tv American Perspectives CSPAN February 5, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
>> c-span is a private, non-profit company created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service. tonight, madeleine albright, former homeland security secretary tom ridge, and microsoft chairman bill gates on the importance of foreign assistance. then a look at the 100th anniversary of the birthday of ronald reagan. first, you'll hear tributes from the senate floor, and later, live coverage of former vice president dick cheney at a banquet in santa barbara, california. former secretary of state madeleine albright and former homeland security secretary tom ridge were honored at an event hosted by the grube called the u.s. global leadership coalition. after their remarks, we'll hear from microsoft chairman and
philanthropist bill gates. all three speakers stressed the importance of foreign aid, economic prosperity, and national security. abc news and n.p.r. analyst cokey roberts moderates. this is an hour and 10 minutes. >> thank you, sarah and george. that was lovely. in listening to you, only the living secretaries of state write letters on things unimaginative. i'm from louisiana. how grateful you are to have thomas jefferson's name on a letter. you can go with it. some of you wouldn't like buchanan maybe, but it would still work, i think. and actually, it's no stranger than having this group of people in one room.
because this is absolutely the strange bedfellows coalition, and as it has been for many years and a very effective strange bunch of bedfellows you are. what i love about this organization is that it's so practical. and, you know, the people you're honoring tonight, madeleine albright and tom ridge, are such wonderful examples of that. people with great ideas and wonderful vision, but also the practicality of getting things done. and that's what this is all about. people in the business community who are here understand that to do business in a country is much better than to do it in a country where people are educated and healthy and able to participate in civil society, in a way where you don't have to make choices between stability and democracy. something that we are facing
right now, of course, in egypt. where true stability comes from an active civil society where everyone participates, not just a pretend democracy, a pretend civil society. certainly includes, if not expects, the participation of women. and so that is, you know, certainly the enlightened self-interest of the business community here. for the non-governmental organization, we're the people that know how to deliver the education and the health care and the tools for building a civil society. for the faith-based community, everybody here involved in faith knows that that is -- this is the right thing to do. so the military community, everybody understands that it is also in our own national security to be pursuing development around the world.
and so, this organization has been great. has done a great job of putting all these communities together and really lobbying for greater assistance around the world. this year, you've got your work cut out for you. it is going to be a tough, tough year. all of you are going to have to work very, very hard in order to keep it going. but that is what part of what tonight is all about. and it's a time to both celebrate and to rededicate to that kind of hard work. so we are going to start with honoring the people who have worked so hard on it and have our celebrations, and so we will start with our co-chairs, who will introduce our honorees. the hundreds of n.g.o.'s, who are members of the coalition,
include care and the president and c.e.o. of care is dr. gayle, and she is co-chair of tonight's dinner. she brings a lifetime of public service in the fight against hiv/aids and other decides to an organization who we all know very well and whose mission has been dedicated to ending global poverty. and the hundreds of businesses that are here tonight and development professionals who are part of the coalition is represented by roblin lineberger, the c.e.o. of voight federal services. she oversees a $1.2 billion operation with 6,000 employees dedicated to assisting federal agencies and meeting the most difficult challenges. so please welcome these leading members of the u.s. global leadership coalition who are demonstrating the importance of
international affairs. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming helin gayle to the podium. [applause] >> wow. this is fabulous. good evening. it's so wonderful to be here with so many friends and colleagues and be here for what is an incredibly important event. i'm delighted to be here with my dinner co-chair, robin lineberger, as we honor two extraordinary individuals, secretary madeleine albright, and secretary tom ridge. they are both proud members of the u.s. global leadership coalition. that's what brings us here together tonight, along with all of you, because we believe in
this passionate sense that america can help to make a better and safer world and that our role as the united states is critical in making this world better, safer, and more peaceful. as a founding member of u.s. g.o.c., care knows that the united states is and can be a global force for good. we see it every day in the work that we do around the world in our mission to end global poverty. whether it's providing basic education, preventing the spread of hiv/aids and other diseases, increasing access to clean water, or providing economic opportunities for girls and women in poor communities around the world. our work is a reflection of some of america's most cherished principles.
compassion, equal rights, freedom from oppression, and the chance for everyone to fulfill their potential. we all know that this work is not just the right thing to do, but it's the smart thing to do. it is the best return on investment. tonight, it is my great privilege to introduce our first honoree, secretary madeleine albright. throughout her career as secretary of state, ambassador to the u.n., and as an educator, she has shown an unshakable belief in america. in the power of democracy. she has worked her entire life to demonstrate and promote america's strengths and humanitarian spirit. secretary albright's work has been a personal inspiration for me. and her commitment to social justice, peace, and the rights of the poor and the marginalized
has impacted countless lives on every corner of the globe. as secretary of state, she went toe the toe with dictator -- toe-to-toe with dictators, and each time the man did the same thing, peace and stability for all people, education for girls and women, and democracy as a path for a better and safer world. secretary albright has been a powerful force in advancing our civilian power, never missing an opportunity to stress the importance of the international budget, which we're all here to make sure that we hold steady to our national interest. she knows the value of investing in the developing world. she is an unwaivering champion for people living in poor communities, and she is an outspoken voice for girls and women. and her ongoing leadership and wise consult to the u.s. g.c.
has been invaluable. but those of us here in this room are not her only fans. i'd like to introduce a very special guest who would like to share his thoughts about this incredible, remarkable woman. >> i am honored to be a part of this evening to recognize the great public servant, the wonderful leader, the terrific friend, secretary madeleine albright. throughout her extraordinary life and career, madeleine has always stood up for what's most critical to our nation's interest and the long-term welfare, working alongside our military and our diplomatic efforts to advance our national security. madeleine was one of the earliest foreign policy thinkers to recognize the important role of our development economic aid
and diplomacy in building a better and safer world. one of her greatest legacies as secretary of state is a broad bipartisan consensus for a smart power approach to foreign policy that utilizes all the tools we have available in meeting the global challenges that we face today. i thank the u.s. global leadership coalition for the very important work that you do to support our development and diplomatic efforts around the world. to a strong, effective international affairs budget. we're going to need you this year more than ever. i thank you for making the habit of honoring the women i care most about. hillary was thrilled to be your honoree last year, and i must say you have made another excellent selection in 2011. i would also like to congratulate tonight's other honoree tom ridge, and thank him for his good work. madeleine, once again, i congratulate you.
i thank you for your service to the nation, to the world, to me, and for your unbelievable friendship. enjoy an evening well-deserved. bless you all. [applause] >> so it is with my deepest admiration and respect, my privilege to present my shero, secretary madeleine albright with the usglc's leadership award. [applause]
>> you know, the award and secretary albright's accomplishments speak for herself, but let me just read what it says here. the u.s. global leadership coalition salutes secretary of state madeleine albright for her vision, leadership, and unwaivering commitment to elevating development and diplomacy and strengthening the u.s. international affairs budget. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much for your kind words, and thank you very much for the award. and happy ground hog day to you all. [laughter] it's great to see so many friends.
i have to say that i loved the message from president clinton, and i have to tell you this, that whenever we had to argue for our budget, we first went to the director of o.m.b. and we would all sit there and make our arguments to him, and then we would have a special meeting with the president to make our arguments to him. and then i would always call him on christmas eve and say, could you just add a little bit more? it is christmas. and he did. [laughter] so we had a special relationship. [applause] my message this evening is simple. and i'm very proud to be a member of the u.s. global leadership coalition, where we were bipartisan even before it was cool. and not only are we bipartisan, we also come from so many different sectors of society and we include people who have served both in and outside the
government, and we have young members mixed in with all the gray hair and a couple of bald heads, and yet we are united by a common set of principles. first, despite the many prophets of doom and decline, american leadership remains today a pillar of international security, justice, and peace. [applause] second, i believe we will only be able to maintain our leadership if we have adequate resources. and third, we are determined that america remains strong and respected. and if you don't believe us, we can always speak a little bit louder. and tonight, with george, nancy, and cokie roberts, and dan, and my very distinguished co-chair and honoree tom ridge and the
one and only bill gates, you can bet that we're going to make an awful lot of more noise. [applause] i am truly happy to be honored with secretary governor ridge, because he has done so much. and something that people don't know, we are both of czech background, so we have many things in common. we all know that there are still some in this city and around our country who think of america as an island. and they believe that we are unaffected by events across the borders or on the far side of the sea. and they refuse accept that america's interests are linked to the security and prosperity of allies and friends. and they don't understand that leadership comes with a price. the truth is that we won't be able to rely on other countries to help fight the extraordinary dangers that most threaten us
unless we help the global majority to fight the chronic problems that frighten them each and every day. so we have some educating to do. let me be clear, that our purpose is not simply to defend public spending for its own sake. some of you may remember senator edmund musky, my first boss in washington. i can tell you from experience that he was a man with a down to earth way of talking, a first-rate intellect, and a world class temple. he was also the -- temper. for want of a better term, he was a tight wad. he didn't think there was anything inherently liberal or progressive about spending money. in fact, he wouldn't give you a dime unless it was justified. but he also understood that there is nothing free about freedom. he came from a family of polish
immigrants and he was a lieutenant in the u.s. navy during world war ii, and he knew the value of american leadership, because he had seen it make all the difference in his own life. and i don't know about you're welcome but i can definitely relate to that. and yet, america today is embattled and our troops are fighting a war in afghanistan that cannot be won by military means alone. we're under assault by terrorists who cannot be tracked down and defeated without the cooperation of other countries, and we worry that the world's most dangerous weapons might fall into the hands of the world's most dangerous people, yet preventing that can only be a multi-national enterprise. we have a struggling economy that can grow only if our exports expand, which means that foreign populations must have the means to buy what we sell. and we're in a battle of ideas with dictators and demagogues who spread lies about what we do
and what we intend. we have to push back, but we won't be able to do that if at the same time we're cutting back on embassies cutting back and public diplomacy, cutting back on student exchangesing cutting back on assistance and severing our connections to the world. [applause] we have good reason to be concerned about the federal budget deficit, but as we have learned through history, the best route to fiscal stability is to prevent war and the quickest path to catastrophe is to allow small problems to grow into big ones. there is no easy path to leadership. consider the turbulence that we now see in the middle east. the issues there are as complex as the stakes are high. the united states cannot dictate specific outcomes in countries
such as egypt or tunisia, but we are in a far better position than we might have been had we not raised our voice at key moments on behalf of democratic reform and human rights. [applause] and we will be in a far better position in the future if we remain engaged in support of the legitimate aspirations of the region's people. the truth is that no country has a more compelling interest than ours in an international system that truly works to keep the peace, foster development, build free institutions, and establish and enforce the rule of law. and no country has a greater reason for pride in its tradition of leadership. i didn't always agree with president george w. bush, but he was a champion in the global fight against h.i.v. and aids, and all americans should be proud of that. [applause]
bill clinton led the campaign to halt ethnic cleansing and terror, and john kennedy sent forth the finest group of ambassadors america has ever had , sarge shriver and the peace corps. and many years ago, ronald reagan launched what everyone now describes as a revolution against big government. he also increased the level of u.s. foreign aid, and with democratic partners established the national endowment for democracy. this evening, i have to tell you that even after many years of being exposed to cynics and naysayer, i still believe that the united states is much more than just another country. i want america to be strong and admired, and i want the respect to continue to be earned
throughout the coming decade and into the next and into the next. and as supporters of the u.s. global leadership coalition, i know you share that desire. and so tonight, let us make a beautiful noise together as we rededicate ourselves to that goal. thank you very, very much for this great honor. [applause] >> please welcome robin lineberger. >> wow. thank you, secretary albright, and congratulations for this
well-deserved recognition. i'm honored to be a co-chair this evening with dr. gayle from care. we believe strongly in the mission of the u.s. global leadership coalition. and a strong and effective international affairs budget. we know more than any that the future of the u.s. economy rests on our ability to find new markets and innovative solutions to compete in the international markets. 170,000 of my colleagues at deloitte and our member firms around the world work every day with our clients to help solve their most challenging problems, and we're proud of the work we do across the developing world to build sustainable business and foster democracy and governance. tonight it's a great privilege to play tribute to a man who understands the importance of global engagement. the honorable tom ridge. [applause]
secretary ridge has been a soldier, a member of congress, a governor, a cabinet secretary, and a businessman. throughout his career, tom ridge has focused on the greatness of america, and an important role our nation plays in building a better and safer world. as governor of pennsylvania, tom ridge saw firsthand the face of terrorism on september 11 and the crash of the united flight 93 in shanksville, pennsylvania. as the nation's first secretary of homeland security, secretary ridge made a historic contribution to strengthening our national security. as one of our country's leading national security experts, he understands that it takes more than than the strongest military in the world to prevent the
spread of terrorism and to protect our nation. he continues to safeguard our nation's security through his work as a c.e.o. of ridge global and a senior advisor to deloitte. he's been a visionary leader, a supporter, and a champion of smart power foreign policy, a passionate advocate for utilizing our tools of diplomacy and the development to keep our world safe. as a trusted advisor to the usglc, tom ridge has been a critical voice around the country and on capitol hill, making a compelling case for the role of civilian power and building a stable and secure world. there's someone who wanted to add a few words to mine tonight to tom ridge. >> i send our greetings to all those in attendance tonight at the u.s. global leadership coalition dinner. we join you in congratulating
tonight's honorees and two fine patriots, tom ridge and madeleine albright. tom ridge has dedicated decades of his life to the service of our country, including as a decorated army soldier, a united states congressman, and governor of pennsylvania. when i established the white house office of homeland security after september 11, i knew immediately that tom ridge was the right man for the assignment. he did an outstanding job. so i appointed him as the first secretary of homeland security. thanks to his leadership, america is more security and our government is better prepared to protect our people. i appreciate the u.s. global leadership's coalition for your commitment to a better, safer world, and i thank you for recognizing such fine americans tonight. congratulations, tom. laura and i send our best to you and good evening, and may god bless you all.
[applause] >> secretary ridge, we salute you for your leadership, your service, and your courage. please join me in recognizing the honorable tom ridge. [applause] >> i'd like to take a moment to read the inscription on this and thank secretary ridge for his service. the u.s. global leadership coalition salutes secretary of homeland security tom ridge for his vision, his leadership, and
unwaivering commitment to elevating development and diplomacy and strengthening the u.s. international affairs budget presented to the honorable tom ridge. [applause] >> thank you very much for that overly generous introduction. thank you very much for your very warm welcome. robin, thank you. helin, cokie, it's a great pleasure to be in your company. distinguished guests. is ambassador green here? there's my friend ambassador green. i want to shout out to another strong supporter of the global coalition and the wishful thinking packers fan. [laughter] it will only hurt for a little while. [laughter]
a lot of distinguished guests here this evening. people asked me how i felt about the award. and i said i'm honored, but i must tell you, it is particularly, in a very personal way, an honor for me to be associated with secretary albright. [applause] this is an individual whose commitment to her country, the experiences that have shaped her helped shape foreign policy. she is a public servant, who's built intellectual and humanitarian bridges to our friends and allies. it's her wit and wiz depom and all those experience -- wisdom that she takes to advance american interests. so madam secretary, it's a greater honor because of the evening with you to try to get everybody fired up.
raise that decimal level! [applause] since we're telling christmas stories, i am grateful for the kind words that president bush said. after 9/11, everyone wanted to do something for their country, and the president, i was one of the fortunate ones. the president actually gave me a job to help out. i'm grateful for his words. but i remember in the course of that tenure, there was one christmas season when we decided to cancel some flights. and instead of going through, i hope you don't mind, madam secretary. we were right to the countries directly. time is of the essence. i remember the counterpart on the other side said, you know, this is a matter of sovereignty. a little bit rough around the edges. it's a matter of sovereignty and you can't tell us we can't take
off. we said, you know, you're absolutely right. but we can tell you you can't land. [laughter] so they canceled the flights. so the secretary and i have worked together for the past couple of years. we worked together doing global engagements impact 2008 effort. her candidate won. mine came in second. but i think he enjoys keeping president obama on his toes. i truly believe there's mutual respect between president obama and senator mccain. i believe it is a respect that demonstrates that americans, we do not have to agree on every matter of policy, on every agenda, on every talking point, because in america, unity does not require unanimity. [applause]
we do not have to agree on all things to uphold the important things. the kind of things in which we in fact do agree, such as teaching the 10 ents of our founders, the nation, despite our differences, we all cling to the sameness, to the beauty of our country and the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of liberty and freedom. someone asked me earlier what prompted me to join the u.s. global leadership coalition. very simple. i believe in your mission. i believe in your message. the message that we must enhance the ability of our country, to advance the ideals of freedom and democracy around the globe. that the military is but one option available to influence geopolitical events and to bring about a better and a safer world. failing to recognize the
long-term impact of addressing humanetarian and social concerns before political crises occur, before mother nature strikes. the need to embrace our brand. i think as we promote america, i often look at it as a product. we have something real special to sell. but the brand of that product is our value system. and i think we can achieve promotion of that product through the use of the wise arsenal of liberty. the smart power of diplomacy. foreign assistance and economic development. nearly 40 years ago when i served in vietnam, i didn't spend a lot of time thinking about these things, i must admit. i was a soldier, a young infantry staff sergeant. i went through the wet flatlands, primarily covered in
rice pat tees, beyond the waves of the south china sea. i do think back, and i do recall during that time, that every day i saw villagers emerge from small huts, dirt floors, men, wirge and children, who headed out to those rice patties at dawn and came back at dusk, not five days a week, seven days a week. i could not help but wonder, what if there were more peace corps volunteers around? what if there were some doctors here to help? what if somehow the government was connected to a land grant school or agricultural university? how about if they had some modern farming equipment? what all or any of that could have done to help them, not just to survive, but to flourish. the images of war in its many forms has stayed with me, but watching those villagers bring dignity to a threadbare
existence amid the very vulnerable landscape of war is an image that all these years later does make me think of america's place in the world, our leadership, and our global engagement. we know the world is becoming more interdependent, more opportunities, and more risks. we know that the security and prosperity of the global community is is forever inextrekably linked, which means were more and more vulnerable to pandemics, to terrific, to just about everything we used o'to think we were immune from or isolated from in the 19th or 20th centuries. in my mind, all the more reason for us to be more engaged in bringing stability to broken regions of the world and in addressing human needs. and in america, we really wouldn't have it any other way, would we? for in this democracy, we take up our charge with enthusiasm. i believe that we know that we
are all called to serve as long as we call ourselves free. and we know that there's no place for neutrality in times of moral crisis. when the tsunami in indonesia roared, the earthquake in haiti devastated, we reached out with a hand of compassion, funds and resources. we were the first in. and no matter where disaster strikes, we usually are. we do so by manifesting the tools of smart power to try to help those affected by those natural disasters to save lives. we do so because of our national and individual, charitable, and philanthropic impulses. no better represented than by the man that joins us tonight, bill gates. [applause] so despite our differences, we will come together in our sameness and protect and nurture
the most vulnerable among us in our global family. it's a poignant moment some of you may recall from "charlie wilson's war." i served with charlie. spent absolutely no time in the hot tub. [laughter] after charlie convinces the intelligence committee and the president and others for hundreds of millions of dollars, the russians vacate, you see the tanks going across the bridge. in the next scene, we see him talking to the same group that had spent hundreds of millions on military aid. and charlie says, now i need a few million dollars to start building roads and schools. and they look at him and say, what are you now, a congressman from kabul? of course, the easiest way to undermine that sentiment publicly and rhetorically and
politically is to say, we have problems in america, how can we afford to be sending this much money overseas? it is real money. that is true. but at the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, we ought to look to our military leadsers, some of whom have come to me tonight. we shouldn't use diplomacy and develop mental assistance and economic aid in a default position. we ought to be very progressive in pushing it out, because it has as much a great impact as potential military aid. [applause] i think as we all know, it's far less expensive than sending our greatest treasure, that's men and women in uniform. [applause] i think the challenge for all of us in this room, particularly during these tough economic times when deficits are real and tough decisions have to be made,
we have to convince the men and women up on the hill that weir going to advance our interests around the world. we can't rely simply on a military strategy. if you bring in a clean water system and sanitation system, vaccination, schools, technology. if you reach out to address real human needs, you certainly in parts of the world will make the ideology of extremism far less attractive to those bent on the subversion and perversion of land and people. that doesn't mean we should expect that democratic institutions are necessarily going to end up looking like ours. pretty good chance they won't. but we need to build friendship and allies in many different forms. but i do believe in everyone's heart around the world if you have an opportunity to live your own heart, choose your own leaders, and be self-determining
versus repressed and oppressed, and despite cultural and political differences, you'll end up having a belief similar to ours, a belief that will enable all of this to come together in our sameness. a belief that deserving of all human beings is the freedom to be free. to determine one's own future and one's own fate. we saw that notion play out in the unfolding of the cold war. the unfolding of the soviet union and the emergence of new eastern european democracies. we saw it play out as the iranian people took their protests and pleas to the world. and we see it playing out as egypt tries to reconcile its history with a stronger present and transition to a very different and unknown future. none of the above is fully resolved yet. but as abraham lincoln once told us, revolutions do not go backwards. and so just as i did in vietnam, i do the same with you in the
audience tonight. i can't help but wonder what a difference the tools of empowerment can make, what a difference the arsenal of liberty can make. what a difference we can make, we, who despite our differences, still cherish our sameness. so my hope is that we will continue to uphold the shared mission through the context of u.s. global leadership coalition. through every effort we have to advance a safer and better world. thank you for this honor, ladies and gentlemen. and thank you for the honor you bring to america through the good and the important work that you do every single day. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you, cokie. first of all, i want to say what a pleasure it is for the board to welcome you here. but there's one person who needs special recognition, because she is the foundation behind this whole organization, not only now, but for years. and that's liz shrayer. please stand up. liz can talk anybody out of anything. the most persuasive person i know. and her team is also great as well. so they deserve special recognition. the whole team. [applause] i want to say what a pleasure it is to welcome both secretary albright and secretary ridge, two very deserving honorees.
i recall one of them mentioned thomas jefferson, who once said that not every difference of opinion is a difference in principle, and i think those two people take that to the kind of patriotic level. and i also appreciated the fact that both president bush and president clinton, two great patriots, addressed the evening this evening. i think that's really important for us. [applause] so my job is to welcome a few of the dignitaries here before i introduce bill gates, and i know we have several ambassadors here. i'm just going to recognize you by your country. if you feel that you would like to stand up and be recognized, please do so, as i call on you. the ambassador from afghanistan, mongolia, netherlands, indonesia , sen gal, and slovenia.
[applause] i'm especially pleased to welcome the members of congress who are here, senator kay hagan from north carolina. senator mike leigh from utah. where are you, mike? you're somewhere here. there you are. [applause] and the youngest person in the audience, senator frank louten berg of new jersey. [applause] we were also pleased to have senator bob menendez and representative eleanor holmes norton here earlier. we have a few administration people here. one is my very good friend, who just took his job as deputy secretary of state for management and resources, tom nidse. tom, stand up. the state department has been
doing an extraordinary job on the issue of evacuation of americans from egypt. i think they deserve a special hand for that. [applause] daniel yohanes, you're here somewhere. right there. ok. my friend, the great administrator for the usaid, rag shaw. where are you, raj? the president and c.e.o. of the overseas private investment corporation, elizabeth littlefield. the director of the u.s. trade and development agency, lee zack. and the director of the peace corps, aaron williams. [applause] i think aaron wins the trip to
jeopardy. in any event, this is going to be very short. i want to just say a few words about bill gates. the truth of the matter is that he's probably been introduced so many times that he tires of his own introductions. and i always thought about that scene in the movie "shindler's -- "schindler's list." and you remember the character ben kingsley, whose firm did the work for the germans, the work on the machinery. at the end of the movie, liam neeson starts crying to him. he said, i didn't do enough. and the character -- ben kingsley said, you did plenty. he said remember, when you save one life, you saved the entire world. and in the case of bill gates,
he has saved the entire world over and over and over again. [applause] and not just a financial benefactor, which he is, and which the bill and linda gates foundation is, but also a moral leader who has been able to exert great influence on business, corporate, financial, n.g.o., and government leaders all over the world. so without saying any more about him, this is a great man, a great american who has changed a lot of lives, please welcome bill gates. [applause]
>> thank you, secretary goodman. i have to go back and watch that movie again. it's a great honor to join the u.s. global leadership coalition in paying tribute to secretary albright and secretary ridge. secretaries, as someone still adjusting to my second career, i'm inspired by the fact that you're not only still engaged, but you're still innovating and leading. [applause] it's a great privilege to address this group. for over a decade, you've been driving the discussion about the role of development and american policy. i want to thank you for your contributions to the public debate and for the hard work you'll need to do in the next year. i also want to recognize raj shaw, the administrative usaid.
[applause] it's always a great pleasure to work with him at our foundation, and linda and i always relied on him for his great insights and we're excited about the innovation reform he's bringing to a.i.d. the talent and seriousness of the leaders in this room give me confidence that we will rise to the challenges we face. unlike many of you, i don't have a background on smart power. but i have a background in business. and looking at these issues as a businessman, i believe that investing in the world's poorest people is the smartest way our government spends money. [applause] it saves lives, it improves
livelihoods, it promotes stability, and it stimulates economies. the national security arguments i have heard in support of foreign assistance from president obama, president bush, secretary of state clinton, secretary of defense gates, and general petraeus appeal to my common sense. i believe that the world will be a safer place if there is enough food to go around. that it will be a more strable place if children grow up with opportunities instead of frustrations. further more, i can only assume that if the united states plays a role in helping to create property prouse societies, we will have friends to call on in times of need. secretary of the treasury geithner's arguments in favor of development resonate with what i've seen. he points out that exports to developing countries have grown six times faster than exports to
major economies in the last decade. he concludes from this that, " roles for this country in the future is going to be overwhelmingly dependent on the ability to see faster income growth in the fastest growing parts of the world." we already have important states in the success of developing economies. half our exports go to dwopping markets, and that's over half a trillion dollars every year and growing quite rapidly. a new book about africa tells the story, calls "emerging africa," tells the story of the 17 countries there that are developing their economies at a very high speed. and i think it will be eye-opening to people who see the continent as a lost cause and haven't really looked at the changes taking place there. as an example, mozambique has grown at over 7% a year since
the mid 1990's, partly do to the steady and predictable flow of aid. in the future, the growth in these developing economies will be an engine for our own economy. our success is tied to the progress of those around us. and the investments we make today will help create the jobs of tomorrow. when my wife and i first started learning about health and development in the late 1990's, the american public didn't know nearly as much about the issues as it does now. i always marvel at how fast awareness of what's happening in poor countries has grown. when i was 40 years old, i had very little understanding of the terrible inequities that devise the world. but today when i speak to young audiences and i hear about what they're seeing on the internet,
the way they reach out, what i hear from my own children as they come back from school classes where they've heard about the my lem you know develop -- millennium development ghouls, i believe the world is becoming a smaller place with more caring for the problems anywhere in the world. when americans begin to appreciate what assistance for the poorest can accomplish, they want to do more. over the past decade, the strong support from both democrats and republicans, our country has steadily increased its commitments. the united states launched some of the most effective health and development initiatives in history, including the president's emergency plan for aids release, the president's malaria initiative, and the millennium challenge cooperation. behind those are some really fantastic programs. americans are now and have
almost always been, the largest donor to projects for the poor. that is something we should be proud of. as a nation, we express our noblest values when we make a priority of helping others. [applause] we set an example for the world to follow. our generosity encourages other donors to give more. however, this economic crisis has forced us to re-evaluate everything. in a short term, we have an employment challenge, with unemployment over 9%. the crisis is certainly compounded by the growing pressure on our deficit and debt. congress will have to take a hard look at all spending as it decides how to get the economy moving and restore the long-term health of the budget.
in this time of tradeoffs, it's fair to ask tough questions about our aid expenditures. the first question on everybody's mind is how effective are development programs for the poorest? some say the return on investment doesn't justify the expense. others claim a significant portion of aid is lost corruption. it's not sbriesing that people feel this way. in the past, there were foreign assistance efforts that were not measured by their impact. in past times, we often didn't have a clear metric of what impact we expected. especially during the cold war, aid was often focused on forging alliances rather than helping the poorest. but in the past decade, there has been a substantial change.
donors have gotten a clearer, more principal view of the purpose of the assistance. the new programs are all focused on investments that we know have incredible impacts on people's health and well-being. of course there are still challenges to run these programs in all these countries. last week, news coverage of a global fund report that had been issued months earlier about misused money in a few countries brought the issue of accountability back to the forefront. when global fund money is stolen, it costs lives. but we should not respond to the finding that a small portion of global fund money has been misspent by calling for cuts, because that will also cost lives. the point of oversight is to save more lives, not simply to find fault. in fact, the global fund does a
very strong job making sure that almost all its money is used to save lives. it hires independent investigators, it makes the results of the investigation public, and it quickly corrects the mistakes uncovered by the investigations. that's how oversight is supposed to work. if you show me a program that doesn't report any diverted funds, i'll show you a program that doesn't have a mechanism in place to attract how its funds are being used. [applause] we need to continuously monitor, evaluate, and improve our aid. we need to be relentless, not just about rooting out fraud, but also about measuring results. understanding what works and what doesn't. and squeezing more out of every dollar. i believe in the life-saving goals the global fund has set,
which is why our foundation has provided it with over $1 billion in support. the global fund has saved more than six million lives, and i am confident that it will build on that success if given the chance. the danger, of course, is that these issues will obscure the very significant accomplishments of international affairs programs. let me be clear. any claim that foreign assistance to the poorest countries is just wasted money simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny. [applause] because of u.s. leadership and foreign assistance, the world eradicated smallpox 30 years ago. because of our foreign assistance, we're on the threshold of eradicating polio. [applause]
the number of cases is down from 350,000 at the start of the eradication campaign in 1988, to less than 2,000 last year. [applause]5000 people are recei- saving treatment. because of foreign assistance, hundreds of millions of children are sleeping under nast's -- nets that protect them from malaria. we must have an honest debate about the costs of cutting it. if we take people off aids treatment, they will die. if we fail to replace the nets when they wear out, children will get sick and die. if we pull back from the polio eradication, we will lose the only chance we have ever had to eliminate this from the earth. foreign assistance is largely
responsible for the greatest accomplishment of the last 50 years, which is the incredible reduction in childhood deaths. in 1960, over 20 million children died before they turned five years old. last year, the figure was 8.1 million. that is a 60% decline. there are several reasons for this progress. the most important one is the funding of vaccines. vaccines are the most effective health to available. just a few doses protect a child from a deadly diseases for their entire lifetime. in the case of measles, two 18- cent doses end the threat of one of the world most contagious diseases. american assistance buys vaccines every day.
the number of lives saved, as impressive as it is, does not capture the full benefit of improved health. the statistics don't tell the story of morbidity, the fancy word for saying that disease does not just kill children, it also disables them. take diarrhea. it kills about 1.5 million children every year. it also affects hundreds of millions more. frequent bouts of diarrhea mean that a high percentage of these children never get the nutrition that allows for full mental development. by the time the children who survive diarrhea are well enough to go to school, a high percentage are unable to learn. the disease does not take their life, but it does steal their future. the huge disease burden of poor countries means a substantial portion of their human potential
is lost by the time their children are old enough to talk. a recent study published in "the economist" shows this incredible correlation between substandard iq and disease burden. although iq is not a perfect measure, the trend is stunning. the less disease in a country, the higher the average iq. by fighting diseases and helping countries make the most of their human potential, you have a substantial impact on their economic roles. another benefit of vaccines is that saving children's lives actually promotes sustainable population growth. while at first you might think that saving children's lives will cause over population, in fact, the opposite is true. the reason we discovered this
parents tend to make choices about how many children to have based on needing to have a high probability that several will survive into adulthood. when the child mortality rate goes down and parents know their kids are likely to grow into adulthood, they choose to have smaller families. this is one of the most dramatic effect we have seen in the last several decades. this meant the peak population will be far less than was predicted in the 1970's. by this mechanism of improved health leading to reduce population growth, this means you make it possible for countries to meet their basic needs, to have enough food for everyone, to be able to educate everyone, and to have the stability that comes with those achievements. the investments made in
agriculture have also paid huge dividends. years ago, more than half the people in the developing world did not get enough calories to be healthy. now, thanks to the green revolution that helped farmers plant better seeds and manage their land more effectively, that percentage is under 20%. it is not just that more children are surviving to age 5. they are also growing up to be healthier adults. most poor people in the world feed their families and earn their income by forming small plots of land. when they increase their productivity, they do more than fend off starvation. they also build wealth. ghana has seen the average income go up by 40%. these advances go together.
agricultural assistance comes with an exit strategy built in. as farmers improve productivity, access to markets, and boost their income, they become self- sufficient. incidently, the global revolution in food production of the past several decades has made food cheaper for consumers all over the world, including in the united states. when you put these factors together, you have many of the key factors for successful the government. a poor country with a sustainable, help the population, and a thriving agricultural sector, won't remain poor for long. assistance that intervenes at strategic points triggers the cycle. simple things like vaccines lay the foundation for more complicated things, like education, environmental sustainability, and good government. brazil, india, indonesia, and
poland are compelling case studies of how aids can help lead to prosperity. last year, i joined the south korean foreign minister and others to launch the global agriculture and food security program. the minister describes his memory of being hungry as a child and eating food given to him and his family by the american people. i can make the case my whole life about how aid can help move countries out of defense -- dependency. it will never have the impact of his personal testimony. south korea used to receive aid. now it gives a. it has given more than it ever received. you can see the minister's enjoyment of being able to return these benefits to the poor countries. when people make the argument
that development assistance is not effective spending, i don't want to say i disagree. i think aid is uniquely effective among all the different kinds of spending our government does. [applause] even given the effectiveness, there is a question we are obliged to ask. do we have the money to spend on it now? i believe we do. i look to the inspiring example of the united kingdom, which under david cameron's leadership, past an austerity budget while increasing foreign assistance to meet their commitment to give 0.7% of gdp in aid. [applause]
as congress looks to retrench, it is imperative that we consider the costs and benefits of each line item in the budget. the 1% we spend on aid for the poorest not only saves millions of lives, it has an enormous impact on developing economies, which means it has an impact on our economy. my work at microsoft -- in my work at microsoft, i staked a lot on innovation. people often assume a world without innovation. they extrapolate in a straight line from the current reality. they don't see that new insight will bend the curve. they don't see the most exciting areas for growth. i am an optimist. when i started microsoft, i was motivated by the conviction that computers could change everything. i could not predict the exact future, but i could see software
could transform our lives for the better. more than 30 years later, i am proud to say it has. in some ways that i expected, and in some that went beyond my imagination. when i look forward to the future of our economy, i believe the reason to be optimistic is that we have the ability to innovate and the ability to one leash the creative power of millions of people and injured thousands of new markets. i cannot predict the exact future, but i can predict a world with 200 healthy and thriving countries offers much greater opportunity than the world we have now. [applause] our country has a phenomenal strategic opportunity right now. by continuing to invest in the world's poorest people, for
their sake, and for ours, thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> former vice president dick cheney is the featured speaker at the closing banquet marking the 100th anniversary of ronald reagan's birthday, taking place in santa barbara, california. watch our live coverage at 10:15 p.m. eastern here on c-span. sunday on "newsmakers," janet napolitano on how the u.s. is meeting current security threats and administration policy on border issues. that is at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> both chambers of congress are
in session next week. the senate returns monday at 2:00 p.m. eastern to continue work on a measure that authorizes the federal aviation administration. that bill aims to modernize the air traffic control system while improving the safety and availability of their transportation in the u.s. we expect to see debate on amendments with votes. watch the sun and live on c- span2. -- watched the senate live on c- span2. the house returns tuesday. they will debate non- controversial bills and a measure that aims to renew expiring provisions of the counter-terrorism law known as the patriot act. that comes to the floor tuesday afternoon. follow the house live on c-span. >> the whole environment of politics has come apart. they have become polluted and destroyed and violent. >> "q&a "the."
>> the point of the documentary was to show another side of this. they thought hubert humphrey had no might of his own. the pressure runs through the vice president the. >> sunday night at ft p.m. on -- at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. you are watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning, "washington journal," the live call-in program about the news of the day. weekdays, watched coverage of the u.s. house. weeknights, congressional hearings and policy forms. supreme court oral arguments. on the weekend, you can see our interview program, "the communicators." on sundays, "q&a," "newsmakers,"
and "prime minister's questions." it is all on our c-span video library. c-span, washington your way. a public service created by your cable companies. >> next, several senators made statements commemorating the anniversary of former president ronald reagan's birthday. some of the speakers include senators dianne feinstein, john mccain, and several others. this is almost an hour. call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. feinstein: thank you very much, madam >> as a native californian, i come to honor the president -- the birthday of former president ronald reagan. reagan centennial commission and i was very honored to accept. today i join senator jim webb, also a member, and orrin hatch to continue president reagan's spirit of bipartisanship, and we have invited senators on both
sides of the aisle to join us here on the floor. from seemy valley in california to our nation's capital, americans this month are honoring president ronald reagan. these centennial events are intended to reach all americans, including many born after president reagan left office. those to remember ronald reagan as governor or as president know how he impacted history. but there are some who may not realize that the society we live in today is, in part, due to the policies of president reagan. young adults today grow up without the fear of nuclear war in the back of their mind, and students of tomorrow will work to achieve president reagan's dream of a world without nuclear weapons. it can be said that every great president can be remembered in just one sentence.
some sentences, "he freed the slaves." oh, "he made the louisiana purchase." yet 22 years after he left office and seven years after his death, the name "ronald wilson reagan" can still provoke a complex debate. there is no one phrase that can describe his legacy. some come to mind: "the great communicator" or "mr. gorbachev, tear down that wall." that's the one that does it for me. there's much debate over president reagan because we all think of him differently. and over time history sweetens our memories. but no matter what matter disagreements you may have had with him, you have to admire his style of politics. he was a conservative republican, but he understood that in order to get anything done, he had to work across the aisle, which he did. in his 1983 state of the union
address, president reagan said -- and i quote -- "let us, in these next two years, men and women of both parties, every political shade, concentrate on the long-range bipartisan responsibilities of government, not the short-range or short-term temptations of partisan politics." end quote. also ronald reagan had commonsense convictions that helped his achievements. he was a true gentle person, a gentleman in american politics. you would not have seen him giving a speech like some do today calling his opponents names or giving out generalized insults. dignity and wit were his weapons of choice. also, president reagan served during times of divided government, when one party had the white house and the other controlled at least one chamber
of congress, giving each side some governing responsibility to find solutions. it was a time when a financial and fiscal crisis brought the two parties together to compromise on tough choices about taxes and spending. in 1983, president reagan and speaker tip o'neill came together to compromise on social security based on proposals from a commission led by alan greenspan. and president reagan is credited with creating the conditions that led to the end of the cold war, providing the economy -- reviving the economy and returning a sense of optimism to our country. one of the things i most admired was his work to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world and his dream of a world one day free of these awful weapons. president reagan expressed this vision during his second inaugural address on january 21,
1985. he declared -- quote -- "we seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth." end quote. it was a remarkable statement from a president who had deployed tactical nuclear missiles in europe to counterthe soviet union's fearsome ss-20 missile fleet. but president reagan understood the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity, and he boldly set himself to achieve their eventual elimination. my good friend, george shultz, secretary of state under president reagan, remembers that many at that time thought the president's initial negotiations to reduce strategic arms were not serious, even quite ridiculous. a classified report released
recently showed that president reagan asked the joint chiefs of staff about the cost of an all-out soviet attack and plans for retaliation. he asked secretary shultz -- and i quote -- "what's so good about keeping the peace after wiping each other out?" end quote. mr. shultz believes if he were around today, president reagan would have been in favor of the new start treaty. at the famous reykjavik summit with soviet president mikhail gorbachev in october 1980, president reagan went far beyond gorbachev's proposal to slash strategic arms by 50%. he truly believed we should go to zero. the reykjavik talks may not have worked out, but the idea that we should create a world free of nuclear weapons still endures to
this day. secretary shultz thinks president reagan would want to be remembered for his complete faith in freedom and his conviction that you have to be strong to defend that freedom. and that is certainly true. ronald reagan came into office with character and charisma, traits that take other elected officials years to develop. it was that charisma which impressed california's republicans and led to his nomination as governor of my great state. ronald reagan was elected governor of california in 1966 by nearly a million-vote margin. he was elected to a second term in 1970. he did not seem to mind that people underappreciated him at the time. and decades later, as volumes of his handwritten essays were released to the public, americans saw just what a
thoughtful and visionary man he was. if we remember ronald reagan with one sentence, let us remember him as one who took big ideas and a crafting of words and a conviction of freedom to change the entire world. on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great communicator, i hope we can embody his spirit of bipartisanship to keep our country strong and united today. thank you, madam chair. i yield the floor. mrs. hutchison: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: madam president, i rise to speak also on the 100th anniversary of the birth of ronald reagan. i am so pleased to follow my colleague from california who has been under the weather for a little while, and we're very glad that she's back. madam president, i think all of us will have an opportunity to
talk about one of the great presidents of the last century and to mark the 30 years since ronald reagan's inauguration. when ron weighing was elected president in 1980, america faced an anemic economy, high unemployment and a sense of malaise emanated from washington. president reagan never doubted america's potential was unlimited. during his second inaugural address, he said america can outproduce, outcompete and outsell anybody anywhere in the world. the reagan revolution was fueled by the understanding that given the opportunity, americans would dream, create, and build. he also knew that the road to greatness was through an individual's effort, not through expanded government. so president reagan said about reinvigorating the stagnant
economy. he cut government spending. he reduced government regulation. he ended the practice of wage and price controls. he passed tax cuts for all americans. he famously noted that government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives. the american economy responded with sustained growth, ao new era of economic prosperity had been ushered in. reagan's vision of the greater good also extended beyond our shores. he was a fierce advocate for freedom. with our cold war adversary, the soviet union, imposing the type grip of communism on much of the world, president reagan launched a resurgence of american military might through the strategic defense initiative. as he said, "of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the united states was too strong."
it was his firm resolve to negotiate from a position of strength that led to successful arms talks with the soviets and ultimately to the downfall of the soviet empire. during his first inaugural address, he clearly stated where america stood. as for the enemies of freedom, he said, those who are potential adversaries they will be reminded that these is the highest aspiration of the american people. we will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it, we will not surrender for it now or ever. president reagan understood that all people, regardless of where they lived, long for liberty and freedom. he believed that america was a beacon of hope to all the oppressed people of the world, a shining city on the hill as he described it. as jeffrey bell wrote in "the weekly standard," ronald reagan believed that people all over
the world craved self government just as much as americans did. even today he is still being proven right." he said, "concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty. these words still echo in today's tumultuous times. we witnessed the poignant photographs of women in iraq voting and joyously holding up their purple-stained thumbs. we have seen marches in egypt of people who yearn to be able to vote for the first time in a real election in 30 years. he also understood the importance of information in promoting freedom calling it the oxygen of the age. it seeps through the walls, he said. it's topped by barbed wire. it wafts across the electrified border. his words are as true today as when he uttered them.
freedom and individual liberty are america's greatest assets. they are the core of our national identity. they are the foundation of our economic prosperity. and these precious assess have been protected by the patriots from every generation from the beginning of america's history to today. ronald reagan understood and appreciated the duty we all have to preserve these american ideals. as he said, democracy is worth dying for because it is the most deeply honorable form of government devised by man. when president reagan died in 2004, there was a spontaneous worldwide outpouring of grief and tributes that caught some seasoned political pundits by surprise. throughout his political career, ronald reagan was underestimated by establishment political intellectuals of the day. he was dismissed sometimes by
the media. but when he spoke, the american people listened, they understood, and they agreed with this down-to-earth but very profound man. and so did the world. we all remember him fondly and with great respect and areadam . i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will proceed to morning business until 3:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each for the purpose of ging remarks relative to the upcoming centennial of the birth of president ronald reagan. thsenator from arizona. mr. mccain: madam president, there are many of us who will come to the floor this afternoon to pay tribute to one of the great presidents in american history and many of us will
recollect times and experiences and contacts we had with president reagan and the way he inspired us personay as well as a nation. when i was a prisoner of war in north vietnam, the vietnamese went to great lengths to restrict the news from home to the statements and activities of prominent opponents of the war in vietnam. they wanted us to believe that america had forgotten us. they never mentioned ronald reagan to us or played his speeches over the camp loud speakers. no matter. we knew about him. new additions to our ranks told us how the governor and mrs. reagan were committed to our liberation and our cause. when we came home, all of us were eager to meet the reagans,
to thank them for their concern. but more than gratitude drew us to them. we were drawn to them because they were among the few prominent americansho didn't subscribe to the then-fashionable notion that america had entered her inevitable decline. we prisoners of war came home to a country that had lost a war and the best sense of itself, a county beset by social and economic problems. assassinations, riots, scandals, contempt for political, religious and educational institutions gave the appearance that we had become a dysfunctional society. patriotism was sneered at. the military scorned. and the world anticipated the collapse of our global influen influence. the great, robt, confident republic that had given its name
to the last century seemed exhausted. ronald reagan believed differently. he possessed an unshakeable faith in america's greatness, past and future, that proved more dable than the prevailing political sentiments of the time. and his confidence was a tonic to men who had come home eager to put the war behind us and for the country to do likewise. our country has a long and honorable history a lost w or any other calamity should not destroy our confidence or weaken our purpo purpose. we were a good nation before vietnam and we are a good country after vietnam. in all of history, you can't find a better one. of that ronald reagan was
supremely confident and he became president to prove it. his was a faith that shouted at tyrants to "tear down thi wal wall." such faith, such patriotism requires a great deal of love to profess, and i will always revere him for it. when walls were all i had for a world, i learned about a man whose love of freedom gave me hope in a desolate place. his faith honored us as it honored all americans, as it has honored all freedom-loving people. let us honor his memory especially today by holding his faith as our own and let us, too, tear down walls to freedom. that is what americans do when they believe in themselves. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. thpresiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
quorum call: a senator: mr. president? thpresiding offir: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: and would note that i was honored to be able to hear senator mccain's comments on ronald reagan. this sunday is, indeed, the 100th anniversary of his birth. it was an opportunity for the whole -- it's an opportunity for the whole nation to honor the memory of a man who honored us with his leadership. the 1980's were a -- in the 1980's, we were a weakened country. inflation and unemployment were in double digits, the hostage crisis in iran dragged on with no end in sight, our standing abroad was waning and so, too, was our military strength. challenges at home were answered with one failed washington program after another.
we had lost confidence in our future and, really,he principle -- and in the principles that made us exceptional. ronald reagan changed that. part of that change began with 12 simple but crucial words: government is not the solution to our problems. government is the problem. and it is a big part of our problem. he stirred the passions of our country, revitalizing not only our economy but our identity and confence as free people. what some have called the reagan revolution he called the great rediscovery. he instilled us with a new confidence in our future and in america's role as the last, best hope of mankind. his achievements are well-known but they bear repeating. working with paul coale -- paul volcker, chairman of the feder
reserve, he entaind inflation, which was depriving americans of their life savings. it was a tough course, a tough road, but he saw it through, he stayed on the course and we were stronger as a result and we needed to get on a tough -- we need to get on a tough road and stay the course today. he lowered taxes dramatically, including a reduction in the top rate from nearly 80%, and he reined in a runaway bureaucracy that had trapped innation and productivity in a labyrinth of regulation and red tape. his faith in the free market was not misplaced. it rewarded us. he created 20 million new jobs, grew our gross national product by 26% and began the longest peacetime boom in our history. conditions improved for americans in every walk of life. the net worth of families
earning between $20,000 and $50,000 rose by 27%. reagan's stunning success debunked every myth of those who believed a government -- a bigger government is more compassionate and can do more for more people. the growth and potential productivity of the private sector is what has made america the most prosperous nation. and this success at home was matched by his success abroad. he defended our principles and our way of life with clarity, confidence, and vor. his policies brought down the soviet empire. "mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall." still resonates in o minds. and it liberated untold millio millions. now today, more than 20 years after reagan left office, we find ourselves facing many of the same challenges: a sagging
economy, a growing government, and a diminished standing in the world. mr. sessions: we would be vie we to remember the lessons of that era -- peace through strength,, prosperity through freedom. he understood that our future greatness lies in the same place it always has, through our pioneering, restless, enterprising spirit that is filled with ambition and excitement and a deep sense of honor and decency that defines who we are as a people and who we will be tonal. in -- who we will be tomorrow. in president reagan's farewell address, he urged a word of caution. if we forget what committee did, we -- what we did, we won't know who we are. i am warning of an eradication of that, of the american nearm y that would result ultimately in an erosion of the american spirit, he said. so we face a daunting and
defining challenges of our time, and as we do so, i hope we'll look back to the leadership he provided. mr. president, just on a personal note, i was tremendously honored to have been appointed united states attorney in the southern district of alabama by president reagan in 1981. it was an office that i had served as an assistant in a number of years before. and to be able to come back and to lead that office was such a personal thrill. and, you know, the president didn't give me any directions exactly what we were to do but i absolutely knew -- and i've ofn said it's a great example of true leadership -- i knew exactly what he wanted me to do. and i gathered the staff, many of whom i'd worked for from years before, and used these words. i said, president reagan sent me here to prosecute criminals and
protect the united states treasury. and i believe that's what he d did. i believe that was implicit in his campaign, his consistent leadship, that he believed in law and order and efficiency and he wanted us to fight corruption and to try to help produce a more efficient government. i remember in those days that we went to a united states attorneys conference that i attended with my good friend, recently the deputy attorney general of the united states, larry thompson, and we would share rooms on the trips to save money because we knew and believed president reagan wanted us to save money and that we were -- our spending was out of control and we had a serious financial problem. our budgets were frozen but we worked harder and we produced more. that can be done today.
this wining -- whining that we can't reduce spending, and many times they define reducing spending is a reduction of the projected rate of growth. it's not even a reduction -- a reduction of current level of spending. these kind of things happened throughout the government, increased productivity of our government. it reduced the take of the federal government from the private economy. the private economy greand the governmental sector became more efficient and more productive. that's what we need to return to. it was such a fabulous honor to have the opportunity to serve in that position, and i hope and -- that i was faithfulo the values that the president who appointed me had. i got to tell you, i think i knew what they were and i know i gave my best effort to be worthy of the trust he placed in me. and i think that was true of
ny, many more people throughout the federal government. i would note the absence of a o. mr. isakson: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise to join many of my other colleagues in paying tribute to the late ronald reagan and president of the united states and a great conservative leader of our country and an inspiration to many, many, many americans. i want to dedicate my remarks to a lady named kathy miller. she works tabor me here in washington. she has loved ronald reagan since the day he came on the scene and probably can quote him verbatim much more than i can. i dedicate these troorks her today. and my speech is is going to be about two events that i happened to attend where ronald reagan was president. the impact of those events, not only on me, but on everybody else that was there, and on the future of our country. one took place in 1975 when he was beginning his pursuit for the nomination for the presidency of the united states.
gerald ford was still president of the united states at that time and was running for the nomination for a full term. ronald reagan came to cobb county, georgia, where i live. it is a very republican county right nowvment but in 1975 it was not a very republican county. in fact there was only one elected official in the entire county that was republican out of literally 100 or more who were democratic officials. ronald reagan came to the civic center in c.b.o. county -- in cobb county and an unanticipated thing happened. a crowd so large came that fire marshalls shut the building down. this is a very good-sized, 4,000-seat auditorium. people came to hear a positive message about america. i was fortunate enough, because i had been in politics a little bit, to be ail to get in that room appeared listen to his speech. in 1975 in america, it was not the most prosperous of times. a lot of things we had been suffering through in the last couple of years we went through
in 1974-75. a difficult housing market, unemployment, a high unemployment rate. he uplifted people who needed uplifting and di he did it witha message of belief in our self, belief in our country, pride in america, defense through strength. those messages that were so clear of ronald wilson reagan. it inspired me, inspired me so much that i hold he would -- that i hoped he would ghat nomination. but gerald ford got it. you didn't go home and pout. he didn't not participate, not dropout. he set his sights on the 1980 republican nomination as president of the united states. he achieved it, won it and there was eight great years for our country, eight great years by a man who could inspire and lead. i've oftentimes said that two of the truly great presidents that
we've had -- john kennedy and ronald reagan -- both had something in common. they were from different parties but, first, they could stand before a group of people and make a speech about a subject they didn't agree with and by the time they finished, they got a standing ovation. they were great communicators. second, they were committed to a safe and prosperous america. they were hawks on defense. they confronted our enemies straight up, like president kennedy did with khrushchev and like president reagan did. and third, most importantly, they reduced taxes and brought prosperity to the economy of the united states. the second occasion that i met praying reagan was an interesting occasion. it was in the omni coliseum in atlanta where professional basketball was played at the time. seated 16,000 people. i was the majority leader of the georgia house of representatives. i was the emcee. the keynote was a speech from ronald reagan. he flew from washington to at
than to make that speech and then went on to confront gorbachev and brezhnev and a strong buildup of american forces so we would be a strong country that could defend ourselves, not a weak country that would be subservient to anyone else. in that auditorium he stood up before them and he again did the same thng he did in that auditorium in 1975 -- he inspired them to believe in their country, inspired them to believe in what was right, inspired them to peace through -- i think when he left the presidency, we would all agree our country was uplifted. there was a period of prosperity, a period of strength, a rein canals of the american spimplet that is a test of true leadership. so i'm honored and trifled to join many of my colleagues on the floor today to pay tribute to the memory and the commitment of ronald reagan, president of the united states. consent that the call of the
quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. webb: thank you, mr. president. i'd like to join my other colleagues who have come to the floor at this time to speak in honor of the late-president ronald reagan on the occasion of his 100th birthday. i'd like to first begin by gichg my best wishes -- giving my best wishes to mrs. reagan and wish her all the best for her continued health, and throes say that, as someone who had three different positions in the reagan administration, i'm thinking of a lot o very fine people with whom i had the opportunity to serve and especially c.a.p. win weinberge, who i met and worked with every day, one of the finest people i ever worked with and also john herington, the director of white house personnel, who first brought me into the reagan
administration and later served our country as secretary of energy. as i mentioned, mr. president, i had three different positions in the reagan admintration, first as a member of the national advisory committee and then spent four years to the day in the pentagon as assistant secretary of defense and then as secretary of the navy. and it was truly an inspiring time in my life to have worked forn individual who had the leadership qualies that ronald reagan demonstrated. he knew how to inspire our countrymen. he knew how to bring strong personalities together to work toward the good of the country and for its future. he knew how to make decisions. he knew how to make hard decisions. one of the great qualities that he had was that he was never afraid to take responsibility for the consequences of any of those decisions. and that is something that
motivated, i think, everyone who served in his administration. if we go back to that time period, those of us who were of age, 1980, it was a bad time in our country. our country was in tremendous turmoil. we were demoraled in the wake of the fall of south viet tpha*pl and the bitterness that affected so many of us along class lines, particularly among those who opposed the vietnam war and those who had fought it and what we were going t do in terms of resolving those issues here in the country and the impact it had on our reputation internationally. inflation was rampant, sometimes in the high teens. people were saying that the presidency was too big of a job for any one person. our military was overworked, underpaid and dramatically underappreciated. i had friends with whom i had
served or that i had gone to the naval academy with who had gone into the navy who were saying during this time period, if you make commander, you may as well ge your divorce because you're going to go to sea for four years. the navy had gone from 930 combatant ships during the vietnam war down to 479 precipitously at the same time our country assumed the obligations in the indian ocean and persian gulf, obligations it had not had before. the soviet union, kind of hard to remember right now, was in a state of high activity diplomatically and militarily. it had invaded afghanistan, threatening instability in that part of the world. had a massive naval build-up in the pacific following our withdrawal from vietnam. our diplomatic and military personnel in tehran had been taken hostage by the iranian regime and were being taunted
daily on tv. our national self-image was in a crisis state. who were we as a country? do we really have a future? ronald reagan campaigned based on our national greatness and on the intrinsic good of our society and on restoring our place at the top of the world community. i can vividly remember in the summer of 1980 when ronald reagan made a speech at the veterans of foreign wars convention and just mentioned, as he was so want to do with symbolic phrases, that vietnam had been a noble cause. he had the media following him around the country mocking the comment at this point, only five years after the fallf south vietnam. but for those of us who had stepped forward and served in order to attempt to bring democracy to south vietnam, that was a great moment of
inspiration. once he was elected, ronald reagan governed with the same sense of certainty about the greatness of our system and the goodness of our people. he convinced strong, talented people to join his administration with george shultz asecretary of state and cap weinberger as secretary of defense, he brought two lns into his cabinet who didn't always agree, which was rather famous in washington at the time, but who were able to combine fierce, competitive intellects with decades of valuable experience. when ronald reagan left the white house, our military had been rebuilt, our people had regained their pride in our country, and in their optimism for its future. the united states was again recognized as a leading nation in the world community. and the failed governmental concept that had produced the
soviet union was on the verge of imploding. not because of external attack, but soon to disappear at the hands of its own citizens who could look to the west and see a better way of life. to paraphrase an old saying, you never know when you're making history. you only know when you did. mr. president, ronald reagan did make history, and i was proud to be a small part of it. and with mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. a senator: as a junior senator representing the state of illinois and one who will lead a celebration of president reagan's life in chicago saturday night for sunday, the 100th birthday of our native illinoisan, the 40th president, ronald reagan, i want to talk for a moment about his
life and what he has meant to the united states now on the 100th anniversary of president reagan's birth. mr. kirk: on february 6, 1911 in tampico, illinois, with a population of 820, john and nellie reagan welcomed a child who would one day change the direction not just of our country but the world. according to the reagan family lore, when he first gazed upon his son, john reagan prophetically kweupd he looks like a fat little dutch man. but who knows, one day he may grow up to be president one day. his father was a strong believer in the american dream and nellie reagan passed on to her son her penchant to always look for the good in people regardless of their position. it was those lessons in perseverance and faith that
would inspire ronald reagan to pursue his dream of becoming a hollywood actor. he signed his first professional acting contract in 1935 and went on to enjoy a successful career on the silver screen. but by 1946, after serving three years in the army air force intelligence corps during the height of world war ii, he began to have ambitions beyond hollywood. after five-year stint as the president of the screen actors gild laid the foundation for ronald reagan's political career. during the turmoil of the hollywood communism craze, reagan proved himself to be a skilled dealmaker and an influential leader as he successfully navigated the upheaval in the hollywood community. in 1964, ronald reagan was thrust into the national spotlight as he gave his televised speech entitled "a time for choosing" in support of
the presidential nominee, barry goldwater. following his speech, a group of influential citizens became convinced that ronald reagan should become the next governor of california. after winning a primary and enduring a very hard-fought campaign, ronald reagan unseated the two-time governor of california, pat brown, to become the 33rd governor in california's history. during his two terms as governor, californians enjoyed a smaller, less costly and more efficient state government. governor reagan returned $5 billion to the taxpayers and used his line-item veto authority 943 times to ensure that the state's budget matched its priorities. ronald reagan had once again proved himself a determined and capable leader in difficult times. but soon the american people would learn that his best days were very much ahead of him.
after an unsuccessful republican presidential attempt in 1976, he knew that he wanted to be president but would only enter the race if the people of the united states actually wanted him to run. in the years following the 1976 primary, ronald reagan became increasingly concerned about the direction that the country was headed, especially in the areas of national security, unemployment, and the economy. more than anything, reagan sensed that americans had lost their sense of confidence not just in themselves, but also in the country. interestingly, the concerns mr. reagan felt as he weighed the decision to run for president are not unlike many of the challenges we face today. ronald reagan was confident that he was the man who could lead the country out of a dark recession and into the light of a new prosperity and national
pride. after winning a landslide election in november, ronald reagan was sworn in as our 40th president on january 20, 1981. he immediately went to work on repairing a broken economy by enacting the economic recovery tax act of 1981 with his solemn belief being that if people had more money in their pockets and confidence to invest, the country would get back on a sound financial footing. during his first months in office, reagan was as much thankful for the newfound economic stability as he was for a heightened sense of optimistic that was returning to the united states after very hard times. he thoughtfully guided this country through a series of national tragedies and terrorist attacks on our military forces abroad. yet through it all, president reagan's resolve never wavered. his confidence in the american people would meet the challenges of the times they faced without
faltering. he was a man who, after surviving his own assassination attempt, continued to meet with congressional leaders in his hospital bed as he recovered because he believed it was best and in the intft american people not -- in the interest of the american people to continue to work as he healed. it was that type of steadfast determination that allowed negotiations with soviet leader mikhail gorbachev to move forward and eventually led to the tearing down of the berlin wall, the signing of the i.n.f. treaty and eventually the end of soviet oppression of eastern europe. the issue that got him into politics -- ending the spread of communism -- became the crowning achievement of ronald reagan's presidency. his constant refrain throughout this time in the white house was that government was becoming too big, too inefficient, too unresponsive, and too wasteful.
as governor, reagan demonstrated the ability to exercise fiscal restraint as he urged leaders in congress to do the same thing. i think it's appropriate that we are celebrating ronald reagan's 100th birthday at a time when the national debt and deficit are at an all-time high. we know that ronald reagan possessed the willingness to tackle such tough issues and i believe that the lesson we can learn most if his presidency is the endlessly optimistic attitude that he had for the united states, for its people and himself would one day emerge stronger than any of the difficulties he had to overcome. his assertion was that america was -- quote -- "a shining city on a hill." it guided him, as it should guide us. a hard-nosed and gritty politician, reagan would have jumped at the chance to take the
responsibility of leading the country out of a very dark recession, as he did in 1981. so as we celebrate ronald reagan's 100th birthday, let us take us -- take a moment to reflect on the life of a man who, as president, always did what was necessary to move the country forward in a way that was most beneficial to his people. now, i know his legacy is most associated with the people of california, but as the junior senator for illinois, we will claim our right to note his birth in tampaco, his childhood in dicks son and his college years at eureka college. we will be very happy to mark the 100th birthday on saturday in chicagoland and through celebrations in other parts of the state. one of our great presidents who very much changed the course, of the direction of this country and this world for the better.
a senator: mr. president the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i want to join with my colleagues. ippreciate whatd senator from tennessee to say about our former president ronald reagan as we look upon his 100th birthday coming up here this weekend and all of us pay tribute to the legacy that he gave this country, the tremendous contributions that he made during his time in office, and we all have different i think, remembrances and associations with his presiden presidency. i was -- it was actually i was a sophomore in high school when he was elected to his first term as president back in 1980. i should say "sophomore in college." it w the first election that i had the opportunity to vote in. but -- so i guess you could say i was sort of coming of age about the time he was coming on the national polical staifnlgt he of course had run for president four years earlier. but i remember just has a young person who was beginning to pay a little bit of atenge to
politics at the time -- attention to politics at the time being so impressed with a number of qualities, the attributes i think that characterid his personally and which were primarily responsible for the tremendous success that he had as a president and for the great legac that he leaves behind. and i -- you know, i was someone who grew up in a small-town in south dakota and had parents who my father and mother had both come through the great depression so they were very similar in terms ofer remembrances of that period and could identify with some of the thanks president reagan talked about. but he was a person of strong convictions. he had a strength of conviction i think that was really appealing to a l of americans. he was someone who believed in american exceptionalism. he understood that the greatness of this count wasn't in its government institutions but in its people and its ideals. he was someoneho was willing to confront the threats that we faced around the world and the
way that he took on the threat of communism and promoted freedom and democracy around the globe is something for which he will always be rerdz, not only here at home but by other countries around the world. i think that he possessed in many respects a lot of the qualities that we value in the midwest. he was a very humble person. i think his humility is something that really stood out. he was always referred to "dutch" reagan in his growing up, his formative years. the impact that he had on this country was because he saw himself as just an ordinary american like every other american, and he was able to connect with and identify with the challenges and the opportunities that were facing americans across this country at the time. i think he also possessed, although he was the governor of california, a midwestern sensibility that never left. he had in many respects values that, as i said before, that many of us in the midwest find
really important: his belief that you ought to live within your means, his sort of midwestern bedrock values of individual responsibility were things he always touched upon and referenced in his remarks. those are the types of qualities i think that really differentiated him on the national stage. and i remember too as a young person being impressed with his sense of humor. and i think too often today we -- these are serious matters that we deal with, matters of great gravity and great weight and they need to be taken with the right level of seriousness. but he also was able to see the best in people and to use his sense of humor to, i think, connect with people about what was really distinctive and unique about america. i remember the story tha was told while we were fighting the cold war about the guy in the soviet union who went in to buy a car. he said i want to buy a car, and
the guy at the transportation department said, well, you can have your black sedan and you can pick it up ten years from today. the guy thought about it for a minute. he said will that be in the morning orhe afternoon? the guy at the transportation bureau said what difference does it make? ten years from now. the guy said because i've got the phrurpl coming in the -- the plumber coming in the morning. ronald reagan had a way to put in simple, understandable and sometimes humorous terms what was unique about the american experience. that's something i think also that really set him apart. when it came to the big issues of the day, he had a statement thate made that i quote, you said there are no easy answers but there are simple answers. i think oftentimes we face these complex problems and we overanale a little bit, and the truth is a lot of the challenges we face today, not unlike the times when he was president, there are not easy
answers but i believe there are simple answers, mr. president. i think those very basic, core principles and those values that helped shape his presidency and the things he never lost sight of are what made him an effective president. i think that is a lesson we can apply today. there are no easy answers but there are simple answers. when we believe in thereatness of america, we look at the foundation of this country: personal freedom, personal liberty coupled with individual responsibility. he believed profoundly that you achieve peace through strength. he was willing to confront communism at a point in this nation's history when it posed a great threat to freedom-loving countries around the world. i think those are the types of qualities for which president reagan will be remembered. as, again, someone who was very impressionable at that time, he was a great inspiration to public service. i think he represent the very best of public service. he got into it for all the right
reasons, understood the importance of what he was doing, the issues with which he was dealing. but always had an eye toward making a difference in providing a better future for the next generation. and that's a lesson too that i think all of us need to remember, that sometimes we have a tendency to believe that it's about us, it's about today. and i think we always have to keep an eye on tomorrow, on the future. and what are we doing to build a better and brighter and more prosperous and stronger future for future generations? and so when i think about and remember president reagan, as we come upon his 100th birthday, those are the types of things that strike me as really standing out, mr. president: his humility, his sense of humor, s belief in american exceptionalism. those are the types of things that i believe will characterize, that history will write, has already written about him but will certainly
permanently impress upon my mind, my experience the time that i've had in public life, just t types of qualities that i want to apply and want to bring to the work that we do here in the united states senate. so i rise along with many of my colleagues today and pay tribute to our 40th president and to his family. and of course we thank them for their great service and sacrifice too because anybody who's been in this arena knows the sacrifice that comes with public service. we are indeed grateful for his great service to our country, for the way that he impacted so many both here at home and around the world and for the way that he continues through his legacy to impact generations of americans today. mr. president, i yield the floor. the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blunt: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i want to speak for a few minutes today about ronald reagan. ronald reagan inspired freedom and changed the world.
maybe nobody said that better than former prime minister, british prime minister margaret thatcher in a prerecorded eulogy that was played at president reagan's funeral at the national cathedral. i'd like to read just a little of that eulogy. it starts "we have lost a great president, a great american, and a great man." and mrs. thatcher said, "i have lost a dear friend. in his lifetime, ronald reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence it was easy to forget what daunting task he set for himself. he sought to mend america's wounded spirit, restore the strength of the free world and to free the slaves of communism. these were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk." mrs. thatcher went on, "yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. for ronald reagan also embodied another great cause, what arnold
bennett once called -- quoting arnold bennett -- the great cause of cheering us all up. back to mrs. thatcher: he won converts from every class and every nation and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire. yet his humor often had a purpose beyond humor. in the terrible hours after the attempt on his life, his easy jokes gave reassurance to an anxious world. they are evidence that in the aftermath of terror and in the midst of hysteria, one great heart at least remained sane and jocular. they were truly grace under pressure. and perhaps they signified grace of a different kind. mrs. thatcher says, ronnie himself certainly believed that he had been given back his life for a purpose. as he told a priest after his recovery, whatever time i've got left now belongs to the big
fellow upstairs. and surely it's hard to deny that ronald reagan's life wasn't providential. when we look at what he achieved in the eight years that followed. other prophesied the decline of the west. he inspired americans and its allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom. others saw only limits of growth. he transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity. others hoped at best for an uneasy cohabitation with the soviet union. he won the cold war. not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends. mrs. thatcher goes on to say, i cannot imagine how any diplomat or any dramatist could improve on his words to mikhail gorbachev at the geneva summit. quoting president reagan: let me tell you why it is we distrust
you. mrs. thatcher says those words are candid and tough, and they can't have been easy to hear. but they were also a clear invitation to a new beginning and a new relationship that would be rooted in trust. ronald reagan's -- finishing with mrs. thatcher and moving to me for a moment, i'd say ronald reagan's truly only american life story began 200 years ago this weekend. during his lifetime he was a democrat and later a republican. he was a liberal and then a conservative. he was a labor union president and then president of the united states. during his lifetime, he developed a philosophy of faith, life, and government that americans understood. americans understood, and during his presidency the people of this country had an extraordinary understanding of what their president would think and how their president would react to events and circumstances.
mr. president, the strength of the certain trumpet, the strength of the clarion call; i believe, impossible to overestimate. knowing how your president, how your leader views the world and views the circumstances that may meet us in the world is an incredibly comforting thing. in fact, there's an epic greek fable more often applied to president lincoln about the fox and the hedgehog. and in the epic great fable of the fox and the hedgehog, the fox is wiley, the fox is clever, the fox knows lots of little things. but the hedgehog knows one really big thing. and in that fable and in reality, the fox can never defeat the hedgehog. neither lincoln -- i'm really not comfortable referring to either lincoln or reagan and characterize them as a hedgehog,
but i am comfortable characterizing them as men of big ideas, men who understood the big things, leaders who understood the big things. with lincoln, it was the union. with president reagan, it was a focus on the big things with an understanding that you measured the circumstances and events that came up by your view of the big things that guide the country, that guide us individually, that guide lives and in fact guide the lives of the nation. president reagan understood big things. he could quickly evaluate any issue or challenge through that prism and the prism of those core values. ronald reagan, mr. president, inspired freedom and changed the world, and the centennial celebration of his birth that begins this week and officially begins this weekend gives us an opportunity to think about what it was that made this president
great, what it was that puts this president on the cover of news magazines in the decade before the centennial, arm in arm in one recent cover with the current president of the united states, what was it that made this extraordinary man so extraordinary? and i would just say again, ronald reagan inspired freedom and changed the worldldldldldld. i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i have a statement to mark the service of former president ronald reagan which i ask unanimous consent to place in the record at this time. the presiding officer: without objectn. mrs. boxer: and what i want to say is that at the time of president reagan's death, i put an extensive statement in the record, and -- and as a california senator, certainly ronald reagan is one of our most famous residents.
and was governor and then president. and i was in the house of representatives while he was president. and clearly there were a lot of things that were disagreements between president reagan and many of those in congress, like myself, who didn't believe that government was the problem which was his definite belief at that time. and we certainly had a loyal opposition and we certainly worked together when we could. but -- b one of the things that was so interesting to me, compared to working with other presidents, because i've had the honor of serving for so long that actually president obama is the fifth president i've had the honor of serving with. i went to every -- every state of the union address, all of
which were very impressive. i think the thing about president reagan that i grew to admi, that as hard as you might debate with him on his position on what were the priorities, what we should invest in, what was important, when those debates were over and a decision was made, regardless of who wonhe day, you just moved on to the next issue. and you tried to fientd common e common ground and if you didn't you had a respectful debate. it never was taken personally. again, there were many things i disagreed with him. i remember being a young member of congress at the time that the aids epidemic came out and i remember i was to frustrated because president reagan was very compassionate but he didn't really want to discuss the issue of aids. and we had to work very hard with the surgeon general at the time. we finally made a little bit of
progress. so, yes, there were many tough, tough debates. and, of course, his -- his presence. his very sunny presence. his optimism about the country and the future was very important to a nation that had been torn asunder because of many tough, tough issues that separated the generations. so i -- again, i have a longer statement that i have already placed into the record, but i wanted to add my voice on this day when we remember former president ronald reagan. someone that california is -- is very proud of and -- and someone who is obviously -- has obviously gone down in history for the many things he accomplished, particularly his with the soviet union at that time. it was a big contribution to the worl call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, just
over 30 years ago, ronald reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president of the united states. it's hard to believe that three decades have passed since he stood in front of this capitol just yards away and announced to this nation and the world that america's moment not passed. and it's hard to think that we have been without him now for over six years. i think of him and his wonderful, lovely wife nancy 2008 often. i knew -- nancy -- nancy quite often. one of my first campaign trips with ronald reagan was with nancy. and i can tell you there never was a stronger advocate for a presidential husband or as a husband, period. as a man he had the rare combination of good humor and commitment to principle. as a leader of his party, he
reminded the commitment to the constitutional ideals and as a couple ron and nancy were a pair for the ages. if there was any doubt that my colleagues have confirmed today in their tributes to president reagan on the centennial of his birth, that ronald reagan might have passed on, but he is most certainly not forgotten. not by a longshot. when reagan was president, he inspired great reactions from both parties. i can attest particularly with respect to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but not all of those reactions were positive. yet today's bipartisan celebration of president reagan's legacy shows that he has become as much a part of the american story as his greatest predecessors in office. like other great men before him, ronald reagan seemed to embody the times during which he lived. the man himself, his personal story in many ways personified america's 20th century.
ronald wilson reagan was born in the midwest and became a westerner moving to california like so many of his other fellow americans. the country that he grew up in looked very different from our own today. as michael maron recently reminded us in "the claremont review" books, when america entered the second world war, one-quarter of americans still lived on farms and half of those were either without electricity or only recently acquired electricity. america's population was at the same time both more diffuse and more concentrated than it is today. america's nonrural population was clustered in a few great cities. again at the outbernank out -- f the second world war, two-thirds of america lived in brooklyn,
new york. instead of concentrating in existing urban centers, new communities grew and suburbs expanding. that was the story of ronald reagan who was born in tinily tampico, illinois, population 7,072 and came to the world's attention in california, home of suburban life, and the american highway. he became a californian through and through. he loved his ranch and he loved being on the back of a horse. the large landscapes of california and of the entire west suggest the boundless opportunity that has afforded those who worked hard in this country. it was there that ronald reagan found his professional and political success. it was where he met nancy and raised his family. and it is where he was finally laid to rest.
but ronald reagan did not have it easy. as he put it, he did not grow up on the wrong side of the tracks, but he could hear the train. he lived through the great depression. and, like countless americans before and after him, with dogged determination, and a good deal of pluck, he succeeded. at a time when college was a luxury, ronald reagan graduated from urica college. he went on to have a successful career in radio and as a sportscaster, but that was not enough. so he moved to hollywood where he became an actor. of all the roles that ronald reagan would play, we identified -- we eventually identified him most closely with the character of george gibbs in "neut rock any, all american," it should come as little surprise that we would associate him with notre dame and fighting
irish. when he first appeared on the screen, newt rockny was at his wits end. rockny asked if he could run the ball. he answered how far. naturally he ran down the field, scored a touchdown and took his place in notre dame lore. there is no challenge too big. it is a good thing that he thought that way because he faced plenty of obstacles. with the outbreak of world war ii, his promising acting career was put on hold, he would go on to serve as president of the screen actors gild and later he worked in television as the host of general electric theater. it was that association with general electric that would set reagan on his path toward the presidency, going on what he called the mash potato circuit,
he spoke across the country to the thousands of g.e. employees giving later what he called the speech. giving these after-dinner remarks, reagan honed his thoughts about freedom, the size of government and the soviet menace. in 1964 on the eve of a presidential election, he would deliver that speech to the nation. senator barry goldwater went on to lose that election in a landslide. today we know that conservatives might have lost that battle but would win the war. a week before the election, ronald reagan delivered a taped address, a time for choosing. he spoke as a partisan for liberty and urged his fellow americans to join him in that struggle. he completed his remarks telling ar national television audience, you and i have a renedevous for destiny, we will preserve for this the last best hope for man on earth. this speech resonated with the
american people. it raised $8 million for goldwater, a large sum at the time. it made ronald reagan a formidable presence on the political scene. i knew barry goldwater. i knew him well. when i ran for the senate, he was one of two people i came to visit here in washington to get some advice from. i admired him so much. and it was a privilege to serve with him. the other one was chuck grassley, who was then in the house, and i count him as one of my dearest friends on earth. reagan and grassley, two great people. against the odds and conventional wisdom, ronald reagan ran for governor of california in 1966. now to the mistake of the california establishment, they underestimated the actor from the midwest and he went on to beat his more liberal primary
opponent and popular incumbent governor. underestimating reagan was a mistake the washington establishment would make time and time again when he arrived here 14 years later. they never seemed to understand what was so obvious to president reagan -- for all of the superficial differences, americans of his age were not so different than the generation that fathered this nation, fought the civil war, worked through the great depression and struggled for civil rights. in the end, americans of today are committed to the same principles of liberty and equality that animated the authors of our declarations of independence and constitution. this shared commitment to our founding principles served him well because he took office at the time of great uncertainty, a time not unlike our own. a combination of factors seemed to be putting the aspirations of americans out of reach. to be blunt, america was at its heels. the prime interest rate was 15%.
inflation was 12.5%. civilian unemployment was at 7%. when he ran in 1976, ronald reagan -- i think i -- when he ran, i was the first person he ever preprimary endorsed. at least that's what i was told, and i have cherished that memory for all these years. at that time, government regulations and tax rates were smothering american innovation and with it the american dream. abroad, the picture was just as grim. an imperialist soviet union had invaded afghanistan, it was supporting revolutionary movements across the globe. the american hostages had not yet been freed from iran. yet, when ronald reagan left office eight years later, he had left his mark. according to his biographer, lou cannon, when he came into office, there were 4,414 individual tax returns with an
adjusted gross income of more than $1 million. by 1987, fueled by tax cuts, the breaking of inflation and explosive economic growth, there were 34, 944 such returns. when he entered the white house, only one in six americans owned a microwave, and v.c.r.'s were a luxury for the wealthy. away the -- by the time he left office, these were common household goods. he helped to restore our understanding of a limited judiciary that respects the traditions of the american people and their elected representatives, and he restored faith in our men and women in uniform. just before he left office, president reagan reviewed the troops at andrews air force base one last time. during that visit, he said that serving as commander in chief was the most sacred, most important task of the presidency barely five years after america left south vietnam, reagan spoke at the veterans of foreign wars
convention and reminded america that vietnam had been a noble cause. the rush to blame america first in our conflict with totalitarian regimes and the days of holding our military men and women in low esteem came to an end with the reagan presidency. and although his greatest achievement, the collapse of the soviet union, would occur on his successor's watch, the writing was on the wall by the time ronald reagan left office. and his successor deserves credit as well. his recommitment to freedom during our twilight struggle with what was truly an evil empire quite literally saved the world and liberated millions and millions of people. it is no surprise that he will be honored in prague, budapest, and krakow, the home of his great partner pope john paul ii, later this summer for his role in exposing the great lie that
was the soviet union. ronald reagan succeeded as president because he knew what he was about. in his farewell address from the oval office, he said, "i went into politics in part to put up my hand and say stop. i was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do. i think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping and i hope we have once again reminded the people that man is not free unless government is limited." there is a clear cause and effect here that is as need and predictable as the law of physics. as government expands, liberty contracts. i could not agree more. and that reagan revolution, the aspiration of citizens for greater freedom and greater futureses for the generations that follow, continues. i am proud to have been part of that revolution. president reagan took a flier on me when i first ran for the
senate supporting me in my primary. i have tried to do him proud. i remember well the blistering hot day in the rose garden when he signed the hatch-waxman legislation into law back >> we leave this now to take you to california where it's 7:32 p.m. pacific time. vice president cheney will be introduced by andrew coffin, director of the reagan ranch center and he will be speaking about the 100th anniversary of the birth of ronald reagan. >> this is a tribute dinner to ronald reagan's binge day. the only one i can ever remember by heart is the old stand-by i related to earlier as i was having trouble getting the audience attention and that's the story he loved to tell of the young minister, who would step into the pulpit each sunday morning terrified of his
congregation. as he began his sermon he would look out at the congregation and see one by one the audience members nodding off. so i went to an older pastor, mentor and said what would i do? and the pastor looked at him and said here's a electronic i used when i was a young man. when you see the eyelids drooping you simply stop mid-sentence and say last night i held in my arms a woman who is not my wife. then when you have their attention, and you surely will, you follow that by saying, it was my dear mother. the young minister said i will do this, i will give it a shot. so he begins the sermon and sure enough the congregation begins
to get distracted. see eyelids begin to droop so he stops mid-sentence, raises his arms and says, last night i held in my arms a woman who is not my wife. now i can't remember who she was. [laughter] thank you for laughing. that truly is the only joke i know how to tell. it is now my great honor and privilege to invite frank donatelli to the stage to interdawes our keynote speaker. he was deputy assistant for the president for public liaison at the white house and currently serving among many other significant roles as executive vice president for mcgwire woods consulting. he's also the chairman of the reagan ranch board of governors. and you should note, too, frank is the person deputized by ron roberts to negotiate the purchase of the reagan ranch for
young america's foundation. >> thank you. those negotiations were obviously quite successful. please join me in welcoming frank donatelli. >> thank you. andrew, thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, hasn't this been a great weekend, a great celebration. and we have our best speaker yet to come. i always begin the eevetchts by saying to each and every one of you something that my favorite political philosopher yogi berra once said at a dinner in his honor when he said thanks to all of who you have made this day necessary. really the people in this room have made this day necessary so give yourself a round of applause. i want to thank you all. the fact we could have accomplished this in such eye
short period of time is a testament to everybody in this room. i had the pleasure of speaking to the vice president and his lovely daughter mary earlier. i started to tell them a story. they're very good friends with a dear friend of mine, jim baker, former secretary of state. and they were with him in texas earlier. and i just wanted to tell baker's favorite story since he always -- i'm always the punch line for his stories. the one story that he always told -- and i think still does after all of these years -- concern the time he was the one and only time a candidate for public office. and we were in west texas one day. it was a sunday and we were having a terrible time finding voters. finally in desperation we go into this bar and there's an old guy in the corner of the bar. and so jim unadorned goes up to the guy, hi, i'm jim baker, i'm running for attorney general. i believe the two biggest problems we have in america
today are ignorance and apathy. what do you think about that? the old guy looked at him and said, don't know and i don't care. obviously the people in this room care and know a lot. again, thank you very much for being here. we at yurk america's foundation, there are a lot of ways to interpret the reagan legacy and a lot of good ways to do it. we like to focus on reagan and the principles that he stood for. in our view ronald reagan was not a successful president because he was a nice guy or because he was the consensus builder or because he told a lot of jokes or he had a sense of humor or whatever. those are important traits of reagan. but i think what really makes ronald reagan stand out is precisely the opposite. he didn't seek to do easy things. he sought to do difficult things. because if they were easy, they would have been done by now.
he always looked to focus on his principles and take them as far as he could. believe me talking about cutting taxes and the size of government and firing air traffic controllers and calling and resisting the soviet union as an evil empire and fighting for the right to life all of those years are not easy. and it normally doesn't make one very popular. i think what reagan teaches us if you stand strong for freedom and if you are true to your principles, that is it takes to be a successful president. i think you all agree with me on that. [applause] so i say to all of the republicans everywhere that want to be the next reagan, very simple, sand strong for freedom, do the hard things, don't worry about popularity. as reagan did, always, always
have faith and trust in the american people. you can't go wrong. [applause] now, enough about that, we're here for our main guest today and we are honored to have him with us. he comes from that generation of americans who have always been willing to make public service an important part of their life and especially for their country that he love sod dearly. i and can cite many, many examples over a fantastic career. he was the youngest chief of staff i think ever and he arguably was chief of staff at perhaps the most tumultuous time in america's history managing the transition from a resignation of one president to the installation of president ford. and he did a terrific job for president ford and kept the rule
lauf intact and was true to the constitution. he went back home for a brief time and you can't keep a good man down, was elected to the congress from the great state of wyoming six times in a row i think, sir. never had much of a challenge. rose to the number two position or number three position in the house and with other republicans such as trent lott, newt gingrich and jack kemp formed a very, very good and coherent minority. he then answered the call again from another republican president, the first president ford to be secretary of defense. he was chosen because it was thought that he could manage the change from the cold war to a peace time -- to a peace time defense department. well, little did we know that the first gulf war would intervene so he managed the first gulf war very, very well and saw -- oversaw the expulsion
of saddam hussein from kuwait. and for that received a presidential medal of freedom, something he richly deserved. and then finally he answered the call of his country one more time whether he was asked to run with president bush, the second president bush to be vice president and once again being a true patriot, he accepted. now, there are many, many accomplishments that we can cite from his time as vice president but here's one i want to throw out there and i hope you agree with me. because of his steadfast devotion to freedom and to defending the american homeland, due in large part to his policies and to his determination, our country was not attacked again after 9/11. and that's due to the vice president.
so without further adieu, would you join me in welcoming a good friend of the reagan ranch, vice president dick cheney. [applause] >> well, good evening. thank you very much, frank. i appreciate those kind remarks and i'm delighted to be invited to come participate in the functions here at the center as well as the reagan 100 celebration. it really is a historic occasion because it's given all of us an opportunity to think back and reflect on president reagan and what he meant to us and to the country. and what i have here is a few
remarks, it's short but i thought i wanted to say something appropriate at the outset. and then it's my understanding that frank and i are going to do sort of an interview format. and you will ask questions and i will give sparkling answers. except to those questions that i don't want to answer. but it is obviously always nice to get out here in santa barbara in the sunshine. i just came from texas, where i was quayle hunting with jim baker and we had an ice storm yesterday down along the rio grande, if you can believe that. i am busily working on my memoirs. i've got a deadline creeping up on me. and so i haven't seen a whole lot of daylight recently. but i can't think of a better inspiration to come than reagan country. people keep telling me they look forward to reading the book, which only reminds me that i need to finish writing it.
in fact, i can tell you it's going well. i'll enjoying the work and with luck it should be in the book stores this fall. right now i'm deep into my ears as vice president and let's just sime not having writer's block. plenty to talk about. but it's a longer story than that and some of the early highlights involve my dealings with ronald reagan when i was working both in the congress as part of the congressional leadership and for president ford. being out this way makes me appreciate all the more what pramb lidge it was to know him -- privilege it was to know him and even my first impressions were a little colored by the politics of that day, as i had been asked to sign on as president ford's chief of staff and, of course, one of our responsibilities was the struggle in 1976 over the republican nomination.
it was a great fight i might add. it really was a special event and history of the party. outside of a movie screen, my first glimpse of ronald reagan was a 1974 trip to los angeles with president ford. ways in the other room when the two of them met dressed in their tuxedos before going down i think it was century plaza and this was just before they went downstairs to attend a republican fund-raiser. i believe they were sizing each other up, a prelude to the battle for the 1976 nomination. i remember be ago little distracted because i was making last-minute travel arrangements for the president. as busy was i was, i saw enough of governor reagan that night to know that we in the white house would have plenty to worry about if he decided to get into the race. safe guess not many of you were around back then so it's hard to convey the tension in the
republican circle as reagan geared up to challenge ford. it was a very big deal. and that fight for delegates never stopped until the third day of our four-day national convention. in that first bid by governor reagan for the nomination, i was on the other side. i worked for gerry ford. i had the greatest respect for him and i watched him hold the country together in the aftermath of watergate. taking the nomination from a sitting president is a tough proposition and in the end not even ronald reagan could pull that one off. after ford's narrow victory at the convention in kansas city, i must say i liked very much the idea of putting governor reagan on the ticket. the idea of a ford/reagan ticket although it's probably just as well it didn't happen. in the next four years everything came together to set the stage for the reagan presidency and arguably it took the carter presidency to really set the stage for governor reagan's election in 1980. by 1980 all of us were
reaganized. [applause] at that point i was a congressman from wyoming. wyoming only has one congressman. a small delegation but we like it that way. and i ended up serving in the house republican leadership all of the eight years that the president was in the white house and those were great days when we had republican presidents and a leader like ronald reagan and people like frank working for him and so many other close friends and when we had some great folks up on capitol hill as well too. these days at a distance of more than a generation, even liberal leaning commentators reminiscing about the reagan years ain a way that doesn't always ring true to me, they speak of it as a gentler time in politics when
supposedly debates were more cordial and opponents on capitol hill were unfailingly civil and respectful towards the president. i'm hope i'm not disillusioning anyone but i don't quite remember it that way. in some cases there was the cordialty that did allow for some big accomplishments. when the president and speaker o'neill got together and saved the social security system from collapse. but among the opposition in congress, president reagan also had to deal with some much tougher players. if they had warm feelings forbe governor -- for governor reagan, president rage rein by then, it didn't always show in their tactics. i think as late in the second term when there were major policy differences over iran-contra. i watched all of that as the ranking member on the select committee that was formed to investigate iran-contra. and i have rarely seen politics get any rougher than it did during that period. it's certainly true that we do attach a certain good feeling to
memories of the 1980's but that has little to do with the conduct or spirit of the president's opponents. america remembers the time that way mainly because there was a gentleman in the white house. for all of his genality, ronald reagan himself was accustomed to political battles and he didn't resent the exertion of debating and fighting for what he believed in. he expected it. eight years as governor of this state, his time as a union leader in hollywood, toughened him and made him the persevering advocate that he was for all of his presidency. he understood all that was at stake in the great debates over taxes, over the size and power of the federal government and over the strength of america's military. reagan was a man sure of himself and his abilities but more than that, he had confidence in the people themselves at a time when big issues were riding on their good sense and their character.
as he said in his first inauguration, i do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. i do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. of course, the worst fate that could have come to america was to suffer a lack of resolve in the decisive years of the cold war. if there's any instance in history when the presence of one man made all of the difference and for the good, it would surely be ronald reagan standing down an expansionist empire and vowing it would not gain another inch of ground. margaret thatcher called him a providential man and i found a lot of people who agreed when i got to the pentagon as secretary of defense. more than anything else it was the reagan military buildup achieved despite the constant hekkering of the left that assured our victory in the cold war. he left that and much else to his successor. when iraq invaded kuwait in
1990, president bush and i had all we needed to throw back the army of saddam hussein. we deployed half a million troops to the desert but the air campaign, using the assets that ronald reagan gave us was so decisive that ground operations took only 100 hours to prevail whfment it was over there was one person i wanted to talk to. i picked up the telephone and placed a call to bel air and said thank you, mr. president. [applause] when all of us think back to ronald reagan and try to sum up all that he was and all that he accomplished, thank you is still a pretty good place to start. we associate idealism with you but the oldest man ever elected president was also the most idealistic, and he brought out
that quality in the american people. he inspired the kinds of affection that great men cannot only trait by right but goes only to the truly good. kindness, decency marked his entire life long before he first journeyed here to california and long after he returned here to washington. and remembering his time years we might also add courage for the gallant, manful way in which he left us. there's much more that could be said. frank donatelli and i will turn to that in a moment. the short of it is the great respect and admiration that your generation feels for our 40th president and it shows in the work of the reagan ranch center is well placed. 100 years after his birth, history has taken the measure of president reagan. he stands tall in memory and let us always be grateful that such a man came along when this
nation and all the world needed him most. thank you very much. >> well, mr. vice president, thank you very much for those remarks. let me explore a couple of facets of president reagan and some of the things that you said. recent polls show that americans now think that ronald reagan is the most successful president in the post world war ii era. and indeed there are surveys that show him ranking just behind washington and lincoln in terms of all 43 american presidents. what is it about reagan that makes him even more popular
today than when he left office and the special enduring qualities that he seems to have for america? >> i can see right now, frank, you're going to get me in trouble for all of the other presidents i worked for. >> when you go to their centers, you can talk about them. >> ok. well -- no, the way i think of it is he's worn well. you mentioned it in your opening remarks about he dealt with big issues. he took on the tough problems. when you think about the end of the cold war and how it ended, i'm always been absolutely convinced and i am to this day that in effect what happened was the soviets decided they couldn't keep up with the united states once ronald reagan laid the markers down we were going to rebuild america's defenses, we were going to go with the strategic defense initiative and made the commitment, the soviets
were unable to contemplate a situation in which they had the resources to keep up with us basically. and in the end, they folded. and it was peaceful for the most part. president reagan developed i think a good relationship with gorbachev so they were able to manage that. we got in then into the first bush administration and the collapse of the old soviet union, departure of the air broad and establishment across europe, it really was a world shaking set of events that he helped precipitate. now we had enough time after 20 years, 22 years, i guess, so that we're we're able to i think have more perspective than we did before. and these are lasting achievements. these are not momentarry battles
over a piece of legislation. i always thought margaret thatcher had it about right when she described him as a providential man, a man who was there when we needed him. >> that's the way history turned out, that the soviets indeed could not keep up with us, he was able to establish a relationship with gorbachev. but i remember at the time one of my jobs was to stay in touch with conservatives. i don't have to tell you, sir, there was a lot of grumbling at the time from conservatives that reagan was being snookered by gorbachev. it took a really providential man to see the possibilities of how the cold war could end. from your vantage point in congress, you were always a very strong advocate of strong, national defense. did you have any concerns like that, that maybe reagan was being snookered a little bit by the younger gorbachev? >> i'm tempted to say i will save that for my book.
let me say that i was one of the most conservative members of congress. look at my voting record when i was there. one of the first things i did was a television interview on the old evans and novak show where i predicted the demise of gorbachev, said he's never going to last. that caused some trouble in the state department. a little bit of heartburn and in the white house. so i was a skeptic i must say and i thought for a long time that it was very important for us to stay focused on the traditional relationship, if you will, that gorbachev in the end i think basically did the right thing in the sense that he could have called out the troops, he could have smothered eastern europe the way his predecessor
had in hungary in 1956, czechoslovakia in 1968 and he didn't. i think he will always deserve a lot of credit for that but in part looking back on it now that was made possible because i do believe he established a relationship of trust with ronald reagan. so i think as much of a skeptic as i was, i would have to say i think president reagan got it right. >> how about the strategic defense initiative, something that really wasn't talked about that much prior to his famous speech in 1983 when he just sort of logged it into the east-west discussions? how much of an impact do you think that had on the eventual peaceful end to the cold war? >> i think it had a big impact. i think it said the soviets and the united states would united states his technology and lead
in a lot of areas to be able to build defenses against incoming missiles. they were worried we were going to build a system so big it could defeat their deterrent. and that was their major concern. the fact was the estimates on the soviet economy were inflated. in effect what happened as i recall i had an economist working for me who got it right, that in effect the official estimates were based on the soviet statistics on what their economy was doing economic performances, it's g.n.p. and those were inflated numbers. so when they were building defenses trying to keep up with the united states, they weren't spending just 10% or 15% of their g.n.p. on defense. they were spending something like 25% or 30% of their g.n.p., which was much smaller than they said on defense and