tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN January 21, 2011 6:30pm-11:00pm EST
m.b.a.'s always outearn their peers. i think that when sarge left to take a quick trip around the world to see if anybody would actually invite the peace corps their countries, it happened in a way -- it happened in the wake of the bay of pigs, one of the worst foreign policy disasters that had befallen this country in recent times. today here we are again at a similar point. i think of the idealism and the goodwill and the cultural sensitivity that the -- that we were taught in thepeace corps and how it echoed all over this country. not only with us who are peace corps volunteers, but our families. in my case, both parents came to visit me. my sister came. everybody in my family was affected by my two years in columb. my sister became a spanish major. we made friends from all over
the world, and i think that that has happened and you cannot have been a peace corps volunteer and lived the life on the ground that we all lived all over the world, and have been a part anything that has been in the helines in the last few days. it just doesn't exist that way. and i'm sorry that some of those lessons are being lost. i wanted to remember -- sargent shriver has been responsible for giving so many of us our greatest moments in life, those of us who were peace corps volunteers and he also at a particular time allowed women to have choices that they never would have had otherwise. because in the '60's when the peace corps first started, women's choices were basically to be a teher or a nurse or a secretary or maybe an airline stewardess. there weren't really a lot of oices for us. but when we were trained in the peace corps and when we were assigned, we were absolutely equal. and i think of the women today
whom i know who got their start in the peace corps and how important it was that we were not discriminated against there. i'll just throw out a few names. donna shalala, former cabinet member, karen bellamy, who is heading you know areceive. there's a fabulous medical anthropologist at the university of california, berkeley. by the way, safrmg, -- sarge, she started by studying schizophrenia in irish bachelo bachelors, and had you not finally said, yes, well, history might have been different. anyway, she is leading an enti entire -- a global -- she's the leading authority on poor people who have been campaigning to -- to be lured to sell their organs to richer people, human organ trafficking. she's the lead in that. i have another friend who makes some of the most beautiful carpets in the world. she employs 10,000 people in
nepal and she started a rug market against child labor in the rug trade. it is having a huge effect in this country. i think these are the people that i know who their peace corps experience has completely transformed their lives and we owe that to you and all the ople who made it work. and just one more anecdote, my own personal experience, i was in columbia for two years in med ayeen, right in the heart of where all the drug lords began. we built a school and i was very thrilled that the school was named for me. and it had two classrooms and 35 students when we began, andi guess one of the greatest mome moments in my life was in 1995 when i went back to see the school. and pablo escobar had been hiding out nearby before he was killed a couple of years before. but throughouthat horrible time, all the children still
went to school and the school had expanded to the point where it had over 120 children, and two floor, and some of them went on through to the university. at tha moment, that day, they gave me a six-hour homage, songs and poems and dances and a mass, and it was absolutely beautiful. they still had the little picture that was in all of the houses when i began which was president kennedy's picture, ask not what you can do for ur country, but what your country can do for you. it lasted all that time in that part of columbia in the andes. and i just got word -- i just got my first email, they finally got computers the other day. it is now going all the way through high school and now called instituteo maureen orth. so i measure my success by you, sarge. and i really -- i really want to
fish by saying that there's an old idiom proverb which say, never let your fame outshame your truth. and you are one of the most famous people i know, but your trut shines far beyond that. thank you. >> we are going to take you live to the georgetown area of washington, d.c. you see folks are arriving for a memorial service for former ambassador and peace corps founding director sargent shriver. he died this week after a long bout with alzheimer's disease. we have live coverage here on c- span.
>> hello. good evening, everybody. we are hoping people will start to take their seats. we have a little bit of a program. we want to get going on time. after the program, we will all be here. those of you still on the line, if you would not mind jumping into your seat and coming up here and say hello to others
>> please stand. in the name of the fatah, the son, and the holy spirit. on behalf of the parishioners of the holy trinity, we welcome all of you here this evening. we believe there is a time when the friendship and affection among us cannot unravel with death. we are confident that bob is -- that god is with us always, even in death. let us pray for our friend, sarge, that he will have full mess as in life. we pray for ourselves that we will have consolation and peace. let us sing "amazing grace," number 737 in the red hymnal.
>> let us pray. god, glory of the leaders and life of the just, by the death and resurrection of jesus, we are redeemed. show us the life of christ's resurrection as we pray for sarge and those who loved him. we asked this through christ our lord. please be seated. >> we have been working on it and rehearsing, as you can see.
you are all coming up, right? the idea was we were all going to come up. we all wanted to welcome you here today. one of the great blessings of this moment is a chance for all of us to spend a lot of time together in the days before dad passed and the days after to work on this plan. not only where their people who felt they were sarge's kids, but daddy loved a party. the thing he disliked most about the party was when the last person ready to leave. he would frequently go to the door with that last person and
say, "wants you stay -- want you stay a little longer?" he believed in the power of the party to bring people together and to bring forth many of our relationships and the great work that many of you did with him. we hope that the atmosphere, even though we are in a church, the atmosphere will be a party that everyoneath, will feel this is a celebration of his life. so many of his friends from all over the world are here. we will listen to these amazing friends of daddy's who will tell you amazing stories about the different parts of his life. and we will listen to this amazing music and have a great evening. we welcome you here and look will work to chatting with you afterward.
our first speaker is the one and only steny hoyer. >> bobby, this is certainly the kind of crowd you feel buried in formal in. none of us will be nervous about celebrating the extraordinary life. bobby, maria, timothy, mark, and the nay, my friends. i am not your brother or sister. i understand that. in a real sense, we are all sarge's children in this house tonight. in his foreword in the biography to sargent shriver, another one of my heroes started the first line being, "he changed my
life." i am sure that bill will speak to that when his turn comes. i say that about bill to his brother-in-law whose inauguration 50 years ago we just commemorated. how fitting that that commemoration was so involved with the memory of sargent shriver as well. i can say emphatically that sent me king -- meeting sarge and eunice shriver over 48 years ago that he and she and their children have greatly enriched my life. we met at the washingtonian motel in 1962 at the maryland
young democrats' convention. he was a speaker, a person of towering, awe-inspiring proportions. his wife the sister of my hero who would become my hero. what an extraordinary couple, a partnership of price less, selfless service. larg -- sarge was a man with a passion for people. all of us experienced that. he was most assuredly a good and decent man, as ted said of bobby. we in maryland are proud to count him as one of our most distinguished sons. as a young state senator in 1970, i was hoping to support him for governor.
with his roots deep in maryland and in his state, i was convinced he could be elected governor of maryland. but he was still ambassador in france. that campaign was not to be. thousands knew him and millions more knew of him. perhaps not face to face, but through the legacy of good works that he left behind, a legacy that captures not just the last in parts of his personality, but the american personality at its best. he worked side by side with an american peace corps volunteer. no matter how far from our shores, you know sargent shriver. it is a foundation of your education -- if the foundation of your education was laid in a
head start contra, you know sargent shriver. if you felt become petition of the special olympic , you know sargent shriver. his biographer wrote of his stay in service. if he could have willed anything to us, to all of us who knew him, i believe he would have willed us that they in service, that kind of faith that is something that can be handled by words if we open ourselves up to them. if we find in our own lives something of the hopeful mess lifemove sargent shriver's for those 95 extraordinary years. again, i use the word of bill moyers. bill, i hope i have not taken all of your stuff. [laughter]
but in reading his or were to be biography, it was compelling. he said this and, bill, i agree with you. "sarge is the christian who came closest to the imitation of christ in a life of service." what a wonderful way to describe an extraordinary life. sarge said the only genuine elite was the lead of those men and women who gave their lives to justice and charity. that is a deeply american faith. an elite not set by birth or wealth, not bound by time or place, but open and equal to everyone of us who truly chooses to join it. sargent shriver was a charter member of the elite service, where the of our unrestraint admiration, respect, love, and
appreciation. indeed, he was a giant in the in the generation we called the greatest. his life was an invitation to join him, an invitation to ask not what others can do for you, but what you can do for others. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> i felt like at least even some did when he lost that election in illinois. i am too old to cry. shriver's departure is no small thing. someone asked me yesterday, what was he like, who do you compare him with? i thought for just a few minutes and one name that came to mind was nelson mandela. this was no ordinary person that was put here on earth. like mandela, he carried no animosity. those who saw south africa get its independence said it would be a bloodbath. mandela said, no, only if we
respect each other's culture. we can have cultural sensitivity. we talk about peace corps i volunteers being trained and what not but one thing we have always talked about is cultural sensitivity. we need more cultural sensitivity in america. we need a lot more sargent shrivers. [applause] the idea that some of us can live in our neighborhoods and and never meet our neighbors, that was unthinkable in shriver's world. regardless of your problem or color, it meant nothing to shriver other than you were a human being and you needed to be
listened to and helped. that is what he was all about. this was special. he learned early in the peace corps, if you can train volunteers well, teach them some cross-cultural sensitivity and some language and let them live amongst the people regardless of their culture and their stations in life, you can make the community better. that in fact should be our foreign policy. that should be our domestic policy. we need to get ready for the future because the future is coming. by the middle of the century, this church will not look like the people in this room. they will have changed color. sarge knew that. that is the challenge, learning to live together. to make up the mind that people cannot be prescribed by some
kind of decision that someone made in a church or town somewhere. shriver said it was just a human being. if he knew if a volunteer was having trouble, he would get in that car and jeep and not stop until he got there to listen to their story. the problem is that there was not enough of him to go around. there was not enough of him to go round. we celebrate this evening and is best articulated in the words as victor hugo? when the earth was born and the oldest and it was new and before god out of the chaos and the heaven was blue, he ordained one commandment in the midst of the night, but the glory of life struggle and the secret of progress is fright. enjoy through the mists of sorrow, hold on to tomorrow and
fight for all of your fears. transform your troubles and triumphs, this is god's oldest plan. the joy of life his struggle, go out and face it like a woman or a man. thank you. [applause] let me introduce you to an ex peace corps volunteer. [applause] >> thank-you some much. do i have to follow a preacher? how fitting for sarge that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of john f. kennedy's famous exhortation, "ask not what your country can do for you
but what you can do for your country." throughout his life from her royal naval service through civil rights, the peace corps, the war on poverty, ambassador to france, and as co-founder of the special olympics, he embodied this. he turned the words into action. we owe him some of the most richest and most of all imports of our life. he is the reason i went to columbia to work at my old peace corps site. he was the one that allowed us to take incredible journeys around the globe and to grasp what a privilege it was to serve. we learned about the beauty of the world and its peoples and to feel deep and are bonds that whether living in huts or teaching in dusty villages, it
was after becoming friends with the people that research and sharing with them on the most basic human level that we can actually say, we get it. we understand human democracy, peace. sarge was our founding father, our model, our treasure. he let us be our best. he taught us all. once i introduced him as the george washington of the peace corps and he said, no, george washington was here and i am here. what an amazing partnership they had. he did think that is why should be canonized as a saint. maybe thought it should be the reverse for his so loyally
serving her. once on the phone, eunice told me how the peace corps had gotten started. she said that jeff k. had called the house looking for sarge. he is not here, call back. at 8:30, the president called again and sarge was there. according to eunice, he immediately came downstairs and putting the peace corps together. they had no offices, it was five men and a hotel room. she made it sound like it was the marx brothers. sarge joke because of its potential for failure, heading the peace corps was the ultimate brother and my job. -- the ultimate brother-in-law
job. he went around the world talking to heads of state who wanted soft power. they wanted the idealistic kids and committed grown-ups. countries like iran, iraq, afghanistan happily welcomed us. one of his original plans had been able to play out and thousands has served in this country's. it is tantalizing to ask if we would now be at war. more than anyone i knew, he lived his faith and open his heart to the gospel. as kind of spiritual as he truly was, he could also be tough. we were in the middle of planning a meeting of influential politicians and prominent volunteers and sarge was indignant that the peace
corps had not been allowed to expand. he thought it was disgraceful does not even have the budget of the military marching band. i sent him a clipping about an embassy official who had hired a private investigator to find his old peace corps teacher from 25 years ago. the african man found his teacher in maine still teaching first and second graders. his old people into the class unannounced and with tears streaming down his face, he sang a song that he was taught by his teacher, "she will be coming around the mountain when she comes." maybe it would-be a good idea to invite him to this, sarge said.
sarge that was. i love how he fought for us. one day after i introduced him to my husband who had just been named the chief of nbc news, he totally ignored him and said, the only reason he is invited here is because if you -- of you. he always wanted you to think that you were the star and sometimes he got people to do his bidding. i marveled that his alzheimer's was advancing, he never forgot his prayers or his -- at eunice's 85th birthday party in 2006, sarge spotted my son and said, you are a good-looking kid. i am sarge shriver, are you one
of my sons? [laughter] at the end, he died with his five children and 19 grandchildren surrounding him and love and prayer. what could be better to be a father to such a beautiful family is so committed to serving others? his family is the front line of what he has always preached. he ed - just to work as home as you have work abroad, -- he told us, work at home just as hard as you have worked abroad. that is the objective, that is the challenge. god bless you, sarge. [applause]
bobbie, thank you for asking me to follow -- that was very sweet of you. [applause] the admonition was only three minutes. as a retired member of the u.s. senate, i don't understand that at all. we take at least that long to clear our throats. bobbie, thank you for asking me to be a part of this wonderful evening with you and your family and those who have gathered here to celebrate this remarkable man and life that touched so many of us for so many years. i know the analogy does not quite fit but over the past three or four days, i kept coming back to that historical coincidence on july 4th, 1826.
the year, we have been gathered over this past several days to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the rebirth of the spirit which ignited the imagination of a new generation of americans and at the same moment mourned the passing of a wonderful man and to celebrate the contributions of that individual. president and mrs. kennedy was the embodiment of everything that the new president ask our country in his address 50 years ago yesterday. historic inns -- historians will list the various posts that sort held such as a private citizen and a public servant. -- historians will list the
various post that sarge held. he brought joy and confidence to everything and everyone with whom he encountered in his very rich life. like all of you in this room, i suspect i have some wonderful and remarkable memories. if i was to tell you that sargent shriver was one of the most natural politicians that i've ever known, there might be a few of you who thought i would be sarcastic. in fact, sarge thought i would be sarcastic. in 1976, i was a first term congressman seeking reelection. to launch my reelection efforts, i invited sarge shriver to be the principal attraction at a major fund-raising event in norwich, connecticut. 400 people packed into the
ballroom to boast mine -- to boost my campaign and of course to hear sarge. i was excited. sarge shriver who along with president kennedy is what inspired me and thousands of others to be part of something larger than ourselves. just 10 years earlier, 1966, i had joined the peace corps and spent two years in a small village in the mountains of the dominican republic. in those days, 35 years ago, connecticut's electric boat co., the premier builder of submarines, locally employed some 20,000 people in connecticut. this was far and away the largest employer in my district and to many in the audience work in that plant. without a note in front of him,
he gave ideas and proposals. it was a torrent like a fire hose. as each moment of his speech past, my confidence for reelection rose accordingly until about midway through his remarks that evening. at that moment, he announced in the words i can still recall with great clarity, "if sergeant shriver is elected president of the united states, we are going to stop building those damn submarines." [applause] -- [laughter] to this newly minted congressman, those seconds seemed like an eternity. first of all, the crowd of machinists, labors, small business people, all local people burst into applause his
rhetorical enthusiasm is so contagious that the crowd obviously missed what he just said. they were reacting instinctively to his passionate flourishes. i of course was completely action. one term in congress and my brilliant political career was about to come to a screeching halt. -- i, of course, was completely ashen. he looked at me and without missing a beat and with equal gusto, he said the following -- "is sergeant shriver is elected president of the united states, by golly we will not build those damn submarines anywhere but in connecticut." [laughter] [applause] boom, standing ovation, insane
applause. the rest of course, is history. two weeks ago, a retired from the u.s. senate. thank you, sarge shriver. [laughter] [applause] years before that speech that night in connecticut, i became aware of eunice and sarge shriver as a high school students. i went to georgetown preparatory school in southern maryland. in those days, their home bordered the property. during the warmer days of spring and early fall, i remember watching eunice shriver working or playing with 8 or 10 special needs children in their backyard. long before it became the global movement that sheep and sarge -- that she and sarge started, she
was having that play date. how emblematic of these two people to empower those children with the notion that they, too, could be olympians, striving, competing, and reaching their goals. what an incredible impression they left at on this 17-year- old. the sister and brother-in-law of a president of united states quietly giving hope and confidence to those who had rarely seen either. other than the influence of my own family growing up, the peace corps, of course, was my epiphany in many ways. it was an experience which changed my life. sarge made multiple
contributions, of course. if you had to choose one, i suspect that it would be his association with the peace corps. its creation, it's development, its vision and ideals, and of course the longstanding approval by people all over this planet that will live and to endure forever. what a revolutionary idea this was. the mightiest nation on earth at that time was and is people overseas not to extend their power or intimidate its enemies, not to kill or to be killed, but to build and teach and never asked anything in return. this was a wild notion indeed, this peace corps idea, and like most ideas achieved at 2:00 in the morning, it might not had survived the light of day. but because of a handful of individuals, a longtime friend and associate, and a few others,
it has endured. sarge recalled that president kennedy asked him to lead the police -- the peace corps because he said, everyone in washington thought it was going to be the biggest fiasco in history and that would be easier to fire a relative than someone else. "time," magazine had this to say about sarge shriver. he logged a 350,000 miles visiting outposts, learned to sleep sitting up in a jeep, the 8 countless helpings of stomach- churning editions, developed three cases of dysentery, and insisted that he had the best job in government. there have been many wonderful people who have led the peace corps over the past 50 years. all 200,000 of us would agree
leadership,t sarge's i don't think that the peace corps would have survived a half century. other than my family, no one took a greater pleasure and pride to the election of the house of representatives than did sargent shriver. i was one of the first returned peace corps volunteers to be elected to the house and the senate. he would remind me on every occasion that i saw him that the only reason that i was successful the baltics and elected office was because of my peace corps experience that made all the difference. -- the only reason that i was successful in politics and elected office was because of my peace corps. his contribution to the domestic agenda of america is nothing short of stunning. as i look over the time in my senate, i realized that i not only represented the people of
connecticut but i also represented sergeant shriver parent without any hesitation -- i also represented sergeant shriver. without any hesitation, i moved to help head start, community action programs, and so many other initiatives to help children and their families. over this past few days and the weeks to come, of course, there will be numerous occasions to celebrate the words, the accomplishments, and the countless contributions that sarge shriver and others of that era made for our country. i want to close these remarks by suggesting to all of you gathered here this evening that individually and collectively, those contributions do not come close to the greatest gifts that eunice and sarge and president
kennedy, my dear friend kennedy and bobby, and also members of your family gave to our family. ambassador smith continues to do this today. the greatest gift to us are you, the children, grandchildren, the nieces and nephews of these remarkable remarkable people. today in particular i point out bobby, marie, tim, anthony, it is important is that you understand how deeply determined to your parents were to make the world a better place. as we mark these occasions, we may come to realize that the 1960 pause for a time not unlike our own today. -- we may come to realize that the 1960's were a time not unlike our own today. the society was divided. people were angry. our future was very uncertain. as we seek common ground these
days and a path forward in another difficult age, as those who are entering or preparing to enter public life and looking for role models to imitate a, you need look no further than the individual we honor this evening, sargent shriver. we look to his brazen optimism and his senate confidence. he led a life of love and humor, hope, determination. we look at how consistently he believed that america was a place in which anyone can and should serve their nation. yes, even when a gold medal. for that, sarge, all of us think you deeply. -- thank you deeply. [applause]
>> it is very fitting that we meet at a jesuit church. sarge was a great friend of the jesuits. three of his children went to just what colleges. colleges. i knew that he loved them when we were in new orleans one time for a speech and we went along and we got there on a saturday afternoon. we were walking around town and we happen to be on a street where there was a jesuit church. they were hearing confessions from 4-6. he said, we should go and. i said, when is the last time
you went to confession? well, a week ago. i said, you're really letting things slide, aren't you? we go inside. there was a little bit of a line but his turn came. he walks into the box templates the curtain back. five minutes when by. 10 minutes went by. 15 minutes went by. and it was a half an hour. he finally came out. i said, it was a week ago since you went to confession, have you been doing that much ascending in the past week? he said, no there was a very right wing priest in their -- there.
we just talked politics and he is trying to save my soul. and fat, i just had 1 cent to confess. i said, what was that -- in fact, i just had one sin to confess. what was that, i said? he said, i disagree with eunice. he told me to say for my pen and ,10 our fathers and 10, hail and for the rest of your life, love republicans. arnold, that might explain something, arnold. you know how much she loved you.
he loved the because he was doing his penance. [laughter] sarge asked me to be his speech writer. writing speeches for him was as easy as breathing. we surround ourselves with great pieces from the ages and my job is to sprinkle the men so that the politicians sound like they are deep thinkers and they are literate. [laughter] how many of you here right now 1 politician gives and said something in a speech and he quotes euripides, how many of you think that he was at home
reading that the night before? or if he quotes aristophanes, to you think that they were at home reading that? sarge shriver was very different. i did not supply him the quotes, he supplied them to me. i remember going to a speech and he said, get this in tomorrow. he was quoting "a long illness -- delong loneliness -- the long lonliness. when he quoted "the night
flight to hanoi," is was because he had read it. he considered these authors great pacifist. he loved the line -- "a very few of us will be called to do great things but all of us can do small things in a great way." he loved the line from merchant "peace is the result of love, and of love was easy, we would all be good at it." workeded the line -- the li with upward bound in a little town south of denver and he was tutoring the children of migrant workers.
he would come to oeo when we had staff meetings and just sitting. the line that starts a lot of the most was "the poor have it hard but the hardest thing to have is us." the line that sagre -- there are five reasons why we will have another one like him. bobbie, maria, tim, mark, and anthony. each one of them is so much like him that there is almost no difference. they, too, are people are exactly what sarge was, other- centered, and not self-centered.
the work that they are doing each in their own way are doing exactly what sarge did. they are decreasing violence and increasing peace. i would like to mention also -- i was born to mention the 19 grandchildren but bobby told me to keep the speech short so don't mention the grandchildren. i would like to mention their names -- catherine, christina, sam. the others, get mad uncle bobby, okay? [laughter] when i visited sarge a few days
ago, i brought out a book that i added a few years ago -- edited it a few years ago, the throughas "strength rupee peace." i use this for my classes. next week, i will be doing a whole class on the life and times of sarge shriver. we will have a very good class. [applause] this is in chapter 4 and is entitled "how does goodness happen.' you need a good person, how did they get to that way?
this is from mother teresa. this explains how his goodness happened. "people are logical and self centered, love them anyway. if you do good, people might accuse you of selfish motives. do good anyway. if you are successful, he might win false friends and true enemies. succeed anywhere. the good you do today might be forgotten by tomorrow. do good anyway. honesty will make you vulnerable, be honest anyway. what you spend years building up, may be torn down overnight.
built anyway. people who really want help might attack you if you held them. help them anyway. give the world you'd best you have any might get hurt. give the world your best anyway." when we come together on a special evening by this, we should be inspired by those words because those clearly described the soul and heart of our dear sarge. when times get tough and the hills get steep and the cold wind blows against us and the doubts are stronger, we will be tempted to run out, give out, we're out, and most of all, sellout, which is something that sarge shriver never did.
i remember after the 72 election and sarge and george were talking to each other. sarge told george, we might have lost the election but we sure did not lose our soul. [applause] to end on a happy note, i am delighted to say -- i teach courses at georgetown, american university, and a couple of high schools. i was delighted to have two of the shriver children in my classes. i had him in one of my classes. -- i had tim in one of my classes.
whenever i get together with the children, there are some who claim that anthony did not earn his grade that i gave him. i am here tonight, if i had a bible here, i would swear that a plus.arenearned his that the mayor of santa monica is scoffing. if you don't mind, can tim and anthony just stand up? the bank you, bobbie for inviting me to visit with you. i love to start with all of my heart -- i love sarge with all
>> i am glad that i got here in time to hear my cherished friend and give his three minutes each -- speech. and then call men gave us a thought filled a speech. i would not have made it at all if i had not had all of these three minute speeches. i missed my plane coming out of orida.nville, fla it was my fault, i was talking
to passengers. i heard my name on the paging system. by the time i got to the gate, the plane had gone. i used the time while waiting to write some brilliant notes that i was going to favor you with here today and i left them in my overcoat. [laughter] the i decided it was less painful listening to a couple of speeches here then going out into the cold again so, here we are. it is a pleasure for me to follow the speeches. it is a pleasure to be in this beautiful church. my father was a methodist clergyman.
we met this are very humble people. -- we methodists are very humble. we don't have lovely churches like this. methodism will not save you from san but it will take the fun out of it. [applause] -- methodism will not save you from sin. the sergeant shriver -- sargent shriver was the kindest, cheerful, optimistic person i have met in 50 years of public life. it is remarkable that those virtues could all be combined in
one person. i don't ever recall him being down in the dumps. he must have had days like that but no one ever saw them if he did. he gave me a lot of words that i have used over the years in public speeches i think the one i treasure the most is this -- .t came after the '72 campaign he and i came back to washington that day in separate planes turned down, i suppose through some of operations with the pilots, they landed at the same time and taxied over the same station at the national airport.
the day before and they finally set, even south dakota went for nixon. we were not in good shape. sarge apparently saw us and he walked over there apparently put an arm around me and he said, you know, george, we lost 49 states but we never lost our souls. that meant a lot to me coming from the man that i knew who went to mass every morning. it meant a lot to me.
i have carried that with me ever since. i don't know what a soul is but this is something precious. we go to church, synagogue, it is.er thi this was a very good man. he had a way in the campaign if our paths have not crossed, we divided different airplanes and we want to cover every state if we could. we would meet once in a while and he would always have a message. he told me one day a week before
the election, i said, how is it going. he said, it is just terrific. i have been in texas for four times and we got that thing locked up. [laughter] why not believe that as long as you can? i actually had a slight respect for -- i will break the mold here today and try to bring this to an end. we are honoring a marvelous man. let me finish by telling you how
he ended up on the national ticket. there was a time in that campaign when a month before the national convention it appeared that i had it locked up. i had won 11 primaries including the two largest -- new york and california. there was 11 states. we had the delegates to win. the other candidates for no one knew, they teamed together to try to block us at the convention. we work that last month when we should have been getting ready for our great convention and we should have been thinking about a vice-presidential running
mate. we should have been giving attention to my acceptance address. it was not until midnight of the nominating day when i had the nomination awarded to me. by then, we were exhausted, we had it 8 hours -- we had about 8 hours. we had a short list. i talked to my friend, senator kennedy and he thought about it seriously. we quickly put together a short list.
he was in russia and we could not find him. this was the days before the cellphone sprint down -- before the cellphone. we had a list with senator eagleton. then we had just a short time to replace him. i went to sarge and talked to him and he said, absolutely, i would be happy to run with you. that is how he became the nominee and he was a good one.
>> as bill moyers once said -- [laughter] and will say again, thank you. i wish all of you who knew sarge could be up here right now instead of me. he brought out the best in each of us so that what you would tell about your experience with him would reveal something about you. that was one of his gifts to us. you would provide clues.
he was the heart and soul of america. he brought the government an amazing array of talent. journalists, public-interest lawyers, psychiatrists, pullman said that he hired the first psychiatrist to ever work for the government. business executives, poets, civil service officers, they were affected by bureaucracies. to run the peace corps in india, he recruited the physician who had been a leader in the first assault on k2 in the himalayas. . .
changed literally the face of government. and he would have transformed, since the president has such great powers of metaphor, he would have transformed the way we americans see ourselves and our place in the world. he carried two passports. one of them grounded in the soil of american democracy, to which she had given five years of naval service to defend, and another as a global citizen. he believed a single individual could be as important as any institution, could relieve the misery, nurture minds, inspire others, and crack open just a little further gates long closed
by bigotry, ignorance, and fortune. just as he saw the best in others, others saw the best in him. i never met anyone so trusted by his peers. one of his most brilliant recruits was the young bill josephson who is here tonight. not long out of law school, plucked by sarge to be the peace corps founding council and the architect of its infrastructure, which persists to this date, whose loyalty to the man and the idea created and indivisible bond between him and friendship that lasted to the end. bill and i had dinner in new york the other night and he reminded me how sarge's
character had become a magnet for trust. he was the one whose advice john kennedy took to make the telephone call to coretta scott king in 1961 her husband was in the birmingham jail. it turned the election. he was the one to whom john kennedy entrusted the stabbing of his cabinet and the administration. he was the one to whom john kennedy and trusted the peace corps, his most enduring legacy, and lyndon johnson, the war on poverty, head start, the job corps, legal services for the poor and all those other innovations in social justice. and in turn, sarge entrusted us with a calling most of us had never imagined. i was 26 when we met.
he was 45. he was worldly wise, widely read, and well-connected. i was still wet behind the ears. but he treated me as he did everyone, as if my word is equal. i suggested we ask vice president johnson for advice on how to sell the peace corps to congress, whose powerful barons considered the idea nine even if not hairbrained. in that one session, the two of them spend more time together than they had in their lives. me at night and said that the way to sell the peace corps was to sell shriver, they cannot resist him. [laughter] and they didn't. [applause]
over the next few months, we called on every member of congress, every member of the house, and every senator. most were dazzled to be courted by the president's charismatic mother-in-law, but what turned betide was not the glamour but the passion. that sparked in his eye, that signaled an inner fire of conviction and compassion. i saw a jaded, cynical politicians began to pay attention as sarge talked about america's revolutionary ideas and our mission to carry them out in the world as it down to earth, believable, card-carrying idealists who can show health freedom to surf by a teacher in the classroom and clean water from a new pump in the village square.
maria and i were talking earlier about this extraordinary outpouring in the press and from ordinary citizens in that day's since his death. for a man who had not been on the stage in a long time, it was remarkable, the last four days. i believe it happened because just as he gave us permission in the 1960's to be idealists, this distressed, disillusioned, discouraged and dismayed country knew intuitively when the word came of his debt, it was ok to be an idealist. he was as a documentary about him said, the american ideal list. there was one old, unreconstructed southern racists his chairmanship of a key house
subcommittee meant life or death to our appropriations. he was aghast that a young american living and working abroad might under official auspices practice but bring it home with him. sarge never blinked as he went for a long, insulting speech. congressman, he said, surely it can trust americans to do abroad exactly what they do back in your district in louisiana. [laughter] we left the fellow scratching his head. when i returned later, alone, his secretary told me he had confessed, i was had. while the chairman remained recalcitrant, sgt mitigated his
opposition. he was a one-man ecumenical society. as curious about my training in a conventional baptist seminary as i was about his deep roots in catholic spirituality, he had once been an altar boy to cardinal, and tell me that the only place other than the peace corps he would like to be serving was close to john the 23rd. i said, i think you are about as close as anybody will ever get to carrying out his ideals. one day on a plane he discoursed in detail how -- to transform the church into a powerful, progressive force in a world polarized by etiology, militarism, and materialism. to serve with such a man is alive defining experience. despite his own extended plan --
his own extended clan, he had time for other activities. he showed up at the hospital and set aside my wife's bed and held her hand. to this day, she remains amazed that an unaccompanied man showed up in the gynecological ward to comfort a woman he barely knew. when our infant son was struck by a strange, undefined affliction, sarge intervened, insisted that we take the boy to johns hopkins hospital to be examined by one of the world's leading pediatricians, but shriver friend. i leapt one morning for a long trip abroad and stop by and said to the highest rate person above sergeant shriver in the peace corps. without her, wu would have all been washed away in the cyclone
that he created. she is here tonight. he gave me the novel "the promise." among the underlined passages was this one. "human beings don't live very long, rubin. we live less than the time it takes to blink an eye. if we measure our lives against eternity, what value is there to a human life? there is so much pain in the world. what does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than a blink of the eye? i learned a long time ago, rubin, that the blank of the eye is nothing, but the eye that
>> i am maria, and that is mark, timmy, anthony. we wanted to thank everybody here tonight for coming to honor our father. we want to thank all of you who spoke. you were extraordinary, and you captured everything about daddy so beautifully, so we want to thank you for putting the time and effort to capture who he was as a man and as a father, an idealist, a man of god, and to represent him to so many people here today. we want to thank everybody for coming. so many people came here and said they were peace corps volunteers, worked at the law firm, special olympics, and some had never even met that. two women came and said they had served him tuna fish sandwiches for lunch in a restaurant
downtown. i think this is very representative of who daddy was, and want to invite all of you to his funeral tomorrow. we want to thank our family, our cousins and everybody for being here and for treating daddy, particularly in the last several years, with such love and kindness and patience and humor, always making him feel still valuable right up to the end. my brothers have done extraordinary job in taking care of my dad in such a beautiful and elegant way. they were and are truly his sons and they redefine what it means to be a man, the way they took care of my father. daddy would always end every evening with a toast, where he would stand up and talk about being the luckiest man in the world. he would say everything and he had and everything that he was and everything was all due to mummy.
she would say, oh, stop, but she really liked it. and he did all over the world. there is not probably a woman here tonight who was not charmed by daddy, who was not told she was the most beautiful woman in the world, and yet the only had eyes for one woman, and that was mummy. all of us take great comfort in knowing that they are together now in heaven with god. those were the two great loves of his life. he was totally devoted to both of them in every sense of that word, love them deeply, and that is why we feel that this is a celebration of his life. why we miss him, we know that is where he wanted to be. he always talked about being excited to go to heaven and we knew that the last year and a half without mummy was difficult for him, and that is where he
wanted to be. i was going to read a little thing that he had written, but i thought it might be nice if one of the boys read it, because he dictated it. [laughter] what's wrong with that? what's funny about that? i thought it would be nice, because we have talked a lot about what kind of man daddy was. he actually dictated to timothy, who he was and what kind of man he was. timmy eroded down on the back of a program, so i thought it would be nice if you read it. [applause] >> to quote steny hoyer and bill moyers, he changed all our lives.
daddy was famously reluctant to define himself. he always gave all the credit to mummy or to his faith. toward the end of his life, we were insisted that he tried to capture his message, so one day at lunch i said, just talk about yourself and i will write it down. these are the words he said. i am a man who is born and has tried to live committed to being open to all people, no matter their differences, national to, race, religion, or geography. i am a man who is full of energy and health. i am a man who takes his responsibilities seriously. i am committed to doing everything i can to succeed. i am a man who tries to be original and creative. i am a man who is unencumbered by the past, by existing hierarchy. i feel free to invent. i believe the world was and is created by god. i believe the world is good
beyond description. i believe that we human beings that seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness do so because god has given us these things. i believe they are a gift. i believe that we have a responsibility to got to do whatever we can to do good things for people, especially the poor. i believe in ideals. i believe that the world can be better if only we focus on achieving our ideals. i believe that any failure to achieve our ideals should only result in a rededication to them. i believe in faith, hope, and love. i believe that they have the greatest power. robert sargent shriver, jr. [applause]
>> please stand. let us pray together as jesus has taught us. our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. the kingdom come, that will be done on earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. blessed are those who have died in the lord. let them rest from their labors, for their good deeds go with them. eternal rest grant unto him, o
c-span2. sergeant shriver will be buried next to his late wife, eunice kennedy shriver. >> coming up next on c-span, a look at the day's events, beginning with president obama's remarks at -- to workers at general electric plant in new york. the news conference with house democratic leaders who were holding a retreat on maryland's eastern shore. after that, remarks from the vice president at that same retreat. later, ron kirk and housing secretary shaun donovan talk about the economy and jobs. >> sunday on c-span "road to the white house, minn. congresswoman michelle bachmann is in des moines.
with the first votes in the 2012 presidential race a year away and republican phil beginning to take shape, tune into c-span is "road to the white house." >> president obama travel to schenectady, new york today. he visited a general electric plant. the president's appearance included a tour of the facility with the ceo who will head the new economic advisory board. it replaces the economic advisory board headed by paul volcker. president obama spoke to ge workers. this is about 25 minutes. >> welcome to the capital region. i would also like to welcome the
governor. it's great to have you here. i know we have a number of members from the congressional delegation. welcome to the birthplace of ge more than 100 years ago. [applause] this is where innovation was born, right here in schenectady. this business was one of the few businesses in the world that had a positive earnings during every year of the crisis. right here in this facility we have four thousand employees
working on renewable energy and doing a fantastic job. we have 7000 employees in the capital region. [applause] we build things here. we are a big exporter. 90% of all the products made in this facility are exported outside of the united states. we know in g e the feature is given to no one. we have to compete and win. we know that this team can compete with anybody in the world. we can absolutely do what it takes. [applause] in the vein of competitiveness and exports and manufacturing and innovation, it really is an honor to welcome you here today, president obama. i have had the honor to work
with the president and valerie jared and austan goolsbee and the advisory board. i know that despite the fact that 60% of ge revenues are outside the united states, i share in the responsibility and accountability to make sure that this is the most competitive and productive country in the world. president obama, we are honored to have you here today. [cheers and applause] >> hello, schenectady. it is good to be in new york. if i am not mistaken, governor
cuomo, who is going to be an outstanding governor, tried to give me a jet pack. i had to reduce its. i had secret service confiscated it, but i will say both the jets and bears are slight underdogs, so we will be rooting for the underdogs on sunday. in addition to governor cuomo, i just want to acknowledge the lieutenant governor who is here. great friends of mine and great champions for new york and the united states senate, chuck schumer and kirsten gillibrand are here. members of the congressional delegation from up this way.
chris gibson and richard hanna are here. attorney general erich schneiderman are here. the outstanding mayor of schenectady was on marine won an air force one, and he looked like he was having a pretty good time. from albany, mayor jerry jennings is here. thank you. jeff, thank you for the outstanding introduction, and thank you, g e. it is great to be here. i just had a chance to see some of the high-tech steam turbines and all kinds of fancy stuff
that is being made here, being manufactured here at this plant. it is unbelievably impressive, and part of a proud tradition. ge has been producing turbines and generators here in schenectady for more than a century. a lot has changed since those early days. we have seen technology transform the ways we work and the ways we communicate with each other. we have seen our economy transformed by rising competition from around the globe. over the years, in the wake of these shifts, upstate new york and places like it has seen more than their fair share of hard times. what has never changed, we see it right here at this plan, is that america is still home to the most creative and most innovative business is in the
world. we have the most productive workers in the world. the americas home to inventors and dreamers and builders and creators. [applause] all of you represent people who each and every day our pioneering the technology and discoveries that not only improve our lives, they drive our economy. across the country, there are all entrepreneurs opening businesses, researchers testing new medical treatments, engineers pushing the limits of design and the programs. there are workers like you on assembly lines all across the country, eager to create some of the best products the world has ever seen. there are students training to take new jobs by their side. in this community, g e is
building one of the world's most sophisticated manufacturing facilities to produce a state of the our batteries. -- state of the art batteries. [applause] last year, you open at the headquarters of your renewable energy operation and created 650 jobs on this campus. [applause] so our challenge, especially as we continue to fight our way back from the worst recession in our lifetimes, is to harness this spirit, to harness this potential that all of you represent. our challenge is to do everything we can to make easier for folks to bring products to market and to start and expand new businesses and to grow and hire new workers. i want plants like this all
across america. you guys are a model of what is possible. that is why as part of the tax credit compromise that i signed at the end of the year, we provided incentives for businesses to make new capital investments. g e is investing $13 million in advanced manufacturing at this plan, taking advantage of some of these tax breaks. we also extended a program that ge says its customers have used since that $6 billion in clean energy production across the country, driving demand for the companies went turbines. i saw one of those big turbines on the way in. so we know we can compete, not just in the industries of the past but also in the industries of the future. in an ever shrinking world, our success in these efforts will be determined not only of what we
built in schenectady, but also what we can sell in shanghai. for america to compete around world, we need to export more goods around the world. that is where the customers are. it is that simple. [applause] as i was walking through the plant, you guys had put up some handy sign so i knew what i was looking at. that would say, this is going to kuwait, this is going to india, this is going to saudi arabia. that is where the customers are, and we want to sell the products made here in america. that is why i sat with chinese leaders this week. during these meetings we struck a deal to open chinese markets to our products. they are selling here, and that is fine, but we want to sell their. we want to open up their markets so we can two-way trade, not
just one-way. [applause] the deals we have struck are going to mean more than $25 billion in new business for american companies. that translates into 235,000 new jobs for american workers. [applause] that is also why i fought hard to negotiate a new trade deal with south korea that will support more than 70,000 american jobs. that is why travel to india a few months ago, and jeff was there with us. we were able to reach agreement to export $10 billion in goods and services to india. that will lead to another 50,000 jobs here in the united states. [applause]
part of the reason i want to come to this plant is because this plant is what that trip was all about. is part of the deal was struck in india. ge will sell advanced turbines, the ones you guys make, to generate power at a plant in india. you are going to be selling to them. that new business halfway around the world is going to help support more than 1200 manufacturing jobs and more than 400 engineering jobs right here in this community because of that sale. [applause] that is a perfect example of why promoting exports is so important. that is why i set a goal of doubling american exports within five years. we are on track to do it.
we are up 18% and we are going to sell more and more stuff all around the world. when a company sells products overseas, it leads to hiring on our shores. this deal means jobs in schenectady. that is how we accelerate growth and create opportunities for our people. this is how we go from an economy that was powered by what we borrow and what we consume. that is what happened over the last 10 years. what was driving our economy was, we were spending a lot on credit cards. everybody was borrowing a lot. the chinese were selling a lot to us. we have reversed that. we want an economy fueled by what we invest and what we build. we are going back to thomas edison's principles. we are trying to build and invest.
nobody understands this better than jeff immelt. i have appreciated his wisdom during these past two years. we had a difficult crisis on our hands. it was a few days after i took office that i assembled a group of business leaders, including jeff, to form a new advisory board. that time, the economy was in free fall. we are facing the prospect of another great depression, with ripple effects all-around world. it was not just the united states. the entire world economy was retracting. it was essential that we heard voices and ideas from business leaders and from experts who were not part of the usual washington crowd. i tasked jeff and the other advisories' to help steer our nation from deep recession into recovery.
help take the economy from one that is shrinking to one that is growing. over the past two years, i've been very grateful for their advice. i especially want to commend the man who chaired the panel, one of the nation's preeminent economists, the former head of the federal reserve, paul volcker. he was not afraid to counter the conventional wisdom. he did a great service to this country. six months ago today i signed into law a set of financial reforms to protect consumers and prevent future financial crises and put an end to taxpayer funded bailout. that is an achievement in which paul volcker was instrumental, so we are very proud of that work. [applause] two years later, we are in a different place. in part because of the economic plans that are recovered board helped shape, the economy is now growing again. over the last year, businesses
have added more than 1 million jobs. the pace of hiring and growth is picking up, which is encouraging news. at the same time, while businesses are adding jobs, millions of people are still out there looking for work. even we here in is even here in schenectady, everyone knows a friend or relative who is still out of work. it is a great thing that the economy is growing, but it is not growing fast enough, yet, to make up for the damage done by the recession. the past two years were about could be -- pulling our economy back from the brink. the next two years, our job now is putting our economy into overdrive. our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find jobs, and that america is leading in global competition to determine our success in the
21st century. to help fulfill this new mission, i am assembling a new group of business leaders and outside advisers. i am so proud and pleased that jack has agreed to chair this panel, my counsel on jobs and competitiveness. we thank g e has something to teach businesses all across america. [applause] now we don't mind, i am going to write about your boss for a second. jack is someone who brings a wealth of experience to the table. he is one of the nation's most respected and admired business leaders. that is a reputation you have earned over 10 years at the helm of this company. we will be announcing the business and labor leaders and others who will join with jeff to help guide us into that overdrive mode. i know this council will be an
important asset as we seek to do everything we can to insure our nation can compete with anyone on the planet. that means spurring innovation in industries like clean energy manufacturing, something being done right here at this plant. it assures our economy is not being held back. means educating and training our people. i just had a chance to meet one of the guys here at the plant had been trained, an example of the kind of partnership we have to duplicate all across the country. schenectady offers that kind of example. hudson valley community college created a program so students could earn a paycheck and have their tuition covered what training for jobs at this plant. that is helping folks find good work, helping ge feel a high
skill positions, and making this whole region more competitive. ultimately, winning this global competition comes down to living up to the promise of places like this. here in schenectady you are heirs to a great tradition of innovation and enterprise. the pioneering work of edison has made the modern age possible. the tungsten filament that still lie our homes, x-rays that diagnose disease. now the advanced batteries and renewable energy sources that hold so much promise for the future. in these pioneering efforts, we have seen what america is all about. we see what has allowed us to not only whether rough storms but reached brighter days. that reminds us that we have those same strengths. this is america. we still have that spirit of innovation and that sense of
optimism, that believe that if we work hard and given our all, anything is possible in this country. the future belongs to us. at this plant are showing us the way forward, so thank you so much, everybody. god bless the united states of america. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] ♪
>> tomorrow on "washington journal," a look at the white house economic team as well as the newly created council. after that, the director of the nationalgue of cities and how the economy has forced cities to reduce fire and rescue jobs. later, david kenner and the impending decision to lift an order that bans the use of military tribunal to prosecute detainees. "washington journal," live everyday at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> the c-span networks provide coverage of politics, public affairs, and non-fiction books, and american history. it's all available to you on television, radio, on line, and on social media networking sites. find our content any time on c- span's video library. we take c-span on the road with
our digital bus, local content vehicle. its washington your way, the c- span networks. now available in more than 100 million homes. created by cable, provided as a public service. >> house democratic leaders today said they are ready to work with their republican colleagues, but also criticized the first two weeks of republican house rule. minority leader nancy pelosi and others spoke with reporters at a democratic caucus retreat on maryland's eastern shore. this is about 25 minutes. >> thank you, we will just wait for our colleagues to assemble. what an enthusiastic and inspirational start to our annual issues conference.
to be there yesterday in the rotunda and to see two of our leaders who were actually at the inauguration of john fitzgerald kennedy, and to listen to the inspirational words and to know that a torch has been passed to another generation, carried a plea by president, barack obama. we are delighted that we are having the vice president to address as on foreign policy this afternoon, and the president, who will talk to our members later this evening. we have gotten off to a great start, because our theme is about the economy and jobs. that theme is "make it in
america." we know that when you make it in america, every american can make it. our troops, are members -- our members have been enthusiastic. they come here with ideas, and this has been a great opportunity to us, especially after the events that have transpired. not only are we inspired by it the words of president kennedy, but also by the progress of gabrielle giffords. she is being transported to houston, and all of our members are have come together and will be sending her messages from everyone in our caucus. we think this is a great way to start our caucus, inspired by president kennedy, to have the president and vice president to emphasize the need to put america back to work, to focus
on jobs and the economy, and to make it in america. we are running a little bit behind, so i will gladly turn this over to the vice chair. >> thank you very much. we are looking forward to the lunch that was arranged for us. members came to work at &;30 this morning -- 7:30 this morning. members are fired up and ready to go. at the end of the day, we know what our jobs are. we just finished a fabulous session headed by our whip, steny hoyer, dealing with making it in america, where we heard representatives from ford, where were not for the efforts of
president barack obama and the democratic congress last year, we might not have had afford to talk about. when they tell us they are going to hire 7000 new american workers, we know we are making it in america. this entire conference is very focused, unlike others, we are very prepared to tell merkel what our plan is, what our agenda is to move this country forward and make it in america. i would now like to turn to our leader, nancy pelosi. >> thank you very much for your leadership in bringing the members together. not only for these couple of days, but over time so that they can help shape the agenda for the meeting on how we solve problems for the american people, how we create >> we just left a very lively session that steny hoyer headed up.
it was very encouraging about a path to how we can not only be economically violable -- viable, but how we do it in a way that does that here in our country. people can make it in america. it is very exciting. 2 hearken back to what john larsen did yesterday when we gathered in the rotunda, part of the comments were getting america moving again, coming out of a decade with three recessions in it at that time. we have come out of a decade with a deep recession in that and would have been a depression without the actions taken by president obama and the democratic concourse -- congress. there would be no industry
without our action. this is about personal fulfillment for individuals. it is about economic strength for our country. it is also about our national security. we are not strengthening our technological base, if we are not, we fail. we need to strengthen the middle class, which is the backbone of our democracy. we have a lively discussion about our prospects for success. to the extent that we can convince the american people that we are here to solve their problems by creating jobs, we will be back. i am pleased to yield to the distinguished democratic whip, fresh from a very lively session with our members, steny hoyer of maryland. >> i want to thank the speaker.
i know that she is temporarily of the leader, -- temporarily it the leader. -- temporarily the leader. we welcome you to our state and this beautiful area of our state did you have brought a group of members to gather that do not have a minority psychology. -- to get the the do not have a minority psychology. -- together that do not have a minority psychology. they are working. make it in america was the subject matter of the panel that we just concluded. participating in that panel they
tell us that the american public, nine out of 10 believe that if we are not making things in america and selling them here and abroad, we will not be the country that we want to be. then, we have the representative of a major american manufacturer, for boehner co.-ford motor company. -- ford motor company. suppliers would have gone out of business. adam will tell you that that was critical for the survival of a ford and gm and chrysler. we have a growing industry for automobile manufacturing. 7000 new jobs will be created here in america by ford motor
company. they have brought manufacturing plants back from india, from mexico, from china. \ we think that people are not sure that they will make in america. we believe that not only are they going to make it, but america is going to make it in this global marketplace. we have a representative of ford and the president of the union. he says that he was an -- he was enthusiastic about the make it in america agenda. tony brown said that he was enthusiastic. he thinks that we can bring business and labour together. we can bring conservatives and liberals together. we can bring all of our country together on the agenda that we make sure that we make in america it in both meanings of that word.
we are ready to go. we are ready to work with our republican colleagues on an agenda that will ensure that every american makes it in our country. thank you, very much. now, to my friend. >> thank you very much steny hoyer. i am very enthusiastic about where we are as a caucus. i got here yesterday afternoon. i was not in attendance back in 1960 at the inauguration. i was old enough to attend, but i was not old enough to vote in that election in 1960. but it was an interesting thing about life and legacy of john f. kennedy.
i say life and legacy because the new spirit that john kennedy brought to the presidency, which was too short of a presidency, was as such that when his funeral was held -- a little- known piece of history, here. because of the families philosophy, you see that among the honor guard was an african- american that was a classmate of mine from the first grade. i remember how proud we were to see one of our own carrying the casket of john f. kennedy.
i cannot tell you what that did to those of us who were coming along. that stayed with me even to this day. i want to say one other thing. i think that what you saw two days ago by president obama is indicative of where we are as a caucus and a party. while the other side is talking about going back to bush in 2008 or 2006, president obama pointed -- appointed jeff, the ceo of ge to move forward with the job creation agenda. i think at that signals -- that that signals a tremendous new
direction for the economy of this country. this president and members of this cumbrous -- this caucus want to say our economy and bring it back to where we see job growth taking place. now, what we will see with this new appointment is that we will see a surge in the job creation in this country. it signals that he will have much more time to get to this job. we will now go to mr. israel who, i might add, did a tremendous presentation that has
already got our members coming -- humming. >> thank you for asking me to chair the triple c. let me make three points. this morning, our caucus kickoff -- kicked off. our central message is to make it in america. my central job is to make it back to the majority. when we get back to the majority, we can make the -- help the middle class make it here. we can help small businesses grow jobs through entreprenuership and innovation. we will do that in two ways. it will be based on two essential ingredients. we will offer constructive proposals. the republicans spent four years saying no and not lifting a finger to help. we will offer constructive, thoughtful, economic proposals.
we will hold republicans accountable when they do not support the interest of middle- class and working families in this country. we will hold them accountable when they demonstrate levels of hypocrisy. but when they do not uphold the values that are important, we will let the american people know about and that brings me to my second point. the republicans promised three things when they came to the majority. the promised to create jobs. they promised to reduce debt. they promised they would change the way that washington works. in the first three weeks, they are 043. -- they are 0 for 3. they said they would reduce debt, instead the increased debt
two hundred $30 billion according to the congressional budget office. they said they would change the way that washington works, and yet what they have shown is a stunning level of hypocrisy by voting to protect their health care benefits while repealing it for the americans that they represent. we will hold them accountable. they have had a rough three weeks. between now and the next election, we will offer constructive, economic, job- creating alternatives and try to work with them and we will hold them accountable when they do not uphold the interests of middle-class working families and small businesses. thank you very much. let me turn it over to an individual who i have a new appreciation for. in the past three weeks, i have a full understanding of what the next four years will look like for christmas in holland and -- for chris vanholland. >> i want to welcome the caucus
and thank the caucus leadership for selected maryland to most of the the credit conference. i want to join my colleagues in saying that we will work with our republican colleagues in moving the country forward if that is their agenda in terms of getting people back to work and accelerating economic growth. if they truly want to put this country on a sustainable fiscal path, and i want to make sure that we support the middle class in this country. unfortunately, the first few weeks did not present very good signs of it any of those fronts. number one, we have spent the first couple of weeks in their effort to try and repealed the health care bill. millions of americans are learning the benefits of that bill.
in the process, they have blown a big additional hole in the deficit. over the next 10 years, they added two hundred $40 billion to the deficit and a total of 1.4 trillion dollars over four years. that is not fiscal responsibility. those are not our numbers. those are the numbers of the independent congressional budget office. i know that our republican colleagues do not like to hear that, but it is a recipe for but it anarchy and fiscal chaos and a lot of red ink in the future if we are going to totally ignore the numbers of the professionals in the congressional budget office. we look forward to working with them. this week, they will bring a budget resolution to the floor that, unlike any previous budget
resolution has no number. it is a budget resolution without a number. you can only conclude that this is an effort to create an illusion that they are addressing some of these problems when, in fact, there is nothing to be seen. someone asked where the beef is. members of the republican study group just put out a proposal that is reckless in terms of the impact on the economy in terms of jobs. non-partisan and bipartisan -- bipartisan, i should say sent two messages. we agree that we need to act now to put this country on a sustainable fiscal patrick when the economy is as fragile as it is, you do not/in the way that
the republican study group has proposed. that is a recipe for slowing down our fiscal and economic recovery. as my colleagues said, we look forward to working with our republican colleagues if they want to work to get the economy going to get people back to work and to reduce the deficit and help the middle class. unfortunately, the first two weeks have not shown very good signs of that, but we stand ready to work with them. >> as you can see, we are ready to pick up where we left off from before. that is, creating more jobs for americans. last year, we created more jobs in america in one year than george bush created in over eight years. so, we are ready. we are hoping that our republican colleagues will join us in this effort to help
america get back to work. with that, we will take any questions. >> i wonder, madam leader, the republican strategy, if it worked. will you work with them with the political pull? where are you all sitting during this? >> the republicans just say no policy did not work for the american people. what they said no to was every job-creating initiatives that we try to put forth. from day one, president obama and the democrats in congress created jobs. 3.6 million jobs were saved or created and then the initiatives were taken and more jobs were saved.
that was the first act of congress for job creation. every other initiative, they have seen it in their political interests to just say no and the american people pay the price. you do not get any credit for reducing joblessness by 5%. did did not work for america's working families who want jobs and who want to work. i do not think it worked for them. people can sit where they want in the house of representatives. we have open seating. the senate has assigned seats. we have open seating. sometimes it comes down to region. sometimes the hispanic caucus is here and the black caucus is here. it just depends on what the conversation is at the moment.
people will sit where they want to set. -- want to sit. >> i have talked to a lot of members who will be sitting with republicans whether they are interstate or if they have joint responsibilities in committees. i expect you to see a visible symbol of some of the willingness to reach across and work with one another. hopefully, that will manifest itself in real commitment to building jobs and growing american so that every american can make it. >> i have been sitting next to vice-president cheney for a long time. [laughter] >> if i could break for just a minute, we were joined by representative floyd and bob
king. he is one of the leaders of working people in this country and i would like him to just say a couple of remarks, bob king, the president of the united auto workers. [applause] >> i am very appreciative of the leadership of the democratic congress doing this. government business and labour are working together to make the best, highest quality vehicles in the world. the american public does not realize this yet, but we are making america better than anyone else. i am excited about this initiative and excited about working with working-class people. >> one last question. >> can you explain why you voted against the democratic motion to
recommit last week? it seems like a pretty significant vote to break away from. >> the vote was overwhelming. my only view is that i was focused on the fact that they do nothing to bring the deficit down. they do nothing to make health care more affordable for all americans. frankly, i wanted to focus on that aspect of it. thank you, very much. >> looking ahead on c-span, remarks by the vice president at the house and democratic caucus retreat. that this fall by secretary shaun donovan on the economy and
jobs and then a medical update on the condition of representative giffords. >> tomorrow, a town hall then. it is hosted by canada's public affairs channel. again, that is at 4:00 p.m. eastern, tomorrow. >> this new law is a fiscal house of cards and is a health- care house of cards. >> as anybody, any family in america, if any single mother, any spouse, if any child, at any grandparent in a more bureaucratic system than the american health care system? >> watch health care debate anytime. see what your representative said. read transcripts from every house and senate session. congressional chronicle, c- span.org/congress.
>> vice-president joe biden delivered an assessment on the situation in pakistan and afghanistan, insisting that the u.s. will begin withdrawing troops this july. he also commented on local rhetoric in the aftermath of the tucson shootings. his remarks came at the house democratic caucus retreat in maryland. we will hear from the caucus vice chairman and in the foreign relations chair. this is about one hour. >> friends, colleagues, i hope you have enjoyed the last day and a half that we have had an opportunity to come together. we are making every effort to make sure that this retreat gives us, as brothers and
sisters, a chance to talk. not only to get to know each other better, to welcome our newest colleagues, those nine members, but also to get ready for the work ahead. we are fortunate that each and every time that we have this issues conference, we have the highest level of protest patient by our highest leaders in the land and we are very fortunate that, once again, the vice president has taken the time to do with the spirit of want to introduce to you someone who has -- he has been able to do many great things on foreign policy. howard berman, most of you have been able to get to know him over the years and those of you who have been here a short time have seen him do his work. howard is a master at operating at low levels.
he was still before stealth was popular by dot -- he was still before stealth was popular by dod. those of you who have watched him on the judicial committee over the years, many of us that admire the work that he did on behalf of immigrants, if you have anything to do with intellectual property, he has made it possible for us to protect those of intellectual property rights. he has done some phenomenal things. he has been around for some time. there are a couple of things i want to mention that you may not know about howard. howard was instrumental, quite some time ago, in making sure that a gentleman by the name of nelson mandela and many other members of the african national congress finally have their names removed from the u.s. list
of terrorist. howard was instrumental in that. [applause] when most people were still avoiding uttering the words aids and hiv, howard was making sure that we had $50 billion theicated to deal with ravages of aids and hiv. he continues to do this for us and i would like to ask our colleague and our friend from california to please come forward to help invite and will come our special guest. [applause]
a lot of things come to mind. this is probably somewhat personal to my own congressional experience, but i have to love a guy who spent his entire 36 years, if his whole career in the u.s. senate on both the foreign relations and the judiciary committee. even more, you have to love a guy who, other than perhaps anthony wiener, tends to speak his mind more than most. [laughter] the vice president of all he has done in the senate whip, he has role inplayed a thleading policy achievements. the effort to facilitate the
creation of a coalition government in iraq. the whole guiding of the reset with russia. his deep immersion in both afghanistan and pakistan strategies. one particular recent experience i just want to highlight. in early december, when jon kyl announced that boats should be put off until the next congress, i would have bet a lot of money that we would never find the 67 votes necessary to ratify that treaty. but the vice president personally and painstakingly went to work with his mastery of the arms control agenda and his intimate knowledge of the u.s. senate and he, one by one, gather the votes to defy the odds to produce a result of that
has an importance far beyond the start treaty in terms of russia relations, in terms of nonproliferation goals and global affairs. the foreign-policy challenges that we confront now or breathtaking, but to hear him talk about it is an honor and privilege to welcome the vice president of the united states joe biden. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, very much. thank you. i want the press to know one thing. in 38 years of being a senator and 36 -- i have never heard
said that a leading congressman actually loves somebody who has served in the senate for 36 years. this was worth the trip. there are rumors that i do not stay on message and that is not true. [laughter] [applause] >> this is the price that steny paid. nancy, you are a great friend. it is great to be here with you. steny, you are not much, but i love you. steny and i agree on almost everything. thank you for your leadership and your courtesy you have shown me and john, you are doing a great job from my perspective.
javier, thanks for having me here. before i began, and i am sure you all talked about its, let me say a few words about gabby. those of us who love the congress, we talk about it in ways that i think the public outside this not grasp or understand. -- outside does not grasp or understand. one thing about this family is that we live in each other's losses. some bus does some of us are really close to one another. i am sure that those of you in the caucus and seeing her open
her eyes, it would make you feel so sad. i want to say to all of you that this is a personal. i know his personal for a vast majority of you that no gabby. i had the privilege of campaigning for her this past year. like many of you, what a courageous campaign she ran. the phrase that i use in other circumstances is that she has a backbone like a ramrod. i had the great privilege of dealing with a lot of neurosurgeons. over 20 years ago, i had to craniotomies because of a
aneurysm in my subarachnoid cadbury -- cavity. neurosurgeons are incredible. we know little about the brain. how little we know about is recuperative capabilities. how little we know how to be able to predict what will happen. i would give a personal example of something that i went through where i remember asking the doctor, thinking that i would never be able to function very well again. a said that this has happened to me, why? >> he said he did not know why it has happened but that he could tell me from experience what we do know. we do know that in most cases it
gets better. we do not know what it gets better. as devastating as gaby's injury is -- as devastating as gabby's injury is, i am not convinced -- attitude and determination is an incredible weapon in dealing with your -- what you are facing. i talked to my neurosurgeons that i keep in contact with. they saved my life. when things happen, they are the guys i call and ask them to interpret for me. they say that they do not know exactly what happened, but there is every reason to believe, based on the progress she has made, that it could be
exponentially greater. no guarantee. from my own personal experience, with no ability to give you any data to sustain what i am saying, i just looked at how quickly she has moved and i am hopeful. i also want to say -- we could get into a debate about what caused the guy like this to do what he did. one thing that has happened is i think it is not about assigning blame, but i think there is a generic recognition and that we a to change the way we talked to one another. -- that we have to change the way we talked to one another. -- talk to one another.
tone matters. [applause] words matter. it matters in terms of how we will deal with the problems in this country, whether we are going to actually respond to the needs of the american people and there is significance. i want to commend you for your suggestion. all of these things begin with small changes. it began on the floor of the senate back in the early 1990's when some senators referred to the president of the united states in a derogatory term. these things have a way of having ebbs and flows. everybody is sitting together is symbolic and hopefully it is
not the arithmetic or geometry, but hopefully it generates beginnings and a slightly different atmosphere. t, i amo not change that toc not sure how we deal with the american people who insist on as dealing with it. -- on us dealing with it. notwithstanding the fact of what the press might think, i am happy to be back. our discussion during the lame duck, i enjoyed it. [laughter] when i walked in, the press gave me a standing ovation and when i
left, most gave me a standing ovation. that is more than i get in the senate. and i amy to be backe flattered that you asked me to speak. i want to make it clear that i am not vice president joe biden who has had some sort of transformation in what i understand about the senate. i am not here to tell you anything. i am here to give you insights into what we are thinking about. when we get through my prepared remarks, i am here to listen. i am sure to have a discussion. because we all have to be on the same page. these are difficult, difficult issues that we are dealing with. i was asked to speak about three
areas of the world that i have spent an awful lot of time on when i was chairman of the foreign relations committee. since i have been vice president of the united states as well. iraq, pakistan and afghanistan. after spending the last week in those three countries, i thought i would try to be responsive to what you asked me to do and you an update on the situation as i see it. some of you may remember that before we took office after the election, the president made a pledge. the president made a pledge to bring the iraq war to a responsible and. to responsibly in the war in iraq. some and you know that at that time, the president asked me to go to iraq and make a trip to afghanistan and pakistan and come back and give an independent assessment of what we were about to take
responsibility for. at the outset of the administration, the president turned and said that joe will to iraq. i had the honor and irresponsibility of the day-to- day management of our objective of bringing the war in iraq to responsible end. we have had some incredibly talented foreign policy folks. we have had incredibly talented ambassadors. we have had two generals that are warrior diplomats. one general did incredible job and we could not have gotten where we are politically. general loy austin is a
diplomat. they are warrior diplomats. i have had the opportunity to speak with all of you individually about this subject and i know how deeply the feelings run. they ran deeply for me in my days in the senate. they'd run deeply not just here in the democratic caucus, but all across the country. i also know that many of you have doubts about whether or not we would be able to or what we meant by bringing the war in iraq to irresponsible end. about whether we could actually get it done. it has not been easy. it has not gone perfectly. i believe in keeping president obama's promised to end this war responsibly. over the past couple of years, politics has broken out. you ever heard me use the phrase.
politics has broken out. the bottom line is that all of the interests in iraq have finally concluded that they have to have a piece of the action, politically. what they need done cannot be accomplished through violence. notwithstanding, the continued effort of al qaeda it-iraq and some of the extremist groups try to form what we saw back in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. well insurgents still launched a devastating attacks as we saw last week, iraq is more stable than it has been since the outbreak of war. back in 2006, there were about 1400 incidents a week.
we are talking about too many, but we are talking about 100 to 1500 week. -- 100 to 150 a week. there are 150,000 american troops in iraq. we have withdrawn forces from the cities and we have ended our combat mission and we have actually brought home 100,000 combat forces from iraq. [applause] i know that there are doubts among some about the 50,000 remaining. the 50,000 troops remaining are focused on advising and assisting their iraqi kellie -- counterparts. we have a lot of personnel and the state department and they participate in counter-terrorism operations for it under our security agreement with the
iraqi government, we are on track to remove the remaining 50,000 forces by the end of the year 2011. last week, it was my 17th, 18th or 19th visit to iraq. i have lost count. it is starting to feel like a second home which worries me. i have also spend the past 20 months and hundreds of hours on the phone with our personnel and every major political player in iraq representing every single group except the bed dust. i feel like their grandchildren.
as you guys know, i know that one of the most famous leaders of the united states congress said that all politics is local. i would amend that. but far be it for me to take issue, but i think that all politics is personal. whether it is in the united states or in iraq. we have been very engaged. we are able to build the trust in the iraqis. they got to the point where they were asking us to be an intermediary. i was asked to talk amongst them. the relationship built and overtime, an iraqi solution to an iraqi problem emerged three we did not dictate that solution. but the iraqis arrived at the solution to by us being a
bridge. not just me, but the ambassador that is a first-rate guy. he has done an incredible job. i met with of them and other leaders, but i spend long meetings with them an hour in one case and in one case for hours. -- that you are ours -- four hours . this was very difficult. it took a long time. howard administration -- our
administration had three red lines that we made clear to the iraqi government and to the region. number one, everyone of the leaders -- the government that they formed had to reflect the outcome of their election. let me say that again. it had to reflect the outcome of their elections. all of you recall that their parliament needed 362 for a majority -- you needed 167 to govern. three things had to exist. the sunnis and had to be fully represented. shia -- all-- the porti
sudanese had to be a part of iraqia. they ended up with 89 votes. they had to work out a deal. it is not surprising that it took a long time. look along it took the dutch to form their government. it took nearly five months. this is a process. a startling thing about the process that you do not write about or speak about is that in this torturous process of bringing about a new government, there have been democrats -- there been comments about a democratic government being formed. we almost went to war. on two occasions, they almost went to war with the kurds.
hear, he is not able to move within his own province. the you know who supported him to be the speaker? the leader of the kurds. they had to spend hours together. the startling thing is that they went up and sat down and lengthy discussions. what is that important? >> it helped get them a government. the flash points of dispute boundaries in an area claimed by unnis.and claimed by sumy' they now have a relationship. does this mean it will be settled easily?
it is a real serious prospect of being settled. the second red line, each block had to have a major role in the government and the government -- there could be no government, the third red line, no government would have to rely upon sadrists. maliki could have run that government and that would have been a disaster. another leader could have made that deal along the way. he refrain from it. so, now, not only are there listening -- are they listening, reality has a way of intruding. reality has a way of intruding.
in this god awful process that took place after the election, remember, we were told that there could not be an election law. there was going to be a referendum in turco -- be a referendum. the thing that you guys know, if you tasted, you can feel it. it is here. the process of having to deal with one another has changed the whole dynamic. not just in getting a government. i am convinced that the leaders will stick to the commitment that they made to us and they did. thanks to hard work by top-notch american diplomats initiating this process. the reason i go into so much detail on this with you all is
that i know many of you will. i know that you know that none of this matters unless the roots run pretty deep. unless there is some reason to believe beyond the fact that they were able to form a form of government. that is not sufficient. i always kid that the first election, a democracy does not make. it is the third election that determines whether or not you will have a democracy. so, the roots are deeply planted. that is because of this forced interaction of one another. we started off very rough. with a new government in place, they can begin to attack the significant problems lie ahead, including conducting consensus and further into gritting
kurdish forces -- further recruiting kurdish forces, stabilizing the economy, stabilizing the private sector and passing a fiscally responsible budget. the projections are that if democracy is sustained and they are not back at work, they will, within a decade, be producing more oil than saudi arabia. one of the things where i hope but not come across as lecturing is that it is both a blessing and curse. almost every other nation has been so in doubt, it has allowed them to forgo making important decisions. i am hopeful.
national wealth will finance their needs and when the civilian institution no longer needs our support, iraq will be in very good shape. now, there is going to be a sustained u.s. invasion of the civilian side. we will continue to train their police forces. you all know that. it can be done by the civilians to read one thing that howard and i talked about walking down the hall is gates and general car right, and others in the military said there is a misallocation of funding for the defense department and the state
department on the civilian side. it is going to be very hard with the new republican colleagues, but i warn you that i will be back with you to help us with some strategies without the military. is time for the military role to be done. the purpose, now, is to sustain these institutions so that they can become a stable and self- reliant nation. that is a civilian undertaking, but it's still cost money now, in lobbying. i apologize. -- i am lobbying. i apologize. the military meets with all of the cabinet secretaries down in
the house situation room. -- in the situation room. the secretary of education, the secretary of congress, the attorney-general. that is the time to bring the expertise that we have at their invitation to help them sustain the institutions that they have to build. we can do that without bloodshed did we can do that without overwhelming costs. we can do that because they need it done. i will give you an example. how did they get a budget last time in their congress? there were seven high level treasury department personnel that were given to the speaker .f the corps
they had never run a but -- and written a budget before. it makes a big difference. we are establishing a diplomatic presence throughout the country under the terms of the agreement, we are billing a dynamic relationship across a long, wide range of nonmilitary and not intelligence sectors. that is one in these difficult economic times, we will need to continue to support this engagement with much lower costs while they work up their ability to maintain all of their needs and beyond as they build their revenue base which they absolutely will. is this worth 4439 fallen
angels? is this worth 32,000 wounded? 16,000 meeting care the rest of their lives as long as they live? only history will answer that, but i tell you what, if you go back and do it all over again, maybe we would not do it. i would not do it, anyway. we were handed a circumstance in be intent on making good on the two promises. one, our military presence there and helping them as long as they want it to build and sustain a government that can actually function and not be a
menace in the region. that is a fundamental interest that we have to redeem our sacrifices by preserving the gains that have been made and i believe that we are on track to do that. that is my report on iraq. with regard -- i apologize if i am taking too much time. you have to let me know if i am going into much detail. i will not be offended if you do not want this much detail. i mean that sincerely. just let me know. i will make the other two or shorter but they are much more difficult. last week, i visited afghanistan and pakistan again. during that time, i was asked to go to afghanistan and pakistan and to come back with what our policy should be. what i fell in them and what i
confronted the president with his absolute confusion about our strategic objectives. there are 10 people in iraq. you ask 10 people from other governments in iraq what our rationale for being there, you get tender for ancestor of the today, -- you get 10 different answers. our goals are clear is stated. they are that, number one, we are there to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al qaeda and prevent its return to afghanistan and its ability to stabilize pakistan. two, the stability of afghanistan's nuclear power is
being challenged by extremists and we should do will be can to diminish the threat. three, our mission in afghanistan is in the it is not our purpose. it is in the service of those two objectives. let me say also what is not among our goals. we are not there to defeat every last threat to the security of afghanistan. ultimately, it is the afghans who want to secure their country. secondly, it is not nation- building. it is the afghans who must build their nation. the base on which they start is determined by them.
this is the second, third, fourth, or fifth poorest country in the world. those of our friends and to talk about how they are going to build a democracy if there with an infrastructure, that is not possible within any near-term possibilities. but it is arguably possible that we, in fact, have a government that is in fact sustainable, not in a position to be overthrown in the near term by the taliban while there is a chance of working on reconciliation and stability and maintaining our platforms to meet our first two goals. we have to make sure extremist do not totally destabilize afghanistan. let me tell you about my last visit. like you, i have been there many
times. i had the opportunity to meet with karzai to i have known since january of 2002. i was the first american elected official, notwithstanding runs phil's attempt to keep me al -- rumsfeld's attempt to keep me out. we are co-equal branches of government. i went to afghanistan over objections. he would not let me get into a military plane. people might military -- he pulled my military attaches out.
i was given a couple of navy seals. i spent the early days living with no lights or heat in the palace and no ability to pay any help in the palace. i go back a long way with karzai. i go back a long way with members of his government. our senior military leadership and the american troops serving in this country have been there in some form for a long time. it was essentially a war totally unintended to. it was fundamentally neglected, without a policy from 2002 until we came into office. i know there are some rumors of discontent in the relationship between president karzai and me. i have been blocked with president karzai. this visit, i want to make
clear, was actually productive. you play the hand you are dealt. he is the president, but also a lot of things he has been worried about he has reason to be worried about. a lot of the criticisms about the policy he has conducted -- he has a reason to be worried about them. we should listen. the afghan government has a long way to go to provide services and to build a security force. i witnessed positive developments myself, including a training facility just outside of kabul. i saw trainers developing a generation of increasingly capable soldiers. it is a tough haul. the literacy rates is 87%
literacy. in afghanistan, it is between 15% and 17% literacy. as a result, the "new york times" has said there is a consensus that we are listening the taliban's grip in kandahar and hopefully making some accommodation and reconciliation. the truth is, success in this conflict -- this is joe biden -- cannot be achieved on the battlefield alone. there is no military solution. that is why we have substantially increased our civilian efforts and have diplomats working side-by-side with our military and afghan soldiers and police. we have reached another tipping point in our policy with
afghanistan. nato will begin at beach transition this year. let me say again, this year nato -- that meets the united states as well -- will begin to transition responsibility of security over to the afghans. starting in july, the united states will begin drawing down our forces. by 2014, it is our policy that security of the entire country of afghanistan will be in the hands of the afghans. that is our policy. [applause] everyone is clear on that. nato, the karzai government, and the united states of america. you see how daunting the task is. but i am telling you, this is what we are going to do. just as we kept our commitment in iraq, we are going to keep the commitment of this
administration as it relates to afghanistan. there is a lot more to talk about. we will talk about it during the discussion. let me move to pakistan. pakistan has been buffered by extraordinary height wins in the last year. it is a turbulent political climate, to state the obvious. i should have said at the outset, my apologies for not referencing the new members. congratulations. i am glad you are here. you are going to love john carney. [applause] there you are, buddy. john will not tell you, but he used to work for me. he and his wife are great people. i am share of -- i am looking
for to meeting all the members. i want to help all of you over to my house for dinner if you are willing to do that. as i can say to the veterans who are here, think about five years ago and six years ago. there was another guy in charge. that was not viewed by the majority of the democratic party i belong to to be out in our interest. we worked hard for an alternative. we got an alternative. it was very weak. it had its own problems. i had known the political leadership of pakistan for literally 20 or 25 years. i am not new to this. i actually tried to win the
nomination. in all of those debates, i used to say pakistan was the single most dangerous nation, not because they are bad people, but the instability is significant and it is a nuclear power. it is not like worrying about iran becoming a nuclear power, this is a nuclear power with deployable weapons. there is a significant, although a small minority -- a significantly radicalized portion of the population. what has happened? we are trying to put together a government. they have had to deal with some extreme problems including flooding. some of you in the humanitarian sense have saw the devastation of it, the breadth of it, the consequences of its period that has diverted resources that otherwise would have gone to other things. they have not caught a lot of
breaks. despite the difficult circumstances, there have been some positive changes. the pakistan military in recent months have shifted a significant number of its forces from the indian border. all of a sudden, they had to take that and use it for the floods. as i said before, reality as a way of ensuring. reality intruded when some of the people they had been supporting over the last 20 years invaded swat, a tourist area of the country. all of a sudden, they began to realize they had a problem. have they figured out the extent of the problem? have they come to the conclusion we think they have to come to?
no. but they did begin to confront the terrorist that operate in that region. i want to be careful how i choose my words. we have made progress in our goal of degrading al qaeda. the intelligence community knows it is real. it is not enough to solve the end of the threat, but we have made significant progress in going after the leadership of al qaeda. those of you who have been to afghanistan lately, you ask our military and civilians how many al qaeda are there in afghanistan and the number you get is somewhere between 5150. it is still a problem. they can still plot and plan. they are not defeated, but are on the run. you can talk to leon panetta
about it. the bottom line is there has been some progress. the president said last month that progress has not come fast enough. we will continue to assist the pakistan leaders and tell them that the safe-havens must be dealt with. they have distinctly different agendas. do not make the mistake of conflating the networks and the afghan taliban and al qaeda. a lot of people what to convince you of that. they say there is a need for us to do significantly different things. that is part of the problem. they are not the same. view as pakistan nis their enemy are not who we view as the enemy. there is a disconnect. the pakistan government and the
united states understand there is al qaeda, the pakistan taliban, the afghanistan taliban, and others. to be frank, our priorities are not in alignment with the pakistani government. we are trying to reconcile that. reality as a way of intruding. we are beginning to figure out that some of the people they created or monsters that they created. they are now becoming a target. some in this rooms worked very hard on colombia's drug trafficking. i have been doing it for 22 years. that used to be my job on the judiciary committee. i remember going down the first time in the early '80s and been told by the president of colombia, "look, this is your problem."
there is a demand in the united states being pulled through ecuador, pull through the amazon, i pulled through the southern parts of colombia. i remember saying then, "no nation can sustain itself as a transit point without being gobbled up by it." it took the colombians a long time to figure that out. now they are working very hard. the severity of the threat that exists to the pakistanis has been brought home very frankly in a start release a couple of weeks ago in islamabad. i offer my condolences on behalf of the american people. someone was assassinated by our version of the secret service. they were highly trained people, paid by the government.
this night was a courageous public servant. he spoke out for tolerance and understanding. he wanted something done with the blasphemy law. what happened was, as he was getting into his automobile, his chief guy takes eight dined and literally blows his brains out. -- takes a gun and literally blows his brains out. i was given copies of newspapers. if i had more than one i would have brought it along today. what was the result? hundreds of thousands of people marched in karachi, the largest city, in support of the assassin. hundreds of thousands. was it true hundred 50,000? something like that?
higher? you can see the pictures. every nook and cranny in the street. it looked like our inauguration. all in support of an assassin. in the assassin's hometown, tens of thousands of people showed up throwing rose petals on the doorway of the family of the assassin. you say, it was just a bunch of radical people out of a population of 198 million. that does not mean much. guess what. no responsible voice except the widow has said anything. nobody. none of the lawyers.
basically, nobody. as i stated publicly when i addressed in a press conference that had scores and scores of pakistani press there -- we are not very well liked in pakistan. polls showed about four or five moments ago that al qaeda was more popular than we are. india was more popular than we are. it is bizarre. i made a speech and i in no uncertain terms -- it was sort of like a history lesson -- i pointed out that in societies that tolerate political violence always end up being consumed by it. anyone who pays close attention to pakistan who reads or what is the media commentators and the extreme voices of political discourse know that our
relationship is undermined by the de misconceptions that are held by so many pakistanis. i thought it was important to discuss directly with the nation over the heads of the leadership to discuss exactly what we thought and refute some of the most erroneous claims, such as the belief that the united states disrespects is long or that our policies favor india. i explained that is long is america's fastest-growing religion. president obama told a group in cairo that is long is a part of america. we have one of the largest mosque in the world, bigger than in their own country. america wants what pakistanis
want. another common misconception is the idea that the united states is some help by letting pakistan's sovereignty. i made it clear that we believe it is the terrorists who are violating pakistani sovereignty. our goal is to restore and strengthen that sovereignty in areas of the country that are deemed it being held by terrorists and undermining their credibility. this may be boring you all, but any of you who follow it, the reaction to my remarks were interesting. i had made several speeches in pakistan, both in english and in their language. the media gave extensive and largely positive coverage.
we took on our critics in pakistan last year. the response was overwhelmingly positive in the press. when we show countries in the respect of taking their concerns seriously and debunking misconceptions about our intentions, we can open minds. this has to be a 365 day a year job. it includes increasing our emissaries in the country. we have to get it right in pakistan. it is easy to say, "why do we not just wash our hands and walk away?" i am not talking about military intervention. let me reiterate -- there is no military solution. there is a need for greater progress in pakistan and it is daunting. if you are making book in las vegas, i doubt you would get
even odds. we do not have a choice. it is a nuclear country with deployable nuclear weapons. there is always a need for reconciliation in afghanistan for those who renounce violence. i have covered a lot of ground this afternoon. in some of the most important foreign-policy challenges we face, i am shore there are plenty of topics you would like to discuss. i want to hear your views and maybe challenge some of the assumptions i have made. on behalf of the president and myself, i thank you for the hard work and support you gave the administration last year. [applause] many of you cast extremely difficult votes.
i know what it was like in my years in the senate. it will not get easier anytime soon. i want you to know that we want to strengthen this relationship in the one of the 12th congress. thank you for your courtesy. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up on c-span, ron kirk and shaun donovan on the u.s. economy and job creation. after that, a medical update on the condition of arizona rep gabrielle giffords. later, a discussion on repealing the health care law. tomorrow on "washington journal. at the white house economic team with a reporter from politico. after that, the director of the
league of cities. later, david kenner on the obama administration's pending decision to lift the order on military tribunals to prosecute the chinese. washington journal every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> do you solemnly swear to support the contusion -- constitution of the united states from all enemies foreign and domestic? >> learn more about the freshmen senators on line and follow their appearances with c-span's congressional cockles. track the daily time land -- timeline, and find a video archive of each member. congressional chronicles at c- span.org/congress. >> the u.s. conference of mayors
in other meetings this week. the focus was on the u.s. economy and job creation. u.s. trade representative ron kirk outlined the obama administration's job policies. mr. kirk serve as the mayor of dallas from 1995 until 2002. his remarks run just over 35 minutes. >> i am now pleased to introduce to you ambassador ron kirk, the united states trade representative and mayor of dallas from 1995 until 2001. ambassador kirk was a strong member of this organization, including heading our committee on economic policy. as u.s. trade representative, he looks at grade as a job creating filler. -- he looks at trade as a job- creating filler. we appreciate your focus on job
creation as well as on trade policies that help small and medium-sized businesses. join me in welcoming ambassador ron kirk. [applause] >> thank you for that warm air introduction. thank you again for your extraordinary leadership and your great devotion to the u.s. conference of mayors. it is always one of the highlights of my year when i have an opportunity to come back and be with my fellow mayors. my staff tells me that just about every other conversation i began with, "when i was mayor." once a mayor, always a mayor. they look like they are about to break out in hives. i am barely at a loss of words.
i want to acknowledge that you have spent the morning with the president. i do not think there is much more i can add that would eliminate any of the matters he told you about. normally when i speak to a group, i spend the night thinking about what i will say. knowing i would be on stage, i wondered what to wear. [laughter] i have to tell you, this is the way i dress. this is down right dowdy. maybe he is smiling a little bit. we love tom. he has done yeoman's work on behalf of the nation's miers for decades. he is one of the most respected voices for urban development and partnership between miers and business, which is behind it -- which is why we had this
extraordinary business council. always be mindful that the boots that are on the ground creating the jobs and leading the path for economic development all find their way to city hall and the nation's miers. mayors.n's i have to acknowledge my mayor who was with me this morning, but made a decision not to run again. for any other mayors for whom this might be your last meeting, we thank you for your extraordinary service as well. i was joking with your president about the candor of your conversations with our nation's president this morning. i am very much echo tom's
sentiments about the extraordinary work and leadership that mayors have done over the last 24 months to hold our cities and our country together. it is a sad reality of our business. i was never smarter than when our city had money. [laughter] i was a pretty good mayor. all of a sudden, the public thinks we have lost our minds when times get tough. we know that it is the partnership between us at the federal level and you who can help keep america growing and strong. that is what this president has been trying to do. we understood from the very beginning that having a strong partnership and a strong investment in our cities and our state would be critical to helping america overcome this recent economic tsunami. from the recent tax-cut package, to our earliest investments in the recovery act,
the obama administration has helped put our economy back on the path to greater prosperity. we have done it by focusing on the local level. we gave tax cuts to working families all across this country. we passed a health care all that lowers costs and cuts the deficit and helps support job growth. we supported improvements to c's infrastructure -- to ct's infrastructure. we provided billions of budget assistance to many of our cash- strapped states when they most needed it. we think it is wise to continue these types -- these types of critical investments in infrastructure, energy, education, and innovation so america can stay competitive and attract the best jobs here in the united states. to be sure, the president shared
with you candidly this morning -- there is going to be a very robust debate, not only in washington, but around the country about the best way to do that. one area in which many of us have come to believe we can find potential for common ground and cooperation happens to be in the portfolio that i am privilege to serve. many americans have come to begin to accept that we can grow our economy through having a robust and fall for trade policy, especially by focusing on increasing our exports of around the world. president obama has said we simply have to do what america has always been known for. that is building, and evading, educating, and making things. we want to create and sell products all around the world.
we want them stamped with three simple words -- made in america. we want to implement the president's export initiative which has a goal to double our exports over the next five years. we are doing it with the knowledge that if we reach that goal, we can create an additional 2 million jobs at a time when desperate spared desperate -- at a time when citizens are desperately looking for those jobs. i am privileged to serve on the president's export promotion cabinet along with other senior officials to have portfolios that effect -- that affect trade. we are giving export assistance to america's firms. we are opening up opportunities
around the world for america's exporters. we think these measures will help businesses in your cities and communities expand their exports into new markets. why are we focusing on exports? let me leave you with one simple message. 95% of the world body consumers live outside of the united states. a great way to grow our businesses is to get access to those consumers. the department of commerce runs export extension centers all across this country. many of you probably have export assistance centers in your city or one that is not far from it. we urge you to make sure you contact them and find out how you can partner with them to help businesses in your community to understand the power of exporting. i would invite you to visit our website at www.export.gov.
we want to build on to some positive trends we are starting to see. over the last five quarters, exports are contributing more to our total economic output than consumer spending. that is extraordinary. consumer spending is almost 75% of our economy. exports are only 13%. through the end of 2010, for example, u.s. exports were up 17% over the previous year, which is putting us on track of meeting the president's goal of doubling our export over this five-year period of time. in order for us to sustain this solid expansion of exports and support job creation, we know we have to do more, particularly as it relates to opening up new markets around the world and
fighting for a level playing field for american exports. when i agreed to serve as u.s. trade representative, i made a conscious decision to put a priority on doing as much domestic travel as i do traveling around the world. many people think one of the benefits of my job is the amount of foreign travel that is involved. i have done that. through the first eight months, i went around the world three times. at the end of each trip it struck me that i was not want to change america's fears about our trade policies in geneva, paris, or dakkar. over the last nine months, i have been to 25 or 25 states. i had been in almost 45 cities, large and small, those that are favorable to exports.
i have also been to places like detroit and name to feel like they are on the short end of our trade policies. when i have had the opportunity to be engaged with mayors and local officials who have introduced me to businesses that are both benefiting from trade and those who have been frustrated by it had really helped to inform the creation of a more thoughtful policy for us as we go forward. in particular, just about every business owner, former, rancher, where workers i have talked to understands the importance of our ability to access customers around the world, particularly in the rapidly growing asia- pacific region. they have also shared with me their concerns and fears that
they believed the united states has held up our end of the bargain. we have some of the lowest tariffs in the world. what i have heard from businesses if they are not so much against trade, they are not convinced the trade policies that will make sure our partners treat us as fairly as we treat them. the focus of our administration has been two things. one, guaranteeing america's businesses that we are going to fight and insist that our partners do one simple thing, played by the rules. we have opened up our markets to you, you have to open up your markets to us. secondly, we have almost be -- we have also begun to focus on where the opportunities are. a lot of our work in the short term is focusing on the southeast asian region. a lot of people ask me why. being from texas, i am short you
have heard the story about the bank robber who was prolific in robbing banks, but was also a prolific in getting caught. one time a judge sentenced him and asked him why he kept robbing banks. he told the judge, "that is where the money is." the reason we are focusing on southeast asia, that is where a lot of the opportunity is. all the economists tell us that only 60% of global growth and gdp will be in an area that broadly defines itself as southeast asia. it is important that our farmers, ranchers, exporters have an opportunity to compete in those markets. we are focusing on a number of initiatives that will get us into that market. i want to tell you about three of them. one is the free-trade agreement that we successfully completed
negotiating with korea. secondly, -- trust me, this can help everyone in your community. we have a broader initiative in the region. finally, it is what we do in the region with other economies called apec. let me start with korea. they are one of the largest and most dynamic markets in this rapidly growing region. it is our fifth largest trading partner right now. let me tell you the bad news. four years ago, we were career's number-one exporter. we were number one in selling korea goods that they bought from other countries around the world. to date we are no. 4 and falling fast. that is unacceptable and it does
not have to be that way. we inherited a free-trade agreement that many in congress are trying to perpetuate. president obama rejected me to fix that. we focused on real disparages in access to their automotive market and their market to ours. i do not have to tell either of you how many cars our children by with nameplates other than those that say "made in detroit." what we find unacceptable is when other countries do not get their families at the same choices we have. fortunately, we were able to do this in a way that for the first time, at least in my lifetime, we have a balanced trade agreement that is being applauded by the u.s. chamber and the association of manufacturers, but for the first
time the united autoworkers. we had great bipartisan support because we realized this can help us by selling more in the korean market. this is a great opportunity not just for automotive makers, but for all of our manufacturing industries. manufactured goods represent almost 80% of what we sell to korea. that will come down dramatically. most will be done away with over the next five years. whether you are from a big manufacturer or a small entrepreneurial stake, we think this will give great value to businesses in your community. secondly, korea is one of our strongest agricultural markets. last year, our agricultural exports reached their highest level in history. in agriculture, we win. we are the most prolific in
agriculture in the world. we cannot consume all that we produce. agriculture is more dependent on trade than any other industry in america because we have to have markets for them. agriculture will be a big win in this agreement. finally, we address the growing reality that more and more americans work in the service industry. 80% of americans work in the service market. korea has a half a tree and dollar service economy. this will be strong for them as well. let me talk about what we are doing in the trans-pacific partnership. this is an opportunity to create and helped draft the architecture for what we think can be the highest and most aspirational trade agreement of the 21st century and a model for america pause -- going forward. we are working with a group of
light-minded countries -- eight other countries -- the goal is to draft what we hope will be the broadest trade agreement with the strongest labor, environment provisions of any trade agreement that has ever been negotiated. hopefully that will become the architecture portrayed in this dynamic southeast-asia region of which i spoke. we have had five or else already. we are moving at an extraordinarily fast pace. our goal is to be substantially complete by the time president obama holds a meeting of those 21-member apec communities later this fall. we are talking about liberalizing opportunities in new technologies -- new technology and emerging business
sectors. we are focusing on the needs of how we can better incorporate small to medium-sized business this is in our trade policies. -- businesses in our trade policies. the united states will hold that form in hollywood this year. it gives us a wonderful opportunity to take concrete steps to address other barriers to trade. there are many that prevent our smaller to medium-sized businesses from getting involved in exports. specifically, we will look at ways to improve supply-chain performance so goods and services can float more freely. we are trying to reduce the cost of doing business across the region for businesses large and
small. to learn more about any of these initiatives, i invite you to visit our web site. i would also like to speak about our other work. these are our short-term initiatives. we are looking at every configuration to support the president's #1 executive -- hitting the economy growing by using our trade policy to create jobs. we have a 10-year agreement with the world trade organization. it would be the most ambitious trade liberalizing agreements out there. the united states has almost single-handedly insisted that it we are going to do this, we are going to do it right. it has to have an ambitious and balanced market initiative not only to help the poorest
countries in the world, but we think new free economies have benefited more of the last 10 years than china, india, and brazil. we think that is a good thing, but we think it comes with responsibility. now it is time to invite china, india, and brazil to the global table. they have to create a more balanced opportunity in the future. we are working within our hemisphere to bring the same type of discipline and focus to the trade agreements we inherited with panama and colombia. they may not have the economic health of korea, but they are critically important for many of the interest in this room. they are committed to working with us to successfully addressed the issues remaining so that we can move them forward as well. i want to spend a few minutes talking about things other than trade policy because as strongly
as i believe in the proper role of a smart trade policy to help get our economy going and job creation spurred, we never trade at home cannot do that. our administration is also looking at ways that our small businesses can compete with a number of other ways. that is why we focused on tax incentives to help those firms grow. you know as miers the majority of our citizens still work for businesses employing fewer than 200 people. we think investing in our small businesses and helping them grow is a great way to help put america back to work. the president has also put into place a one other% deduction for large capital investments. what we are saying to business is whether they are large or small, it feels like the economy is coming back. our citizens only want to know
one thing, where are the jobs? we are doing everything we can to get businesses to make those critical investments now so that hopefully they will bite the equipment that will allow them to hire the workers and put them back to work. we think accelerated depreciation can help more businesses move plans from the drawing board on the factory floors and store shelves to put people to work. [applause] thank you. we also think the same thing is true of the two-year extension of the research and development credit which will help cover costs of research. our innovative businesses thrive on research and development and the obama administration is committed to their continued success. as you travel around your state , many of you have an opportunity to travel the country to seek out and secure
job opportunities for your cities -- we want you to know that the obama administration will support you every step of the way. it did you confront challenges in your respective communities and huge all straight, inside, and inspiration that we learn from one another at these conferences. notice that i said "we." not only do i feel like a former mayor, i also feel like you all are former ambassadors as well. everyday that you go out and advocate for job-creating opportunities on behalf of your citizens and your neighbors, you are an ambassador. everyday that you were to build relationships with your governors, which are congress people, and on the international level you are an ambassador. every day that you move one step closer to closing that deal, to bring that new job to your community, to open that factory,
to bring in that new investment you are in fact and ambassador. whether it is through helping to facilitate investments in infrastructure, energy, or education, we look to build a stronger partnership with you, our nation's miers, so that we can rebuild our cities and put america back to work. it is an honor and privilege to serve you as or u.s. trade representative, but it is a bigger privilege to call you friends and fellow mayors. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. the mayor's ambassador -- ross is very much. will you take any questions? i think it would be very
helpful. we like to make sure we have a dynamic dialogue. a microphone is coming. >> thank you. thank you for all the hard work you are doing. you are doing a fantastic job. i just wanted to ask if you would mind working with our other partners in the treasury department. they are coming down a little bit too hard on banks. local banks are restricting businesses from having access to capital. every time i talked to a banker, they say their auditors are at the bank. they are not loaning money. they have money to lend, but they have so many requirements. these banks cannot lend to businesses. i just want to see if you can somehow --
>> i will share your comments with both the president and secretary geithner. i would use one of the lessons i learned as a mayor to tell you what i think is one of the biggest success stories we do not talk about. the first challenge the administration inherited was to stabilize the banking system. people do not want to talk about it. the recovery problem has worked well. the money has been paid back. we saved the banking industry in america. we kept america from a financial collapse. when the president's biggest concerns is the frustration of small businesses. they tend not to get that money from the big banks. i know secretary geithner and others are critically focused on ways to getting capital flowing,
particularly to the small to medium-sized businesses. that is why i outlined some of the things we are doing to get small businesses access to credit. i will be happy to share your concerns with the secretary. >> thank you. my name is linda thompson. i am a first time mayor here for this conference. your presentation was brilliant. i just want to give the president a great complement on his ability to try to move the ball forward to having other countries relaxed their tariff policies. i am stunned that we are just now getting around to having a major impact of getting countries to respect us as we had them. i wanted to know, how quickly do you see this turning around? a lot of this country's are dictatorships and have indoctrinated their populations and to purchase their products.
mayors are impacted by the national economy. >> that is the idea. [laughter] you asked a number of complex questions. i do not know that i will speak to the big ones. i will say this -- i am asked all the time what is in my background that made the president but to me as a trade ambassador. we have a range of cities, but when you are a mayor of a large city, you are a leading advocate of economic development in your city. we are used to traveling around the world doing trade promotions.
the most critical factor i brought to this job is to talk about macroeconomic policy. mayors understand. we are at the ground level. americans want to know what we can do to create jobs. we try to bring this sort of practical sense of urgency to job creation. secondly, another hidden asset i brought to this job was my wife. i was blessed to be elected mayor of dallas in 1995. that is the year and after it went into effect. a few of the mayor of dallas for the mayor of houston, naphtha was an economic boon for us. i met a girl from cleveland ohio who grew up in detroit. every one of my relatives is either working for or retire from ford, general motors, or
chrysler. i think it helps me that i can honestly see the frustration. from the very beginning, the form of our work was a reality. we cannot be dismissive of those workers are about our trade policy. we have focused on things like investing in trade adjustments. the reason i told you about my travels was it was important for me to sit down with mayors of corporate trade and those who were more concerned and hear what they have to say and say that it is reflected in our policy. we are making great progress. we can see a difference. the things that frighten me most when i took this job and i began to go around the hill, members of congress would tell me with pride about a program they
worked on for 20 years. we are given two weeks sometimes. we know how critical it is for businesses on the ground to solve problems and solve them quickly. i sat down with 19 and told them to tell me every legal dispute. we have some disputes that have gone on for 15 years. a cellist 19. i said, "how many ranchers do you think are still in business?" in three months, we got that trade dispute resolved. our imports into europe have grown exponentially. there are farmers and ranchers alive today who are exporting. we are trying to solve problems center by is more enforcement. even with the visit by president who gentile of china,
you heard the president -- hu jintao of china, you heard the president say we made a deal with $45 billion in exports. we need your help. we have to build a compelling case to your citizens who are skeptical whether trade means anything but cheap t-shirts and electronics for us. that is where we need the partnership. >> let's answer one more question. >> mr. kirk, i am the mayor of oakland. our port almost exports as much as we import to china. china is our largest trading partner. we find that a lot of the
chinese delegations come to our city first. several mayors in the midwest need help for the investments they are getting from chinese capital. i was wondering if maybe the white house could help us by providing some general conferences with miers to give them that kind of technical assistance. i want to buy some people to oakland and visit our port. maybe he will come to stay with us. the chinese are not just investing in the midwest -- in west coast cities, they are investing in the midwest. i did not know that. i go to china and the trade delegations all the time. if we could advertise or publicize the investments which chinese government's, including the midwest -- they are very
public relations sensitive. it is no accident they are investing in areas that are having problems. >> first of all, we are very proud of you. thank you for taking a leadership role. you can have your staff bugle the -- google and see a picture of you. we are proud to have you with us. yours was not as much a question as it was an answer. we very much want to partner with miers to the region. we are partnering with the department of commerce, the export-import bank. we have done exactly what you have said. i do not want to get too far ahead. we are looking to do a similar forum. we are going to be in minneapolis in february. to