Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  October 9, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT

7:00 am
weiser has details on voting law changes. then roger simon examines the re-election campaigns of previous democratic presidents of the modern era. "washington journal" is next. host: good morning. it is sunday october 9, columbus day weekend. the president spending part of the weekend in camp david. tomorrow he will visit wounded warriors at the walter reed medical center then he is campaigning on tuesday in pittsburgh. he will be hosting the south korean president. congress is back in session and we will begin this morning with our conversation on religion and politics and specifically mitt
7:01 am
romney's mormon faith. 7 737-0002 for republicans, 0001 for democrats and 628-0205 for independents. headlines from "new york times" and "washington post" carrying out this theme based on the that took place over the weekend in washington, d.c. social issues test romney. and he has tried at every stage for the republican nomination to focus on the economy as he did on saturday when he appeared at the summit a gathering of social conservative activists but he felt compelled to reiterate that he was in sync as he went through other positions and condemning homosexuality and
7:02 am
raising questions about whether a mormon is a true christian he sufficed that tolerance and civility are conservative values. from the "washington post" this headline romney pushes aside the mormon i question. it was raised by a supporter of rick perry on friday and the evangelical megachurch pastor robert jefress attacked romney saying the mormon church is a cult and mormonism is not christianity. governor perry distanced himself from the view telling reporters in iowa that he didn't agree with the remarks. when romney addressed the same summit he never uttered the word mormon. he talked about heritage of religious faith. 202-737-0002, 0001 for tkefpls.
7:03 am
give us a call and tell us whether you think faith matters, specifically mitt romney's mormon faith. you can e-mail us also. response from this bill bennett it is bigotry. bill bennett speaking at the value voters summit rebucking the pastor who described morm mormonism as a cult. bennett said the baptist church leader had given the voice of bigotry in his remarks. jefress gave a fiery speech endorsing perry and later told reporters he didn't believe romney is a christian. our phone lines are open. first is rebecca from grand rapids, michigan line for democrats. does mitt romney's faith matter, rebecca?
7:04 am
good morning. caller: some time our mother got then she sent me out to brigham young which was a wonderful college. the got no complaints about people or, you know, the college or anything like that. the problem with mormonism is that it has these goofy ideas la like that god was once a man and in other words your goal in life when you become a mormon is to obey all the rules and there are a million of them, and when you get married in the temple you are still going to be married when you get to heaven and if it to the highest heav heaven, because they believe in three, you will have spirit children eternally and your own jesus and your own planet and that kind of stuff.
7:05 am
it takes a long time to find out -- they don't tell you that when they come to the door and try to get you to go to church. when i was in college, you know, there was this guy i didn't like much any way, but he had just gotten married and he made a joke to a guy next to him one day about how if his wife didn't straighten out he was going to forget her secret name and they both were laughing about it and i didn't know what he was talking about. host: next to new york on the line for republicans. caller: i'm an independent and i'm looking at this mitt romney issue with faith as a mormon and the pastor said mormonism is a cult. but isn't christianity a cult? isn't it all a cult when you believe in something nonfictional or fictional.
7:06 am
but a man in the sky. isn't it all a cult? there is no proof of any of it so how can you accuse mitt romney of being in a cult host: thanks. the question we are asking is does mitt romney's faith matter? it came up over the weekend and he addressed it on a number of fronts. it is also an issue that came up in 1960 and 1920, the catholic faith of john kennedy, who won that year and al smith who lost in 1920. smith is one of 14 candidates that c-span is focusing on the contender series and this week we will travel to albany, new york to look at his candidacy and the impact on the candidate party and the impact his faith had on his bid for the white house. yesterday romney addressing generally his own faith and religion in american life. our heritage of religious faith and tolerance has importantly shaped who we have
7:07 am
become as a people. we must continue to welcome faith into the public square and allow it to flourish. ur government -- >> [applause] >> our government must respect religious values, not silence them. we will always pledge our allegiance to a nation that is under god. host: the comments of mitt romney yesterday. carolina is joining us republican line from minneapolis. does this matter, carol? host: tell me! we are funded as one nation under god and our rills values are important -- our religious values are important. but i believe mitt romney is a christian and his religious values are certainly important to the country. i also worked with mormons and i was confirmed and marriage as a
7:08 am
swedish evangelical lutheran which is a very strict religion. but i have worked with mormons for over 40 years through my genealogy and i have found them to be some of the most -- have the most faith in god, the nicest, smartest, most wonderful i have ever been able to work with. i have great respect for their honesty, integrity and abilities. host: thank you. next is the democrat line from detroit. welcome to the conversation. caller: good morning. i have been to temple square, salt lake city. my parents were married in the temple in washington, d.c. so i know a little bit about the faith. i would just like to congratulate the last caller
7:09 am
because people have this misconception that mormons are not christians, which is totally false. it is just another become we believe in. we believe in the bible but the book of mormon is the bible of hemisphere. hemispher host: i want to read a passage from the "washington post." can i get your reaction? caller: yes. host: this is from the jump page mormonism deviates from majority in key ways ief including god revealed an additional goes personnel through joseph smith and the contemporary leader of the jesus crisis of latter day saints is a modern day prophet. there are many doctoral differences over issues as whether god is a body or a spirit. is that a fair assessment of the mormon faith? caller: ah, it is hard to
7:10 am
explain to a non-latter day saint. but we believe in a prophet. i guess you could say much as the catholic people believe in a pope. it is hard to explain. the other misconception is that mormons have plural marriages, which has not happened in 100 years. there is the offshoot of the slds which kind of smears the church's good name. host: yet it does not support multiple marriages? caller: yes. george romney was the best governor we had in michigan the last 50 years and he is mitt's dad. host: you can send us a tweet and go to facebook or e-mail. our question on this sunday morning, mitt romney's faith,
7:11 am
his mormonism and does it matter. cy is joining us independent line, columbus, ohio. caller: good morning. i would like to say that i believe that everybody has their own what they believe in, their nationality or whatever faith in. believe and that is fine. but you talk about being the president and you have to understand everybody's point of view. you have to understand that everybody's culture and that we're one nation and you have to take that into consideration, not just one person's outlook or your outlook. you have -- you can't just make somebody else believe. you have to understand somebody else's point of view and that is ok. everybody has their own beliefs,
7:12 am
their realities. just appreciate that and realize that you are representing one nation. host: thank you. sandy on the republican lane jacksonville, n. caller: good morning, steve. thanks for taking my call. what has his religion got to do with being president? where the economy is, we are needing jobs, we need somebody in there that is going to get the jobs and turn the country around and every time somebody gets ahead of the republicans, you guys have to go after them. look at obama. his father was a muslim, his mother was a jew and nobody ever said anything. c-span didn't say anything about
7:13 am
his faith. he sat in a racist church 20 years and he was asked questions and he said that he didn't hear anything he is saying and that it was dropped. host: the only thing i can tell you is we very much did focus on barack obama's faith and religion. we had a number of questions about his father and whether or not he was a u.s. citizen, his only muslim favorite and the speeches or the -- from jeremy wright -- and used that as a series of questions in 2008 so we did focus on barack obama's faith and upbringing during the campaign. caller: i thought obama's mother was a jew and nobody ever said anything about her. host: well, we have talked about his mother. his mother passed away many years ago. he was essential raised by his
7:14 am
grandmother. but the point is we focused on his faith and this is an issue that came up over the weekend by a supporter of governor rick perry. it is front page this morning in a number of papers and this a response from bill bennett who spoke yesterday at the value voters summit the headline from politico. jefress's comments is bigotry and i would say you stepped on and obscured the words of perry and santorum and everyone else who had spoken here. you did rick perry no good, sir in what you had to say. sarah is joining us, tuscon, democrats line. does it matter? caller: good morning. i'm a little torn. i have mormon neighbors. i have had them in my house. they wanted my 18-year-old son to come to church with them. they are very nice people. i'm very torn because i know
7:15 am
some of the beliefs they have are not something i agree with. but then you don't want to be somebody who is prejudice or treats somebody different because of their faith. so, i'm not sure. host: sandra from massachusetts. organic, welcome to the conversation. morning.organgood on this subject, it is a shame that we have to strike out at people that have beliefs in god. why can't we all get along? to top it off, romney is not a bad human being at all. i think that his healthcare is working up in massachusetts, i know. and he's a wonderful human being as far as a family man. they took kennedy down with a bullet. they said catholicism was bad. they struck out at barack obama's religion. shame on them. shame on the people that do
7:16 am
that. at least somebody believes in something. give them that much. they have religion. they have faith in god. what is wrong with you people? thank you. host: thank you. you mentioned john kennedy. it was on september 12, 1960, that john kennedy spoke to a group of baptist ministers in hughes and he addressed his catholic faith and the issues in the 1960 campaign part of c-span's video archives. here is a portion of the speech. >> the hungry children i saw in west virginia, the old people who cannot pay doctor bills, the families formed to give up farms and america with too many slums with that few schools and too late to the moon and outer space. these are the issues that should decide this campaign and they are not religious issues. for war and hunger and ignorance
7:17 am
and despair know no religious barrier. but because i'm catholic and no catholic has ever been elected president the real issues in the campaign have been object scoured -- obscured, trapped in some quarters less responsible than this. so it is apparently necessary for me to state once again it is not what kind of church i believe in for that should be important only to me but what kind of america i believe in. i believe in an america with the separation of church and state is absolute, where no catholic pope can tell the president how to act and no protestant minister can tell people how to vote. host: that was president kennedy shortly before his election the first catholic to be elected president. appear smith was the catholic
7:18 am
nominee in 1928 as a democrat. he lost that election. we will have more on the contender series this week, 14 weeks as we look at presidential candidates who lost yet helped shape american politics. the headline from the this morning st" romney pushes aside the mormonism question, so religion is still an issue in 2012. we are asking you whether or not it matters. rick is joining us from ohio, republican line. caller: let me preface my remarks by saying i'm a preacher of the gospel. each sun morning i come -- sunday morning i come to my study putting the finishing touches on what i plan and i have c-span in the background so when this came up i turned up the volume a little bit. theologically i think it is very important what romney believes or does not believe. politically, i'm not quite sure.
7:19 am
the issue for me concerning his faith is that some of the points of doctrine that the mormon church holds are incredible and i mean that literally. they have no credibility to them. so, i wonder about the thought process of a man who would subscribe to mormon doctrine. with that being said, as i understand our american history we have had presidents in the past who had some rather peculiar beliefs and i'm not real certain that that would affect my vote for mr. romney. host: let me ask you one question. he was born in the moral,faith through -- mormon faith through his own family. does that make a difference, the he was born into the faith rather than somebody who converted in the faith? caller: not as far as his
7:20 am
ability to believe noncredible points of doctrine. i know many people who were born into various denominations and they really don't think it through, they simply say, you know, this is what my mother to -- or grandmother subscribed to and they do it without any study of the holy scriptures. i have a book in front of me now because i have been in the process of writing lessons on cults and the mormon faith is not the only cult. host: you call it a cult. you say it is a cult and not a faith? stkpwhro tpeubl is a did caller: i believe it is a cult by definition of the word. i will leave it there. i'm not alone in that. there are men who are far more
7:21 am
alert than i am that call it cult. it is like calling that animal a dog or a cat. there are certain the two istics of animals that are different and same is true with the traditional faith of the holy scriptur scriptures. host: but when you use the word cult, this comes to maintained so many negative connotations and you go down the list of what past cults have meant whether worship being the devil or worshiping death, things like that. so, cults can carry a couple different connotations. how would you define that? caller: there are several characteristics of a cult. one is it is centered upon a human being who has rallied people to him and has subscribed to non traditiontraditional fun points of faith. that is in a nutshell.
7:22 am
we could go on and on. but cancer is a negative word, too, but cancer is cancer. we accept it for what it is and i believe the same is true of cult. but i want to return to the fact that as a republican with the current field, mitt romney would have my vote. so, even though i disagree with him profound ly theologically, t the present time he would be my choice. those that would accuse us of saying we are preaching or teaching hate that is far from the truth. host: thank you very much for tpoefrpbing. -- phoning. how often do you preach? every sunday? caller: yes, every sunday. host: from the "washington post" romney pushes aside the mormon question. phillip rucker saying romney is focusing on the economy and is conspicuous in how rarely he talks about god. he no longer tries to convince
7:23 am
voters that he is a christian as they are that jesus christ is his personal savior and he too bible before gideon bed. when the issue boiled over in the most pronounced way yet he pursued his new strategy of not directly addressing his fifth. talking more generally about tolerance in america. next is dorothy from newark, new jersey, democrats line. the question is does this matter? caller: good morning. i will put you on hold. we are getting an echo because there is a delay. turn your volume down and we will come back to you. we will go to james from coral springs, florida. independent line. caller: i was calling in on the
7:24 am
cult issue and what i have learned about what the cult is.g traditional christianity, what makes it the main doctrine of christianity is the deity of christ, you know, jesus being god. ms. cults from -- most cults will deny that, that being the mormons deny the deity of christ and most books that i have read and most bookstores on -- books on cults and the pastor that spoke they are in the cult section. and that is pretty much what the main cults do. that is why people call it cult. that doesn't moon they are walk -- that doesn't mean they are walking around with witch hats or anything, they have just
7:25 am
taken some truths of what christianity has been. back to dorothy. volume down. please go ahead. caller: good morning. i am a christian, a born again christian. i'm a born again christian and i'm not judging against any because each to his own. but i do believe in my bible, the holy bible that says that we as a people should look out for po poor, all religions and all faith believers should be in the poor and charity. and the whole house of congress seems to be more of a cult because no one believes in helping the poor. host: thank you. from the "washington post" ron
7:26 am
paul finds the f.o.p. idealing shifting his way. story is after 35 years in politics and two unsuccessful runs for the top ron paul is enjoying a surge in support and is the most high profile campaign of his live. last month he registered as high as third miss in opinion polls. although he has overtaken by businessmen herman cain in the latest abc news "washington post" poll he is still in double digits. this is the latest from the straw poll over the weekend with him coming in first at 37%, herman cain second with 23%. santorum 16%, perry 8%, romney with just 4% of the vote. another poll over the weekend in richmond, virginia, with herman
7:27 am
cain out ahead. from the "l.a. times" jerry brown signs the california dream act funding bill. illegal immigrants had qualify can get state aid to attend public colleges. this is. then from the richmond times spasm. candidates firing up the richmond crowd and winning in this non-binding straw poll. david joins us where it begins, manchester, new hampshire, republican line. does mitt romney's faith matter? caller: not at all. maybe we can ask harry reid if it matters. when does anybody mention he is a mormon. he has a ton of power. this is all political. i'm surprised you haven't done this sooner. this is so predictable. let's take romney out, we did it
7:28 am
last time and it gets tiring. it is so predictable. even this show is predictable. i like watch being but obama went on a listening tour and never listened in his church? come on. it is so predictable. host: do you have a favorite in this republican primary? stkpwh caller: a like a lot of them. it is not time to decide. things happen and play out. things change. look at his family. else one of the most outstanding human beings around. it is constantly let's turn it in social issues. how about the economy? what a big diversion? diversion, diversion, diversion. get harry reid on and request him. he has been in power a long time. else not a president -- he is not a president. host: the question came up yesterday.
7:29 am
what question should we have asked? stkpwhro caller: it is political. faith, faith, faith. there is no faith in the left. they are tearing apart faith every day. go, mitt, go. host: thank you from the call. from c.q. weekly voters are not the only ones losing confidence in america. the rest of the world is fed up with the dysfunction in washington. from december of 2007 at the george herbert walker bush liberal mitt romney dressing specifically the issue of religion. he went to texas in part because as you heard earlier that is why john kennedy spoke in september of 1960 with his own issue of catholicism and 1960 campaign. here is how romney addressed his faith as he was leading up to his first run for the white house in 2008. >> i believe>> i believe in my h
7:30 am
and i endeavor to live by. i will be true to my mohrmann bothers into my belief. some believe that that will sing my candidacy. if they are right, so be it. i think they underestimate the american people. americans do not respect believers of convenience. americans tire of those who would jettison their beliefs to gain the world. host: that speech is available at our video library, and he spoke in december 2007 that the bush library, that george herbert walker bush library. our question -- does mitt romney's feith matter? there's a story in the "new york times" about freedom of religion in this religion.
7:31 am
jack joins us from michigan, the home state of mitt romney. guest: thanks for c-span. i think all of those politicians -- like the people say, we have 9.1% unemployment, and obama, he is a hypocrite, too, because he left his pastor's church to please other people. life, billlive your wi -- be kind to the people. we have people living on $600 a month. those hypocrites, it is all
7:32 am
about, anything i can do to get elected president. that is all that it is all about. host: thank you for the call. an issue dominating this campaign, health care. from the "washington post," florida, which is fighting to overturn the federal bill, they are launching a marketplace that little like a distant cousin to the one being created under federal law. a related story, "not on day 1." ms joins us, welcome to the conversation.
7:33 am
caller: the people to get the waivers are usually the people that do not need the waiver is in the first place. then everyone in the smaller businesses trying to compete with these businesses wind up being penalized for not having health insurance for people. the thing about health insurance, what our national new health care law, is the fact that on the grounds of a constitutional standpoint, you're forcing something upon us that we personally, i know, the to a humanitarian health groups and other organizations, churches, and things like that, you can get help with your health insurance. i find that charity is a better health and government. host: an e-mail from north carolina.
7:34 am
rino referring to republican in name only. another from bobbitt in florida. ann from kentucky. next on the republican line,
7:35 am
from salt lake city, utah, susan is on the fund. >> i am not a mormon. i am calling because i think it is remarkable, it isn't mutual faith but mitt romney has not made his fate and issue whereas rick perry and michele bachmann have. mitt romney is not going to bring his religion into his office. he is a man of faith that he will not make his faith in issue. i don't think it should be an issue for anybody else. whereas brick perry and michele bachmann think it should be an object of scrutiny. especially the people that rick perry surrounds himself with, like the pastor that introduced him.
7:36 am
host: thank you for the call. caller: when i was in college, i am african-american and i was dating a young woman who was caucasian. it was concerned about the grandmother finding out that i was african-american. her response was, as long as he has taught catholic. that took me down a journey of asking questions of people that i knew who lived in the area. it fascinated me that i did not realize that the this conflict between protestants and catholics. and i talked older people and they would say, yes, mom and dad, they would ask which one is the lutheran catholic. this stuff is going on all long time.
7:37 am
we need to check the heart and the things that we value in society, that religion is not mandated by our constitution. we should judge people by the content of who they are. we have not come along way. i believe the democrats are better but i believe the republicans -- as a society, we would never let the muslim or and '80s. and we're losing a lot of the able people based on what somebody does on sunday. i do not want a minister in the white house. host: we are asking the question about mitt romney's mormon faith. a supporter of rick perry, a minister from dallas calling the mormon faith a cult. mitt romney addressing religion and tolerance, not specifically his mormon faith. here is an e-mail.
7:38 am
let's turn our attention to the pentagon and potential cuts on the "newsmakers" program, buck mekion from california, and he talks to us about just how far the military spending cuts can go. that there are things that we can cut and we're looking at that. the defense department, when we meet with secretary panetta next week, he will give us specifics on what they are going to cut.
7:39 am
and then we will have a chance to hold hearings and look at that. there is no question, all of this yellow is going to be cut. they will come out of manpower, then strength will be reduced over 100,000, people they will no longer be wearing the uniform, helping defend the nation. and there will be programs cut. if the sequestration happens, if the super committee is not able to come up with their programs -- the charge they have been given, which is a very tough job for these 12 individuals, if that does not happen, then sequestration kicks in and the red will all be cut. that is pretty drastic. host: he is joining us for the "newsmakers" programs which airs every sunday at 10:00 eastern and at 6:00 p.m. eastern.
7:40 am
mike joins us from the independent lines. back to your calls on the issue of mitt romney's feith and whether you think it matters. good morning. guest: you just heard a tape of john f. kennedy talking on the separation of church and state. we are a secular nation. the founding fathers wrote that into the constitution. they based the nation on it for a reason, to keep religious groups, fake-blazed -- a faith- based police systems from getting in the way. i cannot believe one group pointing the finger is asset anything is different. americans need to respect the separation of church and state and keep your crackpot religion out of my politics. host: thank you for the cult. from twitter, susan has this.
7:41 am
you can join the conversation online at twitter. pamela joins us from sacramento, california. guest: i do not care what romney or any one of those people believe in. they could believe in the tooth fairy, as long as they keep their religion to themselves aren't do not put religion into their bills. it is fine with me. host: steve joins us from the democrats' line. does mitt romney's feith matter? caller: yes, it does. i have worked for several mormons and i would not want to work for another one. they seemed have of way of treating people. host: this write your road that
7:42 am
the data suggest that households have responded to their troubles so far by digging deeper into savings to maintain spending levels. that would be a good sign if it was not still dropping. from the "weekly standard," and also, republicans and obama bickering over the jobs bill. president obama will be traveling to several states. it was the subject of his weekly radio address. >> and the senator out there thinking about voting against a jobs bill needs to explain why they would oppose something that we know would approve our economic situation. if the republicans think that they have a better plan, they
7:43 am
should prove it. take one of the same independent economists that led to our plan said that their plan would not mean much for the near term. the american people deserve to know what it is the republicans in congress do not like about this jobs plan. you hear a lot say that one of the most important is we can do is cut taxes. well, they should love this planter the american jobs act would cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in america. under're a small business that hires new workers, you get an additional tax cut. host: the president in his weekly address. he will talk more about jobs this week as he meets with reporters in pittsburgh. leonard joins us from pittsburgh. does mitt romney's feith matter? good morning to you. caller: i have this comment to
7:44 am
make. mitt romney and his party at the eliot, the economy is stalled. -- his party of eliot's, the economy is stalled. . affliates, the economy is stalled. they need to create employment for those who are less privileged in america. host: thank you for the call. john thune provided the republicans' response to the president's weekly address. >> if it is so flawed that senate democrats have rejected it. they are trying to improve their political standing. nothing but a rehash of the same failed ideas he has already tried combined with a huge tax increase. this is cynical political ploy designed not to create jobs for
7:45 am
struggling americans, but to save the president's own job. host: john thune, and the cover story of the "national journal" this week. is the american dream dad? -- dead? our next phone call, does mitt romney's feith matter? caller: yes no. as a born-again christian, i had to figure out what it called was and what it wasn't. yes, it is that called because they do not believe in the deity of jesus christ. but we are not voting for the leader of the church. we're voting for the president of united states. so i would not not vote for mitt romney because he is a member of the mormon faith.
7:46 am
but it was not wise what he did, it was a very unwise to say that in front of a camera to someone outside the family. he knows that mormon as a miss a call but the world does not understand what that -- that mormonism is a cult, but the world does not understand that. some things are better left inside the family. host: another comment from twitter. a lot of you weighing in with your calls and comments. welcome to the conversation. are you with us? caller: i am less concerned about what our president does on sunday morning as i am about what they do on friday and
7:47 am
saturday night. i am more interested in whether or not someone is going to come home and beat their wives. i am more worried about whether or not they are interested in representing all people of even faceless people, what about the atheist? i am more interested in getting a job. the republicans want to say that they are about jobs and then all they do when they get elected is talk about abortion and voter fraud, which there is very little. they won a key people from voting. i am more interested in that. your religion should not have that thing to do with what you do in the white house. host: our last call from colorado, good morning. caller:, i lived around mormons and i live around them now.
7:48 am
i have lived outside of salt lake city and i am going to tell you this -- the very afraid of these people and what their doctrine is. they have places in the hill because they believe that the whole world is going in and they will go underground. the whole world will come out in the mormon. -- and the mormon. it is just not a religion or a cult, it is big business. they own a ton of stuff -- coca- cola, all sorts of businesses. if you think that that does not matter, boy, i think you people should wake up and really looking at what the mormons are and study them before they both of mormon into office. because it does make a difference. you get out of their religion and see what happens. it is almost worse than being the devil.
7:49 am
host: tom davis will be joining us and a few minutes. later we will look back at past democrats seeking re-election. jimmy carter and bill clinton, are there lessons for barack obama? we're covering michele bachmann in her town hall meeting. you can watch that on c-span. tomorrow, john huntsman with remarks on u.s. farm policy at 11:00 a.m.. mitt romney's town hall meeting scheduled to get underway tomorrow night, columbus day, at 6:30 p.m. eastern time. this is all on c-span and hosted online at as is usually the case, saturday night live taking aim at this network. >> we go to washington, d.c. where mitt romney is taking questions. >> the question i ought to address tonight is the backbone of the republican party and we all agree it is time for change.
7:50 am
i hope i have your support. any questions? >> if america needs leaders to return as to the strongest nation of earth. who do you think that later as? >> i think it is me. >> but let's say you can pick anyone of the candidates announced. [laughter] >> i would still pick me. i think i have the experience in the private sector and make government to lead this country at a critical time. >> that deadline for candidates to be filing is october 31. would you be in favor of the pushing that deadline back to let the party find a viable candidate? >> i think i am of viable candidates. i am not a guy runs for president because i can afford to. >> 0, ok. >> yes, you. >> chris christie announce he would not seek the republican nomination.
7:51 am
had you considered calling him and trying to convince him to run? >> why would i do that? >> he is a great candidate. you're all going to vote for them, right? >> i assure you that the more you get to know me, the more fun you're going to have. host: from last night's "saturday night live," a spoof on an mitt romney press conference. coming up in a moment, tom davis, his peace in politico getting attention. time to tear down the ideological walls. that comes up as "washington journal" continues. it is sunday, october 9. we will continue in just a moment. >> during deliberations, the only people allowed in the conference room are the nine justices. who gets the door? >> in my first to second
7:52 am
conference, i was playing close attention to the discussion and that failed to hear the knock on the door. bill brennan on my left and bill rehnquist on my right both got up and answer the door. and it made me feel like i was two feet high. i learned from that that one of the most important jobs of the junior justice is to remember that you are a doorman. >> john paul stevens on his new memoir tonight on c-span. >> some people say that to succeed in this world we need to be more like india or china or brazil. i say we need to be more like us. >> on this final sunday of british party conferences, conservative leader david cameron's sets the tone and calls for his party and the upcoming year. like his keynote address from the conservative party conference tonight at 9:00 on c- span.
7:53 am
live wednesday, look for the return of prime minister's questions on c-span2. >> if if you think that a bill of rights is what sets this apart, you're crazy. every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights. every president for life as a bill of rights. the bill of rights of the former evil empire, the union of soviet socialist republics, was much better than ours and i mean that literally. it was much better. we guarantee freedom of the speech in the press. big deal. they guaranteed spree demonstrations and protests and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. that is wonderful stop. of course, just words on paper. >> tuesday, at antonin scalia and stephen breyer testified before the senate judiciary committee on a wide range of questions, including the role
7:54 am
of justice is under the constitution. watch the rest of the discussion on line at the c-span video library, archived in searchable. it is washington your way. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back tom davis, the president and ceo of the republican main street partnership, a former member of the house of representatives from virginia. i want to talk about ideological barriers and money in politics. in a peace that you wrote last month, you point out that in dozens of key races last year, more money was spent by interest groups and by that two parties and candidates combined. with the citizens united case a looming ahead, what does that mean? guest: that is the future and it does not even have to be disclosed. mccain-fine gold is one of the worst laws that ever was passed. it eliminated giving money
7:55 am
candidates and parties. that money has stayed in the system and is going out to the extremes. party said in a centering force. -- parties have been a center in force. at the internet which has no filters. a lot of that facts coming over the internet. the money going out to the extremist groups. even last november with the largest turnout, about a quarter of the streets, 75% of the seats were not even in play. 75% of the members were in districts that were drawn to be the republican or democrats. so they do not pay attention to the general electorate.
7:56 am
compromising in a primary is not a good thing. it is better to be ideologically rigid than to make a deal, because you will be punished. host: let me get the essence of your argument here. four macro factors contribute to the partisan state mailed -- still may. -- stalemate. guest: last year the most conservative democrat was more liberal than most liberal republicans. you walked in and you wear a blue jersey or red jersey. it used to be that you have conservative democrats and
7:57 am
liberal robot can -- republicans. it was not done in a partisan context. today it is done in a partisan contest. you take a look at the last three elections and they have been nationalized elections. what you're seeing right now is basically a parliamentary system at the electorate level into a balance of powers government. it is not a good fit. i also believe in compromise. i had over 100 bill signed into law and worked very closely with democrats, because once the election was over, you had at like adults and govern the country. i do not get my way and everything. most of the bills that i sponsored, there was compromise to get them through. but it would not have done much in terms of advancing the kind of things that i believed in.
7:58 am
host: a republican from maryland said 16 years in the house of representatives, and he talked about the state of the republican party and congress. or eight years, i was the minority and for eight years i was the minority in the majority party. what does that tell you about the republican party? guest: both parties are pretty ideologically rigid. the democrats are probably as liberal as they have ever been. the blue dogs got defeated in the last election. the moderates go back and forth. what you have is a pretty hard ideological the ball that controls the democratic congress. usually you take a beating like that, but the answer is because
7:59 am
the democratic wing, they were the ones that we were left. i think we need to put all this in context. let me get on to the campaign finance. canids are limited in what they can raise. contributions are captured these interest groups get unlimited amounts from the corporations of soft money and individuals. now what does not need to be disclosed so the money has gone out to these groups. they do not have a centering agenda. some of them have partisan agendas. many have ideological agendas. many are from the extremes in politics. that puts the fear of god and to some of the candidates. you do not want to be the next
8:00 am
robert bennett. or might castle. mike castle's opponent did not have much money until the interest groups rode in in the last few weeks. the same in alaska. it was outside money that came in and gave an ideological wave to victory. there is an intimidating effect on members of both parties. host: let me put a hypothetical on the table for your running and you say, i think raising taxes on incomes over $1 million is probably a good idea. what would happen to the republican? guest: it depends on where you are. you could open yourself up to a primary fate. a lot of members think about the primary. i do not know what happened on
8:01 am
that particular issue. they're not that many millionaires aware. -- around. guest: many are stupid enough to break the pledge that they were stupid enough to sign. i do not think that they get a lot play off of that. if you can get money from there, you can only get a few people griping about the: america is that people want to be a millionaire. you strive to be those kind of things. i think the class rhetoric that they are putting forth is not helpful of long-term -- not helpful in the long term. host: mary joins us from virginia.
8:02 am
caller: the election should be for tax payers, only to stop outside forces from funding a. and if i may respond to an earlier caller talking about republicans and jobs, this administration has the executive branch. if they enforced immigration laws, 8 million working illegals would be out of their job. that would be open for illegal immigrants and citizens. once they know that enforcement is going to happen, the illegals are going to leave. you do not have to support those illegals which is the excuse that they make. the people that are here starving because illegals have taken jobs and resources, and they talk about growing the
8:03 am
economy. guest: an interesting thought on the illegal side. we have 9% unemployment and i think people are taking a look at illegal immigration into reality is that illegal immigration -- but enforcement does drive people away. another point is how thoroughly funded campaigns, and you cannot do that, unfortunately. it is an interesting thought, the british system, but we have a first amendment right, and under later supreme court decisions, an individual can spend as much money as they want to and you cannot put a limit on that. now corporations can do it under the citizens united ruling. host: brooklyn, new york.
8:04 am
caller: hollen like to say about the divided government, the reason -- i would like to say about the divided government, i feel that none of them are republicans or conservatives. since obama came into play, and this has nothing to do with race, he divided the country. the tea party people who i happen to be a tea party member, that put us down as a racist. but the people on wall street', it is a disgrace what is going on there. they are using drugs, they defecate in the streets, and all the liberal stations love it. they're getting great coverage. everyone is for them. this is why the country is divided the way that it is. host: one of the photographs today, the headline, wall street
8:05 am
protests spurring an ongoing dialogue. by all accounts that these demonstrations have moved to other cities around the country. mobile, alabama, denver, baltimore, and elsewhere. guest: let me make more comments about the inequities. it is not always the same people. if this was a class structure and the people of the top were always on top and the people at bottom are always on bottom, no love for mobility, those are the things of which revolutions are founded. but if you examine these, it is different people. people are constantly moving into each category. for example, older people tend to be welfare because they retire and they slide off again. i'm in my peak earning years at this point. i have a kid in medical school
8:06 am
and a lawyer, they are not making much money today, but as they move up the ladder, they will start making more money. as we retired, we make less money. so it is a constantly changing things. take a look at who is created google, and other countries, it is immigrants that came here with nothing but a friday. the gap between rich and poor is not a gap that is a continuous group. this is not a class system. it is a wide-open system. host: this question caught our attention. is the american dream dead? guest: it is a good article, by the way. i do not think it is dead at all, but when you have 9%
8:07 am
unemployment for extended periods of time, people get discouraged. there is over $2 trillion of corporate money sitting on the sidelines right now that has not entered into the economy. they have to incentivize it to come in. you do not do it with a loss of short-term tax breaks. people want stability and they want to know what the rules are. what is going to happen taxes and regulations. once you get some assurance of where things are going, some of this money will move. >> put on your congressional campaign had an and 2012, democrats tried to retake the house of representatives. or the chances? guest: i left congress undefeated an unindicted. a lot of people want to stay in washington and like the job.
8:08 am
but i came to washington to get a job done and i was very lucky to rise up and become a committee chairman. and then it was time for me to do something else. but i helped to the republicans for two cycles, and as i analyze what happens next november, and make the following observation. republicans have strengthened themselves. when you take a look at arizona and some of the -- certainly ill., md., but by and large they have strengthened seats that were weakened and added republicans in those districts. it makes those 25 sees that the democrats need to gain little harder to get. and democrats have a lot of retirements and oklahoma and arkansas, illinois, that makes
8:09 am
pcs more vulnerable. republicans have a much younger membership at this point. although more hungry. 25 seats is tough to pick up in an election. without some kind of a nationalized election. very difficult to nationalize the election when you hold the white house. 1956, eisenhower sweeping victory, republicans actually lost a couple of seats. the democrats picked up seats in the senate but nothing you would expect like reagan in 1984. it is difficult for the democrats to nationalize this. not impossible, and the president is trying to run
8:10 am
against congress, but a divided congress. harry truman had a republican congress to run against. the president can i get his jobs bill to the senate without major surgery. now on the other side, republicans are very upset with congress for their polling numbers are 12% favorable. so when you start looking at this, it offers possibilities that you could have something akin to 1978 where you had a bipartisan spanking that is. republicans lost seats and democrats lost seats. but when you take a look at the overall makeup of the districts, the advantages for the republicans in the house. in the senate, but one in three republican -- democrats up, -- 23 republicans up -- 23
8:11 am
democrats up, it is another story. a year is an eternity in politics. there will be a presidential effect on this. you traditionally kid a big scene in the house -- if the president lost reelection, and you could expect the republicans to pick up seats. if you reelect president, you tend to reelect the congress. host: we are talking with tom davis. guest: a senator from ohio and others, they were my partners this last year and we had a sweeping victory. host: favorite political trivia
8:12 am
question in your answer. we will go to david next in pennsylvania. the democrats' line. caller: all like to thank the representative -- i would like to thank the representative for stating that when you were elected, it was time to work together and get something done. my question is -- let's see. corporations are people thing that the supreme court decided, is there any way that the american people can overturn that decision? i think that is the biggest threat to our democracy and our time. guest: that allowed corporate speech the way that individuals get speech. it was up 5-4 decision of the court.
8:13 am
you could probably nibble around it with legislation. democrats have tried to do that. they see themselves as disadvantaged by that decision. host: this is from our twitter page. guest: that has always been true. you cannot stop individuals from spending their run money on their own behalf. it is free, but if you can afford more, you can have your word out. and that is the way it works. i guess you could overturn a with a constitutional amendment, because -- but it is so politicalize. when the mccain-feingold law passed, all the sudden new group a political action campaign --
8:14 am
committees sprung up. he gave in and banished to democrats. republicans wanted to reform 527 democrats said, not so fast. now after citizens united, democrats say that this is terrible and republicans say, not so fast. they will act in their own behalf to advance their own caucuses. and you see this across the country, whether voter idea laws, absentee ballot laws, where you stand is where you sit and see your partisan advantage. if you pull the mascot a lone ranger here, parties tend to favor policies that work to their own bandages. host: another tweet.
8:15 am
redistricting is giving more votes with less population. guest: registered voters are not always voting with the population. host: what about proportional electoral votes? guest: the difficulty in the constitution is for the house of representatives. it gives them the ability to deal. you put a proportional voting in and it will be the end of that two-party system. once the election is held, you do not have the vote until december, they can deal with one party or the other to deliver their electoral votes to one or the other candidates. host: what about three parties?
8:16 am
guest: you are talking about ballot access. can you get a viable candidate to fill that? up to five for six candidates running within a state, but without financial ability to penetrate the airwaves, it is difficult to get anything across. host: another caller. caller: i would like to say that pretty much everything that is coming out of this guy's mouth is an absolute lie. one of the previous callers said something about occupy wall street. she is just an illusion of. -- and delusional. everyone in the tea party movement are delusional.
8:17 am
they do not know what the tea party stands for, but their goals are, and for this guy to say it there are not that many millionaires in this country, there is over 1 million millionaires in this country. and 1000 billionaires'. so that is a lie. guest: politically, 1 million people is not a lot of people in this country. i'm not saying that they're not many millionaires, but from an electoral point of view, they may be significant contributions but not in terms of votes. host: and the whole issue of purity, whether abortion, taxes, ones fade as we see with mid mommy's feith, where is the line drawn?
8:18 am
-- mitt romney's faith, where is the line drawn? guest: democrats do not want to cut entitlements. they blasted the republicans with modest reformations of medicare on that. the simpson-bowles commission, they did not embrace that because of cuts to entitlements. but republicans come acustar talking about a tax of any kind, and you have grover norquist signing a pledge and we will not let you get away with this, but the reality is there are no easy answers. we need more revenue, we need to look at these entitlements, and it will have to be a shared sacrifice. and it will not be a small hair cut. people will have to make tough
8:19 am
decisions. they will not be popular. members are not going to be reelected. but i am out of office now. it is alarming how this deficit has grown, the fact that money is so cheap right now, we can borrow and we do not seem to see it in our present accounts, but we know that when the interest rates go out, it will start out a lot of other programs in government. -- when interest rates go up, it will starve out a lot of other programs and governments. if you are not taxing me, i do not care where you get the money, and it does not surprise me that that polls well. but i do not know that it moves a lot of voters, being against the bridge. the top 1% pay 38% of the income tax, and 10% pay over 70%.
8:20 am
i do not know what the right number is on this. if you want to get this in the balance, that would have to pay more, but singling out one or the other group of entitlement recipients is not the way to get this done. it is divisive and it is not the atmosphere to get this thing into writing and cut the appropriate deal to solve the deficit problem. host: social security was devised in the 1990's but ronald reagan and tip o'neill were able to come to an agreement. hotel left behind, with george bush and ted kennedy. my question is why is it so hard for this president and for the democratic and republican leadership to sit down and work out a budget compromise? guest: there are macro issues that were not in effect to the time you did not have msnbc and
8:21 am
fox. you did not have the gerrymandered districts like you have today. where people go back in the answer to the primary and not the general electorate. there was some of that but we have taken it to new heights. you did not have all of the outside money flowing in from interest groups. this was before campaign finance reform. and the parties even then were not as a ideological pure as they are today. the philosophical differences are set into partisan terms. that is not always been true. you have -- you have liberal republicans and conservative democrats. host: from alabama. caller: a lot of people feel like me. i do not necessarily know, when he spoke of compromising and how
8:22 am
many bills that you got past, a lot of us do not think that that is a good thing. we think the last bills could possibly help us that this point. ucla during afpak and we're trying to on do so many bad things that got us to this point. -- the reason we are so divided now is because this regulation or the tax code, we feel it is so much of a battle of the soul of the country. is it going to be a country of more freedom or more regulation and more moves toward socialism? guest: there are a lot of people who share that point of view. frankly, i am sympathetic to that. but the reality in washington is that you need 60 votes to get anything in the senate, and you need a majority in the house,
8:23 am
and indeed the president to sign something. when you have divided government, if you want to move down -- move the ball down the road, you have to compromise. energy -- we do not have an energy program in this country. an energy bill would have three components. i do not know to what extent each would play in the bill, but you need conservation, you want to have more domestic production, and you can argue with that ought to be, and then you need new fuel, alternative energy is that we are not dependent -- said the we are not dependent on others for our energy supply. that needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. you cannot get the compromises to fans that down the road. for 30 years, we have done nothing. immigration -- we have not had an immigration bill since 1986. we know that it is broken.
8:24 am
illegals are walking across the border. when they are stopped, we're not sending them back and many times they are released on their own recognizance. if we come over here and get a ph.d. from china or india, we send you bexar you can compete against us. that is stupid. the parties have not been able to compromise on that issue at all. and finally, the deficit. it has ballooned way of proportion. it is hard to defend 40 cents for every dollar that you're spending. they will take compromise. at the end of the day, if they wait until we get 60 votes in the senate and house and the presidency, the product -- parties tend to represent constituencies, and we do not have the contingencies at the table. that is what happened on healthcare.
8:25 am
you just kick that can down the road. this can cannot afford to be kicked down the road. if the political stablish but does not take care of these issues, the markets will and it will be very harsh. host: tom davis's the president and ceo of the republican mainstream partnership. it sounds like you only want republicans on main street. guest: we want them from anywhere. we want to represent the average person and look at parties and coalitions, you do not have to pass an emissions test to join us. that is what happens when party is it small. if you do not all -- check all the boxes, we do not want to in the party. parties are basically coalitions. our political system today is a great system, but it is not producing. it has not produced for decades.
8:26 am
what is the last decade given us? a couple of failed wars, not going according to plan, stagnation in wages, it is given as katrina and an economic meltdown. they have not been able to deliver on promises. one of the reasons is that we cannot get the two sides together to agree to some of the most basic things that have to be done. host: from arkansas, good morning. caller: i'm a 65-year-old black woman and i was born in the south during the 1960's. it seems like everything is gone back the wrong direction. i keep hearing people say, take our country back. where has the country gone? i do not understand. i do not feel so good.
8:27 am
i live during the 1960's and i know what it was all about. when i hear people sit and talk, i'm trying to figure out what in the world has turned upside down. i really do not understand it. guest: what has happened is that there are a lot -- we could have a long discussion about that. but what does happen is that we have an economic meltdown and sustain unemployment and that puts the voters in a very bad mood. once we snapped out of it, we will be fine, but at the short term, the confidence is gone. it is gone from investors and businesses. that is why they are sitting on so much money. we need to see a path ahead and the political system is not delivering it. host: tom freedman pointed out that japan destroyed detroit and
8:28 am
china could destroy the overall american economy. guest: an excellent book, by the way. i recommended. host: from twitter. guest: i do not think it should make -- it should matter where they are made. i'm a minority view on this and the congress. we had a call on homeland security that the uniforms and equipment would be made in the usa. this came because of some of the hats worn by the border patrol were made in mexico. i put an amendment on the floor that struck that and said, look, if you have the best equipment, the best body armor, why would we want to buy the best body armor summer else court why should we pay a premium to have our taxpayers pay more when we can get
8:29 am
something of the sandbagging made somewhere else? this is a global economy today. i did not unfit the system. when you -- i did not invent the system. when you put restrictions, other countries start to retaliate. that is what happened in 1930's. to me, that is the way the economy works. if you do not like the fact that china is making cheaper goods, we have to redouble our efforts and do things that we in do more efficiently. there's a lot of americans continuity, and we're going to come back. china has its own set of problems, but everyone is looking to blame someone. i do not think that is the right place to live. host: virginia, ken is on the phone. caller: most of our policy
8:30 am
issues are the most despicable people on the planet. his wealth being concentrated at the top? if that is true, which will problem say it is not, is that good for democracy? that is all that i have. guest: let me say that there is a concentration of wealth at the top today. i think we have been seeing this. but the point i made earlier, it is not always the same people. it is still an upwardly mobile system. people get new ideas. immigrants -- if you look at the 10 year period and who is wealthy and who is not,
8:31 am
there is a lot of movement. there is a concentration. what do you do about it? we have an economy that needs to help people move up the ladder and reward investment and risk and work. it is not easy at this time, when you are near a recession like we have been over the last three years. we had a lengthy discussion about it. i am more concerned about the rich staying rich and the poor stay in port. we analyze -- staying pouor. younger people tend to be poor, but as they get older they make more money. my mother brought up five kids. we had houses and apartments going back and forth.
8:32 am
i was lucky enough to get a full scholarship to a college. i worked my way through law school. nobody handed me anything. along the way, a lot of people could have written me off. there are lots of cases of people who have been able to work their way up. there are many that start at the top and move up and down the system. it is a fairly mobile system. that is what we need to remember. that is my answer. host: this is a comment that has the most.tweeted eric cantor is your former colleague. guest: he is a partner -- party leader. there are restraints on party leaders sometimes. he is a smart guy. i am proud to call him as my
8:33 am
friend. i consider a very good friend and able legislator. but we need to remember is, it is hard for them, given the political constraints that operate under, to sit across the table and pass a deal. host: california. caller: mr. davis, you have it right. the wealth seems to move from generation to generation with the successful people being able to take advantage of their ability to create wealth. there seems to be a problem. the problem with the left is they have been so indoctrinated over the years about nanny government.
8:34 am
i live in the california. that is being destroyed by democratic policies. i am a cold water republican and i am for smaller government. small government. it is difficult -- when you speak of the hard right and the hard left, we both know that this next election, the vote in the senate is: -- is going to spread to the republicans and maintain the majority in the house. and put a republican in the white house. it is coming down to the independent vote. i listened carefully and watch c-span every morning. and whatened carefu carefully
8:35 am
c-span every morning. you do a very good job. it is coming down to the independent vote. listening to the independent voice, i am convinced that they are convinced that we need smaller government. the headline should be, $14 trillion debt. host: and growing. thanks for the call. let's get a response. guest: 2004, parties. after [unintelligible] everybody playing to their base getting out to vote and making it a turnout election. san francisco having independent voters, if you are a republican,
8:36 am
you could buy a subscription to a magazine. the middle is losing clout in this country, because so many of these districts are safe seats. moderates and independents do not generally participate in primaries. their voices are muffled there. when the general election comes, they do not get a voice. we will see with independencts do. they may well take the senate in the next election. getting a filibuster proof majority is going to be difficult. not impossible. they may preside over the senate and have the majority, but it takes 60 votes do most things in the senate. it would not extend the tax cut. most things take 60 votes in each party checks the others. getting 60 votes is rare.
8:37 am
host: i want to share a bit of sound with you from the other side of the aisle, the other chamber singing the other enemy is -- the china currency bill and the exchange between the senate leaders and a republican from tennessee. here is what happened. >> i really do not want to speak. here is what i want to happen. playing members from both sides of the aisle has degraded into a place that is no longer a place of any deliberation at all. i would like for you the minority leader to explain to us so that we have one story here in public as to what has happened this week to lead us to the place we are. that is all i am asking. explain how the greatest governing body on a bill that many would say is the messaging
8:38 am
bill in the first place ended up having no amendments and we are in this place that we are right now. >> i found over the last nine months that when i tried to have an open amid process, -- open and demint process, it is a road to nowhere. amendment process, it is a road to nowhere. >> we are fundamentally turning the senate into the house. the minority is out of business. host: what is happening? guest: it is dysfunctional. i think the leader is taking steps to protect his members protect hisvotes
8:39 am
-- protect his members protect votes.fficult we did that in the house. they are not ideological the way we think about it. they take a look at results. right now the results are not very good. they are holding the political leaders responsible. the global economy is very complex. the ability to deliver a lot is probably not there. the energy policy, we could have done some things. budget control. they have been unable to move on these things for the last 20 or 30 years. host: your favorite trivia question, what is it?
8:40 am
guest: i like to talk about the congressional district between 1900 and 1952. host: the answer? guest: the republicans held a seat in a german town in texas. a man died in 1930. these were refugees from germany. there was a failed revolution there. they stayed republican. they held that one. in 1920, the republicans took over tennessee. they have had two tennessee house seats since reconstruction. eastern tennessee voted against succeeding from the union. when the others seceded, the others went the other way. in 1928, we had three republican
8:41 am
house seats and one in north carolina that. republican, because hoover struck the hour purcell. the deep -- struck the otuer uter cell. the bird machine controlled virginia. the redistricting in 1930, they cannot beat one person in north falk. -- norfolk. [unintelligible] we had one person on our team. the first question was where sarah palin went to college. he nailed it. host: tom davis, thanks for
8:42 am
being with us. c-span contender series is this friday. they are looking at candidates. they lost the election but changed politics. you can check it on our web site at looking at what it takes to vote in this country. we will be talking about that in a moment as "washington journal" continues. ♪ ♪ >> i would like to start by saying unequivocally, and categorically that i deny each and every single allegation against this day. >> when i ran for president, i said we would cut the deficit. >> every weekend on american history tv, the people and events that document the american story.
8:43 am
this week and a look at the '90s with the 20 anniversary of the confirmation of supreme court justice clarence thomas. in the 15th anniversary of the 1996 presidential race between president bill clinton and senator bob for the complete wed schedule on or for schedules in your in box, click the c-span alert button. >> watch more video of the candidates, with political reporters are saying, and track the latest campaign contributions with campaign 2012 c-span website. it is easy to use and helps you navigate the political landscape with twitter feet and updates, candid and bios, and the latest polling data. -- candidate bios and the latest polling data. "washington journal" continues. >> wendy weiser joins us from
8:44 am
the brand center of the department of justice. guest: thanks for having me. host: what can we expect next year as those that want to go to the polls may face new restrictions or hurdles casting their ballots? guest: every state has its own voting laws and systems. what we have seen this year is a dramatic set of law changes across the country in more than a dozen states, making it harder for millions of americans to vote. we will see a lot of changes leading into 2012 that could have a serious impact on the election. host: that us look at some of those changes. having a valid id when you go to the polls. also proof of citizenship for some potential voters. registration delays that could impact those that want to cast their ballot. absentee voting and the
8:45 am
restoration of the voting rights. and the issue of early voting which in 2010, about 30% of those were cast prior to election day. guest: that is right. in particular, the biggest most widespread new restriction are these new restriction voter i.d. laws. you have to have some sort of valid identification to say you are who you say you are. that is something that nobody takes any issue with. but in seven states this you -- year, we have greater restrictions with government issued federal id requirements. these are targeted said they will affect some voters more than others. in texas, and you can show a concealed handgun license to vote, but not a valid student id with a photo from a state university. these are some of the battles we
8:46 am
are seeing right now with the new photo identification requirement. host: in arizona, proof of citizenship is required. specifically what documents do officials require and why is it sparking so much controversy? guest: they have never had to show documentary of the citizenship to jacob. arizona was the first state to introduce such a requirement. that has been the subject of litigation where you would have to show either a birth certificate or a passport or and naturalization paper. these are documents that many americans do not have readily available. we did a study a number of years ago that shows that 7% of americans do not have those kinds of documents. we now have three states with these requirements. five states altogether will
8:47 am
require this kind of documentation. host: alabama, tennessee? guest: alabama does not go into effect for 2012. kansas and tennessee do. host: it has been introduced in massachusetts, texas, nevada, colorado, south carolina. guest: that is right. we have seen this -- it has been a banner year for pushing new voting laws across the nation. only three bills passed during this legislative session. the battle is not over. there will be some states that have ongoing legislation sessions leading up to 2012 and efforts to push back on some of these voting restrictions as well. host: what about the issue of a voter registration as well?
8:48 am
third-party voter registration passed in florida, maine, ohio, and texas. whether the benefits of same-day registration and what are the drawbacks? guest: there have been a variety of different voter registration restrictions introduced. maine has had something very popular system of election day registration, where voters can register and vote on the same day, election day. it has worked aboard -- very well in maine and has not had any problems. no documentations of the voter fraud and no delays. it has been a successful program. this year for the first time, we saw more than 50,000 voters in 2008 to register and vote on election day. that is a lot of people that otherwise would have been left out of the system and not ready to vote.
8:49 am
and to -- this has been shown to increase turnout by significant numbers, by about 5% or 7%, for the states that have same day registration. the united states does to very well regarding voter turnout, only 40% of the voters that be -- that turnout during midterm elections and 60% in election years. host: the brinnin center is part of in my view law school. our guest is -- brennan center is part of the nyu law school. our guest wendy weiser is from
8:50 am
the department of justice at this center. guest: we have seen an unfortunate increase in the politicization of the rules governing our election. it started in 2000 when the cut in fought the florida election fiasco and the way in which we conduct our elections can make a difference in the outcome of the elections. we have seen year after year and an unfortunate increase in politicization. 2010, we have not really seen any difference on the ground that changed who was in office. that is why these rules are much more successful this year. host: new haven, connecticut. caller: i am 64 and i have had politicians, pundits telling us
8:51 am
that our most precious right is the right to vote. this is why as citizens we should vote. at 64, i remember there have been so many scandals about dead people voting and people who are not eligible to vote. perhaps illegal immigrants voting. there are some towns that have instituted giving non-citizens the right to vote in local elections like school elections and so forth. i am just -- i do not see anything wrong with it. someone has a few years to get a passport or find a copy of their birth certificate -- we pretty much lost control of alberta government. the only -- of our government. i do not see that any of these
8:52 am
restrictions are wrong or improper. we need to make sure that only those that are eligible united states citizens are voting. guest: i appreciate that concern. i totally agree that we need to make sure our elections are secure and conducted with integrity. it is not true that we had a significant problems in our elections. we do not see the follow-up investigations. when there are dead people voting, and investigations show it has been in a graduation. it has not been true but errors on the -- -- investigations show it has not been true. there were errors that they found. this kind of a voter fraud by
8:53 am
individuals at the polls is not something that actually happened. when you look at the statistics, you are more likely to be hit by lightning than you are to find an american who has committed voter fraud. i understand in some local elections this -- where it is not permitted for non-citizens to vote, it is not happening. nothing has changed to cause a sudden need to crack down on voting this year. host: rapid rivers, mich.. good morning. caller: we have had to show a photo id for several years here in michigan. it seems to be very popular. host: what type of id is required? a driver's license, birth
8:54 am
certificate? caller: if you are out in public, an officer asks you for it. there is plenty of time to prepare. everyone in this country should carry a photo id. to give you an example, there is so much fraud going on in the country. my family, my wife and i are married over 20 years with three children. this year, we had to show our birth certificate for our health insurance, and our marriage license. something to show that we were still married. [inaudible] there is so much cheating going on. i believe it is from people in this country getting free medical care or voting when they should not be voting. i listen to how this lady frames restricted voting, when
8:55 am
she says photo id. it is ridiculous. it is not restricted at all. i remember in the previous presidential election, they had democrats bringing in people from handicapped homes and having them vote on the same day, bribing people with cigarettes and candy bar on the street with mental illness and getting them to vote democrat. the more we can do to safeguard the elections, the better. host: think you for your call. let us get a response from wendy weiser. guest: michigan has required some form of identification to vote. they must show photo identification to vote. they do have something in place for the millions of americans
8:56 am
that do not have that kind of a photo identification. an alternative mechanism for them to vote and identify themselves at the polls. nobody is complaining about the michigan system or the florida system, which also has an alternative procedure in place. what we see in these new laws is for people that do not have the kind of state issued photo identification. it is not the people that are driving. it is much more likely to be low income voters, students, minority voters, elderly voters, especially that do not drive. for those people, there is not a system in place or an alternative mechanism. when you go to an airport, everyone is asked to show a government photo id. if you do not have one, there is an alternative procedure where you can board the airplane. the tsa will take you aside for special screening.
8:57 am
it is not an absolute barrier to getting on an airplane. getting on an airplane is not a fundamental right the way voting is. we need to make sure that we keep our system secure and have a mechanism to make sure we are not keeping up large portions of the population when there is another option available. host: this question from our twitter page. it says this. guest: that is a really good point. some states have to get to their laws approved by either the department of justice or the federal court under the 1965 voting rights act, before it can go into effect. a number of the states are being considered right now, texas, florida. florida passed a range of restrictions, not an
8:58 am
identification law. south carolina, but there are new laws looking at if they violate the voting rights act. and if they will hamper the minorities from participating in the election. host: no photo id in new mexico. sugar creek, missouri. good morning, glenda. caller: i am 56-years old. ever since i have been voting, i have been registered to vote. i have to show a valid id when i vote. it has been that way ever since i can remember. when my friend was old enough, i had to take into the driver's
8:59 am
bureau to get him a photo i.d., because he did not have a driver's license yet. it is simple to get. take your birth certificate to where ever you get your driver's license. i do not see a problem with that. guest: missouri does not require boaters to show a photo id to vote. they have to show some form of id the first time they vote. that is true in the entire country. missouri once did attempt to pass a law requiring everyone to show a government issued photo i.d., but it was struck down by the state supreme court. it is not true that you have to show that kind of identification. for many americans, it is quite easy to show that kind of identification. more than 80% of people actually do have a driver's license or
9:00 am
state issued nine drivers id those americans -- non-driver's i.d. for those that do not drive, we want to have a different system in place so they can identify themselves. that is what we're saying now, a reduction in the number of people like him participate in our elections. host: and about convicted felons, two republican .overnors guest: we just had a cut back on people who have been out, who have served there is committee, who are paying their taxes. they no longer have an avenue to get their voting rights
9:01 am
restored. for all intents and purposes, these people will be permanently barred from participating at the ballot box. these are reversing prior actions of florida. t of florida, heo had a system that have restore hundreds of citizens to get their voting rights back. that has ground to a halt with this new governor and his clemency board. the same and iowa. host: from our twitter page. she says it is easy and cheap to get a federal idea. guest: the cost of these ideas are even -- are more costly than the poll taxes that were struck down.
9:02 am
you have to get your birth certificate and another $20 for a driver's license, and that is not true for low-income americans. that is not true for many people. padding on the cost of taking off the time to take off work, if you are not a driver, getting a driver's license bureaus, many of these states where we see the identification requirements, more that -- more than half of their counties do not have a driver's license issuing offices. for many people, when you add up the costs for people that are struggling in this country, it turns out to be significant. this case the past few photo id requirements, you can get the new drivers id free of charge, but when i get it for you if you ask about it. you have to know about the
9:03 am
requirement in many of the statements. the problem is getting the underlying documents that you need. host: but does that there need to be some set of standards to make sure that there is not voting fraud? guest: there is certainly should be. congress actually tackle this problem in 2002 in the help america of the that. we have in new system in place where every registrant gets checked. they get that kid -- they get checked against state and federal databases. you're not verify to the system, then you have to show a form of id before you were voting. a voter registration system is another strong system to investigate to see whose vote is improper. do need strong systems and enforce the laws that we have,
9:04 am
and we also have strong criminal penalties for even voter registration fraud. it is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines. it is not worth it to risk that kind of penalty for a marginal increase of one vote for your favorite candidate. this is not something that happens with any frequency and for good reason. it does not make sense to do it. host: the bread and some preferred justice has issued this report. -- the brennan center for justice has issued this report. caller: good morning. i beg to take issue with the statement that every state requires some form of identification. i have a budget in three states since 1960, i have worked the
9:05 am
polls in california, and never does anyone ever have to show any form of identification. in fact, as a poll person, we put up a list of all the people eligible to vote in our district and our precinct, with the names and addresses attacks, and all one has to do is what can and spout one of those names and addresses and you are eligible to vote. you are eligible to vote in that election. guest: i said that you had to have a form of fine vinification before you vote for the first time showing some kind of for non photo identification. many states go farther than that. there are only a small minority of states that actually require everybody to show some form of state-issued photo
9:06 am
identification. but even with the requirements of stating the name and address, that is something that certainly makes it a lot harder for people trying to impersonate somebody else to show up and vote at the polls. you have to know the name and address of another registered voter who is not going to vote and you have to not be caught at the polls. people do get caught and it does not happen very often. but in every state because of federal law, but for the first time you vote, you have to be identified in some way with some kind of identification or identifying number. that is a nationwide point. host: by joe has this point. is that true? guest: that various state by state what poll workers tend to.
9:07 am
most states allow poll workers some form of discretion to determine whether or not the voter isn't eligible voters. some kind of challenge process. the butter has rights and can still press their case and say that they are eligible. but most states do have some process where poll workers can turn away of voter, at least temporarily, until someone intends to the matter to see if they are eligible to vote. host: on the republican line. caller: it is very troubling to me that there are people out there they are advocating allowing people to vote without showing identification and think that it is a proper way to conduct our election process. [unintelligible] you're just endorsing fraud.
9:08 am
what is troubling to me also, if you have so many people so uneducated and do not know the basic information about this country and the candidates and what they are voting for. it makes sense for me to go a step further, that you have some sort of qualification process to vote in general, for people that can afford to get an identification of some sort, of people that are not willing to get these documents or show them at election on election day, they probably should not be voting to begin with. i mean people that are not willing to get this kind of stuff approved. the fact that you have so many people trying to vote, the number one, do not have that fundamental knowledge to cast a legitimate vote, and they are not willing or able to get the proper documents to vote, maybe they should not be voting to begin with a host: you have a word that wendy weiser i want
9:09 am
to follow up on, the qualification process. where do you draw the line? go ahead, jack. caller: obviously that is a very subjective statement. it is one of these things work that has to be determined, obviously one person cannot determine that. but to me it makes sense that people need to be qualified to foot. they have to knowledge of the american political system, not to mention the country itself. these candidates that people try to vote for, they did have knowledge of their positions and not just vote for candidate based on their racial bias or some other nonsense that they are putting into the political voting thinking. host: wendy weiser, is that a slippery slope or does his point have validity? guest: this is a position that
9:10 am
over the course of history many have taken. right now it is our constitutional law and accepted by all of our courts and statutes that you do not have to pass any form of literacy or other kind of qualifying test in order to participate in our election. we have a very unfortunate history of these tests being used to discriminate against a great -- against people largely because of their race. it is unlawful to put these qualifications on people because of this reason. this is certainly not a new position and one we have seen throughout our history. host: from connecticut. caller: i am so surprised that this guest would be spouting this rhetoric after graduating yale law school. every time the issue comes up, people like this lady always go
9:11 am
back to jim crow laws, as though there is any relationship between asking for reasonable identification at the polls and the jim crow laws. but i want to take one point that she said early on, a comparison in the state of texas. you can show a concealed carry permit with your picture and voted but not a college idea. there is a good reason for that. you need to show a birth certificate in order to get the concealed carry permit. anybody can have a college id, particularly in texas, which is open to illegal immigrants. guest: the identification requirement in texas is not us requirement to demonstrate your citizenship. this is solely to identify people. this is been very controversial across the country this year. the battles have been drawn
9:12 am
aloud whether or not students can participate in using their student id. a number of states, kansas is one, they are allowing students to show their state-issued student idea for what they have to show a lot of documentation before entering into the colleges, and the others were the fight has been far more politicized, they are not. i want to clarify one thing. no one is saying that people should not have to show any form of identification before voting. the issue is a reasonable dedication but whether or not we're asking people to show forms of identification that they do not have. the kind required by congress and help america of kodak, or in michigan, or certainly things that do not cause the same kind of uproar. if we do not have a system in place or some other method to
9:13 am
identify themselves, and now was what it is excluded to this year. host: our guest is the director of the democracy project, and the impact of laws on 2012. you can get more by logging on to their website. mike joins us from miami. caller: i would like to say, i cannot believe this lady is sitting here. you probably do not check anyone with -- catch anyone with voter fraud. but they can go out and buy the votes. john f. kennedy did it. who knows how many others have done it. if you get down to it, i don't think it is the most important right that we have, but the right to bear arms. it is sooner or later going to come to a head. and all the voting is not going
9:14 am
to matter. i think the whole thing is a shame. the way that the politicians get up, they know for a fact they do not have any power. they're sitting on their hands and they do not know what to do. host: mike, let me take this. this is from twitter. what you think is reasonable when it comes to id? guest: it is reasonable to show one of our range of ideas. you can show state and federal that is, or utility bill, or other designated forms of government paychecks that has your address on it. that is some more inclusive list, then what we're seeing in these new laws.
9:15 am
a michigan system is far more reasonable, where everyone has to show of former federal idea before voting, but they have an alternative way to go and demonstrate their identity and dancewear read affidavit and be able to vote like other folks. there are other systems in place that are reasonable that have some mechanism in place for people that do not have these state-issued federer ids. host: another caller. caller: i wanted to ask the lady, as a voter, you always need to show id. let me correct her on the simplicity of getting an id. i was down to the driver's license department with my daughter. she is an adult who through
9:16 am
negligence allowed her photo id to expire. since 2008, she has not had one. hollister mother and was told to come to be her authorized representative. -- i am her mother and was told to come be her authorized representatives. we came to the bureau of vital statistics, and we acquired her birth certificate, and then we went to the motor vehicle department, and showed her birth certificate, and it was only $9 to get the birth certificate, which is not expensive. and then we went down to the motor vehicle departments and i had to show a couple of forms of male to represent her, because she had nothing in her name, and i was a representative, and i
9:17 am
told them i was her mother. i do not know whether that is vital, but anybody could have said they were her mother. i said that i was truthful. then she showed her birth certificate, i showed two m forms showedail, my electric bill and my tax statement with my address on it. they just wanted to see a mailing address. host: was she able to vote? caller: she will be now. she received her picture i.d. for $31, saw the hole total was $31 plus the $9 for the birth certificate. it is simple. why can all the laws be such as that? you just can go down there and both and shows something you got without showing prove that you are you are.
9:18 am
we've got to have rules. guest: i would say that the system does vary from state to state as to how easy or hard it is to get your stay issued photo id. many states will not allow people to vouch for you. actually, florida does have an alternative mechanism for people who do not have ids, going to various different government departments, who do not have the means of transportation to get there, and to do not have the $40 to spend in order to get that idea. in florida, there is another way did you can vote, another process to follow. i want to step back a little bit. none of these areas, whether the photo id barrier, or most of these barriers, are an absolute bar to voting.
9:19 am
they are -- there are steps that people can take to make sure that they can participate in our elections. but they are under arrest. we're making it harder for 5 million people to vote. if they're making it harder for 5 million, you can bet that a significant number of them are not going to vote who otherwise would have. we will ciller -- see a real impact in our elections. should we be doing this? should we not make it so that every american can code and put in sensible restrictions to identify people and make sure that we can keep track of our elections but do not leave out those people who cannot comply with the new restrictions, the new rules? host: wendy weiser, she has joined us from our studios in new york. thank you for being with us. we continue on the sunday
9:20 am
morning parade at the lessons from jimmy carter's reelection effort in 1980, a failed effort, and bill clinton's successful reelection, roger simon will be joining us at the table. he will get his perspective as the "washington journal" continues. [inaudible] >> the only people allowed in the supreme court east conference room of the nine justices. who gets the door? >> in my first to second conference, i was paying very close attention to the discussion and i fail to hear a knock on the door. bill brennan on my left and bill rehnquist on my right both got up and answer the door. and it made me feel like ellis two feet high.
9:21 am
i learned from that that one of the most important jobs of the junior justice is to remember that you are a doorman. >> john paul stevens on his new memoir tonight on c-span. >> if if you think that a bill of rights is what sets this apart, you're crazy. every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights. every president for life as a bill of rights. the bill of rights of the former evil empire, the union of soviet socialist republics, was much better than ours and i mean that literally. we guarantee freedom of speech in the press, big deal. they guaranteed the freedom of speech and the press and protests and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. that is a wonderful stuff. of course, just words on paper.
9:22 am
>> tuesday, antonin scalia and stephen breyer testified before the senate judiciary committee on a wide ranging series of questions, including the role of judges under the constitution. watch the rest of the discussion on line and the c-span video library, archived in searchable. it is washington your way. >> watch more video of the candidates, see what political reporters are saying, and track the latest campaign contributions with c-span's website for campaign 2012. easy to use, it helps you navigate the political landscape with twitter feeds and facebook updates from the campaigns. candidate bios and the latest polling data, plus links to c- span media partners in the early primary and caucus states, all at -- >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back to c-span roger simon who's been
9:23 am
covering campaigns for how many years? guest: oh, my god. my first campaign was in 1976 so i began in 1975. i followed jimmy carter around the country. then harold ford. host: we will talk about the 1976 race. i want to assure you two headlines. ridgely i want to show you two headlines. and this morning from the "washington post," this from scott wilson. he rarely spends more than a few minutes on a rope line --
9:24 am
guest: there are elements of truth in both articles. in fact, when president obama for started running in iowa, four years ago, he was criticized for not working the rope lines in doubt. after all, the last democrat who won was bill clinton, who was famous for never leaving the rope line. that is the line the people that stand up after a speech, sometimes literally behind ropes, sometimes behind benches or bales of hay, and wait to greet the president or the candidate and shake their hand or take their picture with their cell phone. it is an important part of campaigning, especially in states like iowa and new hampshire, where retail
9:25 am
politics, where they like to touch the president -- the candidate and get their picture taken with them, it is part of the decision. -- the tradition. barack obama never seemed to enjoy it. i wrote about it at the time and i was told by the obama people, no, he goes in the private rooms and greets people and spends time with people. but in fact, i do not think that as part of the job he enjoys the most. host: does he enjoy being president? guest: i think he enjoys being president. i think you like to be reelected. but i'm going out on a limb here, i do not pretend to know the inner thought process these a president obama, but i do not think he is obsessed with reelection. i do not think that his life would have no meaning if he lost.
9:26 am
having said that, i think he wants to win very much because he has a political agenda, many policies that he wants to see through his second term. host: michael goodwin this morning -- he also has this point. guest: it is true it would not be a good sign. i do not agree with some of that.
9:27 am
i do not know -- i would feel more comfortable if he quoted the names of the aids when he says that president obama knocks off at 4:00 p.m., it would be unusual for president like obama to work a shorter work day. i get the impression that he works a very long work day, that it does not spend all that many dinners with his family and would like to spend more. but as to the carter comparisons, in no, i covered the carter campaign, and obviously i cover the obama campaign. they are very much different people. and the campaigns were very different. we have to keep in mind that when jimmy carter ran for president in 1976 he was the first post-watergate presidential candidate.
9:28 am
gerald ford had been appointed president, because the president nixon and the vice president spiro agnew had been forced from office. gerald ford had been appointed but not elected and was running for reelection. and of course, gerald ford pardoned richard nixon, with much of the country did not like. the country was in much a different mood, with the slogan, some seek to make american great again. i seek to make america could again. that might seem like a silly and i need slogan today, but it was -- naive slowed in today, but it was good in post-watergate america where it seemed that
9:29 am
something had gone wrong at the highest levels of government. maybe democracy was no longer functioning. here came jimmy carter, a big smile, sunny optimism, one of the first candidates i can remember who openly talked about his religion and being a born- again christian. now today a lot of candidates talk about that, but in 1976 and before, few candidates talk about that. when carter became president, he was beset by a huge number of crises. there was a hostage taking in tehran, but there was the arab oil boycott, there was his failed attempt to rescue the hostages. there was stagflation -- do not
9:30 am
ask me to explain what stagflation is, but it is even worse than inflation. there was the soviet invasion of afghanistan. and jimmy carter's response was to boycott the olympics, and popular with many people. unpopular with many people. -- and he had to run against ronald reagan, one of the best campaigners of the late 20th century, who was selling a different message about american greatness. he was saying -- and we had an energy crisis and carter was famously telling people to wear sweaters and turn down the thermostat. ronald reagan was ultimately scornful of that. i want to cover my children's ears when they hear that. america is a great country. we do not have to dial down our thermostats. we do not have to wear sweaters. we can be the shining city on a
9:31 am
hill. selling american greatness, he appealed to the american voter. brac obama does not face that sort of problem -- barack obama does not face that sort of problem set. he had a successful military venture in the killing osama bin laden. he did not fail at it. he passed health care reform early because ihe knew his popularity would be greater earlier in his presidency than later, which certainly has been proven true. unfortunately for him, the benefits of that health care reform will take a period of years to come into place. he also built up the auto industry. clearly saved it, and he probably prevented the world from financial collapse. host: he is not facing a primary
9:32 am
challenge. guest: very good point. jimmy carter faced a strong primary challenge by ted kennedy. ted kennedy did not win, but he waged the most dramatic speech of his life, the "sailing against the wind" speech, and he weakened jimmy carter with, perhaps, the key group in america, white, ethnic catholics. they will swing from party to party. ted kennedy weakened carter especially with irish catholics. and it looks almost certain that barack obama will not face a primary challenge and will not be weakened. the other thing barack obama has
9:33 am
going for him, the best thing he has going for them in my opinion, is the republican field. it does not seem to be a strong field. a clear sign that is that the party is still looking for some kind of messiah-figure, some kind of ronald-reagan figure to come to their rescue. strong candidate has emerged. well herman cain is doing very well in the polls -- while herman cain is doing very well in the polls, i see that as a republican vote 4 "none of the above." host: this story is also available on the salon website. the right really wants obama to jimmy carter.
9:34 am
we had a conversation with former president carter about the abuse ago, talking about his 1976 victory -- about two weeks ago, talking about his 1976 victory. one student asked why he lost in 1980. >> my record was a good one. we had a good record domestically, but there were three issues that were overwhelmingly negative for us. one was that iran and iraq were at war. it created an enormous wave of inflation around the world. we were less affected by the wave than great britain, france, and germany, but the inflation rate was very high. as president, i got blamed for that. the opposition ran a very aggressive campaign against me. the democratic party was divided.
9:35 am
the most important thing was the american hostages were still being held by the iranians. in fact, the election day was the anniversary of the hostages first being taken, and so, all the news coverage, no matter what we tried to do in the campaign itself, was about the hostages and how i was responsible for the hostages not being free. host: roger simon? guest: i would agree with all of that. what the former president did not mention was the accusations at the time that, in fact, only the hostages had not been freed, but ronald reagan and george bush were colluding with the government of iran to keep them hostage until after the election. we do not know if that is true or not, but it was certainly -- and also, president carter pledged to not actively
9:36 am
campaign or not campaign very hard while the hostages were still hostage in tehran, and that made a difficult for them. ronald reagan was a very effective, very vigorous campaigner. jimmy carter's campaign style of the smiling, soft-spoken, amiable southerner was out of step with the mood of the country at the time. host: another point -- inflation = 18% home loans, which is what jimmy carter faced. guest: it was a time of stagflation, high inflation and a stagnant economy. usually, elections are decided on domestic issues. in extraordinary cases,
9:37 am
vietnam, the hostage issue, they can be decided on foreign issues. in the case of jimmy carter, they were decided on both. plus, you had the fact that he was up against an excellent campaigner who had had the advantage of running once before. ronald reagan ran against the incumbent, gerald ford, and lost. none of the republican field had that -- has the experience today, with the possible exception, you could say, of ron paul, who ran as a libertarian and lost. host: roger simon, a columnist at the chicago sun-times and worked for the "chicago tribune." is that like the cubs and the sox? guest: absolutely. it is pretty rare. i am a sox fan, being a southsider. and there is no way you can be
9:38 am
both. it is only because rupert murdoch bought the "sun-times" that i left it, my wife and i. i went to the "tribune" to do long, thoughtful pieces on american politics. as some might remember, that was the year of monica lewinsky, and i did not do long, thoughtful pieces. host: laurel, maryland, democrats' line. caller: my thing is -- you know, people tend to blame barack for congress. congress is totally against anything he does. he can put the blame on them. i do not think he has been more
9:39 am
tougher toward congress, but that does not want to change my vote. i am voting for him. it does not matter to me. if anybody is a true believer that it will get better and stop dividing, give him the opportunity. if you do not give a person the opportunity to show what he can do it instead of saying no, no, no, he will never get a chance to do it. my thing is being open-minded. you have people who come on and say they will not even use the word "president barack." that shows you a lot. the republicans are doing a real good job blaming everything on him. if congress are the only people who can pass legislation, you have got to have them do this. if they are not doing everything -- anything, do not just blame him. the republican congress is
9:40 am
planning a major role in making him look bad. host: thank you for the call. guest: i think you are right in many respects. president obama is clearly going to run against congress. that is going to be his main talking point, that he has tried to do good things for the american people, and he has been up against the party of no. in his view, a party that presents no plan of its own, but just as no to his plan. in that, he has been compared by some, not to jimmy carter, but harry truman of 1948, who everybody counted out. but he, in fact won, against thomas dooley, by running against congress. 1948 is not 2012, so we should
9:41 am
not be carried away by historic comparisons. but congress, although the president does not have a good approval rating, hovering around 40%, congress has an even lower one. i think it is around 18% or below. the trouble is, while few people like congress as a group, when you ask them how they like their individual congressman or congresswoman, the congressman or congresswoman does much better. he needs to run against -- the president needs to run against congress as an organization, point out to the american people how he has been trying to help them, and how congress has resisted that. host: in the "new york post" -- bill clinton is putting hillary
9:42 am
clinton in a good position to be the front-runner in 2016. guest: well, that is interesting. i once -- if my memory were better, i could give you the ages. if she runs and 2016 -- host: she will be 67. guest: i guarantee you that joe biden will probably want to run. after all, vice president usually get an automatic place on the ticket for president -- vice presidents usually get an automatic place on the ticket for president. he would be 71. i do not know. she has done very well in terms of her public approval as secretary of state, by not trying to grab the headlines, by trying to be a lower member of the administration. i think she had unpleasant
9:43 am
memories, to put it mildly, of her own run for office, whether she has it in her heart and in her gut to run again, i am not so sure. if she did run, she certainly would not be unchallenged in the democratic party for that race. host: louisiana, steve, joining us on the republican line. good morning. please go ahead. caller: good morning. first of all, mr. simon, you should be a stand-up comic. guest: i do not know if that is good or bad. caller: do you remember a time when the president -- he had both houses of congress a couple of years ago. what was he able to do with it? nothing. he will go down as the worst
9:44 am
president that ever led this country. i would propose to you that the tea party -- we are going to get a roundhouse. we are going to knock all of them out in the next election. guest: i appreciate the call. what the president did you, of course, was passed health care, which was -- did do, of course, was pass health care, which was no small thing. we do not know what the supreme court will even allow major parts of it to remain, but, it is a success, it may go down in history with social security and medicare as one of the great social programs in american history. but you mentioned the tea party
9:45 am
and tea party's influence. and that is a very interesting point. there was a very interesting column in "the washington post," which i recommend that everyone, published on september 10, available on their website. and he presented your talked- about two papers presented -- and he presented or talked about two papers about the tea party. some interesting things emerged. while the tea party had an overall influence in the -- in reducing the popularity of the president and the democratic party in general, there is not much evidence that it changed
9:46 am
very many individual races for congress and that it won many of the republican seats that were won. the most interesting thing that i found about the column, however, was whether the tea party was a separate body that exists outside the republican party, which the republican party could be their ally with or not -- could either ally itself with or not, or whether it was the center of the american party itself. what one political scientist found and that i agree with, is that the tea party had, for years, been the activist heart of the republican party. for some decades, a very conservative part of the republican party has been not
9:47 am
only angry with democrats, but angry with republicans who seem to want to appease or get along with democrats. in those years where the republican party controlled not only the presidency, but both houses of congress, that activist core of the republican party felt that not enough conservative measures had been passed. host: that is what one viewer says to your earlier point about running against congress. he says "run against congress? you mean running against harry reid, don't you? --- different when harry truman was running against the so-called due nothing congress. -- do-nothing congress.
9:48 am
guest: that is true. we have a super-committee who is empowered by law to make billions of dollars of cuts that are designed to displease both parties. unless those cuts are made, congress then will be forced to make extremely high catz to things like -- high cuts to things like the defense budget. it is basically a poison pill. we do not hear too much about it now. we have heard about the tea party activism and the take back wall street activists. but that super-committee is yet to report. when it does report, i think
9:49 am
we're going to find that the budget has been taken over by this super-committee, and that is really what is going to show what is going to happen for america to begin climbing out of the huge deficit that it has. host: will we see this occupy wall street movement spread or will be isolated to a certain population centers? guest: i think it is not the tea party. it has not come out of the democratic party. it is not the activist center of the democratic party. it is a genuine, i believe, grass-roots movement, that i think will increase. some in the media are upset that the occupy wall street movement or the anti-wall-street
9:50 am
movement does not have a set of demands that we could talk about. what it wants is pretty clear, if you look into the people who are interviewed, and if you look at the picket signs. what they are against is corporate greed. what they are for, they are for more jobs. those are the two things that come to me. on the subject of greed, they're not naive. they realize that corporations hire people and that corporations to create jobs. -- do create jobs. i think almost everybody in america was shocked after the first bailout of the bush administration. let's not forget that the
9:51 am
bailout started under george bush, that the economic collapse started in the last months of george bush, and that record numbers of people losing their jobs also started in the last months of george bush. i am not saying it does not reach president obama's responsibility to cure. after his bailouts, again multibillion-dollar is, i think everybody in america was shocked by the fact that these dollars, ibillion- think everybody in america was shocked by the fact that these companies had these parties in exotic locales and they gave these reports from companies that were essentially bankrupt, and needed billions in -- that they gave these companies that
9:52 am
were essentially bankrupt and needed billions of dollars, that received bonuses.d bonuses barack obama indicated that he was even stunned at how wall street seemed to be so out of touch with how mainstream americans felt about the behavior of giant corporations. and i think that is what the occupy what treatment is tapping into -- occupy wall street movement is tapping into. host: here is the president's response to being asked about the state of the economy. >> it is a great country that had gotten a little soft. we did not have that same competitive edge we needed over
9:53 am
the last couple of decades. we need to get back on track. host: we're talking about democratic presidents and challenges for being elected to a second term, dating back to harry truman, jimmy carter's defeat in 1980, bill clinton's success. ed, good morning. caller: good morning. i am a canadian. my wife teaches at columbia graduate school of business. i propose two decisive move that obama could make. first of all, canada is 31% of the u.s. oil. mexico and canada are 2/3. saudi arabia is only 4%. what i would do is, i would take the $2 billion bought by k of theer the cloac
9:54 am
iraq war and sell it. second, i would propose that obama take in a decisive move on afghanistan. the number-one killer of african-americans in the united states is heroin. afghanistan has gone from 31% to 91% of the heroin trade worldwide. host: thank you for the call. let me pull about this piece about the other -- point out about "the other war haunting obama." guest: i have never heard a figure that the number one killer of 1/3 of all black
9:55 am
people is heroin. i would guess the number is heart disease. but, that aside, afghanistan is a terrible mess. president obama clearly did not start it. we just observed -- we cannot say celebrated -- its 10th anniversary last week. but we seem to have lost track of either its goals -- original goals, or once again have found ourselves in a war in which we are having difficulty in two things -- one, defining what victory is, and two, extricating ourselves. the war was launched by president bush to punish al qaeda for the september 11
9:56 am
attacks on united states and the taliban government in afghanistan for giving them a safe harbor. it has been very successful, the taliban government has been toppled. it has not been replaced by a great government, by any means. it has been replaced by a corrupt government. at least it has been replaced by one subject to the u.s. al-qaeda has been almost decimated in afghanistan itself, although it has found safe refuge in pakistan. -- pakistan, which is an ally of the united states, an uneasy ally, but still an ally. so, we are still fighting the taliban and some al-qaeda troops in afghanistan. it is a very difficult country in which to wage war. we're still taking casualties,
9:57 am
but the matter render discussion is, and the difficulty is, if we leave -- the matter under discussion is, and the difficulty is, if we leave afghanistan now, having made promises that we wanted to establish an honest, functional, democratic government that provided human rights to its citizens, especially to women, which were not provided before -- can we leave now and assure that takes place? the answer is probably no. host: roger simon, we will leave it there. the story is online on we will continue the conversation tomorrow morning on c-span's "washington journal." we'll be focusing on the plan for a pipeline project, the keystone xl project. we would get two perspectives
9:58 am
and look at how much money candidates are spending. michael malbin will be joining us. the federal government is spending about $20 billion per year in assistance to farmers. what does this mean for the agricultural industry? that is all tomorrow morning on "washington journal." thank you for being with us on this sunday. i hope you enjoy your weekend. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up, "newsmakers," with house arms services committee chairman representative buck mckeon, on possible cuts to the
9:59 am
defense budget. after that, our c-span series, the contenders , profiling the life of charles evans hughes. then treasury secretary tim geithner testifies at a house financial services committee meeting. >> the chairman of the armed services committee, representative but mckeon -- buck mckeon. john donnelly is a senior writer and editor of "congressional quarterly." charles is from politico. >> good morning. the first question -- the big question in washington is obviously the budget situation. with regards to the defense budget, a law passed would cap senate appropriations of the next 10 years in


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on