border. host: "to save america: stopping obama's secular socialism machine." we have one more offer coming up, jonathan alter. here is the cover of his book.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> a couple of life begins to talk about this morning. at the annual conference of the center for oceans law and policy host a forum on national security and here's the alaska senator lisa m. rakowski. that is on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. also at 10:00 a.m. eastern, c-
span2 -- c-span2, a hearing on accounting and auditing standards. witnesses include the chief accounting -- accountant with the securities and exchange commission. >> june 28, supreme court justice nominee elena kagan will testify before the senate judiciary committee. you can find all the key moments from previous confirmation hearings, from anson's glia to sonia sotomayor, online at the c-span video library. every program from 1987. it is washington your way. >> in some ways, every senate class gives you a sense of what the country is thinking at that moment. >> d.c. journalist parents samuel looks behind the institution of the u.s. senate -- the opera house -- sunday on c-span's q&a. >> " washington journal" continues. host: this is the cover of jonathan alter's newest book
"the promise: president obama, year 1." 1 chapter is named zen temperament. he writes that in the west wing it is usually 60 degrees and cool. what do you mean by that? guest: remember the old commercial from the 1960's and 70's for the underarm deodorant, i think it was called is blue secret -- cool, calm, collected. that is barack obama. everything is very even tempered. and if he gets even a little bit irritated, it really stings because normally things are placid. but you don't have the highs and lows that you got under clinton. another chapter called the un- bubba, how he and -- contrasts. it is not chilly, not that it is a cold environment. he is a friendly president. but there is a certain reserve and a detachment. in some ways that is one of the kinds of things that makes
people like him that -- like and, because he is cool in more than 1 cents. you know the kids in high school, no matter what they did, they were cold. obama was like that in high school and he was like that now. host: and jonathan alter, a lot of reports -- and you talk about this in this chapter also -- is the president does have a thin skin. he is defensive. did you find that? guest: i think all presidents have thin skins and all presidents are subject to getting angry about leaks and obama is no exception. i actually go through some of the prior presidents and their attitudes toward leaks. he is a bit of a control freak and he gets real upset when people are talking out of school. he does not read people's heads off, though. he does not really sort of -- jump on top of somebody. it is more of a bit of a icy
glare, looking at people, and people are thinking, does he think i'm the leak? it is the lack of the temper, and some ways makes his anchor even a little more frightening for those on the inside. but he is considered to be a decent boss. he doesn't abuse people and manipulate people. but he can't be pretty upset, not just with the press -- he can be a little upset, not the press corps that he thinks can be trivial and not serious at times, but those on this team that are leaking. he would be really upset about leaks and then it would leak to me. host: jonathan, you got a lot of access in this book. you have conversations in here that took place behind closed doors, etcetera. did the president's btu and what kind of access did you have to his staff? guest: i did speak twice to the president -- once off the
record, and i did a pretty long interview with him in the old office last november, which actually the audio of the interview is bundled with the audio book of "the promise" for people who want to hear his voice in the oval office. he said a lot of interesting things. at one point, on this issue about him being jammed and boxed in by the pentagon, he said i can neither confirm or deny that i was jammed by the pentagon, which i thought was interesting. i spoke to the vice-president at length and i did speak to all of the president's top people in the white house. the only ones that i named it that i talked to are the big four -- rahm emanuel, valerie jarrett, david axelrod -- but a number of others are quoted as well. and there are quite a number of others that spoke to me but were a little gun shy and not want their names attached. i did it try to be careful that
when i quoted as somebody directly on the record, i did go back to them because these conversations were all on background, and check to them that it was accurate. host: use through out a name that people might not be familiar with, pete rauss. guest: he is a 30-year veteran of capitol hill, he is often called the 101st senator, he was tom daschle's chief of staff and when the barack obama arrived in 2005 in the senate, he became obama's chief of staff. in the senate. pete is kind of shy. on the inauguration, for instance, instead of sitting in the front row, he watched it on television. the president, who likes to wander around the west wing and walk into other people's offices, he jokes that pete does not like to travel, does not like to take foreign trips much,
would not even traveled down to the oval office to see him so obama had to go down to peter's office. he is sometimes called a kinder winston wolf, who was a party -- character and pulp fiction because when there is a problem, often the president will assign pete to handle it. pete was a very generous with his time with me. he does not talk to too many reporters, but he gave me great insight, as did the other top people around the present appeared they knew it was not all going to be positive. that this was going to be, in some ways, a mixed picture. and that i was not going to cover for them. but i think they thought that i would treat the whole thing in a fair minded way, which is what i tried to do. host: what is the importance of that -- -- valerie jared?
guest: she is the only aid that is both a senior offical and in the very innermost circle of their family life. so, she actually vacations with them in hawaii every christmas and has for years and she is almost like the older sister to be obamas. they met in the 1990's when michelle obama was thinking about taking a job at city hall, and a valerie hired her in chicago and she met barack obama at dinner one night and they found that a shared things in terms of their past. valerie jarett was raised in iran, rather was an american doctor raised in iran and the president was raised at least in his young life in indonesia. she is also in charge of the fice of public engagement. a lot of the public out of reach. in charge of relations with the
business community, which becomes part of the issue that i deal with in the book. but she has a better sense of any of them of how the obamas, both the president and first lady, to react in any situation. she can almost tell you in an uncanny way what their response will be. it's good you started working on this in november of 2008 and finished it in march 2010. what is the importance of having a book about the first year of a president? guest: the last book i wrote -- "the defining moment: fdr's final days." i was researching that roosevelt's debut was critical and understanding him and why his presidency worked, and of course, it was a very eventful 100 days when the economy was in shambles, 25% unemployment, the decks of the depression, and i
wanted to understand how roosevelt lifted us up. so i sensed by november of 2008 that this was going to be not the same, not as dire as of the depression. -- depression, but we were in considerable danger of that and another great depression. remember when obama came to office we were losing 740,000 jobs a month. if we had stayed on that path by the end of last year we would have been in another great depression. so, they had to prevent a depression and i knew it was going to be a big story and i knew the story of how the first african-american president settled into office would be history. so, i was pretty confident, even though nothing had happened yet in november of 2008, that the story would unfold and i knew even then he was already making critical decisions as the private citizen, president- elect, that he was making $100
billion decisions almost every day and they were on a much larger scale than in the past. whereas bill clinton tried and failed with a $60 billion stimulus, the obama stimulus was $787 billion. a lot of moving parts. four or five landmark pieces of legislation on an open to one bill. so i knew it even if health care did not happen or some of the other things did not unfold, that there would be a good story. host: in fact, jonathan alter rights -- obama dented more immovable barriers since any president since ronald reagan. we put the numbers up on the screen if you want to participate. i want to read one more thing and then go to calls. this is about the bubble you write that obama was convinced that all of the cable talk-show noise was just another part of the bubble, the chatter of elites with little connection to real americans. the recent presidents failed, he
believed, was patently obvious. they lost touch. that explained why he traveled outside washington about once a week and it sure to read those 10 letters from average americans each day. "i worry about him getting information the tiered eric whitaker said. "are worried about people not telling the truth. " so did obama. guest: eric would occur is one of his two best friends from chicago, a physician at university of chicago hospitals. i tried to talk to people outside the white house who were close friends of his to get more insight into his character. ironically, peter, this is where i think obama most failed. he wanted to get out of the bubble. he wanted to maintain the connection to the american people, and somewhere along the way he lost at least some of that connection. and that accounts for some of the political problems he had in his first year, is that he
wasn't completely in tune with them. there was a story about franklin roosevelt -- a funeral procession was moving and a man fell to his knees in grief and another gentleman helped them to the feet and he said, did you know the president, and the first man said, no, but he knew me. and i think in his first year, with all of his successes -- and there were many -- barack obama did not yet give the american people a sense that he knew them and really understood their problems. it caused a lot of problems early on. host: this is the book. bowie, maryland. democrat. guest: yes. i am a real fan of yours. i have been watching you cannot. -- watching you a lot.
guest: thanks. caller: i want to know if most of the republicans hate obama because he is very educated and smart and they are just afraid of him? and another thing i wanted to ask you -- do you think the tea party are racist act of the things rand paul said yesterday, that he don't believe in the civil rights part of it? guest: first of all, no, i don't think you can say most republicans believe this or that are most democrats. i am very careful to avoid those kinds of generalizations. one thing that has interested me, and a few days that the book has been out, i had a lot of
interest from a conservative radio talk-show hosts who also like the book. so, what i'm trying to do is to give people more information on which to make their own judgments about this man and his administration. to your question, though, i do think you are right that there were at least some people, including some independents as well as republicans, who did sometimes get the feeling that he was -- in the title of one of my chapter -- the professor in chief. %+ey kind of resented that he was surrounded himself with all of these, what george wallace used to call, pointy heads, or in at least begins in's day, they called them a head, he was too much in the academic world and it was a little bit threatening to at least some people. as far as the racial dimension some oobviously there are
racists with obama could never get a break. i think it is unfair to the tea party movement to label it as a racist movement. the vast majority of them, their views are not motivated by race. by the way, obama does not think so, either. for a little perspective, remember they called bill clinton a murder, drug dealer, they said franklin roosevelt -- talking about critics -- that he had syphilis in the brain, abraham lincoln was a monkey, thomas jefferson, they were going after the sally handing things in real time and early 1800's. so politics has always been a contact sport. and i think it is important for supporters of the president not to blame all of the criticism, even when it is fierce, and oftentimes untrue, to blame that criticism on racism.
as he set at one point, he said, look, i was black before i was elected and the american people elected me anyway. i asked him about this a little bit, and i found talking to other folks, one day in the oval office, when health care was really in trouble and he is asked by rahm emanuel, are you still feeling lucky, and he said, yes, i am fairly -- i am feeling lucky, my name is buraku st. obama and i am sitting here in the oval office. -- my name is barack hussein obama and i am still in office. people did not care as much about what everybody is art bring about and watching -- and ought to be fair, he feels the american people are fair and with enough time he will be able to maintain their support and i actually think he is right. host: you seem to have some fun with some of the chapter titles.
rahmbo, the skinny guy and the fat cats, chaosistan. this should have a warning. guest: it is x-rated. keep the kids away. a lot of f-bombs. it is could you say he is lyndon johnson. guest: there are real comparisons. i have known him for 20 years, and he is one of the few people in washington that when you need something done, he can get it done. most people in washington, they sit in meetings and a schedule the next meeting before the first meeting is over and nothing really happens and there is just a tiny handful of people who can get done and he for years have been one of the people. i am fascinated with one -- what happens when that kind of guy becomes white house chief of
staff and i tried to tell the story. he almost died when he was a young man, an infection spread through his body, and he tells the story and i think that shaped him. he is also just really funny. comic relief in that chapter. he is a lot shorter than lbj but he stands just as close as he puts his finger in your chest and even when he was a young man in the clinton white house, tony blair, prime minister of england, and, right of vertigo and stage and he puts the figure in the prime minister's task and says don't f it up. host: new york city, susan, independent line. caller: we have listened to obama talk a good game about switching to a renewal clean
energy in the past two years but when it comes to action, his administration is mirroring the bush administration and we can start with his appointments of cans salazar -- can salazar as secretary of interior. everybody knows he is in bed with oil and gas industry. here is a man who was appointed to oversee and investigate what his own department -- all right, did, in terms of letting these oil companies not have environmental. so, i have to ask, are we really getting any difference from the bush administration? guest: the answer to that question is, yes. let me give you a couple of reasons why. the foxes guarding the chicken coop quality you talking about within the interior department, that is a legacy of the bush years when the extraction industries just ran american
energy policy. i had a story in "newsweek" i guess more than eight years ago during the bush administration, who do you think was interviewing the candidates to be head of the energy regulatory commission? ken lay of enron. they had turned everything over to the folks. the obama people are not like that. now, what everyone says about ken salazar -- and i am not sure your character is it is correct -- if you look at the record, the stimulus bill, the amount of money for renewable energy dwarf anything that had been done before. so the idea that this is a continuation of the past is not right. there were hundreds of millions of dollars, the largest energy bill, renewable energy, by a long shot in american history, that was part of that stimulus. what happened is there was so
much of the stimulus, it was the biggest infrastructure since the highway act in the 1950's, the biggest tax cut since reagan. biggest education bill since the 19 sixties. did it -- since the 1960's. did such a poor job of explaining it, because they wanted to get it done by presidents day last year, so a lot of the details like a manager were completely missed by everybody. i have a scene in my book where the president elect determined to build a new smart energy grid, and he said it is like an to the moon, we can do it. it would create thousands and thousands of new jobs and he was willing to put billions and billions of dollars into this, and he did put many billions in but he wanted to do it even bigger. he found that the impediments,
216 different agencies, but "not in my back yard" quality of american government where all the local agencies can block the development made it hard for him to implement all of this energy ideas. closing on this point -- he is very determined to have major energy legislation and i think when it is finally enacted some time in the next year or two i think you will be generally pleased. host: we just got his updated schedule for today. meeting with senator dodd and congressman barney frank about financial regulations since they both passed. you got a story and hear about barney frank and treasury secretary paulson at the white house. guest: odds of timber 25, 2008, in the bush white house -- on september 25, 2008, in the bush white house -- remember, the economy was collapsing and a lot of people do think we were headed for another depression.
mccain suspenses campaign and asks bush to have a big meeting in washington and that is my opening chapter -- called obama takes charge. in this meeting, mccain was silent the first 43 minutes and when he spoke he did not say anything and even though republicans m of ram, 1 whispered to a couple of democratic senators, jokingly, even the republicans here will vote for obama because he clearly showed much more command of the crisis that come -- mccain did. what happened in the meeting was there was a real problem with but republican support on the hill for part -- tarp, and it put paulson and a deposition. in the hall after the meeting obama says, this place is bugged. he retreats to the roosevelt room. henry paulson -- hank paulson comes in on bended knee with a nancy pelosi, and said please don't blow of the deal. and she says, i did not know you
were catholic. and as part did not come out of all. barney frank bursts in with a string of expletives beyond his normal banker, and he is pretty quick to anger as it is -- really out of control and both robert gibbs and jim manly, harry reid's spokesman, told me on the record that they thought it was going to get physical between barney frank and hank paulson. barney frank was saying, blow of the deal, we are not blowing it up, it is your people blowing up of the f-ing deal, you go back and tell your party to get it together. senator obama goes between them like a teacher on the playground with his hands spread and says easy guys, easy. hank, you go back and talk to spencer -- spencer baucus, ranking minority member of the
house financial-services committee and get it straightened out with him and we will get straightened out here and he kind of made peace and as he left on the way back to the hotel he is telling his staff of the car phone, the conference call, that was the most surreal experience i have ever had. host: the next call for jonathan alter, hope bail, jean, a democrat. caller: i have been following you for a long time. i enjoy your work. two points -- he came in here with a very liberal agenda and immediately moved, it looks like, towards the center. example, no single pair in the health care. -- single payer in health care. the second point, he seemed to be more liberal toward marijuana before he was elected. is there an influence in
congress or the white house that would be pushing him against medical or even legalization across the country? guest: both of these are related. obama is a pragmatist. years ago he was for single pair but he recognized at the beginning of the process it was a complete non starter. i have a chapter called the perfect and the good. it comes from obama's idea is that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good. in other words, if you consider a single payer to be perfect you did not want that to prevent some progress. if he held out for that he would get nothing. the same thing for the public option -- there were not the votes for either single payer or public option. it reminds me of fdr, when he puts through social security, a
lot of liberals say it is a sellout, it ensures fewer than 40% of senior citizens and roosevelt said we got to start somewhere and then we can build on it. if we don't start somewhere, we get nothing. that was obama's attitude. medical marijuana, i think he sees it as a distraction. i think he has this pragmatic no distraction policy. don't ask, don't tell -- they will deal with it now but they didn't want these secondary issues to be wrecking their primary agenda, which was to prevent a depression, get health care done, get the stimulus through, and the three or four big things that they wanted to get done. so all of the other issues that are quite legitimate and people care about a lot are put on the back burner at least for awhile. host: new mexico, rubin, republican mind. caller: hello, i have a couple
of questions. how did you arrive at the title "the promised"? and what is your take on the financial collapse that we had -- housing specifically. i saw videotapes only on fox, of course, videotapes where barney frank and the democrats were basically bending the arms of the banks, bank representatives were there in front of congress and they were -- host: tell you what, let us get the answer to the first question and if this -- did was to expand in the previous answer. th te promise the tears of balkans office with a lot of promise and the american people were wondering if he would make
good. in my epilogue i take readers through which of them hit the field and which he did not. i noticed in his acceptance speech at the democratic convention in 2008 in denver, he used the word promise 19 times in that speech, so my prologue is just a very, very short recap of that acceptance speech. all of that pointed to the title "the promise." i did not especially give him high marks on housing policy and preventing foreclosures. but i also think of that sort of the finger-pointing going on, where republicans are saying this housing crisis is the democrats' fault and democrats are saying, well, it is all the republicans' fault -- there is enough blame to go around. and were some good things done by both the congress and
president obama in this area. host: the subtitle -- "president obama, year one." will there be a year's supply? guest: there will not be a year's supply book, but will live returned to the general topic? possibly. i have great respect for bob woodward and we actually have the same publisher and a wonderful actor, my editor -- a wonderful editor, editor from my last book and bob woodward's editor going back to his first book. we have different kinds of journalists. and i think readers will have to judge for themselves. i did have the advantage of being the first book out on the presidency. there have been books about his past and his background. obviously there have been
campaign books. but i was pretty intent to be the first one on what he is like in office. did i beat bob on that in being first, for deadline journalists like bob woodward, that is nice. host: columbia, tennessee, will, independent line. guest: sure appreciate this opportunity. -- all because sure appreciate this opportunity. thank you, c-span. the media out here in america, given the transparency of off the branches. i have a three statements real quick -- to mr. errors. guest: i did not want to get conflict -- computer with a bill . ayers caller: i watched c-span consistently and you have both
of the chamber's, senate and house, coming in and they offer their prayers, a very humbling scene, to god, for direction, and they offer the pledge of allegiance showing the true patriotism of their desires. but getting back to the title of your book. there is so much hypocrisy. you really ought to title the book "the false promises." host: argonaut a fan of president obama -- are you not a fan of president obama? caller: yes, sir. i will tell you what i did. i was voting for bush, hoping he would really, it themselves and the first -- he did worst -- which " did you vote for president obama? caller: i voted for president
obama and i really looked forward to the promises he did make. host: do you think president obama succeeded in his first year? one of your goals was to talk about how he got there, what he did and how he did it. guest: i do think he succeeded. most of what i'm trying to do it is give folks like that collor and others more information on which to make their own judgments on where he succeeded and failed. there is too much talk -- even though i'm a punt and -- to much talk, opinion, and not enough reporting about what is going on beard that was my first objective. but i did try to sum up where he fulfilled his promises and where he had not. obviously some he did not fulfil, like closing guantanamo bay by january 1. it is still open. and there are many others. but if you look at it in total -- politifact, a political --
pulitzer prize-winning website and they assessed all of his promises and he either fulfilled or made progress on close to 400 of them by the end of his first year. you can say, well, the 100 he did not are the ones i care about. but if you are interested where he did succeed in the fulfilling the promises and where he fell short, i do have that in "the promise." host: chicago, larry, republican. caller: two questions. one is for the author of him and one for c-span. my question for c-span is -- did they look into michelle obama's appearances or interviews with jesse jackson's daughter on a radio station in chicago -- chicago, a black radio station, before the election? did they look into that at all?
for the offer, on rahm emanuel, did rahm emanuel served in the israeli army and not the american army and? guest: i am not sure what he is talking about in terms of the interview with santita jackson. she is a close friend of michelle obama and she was at their wedding. but there is a lot of misinformation on line about the obamas. if he is referring to something about making comments about whitey, that is completely 100% false, it simply did not happen. the interviews in question that some people on line have raised have been listened to, including by me, and did not contain any of that. on the second question, as far as rahm emanuel, he did not serve in the israeli army but what he did do it during the
gulf war in 1991 -- remember, he was too young for vietnam, too young for the american draft -- he went on -- over as a volunteer with an organization trying to -- remember, israel was being bombed by scud missiles sent by saddam hussein and it was a very, very frightening time in israel and in the united states as we were in the middle of the gulf war, and he went over and with a civilian units he worked on repairing israeli trucks so they could get supplies to civilians more easily. he did that on a volunteer basis for a few weeks in 1991. but it was not the israeli defense force. host: last call, anne on the democrats' line the caller: this is so great to have jonathan alter on. i have read every excerpt i can so far about the book and i plan on picking it up.
there was an excellent book and i cannot remember the author, but a washington post writer that was called "the angler" about dick cheney. guest: an outstanding book. caller: what kept coming up in his book is how cheney was a master at establishing a kind of an inside the agencies in washington. it and what i'm kind of picking up is there is a lot of carry over that we are seeing today in some of the actions that are now being taken by the obama administration. when you have such a right cleaning establishment going on for eight years, the baseline, the 50 yard line, is it reall