tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 26, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
at 10:00 eastern. here on c-span, "washington journal" is next live with your phone calls and that is followed by today's session of the house of representatives. in 45 minutes, democratic congressman henry cuellar. ♪ host: good morning. welcome to "washington journal." president obama is in france for the g-8 summit. the house and senate are in today. the senate is reviewing its extension of the patriot act. politicians and pundits are evaluating the democratic win in new york state's 26 district
this week. we are talking about what it means for the major party stands on medicare. how will medicare affect your 2012 vote? here are the numbers to call. 202-624-1111 for democrats. 1115 for republicans. let's take a look at how "the new york times" is talking about the implication of medicare on politics.
american first, always. i think that president obama is doing the best job that he can. i support the democratic plan and medicare. the problem that we have is that no one in the white house or congress is willing to move on any issue. everything is not on the table. if you cannot negotiate like that, you need to get everything on the table. i am 41 and i know that this will affect me. i do not think that social security or medicare will be at the age that it is for me right now. but it has to be a shared sacrifice and this seems like politics is blinding the forward movement of this country. we are coming to a crisis where
we have to deal with the debt. republicans have to understand that you cannot just say that we are going to do this and this, but that we are not going to give up the tax breaks for all countries. we are not going to give up cutting defense. then you are not trying to move the country forward and everyone knows that we have to do these things. i am hoping that this vote against all right and yesterday it will bring republicans to the table. host: let's take a comment from twitter. david,et's hear from also a democrat in arlington, texas. caller: i share the sentiments of the previous caller. this is what i think. that it was courageous for paul
ryan to come out with his budget plan. politics is getting in the way of a real, serious debate about what is on the table and what is not. like the previous caller said, you have to put the offense by and there. you have to put everything on the table. this country has too many serious issues facing for the republicans and democrats to play like this is a tennis match. but the nation's interest first. deal with adult politicians and get the job done. host: do you think that the democrats have a medicare plan? this week nancy pelosi said that her plan as medicare.
caller: i seriously think that it will take both parties to piece together an approach and put together something comprehensive for the american people. why do not think that one party or the other party will necessarily be able to bring forth the best ideas. we need policies that affect our lives for the positive and not the negative. host: adam, republican, pennsylvania. what do you think? caller: it will affect my vote. across the media spectrum there has been a lot of spin around the special election in new york. as far as i know there was a third-party candidate that got
10% of the vote. if you are -- combine that with republican votes, they would have beat the democrats. to say that there was some change in the demographic in that part of the state or that this is a referendum on medicare is foolish. much of the debate on c-span prior to the vote in the senate, i found the kent conrad, at its most interesting. -- kent conrad comments most interesting. he basically admitted that his party was playing games by forcing the republicans to have this vote, but his comments were disconcerting to me. he said that we should just wait because the president and the elites of the party on both sides were gathering to create their own plant.
i know that sometimes that is the way it works in washington, but the reality is that the congress needs to work and if the president does not like it, he needs to veto. obviously the democrats want to put this all on obama's back. one thing that i would like to see that i think a lot of americans would agree on, if we need a balanced budget amendment like every state has in their constitution. i think that it is really crucial that we get on board and congress starts working. host: i want to pick up on one thing that you mentioned. what happened in the 26 district? karl rove talked about this thing that you brought up.
host: so, that is the perspective of karl rove on the new york 26 district win by a democrat. how will medicare affect your 2012 vote? here are the numbers to call. for democrats, 202-624-1111. for republicans, 202-624-1115. for independents, 202-624-0760. we have a comment on twitter. anne, et's hear from columbus, ohio, democratic line. caller: it seems that the republicans do not like it when the tables turned. i remember the demagoguery a round of obama care. around obama care.
take a look round. they want to do away with public schools. the supreme -- state supreme court in new jersey said that chris christie could not do what he was doing. republicans want to cut everything for the poor. i think that with my $150,000, give it back. but i will not be able to save enough nell because it took me all those years to put into medicare. if you are going to take it away from me -- and it was not courageous from howdy doody to put this in. they want to do away with anything that will help the poor or the middle class.
if they were so concerned about the budget, they should have worked with obama on getting something that would actually bring down the cost of health insurance. better yet, why didn't bush and the republicans, when they had control, start doing something about health care eight years ago? host: let's listen to comments from senator lautenberg that he made yesterday about medicare. >> the other side wants to terminate medicare, one of the most successful programs ever in america, turning it over to private companies where ceo's make millions. many will have to choose between medication and food to get by. the senior out of pocket health costs will cost more than double the present rate, $12,500
per year. republicans would hand the health care over to insurance companies, where computers instead of doctors would decide the benefits that they receive. host: that was senator lautenberg speaking yesterday on the senate floor. andrea, republican line. . morning. how will medicare affect your 2012 vote? caller: i will tilt what -- i will tell you the truth. it will affect it a great deal. i was a rescue worker at the world trade center. i have asthma. i have a blown out disc in my back. i had a cancer removed. who is going to be my doctor, dr. frankenstein? host: what you think about the plan? could it work for you?
caller: it will not work for me. it will work for the rich. host: if you are a republican? caller: i used to be. host: ok. thank you for your call. david, independent line, port charlotte. the morning, dave. caller: medicare, as far as the way it affects my vote, i am looking for a common-sense approach. independent voters, we get tired of listening to -- i have been a father for many years. when my children were younger, there were times that they work completely irrational, screaming, you had to settle them down and some help instill common sense. this is both my opinion that the democrats and republicans, an independent is what i am who has voted for democrats and
republicans in the past. they have got to quit this nonsense coming out of their mouth. republicans cannot just talk about cuts and nothing else, ok? democrats have to quit recusant republicans of trying to abolish all of these programs, which is blatantly untrue. we had a republican president to put in a large drug prescription plan. they have both got to put all of this nonsense away and we have to sit down, like a family with financial distress, and look at ways of helping and ways of raising revenue. that is the only way we will make this thing work and get the country on the right track. host: that " look at the washington post story covering that vote yesterday. at "the: lets look gap
washington post story" covering that vote yesterday. hos host: phenix, good morning. caller: the private government medicare social security is not the problem. the problem is the war, including the war on drugs. prescription drugs, that is a problem that needs to be changed. bill clinton praised $2.10
trillion in his last four years in office. $2.20 trillion. and $100 billion in 11 years? there is a revenue problem. if there is a spending problem, we can address that, but we will have to bring in more revenue, but we have to let the bush tax cuts expire. actually not tax cuts, but tax code changes. cut the spending and we will fix the budget very easily. the thing with social security and medicare, they have been lucent last 10 years. host: this is an op-ed in "the miami herald closed but that is running today.
>> this plan does not matter if it comes from a democrat or a republican. rep. paul ryan has offered a plan that would make no changes for anyone age 55 and older. i support it because right now is the only plan that helps to save medicare. democrats are opposed to this plan, which is fine. but if they have a better way to save medicare, show us. show us how it survives without any changes or show us the changes that you can make. anyone who supports doing nothing and medicare is a supporter of bankrupting medicare. where is the house plan to save medicare? where is the president's plan to save medicare? they have no plan to save medicare and they do not plan to offer one because they have decided that winning the next election is more important than
saving medicare for my mother and retirees like her. host: that is a video op-ed running in "the miami herald" web site today. let's listen to richard's e- mail. host: from nebraska, jerry is on the republican line. welcome. caller: i am right on the bubble. 54 years old. i am still for this plan or something like it. if we do not do something, it will not be there when i get ready to retire. it is either to take a little bit or nothing. by the time i am ready to retire and will be broke and i will not get anything anyways. host: looking at the writing in
caller: to be honest with you, the way that icf, republicans seem to feel that the situation we are in this an opportunity to rid themselves of social programs that they never liked any ways. basically, that is not what the american people like. what has not been done, like you said, taxes and cuts in military spending have been put on the table. republicans think that they can get out of this situation without raising taxes? they are out of their minds. it is just not going to happen. one way to generate more money into the government is if the
american people have some social security and medicaid permits. anything else, any attempt to do this by cutting, it is spitting in the wind. republicans probably found that out yesterday. host: this e-mail from michael kelly -- host: barbara, southern pines, n.c., welcome. caller: thank you. i think that the democratic plan is to demonize anything that the republicans put out there. the ryan plan deals with cutting the budget and helps on taxes. democrats in the mainstream media do not put out the real side of the story. anyone under 55 will qualify for the same kind of health care that congress has. no one is out there saying that.
host: let's take a listen to comments made between paul ryan and bill clinton. this was recorded backstage by abc. >> sinking into paralysis. [inaudible] you have got to get out there. host: that was congressman ryan and former president bill clinton talking about the medicare proposal that involves vouchers. let's go to washington, d.c. -- i think that we lost -- no, we do have washington. democratic line, that morning, but come. caller: thank you. i have been listening to your show for a while now.
how would will affect my vote in 2012? the democrats have to come up with something that will take the wind out of the republican's sales. obama started something with his obama care. he needs to finish it. the medical industry, prices keep going up. they need to put a cap on that. or figure out a way to keep the medical from going up in price. as long as he keeps going as bold as he started out and does not fizzle, he has got my vote. but that means a lot of change. host: lewis, republican line, did you catch the exchange? caller: i have the television
turned down. host: you are following our advice. thank you. but he was suggesting that they should talk later about how to come to some kind of agreement on negotiations. what you think of the paul ryan plan? caller: why would someone come up with a plan that is so toxic, politically? it is a man that has put his career second and put his career -- put the people first. on the democratic side you have been saying that everything is fine, nothing needs to be done. the least i would know that what was being done would be reported. as far as republicans, they cannot change a new telephone number without it being brought up on the news. but the democrats have funds that no one even knows about.
flagpole all the time because it tends to be under-funded. people have to remember that it was put in place at a time when it began covering seniors bright away and people had not paid into the system at all. it has been consistently underfunded. it is far and away the medical service program in place in this country, but its problem is that it is broke and republicans would like us to believe that the system is broken. the system that did not go through during the health-care debate, opening up medicare as pay-as-you-go for people under 65, would have solved those problems and expanded the population in medicare, improving service delivery.
that is the real solution for medicare, opening it up to people under 65. host: let's look at this comment from twitter. host: "national journal daily" reported on the handful of republicans that voted against the paul ryan plan. there were five of them. those that could have been most hurt in general lections by backing the plan. olympia snowe and scott brown. senator lisa m. rakowski, who won last year after losing the gop nomination and won in an independent bid, voted against it. so did senator susan collins. senator went paul opposed it as insufficiently austere. karen, republican line, north
carolina. caller: for me, i will probably still vote republican because i am in my 30's and i see the handwriting on the wall. people heading toward retirement do not want to see it. but i will be watching the 2012 election. a lot of people my age will be doing that. if the vote goes the way, unfortunately, they do not want to a knowledge that fact that this has been part of it for the last 20, 30 years. you cannot just turn this off and ignore it.
if they do not fix their problems nell, when we really have to do something, i will be the first one to talk to anyone who will use their 401k to pay for medicare and the deficit. host: you are a republican and i would love to hear your reaction to this. there is this headline in "politico." does any at -- health care reform been political suicide? we think that it could bode ill for your party next year? caller: i feel that we care enough about the people to say that we have to do something and we should do it now while we have a little bit of time so that we do not turn into greece or the other european states. pittsburgh,go to pennsylvania.
chris, independent line. caller: i have seen the numbers behind this stuff. i wish that c-span would put out the numbers to show us how bad that it is. i do not think that the american people realize it, but the politicians are listening to you, mr. and mrs. voter. the basic fact is that they spend $3.70 trillion and they take in $2.20 trillion. meaning they would have to jack up taxes 65%. when we have many jobs in this country if they did that? i have suggestions. they need to reform the tax code so that people like warren buffett do not pay squad. in a fairly well-off person, but
i pay a lot in taxes last year. you could get rid of the department of education entirely. i call that the department of non-education. if you did not tell anyone, no one would know. you could get rid of the department of non-energy and save money. it is bad. i see it resulting in a bankruptcy tight situation. host: this message from twitter -- host: reports from "politico" are that it is possible to vote against health care and not get slapped down by voters.
host: nebraska, roger, democratic line. how will medicare affect your 2012 boat? caller: i have been a democrat for over 20 years. when they talked about half of a trillion dollars being cut from medicare, like doctor will no longer accept medicare because of obama care. i also have supplementary insurance for meat and full coverage for my wife, who is not on medicare. my daughter is 20 and in college.
now i hear that they are dropping off all the retirees. i will be without insurance for my wife, my daughter, my doctor. this is going to happen to a lot of people. host: let's take a look at what is happening in joplin, missouri. congressman billy long. good morning. this is your region, your community. what are you doing right now? caller: i think that my number one job as a congressman was to make sure that the federal government did everything that they possibly could early on purely get it was declared a disaster before i arrived.
shortly after i got a call from the white house, they said they wanted us to know that we are bringing everything to bear. i told them that they were not there, but that i had just folks.toda the fema we had to wait out a couple of two hours storms before they could get out the search and rescue. everyone is pulling together the best that they can, but the television pictures do not do it justice. you have to see it yet even then you do not believe it. it is like being on the set of a movie where a nuclear disaster has happened. nothing is left. it is like a bomb has gone off. seven survivors pulled from the
rubble. they have not recovered at what else. 125 people lost. joplin is a tight-knit community, which is good because it will be easier to get back on track, but that because every single people in this town -- it was a great employment base, the fourth largest city in missouri, it will be a long road back. we are very resilient in this part of the country. i cannot say enough about what a good job fema has done at this point. host: this is being called one of the deadliest tornadoes since 1950. congressman, you are a freshman. what have you learned from this experience as far as your role? >> we want -- caller: we want to be there to solve problems and let the constituents know that
be a care. in just a member of congress, a local person, by contrast: -- travel around. i do not need people surrounding me. 70 miles from my house, not everyone knew what was, which made it easier to be able to help and pitch in. the local fire chief, if i needed anything, i could go to him. i am not sure if it was high school graduation or what, but he got the call to come in after the tornado hit. he said that he would bring over to the fire house. we talk to the firehouse in joplin. two were destroyed in the tornado. fortunately the other was not
destroyed. their house was wiped out. probably save the life of the chief's family, taking them over to the fire house. host: president obama plans to come to your region on sunday. what do you want to hear from him? what do you want to see the administration do? caller: i wanted to do everything that they can. in a republican. our governor is a democrat. none of this has come to bear. we are all working together. saying that we will do whatever it takes. the secretary called me yesterday and said -- i am on homeland security committee -- she said that she wanted me to know that we would do everything possible for the long haul. the president said that we would do everything possible for the
long haul, that everyone is in this for the long haul. joplin is still going to be here when the media and leaves. the high school was lost. the middle school was lost. the home depot was lost. wal-mart was lost along with other businesses. the hospital, the largest employer in the county, a 67 story building, completely wiped out. once the tornado hit, people got in their pickup trucks. about 90 minutes in the pickup trucks, people came out, put them on the hospital, somewhere to save. an incredible effort by the people of joplin. host: congressman billy along, representing joplin, it but
possibly the biggest tornado in 60 years to hit the area. thank you. good luck. caller: thank you. host: how do you think that the bid over medicare will affect your voting next year? dayton, ohio. james, democratic line. good morning. hello, go right ahead. caller: i think that if congress is going to do away but medicare, taking care of poor people, they may need to do something with their own health care. they make enough money. i think that they are the biggest part of the problem. host: do you see a voucher system as destroying medicare? republicans say that they have solutions to keep the program
alive. caller: a program like that will not be productive. host: matt, republican line, virginia. caller: i never thought that i would say something nice about bill clinton, but he hit it on the nail with paul ryan the other day. they have got to do something in congress on medicare. i turned 50 in march. unless the democrats and republicans come together, bill clinton is right. medicare is going to go bankrupt and we are going to be in deep trouble. kudos to clinton for stepping up to the plate. host: jackie, independent caller, pittsburgh, pennsylvania. caller: we really need to do
something. i like to control my own stuff. i would love a voucher system. i m on medicare and it is supplemental. our plan was dropped from the company. obama-care? there is no way that they can do that. i have a prediction. things are growing to get a lot worse in this country before they get better. those guys in washington have no idea how to cut costs. there is so much redundancy. i agree with the department of energy, the department of education, they can all go. epa, all of those other things that are costing businesses -- they probably put more business out of business than anyone else. i do not trust the government. i always thought that the entire
host: basically it asks, what is the democratic plan. blake, florida, good morning. caller: look at the way that the medicare system is delivered. like the previous caller, i am wondering what company would ever undertake an unlimited mandate to support -- supply service to someone? they can just keep recommending more tests, more prescription drugs, more and of life care. that 1400 billion dollars more just this year, i guess the american people do not understand that when you take it in and then spend it, the party
stops. host: is this a deciding issue for you? are you waiting other things more carefully? caller: i am just surprised that the republicans. the voucher almost sounds like a coupon to me. they are really talking about giving money to people. if there was more competition -- it works in grocery stores and everywhere else. it is in our corporate economy. somehow we are near the point where 50% of the people will receive more benefits from the government and what we are paying in. at that point you have a tipping point. democrats saying -- vote for me, i will give you more. i pay 35% of everything that i make into federal or state taxes. i wish the republicans would
host: there are three days of boat tv programming this weekend. from "the new jersey staying," one of the largest sting operations in american history. panels on feminism and favorite books of 2011. + michael more on his upcoming memoir. afterwards, jamie scott on "a single woman." find a complete schedule booktv.org. this weekend on american history television, c-span 3, bob woodward on watergate. an associate professor at george mason university talks about the foreign policy of president reagan.
but visiting fort myers to visit the old guard and its role in military and presidential burials. get the complete schedule atkinson c-span.org/history -- get the complete schedule at c- span.org/history. >> commencement addresses from across the country. leaders from politics, business, entertainment, offering their inside to the graduating class is of 2011. >> "washington journal" continues. henry cuellar host: henry represents the 28th district in texas. welcome. guest: thank you. host: you sit on the homeland security committee. in the news going around right now, do you think that al qaeda is weaker or stronger given the new swirling around?
guest: whenever you kill the leader of an organization, it is a blow to the organization. it doesn't mean that the organization is dead, but certainly it is a blow and we have to be ready for everything. it is why our intelligence committee has been working hard to pick up chatter out there. host: how do you make yourself ready for everything -- anything? guest: the basic premise is that the bad guys only have to get it right one time. we have to get it right every time, playing defense. we have to look at our intelligence agency. anyone suspicious needs to be involved. yesterday at the hearing there was something very interesting. he said -- notice that there was no demonstration across the arab world. notice that there was no american flag burning.
if you notice, the aftermath was in the way that people fought, which i thought was an interesting comment. i am sure that we will simply have to be ready to anticipate other steps. host: our guest is the top democrat on the border and maritime security subcommittee. al qaeda, recently considering targeting oil tankers from the cache of information in the bin laden raid, talking about what they had thought of before oil tankers and commercial infrastructure is at sea. since you sit on committees that with the deal with this issue, what is your concern? host: -- guest: they look that infrastructure to see if they did send out a message.
symbolically, if there is an oil tanker coming in, it is a message that they want to send out. we saw what they did on 9/11. the two towers meant a lot to the united states. the financial strength of the united states. they find symbols and at the same time try to kill as many people as they can. host: lone wolf threats do not need a lot of money or infrastructure. is that your biggest concern? or do you see other, larger threats out there? guest: there are two ways to attack this. there is opportunity, people talking, you can find a weak link and get the information. a lone wolf, someone by themselves, it is a lot harder, sometimes, to go after a lone
wolf. sometimes it is harder to depict one person because that person is not going around, talking to people, possibly picking up some chatter around. host: in his fourth term, representing texas, san antonio, laredo, marcos, you are from the right now. if you would like to join the conversation, give us a call. for democrats, 202-624-1111. for republicans, 202-624-1115. for independents, 202-624-0760. we are talking about homeland security and the border security. your district does border mexico in one region. what do you think about the president's recent comments about the border, talking about
border policy, immigration and security. guest: we just got back, my friend and i, we had gone to mexico to talk to different officials. we even went to high activity areas. it is one of those areas that we have to keep in mind. mexico has a long border with the united states. every day there are about $1 billion to trade when it comes to tools and retail. what the mexican drug cartels are doing, the vicious acts the they are taking, about 250 american cities selling drugs. it is a threat that we have to be very concerned about. host: the president has said that the mexican border is
somewhat secure, republicans appear insist that it is not secure. guest: i have always lived there. my family lives there. let me give you some statistics that i think are important. if you look at the border violence statistics from the fbi that as compared to the national figures, the violence levels are actually lower. if you take some of the specific cities, compare them to washington, d.c. right now? washington, d.c. has a higher murder rate. i have always been pushing for more border security. some of us, we have pushed for $600 million to the board -- i
strongly disagree. host: but about republicans and their concerns of violence on the border? guest: affectively we need to do more to protect the border, but it is how we get there i am not saying that i do not understand, but it is not the wild, wild west. host: violence along the border, catalog since 2010, five kidnappings, 16th shootings, 24 assaults, 22 murders. guest: if you look at the national average, border counties have lower than the national average. city by city, washington, new york, chicago, houston, are much
higher. i am not saying that there is not a problem, but i am saying that it is not the way they think. i have lived there my entire life. by family, my mother, father, my family, my kids. host: walter, republican line, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. it is so obvious when i sit here and i listen to people's statistics out there. little anomalies. the bottom line is that democrats are for the minorities coming into this country, flooding in, saying that we do not know what we really have to do. that we have to have a moderate approach. the fourth amendment does not say to have a moderate approach. it says that we have the right to sovereign borders.
i did not go to college, but i can figure out how to keep people out. build a wall. why are we sitting here with this politically correct to nonsense where if you say anything, it is it racism and it is not that bad compared to washington, d.c.? it is a demilitarized zone. major cities across the united states are covered with illegal immigrants draining the system. what the french did i and world war one, we have seen the success of the wall -- success from the 20th-century for a 21st century problem. i think we need stronger border patrols. more technology and personnel. if you see 13th century
solutions to 21st century problems if you look at it, 30% of the people in the united states came through a visa or a permit. so, even if you build the largest sense that you can build, they will come in through a legal permit. you know, we have to be smart on how we use taxpayer dollars. my brother was with the state trooper state police intelligence narcotics division for about 20 years. he is now a texas border sheriff. i have three brothers host: if
you look at history? guest: unfortunately, sometimes people come out and they will take a moderate or sensible approach to solving problems. the economy goes down? the motion comes out. they need a scapegoat to blame. again, you have got to look at the united states of america and how we address the needs of the people. i believe that if you talk about immigration reform, we need strong border security. some kind of temporary guest program where someone can come in to provide the jobs. by the way, even to the immigration reform, and we hope this for the folks that work with bush on the committee, if
you have the guess work plan on immigration reform, you know who is coming in for the right purposes and border control can focus on the bad guy. rather than trying to smuggle people in. of course we don't want to do an amnesty like like president reagan and the democratic congress did in 1986. i don't believe in amnesty, but i think we need to at least take those people out of the shadows and start some sort of process to locate those folks. host: on twitter, "when we see the crew crew's of companies going to jail for hiring illegals and social security arresting people with false i.d.'s, we'll have homeland security." so what what do you want to see in the hands of companies -- what kind of enforcement should be going on there? guest: well, this is why you've got to understand, if there's jobs and people in other countries are looking for jobs,
you know, naturally they're going to come in with those magnets are at. if you had a temporary guest worker plan they come in legally for a temporary period of time and then leave for the jobs that the americans don't want, then we go ahead and do that. look, what happened in world war ii? when our men and women went out to go fight during world war ii, there was a vacuum that was created. that created opportunities for women and -- in certain areas like, for example, nursing. women got into that area. in the ag area, they needed people. the united states government looked at mexico and said, we need people to come in, work, and the united states established a temporary guest worker program to come in. after the war, they said, ok, thank you very much, and they left. but we can see in history that a temporary guest worker for only the jobs that americans don't want, then that is a way to help control immigration. host: in winter haven, florida, mark is on our independent line.
good morning. caller: good morning. i've sat here and listened to the things you're saying, and it's just so obvious that, you know, which side this thing that you're on. but, you know, try and square this circle. you have seven to eight million illegal immigrants in the workforce and 10 to 15 to 18 million americans out of work. you want to sit there and tell me that if you get these illegals out of our workforce and you put those americans in there, paying taxes, that you won't see a net revenue from this? and also, i'd like you to comment on a report that our border patrol agents are being turned -- are being told to turn illegals they encounter in the desert back south instead of apprehending them. guest: again, thank you very much for that question. let me go ahead and take the one part. border patrol is telling people
to send them back. that, again, we asked that question, and they're saying they're border patrol is not doing that. you know, sometimes you get things that you might pick up in newspapers, but again, this is something that we did ask for the patrol and homeland security. in fact, one of the things that i've been working on with the republican colleagues of mine, because i'm a democrat, but i believe in bipartisanship, what we've been doing is we've been saying that we need to enforce a 1954 law that says that if somebody comes across the river or across the border, doesn't matter who it is, then what we need to do is have them spend some time in jail. right now, they're send back on an administrative basis. we're saying, let them spend some time, 30 days, 60e days, 90 days, depending if it's a first, second, third team, maybe even longer, and i think that will provide deterrent. we've been doing that in the laredo area where i'm from. i know some of my liberal friends don't like that, but i think that's a deterrent to
make sure those folks come come over here and they come in the legal way. those are things that we're looking at. the other part about the jobs, listen, i sit on the ag committee, and i talk to a lot of farmers, and they said they've tried to put out advertisements -- they said, look, we'll pay $14, $15 an hour to get people to work in the hot sun. and they can't get anybody to come work. so i'm talking about turning specific jobs that sometimes americans don't want to do. my father was a migrant worker. he went up and worked in the sun, worked very hard in the sun, my mom and dad. there are some people that, unfortunately, don't want that type of hard work. we give the preference to the americans. if they don't want to do it, then we let somebody else do it. otherwise, certain industries are going to have people that are short -- you're going to have a shortage of people. that he wants the plain truth. host: our guest, congressman henry cuellar, has degrees from the laredo community college,
also georgetown university, the university of texas, and texas a&m. and it turns out that you are the most degreed member serving in the house with a total of five advanced degrees. and you talked about your parents doing labor work, and you now serve in the u.s. congress. guest: my mom and dad went only to a third and sixth grade education, because at that time, that part of the country, they would take out the young kids and put them out to go work in the fields as migrant workers. they only went to a third and sixth grade education because they were taken out. so i'm the oldest of eight kids, and i can tell you, my parents said we were not able to get an education, but you all are going to get an education. i took the lessons that my parents gave me, the hard work, the importance of education, to heart. host: question from d.w. writing us from seattle, this is getting back to intelligence and international issues. just what does chatter mean in the context of counterterrorism, intelligence
aggregation? what are we talking about when we talk about chatter? guest: that's what the intelligence picks up out there, telephone conversations, other type of communications that they're able to pick up and they hear, hey, you know, we're going to be looking at this, we're going to be doing this. it's the information that analysts are able to put together and put it together, because if you think about it, there is so much information out there. in fact, if you look at 9/11, there were certain indicators that were picked up but were never put together and analyzed. so it's not only picking up this "chatter," but it's being able to analyze and say, what does this mean and then take action from there. host: columbia, maryland, wendall on our democrats line, welcome. host: -- caller: good morning, good morning. host: go ahead and turn down your radio or tv. caller: it wasn't the radio. i'm sorry. it was the g.p.s. i apologize. i'm just amazed. i listen to c-span quite often, and i'm amazed to see how many people speak with emotions
instead of logic. for one thing, the immigration problem in america -- it is a problem, but you have to think about it rationally. you can't take millions of people and just take them away. they're not going away that way. and the other thing the congressman stated earlier is his observation that, where was the outrage by muslims here in america and around the world, killing osama bin laden. me as being a veteran and a muslim myself, he doesn't speak for islam. islam doesn't speech terrorism. islam does not tell people to go kill innocent women and children. we are more relieved and happy than anything else because he definitely put a very sore spot in the hearts of a lot of muslims. guest: thank you very much. that's an excellent observation. i want to thank you very much, and as a veteran, i certainly want to thank you for your service also to our country. and again, we have members of
our military, we have folks from different religions who are serbian, and, you know, i want to thank all of them, and thank you very much. the other thing about immigration reform, as i mentioned, historically, when you look at the history of immigration reform in the united states, it's always been very emotional. just look at some of the debates, and sometimes people have a tendency of saying things they shouldn't say, but that's unfortunate the way it is. we have to look at, you know, how do we address the issue, and i still feel that there's three parts, strong border security, and i'm very pro strong border security, some sort of temporary guest worker plan, and then the other thing is that people think they can put 11 million to 12 million undocumented alien natural bus or buses and just ship them out. it will be very, very, very difficult to do. we have to take them out of the shadow, no amnesty like president reagan in 1986 and the democratic congress did, and i emphasize that.
i don't believe in amnesty, but i think we need to somehow take those people out of the shadows, make sure they learn english, make sure they don't have a criminal record, make sure they start paying taxes. and by the way, there's billions of dollars that undocumented aliens have left in the social security trust fund, which probably they will never see. so, in a way, people say, well, they're taking away over here, but they're also putting into the system money that they will never see. my father was born in mexico. my mother was born in the united states. my father became a legal resident and then a naturalized citizen. he followed the legal process to get into the a legal process where people follow a process legally to get into the united states instead of coming in the wrong way. host: congressman henry cuellar is our guest, representing texas' 28th district. on homeland security, he serves as the ranking member on the border and maritime subcommittee and a member of the counterterrorism and intelligence subcommittee.
we're talking homeland and border security this morning. there's a story in "the washington post" today, legislators call obama's actions on libya illegal. says, is president obama breaking the law in libya? both the white house and congressional leaders appear eager to avoid that question, five days after obama missed a legal deadline for obtaining congress' permission for military operations there. but during a house hearing on wednesday, legislators from both parties blasted the president for appearing to disregard the 1973 war powers resolution. bill on twitter writes that he thinks it's an undeniable conclusion that the president is breaking the law by continuing the offensive in libya. congressman, what do you think? guest: you know, they're right. i think there's a specific statute that says that if you go over a period of time, 60 days, i believe, then you got to go to congress. i think the president needs to come to us one way or the other. you know, look, we're in two wars already. it's costing us over a trillion
dollars already. think about it. the wars that got started were put on a credit card. we're talking about the deficit. they've been put on a credit card. every time we send another tomahawk missile, it costs us about $1.3 million, and we've sent a few in libya already. i think at least he should be coming to congress and talking to us about, you know, what the next step is we have. we don't want gaddafi there, but i think he needs to come and pay respect to the legislative branch, otherwise i think he's going to get people from both sides of the party upset at him. host: richard joins us from vero beach, florida, on our republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. congressman, thank you for taking time to put yourself out there in the public. the question i originally asked, i was on a mission trip, and my old church outside of chicago is going to del rio, mexico, or del rio, across the border from del rio.
obviously with adults and senior high students. would you say that would be a safe thing to do i don't know what district you're in, but that's one question. then the other question is, i've read some work by mike pence in regards to border security, and another gentleman at heritage foundation, james carifano, and you seem like somebody who's open for bipartisan work, i was just wondering if you've worked with those guys before. guest: well, yeah, i certainly have worked with my republican friends like michael mccall and other folks from the border to address some of the issues. and again, you got to do this in bipartisan. it's want a republican or democratic issue. it's border security. again, i was in juarez this last sunday. we went across -- actually with michael mccall and connie mack. you might know connie mack from florida. so we went down, a group of
legislators. we went into juarez. i'm very familiar with the city that you're talking about across the rio, because it's a couple hundred miles away from laredo, which is the border town. again, i would say that missionaries -- i know different missionaries have gone there, but i would just ask you to be careful. there's been several travel warnings that the state department has put out. i would just ask you to be very careful. when you look at the killings in mexico, 90% are bad guys killing bad guys. and then a certain amount of them are, when they kill the military or the policemen, then a very small part are the civilians. again, even though it's a small part, the innocent people, it doesn't bring you any comfort to go out there. so i would ask you to just be extremely careful before you go anywhere across. keep in mind, they did kill a missionary in my part of the area on the mexican side. they just killed -- i think it was a couple of months ago, so you just would have to be very, very careful about that.
host: am i correct that one of the murders that's taken place was in your district in your area? this got a lot of press. an american couple was out jet skiing, water-skiing, whatever you call it, and the husband was killed. guest: right. host: they're still looking into that. is that in your district? guest: yeah, it happened across the river, but on my side. host: but you border that area. guest: i border the area. because i emphasize, oh, this happened on our border. they had taken ski jets and gone five miles into the mexican waters from the middle of the border. when the gentleman got killed, it was roughly around 2 1/2 miles still inside the mexican border. but yes, that's what we call falcon lake, you're absolutely right. actually, the widow was in one of the committee hearings with michael mccall. we were with her just recently. host: let's hear from our jecks in aller in jacksonville, florida. jerry on our independents lien.
hi, jerry. caller: good morning, everybody. i'd like to mention one thing about immigration. we're a country of immigrants. i agree with, but what they forget to bring bring up and people forget, when they people came into this country, we didn't have food stamps. they didn't have section eight housing. they didn't have free medical. and a lot of people continually forget what previous immigrants had to really go through in this country. i'd like to bring up one other thing, we've become a country of we can't. we can't protect our borders. we can't verify. one other thing, too, and i'll
be off the air, is it's a known fact that 30% to 40% of the legals we let in are going to go on some public assistance. >> thank you again for the question. let me start with the middle part of your comments or questions. i admire people like you that have the can-do attitude. i also feel there's some people that always say we can't do this, we can't do this, we can't do this. so, first of all, the attitude that you have is one that i admire. i think as one of our former speakers of the house said, you know, don't tell me it can't be done. tell me how it can be done. in fact, i have signs of that in my office. i told every member of my office to put that out, don't tell me it can't be done, tell me how we can do it. and that's what i want to hear from folks. speaker wright, -- speaker rice
from the great state of texas said that. the other thing is immigration. you know, i agree with you. as i mentioned, my father was a legal. he became a legal resident, a naturalized citizen. he went and worked out and worked very hard with his hands. he used to go -- work in the southern part of the united states. he used to go to the northern part of the united states to work with vegetables and the ag area. it's very hard work, when you're working out there in the sun, you have to look out for snakes, you have to look out for whatever it might be, the dangers out there. it was very, very hard for my mom and dad to do that. so he worked very hard. so he'd rather work hard instead of taking whatever assistance on that. keep in mind that the law does say -- and we need to enforce the law -- that undocumented aliens cannot receive any public assistance, point-blank. if it is, then we need to go after it, and then i tell folks out there, you know of this,
folks that are taking advantage, then you need to report that, because that's fraud, and those folks will certainly be picked up on that. so, again, i agree with you. we got to follow the law, keep in mind our work ethic, and certainly the can-do attitude that you've said that i really admire in people. host: congressman henry cuellar, texas' democrat representing the 28th district. a story from politico this week, homeland security committee chairman pete king, republican of new york, wants to change how funds are divvied up. rather than the usual recipe of giving everyone a little bit, he wants to go where the risk is. king told politico that homeland security involves whether we live or die. we're facing a threat from al qaeda, and we can't afford to be spreading money all over the country. it should begun to the areas that are the main targets. that would be new york, washington, d.c., los angeles, chicago, and the port of houston. you've raised concerns, though, because that would have removed money from your district. guest: it would take money out of san antonio.
san antonio is close to the border, and if people are so concerned about the border like a lot of people say, then why are you taking money away from areas like el paso, which is on the border, san antonio, which is close to the border? so if people are raising threats on the border, then why is the money not going to the boreder? peter king is a good friend of mine. you know, we get along. we've gone together, and we get along. democrat, republican, he's a republican, i'm the democrat. we get along. but, again, i agree with him to the point that we have to look at risk, but you can't say that the only cities that should get them, which are the four, five cities you mentioned, there's more in those cities. and some of the large cities, some of the smaller cities, you know, el paso, a lot of them are the most dangerous -- throughout juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in mexico. so you got to look at where the threats are, but you can't put it by signs of population.
host: so you're calling for hearings to look into that. guest: certainly. san antonio lost money because, as you know, the new majority of our republican friends, what they did is they cut moneys to homeland. now, i want to see the deficit. i'm a blue dog, a member of the blue dog coalition, but i think we need to set priorities. and if border security is so property, why are we putting moneys from homeland security? host: next up is joe in montgomery, alabama, republican. good morning. joe, hi there. caller: your democrat representative there brought up the number of murders -- the counties versus washington, d.c., which is ludicrous. there will be a dozen people in those border counties because they're large, baren areas -- host: we're losing joe a little bit, but the point is it's want a fair comparison to look at
washington, d.c., versus a sparsely populated border area. guest: i appreciate it, but keep in mind that el paso is a large population area. the other border areas are large. we're looking at f.b.i. -- and again, with all due respect to our listeners that say they don't like the stats when it goes contrary to the perception, i'm just going on what the f.b.i. has given us. the f.b.i. has been giving us statistics for a long time fumble look -- and i'll repeat this again -- per 100,000 population, so if you have a city like in el paso that has 750,000, you measure that per 100,000 population, you have somebody like washington, d.c., you still use per hundred,000 population. so it doesn't matter what number it is, it's per 100,000 population. and therefore, you look at the border numbers, you look per city, and again, the border areas have lower murder rates than the national average.
if somebody wants to disagree with my numbers, they understood to ask the f.b.i. to change their numbers. host: jennifer in minneapolis, democratic caller. hi there. caller: hi. with all due respect, sir, i'm calling to say that i don't consider that we have an immigration problem. i feel that we have an invasion from the south, and not just from mexicans, but also from other people, too. and my problem is that i don't support any immigration legislation for the plain and simple fact that we're always lied to about how many people are here exactly illegally, because i know that when we first started to try to get a comprehensive bill, whatever, several years ago, at that time there were 15 million to 21 million. now we're saying there are only
11 million? i think you need to get this stuff right. and then as far as what we can do to get them to go home, why can't we kindly ask them to go home once we bring them out of the shadows? we wouldn't be coming -- we wouldn't be coming the least amount of white people here if we didn't have such a big problem, how come they're taking this country over to be the biggest loading population to begin with? host: so, jennifer, are you still with us? caller: yes. host: what is your concern? are you worried about race, white people not being in the majority? or are you worried about jobs and the economy? caller: well, i'm concerned about jobs and the economy. when he says that that they come in here legally or whatever, identify seen lots of films and studies done where they cross the border, even little kids come here and cross
the border to go to school, and then they go back home at night. host: jennifer said her solution is to ask them to go home. guest: i'm trying to think of that commercial where they have a rent button, and they say, if one person could make that decision, you would press it. it took one person. i wish i could do that. and i wish, you know, a lot of folks could do that where they just press it and go home and they automatically go home. but it's a lot more difficult, a lot more complex. we need to enforce our laws. in fact, we were just -- i took a number of congressmen down to the border. we were there in the middle of the night with border patrol, where they were patrolling the border. you have cane that might be 15, 20 feet high, very dark night. how do you watch, how few control the border? this is why we got to provide the technology, the personnel to our border patrol. in fact, i just added an amendment to the national defense authorization bill that
we're debating right now that i'm asking the military of the united states of america to use the latest technology, use the border as a laboratory so we can use that technology that's worked in other areas so we can prevent technology, to prevent people from coming in. so i'm looking at all aspects. just because i'm a democrat doesn't mean i'm strong on border security. we are -- i believe in strong border security. i just want to do it the right way. the problem is not solved by saying ask them nicely to leave. we need our enforcement on the border and interior enforcement also to get them out of the united states. host: let's go to florida, tamarac, tony. caller: good morning. good morning, representative cuellar. i want to ask you -- i want to ask you a couple of questions and put something to you, because you seem to be fairly
reasonable. let me tell you something. first off, i am a paroled immigrant. i came here legally, and i'm really proud to be an american. i keep hearing about we can't get 11 million or however million people. i'm going to tell you how you do it. you lean heavily on the employers. make it financially not viable for them to hire legals. the legals will self-deport. at the same time, because we need immigrants, you send agents to the home countries, you streamline the visa application process, and we decide how many people we take and we make it easier for them, maybe even a two-part system where they get a quick visa, allow them to work, they come in here, go through the rest of the processing, maybe over a period of 18 months while they're here working. but we can't have this dream
act. we cannot pass citizenship to the people who broke into this country, broke into your country and my country. they have broke in. and as long as we offer incentives and we keep normalizing them, and depod bless his heart, one tried. he tried. and instead of two million, we end up with god knows how many. host: where are you from originally? caller: jamaica. host: ok. guest: first of all, i think you hit something that's very, very important. people -- we have a temporary guest worker plan right now that is not very effective, not very effective. so you can't come in a streamlined way like he said -- and knowing he hit right on the nail -- people can't come in through this guest worker plan that we have, so therefore, they say we're not going to go through this guest worker plan, and they just go around and cross our borders illegally. and you're right, if we would streamline that guest worker
plan, then people that needed jobs over here for jobs that americans don't want, then they would come through that process, then we would refocus our border patrol and our efforts on the bad guys who are coming in, and then i think we would provide better border security itself. now, the 11 million or 12 million undocumented aliens are here. john mornings has been doing a good job, and people have criticized him because he's taken out a lot of people with criminal records. he's right. i mean, if somebody's here with a criminal record, some people say no, slow down, slow down. no. if somebody's here with a criminal record, i'll be the first to say put a priority on those people and get them out, because we don't want the rapists and murderers, the child -- folks that are coming here, trying to prey on our kids. we need to prosecute those people. john morton is doing a good job . but again, we have to look at immigration reform.
i know politically it's very difficult now. we saw how senator john mccain, which i thought had probably one of the best immigration reforms when he worked with senator kennedy, and after the election or during the election, he stepped away from it again. so, again, emotionally, i know it's politically difficult, but one way or the other, we need to address that in a sensible way with strong border security, some sort of streamlined way. and the other thing is, what do we do about the undocumented aliens? can we say go home? i wish it was that easy, but it's not. host: daff alabama, curt on our i understand pen line. caller: good morning. i like a lot of the ideas i'm hearing from the representative. i don't think that we went far enough, though, here this morning. i really think that there's better ideas that we're not talking about here. one is, we have a huge amount
of the american forces in korea watching their border, and i think some of those troops would be better spend over here trying to solve the problems here at home. that's money already being spent. it wouldn't do anything in the budget. second of all, the citizens of the united states could be empowered after being educated to help solve some of these problems, too, vis-a-vis the employer or the person who's out on the street and sees illegal activity. we have to get more involved as individuals to solve the country's problems, and we're not doing that as a population. we're going to washington for everything, when some of the solutions are very simple, and it's a matter of everybody putting their heads together and trying to solve it. and i want to finish by saying that i love the latino culture and what they've done for our country.
i have many friends that are hard working, very good christians, and i love them, and i'm proud that they're an american like myself. i would wish, though, that the people that immigrate from mexico in the united states are doing it because of love of the united states and because they want to be americans rather than exploiting our success and their failures. guest: let me give you a personal story. as i mentioned a few minutes ago, my father was born in mexico. i became a legal resident, and for a while, keep in mind, you know, he was born in mexico, then he saw what the united states, you know, had provided, the education to his kids. i'm talking about myself and my other brothers and sisters. i'm the oldest of six kids. he one day said, i want to become a naturalized citizen, because this country has been so good, and i love this country.
that's the type of love that you're talking about. and folks that come in and love this country are folks that we want. you know, folks are coming here to exploit, to commit crimes. i mean, those folks shouldn't even be here. we ought to go after them as hard as we can. but, again, our country was born on immigration. we do have to have legal immigration. and certainly, i look forward to working with my friends, both democrats and republicans, because if you look at past history, it's not done by the democratic party or the republican party. i keep mentioning ronald reagan, republican, democratic congress. same thing in congress, you got to have a bipartisan way to approach this thing. but, again, we love our country, and we're good christians, and we want to make sure, as individuals, we get involved, like you said. everybody has to play a role.
you can't depend on congress or the federal government. i'll be the first to say, don't depend on us and a lot of things. it has to come from inside the individual. host: john writes, my town is importing haitians because locals won't take turkey processing jobs. so some of our callers and folks who are tweeting and emailing in are giving their personal experiences of the job situation in their communities. thank you so much, congressman, for being here this morning. guest: thank you so much. host: representative cuellar represents texas' 28th district. he's a democrat, serves on the homeland security committee in some key positions. thank you again. guest: thank you very much. host: coming up later this morning -- we'll hear from andy barr of politico on the 2012 politics. but first, congressman allen west of florida. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> at 8:33 here in washington, here are some of the headlines. the two-day meeting of the group of eight industrialized nations is getting underway in france.
president obama will address the g8 allies today. he's also meeting one-on-one with the leaders of russia, france, and japan. the white house is announcing plans today that would ease regulatory burdens on businesses. part of the plan would eliminate requirements for trapping polluting vapors at gasoline stations and let employers and hospitals file fewer reports. meanwhile, congress is rushing to extend the life of three anti-terror tools, including the use of roving wire taps before those expire at midnight tonight. the senate will start voting on the legislation, including possible amendments this morning. final passage during the day would send it to the house for quick approval, and then onward to president obama in europe for his signature. live coverage of the house always on c-span and the senate on c-span2. one of the more than a dozen surviving victims from the january tucson shooting rampage says he has no problem with the suspect spending his life in a mental institution.
eric fuller spoke shortly after a federal judge yesterday ruled that jared loughner was incompetent to stand trial, but the january 8 attack, which seriously wounded democratic representative gab rye he will giffords. and the international red cross says the demand for humanitarian assistance has reached an unprecedented level. with the number of people suffering from natural disasters and ongoing conflicts. in its 2010 annual report, the group says much of the violence has been primarily targeted at civilians and notes that some of the conflicts have lasted as long as four decades. and those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> this june on "in depth" -- the balance between security and lib err at this, the difficulties of the climate change treaty and the limits of international law. your questions for author and university of chicago law professor, eric posner, his books include "law and social norms" and "the perils of global legalism." and he'll take your calls,
emails, and tweets, live sunday, june 5, on c-span2's book tv. >> you're watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning it's "washington journal," our live call-in program about the news of the day, connecting you with elected officials, policy makers, and journalists. weekdays, watch live coverage of the u.s. house and week nights, congressional hearings and policy forums. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, the "communicatetors." on sundays, "news makers" and prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. you can also watch our programming any time at c-span.org, and it's all searchable at our c-span video library. c-span, washington your way, a public service created by america's cable companies. >> "washington journal" continues. host: congressman allen west is a republican from florida,
where he represents the 22nd district. thank you for being here. guest: pleasure. thanks for having me. host: in your first session of congress. guest: yes, absolutely. host: the house right now is going over the defense authorization bill, a lot of amendments on the floor. where are things going and what's important for you to get in there? guest: well, i think it's going very well. i was very happy that we did have three wasteful d.o.d. programs that we found, and we got those cuts into the chairman's mark. i'm really pleased about that. last night, i was part of the debate on the authorization for the use of military force, because i think that if we don't have the courage to say that we have to affirm that there is an enemy out there and we need to be able to provide the president all of the means by which he can go after this enemy, being that the taliban, al qaeda, and associated forces. that's very narrowly defined. so i think one of the things i want to bring out last night is that, you know, if we start to take away that ability that the commander in chief has, this is a very flexible battlefield, the 21th battlefield between
the nonstate and nonuniform belligerence. so my experience, being in military for 22 years, i was able to leverage that. host: you were a lieutenant colonel? guest: yes. host: "the washington post" reports on some of the discussions going on in the house, questioning whether president obama is breaking the law in libya by not hitting the legal deadline for getting congress' permission for military operations there. what do you think? guest: absolutely right. the war powers resolution act of 1973 gives him 60 days, and after that, he's supposed to come and present his case to us. and i think that we have gone past that deadline, which was last friday. so i think that the president needs to come and talk to the congress about his plan as far as going ahead, and, you know, i've lot of questions about that. we did have the secretary of defense and also the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff that came before us in the armed services committee hearing, and there was still a lot of very open-ended questions that could not be answered by them. so i think, given the speech to the american people is not enough. he needs to come and present
himself before congress. host: you recently said in a news letter, you weighed in on president obama's speech about israel and palestine. you accused the president of nefarious and malicious intent toward israel for suggesting that the jewish state go back to its pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed swaps. guest: absolutely right. when you think about this, our most valued ally in the middle east is israel. originally, there was nothing supposed to be said in that speech about israel, definitely not about boreders. it was supposed to be about what everyone is calling the error spring. just put yourself in the position of prime minister netanyahu being on an airplane and flying over here, and all the sudden landing and finding out that someone has said that the united states is going to support you going to 1967 borders. that's not how we treat our most favored and most precious ally. i think that that was a very nefarious thing that was done, and i think that the prime minister laid it to rest, that they're not going to tolerate that. host: our guest, representative
allen west, served in the u.s. army for 22 years, retired as an army lieutenant colonel. he served in combat zones and operation desert storm, operation iraqi freedom, and afghanistan. he was elected last fall to his first term, representing florida's 22nd district. he serves on the small business committee at this point, also a member of the tea party caucus. guest: yes, tea party caucus, been disappointing, only met one time. but i've been able to keep a really good connection. we've had some conference calls with tea party leadership all across the country. so i'm doing the best that i can to keep them informed and also let them know about the decisions that i'm making on different pieces of legislation. host: what's the role of the tea party caucus? some have said it's about the grass roots movement. guest: i think that's what you should want. if we want to restore that sense of citizen legislator, which is what i found, if we want to restore that sense of, you know, a congressional representative, people that are
here taking the concerns of other grass roots, other people to these hallowed halls, i think it's important to listen to them. and understand something, the tea party really boils down to three things, effective government, and free market and free enterprise solutions. i think that's something that everyone should embrace. host: if you want to join the conversation and speak with congressman west, give us a call at these numbers. democrats, 202-624-111. represent, 202-624-1115. independents line, 202-624-0760. we're on email. that's email@example.com. and twitter, twitter.com/cspanwj. one says the patriot act is a direct attack on our libber its, it's about control of u.s. citizens, that's it, that's all. what do you think? guest: i think when you go back
to the statement that benjamin franklin made where any time you sacrifice liberty for security, you may end up not having either, and that's why i brought a copy of a letter sent to director mueller, which asked very pointed questions about the roving wire taps, and then also the records provisions. because those are the two i have concerns about. the provision, i got it, it's focused on the foreign nationals, really counterterrorism tool. but i don't want to see us get to the point where all the sudden we have these other two provisions that can be used against american citizens. i'd like to see them taken out of the criminal division of the f.b.i., put specifically into the provision, but director mueller has some pretty important questions he's got to answer for me, for me to go ahead and try to support this. host: there's a discussion over extending the patriot act provisions for four years. you rattled off a few of those. what will it take for you to be asaged? what do you need to hear?
guest: i need to hear how many times have we used the roving wire taps and records. how many times in using it that things came to fruition. for instance, a great example. we just had recently a couple of imams in south florida who were arrested on following money over to the pakistani taliban t. i'd like to know what the provisions of the patriot act used in securing the allegations or hopefully the convictions of these gentlemen, if they come to fruition. so i want to make sure that it's being used properly over the past 10 years it's been in effect. host: you voted for the short-term extension of the act, but now we're looking at a longer extension. guest: this shows that i am a person that is somewhat insightful. i'm not just going to say no. i want to have the opportunity to sit back and research and study and understand, and that's why i voted for the 90-day extension. but four years is something entirely different. host: ohio, ryan on our democrats line. welcome. you're on with congressman west. caller: thank you. and colonel west, thanks for
your military service. i would just like to have you comment or ask you a question about enhanced interrogation, your stamp on it, and whether your retirement from the military and the circumstances surrounding that, if you could put those into the context of your support of enhanced interrogation. i'll take your commnts off line. guest: sure, ryan. i think what you are thinking to drum back up is what happened in 2003 when i fired my millimeter over the head of an iraqi policeman in order to get information about ambushes on my soldiers. there was an investigation. i was taken out of command. i was fined $5,000. i was given an honorable discharge, and now i'm a congressional representative here. so the thing is this -- i was responsible for the safety and lives of my men, and i took responsibility for the actions that i took, and i will continue to take responsibility for the actions that i have taken. as a matter of fact, just a couple of days ago, i met with lieutenant general, who was my
assistant division commander there, and he told me how proud he was of what i have accomplished, post-2003 and how i did not let any type of setback keep me from continuing on to serve my nation. now, when you talk about enhanced interrogation tactics, if you want to talk about waterboarding, this is something that we use. it's a course to train our special operators and also our pilots. this is something that we use ourselves. and when you talk about the commander in chief, the commander in chief is no longer responsible to protect this country. and with whatever means he can properly use to protect the american people, i support that, and that's something that i will do as well. host: fred in fort lauderdale, florida, republican, welcome. caller: good morning. guest: good morning, fred. caller: i'm interested to really look at two aspects. one, the budget deficit is really getting out of control. if we look down the road, it really could cause a catastrophe.
the dollar is weaker this morning. it's not only the expenditures in the federal government, but also in the states. but so much of the federal money comes from the states. i think we have to rein in this excess of spending by the cities and states by cutting he back on the money that's sent to states by the federal government. so perhaps you could address that. guest: i think one of the things we have to do, fred, is the size and scope of the federal government has to be somewhat curtailed, because when you have a public sector like we have right now that's outpacing the private sector, when you have a federal government that really does not understand its priorities and really has gotten to the point where the spending is so exorbitant when you look at the revenues that are coming in, we've got to change the paradigm of how we're doing things in washington, d.c. i think one of the great things about this session of congress coming in is that we are really starting to hear people talk
about cutting in spending instead of increasing spending. it takes five miles to turn around an aircraft carrier, so i think at least we're starting that motion. and then we have to once again look at the relationship of the federal government to the states. it's not just setting conditions for the individual american citizen to be prosperous, as well as our private sector, but also, how do we set our states up for success, and i think the unfunded mandates that we continue to push down upon them, we need to go back to the drawing board on that as well. host: larry writes on twiss twitter, do you think that the entitlement program, medicare and social security are constitutional? guest: well, i think when we're talking about the general welfare of the american citizen, that's the responsibility we have. because there are going to be americans that fall within the cracks. we need to make sure we have a safety net program out there. but when you look at the federal budget, you know, we have to do something about the mandatory spending programs. when you understand that the board of trustees said we've got 13 years for medicare, and then after that we've got 12 years for social security, so one of the things that i tell
people back in my district, if we were to zero out the entire defense budget, it still will not have an effect on what the last caller just talked about as far as our deficit and, as well, our debt. so, you know, bill clinton tackled welfare reform. i think we need to tackle the mandatory spending reform. host: let's hear from justin, i understand pen line in austin, texas. hi. caller: good morning, everyone. thank you for your service, colonel. guest: thank you, sir. caller: i have a couple of questions, and they're more of a broader theme. it's based on your experience in congress, based on leadership. first question would be, what experience have you been able to apply, your previous military experience, what have you found helpful as a national political figure, and what experience in the military have you kind of had to put aside that's not so helpful? and then secondly, now that
you're wearing a suit and tie and not a military uniform, is there anything that you discovered in the armed services committee, your service on that committee have you found positive and/or negative? and finally -- guest: boy, you're giving my alley who the. i need to take some notes here. caller: ok. and finally, who would you rather share a foxhole with, folks back in the army or your average beltway politician? guest: well, let me talk to you about the similarities between being in the military and being here on congress. they're both battlefields. the interesting thing about being in the military is that you often know who's shooting at and you you can see the bullets flying, so you have to be a little bit more savvy here. but i think the most important thing that the military has taught me is a sense of dedication, a sense of service and sacrifice and commitment to this country. it also has given me a sense of honor and character and integrity, and i think that those are the things that i try
to use each and every day as i make the decisions or i talk with my colleagues, you know, being a republican or a democrat. and i think that when i look at sitting on the armed services committee, the experience that i've had in the past 22 years and going back and being on a battlefield in desert shield, desert storm as opposed to the battlefield of iraq and definitely afghanistan, i've seen the changes, and what this battlefield really does represent, and so it is an ability to bring that type of perspective and expertise to help our colleagues there on the armed services committee to make the best possible decision and help them with bringing amendments forward. host: who would you rather be in a foxhole with? guest: i'd rather be in a foxhole with my buddies who are still over there right now, because, you know, that he wants just the bond that we have and the training that we've gone through. host: let's go not far from d.c. to greenbelt, maryland. lou, republican caller. welcome. caller: good morning. how are you? guest: good morning. how are you doing?
caller: good, good. you talk so fast. i'm a republican. reagan increased taxes when he found it necessary to do so. what is wrong with increasing taxes? guest: what's wrong with -- host: increasing taxes. caller: what's wrong with increasing taxes? it balance the budget. that's the positive thing. you talk so passionately about services. we running a deficit in this country. why did not you bring up this issue when president bush was there? guest: well, you know, i hate to tell you, when president bush was there i was still out as an active-duty soldierment i'm doing the best that i can now to change the talk and change the focus up here. now, once again, it is not the revenue problem we have in washington, d.c. it's the spending problem. and i have to be very frank. if you're going to trust this federal government with more of the taxpayer resources, which are their taxes, we have to prove ourselves that we're going to be fiscally
responsible for it, and we're not just going to continue down the path of increasing the size and scope of the federal government. most important thing to realize is when you talk about raising taxes, you know, most of the small business owners out there are not operating from a corporate business tax rate. they're operating from a personal income tax rate. and i can tell you that when you drive through my district down in south florida along federal highway, from ford lauderdale area, you see countless closed store fronts. i want us to create the conditions, i want us to create the incentives in which we open those store fronts and get americans back to work f. you're talking about raising taxes, then you're talking about increasing the opportunities that these people will have to get americans back to work. host: let's go to another maryland caller, in rockville this time. roland, democrat, hi. caller: thanks for taking my call. you know, first i'd like to say, for the past week, it's been open season on the republicans, but for god's
sake, can we come together as a country and support our president? have a fine leader come to the united states and criticize and talk down on our president, and oh, all the sudden, republicans say see how good he was, i want to have netanyahu as american president. i mean, for god's sake, this is a foreign leader, i don't care, israel or what. why should we allow that? i mean, would you allow ahmadinejad come to new york and criticize -- guest: i would not allow ahmadinejad to come to the united states. that's one of the problems that i do have. i think that, you know, individuals such as as an ahmadinejad or chavez or even muammar gaddafi should not be coming to the united states to criticize this country and even a bully pulpit that we have provided. but the thing is this, sir. if you're telling me i don't have the right to criticize someone's policies, then that's not the constitution of the
republic in which we live. i think that we saw many spirited debates and many attacks against the previous administration. so i think that when you look and understand what was said as far as the 1967 borders, the right to return and these things of this nature, if you understand very simple the ramifications of the palestinian authority or fatah going into a reconciliation with hamas, declared islamic terrorist organization who condemned the united states for the killing of osama bin laden, you know, now is not the time where we should be setting the conditions for them to have the upper hand or the initiative in negotiations in the middle east. and most important thing is, i have to agree with president netanyahu. if you want to have peace in the middle east, it takes a willing peace partner. we have not seen a willing peace partner for quite some time. host: congressman allen west serving in his first term in the house of representatives. he represents florida's 22nd district, which includes forts lauderdale and west palm beach. he's also a member of the tea party caucus. one of our followers on twitter wants to enlist you for higher
office. he said this man should be president. obama is a media feeding machine. we need a real american like west. you've also been getting some interest from other folks, andrew has said he'd like to see you on presidential ticket in 2012. what do you think? guest: that's very humbling, and it's very honorable that you would think that, just after five -- i've never been in politics, never held a political office until now. and for people to think that, after five months that i have the potential and the capacity and capability to take it to another level, that's -- i don't know what to say. but the thing is, most important for me, i want to be a good congressional representative, be a capable legislator and to be an american statesman. and if there's some higher calling for me, i think that god will make that decision in my life. host: a deserve active political activist did an interview earlier this month and said his dream 2012 republican ticket includes two african-americans, herman kane,
american businessman, columnist, also radio host, and yourself. and cbs said that -- cbs is suggesting they would draw out those who believed -- everybody that disagrees with the democratic party is a racist. guest: well, i think that it does cause much concern. when you look at someone like myself, i was born and raised in the inner city of atlanta, georgia, you know, 22 years military veteran, a conservative, you know, been married 22 years, have two wonderful daughters, one just graduated high school this year. i'm just living the american dream. my father served in world war ii. my mother served 25 years in marine headquarters. my nephew now is following my footsteps as a captain. we believe in this country. and we believe in the great opportunities of this country. and as my dad said, it's an honor to wear the uniform of this country. you know, those are the type of things that's important to restore. i'd like to see more former military officers look to seek higher office, be it the local level, state level, definitely
this level here. host: let's go to our next caller. it's annandale, virginia, dennis, independent line. welcome. caller: thank you very much. good morning. representative allen west, good morning. guest: good morning, sir. caller: just one thing. i think the beautiful of this country is based on the constitution we have. this is something that, with all due respect, million of people have violated, because i think we are based on really a democracy of liberty, our fathers. so listen to you, i listen to a lot of contradictions, because when you say, for example, that you will not allow many of the jobs or chavez coming here to discuss whatever issues they have or difference they have with the u.s. is completely opposite to what we believe. guest: well, sir, i got to stop you for a minute.
let me tell you something. when i look at mahmoud ahmadinejad, i'm talking about someone that is the head of a country that is actively supporting and supplying people that are killing our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen and marines. if you want to argue with me about that, i'd be happy to take touted plays where i've been in my life, either iraq or afghanistan, and show thaw. i'm talking about people actively working against our country. i'm talking about hugo chavez, who has a relationship and is bringing in support from iran into his country. so i think that, you know, this is not about, you know, giving constitutional rights to people that are truly, almost declared enemies of the united states of america. and if we continue down this road of political correctness, if we continue down not wanting to face these enemies and understanding that, you know, this thing cannot be a one-way street, it's going to lead on our own cultural suicide. if we don't want to respect us, if they don't want the open dialogue with us, then why is
it incouple bent upon me to sacrifice my pride in my country just to allow them toy platform to come here and speak and spew violent vitriol? host: eastford, connecticut, doc on our republicans line. good morning, doc. came good morning. thank you, mr. west, for your service. the question i have is, had has to do with our tax system, that our tax system is the root cause of a lot of the problems that we're having in this country. what do you think of the fair tax? guest: sure. i think that what you're talking about is a progressive tax code system that does lend itself to a class warfare almost. when you look at 47% of wage earning american households not paying federal income taxes, i have to till, i believe in a flat tax. i think that's something that we can easily transition to, looking at maybe 15% to maybe 17% across the board, and all the deductions being for children. i believe that the in-state can be a fair tax or
consumption-based tax, but i think that the flat tax is a bridge or a phase by which we can eventually get to that. i think it would be an incredible shock to the system for the united states of america right now if all the sudden we go from this progressive tax code, where you do have individuals that aren't paying any taxes, and actually get a refund back, anywhere from a 23% sales tax. i think we have to look at this. even the president said that we need to look at tax code reform. host: congressman allen west is our guest. one of our viewers on twitter is saying -- do you think the va type of program should be offered to a
broader group of americans? guest: there are some issues with that program, with that system. i think there are more deserving veterans that need to be using that service. i have been to the va clinic there in the florida. loook, in 13 years from now, i will be 63 years old. i would like to have medicare out there for me. there is a situation where we might not have medicare if we do not reform. individual responsibility -- this morning, i woke up and put in my four points 5 miles. health care is my responsibility. i think that is something that we need to look at and incentivize. we need to take away the ability of the insurance companies and corporations to dictate policy.
we need to hav competition out ther to put americans in charge. caller: let me start off by saying i have a few things to say because i have been dismissing so many aspects of what is wrong with our economy. a of the root cause of where we really are -- first, let me say that i understand what it means to be an american. the root cause of where we are is financial darwinism. i have trouble getting my book out because nobody wants to know the truth today. i hear how you speak about flat taxes and things of that nature. it exhibits to meet a very
profound lack of economic understanding. i hear too much economic ignorance that seems to be rampant in our country. the fdic, about a year and a half ago, shovelled about four par-5 billion dollars to banks that used to be called investment banks like goldman sachs. they give them a tremendous amount of money to use for their own portfolio investments which does not benefit other people other than themselves. they are still doing the same thing. they are not lending money to anybody. >> i think the question that was asked to be was about the tax code. if you want to get into economic policy, we can talk about that. i think when you are bringing up is i would not support it.
when we look at the repeal of the glass-steagall act, we had a clear delineation line between the investment banking and commercial banking. when we looked at the security chasm of mortgages, that led to the economic collapse. i think we need to look at our overall economic policy as well as our monetary policy. i am very concerned about the q.e.2 program. host: as a member of the tea party caucus, which you support the chairwoman michele bachmann? guest: i cannot tell her what to do and what not to do. right now, it is an open field. we will see who the front runner is. every 1 weeks to go out and present themselves and show a planned for the united states of america.
they are lukewarm. i am not going to kid. what we have to look at is -- as we go into the presidential election cycle, the cycles are starting to mirror "american idol." it requires people with persona and an ability to convey the message of this country as we go forward. host: who would you like to see a jump in? if michele bachmann called you up for support, would you give it? guest: i would have to sit down and talk to her. you have to give me a little bit of time. host: who would you like to see a jump in? let's make it more interesting. guest: it is not so much looking at the person that i want to see a jump in.
these are the types of characteristics that i like to see, someone who understands the critical issues that we are facing and able to articulate that in the very clear and concise manner, someone who can connect with americans from all walks of life. you are not going to be able to see it in every one. at least someone who has the right image that can bring forth. we cannot go back and have a bob dole run against a bill clinton. i will put it in terms of a military context. will you do a frontal assault, people see you coming and start shooting at you immediately. i go back and look at the fact that the democrat party shows a pretty unknown georgia governor, they chose a governor from arkansas, and then they chose an
individual who was a state senator. i think we need to change our paradigm. host: the "new york times of" talks about sarah palin. could you get behind her? guest: i will have to see. host: ohio, on our independent line, good morning. hi. turn down your tv for us. you're on with allen west. caller: why does everybody take pay cuts except the president, congressmen, senators, and politicians? why does everyone take pay cuts except those people? guest: i would not mind having a
pay cut for myself. i did 22 years in an the army and got a 55% retirement. that is not something i am against. i think what you are talking about is if the people up here in washington, d.c., are promoting the american citizens to tighten up their bootstraps, we have to do the same thing up here. host: karl rove has a piece today, saying his explanation is there was a third party candidate who spend a reported $3 million of his own money. guest: i think that is a part of it. also, you have to look at the candidate that was running. if you look at a candidate who could not inspire people to come out, i think that is a
reflection more so of the candidate. i am not sure what happened with the ground game, but that is an important thing to look at. i know a lot of people say this is a referendum on paul ryan and on the medicare issue, but that think democrats have to be careful. i would call losing a special election in 2033. they should not dance in the end zone for too long. host: you question the viability of a republican candidate there? guest: i think you have to look at the candidates. it is their responsibility. when we try to take the weight of the candidates and try to attribute it to too many things, we'd lose focus. yes, that 9% had a lot to do with it. host: what is the tea party's responsibility?
republicans lost a seat in his opinion. where does that leave at the tea party? guest: you have people over there speaking out against this gentleman who supported the anti policy. i cannot explain host: pennsylvania, ronnie, a democratic caller, good morning. caller: good morning. first of all, i would like to thank you for your service and the things you have done. my question is this. your grass roots organization tea party -- who pulls your strings? guest: the constituents of congressional district 22 pull my strings thank you and no one else. . host: bruce on the line for independents. caller: good morning. good morning. guest: good morning.
caller: thank you for your service. i myself am a wounded veteran out of iraq and have two questions. i'm finding that in terms of better and employment, there are multiple redundant programs. your thoughts on that. in terms of medicare, do you have any thoughts on the process of integrating d.o.d. care for v.a. care? guest: yesterday in the small business committee, we were talking about redundancies and assisting people in small businesses. i have a small business advisor board, a committee in our district. we get more of these veterans and more of these wounded
veterans and help them. the skills that you bring and the innovation that you bring is so important. we have a company called cross match, a biometric company which was very instrumental in the biometric testing that help us identify osama bin laden. one of the things i saw, we need to get more veterans into organizations like that. as well, we need to look at how we can do better as far as taking care of the men and women that return, especially our wounded veterans. we see an incredible, due to the fact that we have such great medical innovation -- we are seeing -- we need to make sure we continue to care for those veterans. host: should the debt ceiling be raised? guest: the debt ceiling cannot be raised unless we put in place spending control measures. the things i brought forth -- if not now, when should we have the
opportunity to bring together a balanced budget amendment? no one can run their household, company, or business the way we run the federal government. we have to cap government spending. right now, federal government spending is 25% of gdp and is looking to go higher. historical average is 18% to 20% and i think we should cap it at 20% pre long-term sustainable economic growth in this country -- cut the corporate tax rate, which is second highest in the world. i would like to see it go down and get rid of subsidies. get rid of loopholes. the last thing is we need a trigger control mechanism so when you reach a certain percentage point of reaching the debt ceiling, there are automatic spending cuts. talk about raising the debt limit. it becomes a recommendation or suggestion.
host: what will happen if you do not get these requirements? guest: i cannot support it. host: does that make you nervous? guest: it does not make me nervous. last week, mr. miller had an interesting article in "the wall street journal" where the people in the markets and the financial sector are willing to understand the near term pain if we have a long-term, viable solution. host: king george, virginia. democratic caller, good morning. caller: my husband is a retired naval officer. guest: thank you for this service. caller: i thank you. we know about sacrifice. the 1968 borders have been the starting point in negotiations since the 1990's. that starting point is nothing new. either you are ignorant of that fact or intellectually dishonest. in addition, it's disgraceful for a military officer and
congressperson not to criticize a leader who comes on u.s. soil and talks to and about our president the way that netanyahu did. whichever side of the aisle you are on, you should know that. using the term "nefarious" when talking about our president is disrespectful, sir. guest: i do not think it is disrespectful. i think it is a very careful assessment. why didn't the president share the fact that he was going to say that with the prime minister? why did he not show him that respect? we're talking about our most valued and trusted ally. let us understand something very simple. every time israel has traded land, they have gotten more rockets, more mortars, more attacks. you want to look at what happened with the fogel family just recently -- that is what i do not want to see happen in the state of israel. no president has ever talked about going to the 1967 border. that may be a starting point,
but no president has ever said we need to revert back to that point. this is why we see this country nearly cut in half. the people who say right now but they continue to support terrorist activities. until we negotiate from a position of power and strength, i do not think we should be supporting the peace process until we have a willful peace partner. i understand that maybe you are upset, but the thing i will always do is criticize policy. once again, why do we allow a person such as president ahmadinejad come to our country when we know that this president is doing the things that are necessary -- that are promoting the death of our soldiers? i would like to see you be just as upset with ahmadinejad as you seem to be about netanyahu. host: congressman west since on the armed services committee and the small business community. thank you for being with us.
coming up next, we will talk to andy barr from "politco" about 2012 politics. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> here are some of the headlines. two fresh numbers just out are highlighting weaknesses in the economy. the commerce department says the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter, as gas prices surged and consumer spending slowed. the labor department reports the number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 124,000 -- 424,000. that's the first increase in three weeks. real track says sales of palms -- realtytrack says they are lower than in the first quarter last year. it says such sales still accounted for 28% of all home sales. and that the number should be below 5%. it president obama says the u.s.
and russia are committed to resolving differences over america's plans to build a missile defense shield in central and eastern europe. russian president medvedev has warned that failure to cooperate with moscow could start a new arms race. the two world leaders met on the sidelines at the g-8 summit in france today. the commander of nasa's next to last space shuttle flight says he will finally get a chance to see his congresswoman wife from harvard. capt. kelly says it is planned. although they speak daily by phone. the representative is continuing to recover in houston from a gunshot wound to the head suffered in january. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> c-span's local content of vehicles kick off the city's
ampa.in temp also, american history events on c-span3 from the st. petersburg museum of history, the benoist plain ended in history of angola. the lcv cities tour kicks off this weekend. watch it on c-span2 and c-span3. >> this june on in depth -- and the difficulties of the climate change treaty and the limits of international law. your questions for author and university of chicago law professor eric posner. he will take your calls, e- mails, and tweets.
>> "washington journal" continues. >host: andy barr joins us from arlington, good morning virginia this morning. . guest: good morning. host: let's talk politics in 2012. vice-president joe biden -- what did he do and what did the yield? guest: this is one of many events the vice president and the president are rolling out. the dnc and the obama campaign already have people out and very active in these early stages. they want to have as much of an impression as they can. they get to have a pretty big megaphone right now because the republicans have been so quiet. host: andy barr, we started the program talking about medicare, the paul ryan budget plan, and
what effect that might have on 2012. what are you hearing people say about what implications it could have? guest: republicans are willing to do everything they can. we saw that from paul ryan yesterday. they have a lot of time to try to figure out how best to sell this. democrats will continue to hammer away on the very same message that they have. we will hear more from paul ryan and more from republicans on this. it really matters how this thing progresses. you stststststt kn how this will happen. for right now, the issue is toxic. republicans are trying to improve how they argued. i think they have some time to do that. host: we have not gotten to talk much this morning about president obama's speech yesterday in the u.k. he addressed parliament. that is very rare to do. one of the the very few world leaders who has been allowed to do that. ponderous say this could be a preview of the campaign speech, in a way -- pundits say this
could be a preview of the campaign speech, in a way. what did you glean from the speech yesterday and you see this as a possible campaign speech? guest: anytime you go abroad or you are on the campaign trail, you are preaching optimism. i do not see this as a kickoff to anything. at the same time, it does come at least, foreshadow some of the message that he will bring abroad and some of the things we will hear from him on the campaign trail in terms of setting expectations for where we are in the world. you hear so much about our standing, whether it be education or whatever. he's trying to build a more optimistic view. that is something we will be hearing a lot from. host: andy barr is our guest from "politco." you can join the conversation.
speculation about sarah palin, former governor of alaska. "the new york times" and others are talking about some moves she is making that show a run is not out of the question. what are you watching, andy barr? guest: we are, too. i have talked to a lot of her folks and they are looking at this. they're very much aware of what is going on with this race. they do not know if they're going to pull the trigger or not. "the new york times" talked to people in iowa who do not really know what is happening there. we were able to get to her folks, who were very direct sign saying -- direct in saying that they are looking at filing deadlines. they're very aware of what they need to do to pull the trigger. that said, they have not stepped up yet. they have not done some of the nuts and bolts things that they would need to. her staff is confident and a lot
of people around her are confident that they can raise enough money. host: sarah palin's family is purchasing a home in scottsdale , arizona. associates say it can serve as a base for a presidential campaign -- reports "the new york times ." how much to read into getting a home in arizona? guest: she made at least $20 million in the year after she was governor. she has been making more since then. i do not think a $1.2 million house in scott still is that significant. she has a lot of options of where she wants to live and what she wants to do. they have indicated to me that this is at least a major airports hub -- major airports hub. i would be surprised to see her do that from scottsdale,
arizona. does that mean there's a big focus on nevada? we know she would play bic in south carolina. it does not seem to make a lot of sense. host: let's go to john in minnesota on the line for democrats. caller: thank you. now that the paul ryan proposal has met some obstacles, do you think there's a possibility we might start to see a movement toward the president's task force on balancing the budget? i will take your answer off the air. thank you very much. guest: i have not seen much compromise. we have the senate voting on the budget yesterday. it's not clear that anyone really wants to take up the ryan budget. democrats are prickly happy to
see republicans stew over this thing in the house. host: since we had a minnesota caller, let's talk about them pleim pawlenty. guest: he has been running a very traditional campaign. he has been out everywhere. he is pretty well positioned right now. he is kind of everyone's second choice in a field that no one is really very excited about anyone. we see newt gingrich and met romney, obviously, has the fatal flaw with health care. he needs to get some people excited about him and he has plenty of time to do that, if he wants to. host: columbia, tennessee. will on the line for independents. caller: good morning to you. i appreciate what c-span is doing for the american citizens. it's giving us transparency to all three branches of our government. i appreciate some of the guests.
alas gentlemen you had was really a wonderful guest. for the young man here, i would like to make two statements and then ask a question. my for statement has to do with the democrat party. president obama -- you remember, four years ago, he promised accountability and transparency. all three of those reforms that have been legislated -- of course, you recall, the immigration, along with health reform and then the financial reforms. all three of those -- we have somehow lost to the effect of what he promised. in the republican party, you have, of course, their demise of the whole problem of trying to get something done in the reform category. nothing at all. here we've got an election coming up in 2012 and here is
the question. we are supposed to come as american citizens, -- we are supposed to, as american citizens, be confident in all the leaders that come before us in an election. they have not shown the american people any accountability, any promises of integrity on their part, and yet, we are saying to go to the polls and vote and do something to make america once more what it was. host: let's get a response from our guest. guest: in terms of integrity of public officials, of course there are examples of guys who get into trouble. of course, we've seen bad things. there are a lot of people who work in a city and try to do things the right way. this is really up to us and the president and the people who are
voting to judge and gave to their liking and who they vote for. host: a recent story from "politco" -- "john edwards rolls the dice." host: we are talking about whether or not john edwards will be indicted on felony campaign finance charges. two sources confirmed with "politco" that the attorney in raleigh has signaled he is on the brink of an indictment. andy barr, how significant is this politically? the last caller was talking about integrity in politicians. do you see this john edwards issue making any flashes politically? guest: no. unless he is running for anything, this is not a political story.
whether we should have more closer regulation over finance stuff. he does not have a political life anymore. there's nobody in this situation will have a political career after this breed is not much of a political story. olivia, democrat caller. caller: thank you. i have a question. with the paul ryan budget plan, yesterday he said it was demagoguing -- that democrats have really targeted his plan and they have been unfair to him. when obama put forth the health care reform plan, all you salt from the republican side was calling it obama-- all you saw from the republican side was calling it obamacare. when it's coming from the other
way, it's called demagoguing. what makes it ok one way and when it is thrown back the other way, what makes it ok then? guest: i'm not really sure where you are going with that. issues get pushed in whatever way parties see to their benefit. ryan is upset because democrats picked out one particular thing. that is how this stuff works. republicans would have done the same thing to a democratic proposal. they need to develop a better defense for this and they need to develop a way to pitch some of the things they will -- some of the things that will do well for them. they need to come up with a better strategy. host: our guest, andy barr, "politco" national political reporter. your colleagues have a story today, "new york race marks
national tremors." what is the talk about the political implications? guest: you hear a lot about how conservative this district was and the rest of it. we have seen the special elections do not really matter that much. obviously, this race has special issues because of the crazy scandal that resulted in a special election around. i do not think you can take a lot of lessons. democrats will point to this a lot. there's just not a whole lot to hang your hat on. host: the previous representative, christopher lee, who had posted photographs of himself on line -- himself online soliciting dates. how much do you think integrity plays into this? guest: for most people, i'm sure
that's the only thing they knew about this race. it's probably the only thing that got their attention. i have full confidence that this is something that people had in terms of making their decisions. host: let's go to michigan. kathy on the line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. host: hi. caller: i have a question. why is everyone hammering just the medicare part of the republicans' budget. the entire budget is horrible for the middle class. host: what don't you like about it? caller: they're taking away pell grants. they're taking children off medicaid. they're stopping headstart. they are cutting everything that the middle class and lower class needs, but they're not doing
anything for revenue. why aren't people hammering that? host: do you think that will have an impact in the elections next year? caller: for me, it will. medicare does need to be reformed. i do not care if the democrats or republicans do it. they need to do it smartly. i do not think that is the way he is doing it. the rest of the budget should be brought into question as well. host: let's get a response from andy barr. guest: in terms of where his budget is going or where the cuts are, we are not quite sure where the cuts will end up. it is right for people to be concerned about these things. this is a republican proposal. ryan is not saying this is the last thing they will put forward. he is saying this is a starting step. they knew this would not get
through. it is really putting a marker down. you really need to watch the whole process. i do not think there's a lot of doubt that there will be to be changes made to medicare, unless we have serious changes on how we collect revenue in this country. for now, you just have to watch the debate all the way through before making a firm decision on how this will end. host: as national political reporter, what do you watch when members of congress go home to their home districts, hold a town hall meetings, and talk to people? what are you looking for as far as mood and reaction? there was a bit of a blow back to the ryan plan the last time. guest: you look for the gut reaction from people. the actual arguments in what they bring up sometimes matter, but a lot of times, the issue does not really drives them so much. when you see people so angry and frustrated like they did in town
hall meetings and you go back a few summers ago, it was directed at democrats. the health-care debate. host: savannah, georgia. henry on the line for democrats, good morning. caller: thank you very much. i've been trying to get through for years. i'm glad i did. anyway, i wanted to make a comment on the previous guest you had that said that the problem we have is a spending problem instead of a revenue problem. i disagree with that because when we outsource all these plants overseas -- i am 81 years old, so i have been on both sides of the fence in terms of working under a non-union or a union plant. i have retired from two plants. we do have a revenue problem
because we have cut out the middle class income to the point that we do not have the income coming in anymore. that's the biggest thing i'm not concerned with. we seem to be pushing to a point where the problem is the spending end of everything. we're not addressing the real issue, the loss of manufacturing here. guest: i guess i would say that something they are trying to address. you hear them talking about competitive this all the time. you hear the administration talking about green jobs and clean energy jobs. the way things work, in terms of competition with china, mexico, and other places -- it is just hard to keep those manufacturing jobs here. that's why there's such a push for new and innovative technology, but they've yet to find a good solution to bring
back those jobs. host: let's take a listen to, as recorded backstage of former president bill clinton talking with chairman ryan about the medicare budget plan. >> i hope the democrats do not use it as an excuse to do nothing. >> is going to sink into paralysis is what is going to happen. you know the mouth. we knew we were going to put ourselves out there, but you have to get yourself out there and get this thing moving. i'll give you a call. >> great. host: andy barr, what are the political implications of that conversation recorded backstage? guest: the implications are that clinton was big ideas, a big policy debates. that ryan is pretty firm in his debates. what we see there is just a minor version of what we've seen all over the country.
there really aren't any easy solutions. we will hear a lot from both sides on this. until they really come up with a bigger plan and a bigger way to solve this, we will continue to have this conversation. host: a story from yahoo! news. rick perry is rethinking his pledge to not run for president he has said reportedly will not run, but there are signs he may not stick to that pledge. host: possibility, andy barr? guest: the top strategist that thanks rick perry might get into the race is working for newt gingrich. i do not believe in a way that rick perry is getting into this race.
it will leave himself open to these things. rick perry was a stage and loves the limelight. if he wanted to get in this, there was an opening a long time ago. there might still be an opening now. as long as dave carney is no longer working for newt gingrich, i would very much doubt that he's running for president. host: give us the big picture view of the republican field. what are you hearing about republicans' reaction so far and what are people looking for and waiting for? guest: there's an overall dissatisfaction. even among all those names we were talking about, i do not know if any of them would have solved that. the republicans have this great bench of all these newly elected senator and other guys, but nobody is there yet. it seems like they're waiting for the next generation. people like to talk about rubio
and mcdonnell, but that's not the roster right now. they will coalesce behind someone they like or at least like enough. for right now, they're very much searching and i think they're disappointed by the size of the field. they're looking for eight to attend candidates -- eight to ten candidates. right now, it is 3. host: was the time line? hearing michele bachmann in june. sarah palin will wait until july. we keep hearing christie. if the field remains as it is, you could see someone getting in later this summer, but it is like building a business or anything else. it takes time to hire people. get people on the ground. start a payroll and all the other stuff. they have to start getting some of this stuff done. tot: let's take a listen
michele bachmann, congresswoman of minnesota. >> thank you for standing with me today and working with me to make barack obama a one-term president. your support means so very much, especially now. i know money is tight. it enables us, together, to reach millions of americans. you are busy spreading the truth about the negative aspects of obamacare, the debt ceiling, balancing the budget, israel, and so when portend, creating jobs in this country again. we have to make things in america. together, i know we can make a difference. your contribution is critical to this effort. i want to thank you for your unwavering support and by reaching out today because i need your help right away to spread the truth of barack obama and all of the failure of his policies these last two years. we need to connect now with
millions of fellow americans. with your support, we will work to appeal obamacare. i promise you, we will stop the raising of the debt ceiling, and defend our friend, israel. host: minnesota representative michele bachmann in a video message to supporters yesterday. that is from her website. andy barr, that certainly sounds like a political speech. she is talking about keeping president obama as a one-term president. guest: she is always doing politics. at the same time, she's raising money for her congressional reelection. she is constantly in the mode of raising money and working politics. in terms of the rhetoric we hear from her there, is no difference than the rhetoric we would have heard from her one year ago, whether it be a -- no matter the
function, she has one message and has been very effective in terms of building an organization and making money. whether she can transition that nationally, we do not know yet. on her own stage, she raised a crazy amount of money for what her race was, which was a totally uncompetitive reelection campaign. she is in pretty decent shape, if she wants to do it. host: richardson, texas. sherri on the line for republicans. caller: good morning to you. i want to comment that barack obama will be running against year, ok. record next it is dismal. i will not be able to vote in the election next year because, basically, i will not be alive. i have terminal cancer. i can tell you that he's not going to win another election. he will not. his record is horrible. the american people have enough
common sense left still that they are not going to put him back in office. it really does not matter who the republican candidate is. he is going to get elected. that's all there is to that. i wish i was able to live to both, but i will not -- live to vote, but i will not. i wish this country luck. god bless it. host: we're so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. we wish you lots of luck. maybe things will work out for you. andy barr, what do you think about this idea of the president of running on his record and republicans may be able to put somebody in and let the president's record make a decision. guest: i'm so sorry. it's terrible to hear that. you're absolutely right. it will be much harder for him to do that then running in the first election.
that said, a lot of the republicans he is running against also have records. a lot of them do not have great things in the past. i do not think there will be negatives for those republicans because it is not as fresh in people's minds. you are right. he has things that people not like about him. they are out there and they are known. host: let's look at a story in "the new york times" today.
host: what was your reaction to that? guest: they are trying to do what every other group is doing now. it's not enough to do this. you have to raise money. you have to be active. unfortunately, you have to campaign negatively a lot of times and make it clear that you are not somebody will be ignored. if they want to be really involved, they can have a big impact. this is kind of a new era where a lot of outside groups have gotten involved and have a very big impact on small raises, the races, and national races. they want a part of that action. host: charles, we were just talking about one of your senators, mech. guest: -- caller: yes, i was a supporter. i think she's in good company
right now in making some good moves. i have two comments, basically. i want to get your reaction. first, sarah palin. if we look at the history of our country, named the last time a vice president on a losing ticket was nominated by its parties as its next presidential candidate. i think you have to go back a long ways. i cannot even imagine that happening in our history. secondly, i do not care if they cut budgets, if they cut health care, if they raise the debt ceiling. it does not matter. our problem right now is jobs in this country. 14 million people are unemployed. they can cut everything and anything they want and until we figure out a way to put people back to work, get a job, that is, in a project that saves are disasters, in a project that develops manufacturing -- i do
have an idea. anyhow, it's not going to end our situation we will be back here in two years from now. thank you very much. yourld like to hear, tha comment on that. guest: you are right that it goes a long way. there's nothing in her career that's conventional. i do not usually judge her by conventional standards. the long-term impact of this, you are right. no matter what they do this year, in terms of what we cut to social programs, however much we raise taxes -- these are long- term issues. we will be talking about the same thing next year and a year after that. we're just not totally sure how we will do that. it will be a debate that we are having in this country and that we will be having all around the world. everyone is facing situations like that. in missouri, i'm sure they have a similar situation. a lot of states are facing this
kind of problems. this is something we will have to get used to. you are right that this is a debate we will keep coming back to. caller: yes, i want to address the issue you're talking about now, but i also wanted to speak to the ryan budget planted one of the things that was talked about was that they were going to limit -- budget plan. one of the things he were talking about words they were going to eliminatlimit the judg. i do not think -- that was one of the things that kind of shot him in the foot on that. in regards to the republican field, it is in disarray. single candidate that comes forward that is not untainted, without exception of mitt romney. he has been a successful
businessman. the united states used to be the biggest and most successful business in japan world. -- business in the world. i think it needs someone in business, with emerging economies and all that stuff. the trade issues with china has to be addressed. it has to be addressed in a way that is fair both in creating jobs in china and in america. the chinese -- you remember donald trump talking about 25% tax on all chinese imports. that just means we would pay 25% more tax on t-shirts that were made in china. i would like to get your input on these issues. guest: in terms of the ryan budget, there are only two ways he could reduce the amount of money we spend on benefits, especially social security. if you cut benefits or raise
the age people started receiving them. he had to go one way. you could say he went both in a lot of ways when you look at medicare. that's the only way to do it. in terms of the jobs, the china thing is something that everybody is trying to address. donald trump has gotten a lot of attention for that. he got credit for getting attention for that when really he just derived so much attention from the birther stuff. this is some of the appeal that mitt romney has. the fact that he has been very successful, i think. if the debate formed in such a way that it is trying to find the republicans' best chief executive to take on barack obama, you could see how romney would have a big advantage that way. host: the last caller mentioned donald trump. what, if anything, was learned
from his recent flirtation with the running for president? guest: people love a freak show. that's what we learned from donald trump. it's very powerful to be all things everywhere and say controversial things. it is a controversial -- it is a short-term strategy, but you can generate a lot of attention. host: is a sustainable for him? do you see a moment in our culture where it could take them all the way to the white house? guest: not in an 18-month campaign like this. there are times when you see someone like michelle bachmann or sarah palin get up there and do everything they can to attack the president. they also talked differently to different constituencies. they tried to improve their images. but donald trump was doing was really just throwing out -- crazy red meat as often as he
could. that's great for cable television. you saw him on msnbc all the time because liberals love to see this stuff totoo. host: one of our twitter followers wants to know from you where ron paul lines up in the gop primary polls. guest: i do not know why you would not poll ron paul. the time is now in a lot of ways for him. he has spent the last 30 years beating the drum on a lot of these issues. even he is surprised at how successful he has been at this. anyone who dismisses him as a stunt in 2008 does not get the idea. this is a statement campaign. he is very happy with where he is right now to his aspiration is not to be the leader of the free world.
his aspiration is to continue to push these issues and he has been very successful at that. we would never be talking about the fed, devalued currencies, and other things that are now a big part of the conversations without ron paul. host: "why are you ignoring herman cain?" guest: it is unfair for me to ignore herman cain and rick santorum. i would need to see them perform better in the polls. host: let's go to hartford, connecticut. democratic caller, good morning. caller: i have to the questions. i originated from pakistan. how much foreign policy would be a part of the 2012 campaign? if sarah palin or ms. bachmann
-- would that oppose mr. barack obama to get hillary clinton? guest: i will just addressed the second question. i do not think joe biden is going anywhere. he will remain on this ticket. i do not think hillary clinton wants the vp spot. i think she wants to move on to something else after this administration. she has said repeatedly that she will leave the office of secretary of state. i do not think joe biden is going anywhere. host: linda, a republican in alabama. hi. caller: good morning, c-span. i think i can clarify something for the democrats. they are not seeing clearly on the idea of raising revenue and not raising taxes. we will lower corporate taxes.
here is where the revenue comes from. we will allow corporations to hire more people. when those people go back to work, then they, of course, pay taxes. then the revenue increases. i guess that this kind of something you cannot count, but it is what will happen and that's why we need to do a that. we need to raise revenue. we need to lower corporate taxes, ease regulations, and make it easier for those who hire us to do so. that will bring in more money. we need to quit demonizing the wealthy and the people that are hiring us. guest: in terms of the corporate revenue thing, we have not seen that as much of a problem. the revenues have been really good. profits have been up across the
board. the problem is they're not using it because of fears about the economy or a double dip recession, or the fact that 10% of the country is unemployed, so the labor market is strongly in favor. they're not using it to increase salaries or hire more people. a lot of times, there are increased dividends. that's not really an issue, having enough revenue. the one thing i will agree with you on, we hear polarized debate on both sides where republicans are about just cutting and democrats are all about just raising revenue, and we have not seen irresponsible argument on either side that will take both -- we have not seen a responsible argument on either side. host: let's go to weatherford, texas on the line for independents. caller: i will have to disagree on one thing. scott brown got elected because
he was going to be the 44th vote to repeal obamacare. that was a referendum on obama. the 26 district fed this lady got elected in, they will run on that -- the 26th district that this lady got elected in, they will run on that. ron paul, there's no way he will get elected. a man who talks about legalizing heroin -- there's no way. herman cain will have to get the black vote. i am black myself. he is like a sellout. he is like a republican. he's not going to get the black vote and he will never win. the unemployment thing. that when jobs were relishing and unemployment was 5%, that was good. now you look at the jobs that have left the united states -- they are not coming back because companies are sending people to college for innovation. these people go to college, come back, and get rid of 80% of those jobs. the company is still making