tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 17, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT
interested in these greenfield high-speed rails if they become real. host: john, you get the last word. caller: i would love to take the train overflying. it is not practical. you have to go through chicago to get anywhere. is there any way to improve the routing? perhaps you could sell off how could it be made more profitable? and who maintains the stations, amtrak or the local cities? host: thank you, john. guest: let me answer that quickly. there have been millions and millions being spent trying to improve getting through chicago and improving the lines around chicago. it is not just an interest on the part of amtrak, it is interest on the part of the freight. the more fluid it is to do that
it is more fluid to get through chicago and improve the services when that happens. a lot of the freight railroads developed -- necessarily in the thought about inter-lining with competitors so it makes it difficult to figure out how to make it happen in today's modern world with real estate values and other things that have grown up around the railroad. the other part? host: what is your biggest concern as you move ahead, the biggest challenge you face? he was talking about chicago being difficult anywhere from florida where he lives. take it more broadly. guest: i think the biggest challenge from my standpoint is to continue to make progress, especially right now with the lack of -- for the sense of whether we will get support or not. we have plans. we are getting things done. we are making major decisions,
building new bridges, fixing old rail cars, buying new rail cars and a vision to move things at 220 miles an hour. one of the biggest problems on the northeast corridor that is not well understood -- and i am running out of time -- moving 1200 trains a day through penn station. every 120 seconds, during peak, we have a train coming out of one of the tunnels at the hudson river. the only way we can shut down the tunnel is on the weekend or evening to make repairs. we need a place to put all of the new jersey commuter trains that have grown up in the last 20 or 30 years on the corridor so that they are out of the way, so you have a pathway through in a rapid fashion. >> which governor chris christie rejected. guest: which he did -- and i did not want to get in the middle of the politics, but in the end we will have a better solution and
i think new jersey will understand and united states will understand, new york, and our customers on the northeast corridor. host: our conversation with joseph boardman, president and ceo of amtrak. across the street at union station in washington, d.c. thank you. a weekend of politics here on c- span. c-span2, an american history on c-span 3. if you can check it out on c- span.org. thank you for joining us. enjoy the rest of your day and have a great weekend. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> the 2011 republican leadership conference is under way in new orleans, today with president candidates michelle bachmann, ron paul, rick santorum and herman cain and other speakers include haley barbour of mississippi and louisiana's bobby jindal. saturday, a presidential candidate buddy roemer, texas gov. rick perry and marsha blackburn of tennessee and george p. bush and rnc chairman reince priebus. newt gingrich spoke last night and you can watch it now on c- span 3. for more information you can go to c-span.org and what many of the events we cover this weekend
also in our video library. >> c-span launched a new easy- to-navigate web site for politics and the presidential race. information on the candidates, twitter feeds and facebook updates and links to c-span media partners in their early primary caucus states. this and us that c-span.org /campaign2012. >> more about 2012 politics and the future of labor unions from this morning's "washington journal." president of the employees international union. the labor chief in this headline from "the washington times" called richard trumka critical of the obama administration's handling of its proposed free
trade deal with columbia. guest: we are all concerned by jobs in this country and all of the free trade agreements need to be handled with the concern of how we are protecting workers' rights in the u.s. is an important conversation to have as we try to figure of how to get 30 million people back to full-time jobs in this country. host: in one suggestion, congress and the white house to fully embrace free trade. guest: my question would be if the bush tax cuts was supposed to cate jobs, how is it we can make sure that does not
vaporize if we did trade agreements do not vaporize job commitments as well? host: what does this tell you about the state of labor in american politics and the level of support that you and other labor leaders give the president in his reelection? guest: the state of labor is about the struggle of what labor leaders want for our vision of america. we think our way of life is being threatened in this country if because we cannot be expected to own a house, retire with dignity, and have our children do better than we do. that's the debate we need in this country. it is what vision we want for america? host: as the president done enough? guest: we have made a set of steps in this country that provide the american auto industry. took it from a situation where it was going to be bailed out to now where we are producing jobs in this country and exporting more cars overseas than ever before.
that is a huge step forward to that has happened under this administration. those kinds of actions where there is a business and government and wrecking people's partnership needs to happen across our economy. it would be great of the fortune 500 c e o's if we're trying to imagine with our government how we get back to work. >> the economic recovery has been different from past recoveries in part because the middle class manufacturing jobs in cities like detroit, michigan, columbus, ohio, cleveland, ohio, buffalo, new york, those jobs have left. will they ever come back? >> 7000 new manufacturing jobs being created as ford's plan. i think it's completely possible. when you think about american innovation and we look at our history. after the great depression, we got people back to work. we put a man on the moon.
we provide the american car automotive industry. we are capable of great things. manufacturing, health care, transportation, every sector has jobs proposals. we need to put our minds and money to it. host: did between 1989 and how long have you been there? guest: 33 years. >> 78% to 80% of political donations going to democrats and 2% to republicans. $35 million altogether from 1989 to 2011. breakdown the numbers. guest: we are proud that 300,000 of our members give $5 per month out of their paychecks in order have a say in our democracy. and so, we think what we need to do is have strength at the
bargaining table with our employers. we also have to have strength in the political process to restore some equity in this country. because things are incredibly out of whack when wells fargo can post recd profits, get a tax refund, and lay off workers. something is out of balance. working people need a strong voice in our government to get things back into balance and to get back to where. host: is it safe to say the disparity between democrats and republicans. guest: 32% of our members are registered republicans. frankly, what are members care about our issues. we want jobs. we want a fair immigration policy. we want to retire with dignity and we need quality at affordable healthcare for all. the basic american values. so that working people can expect to raise a family and have our children doetter than we did. host: finish this sentence.
the state of the u.s. economy today is -- guest: worse than it's been in a generation. host: what does that tell you about democrats in the obama administration? guest: the democrats in the administration took an economy that was on the brink of disaster when wall street had collapsed three months before he took office. he destabilize the economy. we have to think about stopping the blame game between democrats and republicans and between the president and congress and we need solutions to get people back to work. host: part of that solution is happening now with the vice president sitting down with congressional members to fire out the budget. can both parties work out an agreement to raise the debt limit? and figure out setting priorities in spending cuts? guest: i hope so. what i am talking about, people
getting to the table, we need the private sector at the table. we need the federal government, state government, city government, and working people? speaking about how we can restore fairness to this economy. it is not simply about getting the economy going again. we have terrible inequities in this economy when 30% of the national income that has been denigrated is consequent -- concentrated in the top 1% of our economy. that is not staring the responsibility and prosperity for getting our economy going again. that terrible inequality has to get addressed. host: how do you gauge your support for the president and democrs in 2012? is a strong and solid, is it causes, is it cold? guest: we think we have to back its president in order to get america back to work. if we want to hold all elected officials accountable to making sure that working people get a fair shake. host: is that strong or lukewarm? guest: ihink that i will be
in conversation with our over 2 million members and volunteering to participate in the political process, because we think we have to demonstrate, to all elected officials that jobs needs to be the top priority for our nation. the head of the afl- cio wants to put a limit on campaign contributions. guest: it should not stay as a conversation about obama, the democrats, the republicans. this has to be a conversation on how car into our country shares responsibility for creating jobs. i think that we should be trying to imagine more ways like ford has done to create 70,000 jobs. as part of the health-care union inside seiu, i need to be
a conversation with afl-cio on isn't there a way for the private sector to create jobs and what do we need government to do to incentivize doing it on a scale? our broadband system needs to be furbished. we want to bid to compete globally. ceo's whathe top 200 they think we should be investing in and then do private public dollar matches and get this country going again. we are capable of the unimaginable in the u.s. that is what is so great about our country. in this moment we have lost that spirit. host: the relationship between organized labor and management has been often one of butting heads. we have not seen many strikes in recent years. is that a result of the state of the u.s. economy or better relations between labor and management? 0 guest: its one part of our history. inside seiu, much more the
majority of our industry is labor-management partnerships. that helps us cut costs and improve quality and we can make sure people are care for in the safest way possible? in hospitals and nursing homes. i think what we need to do is create more labor-management partnerships. uaw has it whips ford. the teamsters have it with ups. those types of partnerships are really important for getting america back to work. >> mary kay henry is the president of the service employees international union. phone lines are open. the numbers to call us: 202-624- 1115 for republicans, 624-1111 for democrats; 624-0760 for independents. and the consensus an e-mail o -- and you can send us an e-mail or a tweet.
bob is on the republican line. caller: i travel a lot. i have seen some union members beat up a black fellow at a rally for the tea party. i've seen what is going on in wisconsi you people are really despicable. is this how unions are suppose to act? i have been in the union's 40 years. seeing you people do this is despicable. there's a proper way to protest. host: where has that taken place? caller: where ever i go. hotels or anywhere. i go to pennsylvania, ohio, and west virginia. people see this. you are caught in the backlash -- you are causing a backlash, or destruction in this country. right now the people being laid
off are people that had seniority. it's getting down to them. they're getting angry. guest: i think you are correct to be and frustrated about the terrible economic times in this country. i don't think that our union has participated in any protesting that has not been peaceful and nonviolent. and i agree that what we need to be doing is focusing a conversati onow do we make sure that when people go to work for a living that they can raise a family, own a house, and retire with dignity. we need to restore our sense as a country that people can get rewarded for the work they do. host: how you respond to the sentiment that unions have driven entire industries offshore and ruin the entire economy is -- guest: i completely reject that view of unions. i think that is a picture that has been painted on us. i think we have a responsibility for making it crystal clear that
what we do in this economy is raise wages. and that we're facing the greatest income inequality in our generation at this moment in time, and we need order to be able to have a voice at the bargaining table? in order to get a fair shake. host: service employees international union has how many members? guest: to appoint two members -- 2.2 million members. they are about $11 an hour on average. many of them don't have benefits. some earn between $50,000.70000 dollars per year. the dues range from $20 per month up to $100 per month host host: you are on the line. caller: the man that just
called, he knows nothing about what is going on about people really getting laid off. i got laid off. i worked for a holy cross' children services eight years. i was not in a laptop tier. i was a crook. -- i was not in the top tier. we needed a union because that would have helped us keep our jobs. i am all for the union. we need to talk to the little pele and nothe high class ones. i am for the union. i hope to keep the unions. we need to get rid of democrats, republicans in the house of representativesecause they are talking about less government. that is a government we do not need. thank you. guest: thanks for your comments. i think your experience with being laid off is something that
we need to address as a country, because it is not right that it has happened to you at toll across while horizon is making $24 billion in profits, not paying any taxes and laying off 20% of its workforce -- vezon. guest: now, john from michigan. good morning on the democrat line. caller: it boggles my mind to he republican callers saying that unions are bad andhat the union guys areausing a problem. it is clearly not the rich, andrful eo's and-- ceo's bankers refusing to put the country back to work. re are in three wars and thei
are no taxes to pay for the course. you are askinghe rich to pay a few more dollars in taxes to support the war and bring the country back to work. the only answer the republicans can give us is no. that is ridiculous. anyone who thinks that it's ok, you must be out of your mind. another problem we are having with obama, his first two years when he had control of the house and congress, he should put his policies in place then. now he is fighting and begging republicans now and it's a mistake. he should've done by george bush did when he came in office. george bush, i give him credit on that. he did what he thought was right and the backlash later. host: thanks for the call, john.
james says, does the brother know the reason the unions or from the beginning? guest: i think the michigan brothers spoke to the inequality that we are talking about, in the upside-down conveation we are having in this country. i agree that if we need to look historically it to unions formed in a time that was not unlike the moment we are currently experiencing the in our economy, where millions of people are out of work and cannot find jobs. 5 million people have lost their homes to foreclosure and the greatest income inequality that we have seen since the great depression. we don't have a problem of not enough money in our country. we just have a problem with how the money is being invested. that is the question i tnk w need to call on ourselves. host: $0.4 llion in dues.
gary says -- guest: we do not control all of our pension funds, because a lot of our members are in public pension funds. what we tried to do is work with public pension fund investments to make sure that they are concentrating on infrastructure investments to get people back to work. dues money is used to represent the people we currently bargain wickes, members crently in collective bargaining, and to outreach to more non-union works so they can have a voice on the job. host: you have been on the job with seiu since 1989. tampa been strikes since then? guest: yes, two% of all the collective bargaining that has occurred in the last 30 yrs has resulted in strikes. host: what are the lessons? guest: the ones i have been directly involved with, what are member leaders would say is it
was a way for them to advocate for their paychecks. we made major breakthroughs in making sure there were enough stamps on hospitals. -- advocates for their patients. people don't like striking because they don't like the destruction in their family or in the service. so i think there are some ways in which strikes have resulted in labor-management partnerships are now ways in which people can really participate in reducing employer cost. host: a lot of people weighing in on our twitter page. guest: i think in this moment, steve, warfare has been declared on working people. the unions are not declaring this war. there is a set of corporations in the u.s. that has made a decision not to reinvest their
profits and are making record profits and cutting down on jobs. that is a set of decisions that we think we need to challenge. host: our guest is the president of the service employees international union. it linked to their web se is available to our web site at c- span.org. what is the mission statement of your union? guest: that we are committed to improving the lives of working people and ensuring a just and humane society. host: brine is joining us from michigan. republican line with mary kay henry. go ahead. caller: thank you. i am a republican, but i do support you. i have been union and non-union. now i own my own business. i would like to see the free trade and nafta agreements being brought out into the open.
i've never understood why they are not. i'm old enough to realize where we are headed as a country is actually back to 1960 and wage levels. i think corporations would love that. but i would also like to speak about the influence of television and media and the advertising dollar, whether it is the big three or the other corporations, the influence of that dollar is the word that gets out. i would appreciate if you would think more along those lines. america needs you to wake up. unless you want to start making $2.50 and think you can get by, this is the way ware headed. i support you and i wish you luck. guest: thank you. you have made a point, that real wages in t u.s. economy have
not risen since 1974. that's because of rising health- care costs and because of rising cost of living and because workers having a say through collective bargaining has been decreasing. those o things, we think, do make me believe that the collar's idea that we could be headed to $2.50 per hour jobs is not far off, because the wages are getting more and more depressed in the u.s. economy and we have to think about how to create good jobs that people can support their families on, so that we can begin to consume host: again that the subject of this e-mail. tony says -- how do you respond to that sentiment? guest: about the founding fathers in this country, i think about them. i believe the country was founded on the notion of freedom
and equality for all. and so, i think that both things are possible at the same time. host: and on the other side -- guest: i pitted its unions, government, employers, and working people working together to make sure we can steer the prosperity being generated -- i think it is unions. host: and we have a caller. caller: i want to ask a question. who is the biggest donor of seiu? guest: we have 300,000 individual members that donates $5 to $7 per month out of their
paycheck. it is a collection of individuals working people that unite together to have a strong voice in our government. host: do you have outside donors or contributors? guest: we do not. host: san antonio, texas, democrat line, gigi. caller: good morning. i have worked on both sides of the street, for union and non- union. i am 68 years old. when unions, into a place of business they slowly but surely choke the business out of business. you charge $25 a month for d ues and anything else you can get. it is not fair to the american people. all you do is take and not give. as soon as you get in, you promise and you promise. there's nothing that you do
except for take the business and choke it until it has to close itdoors. that is thway i see it. we have a president that is all show and no substance. host: as a democrat, will you support president obama for reelection? caller: absolutely not. host: will you vote for the republican nominee regardless? caller: i have no idea who is running. we have about 18 that have thrown their hats into the ring. it is too early to know what is going on until we, the american people, can see and hear what the republicans after sec. host: who did you vote for in 2008? caller: i did not vote for barack obama guest: i complety respect that you have an experience that is different from thousands of people that i
know where unions have been a part of helping businesses expand. there have been many health-care employers that we have worked with or securities firms we have worked with where we have been able to expand the business. i am sorry that you had that experience. but what i know about this country is that behalf to figure out how employers that are generating record profits and individual ceo's that are taking home record bonuses have some responsibility for dealing with the terrible economic inequality in this country. and so, that is what i think all working people should be joining hands together to think about how to make happen with our government and with corporate america. host: two questions from brian -- guest: we are against right to
rk because it weakens the workin people's voices on the collective bargaining table and in the political process to our democracy. every working person has a choice whether or not to join a union when it is formed in the workplace. so, yes, i agree people should have a choice of whether or not to join. host: are they required to be a member after it is formed? guest: it strengthenshe collective bargaining agreement and to reap the benefits made by the original union members. yes, everybody is required to participate. host: outside new york city, republican line. caller: how are you? good morning, america. steve, iear that you will be at president roosevelt's house at a book reading festival. host: i will not, but c-span will b there, hyde park, live
on c-span 2 and you can check it booktv.org.k caller: state employees in new york, 9000 of them, about to lose their jobs. we had $17 million in stimulu package to save president roosevelt's house. you guys at c-span 2 can find that story on the internet and there are multiple story lines to follow. as to the wage is going down, a guy got a job at roosevelt taus and his pay was $79 per hour or. while your clue is there tomorrow, maybe they would walk the grounds and take a look a do some videotaping and show the
rest of america the chinese money that we got. -- while your crew is there. host: we will be live at hyde park in new york. this year we will be live although it has been taped in the past. the schedule is on line. now, harold from houston, texas. caller: good morning. i have a question for the lady that is with you. it seems like in may of this year, a celebration in california, i believe it was los angeles, the communist party came out and have the support of this union. i would like to know her comments on that because she is about in the same thing, the distribution of wealth and redistribution and that sort of thing. i want to hear what she has to say on their support of the
communist party. guest: we have 250,000 hard working members in the city of los angeles. i have not heard that story from them. what we are really committed to doing in the city of los angeles is making sure that the most devastated communities in south central where the unemployment rate is 50% and when about half of the residents of l.a. don't have access to health care, those are the kinds of issues that are members in l.a. are struggling to try to address. host: and a statement from our twitter page -- guest: hmm. host: no response. now to market in new york. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i had 15 years in the local
seiu. i've got notices i may have lost that pension in the bernard madoff scandal. i was wondering if the status of that retirement pension and were any of the hedge fund managers fired for a lack of due diligence on that? guest: i don't know the specific information. if you want to contact us on our web site at seiu.org i would be happy to make sure you get an answer. host: there's a comment from susan about the federal reserve. guest: i just think those questions do not address the fundamental problem that we have with wage increases in this country. i think we have a situation where more and more corporations are making a decision to rce wage cuts when they are making record profits.
what we are trying to have a conversation about is employers that make decisions to take advante of workers economic insecurity in these times and trying to force wage cuts or layoffs when they are making record profits and ceo's are taking home record bonuses. i know of three cases inside our own union where that has happened in the last six months. that is the kind of conversation we think we are responsible for paying attention. not the policies of the federal reserve, which matter for everyone, but as the labor union president, i am not an expert on that. what i am an expert on its collective bargaining and how that can be used to raise wages. host: when the employer is the stator local government, we continue to hear what's happening in ohio and wisconsin and other states, huge budget shortfalls in california. when states are dealing with that and you have union members working for seiu other states
that are losing money or don't ve enough money to pay wages, what are the solutions? guest: we would loveor mni bank in wisconsin who has not paid a dime in taxes to pay some taxes in wisconsin and helped get wisconsin back to work. we would like the ceo of the bank to consider not taken a 12 million-dollar bonus at a time when the bank has not repaid its tarp money. over you like the bank to consider not selling to a canadi owner. there's lots of different choices that are made by corporations that are not paying taxes to either the state government or the federal vernment where we can help restore some balance to both state and federal government and incredibly vital services that working people, elders, and the most honorable in our society need. if i think this country wants to be about the common good. i think it has to be about restoring some sense of
fairness across the economic spectrum. host: as you look ahead in the political landscape in 2012, the democrats trying to regain control, senate facing 23 democratic incumbes or those seats up for election which could give the republicans control of the senate, and the president's own reelection effort, what do you see? guest: what happens in the political process is one part of a comprehensive solution. need to make sure argument response to woing people to get them back to work. we need to make sure the private sector gets to the table and helps reinvest in our country. we need to make sure working people have the right to a voice at work and in our democracy.. host: >> in about two hours on c-span, we will be live from new orleans
where the 2011 republican leadership conference is under way. today candidates michelle bachmann, ron paul, rick santorum and herman cain will speak, in addition to mississippi gov. haley barbour and bobby jindal of louisiana. more on saturday with presidential candidates -- and also possible candidate texas gov. rick perry. other speakers include marsha blackburn of tennessee and rnc chairman reince priebus. you can keep track -- track of the schedule at c-span.org. and video you missed at our video library. >> the times that have ordered the world when i was growing up -- >> a producer and director looks at the changing newspaper industry and take an inside look at "the new york times" through the eyes of the staff. >> i came at it without a grand
sense of what the solutions are for traditional media. i came in with a desire really just to observe. >> he will talk about his new documentary sunday night on c- span's "q&a." blackberry users, you can access our programming any time with the c-span radio app, with audio streams, public affairs, nonfiction books and american history commercial 3 deede commercial free. and listen to our interview programs. available round-the-clock where you are. download it free. >> next, a discussion on the super pac freedomworks and the 2012 election cycle. talk about the republicans in campaign 2012. matt kibbe is the president and ceo of freedomworks guest: it is a national grass-roots organization that organizes about the principles of lower
taxes, less government, and more freedom. we have been very involved with the tea party movement. the republican leadership conference is getting under way in new orleans. we will hear from a number of republicans over the next few days off on the c-span networks. we will not hear from the tim pawlenty or mitt romney or jon huntsman because of an illness. his wife mary kay will speak on his behalf. mitt romney is not speaking. guest: i think every campaign decides where they want to spend their time. mitt romney has decided to back off in iowa as well. that is a strategic decision on his part. typically the perceived frontrunner avoids those kind of platforms where candidates might raise their own profile and cause trouble for him down the road. host: this second debate that took place this past monday at the college in manchester, new hampshire, with the race taking
shape, michelle bachmann is in the race and there is speculation that texas governor rick perry will be getting into the race. guest: i don't think the field is set yet. i think there will be other participants coming in. given the growing decentralization of politics even at the presidential level, i think it is quite possible for someone to get in the summer or fall this year and it is competitive, because the old incumbency standards of the most money and the most and name ideas are less relevant than eight years ago. host: who could get into the race? guest: i think rick perry might get into the race or the governor from new jersey, chris christie. governor sarah palin is rumored to still be thinking about it. i think it's pretty early. one thing i would say about the debates in new hampshire is generally speaking the
republican candidates for president are talking the tea party talk. they are talking the principles of lower taxes and fiscal responsibility, of getting government out of certain aspects of rye lives. that's a big victory for the department. now we are going to parcel out the candidates actually hold up to those principles -- to parse how the candidates hold up to those principles. host: democrats calling at a mitt romney joke. he was in florida yesterday meeting with a group of unemployed floridians. guest: democrats are trying to change the subject. unemployment is president obama 's responsibility. that is their biggest achilles' heel going into this election. so obviously they will look for ways to change the subject. host: can and he win the
republican nomination, the former massachusetts governor? guest: his biggest problem is his history on healthcare, and particularly the individual mandate as governor of massachusetts. this has become a defining issue for tea party voters, who are the swing in the republican nomination. he just likes an unwanted endorsement from al gore the other day for his comments in favor of man-made global warming. so i think he has problems. i looked at him a little bit like charlie christie in the last cycle. he has the name i.d. and the money, but i don't think he will connect with some people. host: the former 1-term governor
of utah, jon huntsman, what are his chances? guest: i don't think -- i have said this publicly, i don't think his candidacy has gotten serious yet. he presents the republican politics of the past. he was very enthusiastic about president obama's stimulus spending program. what i would call an old- fashioned tax-and-spend republican. he will have a tough time. host: representative michelle bachmann, officially entered the race this past monday. what are her chances? guest: she really stood out in the debate as someone who was willing to stick up for something and talk not just in criticism of obama. she will have to show that she knows how to organize a national
campaign effort, because it is not just enough to believe the right thing. you actually have to win the primary states, which is about building a campaign theme that can run a machine. host: former governor tim pawlenty? guest: everybody thinks he missed an opportunity to challenge governor mitt romney on health care, which he called the other day obamneycare. he is still in the race and has the potential to be the anti- mitt romney guy. we will maybe see something this weekend in whether or not he can do more. host: what does rick perry bring to the race if he decides to run? guest: he brings a remarkable record of economic prosperity and limited, restrained government in the state of texas. he is an interesting candidate, and he can come to this big
field and offer something that someone like mitt romney can not. host: sounds like you are leaning towards rick perry at the moment. guest: we are not leaning toward anybody. we have tried to apply the same standards to all of the republican field. if we're using the contract from america, which is the tea party manifesto, the issues that all of us agree on. we are trying to objectively measure all the candidates based on this. they all have proving to do. i'm looking forward to a full- coated debate not just in new hampshire, but i think you'll see this debate carried out all the way through super tuesday in a lot of states. -- a full-throated debate. host: ronald reagan talked about the big 10 in 1980's. some say republicans need to win. inst: the new big tenmt
american politics is the tea party tent. government should live within its means, we should not spend money we don't have, we should not bail out irresponsible actors, whether they be the banks, homeowners, or foreign countries. these are the very center of issues in american politics. host: if you look at what happened in new york -- you're saying the message for 2010, there was a third-party candidate running on a tea party platform, the attorney to be a different message in 2012? guest: no, i don't think so. you had a tea party candidate in new york. he probably did not have that big an impact at the end of the day. you had a timid republican that would not defend her own position on the need for medicare reform. if you abandon the plainfield to
your opponent, the democrats are going to the final position perhaps in a way that is not honest. -- if you abandon the playing field to your opponent. she should have responded and she did not. host: matt kibbe is our guest, of freedomworks. a link to their website is on our web site. bob is joining us from new york caller: city good morning. -- caller: good morning. i have had a hard time getting on the air. i am seeing this guy over and over. is he a close friend or so see it? host: he is neither.
he is the president and ceo of freedomworks. we invited him to talk about the republican party as we invite the other guests. guest: i think this is my third time ever. i love c-span. i can understand your frustration with seeing my face or early in the morning, but this is the only one i have. caller: i like your look, but not the sideburns. cap.ou need is a robert cubber host: now to tampa, florida. caller: i have been calling twice a year to talk about how serious is that we get our tax system straightened out. people talk about it. talk about simplifying it appeared the more they talk about simplifying it, the worse the tax code gets. i don't believe either party is
going to solve anything except all the bickering between conservatives and liberals. you cannot do it because of the tax code. we have billions and billions of dollars off shore in the cayman islands and all that stuff because of the tax code. can you imagine bringing that money onshore today? we need that desperately instead of pouring money from china. but were not allowed to talk about that. we will simplify it. it is just not going to work. i will probably be calling in -- i'm 66 -- i will probably be calling in when i'm 76 if the country is still around. it will not be solved until we get rid of this tax code. if there are plans darren that will take care of this government -- there are plans that will take care of this government. i know a lot of folks in the tea party. they look at across side when you talk to them and say that
they will never do that. this has been going on --i read a book about the eisenhower administration tried to simplify the tax code and it was 205 pages. now we have thousands of pages. i don't care what the tea party does or what seiu does until you talk about getting rid of the tax code and moved to a better system. i have a speech that was written by will rogers in the 30's, one of the last speeches he gave. he said eventually the tax code of the u.s. would turn our nation into a nation of liars and cheats and a nation of liars and cheats cannot survive. guest: i agree 100%. we have always said we would get a fundamental tax reform. if we looked at the politics of the department and what we have been able to do, one of the top things in the contract for
america is replacing the tax code with a simple low, fair and honest tax system. we are not going to get that until america beats washington. we are flying this thing standard. we have to get rid of the favors and get rid of the politics or otherwise we will not compete or return to the prosperity and that americans expect. host: one of our twitter follower is is asking about ron paul. guest: if you look at what ron paul has done in the last cycle and this cycle, he has already won in a lot of ways because of the issues he brought to the table, they are now the consensus issues in the republican field. i think that is his goal. i have never heard ron paul say that he wants to win the race. he wants to define the issues in the race. i don't feel that he has been washed allies. there are lot of people on the stage now that talk like he
does. -- i don't feel that he has been marginalized. host: now a call from tennessee. caller: i just finished reading a book about the nixon administration called "the final days." brian lamb, was than him? host: yes, he worked in the nixon white house during that administration. and then his ideas along with others created the cable network. caller: makes sense. also, is this man's syntax tied in with grover norquist? grover norquist was part of jack of' thing.'s
i don't understand why everybody is getting so excited about the tea party. they are severe right-wing. it would be like someone in the democrats talking some crazy tea party thing and call it on the left. 1972 on june 17 is when it happened. caller: i just finished reading a book about nixon. host: that was the day of the break-in. june 17, 1972. caller: i'm sorry. i always celebrate june 16 because my husband came back from vietnam on that host: day thanks for the call. guest: freedomworks is a separate organization from grover norquist. in terms of whether or not the tea party is an extreme right- wing thing, i would invite you to come out to the tea party
events in your community and discover that you will meet people from all walks of life who are bound on common-sense values that the government should not spend money it does not have and that it's getting too involved in people's lives. these are not right-wing ideas. we have been tough on republicans that have violated those principles. this is the very center of american politics. more and more independence who votes based on policy and not partisan politics are joining the tea party cause and holding both political parties accountable. host: andy from mesa, arizona. caller: good morning. i have been following freedomworks for awhile. i am a democrat and a christian and an army veteran. it seems to me like freedomworks was founded by dick armey kind of, who was one of the more morally bankrupt politicians to come out of the
u.s. house of representatives, after he pushed through the pharmaceutical laws only to quit his job the next year and take $2 million lobbying position. i'm looking at your board directors and it's pretty obvious to me that you are just another organization that is out there to take money from the super wealthy and push the agenda. as far as your economic tax policies go, it has been proven that trickle-down economics does not work. i really wish that you would present some facts to back up your idea that somehow trickle- down economics is the way to go. guest: in summary, you are not a fan. you are confusing dick armey with billy tauzin. we were founded in 1984 out of the economics department at george mason university. dick armey joined us in 2003. i would argue we have been very
consistently advocating the same principles from day one. these are not -- it is not about 12 the donors or corporations. we have been highly critical of crony capitalism, when companies like ge team up with big government and big business. you get things like the obama health care mandate, which was written by the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry specifically because they would love the idea of yournment- mandating that purchase their product. it's inconsistent with free- market principles and free enterprise and is inconsistent with the values of the tea party movement that wants to see individual responsibility, not crony capitalism. host: one of our viewers is asking about newt gingrich. guest: we all know that newt gingrich's campaign imploded on
the day that he decided to call one of the standard bearers of the new republican principles stand on spending, paul ryan, called him a radical or social engineering. host: not him, but his policies. guest: i think he is running because it is what he always wanted to do. i don't think he is competitive at this point. host: patty on the republican line. caller: c-span has the seiu on and then you have mr. kitty, but it's not enough. you had a democrat collar criticizing seiu and you challenged her on whether or not she was a democrat. this happens to us republicans every day. i would estimate between seven times and 10 times with phony democrats calling on our independent line or republican line and if you don't challenge them.
i'm glad you challenged her. host: what struck me is she said she was not supporting the president in 2012. so you have someone from organized labor and hearing from democrats disillusioned with the president, so i was curious where she was coming from. i was not challenging her, but i was getting more information on why she wasn't supporting the president next year as a democrat. caller: it is interesting. i think you would find it interesting when democrats call in on every republican leader. host: i do that. i absolutely do. caller: the seiu, it is amazing you were not aware that. before obamacare got shut down, at tea party is either in the fall or summer of last year before obamacare got past, seiu sent a bunch of thugs to tea
party and there was an older black man that they were beating up and it was on tape. you guys don't know these types of things when you have a guest on to ask them about it. the tape was all over. it tells me where you guys slant. maybe you should read something besides the new york times and watch something besides nbc. looks like you have a very liberal, very socialist slant like seiu and then you have one of my favorites, matt kibbe. host: so we are doing something right. caller: you are. but when the democrats call on the republican line, a challenge them. host: we do our best. it is not a perfect form, but we try to make this a place that facilitates your calls and conversations. hopefully, if you do your part
and call on the right time and be honest with us, we will have of civil and interesting and thoughtful discussions. thank you, patty. guest: one of the mythologies of the tea party movement is somehow we are in any way uncivil or not a constructive part of the political debate. what i believe is that the idea that people show up and participate in the democracy and its voice their opinions based on the very best traditions of american politics, i think it could not be a more positive thing for the process. and a way to take up the special interest in town. whether it be the tea party, there are lobbyists outside line -- lined up outside the ways and means, having a political discourse is the way to go. host: saratoga, new york. caller: good morning. let me make this comment first.
they get on you about this democrat/republican thing. i am an independent. my big thing with all this is like the last lady, who cares? we need good ideas, i don't care if it's a republican or democrat. this republicans last democrat thing is getting us in trouble. we need good ideas based on common sense if not on whether who is a republican or democrat. as an independent, i have to say that i kind of think mitt romney is a shoe in for the republican party just by the way -- i am 48 years old and they have their guy intrenched years ahead. mccain was going to get the last time and george bush was going to get at the time before. his father and bob dole. it is already worked out. they can try all they want, but it's going to be mitt romney. my real thing is we need 3 or
four party is out there. if the tea party would do themself a great benefit by getting an independent party going, because the republicans are just going to let them down like a letdown everybody else. i think everyone is stuck on these party politics and we are getting nothing out here. host: is there someone you would vote for on a third-party if you are not going to vote for the republican nominee for the president? guest: i like ron paul and dennis kucinich. if you want to hear the truth of what we need to do to get out of the press, he was on yesterday. ron paul was on a week or two ago. they're the only two telling you how to save money and get us out of this mess. it is going to the same old,
same old. we're going to get mitt romney and barack obama. that is going to be your choice when you vote. host: recovering the republicans speaking at the republican leadership congress -- conference. we will also be hearing it on c- span radio. how do you respond to that? guest: i agree the two parties are too entrenched and that the republicans always tend to choose the next guy in line. we joke about how bob dole said it was his turn, his only argument for getting the republican nomination. there is a decentralization in politics. there is the democratization of the process that is undermining the tea party grip on the debate. does that mean there's going to be a third party? -- two-party. on the debate. does that mean there's going to be third party? we have called for a hostile
takeover of the republican party. that does not mean we will fight them on everything. it is just that we need to replace an empty political tussle with something that matters to voters. host: c.j. is asking why they are afraid to say that obama received more money than mccain from corporations. guest: it is the big corporations and big businesses, particularly wall street, that got behind the democrats in the last cycle. there is a trend towards crony capitalism. companies, banks, and businesses come to washington looking for a favor, regulation, a mandate the
benefits your company at the expense of someone else. it is a poisonous trend in politics. we need to get big business out of the process of writing legislation. host: let me make a correction. 117 is another cable network. we are on channel 119. with that correction, let me go to another tweet. they say they dread a romney- obama 2012 ticket. guest: the challenge for republicans if they choose someone like mitt romney is not freedomworks. it is going to be the problem of energizing the activists and workers that drive campaigns, particularly circa 2012 for the
tea party. they work based on principles. they will not fall in line with a republican simply because he is a nominee. he will have to convince them that he means what he says and stands for what they believe in. i think it is a fundamental problem if the republicans and tea partyers cannot agree on the candidate that is acceptable to all of us. host: could there be a third- party candidate? with the tea party support that? would you personally want to see that happen? guest: i do not think a third party is a good strategy. everyone watching is going to make their own decision on that question. it is a real risk to see a splinter candidate if the republicans cannot nominate someone acceptable to all of the tea partyers. host: go ahead, on the
democrats' line. caller: i am a new york resident. i am down in florida now. with regards to the election in new york, i disagree with mr. kibbe. you seem to make justification'' when democrats win. the same holds true when republicans win. with new york, i think it was a choice that new york made. they were not happy with anything being advertised on the republican side. the reason gov. christie lost in florida is because of the other candidate. the argument is not hold water. dick armey was a lobbyist and politician. he is not really for the people. i never saw any of your tea party followers support any
conservative democrats. it was all french republicans -- fringe republicans. the american people on the airways. i am not talking about public financing. we own the airwaves. what is your idea of giving several hours to the major candidates? i have nothing to do with freedom of speech and money. the americans own the airwaves. i think the government should make a law that any rival candidate has to be given several hours. the networks make money off the airwaves, but they are owned by the american people. guest: i think the decentralization of media and getting information from thousands of competing sources has completely undermined the
monopoly of the three networks used to have in the public conversation. we no longer need dan rather or "the new york times" to tell us what to think. the idea of mandating that all networks give canada a certain amount of time, i do not think that makes sense, particularly in 2012 when the world is so decentralized. to go back to your earlier question, the reason marco rubio versus charlie crist, the reason he won his because he ran a grass-roots campaign based on a set of principles that matter to the people of florida. he did not need network tv to build the campaign. he needed hard work and a platform that matters. that is how candidates win in 2012. host: let's talk about the house and senate.
the democrats try to figure out a way to retake the house. redistricting will be a factor in 2012. whether you are looking at in terms of the political landscape? the what are you looking at in terms of the political landscape? guest: our priority is going to be defend these young freshmen who won in difficult districts based on an agenda of lower taxes. those are our first battlegrounds. i think this will be an opportunity for the right kind of republicans to pick up seats. the democrats have to say they will take back the house. that is their job to try to do that. i think it will be tough for them. we need republicans willing to stand up and defend the principles, including the tyan ryan plan. they need to go to the town hall
meetings to persuade skeptical voters. taking back the seizes the top priority for freedomworks. 2010 was a difficult electoral map for senate republicans. conventional wisdom said we might pick up one seat. because of the tea party, we picked up six. 2012 is the opposite. we're looking at places like florida, pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin. those are places where we think republicans that stand for limited government can win. host: the next call is howie from philadelphia on the republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. also want to thank the governor of washington. i want to thank senator scott brown for helping out burns.
i know about governor dewey's 1950 speech. hutchison and stevens lost their races in 2010. the facts need to come out for liberty and freedom. will republicans can always smell a jimmy carter. he still failed america. the communists are targeting newt gingrich and mitt romney. the communists, slave masters, and masters of the universe will not support ron paul. i support paul ryan's plan. host: you can check out our new page for politics.
did you want to respond? guest: what is most interesting about some of the republicans you mentioned is the richness of the republican field and how many ideas are coming out of the republican party. i think it is vibrant. there is an opportunity to bring some real solutions to the table that have not been allowed under the old two-party monopoly. host: which tea party candidate is capable of debating ralph nader for one hour on c-span questio? guest: there are so many. alan west, rand paul, scott paul. any of them would do a great job. marco rubio. i am not even sure that ralph nader would accept the challenge.
host: we're taking listener calls. russ joins us from connecticut. caller: a want to talk about one idea. that is deregulation. it gave us aig, bear stearns. do you really love bernie madoff and what he did that much? enron and how it collapsed. derivatives started in the late 1990's. democratic congressmen stood up and said they looked tricky and maybe we should take a look at them. the chairman of the fed, greenspan came back to the senate and said it was a chance
of capitalism to show what it could really do. look at where it led us. these of the fruits of deregulation. it can take years before the american public finally realizes what happened because of deregulation. host: thank you for the call. we will get a response. guest: i disagree with you. i think the two fundamental causes of the house in bubble in 2008 was the federal reserve policy pumping too much money and credit into the economy. it was correcting relative prices and suggesting to banks and homeowners that money was cheaper than it actually was. the second problem was crony capitalism and companies like aig and countrywide. there was an implicit guarantee
that if you made a bad bet, the federal government would bail you out. we've doubled down on that with president obama's financial reform bill. the federal government now has this unhealthy relationship with companies like a edgy that should not exist anymore except that the government bailed them out. moneylet's look of the freedomworks has raised over the last couple of years. in 2010, nearly $14 million. where did the money come from? guest: it is probably reflective of the growing power of the internet. we now have over 40,000 donors. almost all of them are individuals. half of them come from our online community. the all share our same values. i think there is an opportunity to really connect like president obama did in the 2008 primary
with citizens all over the country that will fund something based on principle. host: what is your assessment of the republican leadership? guest: i think in the house and senate i have seen great movement in the right direction from john boehner and mitch mcconnell. the energy in the house comes from this master class of tea partyers. there 65 freshmen united. they are high-quality legislators. john boehner has been listening to them. i think the real test for him and mitch mcconnell will be over the debt ceiling crisis we are about to have in late august or september. host: orrin hatch of utah is up for reelection next year. he may be facing a primary challenge. will you support him? guest: we think it is time for him to retire. if you look at his record of the
last 35 years, there have been too many votes and pieces of legislation he has gotten behind that are anathema to the people of utah that represent the tea party. we're working closely with activists in that state. it is not just for the tarp bailout, gm bailout, but probably most offensive to two- party values is his support with ted kennedy for a dramatic expansion of government health care in the waning days of the hillary care fight. he literally pulled out of the dustbin of history and recreated the program in terms of kids first. that is the basis for obamacare. this is not have tea party-ers roll. host: gray supports his
reelection. guest: i have talked to him about this. he has been with us since 1992. it is a personal relationship boyden has in the first bush warehouse supporting nominees. the great thing about freedomworks and the board of directors is that we all buy and to the same mission. we have the freedom to take tough stands even when a board member might disagree because of a personal friendship. is based on the principles we have as an organization. host: does the organization support a primary challenge and the defeat of hatch? pac is thedomworks' organization that would specifically get involved in utah. there is not a challenger
announced yet. a lot of people are looking at a congressman from utah as a potential challenger to orrin hatch. it would be our pac that would get involved in that election. there's a bright fire wall between the freedomworks foundation that boyden is part of and freedomworks pac. host: the next call is on the democrats' line. caller: you are part of the tea party. does the tea party and freedomworks stem from fox news? you had a lot of information giving out at the rallies. if not, where does the money come from? for you associated with the koch brothers? are you a radical branch of the republican party? i am glad to see people get involved in the system whether i
agree or not. taxes are lower on upper-income than they ever have been. nobody pays the 23% they talk about. there is no such thing as free trade because there is no fair trade. we pay for tariffs and other countries. they pay 2.5% here. we pay 23% there. i would like to hear what the gentleman has to say about that. thank you very much. guest: the power of the tea party movement does not come from money or fox news. it does not come from the koch brothers. it comes from the power of so many people in a decentralized community that are willing to do the work and make a difference on their own. this is a broader trend fueled by the internet and decentralization of information. we no longer get our news from one place. also, social networking. these trends are global and not
just pretend to the power of the tea party. i think the tea party is best suited to take advantage of that. if you are willing to voluntarily associate with millions of people across the country where no one tries to tell each other what to do, there is tremendous power in that just like you >> our road to the white house coverage continues in the next hour with the republican and leadership council live from new orleans. today, rick santorum, michelle laughlin, and herman cain will speak. other speakers include bobby kindle. tomorrow, presidential candidate and buddy roemer, as well as potential candidates
rick perry and others. the coverage starts at 12:50 p.m. eastern. if you miss any of it, it will be available pepper c-span.org. >> this weekend, will visit the nixon presidential library new exhibit on whether it, the watergate, and "washington post" coverage on the story. we will have to the university of richmond to talk about secession and the civil war, and then from aids suit university professor on in the defeat of japan in 1944 -- a duke university professor and the defeat of japan in 1945. >> the supreme court is now available at the standard and
enhanced the book. it tells the story of the court through the eyes of the justices themselves. this new edition includes an interview with the newest supreme court justice, elena kagan, and with the enhanced e- book, the video clips. it is available -- it is available wherever books are sold. >> up next, the head of amtrak. boardman is the president and ceo of amtrak. is it government or private? guest: that has always been a debatable question since 1971. it is a private corporation. it has a lot of activities with government. people often do not understand what amtrak is. amtrak does know what it has been able to do.
we were talking about the fact that there has been a huge transformation in the northst corridor in the last decade of service. in 2000, we had between new york city and washington 37% of the market was rail. it is now 70%. between boston and new york city in 2000, it was about 20%. it is now little over 54%. there has been a huge change in the way we operate and the number of people focused on rail. host: let's look at the amount of passengers that use amtrak. up to 29 million passengers annually. 78,000 passengers riding 300 trains per day servicing over 500 destinations in 46 states
and three canadian provinces. there are over 21,000 miles of routes. based on all of that, how do you make money? guest: let's go back to the first question. is this private or government? in the northeast, we can cover our operating costs. if you are looking for operating profit, he will find a way to make money. the long-distance trains and the huge number of miles we were talking about, these are all policy questions there is no way to make money on the business model that exists today for us to provide that. in this nation, a major decision needs to be made. it seems it is a reoccurrence regularly about whether we're going to have mobility and connectivity across the united states. that mobility and connectivity is critical for the rural
communities of the united states, especially the flyover states we talk about all the time. there are 125 stations that are almost completely rulout of the 500 stations. without a train operating there, they probably do not have any other way to move except by automobile. if you are elderly and your kids are off o the west coast, he can probably get a neighbor to drivyou to an amtrak station to you get to the west coast. they will not drive the to the west coast if there is no longer bus service. bus service is down another 12%. there is no longer air service. you have an abandonment of the isolated poor in rural areas. some of those are elderly. many who have a disability ride amtrak on the long-distance
trains. host: in 2010, amtrak earned about $2.5 billion in revenue. your expenses were $3.7 billion. guest: that is right. that includes all of the capital. if you look at operating expenses come amtrak covers an unheard of amount, 76% of its operating expenses. the best railroad in the united states and beyond is covering its operating expenses. it really is a large portion of what wreceive from the federal government. when anybody talks about $1 billion , it is debt capital and operating systems. host: why not shrink it and focus on areas where you service customers the most? why have a rail service in 46
states? guest: that is a basic question of policy. we have some maps we could show. you really have been in the country if you eliminate the mobility and connectivity. you will negatively affect those pockets of transportation. if you eliminate the long- distance trains, he will only have the main areas. places today it likes virginia and north carolina -- like virginia and north carolina that pay very ttle because they have so mh ridership would begin to be able not to provide that service. host: when amtrak was formed, the announcement of the secretary of transportation at the state with president nixon.
has amtrak fulfilled its mission 46 years later? guest: yes, admirably. we largely still operate the original line. the zephyr goes through denver. the super chief goes into l.a. you have the sunset limited along the border between the united states and mexico. they are similar. therare pieces now they're gone. he still have the city of new orleans. you have something different going from washington, d.c. there is the present -- crescent that connects into new orleans. you still have the lake shore limited. there are a few that are no longer being operated. host: with your number one priority in terms of
infrastructure and capital investment? guest:he infrastructure with primarily on is in the northeast corridor. it is from washington to boston. it is not completely owned by amtrak. that is not often understood. we own it. the state of connecticut, new york, and massachusetts also owns significant pieces of the corridor. it is over 100 years old. we have used that investment and wisdom from 100 years ago to the maximum extent to improve. that is why our acela trains have such speed is because of the infrastructure. there is a need to rebuild that for the future. host: in 2010, it averaged up to 28 million riders. why the increase of up to 6 million? guest: like to think it is
because we're doing a great job. we pay attention to safety, customer service. we try to get the job done for the public. there's also an outside effect going on. people are focusing more on rail because of higher fuel prices and the need to improve the environment. host: we had testimony in the senate committee talking about rail security and why so much of the tsa budget goes for aport security and so little for rail terminals. >> we try to be risk-based and intelligence driven in interestng al qaeda's particularly in aviation and the catastrophic effects we saw from the attempted bombing on christmas day 22009. the toner cartridge devices only
st them about $4,500. we saw the osama bin laden statement about that. we saw the al qaeda statement about the economic impact. that is not to say there is not an economic impact if a train is drilled -- derailed or anything along those lines. we try to recognize exceptional efforts of the amtrak police and the state and local law enforcement and those in the rail industry that have taken measures on their own in terms of risk mitigation. host: joseph boardman, your response to his testimony? guest: right after the oma bin laden event we took what we knew then about what had been stated that al qaeda would like
to derail a train. we accepted that as an existing challenge that was reemphasized. we see that again today. we're paying attention to it around key dates of july 4, september 11, and so forth. john o'conner is our chief of police and head of security. we begin additional patrols along the northeast corridor infrastructu to make sure we were looking at critical pieces of it. we announced for help from tsa and other security partners along the corridor. it is a difficult thing to protect thousands of miles of railroad across the united states. it is very different from the aviation side of the world, in terms of the way it is now structured and that the way you are isolated when you are on the airplane up in the air. we have had cases in the history
of railroading where people in the past tried to derail trains are piling debris on the tracks and those kinds of things. we step up our efforts. we keep looking at how to protect customers and our employees all along the roads. host: joseph boardman is a graduate of cornell university. what is your background? guest: i was raised on a dairy farm in upstate new york. i went into the service for four years. i served in vietnam in 1968 and 1969. i came back and went to college. i got a degree in agricultural economics. i drove a bus in college. i have been in transportation ever since then, city, county, transit authority, my own private business, new york state, then the federal railroad
administrator for george bush, and now the president of amtrak. host: acela is making money. why? guest: people see it as the best way to travel. people are happy with the service. acela is a success. market share and revenue is up. we're covering more than our operating costs. probably 20% more on the quarter with acela. a lot of people are familr with the older trains that are diesel. in the northeast corridor, this is electric service. this is the only place there is experience to run high-speed service. we run regularly at 135 miles an hour. we reach 150 miles an hour. the media talks about the ultimate speed of the europeans or asians at 220.
the chinese just reduced their speed from to the 17 back to 186, largely for safety reasons. we focus on safety ourselves. we get talked about as an average speed rather than a maximum speed. host: frank is on the phone from pennsylvania. welcome to the conversation. caller: i wondered if there has been an estimate of the amount of co2 that is not going to the air because people are writing and truck rather than driving. amtrak rher than driving. guest: yes, but i do not know the number. caller: i would like to thank c- span for having the best program on tv. the lady called in earlier and said people were calling in on one party and in the otr. i would like to clear it up.
i am a registered democrat. i voted for independence, republican, and democrat depending on the person i liked. amtrak to me is a wonderful service for the entire country. i hope they go back to florida and try to get it all of the east coast, given that i am on the east coast. i consider amtrak to be a modern, up-to-date wagon train. it gives people a chance to go across the country or from place to place in a reasonable and a safe environment and for a reasonable price. i hope everybody starts circling the wagons like the old wagon trains did and get behind this. it is in everybody's interests. they call everything, people, cars, freight, and everything else.
we all need to push the wagons in the same direction. host: will stop it tre. thank you for the call. guest: we would like to be more up-to-date than we even are today. we have already ordered 17 new electric locomotives for the northeast corridor. we have also ordered one. 30 new single level -- ordered single level pieces for the east coast. we're planning to procure about 40 new coaches for the acela trains to increase the service and capacity. we're running ouof capacity. thank you for your comments. host: eleanor is on the republican line from frisco, texas. caller: i watch c-span every morning. i was curious about the article in "the dallas morning news" about warren buffett buying a
real road. it was to cry commodities in the southwest. it did not say anything about passengers. i am curious about that. we're kind of stranded down here as far as railroads are concerned. this used to be a railroad center. it was named for the san francisco something. would you comment? guest: i did not see the article. i am not sure what warren buett is involve in other than the burlington th is a major carrier of commodities. the burlington northern also carries a large portion of amtrak passengers. in 1971 when we were set up, we have a right to operate on the freight railroad facilities. we also have to pay them for the incremental costs.
the southwest chief is almost all on the burlington northern santa fe. zephyr toor these effo denver. the northern part is largely burlington, no., and santa fe. threst of the west is largely union pacific. that is how we operate from chicago west to a large extent. host: he does not discuss the subsidize cost per passenger like others. guest: the per passenger subsidy is often raised. we usually get hit with it for the sunset limited that operates three days a week to the west coast in the southern part the country. the cost is fairly high r us. when you look at the long-
distance trains generally all over the country, you see a subsidy -- this is where the largest part of the operating subsidy, almost all of it from the federal government -- goes. last year was in the neighborhood of $500 million. it is a little bit less or more than that some years. that depends on the revenues we received on the long-distance trains and on the northeast corridor. we're using excess operating revenues in many ways to pay for the cost of providing that connecvity and mobility across the country. one thing i have noticed in the time i have been he is the media and message is always that somewhere else in the world, we have more efficient or lower cost passenger service. that is not true.
every single passenger rail operation in the world requires some sort of a subsidy. it maye off the books like the national health ca system. it may be on the books like the franchise fee or payment to the private operators as a bid on what the subsidy should be. but everybody has that subsidy to occur. every aviation operation is subsidized. a lot of people do not understand because it is not talked about and focused on. when you look at the united states department of transportation, when i came here, this was the aha moment for me. when you look across the table, you have 60,000 peopl at the united states department of transportation. 50,000 are in the faa. that is dedicated to the aviation industry.
that is not even appliedo us. that is let alone any tsa or other support. aviation is the way we should trouble if we can from new york to the west coas we could not possibly be able to do that for the demand there would be there if we did not have the aviation industry. we provide the connections in between four people on the ground and who have no other way to go. that is for an isolated group of people. host: why do passenger trains go longer have priority over freight trains? guest: they still have priority. that is not true. host: helena, montana. welcome tthe conversation. caller: my wife and i are 66
years old. we ride the empire builder from montana to seattle and portland to visit grandchildren. we love the trade. we have noticed in recent years the cleanliness on the train has suffered. the equipment seems to be wearing out. is that a problem? guest: yes, you should be telling us that. we do a customer satisfaction inde we know that is an area that we need to continually work on a day-by-day. the toilet areas are always talked about. that is a difficult thing to take care of. it's sometimes depends on the last customer of t toilet as to whether you have a room you are happy with or not. we also understand about the wearing out of the equipment. we are rebuilding equipment as we can.
when we have funds available, we rebuilt 81 of the coaches and diners fr the long-distance trains. that is what you are going to be operating on with the empire builder. the ability for us to get those kinds of pieces of equipment replaced depends on whether congress decides the we're going to receive money to do that. on the northeast corridor, we are in a position where we e trying to self-finance any of the debts we have. the 70 electric locomotives will be debt, but the debt will be paid for by the passengers along the corridor. no such ability is available for us on the long-distance trains. because we have new specifications and a working with the states, we will be able to add to the fleet and add
new equipment. we will be able to rebuild for the future. it is difficult with the inconsistent with amtrak gets funded. host: let's not forget the bailouts at the airlines received after 91/11. with everything on the table in terms of budget cuts, where does that leave intact -- amtrak? guest: that is something we're trying to figure out in terms of the support. we do have strong support on the bill. we're humbled by the support we get on a regular basis. there are expectations that come with that. we try to meet those. i see us in a holding pattern to maintain services. i do not know that for sure. i do not know exactly what will happen.
nobody else does in terms of what people will decide to do. it is difficult when you run a very complex business for it to be decided upon a budget balancing bases on a year-to- year basis. there needs to be an understanding and commitment that rail is here to state and amtrak is here to stay. we have been here 40 years. we're celebrating that right now. i think the men and women of amtrak recent they talk about the privatization. i have listened to some of the rumors. in the end, it is the people that run the company will be running the company in the future. they know how to run the trains and take care of the signal systems. whether you call it private,
public, whatever it is, those are the folks that will be doing it. that is who is going to be doing the work because they know how to do the work. host: on a daily basis between washington and boston, how many trains travel recorder? guest: about 150 with the conventional services and the services we provide on the quarter. some are long distance as well. host: that is number one. what is no. two? guest: when u add in the commuter trains from what you find -- when u add in the commuter trains, it is the two under 50,000 people every day using the quarter with new jersey transit, long island railroad, metro-north, all of the commuter operations that depend on amtrak in the corridor. back when there was a zeroing
out and pential bankruptcy, there was a discussion about what happens to the three and a thousand people that depend on the court every single day to get to work -- 300,000 people that depend on the corridor every single day to get to work. host: you will probably agree with this comment. a viewer says extending and improving the passenger trains should be a high iority. guest: we do absolutely agree with that. we have a new vision we have produced and talked about. it is a 220 mile an hour vision. it reduces the time travelled. it is important to talk about reducing time travel that is critical for anybody to operate on a train. it is what you plan on when you get in the car in the morning,
being able to have your commute done in the same time every day. host: we have a couple of questions from arkansas. is it for business travel? do you allow folks to shift their electric cars along the way? guest: it is for whatever you want to use it for. the more connections along the way, the more opportunities for you to use it. if you are connected when you get to a destination with by the transit systems or other, you can use the amtrak train. auto train is one of our special operations. it operates from virginia to florida. it is very popular. it is very close tone of the best routes we have. it more than covers its operating costs. host: lee joins us from arkansas
for the president and ceo of amtrak as it celebrates its 40th anniversary this past may. caller: goodorning. did you mentioned earlier about getting into high-speed rail? guest: high-speed rail is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days. it is not well defined. amtrak has been running what the uic -- we will have a world congress on high-speed rail next year in the united states that we're helping to sponsor. as defined by them, it is 125 miles an hour. we have been doing that since the metroliner service began at
135 miles an hour. we operate at 150. the real goal for everybody in the world seems to the speed of 220 or beyond. we went out and looked at that any serious way. we can do it. it will take a major invesent for that to happen. about the only place we can do it reasonably is the northeast corridor. it has to be electrified. for us, high-speed rail is also 110 miles an hour. 110 is about the maximum highspeed you will get with diesel locomotives. you have to elect a fight after 110. it is the electric locomotives that allow you to go faster than that generally. this of experimentation with diesels to go faster.
-- there is some experimentation with diese to go faster. the michigan line operates between detroit and chicago. that would be a 110-mile quarter operating at what we consider high-speed rail. the united kingdom did not get to that until they bit the 67 rebuilt the -- until they built the connection to the tunnel. host: if you want to get the aaa discounts, you have to do it several days in advance. why is that? guest: you will have to ask the marketing guys. caller: we taxpaye are tired of hearing about the northeast corridor. they seem to get all of the
benefits of the money for the rail system and the rest of us get none. guest: that is not true. caller: i looked into traveling between atlanta and columbus, ohio. it takes three days on amtrak. guest: i understand your point. caller: you have to go to the east coast and up and down the northeast corridor. how about spreading the money around for some of the other locations? guest: let me go back and talk about the operating systems again. all the operating assistance amtrak has goes to the rural areas and long-distance operations. it goes to the world, long- distance trains that connect the country together. none of it goes to the northeast corridor. what we have on the northeast
corridor are capital funds will have to rebuild the hundred year old infrastructure. some of those tunnels are from the civil war. that is not well understood. let me read from the office of the inspector general from 2008. evans was the employee that wrote this. here are some of the conclusions. these were their conclusions looking at the foreign railroads. when all revenues and expenses were taken into consideration, european passenger train systems operated at a loss and required significant public subsidies. the annual average subsidies are much higher than those for comparable amtrak services.
amtrak is a bargain today in terms of what it receives. it covers 76% of its operating costs. every dollar that gets spent, 15 cents of that comes from the federal government. we think that is important for people to understand. that does not include the capital. it does not include the debt service. those a things to think about for the future. when you areomeone say it will be cheaper to do it another way, that is not true. host: you were saying that young people miss out on america's rail heritage. richard sent in this e-mail. he says tried to get fr florida to colorado is next to impossible.
guest: you have to go through chicago for just about everything. that is the rail hub for the united states. is not just for passengers. it is fourth rate as well. host: phil joins us from seattle, washington. caller: i am one of those people who loves train trel. i used to ride from cleveland to new york city. i wonder why it is not more competitive with the aiines. i would like to know why you only run the autorain along the east coast instead of from east to west. i wouldhink he would ve a lot more passengers. i would like to know why you do not have satellite television in the coach cars. that would also making more competitive. -- making more competitive. guest: we are competitive with
the aviation industry in the northeast corridor. we are competitive on the less than 500 mile trips from downtown to downtown. if you are going somewhere else, which often are not competitive in terms of time. we are competitive in many other ways. the auto train is different. it only goes as far north as vginia is because of the height of the bridges and over infrastructure we deal with in the northeast. there is probably not a business model. i know we evaluated taking it from the midwest and using the concept from other places. i do not believe we evaluated it from the west coast. it is unlikely that you could make money doingomething like with an audit the train.
we do not quite do it now with the huge ridership we have between the northeast and florida. we have a huge amount of people going back and forth. we get good ridership with it because you can pack your car and then unloaded. as for a satellite tv, we are working on having wi-fi the more wide available. we think that is the technology we will need for the future. host: does it take 1 gallon of fuel to go 500 miles on amtrak? guest: i do not know. host: this viewer says he hopes florida gets a high-speed rail. guest: that is more of a
political decision. it was the governor and the state of florida that made a decision not to go forward with that. we had teamed up with companies from france to be one of the proposalers for the service. that was trying to get the service to go further to miami. there were not enough people to ride it to make it work. the criticism was there would not be enough people between tampa and orlando to have happen. i do not know if there was or was not. we are interested in these greenfield high-speed rails if they become real. host: john, you get the last word. caller: i would love to take the train overflying. it is not practical. you have to go through chicago
to get anywhe. is there any way to improve the routing? perhaps you could sell off how could it be made more profitable? and who maintains the stations, amtrak or the local cities? host: thank you, john. guest: let me answer that quickly. there have been millions and millions being spent trying to improve getting through chicago and impving the lines around chicago. it is not just an interest on the part of amtrak, it is interest on the part of the freight. the more fluid it is to do that it is more fluid to get through chicago and improve the services when that happens. a lot of the freight railroads veped -- necessarily in the thought about inter-lining with competitors so it makes it difficult to figure out how to make it happen in today's modern
world with real estate values and other things that have grown up around the railroad. the other part? host: what is your biggest concern as you move ahead, the biggest challenge you face? he was talking about chicago being difficult anywhere from florida where he lives. take it more broadly. guest: i think the biggest challenge from my standpoint is to continue to make progress, especially right now with the lack of -- for the see of whether we will get support or not. we have plans. we are getting things done. we are making major decisions, building new bridges, fixing old rail cars, buying new rail cars and a vision to move things at 220 miles an hour. one of the biggest problems on the northeast corridor that is not well understood -- and i am running out of time -- moving
1200 trains a day through penn statio every 120 seconds, during peak, we have a train coming out of one of the tunnels at the hudson river. the only way we can shut down the tunnel is on the weekend or evening to make repairs. we need a place to put all of the new jersey commuter trains that have grown up in the last 20 or 30 years on the corridor so that they are out of the way, so you have a pathway through in a rapid fashion. >> which governor chris christie rejected. guest: which he did -- and i did not want to get in the middle of the politics, but in the end we will have a better solution and i think new jersey will understand and united states will understand, new york, and our customers on the northeast corridor. host: our conver
>> the 2011 republican leadership conference is underway in new orleans. we will be going there in about half an hour. the upcoming speeches from michelle bachmann, herman cain, and haley barbour and bobby jindal. and there is more tomorrow with presidential candidate buddy romer and possible candidate rick perry. aturday's coverage begins 12:50 eastern. if you missed any of the coverage, you can catch it on our website c-span.org. c-span has launched a new, easy- to-use web site for the 2012 presidential race with the
latest events on the campaign trail, biographies of the candidates, twitter and facebook feats, and links to media partners. visit us at c-span.org/ campaign2012. >> "page 1" producer andrew rossi looks at the newspaper industry. >> i came out of bed without a grand sense of what the solutions were for traditional media. i came in with a desire really to observe. >> he will talk about his new documentary sunday night. >> we are live from new orleans at about 12:40 eastern with the republican leadership conference. until then, c-span viewers way
and on the outgoing defense secretary robert gates. let's look at some of the headlines on this friday morning, beginning with the "* piggee euan." newt gingrich -- with the times picayune. newt gingrich speech fires of car. and another headline that of giving a lot of attention is from los angeles. this is the veto by gov. jerry brown. this is the budget with dinner -- disagreements. the headline from the "l.a. times" brown vetoed dismays.
our numbers are on the screen. jesse is on the phone, good morning. >> good morning, caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i am a listener for years and years. i think the secretary of defense is a great experience leader, who has given the president quite a bit of help. and i think we have a great president.
he has appointed people round in that -- for around him that have made it even better to watch. going after bin laden, you know, i think that was a very delicate operation, very important to our country. i appreciate the fact that we have a president that knows what is going on. i just do not see anything out there that can hamper this president. if i would like to see the republicans for one time, joined as president on things that are important to this country -- for one time join this president findings are important to this country, like the debt and deficit. he stopped a madman who had tried to kill many people.
host: monte has this point -- randy is joining us from butler, oklahoma. what impact has robert gates had on washington and on the u.s. military? caller: he just had to the american and higher for four and a half years while we borrowed the money from china. and he just perpetuated that. as a bureaucrat, he was really good. if we are bankrupt now, will not praise it. host: thanks for the call. the wichita, kansas. good morning, your next.
caller: being from a family with seven brothers growing over and serving, and i still have a nephew over there, i am just sick of it all. when are we going to bring these young people home? my brother was ruined in world war ii. he was shot in the head. i have six brothers now. i have a nephew right now in afghanistan. that is all i want to say. i am just tired of it.
when they come home in a cast it, it tears me apart. i do not care about the 21 gun salute. if i am just sick of it. host: thanks for the call. robert gates gives a newspaper -- news conference to give warning on al qaeda. there is another related story, the front page of the "wall street journal" titled "deadline to end serge."
-- surge." you can read more on line by going to "wall street journal" online. next call, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. there are some obvious issues relating to government and military spending. i think that they have presented the facts in the way that individuals need to hear it. there is a concern about the capturing of terrorists, but i
think what most people are concerned about is the overspending in military. that is something that we want to hear more about, how to cap spending and redirect so we can do something about putting money back into the treasuries. host: there is a piece in the coffin " wall street journal" about how to deal with the debt crisis .
the editorial from james baker, former treasury secretary in the reagan administration, former secretary of state in the bush administration the open washington journal." -- in the "washington journal." sammy, good morning. caller: good morning. your the worst terrorist form of identifying -- you are the worst
host for not identifying the party of the person calling. is it because you received more democrat callers then republicans? host: there is no reason. do you have a comment? caller: you do not identify the callers. anyway, gates, i think he is just a yes man for the president. like bush, he owned his policies. and when obama comes in he change his policies to go along with obama. and that first caller who called in, he calls about every day. why do you let him call every day?
he calls on the republican lines and the democrats. he calls about every day. host: ok, well, we want to thank you for calling in, sami, from jacksonville, florida. and here is a tweet. and next up is david on the internet -- independent line. good morning, david. caller: i agree with the previous caller on a couple of things. he has maintained the status quo. he has maintained bush's policies and policies that have gotten us into the mess that we are in right through the obama administration. and what obama is doing, i do not know. but we need to get all of these wars. if we need to get our people home. -- we need to get our people home.
that is all i've got to say. host: going back to the "wall street journal" peace again -- piece again. the deadline for all of this is july 1. we expect to hear from the president and secretary j. carney, who was working on his decision. it that could come in the next week to 10 days. chris is joining us. caller: i do not understand these people. the man is doing his job. it is not his business to have an opinion about his work. he is supposed to do the work that he has been hired to do.
when somebody else comes in and they do not have the same level of clarity and the same level of transparency, we are going to go back to the same craziness we have had in the past. host: ok, thanks for the call. next is scott in sandy, texas. we are talking about the legacy of defense secretary robert gates. good morning to you. caller: i do not have much problem with mr. gates. i want to comment on the caller before last. i believe you and susan are the two best toasts. but this guy that was the first caller today, it is the third time this week. why don't you do something
about that guy? he is a liar and a zero abuser of the 30-day collier host: -- of the 30 day calling. host: we try. we have a system in place to figure out where people are calling from. if you screw up the system, unfortunately, they can say they are someone else or from a different city or different party. caller: if we understand these boys, so can you. you know right off if you should be cutting him off. host: ok. did you have a comment on robert gates? caller: my main reason for calling is this so-called henry. he goes by half a different names. he is running it. you have got to put a stop to this. host: ok. next for all, go ahead. caller: good morning.
if i am a first-time caller. i know no one can recognize my voice. everybody has been saying that they were refreshed by mr. gates honesty. i was not. i find his demeanor to be smug and condescending. no, this is not the way we should be doing business. and do not underestimate him. he has had a lot of power in the past 20 years behind a string -- behind the scenes pulling strings. it is part of the reason that we are in the mess we are in today. bush put him up from because he is a quiet, unassuming, mild- mannered man. am i still on? host: you sure are. caller: he is not. he is one of the ideologues, neocon, endless war people. we need to get out and we need that money here.
next is jeff from st. louis. good morning. caller: i was born in 55. when-now a park and on the first baseline. -- one day find at a park and i'm on the first baseline. [unintelligible] later on, my dad always told me that all politicians are crooks. my dad had a 150 iq. i said, what you say that, dad? and he said, because it is true. here is the important question. why don't we ask every politician who has an account in
the cayman islands? they are all liars. host: thanks for the call. clarksville, tennessee, good morning. caller: i am calling because i want to say mr. gates has been a failure to this country. and i want to thank the last two callers from as threat and virginia. and we have only gone in more -- in worst debt because of bush. the when you are looking at mr. gates you might as well be looking at mr. bush. and now we have obama getting us into three times worse debt than bush did to us. we will be in the same path and history is repeating itself
because we are not doing nothing about our only hope is to vote for ron paul. he is the last 12 we have for this country. host: he will be speaking later today in new orleans at the republican leadership conference. you can check of all of the latest updates at c-span.org /campaign2012. we also have links with the number of media partners. check it out fdot c-span.org/-- check it out at c-span.org /campaign2012.
next is a pure from springfield, missouri, independent line. good morning, kevin. caller: good morning to you. i am a first-time caller. i'm calling on the independent line. i was a republican, but i am disenchanted with both parties. robert gates is someone who has worked for both sides of the iowa and, really, what it shows, because he has been consistent in what he is doing -- what it really shows is there is really no difference between either party. they are both working and agenda. -- working an agenda. if obama or bush, either one, is the true leader, why is the
policy overseas so consistently imperialistic? that is all. thank you. host: thanks for the call. next call from blue ridge, georgia. good morning. caller: as far as gate is concerned, we spent 25 years going after nothing. i was in libya -- and now we are in libya and afghanistan. boys are getting killed for no reason whatsoever. the debt ceiling is out of sight. you've got politicians in congress making $150,000 or more per year and they are already millionaires. and people in this country are starting to get. -- starving to death. [unintelligible] what about senior citizens?
at issue today is the troops in libya. senator durbin said he wants more clever -- clearly white house support. the net -- the administration may assert that we are not engaged in hostilities in libya, but the senate should go on record in authorizing these actions. we are in hostilities. we plan to introduce this authorization soon, and i would urge the majority leader to schedule a vote on it quickly. the senate has been silent for too long on our military involvement in libya. it is time for the senate to speak. host: from center john mccain
yesterday on the senate floor. we're back to your phone calls. at issue this friday morning, robert gates with his legacy. what impact has he had on washington for the u.s. military? -- and the u.s. military? caller: good morning. you have good callers today. they need to bring these boys home. i am 61 and half of my generation has been killed off. if morton griffin is a round, he better not vote to raise a debt ceiling. last year, we gave them $2 trillion more. host: thanks for the call. it is the same story, but two different newspapers, the "washington post" credited with breaking the watergate story.
famous gaffe that was attributed to the president of the time. steve is joining us from savannah, georgia. former gates, his legacy on the job -- what is it? caller: i am just amazed at some of the calls i am hearing this morning. just like the president, i believe that robert gates will go down as one of the best defense secretary's this country has ever seen. i do not see him as a partisan or warmonger. if he was, he would stay on. he was called up from private life.
to me, he is a statesman and a public servant. >> we are going to leave this now and take you to new orleans for live coverage of day #2 speeches. rick santorum, herman cain, ron paul and michelle bachmann. just getting underway right now in new orleans. >> welcome and thank you for joining us today at the 2011 republican leadership conference. i hope you enjoyed yesterday's speeches and i think you will agree that we have a wonderful group of republican leaders speaking to you today. i am proud to serve as your co- chairman of the republican national committee and today i am honored to serve as your mc for this great conference this afternoon. as a texas native --
[cheers] absolutely, i agree. as a text of native -- texas native and florida resident, is always great to be back in the south and see so many committed activists here in this room. your efforts will be vital as we fight together to take back our country, and once again return it to a fiscally responsible nation worthy of our founding fathers and founding principles. [applause] our challenges will be many and the work -- well, the work will be very hard. but the republican national committee knows we can count on each of you in this room. we know that you are committed to save our country from four more years of president barack obama.
[applause] together, we will put america back on a path to principles, progress, and prosperity. i was honored to be elected co- chairman of the rnc earlier this year and i am blessed and honored to serve with a great chairman, reince priebus toward a common goal to first make sure that to barack obama is a one- term president. [applause] second, to take back control, republican control, of the senate. third, to increase our republican majority in the house. [applause] like many of you in this room i
have been involved in politics at the local, state, and national level for a very long time and i have seen firsthand just how influential and how committed republicans can be when we join together in a common cause, when we go door- to-door, state to state, and voter to voter. it we know that it always begins with each of us in this room today. today, all across america, all the wrong things are on the rise. it deficit, daetdebts, spendingd prices. for the first time in our proud history, more americans believe the next generation will be worse off than our generation. our children and grandchildren, they deserve better. that is why erecting a
republican president is so important for the future of this, our country. president obama's visored -- advisers are charting a course for a reelection that will spend $1 billion. just think about that, $1 billion. but you and i and all of us in this room know that $1 billion in campaign ads will not change the truth. america is hurting. people have lost their jobs and cannot find them. people have lost their homes and the prices on food and gas are through the roof. americans all across this country are looking for
something that does not just promise hope and change, but delivers. a presidentg for that does not spend and tax and blamed businesses for current financial woes, but rewards them for the entrepreneurship. [applause] we're looking desperately for a president does not consult the people by saying that a -- airport kiosks and atm machines are the cause of loss of jobs in this country. [applause] we're looking and we deserve a president that will deliver meaningful solutions and remove the obstacles to opportunity for each of us. -- each of us with sound fiscal decisions that will cut our spending, cap our deficit, and cut our taxes.
our country's been driven off a fiscal cliff that -- by a president that does not get it or just as not care. [applause] i say to you today that in 2008 we tried cameras -- charisma. but in 2012 but it is time for us to re-elect competency. [applause] people all across america are responding to our conservative republican message and that is where the rnc and your state party organizations come in. we are committed to making sure that the funding, the tools, and the support are in place to make sure that we take back our country in 2012. [applause] you may not know this, but the rnc working with your state
organizations are the only political organizations that can raise money for the sole purpose of electing a republican president in 2012. it working together, raising money, getting of the vote -- we have a true opportunity in 2012 to not just elect a republican president, but to save our country, to give our children and grandchildren real hope for their future and to preserve our freedom. none of us can do this alone. it is only by working together that we can achieve this important goal. together, we can -- we can coordinate an effective ground game in 2012. together we can raise the money to go toe to toe with president obama's big liberal allies.
republicans, i say to you today, this is our time, and this is our battle to fight state by state, county by county, district by district, street by street, a parish by parish, quarter by quarter, house by house, boulder by boulder. we have to step up in this room today and take back our country. [applause] america is a great and blessed country. we deserve a leader who is as great as we are. that is why we come here to gather today -- together today and that is why we will say in one united voice, enough is enough. it is time for us to stand together and take our country
back. that is our job in 2012 and the work and the heavy lifting begins today with each of you in this room together. we can save america from the fate it has seen for the last three years. thank you for allowing me to share this time with you today. god bless each of you. god bless our crowd military and god bless the united states of america -- proud of military and god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] thank you for being here. [applause] and now, if i might ask, please rise and welcome my good friend, the national committeewoman from louisiana and vice chairman of the southern region of the republican national committee to
give the invocation and lead us in the pledge of allegiance to this, the greatest country in the world. >> over 200 years ago, thomas jefferson offered this prayer. please join me in a prayer for the nation. almighty god, you have given us this good land for our heritage. we humbly ask you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favre and glad to do your will. bless our land with every endeavor, sound learning, and your manners. save us from violence, discord and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and every evil way. bring us into one united people, the multitudes from here out of
many nations and towns. and dealt with the spirit of wisdom those to whom we have trusted the authority of government and through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations. in time of prosperity, phil our hearts with thankfulness and in the day of trouble -- fill our hearts with thankfulness and in the day of trouble, do not allow us to go out without you. please join me in the pledge. >> [all together] i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
>> please welcome our own visionary from that mergers -- baton rouge.o merg [applause] >> thank you, weddie. fellow republicans, distinguished guests, i have been a resident of louisiana since 1942 and a registered republican since 1984. i am here to talk to you about some of the most important issues facing our nation. louisiana heritage is very important to us. but we have the ability to laugh at ourselves as well. i will take one moment to tell you a cajun story. woodrow gets a job at the catholic church and thibodaux
gets a job at cross highway at an evangelical church. they are putting up a sign and a sign says, "repent, turn yourself around. the end is near." this motorists comes by and rolls down the window and screams out, "you religious idiot." and then followed by a big screech and crash. and then woodrow turns to thibodaux and says, "maybe we should have just put up a sign that the bridge is out." [laughter] thank you. i'm glad you enjoyed it, too. louisiana is one of the cheese states -- chief state's for energy. we have production, pipelines, refineries. the people of louisiana are committed to continue to serve
the nation's energy needs as best we can. [applause] let me now take a few minutes to discuss a couple of issues in the forefront. the first thing, renewable energy policy. let me preface my remarks by saying that we are to be good stewards of all that god has created. the bible teaches all of us that. i am supportive of green energy and renewables, but also mindful that often times they are costlier than fossil fuels. we have to keep in mind that our industries have to compete on a global basis and a disproportionate high-cost energy affects some of our residents on a regular basis. if we have to keep these things
in mind. just a few years ago, one of the most contentious issues to come before congress was the renewable portfolio standard, one size fits all mandated by washington. in the louisiana, we have taken a different road. we have said we need to work with the resources we have come on get the utilities to use those, and then let the market determine what happens. [applause] as a republican, i believe in markets. markets have proven to be a better allocator of scarce resources and to give the consumer what they really need. [applause] instead of government mandates, i firmly believe the free market entrepreneurs share will enable us to meet our energy needs. a prime example is the hydraulic
fracturing of the shale deposits, which are under at least 26 states in the united states. this has not only lowered utility bills and electricity bills for consumers of natural gas, but i believe it will bring back the manufacturing sector that we have outsourced for so many years. let me give you an example. a leading steel mill just decided to locate its plant in louisiana rather than a foreign country. one of the primary reasons was because of the competitively priced natural gas that it could use. that was primarily from the shale. one good american can lead, and we must not squander our advantages. [applause] estimates are that we have a 100-year supply of natural gas
through the shale and other sources if we do not over regulate it. and that is a pretty big "if." there is so much natural gas now that some of the companies have applied to export it from the u.s. just a few years ago we were importing it and now we can actually export it. do you know what that does for the trade deficit? it helps, and it is good for america. [applause] the benefits of the shale production should not be understated. they reduce our independence -- our dependence on foreign energy sources and provide high-paying jobs in areas where we have such high unemployment. and also, they have the honor -- the ability to increase the use of natural gas not just for electricity, but for the transportation sector. in addition to maintaining
regulation for onshore resources, we must do the same thing for our offshore resources. history shows that offshore drilling can be done safely. i believe the bp spill was an anomaly, and if you look back through history, there are more spills from ships bringing imports than an accident on one of the rigs. i think we need to take that into consideration. [applause] now let's go back to the shale revolution. we must not allow the nation to adopt draconian restrictions that would hinder the development of this great resource. if i will give you an example. the states are in a better position to regulate the fracturing. texas just passed an act that
requires the energy and production companies to disclose to the state which chemicals they are injecting into the ground. they do not have to show the formula because they believe it is proprietary. but that is a way to reasonably regulate it and still protect the environment. i congratulate taxes on that. -- texas on that. [applause] in closing, let me share two things that i would pass on to policymakers of energy for my 15 years on the louisiana public rv