tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 14, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
good morning. we are in an interesting impasse right now where it appears once again we are not sure how to get to a deal. >> what happened yesterday and how going forward are they going to meet again today? >> it appears they are moving forward. yesterday, we had some drama with the number two republican in the house who accused the president of storming out of the room after mr. kanter suggested doing this more short term than he wanted to. this is getting to be high stakes here. the markets are getting a little j jitery. the ceiling might be raised.
i wouldn't be surprised if the markets start to really show more if they don't come to a deal? host: jim? we will move on. to let you any at 4:15 this afternoon, president obama continues the negotiations with the leadership at the white house. again today, the fed chair will be testify fieing on the hill. we'll cover that live. that's at 10 a.m. this morning live on c-span 3. again, democrats only during the first segment. here is the political article on that meeting.
discussed. signs of movement, they've been saying there is progress in these talks. do you share that view? >> it is hard to talk for those of us who aren't in the room. to some folks are more optimistic than others. it depeppeds in large part on whether you think john boehner is in charge of the republicans here or whether his view behind the scene will win out. right now by all appearances, if cantor is in control, it's difficult to see how his group come to agreement here >> what about the speaker? >> he has been the one last year
willing to make a deal >> he put things like tax expenditures on the table. that is the real question hereof how they will get the votes in the house. there's enough democrats to go along. that would seem to be >> i can't tell you what they are going to talk about. what is going to happen is they are going to do a lot more of the posturing whether they
really can negotiate we are just going to have to figure something else out. my guess would be over the next couple of days, they are not final in posturing yet. host: what's your take on his proposal? guest: he's been kind of mum on it. it is seen as a sin cal ploy but what that could work. now on to your calls. democrats the first five minutes. we continue.
how are you doing? >> how are you doing with handling the budge e9 talks. caller: they are doing the best they can. they want to get rid of all entitlements, social security, medicaid, medicare. they want to get rid it. everyone can stand in soup lines and stuff thachltz what they are trying to do. do you think the democrats should cut spending at all?
caller: maybe like $500 toilet seats and stuff and take away cars and stuff. host: most congressmen do drive their own cars. where do you stand when it comes to ineesing taxes or changing tax revenue stream? caller: i think the rich should pay more for the taxes. it's always on the back of the middle class and poor. the rich get richer. the poor get poorer. host: next caller is john from philadelphia. caller: thank you for taking my call. i feel both are doing a horrible job of negotiationing. they are not talking about the real issues nor being
transparent. i heard the senator from utah kwaet we should have a lot less spending. i think back. if i'm right, it is no longer the citizens who are allowed to negotiate the drug prices. why the politicians wouldn't just bring that to the light and tell everybody we should begin to negotiate our drug prices. that would be a massive spending reduction. >> one other thing is, i think i've heard that our defense budget is 25 times bigger than anybody els. it is bigger than all the other defense budgets of all the major powers of the world. >> i saw when looking at the balance sheet.
it's somewhere around $680 billion. why couldn't we take out $1 billion or $200 billion, that would give us 1 trillion or 2 trillion in cuts. i don't know how many we would begin to safe if we negotiated savings on drugs. host: sounds like two good shows on washington journal. in the wall street journal, mcconnell changes the terms.
leadership in the house is two different things. i have the greatest admiration for president obama but his past behavior when working with the republicans have brought him to this point. they have worked him. that is now they are threatening the whole nation with this. i don't think the president is handling it well at all. as for the house leadership with nancy pelosi. i think she is our last line of defense to protect social security and medicare. i can't believe the president is willing to gut these programs that people depend on and need. again, i love and respect the president but this is a slap. president rosevelt is turning
over in his grave. i just really want him to stand up for the people. i can't believe the republicans are so whetted to their corporate pay masters that closing loopholes for corporate jets and all these other things. they would average hurt average working people -- host: let's leave it there. thank you. from usa today, white house proposal would raise medicare age to 67 as a comprimise to republicans during budget talks would save about $125 billion over ten years.
raise these children on shame and guilt. ok. what he needs to do is look into boehner's past, cantor's past. see how many times aunt harriet was on medicare. we are at the lowest cash receipt rate since the end of world war 2. all this down turn hasn't affected me a bit. in my house, since they were survivors of the great depression. we lived the great depression everyday. he needs to bring them to task. look in their backgrounds and find out who and where and when they were applied on government programs, especially cantor.
why anybody is listening to a georgetown frat boy is beyond me. host: thank you for calling in. jim tweets in. democrats loose this particular battle if it is not a clean bill and republicans loose if it is. we all lose either way. host: i want to read a couple of comments from facebook. >> from james, obama coming out with $4 trillion was a good move. people are willing to pay a little more taxes to ensure a euro style debt crisis does not happen here. jessica comments, this whole debt thing is a cherade.
if you want to join the conversation, right at the top of our facebook page. facebook.com/cspan. host: detroit on the line. caller: it was clear that when the camera turned on eric cantor, he had his nose up in the air like something was roting. i have never seen anything like this in my life cantor is looking for john boehner's job. he has him on the run. you know he's intelligent but he's afraid for his job.
when are these people going to stop being afraid for their job and start doing what is right for america. >> said wednesday he may rejoin the so-called gang of six. the senators seeking to reach agreement that would blend spending cuts with a tax code overhaul. not willing to pay enough spending. the closely watched group has been working for months in hopes of a deputy sit cutting deal that might gain mowment um. host: from chicago. darren. caller: i wanted to make one comment. i want the american people to
see and know that these republicans are not for the american people. they just want to fatten up their pockets and keep the rich, rich and keep the poor, poor. that's the only bill they are going to pass. they are never going to help this land. they are going to disrespect the president as much as they possibly can like they've been doing forever. since he was in office, they've been disrespecting him. it shows. i'm sure the american people see it now. host: thank you. two more facebook comments. first from bradly, why is it whenever politicians threaten to cut programs, they go after elderly and children. and then bren, i disagree with all the politicians at this point. they accomplish nothing.
i do not believe anyone sent these guys to d.c. to represent these guys in this manner. we all get to suffer the consequences. >> reports that the navy could face $10 billion in budget cuts. they could slash the budget by $10 billion. white house officials have ordered the pentagon. host: milton from kentucky. caller: i think, you know, they've got their hands full up there. they both have good ideas. they come from different schools
of thought of course. i think they need to use the old horse trade approach and meet half way. host: next call from ohio. patricia. caller: hi, peter. i think that every time mitch mcconnell says he wants to make this president a one-term president, i make an effort to find another person to vote democrat and tell them what's going on. that's what every democrat should do. we need to get rid of mr. mcconnell. mr. cantor needs to go home and get his diaper changed. he's so shallow and super official, i don't know how president obama works with these people. they are all frying to be great
stars. they don't care anything at all about the people. i don't hear any good ideas coming out of the republican party. they tried to pass the bill to cut down on the money, taxpayers sending jobs overseas. all the republicans voted against it. then they come out and say they want jobs. turned them all down and it brought some of the bills back again. >> as a democrat, could you see any budget cuts. caller: i see all kind of places to cut the budget. we have that 25 hedge fund people that pay only 15% taxes on billions of dollars. the 25 of them make what 189 americans make. they don't pay the 30% we pay.
we should cut all the corporate welfare. we should give exxon mobil $6 million a year. we give it to them. it's not about taxes. host: dennis from maryland. caller: good morning. please don't cut me off. when george bush came into power, we had a surplus. it was projected that by 2010, we would payoff our debts. george bush said we don't need the money. he took it and gave it back to the rich folks, then started two wars. they weren't paid for. when george bush left office, we were in serious deficit because of him ruining or wasting all of
the surplus we would have had had he followed. >> let's bring it up to the current date. how are they doing handling the debt talk? caller: it's difficult for the president to get some senses. number one, you cannot just -- after all the give away that's we give to the rich, it's time they give back something. the only way you are going to balance the budget is that you have to put all the money over the last ten years. the rich have gotten richer. they are going to hedge funds. especially on oil. we are paying the price. >> we'll leave it there. another facebook comment.
the same bill that came every couple of years from over a decade. what's changed? wait? different party in the white house. tony is a democrat in miami. how do you think the president is handling the white house? caller: good morning. we have to get rid of this band of bandits, the republican bandits. that's what we are. the reason why we don't have no work out here in the states. we have so much unemployment because please republicans all are money mans supporting the money people. all those are the owners of the big corporation and moving away from this country and taken to
places where they don't pay no taxes. they pay lower salary. nothing for the working people. they take their jobs and put the food on the table of the other country. we have to stop that. we have to stop that. we have to get rid of that bunch of bandits out there. host: all right. we've got the point. remind our viewers coming up grover norquist will be here followed by the chairman of the congressional caucus. representative whip announced wednesday, he'll marshal democratic votes.
right after this conversation you'll have grover norquist. they don't want to negotiate. how do you just default on the country. i don't understand the average american people standing up for them. all they are working for is corporation. i will never understand how so many of them got in. you can't prove it. it is sad that way. >> sorry. thought you were done. go ahead. how do you think the president is doing.
i would like to say to the president, do not give in. i am unemployed. 60 years old. i am willing to go down with our president do not let the government scare you. it is a scare tactic against a black man. thank you for taking my call. on twitter. >> hi, willow from michigan. how do you think the president is doing with regard to debt talks?
caller: i couldn't put myself in his situation and maintain my cool like he is. somebody has to be the adult in the room. host: if you could advise the president, what would you tell them? >> i would try to remind them what the big picture is and what this is for. when they are supporting the big business and oil interest overseas, we saw soldiers are there protecting american interest. these guys don't want to pay any taxes. they don't want to pay the military wage. they don't want to pay the military death benefit, they don't want to pay for the widows or children left behind. they don't want to pay for them to get well if they get hurt.
they want all the advantages of the american system. they want everybody to be protecting big business interest. they don't want to pay for that. they want to pay zero in taxes. i find that pretty reprehensible. >> white house threatens veto for bill on wall street's reform. threatening to undermine the dodd frank, reform law by limiting the funding. the office issued a statement wednesday saying senior adviceors would recommend the president veto the package
host: sandy is a democrat from chicago. we are just talking to democrats today. we spoke to republicans yesterday. caller: i think they are handling debt talks as well as can be expected when you are dealing with someone like cantor. at this point in time, i would not vote for a dead republican. if you asked me what i would like to do to help the debt problem, i would definitely cut corporate welfare. i would stop a lot. benefits congress gets including, i would like a review
of their retirement package. i would stop foreign aid. i would stop foreign aid until the deficit is paid. i would remine them they are voting against programs to bring jobs back. that was sandy in chicago. michael in orange county, california on the line. caller: i've been democrat all my life. i will not vote democrat on this go around in 2012. i will convince my associates who are doctors and lawyers and professors to not vote democrat for three reasons. the economy, job situation and this terrible debt who i blame on obama. it has turned out to be no, i can't. no, i can't. thank you. >> from the hill newspaper.
host: donald. how are you doing? caller: hello. i believe both parties are doing the best they can i do believe that the republicans need to take a bus tour across the country and use their own money to take a look at what is being spent and what's not being spent on the back allies and streets across the country and all that is falling apart and everything within the united states. there's so much that has to be done. they are blind to the areas that need addressing. he should sit there and let the domino effect happen.
they have spent too much >> do you see any similars between what is going on now and the 1995 government shut down >> have you thought about that at all? >> no. i do know we need to address this whole thing they probably should have a sign on the back of their suits in the morning showing how much they get and the benefits they get take a look at the guy who tries to go to work everyday to make a living and the benefits he gets the working class, the backbone of this country is how they made their money democrats need to
host: denver post front page. they have a capture on the front page. if you go to u.s. debt clock.org, which is not associated with any government agency. it's a private group of citizens, you can see the debt clock increasing on a regular basis. you can see some other different deb debts. back to your calls. ed from illinois. how is the president and democrats on the hill handling
debt talks. what the president ought to propose. when the cost goes up or rent or electricity, the first thing he does is raise the cost of the product he's charging to his customers. the government should go out and look for additional revenues. not taxes but surcharges for things that are getting away completely free of any charge like the hedge fund trading billions are being traded. that's what the government ought to do. go after finding creative ways to generate revenue.
that's what american business does. they don't necessarily cut their costs. they find different ways of generating revenue all right, ed. the chinese economy triggering a hard landing. the stronger than expected growth from earlier in june. what are your thoughts on how president obama and the democrats are handling their debt talks? caller: they are doing the best they can do. i give them praise. people are suffering out here.
social security is the only thing they have to live on. the tea party has ruined the republican party. they have opened a bag of worms. number two, the number one cause and reason, that alone tells me their intentions 11 times. what's wrong with obama. they have an agenda. america, wake up if you don't wake up, we are gone. thank you. host: this is first primary tweeting in. everyone wants more and will get less especially the republicans
collectio collections. and presidential papers. learn how the library is using technology to preserve holdings for future generation. join us this monday night on c-span. if you looked at every photo and spent one minute on each, it would take over 24 years to see them all. host: grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform. what was your message yesterday?
guest: i asked michelle bachmann to speak. we had a discussion certainly people from boehner's office and mcconnell's office came by to talk about the various proposals back and forth. people don't want tax increases, they do want spending restrain. negotiations are a little built of a black box. host: what do you think of mcconnell's proposal? guest: it's an interesting thing that brings us back to something people don't understand. the government has passed the budget. that's the one that says on taxes, they will take the top
rate to 25%. at the spending level, it takes $6 trillion of additional spending. takes $6 trillion off the table and puts us on a path of a government that's smaller as a percentage of the economy. obama to date has taken us to historical levels up to 25. the democrats have gone two and three years without passing a budget. democrats didn't do a budget this year or last year. what mitch mcconnell has asked
is for the president to actually put in writing what his speeches have been about. really? write them down, show us. and tax increases will be by nobody and they'll be painless. >> really? some of us may think that those taxes would actually hurt the economy forcing the president to come up with a budget, which he hasn't done they want to run for office based on speeches, the way obama did in 2008. they don't want to run based on what they plan to spend for the
future. mitch mcconnell says you don't get out of this room without writing what you plan to do. what you are talking about instead of just giving speeches obama has spept the last two years running for president instead of being president these speeches are cute and funny. when you are president of the united states, you really ought to do something. i'm a fan of his approach as one piece of the puzzle. what do we want to have happen? have a dollar of debt ceiling increase, mr. president. then we can have a deal and not raise taxes. it's been clear six months now
so the president can write his own budget. host: does the debt ceiling feed to be raised? is it possible that they could reign in spending and not do it? if you start it a couple years ago. the president has increased spending $1 trillion a year. each and every year if the president hpt wasted $800 trillion, we wouldn't have to do this. we are hitting the debt ceiling. in the last of the previous years, they added a trillion to the discretionary spending. they added a trillion.
trying to bring some of that down is important. maybe in accepting the cost down temporarily raise the debt ceiling? that's likely. the president doesn't understand. we have nine plus percent of the american people unemployed because he's damaged the economy so much with spending. germany is spending less chinese are spending less. when the government spends money, it doesn't make us richer, it makes us poorer. host: between democrats, republicans, you can always tweet
>> candidates who signed pledges, u.s.a. today writes, these sorts of pledges are receipts for grid lock. the vows stop politicians isn't that how democracy is supposed to work. officials owe their allegiance. not interest groups the only pledge we'd like candidates to support is simple. don't sign any pledges.
if you go to the website we have the copy of the pledge we ask all to sign it is not americans for tax reform. it very simply we wept through this a week ago they are some what confused. this is a pledge to the voters, not to me. it says, i promise we won't raise taxes. the constitution is a collective dockment. we are saying, you cannot tell us which church to go to. you promised not to steal
anyone's guns. you promised not to use the government what to read or what religion to have or what to say in the public square. previous guys have spent a lot of money. my job is not going to be to steal enough of your money to pay for their mistakes we are not going to come and blame obama for your overspending. we are not going to come pick
your pocket because he has no self control. there are other pledges. i think there is value to a questionnaire where you say here is my possession. national rifle association. where are you on obama's efforts. he spends 9 a.m. to noon getting tax money and spends the rest of the afternoon trying to steal guns. fz hard at work messing with people rather than running the government.
>> our guest. james a republican from lakeland, florida. first up. good morning. caller: hi, james. i voted republican every insurance icen however and bush one. bush two the first time. when he ran up the deficit and putting in a prescription care plan they didn't pay for and fought two wars that weren't paid for where were we on that? the republican party then, they voted to raise the debt ceiling the same time. guest: glad to have the guy
calling in on the republican libel using democratic party talking points. that's one of the reason the tea party movement is an important corrective for the modern republican party, post reagan. when gold water came in and began to make it the principal conservative party. all you knew was that they were born north of the mason dikson side. beginning the process of turning the modern party into a limited constitutional party that wanted to have lower taxes on you less regulations of how to run your life. spending continued to drift up.
the government is always to spend more money. going back to the last $4,000 years of history, governments tend to do so because they have the swoerds and spears and guns to take everybody's money and do just that. you had independents. that's why you see i different party. i agree that bush spent too much he increased spending. president obama increased total spending each year in two years
should we be unhappy that bush in eight years increased the spending? yes. should we notice obama did it in a more permanent way. it is not fair to bush. still, the modern republican party would never tolerate the size and amount and approach that the bush years took towards spending. that's not what woe want to go back to. we want to go forward to less spending than obama and bush. next call, georgia, you are on the line.
>> i do have two quick comments. i wanted to know who do you think you you are where you are basically holding our elected officials hostage as to sign a pledge going against the american people i don't remember being elected to any official seat where you can do that. i was wandering why anybody should really be listening to you or why you should be on tv. you should be in jail for what you did for the indians on the reservations on. host: do you think grover norquist has heard those comments before? caller: i think he has from many people. what i fear in this country. i feel what the american people are experiencing right now is a
1% of the country. my fear is that the republicans are privatizing things in the country now. it means that the public did not have the ability to see who is running these entities and how they are getting paid people are paid, it is usually elected positions. we can go in there, see the books. don't like the job they are doing, we cannot elect them again. host: we have who do you think you are, privatization. guest: susan, you may not have been listening to the previous few minutes of the show when you
said i ask officials to take a pledge to me. i'll say it again slowly. a pledge elected officials sign saying i commit that i will not raise the taxes. it is a commitment to the people of their state it is not a pledge to me. whether you are not hearing it correctly or you you are making it up to try to make a political point, it's kind of silly here's what we are going to did, if you send me to washington, step one. i'm not going to raise your taxes. obama wants the republicans in office, they ran for office
making a commentment. you may want taxes raise but you lost in the last election. your team was smacked hard. not just on rich people but all the american people. the first tax president obama signed, passed a tax increase on cigarette smokers. the only american in the united states that earns more than $250,000 and smokes cigarettes is named barack obama. they want to raise taxes and get more money and spend it. republicans are not go to be allow them to raise taxes. the pledge allows them to do that. look at the candidate who takes
ays i won't vote for you. you are free to do that. millions do choose just that subject. that's an interesting one. i'm sorry you think i shouldn't be allowed to speak in public. you don't get to make those decisions. when the left gets frustrated and they want to shut down like fox tv, it is a sign of the weakness of their arguments. i welcome people like you speaking out. it helps to elect people on my team. host: jack abramoff. guest: i am sorry for all the
challenges he's had. that was unfortunate for him and his family. thankfully he didn't involve me in that. host: do you want to see more privatization? guest: it depends on what you mean. i'm not sure what susan is talking about. in the last few years, the administration nationalized all stu department loans. they are trying to pass regulation which would destroy for profit colleges such as university of phoenix and other for profit schools that tend to serve low income people trying to get job specific education
the kind of thing that can get you an actual job that lower income americans tend to do. the obama policy wants to nationalize or put into the state control higher education. one of the first things he did was to try to destroy -- we had to destroy. they reversed the school choice. their parents could take them to a private school with a fraction of the $13,000 or $14,000 a year that d.c. pays. obama wanted to destroy that idea. it got a little embarrassing. he looked at them and said i
work for the teacher unions, not you. go to heck. then he was forced to give lower income students in d.c. that opportunity. we've had obama looking to take away alternatives to government control particularly for poorest kids in school. the good news is obama can only destroy hopes for people in d.c. he can't do it in indiana, pennsylvania and wisconsin at the state level. they are giving the poorest kids in their states more school choice. both undergrad and mba from harvard university. going to the independent line. caller: my question is around
taxes and the calculation. i need to understand that. i'm an independent. i worked on the reagan campaign. i voted for obama. i will again. i believe the republicans are completely boxed in by the pledge they took. you know my politics. my question is specifically, the republican argument says do not raise taxes on revenue side. if we do that, we'll crush the jobs we are saying democrats will raise taxes for that $50,000 on this $300,000 income.
consumers. if you want to remember that whchlt obama took office, he said he was going to spend $800 billion of other people's money. since he said that, we lost 1.4 million. 9% of the country is unemployed. since obama left office, his policies have made americans poor poorer we have to stop the job killing. that's what the fights are about. they have said enough. ronald tweets into you how many times did reagan raise taxes?
adjusting for inflation, spending went up, not down after that spending deal. he put together americans for tax reform. i am very happy with where reagan was going. there are times he made the mistake in 1982 of getting cheated. host: paul from tennessee. caller: i'm going to try to get you tongue tied. i want to get this out. i am a republican. i think abortion is murder and
gay is an a bomb ination. i am sick of all these parties. when this crook here took office. he said he was going to stop these wars. get down these gas prices and do all this stuff. he's done nothing but put us in the home. i'm sick of the republican party too. they can't agree what's for us. they have this one poll arized part of the party. guest: i'm not here to defend the republican party. where do you see them failing? are you for tax increases or
against them i keep an eye on them. they keep saying no. where then have they disappointed you? host: he is now gone. if your concern is taxes. this is so disappointing. we think we elected a guy that's one of the reasons why a taxpayer protection pledge. they like politicians that come in promising not to pay taxes. they come in and go to cocktail parties. everybody is a spending interest lobbiest.
overtime, they are supposed to become reasonable and grow in office. the pledge tells people not to grow. it helps they to keep their roots in their town and home state. the good news is because of the pledge and as a tool. it made it easier for officials who wanted to keep their word when they got elected, to keep it. of all the spending interest, i like you. you have such great points. that's one reason the establishment left is so grumpy.
next call from sierra from kentucky. caller: i have a few questions for this man. i haven't heard him say anyth g anything. they are not paying any taxes. ge didn't pay a penny in taxes. most of them are getting reba s rebates. middle class people are hurt more than anybody. our unemployment did not go up until the republicans came in
and then the governor started laying everybody off guest: ma'am, you are not allowed to make up facts. we can have a conversation about your feelings but you are not allowed to make up numbers. host: indiana. guest: what about the oil p accounts. you made that question and the other person started explaining was talking about revenues and taxes. if you raise taxes on a grocery
american people want. when you take the position, what you are really saying is why don't we treat consumers like they are idiots instead of taking money from them, which they'll notice, we'll tax carrots. you don't recognize when you tax things, you are taxing people. when you tax businesses, you are in fact taxing consumers
eliminating. all three members of the republicans in the gang of six not only took the pledge but then wrote me a letter saying, look, we are not going to raise taxes we just want economic growth. the leadership in the house have made it very clear frank wolf of virginia says he is for higher tax taxes. he said i'd never raise taxes
but i won't agree. at the end of the day, senator coburn promised he would not vote to raise their taxes. it was an unfortunate incident he believed he could raise taxes and make it work. host: republican from riverside, california. caller: i don't know if you consider part of the religious rig right. you know it says if we take the
mark of the beast, we won't be able to go to he haven. i admonish everyone to keep their priorities straight. guest: people who raise taxes may be able to get into heaven, i just don't think they should be in office. get republicans to calm in on the republican line. i've had three democrats calling in on the republican line. participate guys. get on the phone. use the republican line, not the democratic line. the other team does that. don't you do that. call in and ask questions.
better next time. i would add chris christi, the president republican governor they reform pensions so over the next 30 years, people in new jersey will spend $130 billion lesson the pension system. that means the government services people pay for is $130 billion over 30 years. that's real money in real time. a lot of people today would be alive in 30 years and save that property tax. he has the name i.d. they know who he is. they've heard of his successes. the idea you had to announce
months ago is true for most americans. they don't have to introduce or explain themselves in the same way. host: coming up, we'll look at the legacy of betty ford and the role of first ladies. up next, the co-chair of the professional caucus, congressman grijalva. >> blooum news reports president obama may head to a camp david summit lawmakers told they have until tomorrow to decide whether they can reach a deal. some positive economic news from jp morgan chase. the company reports the soaked
quarter income rose 13%. their stock rising.2% refusing a call. it is unclear if they can be compelled to testify. the government on the issue at the now closed newspaper. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, visiting at the library of congress.
looking at the history of civil rights. this weekend, live from salt lake city, the nation's governs look at the lessons of 9/11. talking competitiveness and the economy. sunday at 1:30 eastern. the national govern's association on line and on c-span. >> i'm very interested in what i call disappearing america. america that may not be here 25 years from now. >> traveling 9 united states documenting the country through her camera lense. every photo donated and at the library of congress.
my assessment is that going through all these, we'll have a tough discussion about raising the debt limit. potentially the president could exercise his prerogative. look at the cost containment issues down the road. >> if i could get your reaction to a couple of news stories come o out. this morning, white house proposal would raise medicare age from 65 to 67. last week, the president put social security reform on the table. want to get your reaction long with this. showing the increase in medicare
they were the cause of and the only source. we are looking at the budget of isolation. as long as we do that, then these programs become easy and convenient targets. do we need to look at restructuring and efficiencies of economy in these programs? absolutely. as easy as the pharmaceutical vote. billions of dollars saved.
caller: i am only 53. you represent all of the things i grew up with. i'm a third generation union worker. i don't see how we workers are being blamed. i did 11 years in the marine corp. if you are willing to be an american first, i'm will gs to continue to fight and die for you as a fellow american if
republicans are considered an marxist. >> i've been called an marxist. i don't know what that is. i'm a john f. kennedy democrat. i get called names. i speak for the people. i dwlifred newspapers when i was a child. now with all three of us they are punishing people at the grocery stores. we fight the wars. we do everything the powers that be ask us to do.
entitlements. they also be taken off the table and the items at this point. the generation and breaks we've been given the last 10 years. we want that on the table. next call from missouri. joyce is a republican. caller: where can we read your poe possess al? it is my understanding obama keeps talking rhetoric. i want to read your plan and his
plan. why would he make a threat of holding back social security threats when that is not to be a part of the general budget. i would like to answer that, it's supposed to be separate. guest: social security is a trust fund. i'll start with that. i argue that social security has had nothing to do with the deficit you are in right now. we should have a 10-year plan to repay all the money we borrowed. the caucus has a website. it's on there. look at it. in terms of social security and what would happen.
24 game of russian roulet is not something president obama started. it was dealt with under bush and previous presidents. there has to be economies. we need to do it. for us to default at this point not only jeopardizes those people everyday but across the board. this game that the republicans began. this whole drama we are in right now the conclusions are not very, very good. not good for this country if we are going to default. host: i want to get your reaction to president obama on monday on cbs news. >> the vast majority of
democrats would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements and on this of these debt and deficit problems. they are looking after folks already hurting and vulnerable. there are a lot of families and seniors dependent on some of these programs. i try to explain, one, if you look at the numbers, medicare in particular will run out of money. we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. it is not an option for us to sit by and do nothing. if you are a progressive who cares about the integrity of social security of medicare and medicaid and believes that is part of what makes our country
great, we look after our seniors, we have an obligation to make sure we make those changes required to make it sustainable over the long term. >> i agree with the president's last sentence. we have the generations to come. i think until and where i have disagreement is we have apre disposition that social security and medicare would be on the table regardless. this has cost us the real deficit we are in. it is unfair. it is putting a burden on the people not responsibly for the position we are in. 10 years of a same fiscal policy that got us into this hole. now we are going to rep ly kate
it. every break and give away to the corporate community continues to go on and on. that's where the balance is skewed. we do believe social security and medicare, separate and beyond are discussions on the debt ceiling. >> in his fifth term. the district includes parts of too an and yuma. any update of your neighbor? >> what gaby has gone through something none of us can fathom. host: she is back from tucson,
correct? guest: yes. all the prayers people extended to her and her family is working. it has been something miraculous where she is now from the ugliness and tragedy she went through. host: next call from maui, hawaii. go ahead. caller: yes. it is obvious that the american people haven't woken up to the fact that as long as we allow legal bribery in this nation, which is called lobbying and corporations and churches thanks to the right wring part of the supreme court allow politicians campaigns. as long as you allow. to me, that's bribery. host: congressman?
guest: i suggest there's no connection between the financial service world. wall street, financial services, some of the contractors in the military area that are still making out of date weapons we are never going to utilize. even gates said that repeatedly. it is not coincidence that that influence is the primary influence all of us feel everyday we are in congress. it's no coincidence that they get a pass on these debt ceiling discussions while social security and medicare are on the chopping block. certainly influence is there and
is prevalent and pervasive. host: this tweet to you from the hippy. obama seems to be shifting right and not given any strong support for our progressive budget. what are your thoughts? guest: we had outside val daters and a wonderful staff from many of our offices that work to get this together. our intent was that we were going to present something serious to the american people and our colleagues. we did that. . .
the last meeting that they had, even someone who was trying to work that center, there are limits. and hopefully the president is reaching a tipping point because i think his effectiveness to the rest of the nation is for him to go out and rally the american people behind us, moving out of this quagmire that we are in and moving the programs that they care about alone. he still has that capacity. he has moved to the center, and that has been reflected in the negotiated deals that have been for the best. host: 10, thanks for holding -- tim, thanks for welding. caller: i think it is unnecessary sun-times to solve problems.
have we had a 5% were taxed at the time that we had gone to war, on sales, we would not have this problem today. i would like to suggest that we institute a 5% save america sales tax on everything that is sold. therefore, those who have the most and spend the most would pay more in taxes, and as the congressman mentioned before it would be shared sacrifice because everyone would be paying. also, i feel to create jobs, reinstitute the draft. guest: i disagree with the caller on the second part of this question, reinstituting draft. i think the first part of his comment, the 5% sales tax across
the board, in this whole scheme of things of things we are talking about, merit some consideration. the irony, and it is a really good point the gentleman made, this is the first time in this nation where we have gone to war in iraq and afghanistan, and at the time that we have gone to war, that is what we did the bush tax cuts, the corporate tax cuts that further douglas into the economic hole that we are in. it is -- that further doug us into the economical that we are in. it is the first time in history. host: here is a tweet. guest: those are the priorities
that are laid before congress. we have a hearing yesterday where we did a land exchange. republicans passed a totally partisan votes. copper orr in the state of arizona will be taken out, no royalties paid for by a foreign company. it will be shipped to china for their industry that is growing. but no royalties, nothing bad for the american taxpayer. yet we wonder how we got ourselves into the situation we arwin. host: just announced, unemployment applications fall for a second week, few more --
fewer people sought unemployment benefits. the labor department says weekly applications dropped 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 405,000, the lowest level in almost three months. was the employment situation in your district? guest: unfortunately, yuma county leads the nation in unemployment, 27.9%. in the poorer areas it is double what the national averages. and i think that is true across the country. it is not only people applying for unemployment, or applying for jobs. there is a group that a sizable out there that has given up. i think that is unfortunate. i have said it many times and our caucus believes very strongly that the key is job
creation. i think it is time that the federal government intervened and really become the creators for jobs in this country. host: new york, to look on the republican line. caller: i have three quick points i want to make and i would love to hear the congressman's reaction. the first point is social security, if we never touched it, and never bored into it, we would have the richest elderly class -- never borrowed into it, we would have the richest and elderly class in the world. number two, what is on the chopping block when this problem is discussed from of programs. i know students who have no parental guidance, what did they
do? they -- they got a high-interest credit-card and started taking one or two glasses. number three, raised taxes but cut spending. i am a republican, but a liberal. there are a few of us. guest: i will start with the programs. this set the tone for the budget discussion that there is collateral damage and that is ok in this process. for young people who want to better themselves and go to college, the collateral damage seems to be the generation that is coming behind.
social security, retirement age they have all changed. unemployment rate went upo in this country. there is a corresponding and down issue. there are more and more public employees and they have been vilified too much. they are not deserving of that. if they lose their jobs, that add to unemployment. whether it is a fireman or a health-care worker, it is something that factors into this budget discussion.
host: here is another tweet. do you agree with that? guest: i really do not know. raising the issue, that is something to explore. but i do not have any -- enough information to tell you whether to cap it. host: 5 minutes left with our guest. next call, go ahead. caller: as far as jobs, you've got to get companies to hire people better middle-aged with pre-existing injuries. they say they will not hire them. guest: really, no comment.
the german makes a point and a good point. -- the gentleman makes a point and a good point. host: your colleagues on the campaign committee said earlier that if the democrats caved on medicare, there will be trouble. do you agree? guest: yes, i do. i believe that the issue of social security, medicare, and to lay a great extent medicaid as well will be key issues. i do not think the compelling issue will be the debt limit. the compelling issue will be the day to day life of americans, their insecurity about the economy, their jobs, and the programs they rely on for retirement and health care. the chairman is absolutely
correct. if we're going to run as democrats, then these volumes and these programs and jobs are going to be -- and these values and these programs and jobs are going to be key. host: a c-span democratic tweets in. next call for congressman bridge java occur -- congressman grijalva from missouri. caller: when you go to vote for the collections in my county, there is funded in a democrat on the ballot anywhere. our real-estate taxes have gone up. our water bills and electric bills have gone up. our trash bills have gone up,
and republicans have done it. not the democrats. if i do not receive my social security check this month, on the third of this month i will lose my electricity, telephone, television, and no gas in my car. if my wife does not receive her social security check, we will miss a house payment for the first time in 20 years. let the republicans cut off of our social security checks and see what happens to them in the next elections. guest: that is an american reality that i think too many times those of us who work in washington fail to understand how intense and how much anxiety is out there.
this discussion is going to get settled because that reality politically and physically, i do not think there is anyone in congress or the white house that will be able to ignore it. host: what is your reaction to the news that there may be a delay in social security checks in august? guest: i thought he had to be honest with the american people. it was painful to everyone who heard it. it created anxiety. but kantor and boehner and those folks have to understand this is not a walk in the park. these are real lives that will be affected by the games being played here. raising the issue, raising the stakes, profiling that reality, i thought it was important that he did it.
host: one of the lines you hear from republicans is that we do not have a revelation, but a spending problem. guest: yes, i would say the what has happened under the last 10 years of essentially republican policy, we have constricted government, and give revenue has been going out the door. we have been spending it on the wrong things. we have been giving tax breaks, subsidies, and for some reason my republican colleagues do not consider the spending. there've been spending out the back door and planning programs like social security that spends through the front door on us. host: our next call comes from caller:: i am a constituent of
mr. grijalva and i think he is a very good rep. many times to pohic complain about obama. he has been weak with your broken spirit and -- with the republicans. george w. bush start of this big spending when he got us into these two wars, and i think there should be a constitutional amendment that says when we are taken into war automatically, there is a war tax slapped on the government. host: congressman? guest: there has been
discussion, and invite yesterday, there was discussion with some of the staff people out that if congress were to take a vote under the war powers to take a military action, that at the moment that they took that action there were also be a tax imposed to pay for that action. two or three years ago that sounded like a flight of fancy. in these economic times it is starting to make more sense. host: and our last call from indiana. caller: i was wanting to state that i agree with the 5% war tax and i believe the republicans are making a huge mistake by having the president put our social security and medicare on the table. we pay into that. that is our money. they spent it. we did not, they did. and i believe they should close
the loopholes for the big businesses. we do not get the big loopholes. they do. guest: again, i think that comment is reflective of a reality -- and i keep saying this -- that has been up there. it has given us a lot of strength to be able to say, we are going to fight for social security, fight for medicare, fight for the progressive budget to be in the discussion because that is what we are getting back from the american people. we are confident that we are taking their message to d.c. sometimes we will run afoul of our own leadership, our own president in these discussions, but our intent is not to repeat president for our leadership. our intent is to be independent voices for what we think is the american reality that nobody is
talking about. host: congressman grijalva is the co-chair of the caprogressie caucus. we are now or to turn our attention to this issue in the detroit free for us this morning -- in the detroit free press this morning, betty ford. up next is noella rodriguez, who worked several years for laura bush. we will be talking to our about the legacy of betty ford, as well as the role of first ladies. >> missouri democratic senator claire mccaskill in an appearance earlier on msnbc's morning show says she cannot figure out leaders thoughts on
raising the debt limit it would require three separate votes to do so before the 2012 elections. she went on to say, "i think mitch mcconnell, frankly, has lost his mind." turning to defense against attack on the nation's computer systems. a broad strategy was introduced today about formally condemned -- formerly declares cyberspace a new area for warfare, much like land, air, or seed. -- sea. a coalition of food companies, including general mills, con agra, and kellogg plans to make an announcement today about food
safety. >> this weekend on "book tv" on c-span2, reliving experiences in iraq. and richard wright looks at the railroad. and eisenhower in 1956, david nichols looks at the balance of power in the cold war. >> every weekend, american history tv on c-span3 highlights the 100 anniversary of the civil war. -- the 150th anniversary of this award.
the battle of bull run will be commemorated with 48 hours of programming. every weekend on c-span3 with american history tv. >> you are watching c-span. every morning is "washington journal" continue with elected officials, policymakers and journalists. -- connecting you with a letter to officials, policymakers and journalists. weekdays watch the house in session and supreme court for arguments. on the weekends, the communicators and q&a and prime ministers questions from the british house andand of commons. c-span, washington your way, a public service created by america's cable companies. >> "washington journal" continues. host: from the c-span website,
betty ford's funeral service to be buried next to has been in michigan. it concluded today in grand rapids, michigan. her body will continue to lie in repose this morning at the gerald ford museum in grand rapids. they will memorialize her one more time this afternoon. here is the front page of the detroit free press this morning. you can see her casket being. -- carried into the library. we will spend the next hour or so of talking to noella rodriguez, the current director of the foreign policy institute. she also served as communications liaison to laura
bush. our goal is to talk about the legacy of betty ford, and the role of first ladies, in particular contemporary first ladies. first off, the legacy of betty ford. we have heard about the betty ford center. what is your your view of the most important thing she left behind in her legacy? guest: betty ford will be remembered for being so one of tremendous courage. she was first lady at a time when the country was going through so many changes. she expected to retire when joe ford became -- gerald ford became vice president, and then ultimately became president. pohick soon after -- soon after taking office she was diagnosed with breast cancer. in the 1970's it was taboo to discuss the topic of breast
cancer in public. but she did it and it with grace. and she showed other women not only across the country, but around the world, that they had someone in their corner to talk about and share the plight of this disease with them. and later on she became very well known for her battle with addiction and the betty ford center, and in the intervening years has helped thousands of people deal with our call and drug addiction. and -- to deal with drug and of all of the action. host: take us back to the mid- 70s when betty ford became the first lady. august 9, 1974, she walks pat nixon out to the helicopter and of a sudden she is first lady of the united states. can you give us a sense of what the times were like in this
country then and what her initial reactions were? guest: as a young girl in california at the time, the whole decade of the '70s was a time of change with the vietnam conflict, 18-year-old getting the right to vote, and then this thing called watergate. when she and gerald ford went to the white house, it was a low point in our country's history. but she was very gracious, and of course, working with the president on trying to destabilize the country was a terrific pillar of strength for america. and soon after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. in the 1970's people did not talk about those kinds of issues in public. it was the kind of thing that happened only behind closed
doors, and in a sense, was something to be ashamed of because it was a failure of some sort. but she was very, very brave, and she dealt with it not -- and she not only dealt with it, but dealt with it publicly. it set the bar in helping america deal with it tells -- health issues in a way it had not done before. host: we will put the numbers on the screen for callers to join our conversation about the legacy of betty ford. the numbers are on the screen. please allow 30 days between your calls. you can also join us by twitter or on facebook.
you can continue the conversation there. noella, would you do at the harvard institute of politics as former director? guest: the institute of foreign politics really connects students to public service and careers in politics and public service. we inspire students by bringing on board keynote speakers to the john f. kennedy forum to connect our students with those in the world war actually serving in politics. it is a way to inform and inspire the next generation of politicians and the next generation of public servants. it is a place that is a living memorial to john f. kennedy. we are very proud to be part of it here on behalf of the kennedy forum and the university.
host: what was your role at the white house? guest: i have the honor of being secretary andess communications director. i was with her for almost three years. i was with her on a september 11. laura bush was really catapulted in a way she never expected. , and of course -- and in a way that the country never expected. host: noella rodriguez, did you ever given a chance to meet betty ford -- get a chance to meet betty ford? or did you ever look back at her career and tried to push laura bush in that direction? guest: i never got the opportunity to meet mrs. ford, but was suddenly well aware of
her legacy. -- certainly well aware of her legacy. we used her legacy as a way to inform what we would do. mrs. bush, of course, have three issues that she was focused on, primarily early childhood education and women's health issues. but she also focused on breast cancer. it is not a very, known trade that breast cancer is obviously a disease that strikes women across america, but close to it is hard disease. mrs. bush focused on those two diseases to make sure that women have information that could help save their lives. that was in the shadow of betty ford's legacy at the white house. host: 1974-76.
the first ladies did not give a lot of speeches at that time. mrs. bush gave a lot of speeches, didn't she? guest: she certainly did, especially after 9/11. she felt she had a tremendous opportunity to be the comforter in chief, if you will, after the attacks on our country. she not only traveled around the u.s., but around the world, discussing issues that were important to women. for example, after 9/11, she was the first to deliver a full presidential radio address and she addressed the issue of the taliban and women in afghanistan. she focused on the challenges related in afghanistan. it is not something she intended to focus on when she went to the white house in 2001, but
certainly history change the course of all about. she immersed herself and found a way to make a difference in women's lives and girls' lives are on the world. she has taken these opportunities to speak to the communities. host: i noticed yesterday at the funeral in palm desert, calif. that two of the speakers talked about the sisterhood of the first ladies. barbara bush will be there in grand rapids when lynn cheney is speaking to it. is there a sisterhood of the former first ladies? guest: i think there is. it is a very small club. many dead get to
serve as first lady. -- there are not many that get to serve as first lady. at the betty ford funeral, they turned out to show their respect. they show that there is a way to be friends and set aside the differences in politics. it was really heartwarming to see rosalynn carter be a part of that service. and of course, mrs. bush had the opportunity to meet with both first lady hillary clinton when she was entering the white house, and of course mrs. obama went mrs. bush was leaving the white house a couple of years ago. there is a bond among first ladies.
they're not elected to office. they only have to win the vote of one person to be first lady at some point, but they know the challenges of being first lady and seeing how the president has to deal with a very challenging portfolio. and she sees the president as nobody else does, as her husband. host: and of course, the service was tuesday in the palm desert. we have been showing a little bit of video of the first pew in the church with rosalynn norahr, michelle obama, georg bush. -- and george bush. laura bush was unable to be
there. you know why? guest: i do not, but i know george was there to represent their presence. host: first caller, go ahead. caller: mrs. ford was one of the first to come out and the outspoken on the breast cancer issue, as well as other issues. i feel that maybe she had something to do with the race for the cure that they usually have annually, which i'd donate to, and i have in the past. also, remember seeing her at the
funeral for gerald ford. host: roger, are you old enough to remember her as first lady? caller: i certainly am. i am 66. host: was it different hearing her talk about issues such as alcoholism?er and oleso caller: certainly was. those for issues that you generally did not talk about. guest: i cannot _ enough how different it was 25 years ago when -- i cannot underscore enough how different it was 25 years ago. you did not talk about breast cancer. when betty ford dispelled all of
that and talked about the disease, it really helped bring down the number of cases where women had to go to the four stages of cancer and guard early detection. -- to the late stages of cancer and caught early detection. that is another part of the betty ford legacy as well. host: what is the impact of the first lady on their husband's administration? guest: the most important impact is that the first lady, more than anybody else and unlike anybody else, is there for the president. in the moments when they need to be themselves and the need someone who is not going to be giving him a vice on how to do something, or criticizing him for taking a position or not, someone has to be there to support the president in private. and of course, first ladies in
modern times have viewed the press and the bully pulpit to take on issues important to them. and those that they take on are usually those that they were involved in before they became first lady. it is an extension of the platform that they had before, and a way to reach more people than they ever imagined. host: here is a picture of betty ford from 1975 wearing her era now button. this was in 1975 when her husband was president. how much trouble did this get her in? guest: it certainly made her very popular and reflected well on him. it made it look like he was the right person, having betty ford at his side. again, this is in the 1970's when women's rights were not at
the level that they should have been. for her to take this on publicly, and then being a part of the administration that she was part of, it was quite bold on her part. in retrospect, it reflected well on her and him. it did not pass, but it brought the topic to the public's eye. people talked about it and certain exchanges. host: what about the conservative wing of the republican party? did it to ignite a primary challenge of 1976? guest: looking at it apart from that, it really set the subject on the platform. obviously, of course, history changed afterwards, but if she was brave enough to take a
position, it set the tone for women and inspired them to be confident in their own decisions and their careers and wherever they were working on. host: michael is the next call. caller: i have a great admiration for betty ford. and the courage that she has shown. this brings to mind, however, the subject of addiction, and she has quite a legacy in that area. there are different schools of thought on this. it obviously is a disease that has involved other people in the public eye. kitty dukakis, george of the bush -- george w. bush. however, george self recovered. betty ford when the route of
institutional as to treatment centers. i wonder if there are any hard numbers as to the success of treatment centers as opposed to self recovered people. host: any thoughts? guest: that is a good question. if there are, i am not familiar with them. i am not working in that area. however, it is important to note that it is a disease. it was i been labeled that in the 1970's. -- it was not even labeled that in the 1970's. it was something to be ashamed of, to be feared. it was an unknown. to have it at the place where it is recognized as a disease is a great milestone on behalf of the health industry. how to deal with that disease, there are different ways. there is the betty ford center, which has served thousands of
people over the years. other people do it a different way. the important thing is that we recognize it as a disease and we do not see it as something to be ashamed of. there are ways that we can treat the disease and help people overcome the challenges of the disease. host: here is a tweet. maryland, june, a democrat. caller: i am proud to say i am a staunch democrat. the one individual that i voted for that was republican was gerald ford. if and part of that was betty ford's support of era and her bold approach to dealing with breast cancer.
i had a friend who died of breast cancer around that time was ashamed to leave and come out of the house. i still think he was really great and i would have appreciated him becoming president during that time. thank you. host: noella rodriguez? the guest: very good points. in retrospect, in the 1970's when president ford pardoned president nixon, obviously, a lot of people reacted vehemently about the decision. but looking back all of these years later, it was a decision that was designed to help the country begin the healing process and to get past this very difficult time that we have just gone through. -- had just gone through. that in and of itself was a big deal for our country.
if you couple that with president ford at the time helping betty ford to cope with the diagnosis of breast cancer, one can only imagine the challenges they had to go through as a couple, let alone as president and first lady, both with what was going on in their own home and across the headlines as well. host: i read an interview with betty ford that she was opposed to the pardon before president ford pardoned richard nixon. guest: a lot of people have very strong opinions about it. that would not surprise me. i have not heard that, but it would not surprise me. in retrospect, however people felt, it was designed to get ip countries passed laws of the so-
called watergate. host:, one of the campaign buttons in 1976 was this, "i am voting for betty's has been to" husbands," was the button. -- i am voting for betty's husband. what was the relationship between nancy reagan and betty ford? guest: i do not know. but certainly, nancy reagan certainly had to deal with the number of issues when she went to the white house. soon after when she and president reagan got there, there was an assassination attempt on his life. put the country into uncertainty and she was they're supporting him and caring for him and doing
what she did best, which was to protect his image. and another aspect of the drug situation, she was very well known for word "just say no" campaign to educate children and their parents about the issues of drug use. to this day, people still use those words as part of our culture. host: at tulsa, okla., go ahead. caller: i would like to say that i admire betty ford so much because she did so much for women. black women, white women, democrats, republican -- she did for women. did nancy reagan have breast cancer as well? but she did not do anything to
help women. she just held herself. guest: nancy reagan did have those health issues as well. she focused on helping children deal with -- again, in looking at the early '80s, there was the whole aspect of getting to kids and informing them about the dangers of drug use. she turned her attention to the bully pulpit. on getting that message out. also, a story about nancy reagan, she had some criticism when she was first lady of of how she was very protective of president reagan. after they left the white house and after president reagan was diagnosed with alzheimer's, john f. kennedy jr. contacted mrs.
reagan and asked if she would be willing to discuss alzheimer's in an interview. she contacted the press secretary at the white house and the decision was that she wanted to keep protecting the president's image. she declined the invitation to talk about alzheimer's in the magazine. it was a way to continue the legacy of the reagan administration. nancy reagan release her for her has been well by protecting his image. -- really served her husband wealth by protecting his image. host: at the white house they have all website devoted to all 44 first lady's. how many have there been?
guest: i think there have been 49. there have been more first ladies and presidents. host: whitehouse.gov is the website to go to. also, there was a peabody award winning series called "the american president." we ran through all of the president's outpuup to bill cli, was president of the time. you can go to americanpresidents.org. we did gerald r. ford in the fall of 1999. we looked at his legacy from the gerald r. ford museum in grand rapids, michigan. richard norton smith was the director of the museum. we were there live and betty
ford store in dallas for an interview. -- betty ford joined us for an interview. that is all there at americanpresident.org. next call from california. caller: i am all about the accolades for betty ford, and i do want to give a shout out to eleanor roosevelt. i am 72 years old and i have had to live through an experience of many of the bad things about this legacy of slavery, but she did so much to help this nation committed itself of probably the worst scourges on it, and that would be for her to come out and
stand for marion anderson so that she could sing on the steps of the lincoln memorial. she also stood up for the to ski e. merriman, whose heroically stood up for -- the tuskegee airmen, who heroically stood up for this nation. she also stood up for the founder of the food group in college. -- cookman college. i just give a shout out to both of those presidential ladies. thank you. guest: 8 grade point, philip. i absolutely agree. great point.n she said a great example for
the first ladies -- set a great example for the first lady's i came after her. host: what about lady bird johnson? guest: had a tremendous legacy. she was very much involved in the conservation of the environment. the highway beautification project that was part of the 1960's, she was very involved in that. and again, also had of her time. we are very focused on protecting the environment today, but in the 1960's, lady bird johnson was putting her mark on that subject. and was very focused on raising her family. after they left the white house and she went back to texas and again continued working on the issues that were important to work, she worked on, -- that were important to her, she worked on conservation. pat nixon, we know very little
about her, but she was very involved in efforts related to volunteerism. she really wanted to make sure that people who needed help had people in the community who supported them. then she was a graduate of the university of california, which was something that many people did not know about. and she worked in that community while her husband was serving in the military. she was ahead of her time, i had of her career, and also became supportive of it through her husband as well. host: there is a biography in the works of pat nixon right now. she was a closet smoker, and there is talk about laura bush
being a closet smoker as well. what is the difference between the public first lady and the private first lady? guest: the public first lady is very similar to the private first lady. they focus on issues that are important to them, that they really have their hearts in before they went to the white house. it is not a situation where they become somebody different aware that -- once they get to 1600 pennsylvania avenue. the focus on issues that are important to them is a natural extension of their careers, their personalities, or their private projects. having been inside the white house, i got to see a little bit more than most people get to see, which is fun. but at the same time, what you see is who they are and that is
something that we can all feel good about. people are very focused on the issues of the projects they have undertaken. host: can you give us an example of what the fish bowl is like? and what do people notice first about the first ladies? guest: i think people notice first that they are very down- to-earth and genuine. certainly, mrs. bush is very funny. when you get to meet her, she treats you like everybody else. i believe michelle obama is the same way. she is very gregarious. she immerses herself into the issues that she focuses on and where you see on television, in large measure, is the way they are in private. we have had a very good run of first lady serving in the white house.
ies serving in the white house. there is no job description and she is not paid. she gets to work on the issues that are in -- important and meaningful to work. host: and the pin money, what is the pin money the first lady's get? guest: you allowed to remind me -- you will have to remind me what that is. host: it was a fund set up in the 1890's or so. i forget who the gentleman was, but he set up a fund for the first lady to receive 10,000 to $15,000 a year of pin money, so they have some money for what they're working on. are you familiar with that?
guest: i am not familiar with that. host: and during the campaign, president obama referred to michelle obama as the closer because of the ability to speak. there are thousands guest: there are thousands of -- guest: there are thousands or gratuities for public speaking -- of opportunities for public speaking. i will use the example of laura bush. mrs. bush was on the softer side of the equation after the attacks on america. she was working in connecting with children and families and traveling across the country to make sure that people knew that everything that could be done was being done, to make sure that the homeland was secure. that is something that laura bush did extremely well.
very proud of her in that situation. another example, the first lady is out there as the face of the administration, or certainly the president, when they are connecting with other communities around the world. it is something that is an extension of themselves and their personalities, and they do it well. host: henry freeman, pin money fund. there it is. i believe it is on wikipedia. it was this dollars in 1912. barbara bush -- it was established in 1912. barbara bush received money from the fund. and both laura bush and hillary
clinton donated their pin money to charity. next call, go ahead. if caller: i want to commend you on your guest this morning. she is talking about the first lady and i think this is something that is missing from our politics. there is political posturing. and with the first ladies, you generally do not see that as much. there was a caller who said that george w. bush reformed himself, and that is not true. there was his church and other things that he claims helped with his recovery. and i think the betty ford center also claims that generally, without a religious background, it is difficult to get that help. host: we are going to have to leave it there. we