tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 9, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EST
independent voters. we will talk about findings from the study with lanae erickson. also, >> according to a federal reserve report, household net worth fell 4% between july and september of this year. at new york university, they've announced that they will have two classes on the occupy wall street movement. and tonight on our final installment of our series "the contenders," a profile of ross perot. you can see that at 8:00. following yesterday's testimony by attorney general eric holder on the fast and furious program, which you just saw on our network, we want to get your thoughts on our first 45
minutes on what you think the impact of this program might be. it may be about border policy, it may be an impact on how things are done at the department of justice, it may make a difference on how you vote next year. but for our first 45 minutes, a discussion about the fast and furious program, what you think the impact will leave from it, and here's how you can contribute this morning. 202-737-0002 for republicans for democrats, 202-737-0001. for independents, 202-628-0205. you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. you can reach us on twitter, @c spanwj. here's "the washington times" write-up of the hearing. again, if you wanted to look at it later on today, you can see it on our c-span.org website, holder refuses to fire aides is the headline they've chosen.
a couple of pieces of tape from yesterday's hearings. to give you a sense of the exchange that took place, this first one is attorney general holder talking about the fast and furious program and also talking about what he sees is the use of criticisms of the program and the department for political gain. >> we work to identify where errors occurred and to ensure that these mistakes never happen again. we must lose sight of the critical challenge that this flawed operation has highlighted, and that is the battle to stop the flow of guns to mexico. of the nearly 94,000 guns that have been recovered and traced in mexico in the last five years, more than 64,000 were sourced to the united states. during this time, the trafficking of firearms across our southwest border has contributed to approximately 40,000 deaths in mexico. now, the reforms that we have undertaken do not make any of the losses of life more
bearable for grieving families. these tragedies do, however, portray in very stark terms the exceptionally difficult challenges that law enforcement agencies confront every day in working to disrupt illegal firearms transfer. operation fast and furious appears to have been a deeply flawed effort to respond to these very challenges. as we work to avoid future losses and further mistakes, it is unfortunate that some have used inflammatory and inappropriate rhetoric about one particular tragedy that occurred near the southwest border in an effort to score political points. host: that was attorney general eric holder from yesterday. now to give you perspective of some of the questions, we want to play you a bit from representative james sensenbrenner, the republican from wisconsin, speaking with the attorney general. they were raising the idea of impeach -- i'll use his words, or at least what was said, impeachment as an option if the mess from fast and furious, as he saw it, wasn't cleaned up
quickly. >> we don't get to the bottom of this, and that requires your assist offense on that, there's only one alternative that congress has, and it's called impeachment, where our subpoena powers are -- i've done more impeachment than anybody else in the history of the country. it is an expensive and messy affair, and i don't want to go this far. host: your thoughts on the fact of fast and furious going forward. the numbers on your screen, 202-737-0002 for republicans. 202-737-0001 for her democrats. also, you have email, facebook, and twitter at your disposal if you want to post a comment as well. let's go to ourselves fir call, baltimore, maryland, marcus, democrats line. good morning.
caller: on this subject, pretty much it started with bush. i'm very sure what the republicans are going to say, that obama's mess, the real issue is the war on drugs. 40,000 or 50,000 people died in mexico along the border in this failed war. some synthetic drugs? my brother just joined the baltimore city police force, and i'm scared for his life, because he could be chasing a kid who has, i don't know, a dime bag or two dime bags of weed on him, and the kid could put his life and other people's life in danger. host: do you anything from the program impacting how the government handles the war on drugs? caller: yes, i do see the impact. what they're trying to do is cut down on the gun smuggling.
it's just inevitable. there's no regulation of guns. if anyone tries to claim guns, it's really bad. host: beverly hills, california, republican line. go ahead. caller: yeah, good morning. basically much of the general's testimony, when you're in the bus, any business or industry, safety causes to have much safety equals minimal damage, minimal injury. to have no regulation on operations such as this equals mistakes, pedro, which turns into bigger mistakes, pedro, which turns into violations and
death in this case. you know, it's the attorney general that regulations and basically to have somebody's finger on the pullings, to have somebody who is going to make sure that mistakes don't happen , this is basic in these operations. host: what those things in mind, what he wants the long-term impact, in your view? caller: once again, pedro, it's all, unfortunately, a small steppingstone. host: that's beverly hills, california. you can weigh in on facebook, facebook.com/cspan. greg smith and others have weighed in this morning, saying -- greg smith saying more than 200 people are dead, eric holder is responsible, he knew about fast and furious. c.e.o.'s of corporations are held responsible for things
beneath them. eric holder needs to go. new orleans, reginald, independent line. go ahead. caller: hi. i watched some of the hearing for about a year myself, but a lot of that that we see concerning fast and furious, it's been going on for years, not just within the last five years. in fact, if somebody else also -- the attorney general of the united states had knowledge of that particular operation other than attorney general eric holder. host: so, what's the point? caller: i think the impact of it is the united states needs to control their laws regarding guns and crack down on it here in the united states, and it won't get to mexico. host: off of twitter, jack says
this this morning, he says that senator issa is using fast and furious as a political expediency. darrell issa weighing in on the fast and furious pages. he is the chairman of the house co-oversight and government reform. here's a bit of what he had to say -- host: again, your thoughts on the impact of fast and furious, a hearing yesterday. many of you saying this morning thaw caught a little bit of it. you can catch it again on c-span.org and tune in to our website for more details about that. long island, new york, thanks
for holding. anthony, democrats line. caller: yes, i'm calling in reference to representative issa and his basically lynching and grilling of d.o.j. leader holder. this is about transparency. if this is about international transparency and the uses of weapons on our borders, trading the weapons to agents that support us and will it be drug trafficking or any other type of international assault upon our land, there's only so much transparency that the justice department is going to be able to expose, but this representative issa, with his approach to it, they're willing to have him, representative
holder,expose information that the public is not supposed to even getting wind of, in order to just put his reputation, put his job, put everything about the department of justice out into the general public where we don't really want to know. host: we're talking about the fact of fast and furious. philadelphia, pennsylvania, keith on our republican line. you're next. caller: hi, yeah, this is a classic example of why the federal government messes everything up or how they mess everything up, and they should -- instead of regulating people, regulate themselves, which i'm sure, if ron paul becomes president, and he should, he'll fix that. but the war on drugs is causing the violence, you know, trying to stop that is creating more violence, and, you know, war on
guns and gun control, you know, that's just fueling it even further. so, you know, it's not the people, it's the government, and they need to check themselves and stop wasting all this money. it's a universal problem throughout the whole federal government. host: in the "new york times," this article -- >> 74 families said no. >> that has not changed because
of this, i guess, revelation. >> none of those 274 families, i think what you're asking, has come forward and ask us if they want to change -- that they now want to be notified, they want to be told f. they do, we'll certainly be forth right, tell them everything we know about the dispositions of their loved one. host: and just for context, that was about the family members asking not to be notified, the air force saying they would be forthcoming. you can see that whole exchange on our c-span video library, if you wish. if you go to c-span.org, click on the video library link. it will be there for you to see, as well as other information that we've had over the past few weeks as well. danville, georgia. thanks for holding. dave, independent line, we're talking about the fact of fast and furious. caller: yes, i was wondering if the families of the deceased agents could personally sue for wrongful death.
they might throw it out, but at least it would make a big splash, you know, sue the president. i mean, this is nothing more than chicago-style -- it's the way they run things in chicago, you know? i mean, lie, lie, lie. cbs uncovered some email, this was their plan, put the guns down there, blame american citizens, and then the justice department, the a.t.f. will be able to crack down on u.s. citizens, and the problem is not that, the problem is the government, you know, trying to do this subterfuge to get guns away from people. on the bright side, since obama was elected, i'd say probably another five, 10, 15 million guns have been sold in the u.s., so it's going to be really tough for them to, you know, pry them away from people. host: kansas city, austin, democrats line. caller: hi, yes. my comments are pretty brief. representative issa was a
pretty good representation of the conduct of congress and how it wasn't the conversation of gun control at all, and he was attacking holder, which, sure, he's responsible, but you look at the decisions that were made in that operation, they were much lower level it seems at this point. to say holder should be impeached, as some of the other representatives had indicated, i think that was far-fetched at best. but my comments basically, i wasn't very satisfied with the way congress was conducting themselves in that room today. host: what do you think about the long-term impact on gun control issues? caller: i think it's going to bring some light to it. i think people are going to be talking about it more. it's hard to say it's good, fast and furious has a good outcome. but if there is, it's that people are going to be talking about how the department of justice should be conducting itself when carrying out these operations and how should gun control be mandated, if at all, by the government further or less restrictive. host: now, you said that you weren't satisfied with the way
that congress was conducting itself in this investigation. could you expand on that? caller: sure. it's funny. when you watch governments around the world conduct themselves like civilized adults, and then you see our congress yelling over each other asking questions of the testifier, a person that's supposed to be testifying, and then they don't even give them the chance to respond, it's sort of depressing and a little discouraging that our government actually acts that way. host: the weapons that were involved in fast and furious, you may remember when this story initially broke out, the a.t.f. had displayed some of the weapons involved. a picture for you, just to give you context, was about some of the weapons that were discussed, walked into mexico, as several made the point yesterday, there's also a picture here in the "washington times" this morning,, it does show representative darrell issa, one of the hearings about the fast and furious operation, again, showing some of the weapons involved.
henri, south carolina, andrew, republican line. caller: south carolina. ok, ok, please don't cut me off. i got -- i want c-span -- i watched c-span all day yesterday, and i watched the hearing. ok, now that last caller from kansas city, he's really -- he's really -- he need to wake up and start watching some of the stuff that's going on in congress before he gets on there making an idiot of himself. ok, i watched the hearings. darrell issa is doing the right thing, and eric holder, eric holder, yes, they got aggravated, got to screaming and hollering a little bit yesterday, but -- when he has stonewalled the investigation, but anyway, that's enough about that. i want somebody to tell me,
just his overall job, eric holder, just look at his record, and even going back to the clinton when he was assistant -- assistant -- anyways, he was right in there with clinton, pardoning the biggest criminal ever left this country, and i can't remember his name, but he wouldn't switch with all kind of money. host: so caller, what do you think of everything you've heard from the hearing yesterday, everything you've shared with our viewers, what do you think is the long-term impact of what was revealed at yesterday's hearing? what do you think how it might affect other policy or at least in washington, d.c., in the future? caller: it will probably get -- in other words, yeah, while holder was testifying, he was not only -- the democrats will
probably get some good out of gun legislation that will probably come out of this, and i'd like to correct the thing that people keep saying it goes back to bush, bush, bush. bush had the other -- i can't remember the name of it, but the difference was that, when they let guns walk, they had something that was tracking the guns, and then that went awry, and they didn't lose 2,000 guns. they was much smaller, and first of all, this guy from kansas city, they said that this was -- well, i mean, things was much -- them guys and all this, this is a big enough operation where the attorney general should be going about it, just like eshed be going about this guy that lost $1.2 billion. host: ok. florida, independent line.
clyde. caller: yes. good morning. i watched part of the hearings, pedro, and it's obvious that eric holder is hiding and being evasive, playing dodgeball. host: about what? caller: about who knew what and when they knew it. there were plenty of emails, memos, drafts, that went across. there were just dozens of them that were floating around, and lenny brewer claims that he doesn't -- he did not read this, he didn't understand it, he doesn't remember reading it. this is obvious, dodging the question, i believe what's going on here is the attorney general is hiding really the purpose of these 2,000 weapons that were supposedly walked
into mexico. i'm just wonder how sinister this really was and what the purpose is. host: what do you think is the long-term impact of this? caller: the long-term impact hopefully we'll be able to get to the bottom and get rid of some of these people. eric holder has a record. he ran the paper pardon under the clinton administration. he needs to go, and about half a dozen people underneath him need to go. host: eric holder yesterday talked about the program, making the statement that allowing guns to walk is unacceptable and inexcusable. here's a little more of what he said. a new recent years the department has devoted significant resources to this fight, specifically to addressing the unacceptable rate of illegal firearms, trafficking from the united states to mexico. unfortunately, in the pursuit of that laudable goal, unacceptable tactics were adopted as part of operation fast and furious. now, as i have repeatedly stated, allowing guns to walk, whether in this administration
or the prior one is holdly unacceptable. the use of this misguided tactic is inexcusable, and it must never happen again. host: again, if you want to contribute about the impact of the fast and furious program in light of yesterday's hearing, the phone lines are available to you. email is available to you, as well as facebook and twitter. just like ronald this morning, who says that a.g. holder should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate fast and furious to silence his critics in congress. allendale, south carolina. pat, democrats line. caller: yes, good morning. how are you? host: fine, thank you. caller: i'm calling now, they can blame anybody they wanted, but you can get guns illegal here, and just take them over the line because congress -- the republican congress just put out a bill stating that everybody should be able to take the guns across the state
line. so i don't know why they explaining about this program, because they going to get guns that are illegal or legal. so i know they were trying to talk job, but the republican wanted to talk about they can take their gun across the state line, so they need to start there. host: we'll let it about there. fort washington, maryland. wendy, democrats line. caller: yes, good morning. host: morning. caller: i really think that the republican congress is trying to get rid of attorney general eric holder, and the reason they want to get rid of him has nothing to do with fast and furious, but everything to do with voter suppression. because the justice department will have to approve these states who are changing their voter registration laws. so if they get rid of eric holder, they have chaos going on at the justice department. they can let this slip through through 2012 where they're changing the laws in a lot of
states that equal voter suppression. host: what led you to come up with that conclusion, if i may ask? caller: when i heard the congressman talk about impeachment. when i heard him tell eric holder -- i know a lot about impeachment, and i said that's it, that's why they're doing it. they want to impeach him, they want to get rid of him, they've been saying that since he's been in office, and i believe it has something to do with voter suppression, nothing to do with fast and furious. host: you may want to read these papers for yourselves, but "the new york times," "washington post" all have stories talking about presidential candidates who toured the country campaigning not only for the presidency, but in connection with books they've written. here's the "new york times" piece, which focuses on newt gingrich.
host: ohio, thanks for holding on. we're talking about fast and furious and the impact of it. dave is on our independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: fine, thank you. caller: well, i've seen part of it, and it seems like the same thing that's been going on for a very long time in our government, that they go in there and basically, everybody went into a court of law and pretty much told a judge that
he would put them in contempt of court and probably get more charges. this man seems like he's lying because he said no one's asking simple questions like who's in charge of this program. no one's asked simple questions, and he basically gave us the runaround because mostly, like a lot of people in government like him, are lawyers. he knows what to say so he's not going to get himself in trouble. that's why congress has approval rating of maybe 10%, if they're lucky on a good day. what's going to come down to it, somebody is going to get thrown under the bus, this is going to get swept away, something else is going to come in the news, and all the news is going to do is talk about that, and most people think about this. now, these 2,000 guns that are out there, the dead boats that are going to show up from this, i believe that eric holder, president barack obama, because he probably had knowledge of it, he can say he didn't, because i think he probably knows what's going on about it, i think they're reliable, and they should be held liable.
us as average citizens are liable for everything that we do. i'm just saying this is the same thing the government has been doing for how long, and us, average citizens railroad company getting the runaround, same old thing's been happening for years, democrats, republicans, and this is why congress has a 10% approval rating. host: next is louisiana. we hear from bradley on our republican line, louisiana, go ahead. caller: the hearing is really a shame, that the chairman allowed things that were not germane to the investigation to consume the time that this committee could have used getting, distracting pertinent information from eric holder. it's a shame the democrats kept throwing laurels at the man instead of focusing on fast and furious. this was political. this should not have been allowed. there's no sense having a hearing where you're going to have clowns asking questions or making statements totally
unrelated to -- if it's not germane, it should not have been a part of it. host: what's the impact on the long term on this? caller: pardon? host: what's the long-term impact on this? caller: well, it's a waste of time. why should the democrats consume committee time throwing laurels at a man? the purpose is to investigate the flaws that have taken place. host: former new jersey governor jon corzine, at a hearing yesterday on his role in the m.f. global bankruptcy, "the wall street journal" has a breakdown of the hearing, summing it up this way -- the host: you're seeing a bit of it right now. but you can see the whole thing again, if did you to our c-span.org site, you can go ahead and hit our video library, and you can watch it
for yourself. it has a lot of information. also, you'll see "the cop terneds" series is start at 8:00. you may be watching it over the last few weeks, people who have made impact in politics, especially those who ran for president but didn't make it. tonight's focus, ross perot. again, if you want to read more about the show, you can go to our site for that. the profile of ross perot starts at 8:00, c-span.org, "the contenders." warren, michigan, thanks for holding on. brian, independent line. caller: how you doing this morning? host: fine, thank you. caller: i want to delve into what the other independent guy came in and talked about, but i'm going to get more into that. all right, you got these hearings going on, these judiciary hearings trying to get information from these public officials. why is it that the structure limits them to five minutes to where it's almost like m.m.a. fighting, to where the guy just tries to hold out for five minutes saying nothing but um,
er, uh, but. and then when they ask him to reiterate, to actually answer the question, their time's up. and then it's sent on to the opposition guy, who basically praises him for all the good work he's done and doesn't even come back to the question that the guy didn't answer. so then it's put off to the next guy. finally another guy on the opposition gets in there, and then starts giving him questions that he will refuse to answer for five minutes. why is the structure based like that where they can waste this time trying to get information, yet all these lawyers know that they cannot get this kind of information in a five-minute period if somebody is unresponsive to them. they need to do follow-up questions to get them to do that. so i would like to know why that is, and one other point, these people -- you either condemn or condone something. they all run the middle ground.
why do they run the middle ground and basically say, well, i condone the action, but -- or i condemn the action, but i condone what my people did in doing it, so therefore, nobody's getting thrown under the bus. host: the front page of "the washington post" talks about governor romney's campaign, mitt romney's campaign employing two previous well-known political folks to talk about specifically their criticisms of newt gingrich. that's jim tallant, the former congressman, and john sununu, chief of staff to george h.w. bush -- host: rick perry has a new ad out, this one looking at the healthcare plan. here it is.
>> we don't want government-mandated healthcare, yet newt gingrich supports it, and mitt romney, he put it into law in massachusetts. worse, barack obama forced it on the entire nation. rick perry, he'll repeal it, starting day one. >> i won't let the big government liberals ruin this country. i'm rick perry. i'm an outsider who will repeal obamacare, and a proved this message. host: the north korea new york times today, there's a story taking a follow-up look at the decision that was made about the morning-after pill. the headline is president obama backs the stance on morning-al pill, saying -- host: nancy pelosi either endorsd or criticized the
decision. caller: i would say the long-term effect of the fast and furious is to take more rights away from the american citizens. they're setting this up to say that we can't be trusted to own guns, but as it's been proven for decades, the criminals are going to get the guns any way they can, and unfortunately, in this instance, they got them from our own government. so why this is going to reflect back on law-abiding citizens who have license to sell guns
to people and people have a right to buy those, already here in california, they just passed another law of taking our rights away to own weapons and carry them. and pretty soon it's going to be where the only people with guns are the criminals, and it's not helping law enforcement officials at all. host: do you see the impact only on gun policy, or are there other avenues? caller: well, the other avenues are the he said-she said thing about these hearings, the way -- like one of your callers mentioned, the people don't even answer -- eric holder sat there and wouldn't answer the question, simple yes or no questions, and then the democrats would get on there and tell them what a great job he's doing and not even address the issue of what was being decided or discussed at this hearing. it's just -- it's politics as usual, and congress and the
cabinet members need to know that we're sick of it, we're tired of the partisanship and them not getting to the facts. we want people there to represent us and our rights, and our little ones that sit there in the first place, and the long-term effect is that somebody, you know, we've got to get rid of the two-party system. i'm a republican, but right now i'm more leaning towards ron paul who half the news stations won't even recognize that people are interested in what he has to say because of these issues of fighting over who's better a party to represent. right now, nobody hardly is representing our interests, and this issue about the fast and the furious, like they've stated in the hearing all night, is that it's -- it's just unconscionable that it happened. it should have never taken place, and we need to seal our
borders. we need to protect our own citizens from these drug companies, these drug lords that are crossing our international borders and killing our people to get their drugs into our country. and, you know, basically that's the point i was trying to make. host: facebook features andrew, who's watching the show swm, because he noticed one of the photos that we had shown, showing some of the machine guns that were part of this fast and furious program. here's another photo of some of the weaponry that was used in discussing this topic out of the fast and furious hearings. we're going to continue on with this for a few more minutes. philadelphia, pennsylvania, mary lou, democrats line. caller: yes, basically this issue started way back because of our unsecured borders and about the drug cartels, dangerous and possibly coming over.
after 9/11 happened, if bush had been a confident president, he would have immediately secured our southern borders. that was a no-brainer. now, as far as the fast and furious, yes, it was tragic two agents were killed, but after we invaded iraq and looting broke out all through the cities in iraq, our military couldn't handle it, so we had our troops, our commanding officers, rather had our troops hand out ak-47's to iraqi civilians to protect themselves. i wonder how many of those ak-47's killed our soldiers. why weren't republicans investigating the incompetence of bush and invading iraq? host: the occupy wall street movement has produced two classes that are going to be taught at new york university. here's the headline from "the new york post", saying the university plans to offer the classes next spring on the occupy wall street protest movement, which dominated the school's greenwich village campus this fall.
host: kansas city, missouri, good morning. alex, independent line. caller: yes, hello. how are you doing today? host: fine, thank you. go ahead. caller: well, just about the hearing, i think it really shows that eric holder got strapped in his own enigma, not giving this information out. host: caller, i'm sorry about that, we're going to have to leave it there, only because the connection, i think, we were starting to lose you. let me show you a couple more stories of a financial nature this morning. "financial times," this is from london. the headline --
host: cleveland, ohio, you're on. caller: yes, i just wanted to touch base on the operation fast and furious. host: what do you think is the long-term impact of fast and furious? caller: the long-term impact could be slightly frightening. i believe that with average numbers of about 8,000 mexican nationals a year losing their lives, and the problem with guns and weaponry down at the border is not just staying on the border. the influx of products of, of cocaine and marijuana coming in is hitting every one of our regional cities. and god forbid that we approach numbers over a five or
eight-year period of time rival what's going on down in mexico. but i know that -- i know that the attorney general talked about the effects of this on foreign policy. the mere decision to initiate an operation -- i know this operation was underway, but to not follow through and track or find out where there could be dwaults in the system and have it break down to the degree where work is trying to be done through the latin american and central american corridor to try to shore up problems that are going on with america and with the influx of the drug cartel, even down into south america. host: new york, you are the last call. george, independent line. caller: thank you for letting me get on. i want to say the guy from south carolina had some good points, but i don't think there's going to be any impact from the fast and furious. it's pretty obvious holder should have known what was
going on. they spent $10 million, over 2,000 guns were supposedly shipped to mexico, even though the attorney general's office has admitted probably a third of those are still in the united states and still being used in crimes here. people are dying. you know, a couple of hundred people have died in mexico, and certainly crimes and other people just didn't, other than the one agent killed in the united states, with some of these guns, and i just don't think it's going to have any impact other than as another example of mainstream press ignoring a situation when it just doesn't fit in with their game plan, and i just can't imagine people talking about the bush administration and the program they had, even though the program they had actually was tracking the guns, i can't
imagine the press totally ignoring almost this administration when they had 2,000 guns just giving away. host: we'll have to leave it there. we appreciate all the comments via the phone lines and digital as well. in our next segment, we're going to take a look at the senate vote yesterday that blocked the president's choice to head the new consumer financial protection bureau. we'll talk not only about the reasons what happened on the hill yesterday, but the bureau itself, but you may want to tune in to american history tv this weekend, because our weekend is devoted to events celebrating or looking back at the 70th anniversary of pearl harbor. to take a look at what has happened not only on that date, but since then as well, it's a day you'll remember that president franklin d. roosevelt said will live in infamy. we'll hear from servicemen and civilians. you'll take a tour of the pearl harbor visitor's center,
footage of the attack and its aftermath, also pry bring you highlights from a conference convene this had week by the national park service at pearl harbor. at 8:00 in the morning and 5:00 in the evening, you can watch the 70th anniversary commemorative ceremony overlooking the u.s.s. arizona memorial. that's going to be hemmed at pearl harbor, it took place on december 7. again, all that is part of our american history tv coverage. to give you a feel of what to expect, here's a bit of what you'll see. >> yesterday, december 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. the united states of america was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of japan. the united states was at peace
with that nation, and at the solicitation of japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor, looking toward the maintenance of peace in the pacific. indeed, one hour after japanese air squadron commenced bombing in the american island of oahu, the japanese ambassador to the united states and his colleagues delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent american message. japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive , extending throughout the pacific area. >> about an hour have your
labor. have no healthcare. have no environmental controls, no pollution controls, and no retirement, and you don't care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking sound going south. >> ross perot spoke out about trade issues during the 1992 presidential debate. the billionaire businessman made two attempts for the presidency. the first time, getting over 19 million votes. more popular votes than any third-party candidate in american history. and although he lost, he's had a lasting influence on american politics. he's our final candidate in c-span's 14-week series, "the contenders," live tonight at 8:00 eastern. to preview other video on ross perot and see all the programs from our series, go to c-span.org/thecontenders. >> throughout my military career, i kind of prided myself on not being afraid to tell people what i thought, because, one, the worst you can do is let a senior leader head down
the wrong road if, in the back of your mind, you're thinking, you know, sir, ma'am, maybe we ought to take another look at this, maybe we ought to look at this from this perspective, because people's lives could be at stake or we have an obligation and a duty to be good stewards of the resources that the public en trusts us with. so you sometimes have to be kind of courageous where everybody's head is going up and down, and you're going, i think i have a different perspective. >> major general marcia anderson on her life and career as the highest female african-american in the history of the united states army, sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific, on c-span's "q&a." >> which part of the u.s. constitution is important to you? that's our question in this year's student cam competition, open to middle and high school students. make a video documentary five to eight minutes long, and tell us the part of the constitution that's important to you and why. be sure to include more than one point of view and video of
c-span programming. entries are due by january 20, 2012. there's $50,000 in total prizes, and a grand prize of $5,000. for all the details, go to studentcam.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us now, peter schroeder of the hill, serves as their staff writer. in the papers today, including "usa today," there is a picture of a gentleman named richard cordray. who is he? guest: he wants the former ohio attorney general, but more significantly, he is the president's nominee to head the new consumer financial protection bureau. why he's in the papers today is because the senate actually just voted on whether or not to proceed with this confirmation of his nomination, and the senate actually blocked that nomination by a vote of 53-45. they needed 60 to advance the pick. host: who led the charge for blocking the nomination? guest: senate republicans led the charge. they were almost united in their opposition to this
selection. only one republican senator, senator scott brown, actually voted for the selection. but he had announced previously that he was going to. and i mean, this is just really the latest round in what's been a really long-running fight between republicans and democrats about what exactly should be the purpose of the csfb. it's part of a long-running battle. host: what is it supposed to do? guest: it was created by the dodds-frank wall street reform law that was passed a little over a year ago, and it's really joined to serve as a one-stop shop for all the consumer protection laws and the enforcement of those laws. so basically, before it was created, the consumer protection laws were spread out over a number of different regulators, including the federal reserve and a few other banking regulators. after the financial crisis, there was this thought by members of congress that there needed to be a single place where laws could be focused on, and a single agency could be charged with the responsibility of protecting consumers in the financial realm. so the cfpb was parted of that
law, really thought to be the key chunk of that law. but it's obviously been a pretty controversial part of it as well. host: what was it about mr. cordray's background that had republicans concerned? guest: that's the interesting part. there wasn't anything that republicans really raised in terms of major concerns about his background. rather, they were focused more on the bureau as a whole, really, the crux of their opposition was that they were saying, we're not opposed to cordray per se as the actual nominee, we're more opposed to the structure of the bureau as is. they announced back in may, before cordray was even nominated for the position, before anybody was nominated to be the director, they announced, we're going to block any director to head the cfpb until there are several structural changes made. host: what was changes? guest: they want to replace the director position. instead, they want to put in place a multiple member board of directors. we see that and a few other regulators. there's actually a mix, but
several are actually run by boards like this. the republicans argue that this would make it more accountable, more balanced, because you need some sort of a consensus to move forward with things as opposed to a single director really guiding the path of the bureau. other changes they want is they would like congress to actually have control over the cfpb budget. they want it handled in the appropriations process, as you see with a lot of other government institutions. and also, they would like other financial regulators to have more, a greater ability to veto things that the cfpb tries to do. host: as far as the requests are concerned, are those unreasonable, i guess, by people's accounts of what happens with this bureau? guest: well, if you look at the way democrats have responded to the request, they seem to be pretty unacceptable. there's really been no movement from either party in terms of what they're asking for or, and the white house has shown little to no interest in actually entertaining the thought of actually reworking the cfpb now that it's in place. right now, we're stuck at a
standoff. host: as far as the makeup, there's a chart which shows the work of the director, and then it shows in the various branching of the chief operating officer, consumer education research, markets and regulations, supervision enforcement, and fair lending, general counsel, external affairs. the supervision and enforcement part, is that what has most firms or at least financial firms outside of washington concerned about the power this board has? guest: that is definitely one of the key aspects of this new bureau. they actually do have the ability to go in and regulate and check banks, go in house, make sure they're working and complying with various consumer protection laws. that's been a point of concern. the cfpb is now beefing up those enforcement aspects that have regulators across the country. they're now beginning to pay visits to banks, large and small, scrust to check to see how they're doing when it comes to actually enforcing and meeting the requirements of various consumer protection laws. that's certainly something that you're hearing a lot when it comes to criticisms of the cfpb, concerns about how that regulation might come through and if it might be too
heavy-handed. host: our guest is going to talk about the senate turning down the president's nominee, but also talk about the bureau itself. you want to ask him questions on either topic, you can do so via phone lines. 202-737-0002 for republicans. 202-737-0001 for democrats. 202-628-0205 for independents. email@example.com is our email. and you can send comments off of twitter well, @cspanwj. does the work of the cfpb go on even though it doesn't have a director? guest: a portion of it, at least. the way it's currently structured is the cfpb took a number of regulatory powers from other regulators, and they kind of combined them inhouse when it comes to consumer protection laws. without a director, the cfpb does have the ability to begin work on enforcing those laws. they're getting underway and doing that sort of thing. the key aspect, which you've heard the white house key in on, is that without a director,
the cfpb did not begin work on some of the brand-new powers they were granted when they were created. a key aspect, which has been brought up several times this week, is the cfpb did not begin enforcing consumer protection laws on nonbank financial institutions. we're talking about things like pay day lenders, mortgage servicers. a couple of places you've actually heard a pretty good number of complaints when it comes to how consumers have been treated, especially since the fallout of the crisis. host: which were some of the areas that led to the creation of this. guest: exactly. without a director in place, they cannot begin regulating those institutions. they need to have the director in place to start that. host: so the folks there, the 700 folks there, are some of them showing up to work, but not doing anything because they don't have a director to do it? guest: well, they're still pretty busy. the bureau only got up and running, officially opened its doors in july, so they're still very much in that start-up faith. they're getting their infrastructure in place. there's a large chunk of the employees who are busy at work doing the work that the cfpb
can do without a director, but yeah, there's really a chunk that can't begin utilizing their powers until they get somebody like mr. cordray in place. host: republicans objected to the idea of his betts warren. they rejected the current candidate. will they take any candidate, or is any candidate, or is any one person off the table when it comes to this bureau? guest: ever since the republicans began voicing their opposition, it's never been couched within a single individual, a single nominee. it's really been more about, we have a broader issue with the bureau as it exists right now. we think the way it's structured, it makes unaccountable, it makes it overpowerful, and we think there needs to be more checks put in place. when it comes to republican opposition, they're not talking about any particular person they don't want. they're saying we don't want a single director at all. we want to see a board put in place. we want to see budget brought under control so we can exercise greater oversight over how it functions. so really, they're having a
much broader conversation than who do we think should be the director. host: is there a model within the federal government, other operations that are led by a board rather than just one person? does that model work? guest: sure. there are a number of regulators run by multimembers. there's typically a chairman at the top that serves as the face of the bureau, but they're still run by several members and there has to be votes to move forward. the securities and exchange commission is run by several members. the commodity futuring trading commission, another financial regulator, is also run by a board. so while we oftentimes see a single person that we identify as running these agencies, they're actually run by several members. there are a number of situations where you do have several people actually running an agency, but at the same time, there are also regulators that are run by a single director. host: las vegas, nevada, you are up first, democrats line. good morning, las vegas. go ahead. caller: good morning, pedro. i'm calling from las vegas, nevada. i just want to say that the
reason why the republicans do notment this man to be -- do not want this man to be cleared is because it goes back to the ronald reagan days. deregulation started with ronald reagan. ever since then, this country has gone downhill for services provided simply because there was nobody regulating the rules and the procedures that people are supposed to follow. all the way up until today. the republican party, the republican party has always wanted to have their way, and they have had their way, and they have done this president all kinds of ways to get what they want. now it's time for the consumers to be protected by the nomination of this man being cleared. that is the reason why the country is in the shape that they're in now. it's simply because the republican party constantly want to have their way, and they don't give a darn about the everyday, hard-working americans. host: caller, thank you.
guest: while we are talking about them as a single pirro, this has been the latest round in a long fight against democrats and republicans. what areas we should be focused on. democrats look at the financial crisis and say there was a shortfall in regulation. on the other side of the coin, republicans say we have what we need to move past it and we do not think the bureau of the way it is structured right now there may be a better way to go about doing it. host: can the president make an appointment for the director over christmas break? guest: that is an interesting question. the real question here is whether or not republicans are going to allow the senate to go into recess. we have seen in recent months republicans holding pro-forma
sessions. they would have very light sessions that would keep the congress from going into recess which is put in place to block the appointment from being put in place. the president indicated it might be an option for them. at the time being, it is an open question. host: of the president's yesterday -- the president talked yesterday about his reaction to the senate blocking his nomination. >> there is no reason why the minister corddry should not be nominated and confirmed by the senate and should not be doing his job right away in order to carry out his mandate and his mission. i just want to send a message to the senate. we are not going to give up on this. we are not going to allow politics as usual on capitol hill to stand in the way of
consumers being protected by unscrupulous financial operators. we are going to keep pushing on this issue. host: suggesting he is staying with him at this point. guest: no indication that they are going to go back to the drawing board to find someone who is more palatable. republicans say you can put forward any nominee one, but less there are changes, they are not interested in considering any of them. their response to fund the financial industry to the bureau -- originally, they were in opposition to it when it was being drafted. they have offered cautious support for some of the initiatives taken on. there are still concerns what it might mean for them when it is up and running completely.
right now, given the early initiatives, they have been supportive because there are things on making documents more transparent and other things. caller: i would just like to get a perspective on how so many of us are frustrated with the government today. i listened to some of the c-span hearings. one of the republican senators asked him ", and the employees -- how many people will be in your department?" his answer was 700. if you have a super advisory function, how many of the other departments, individuals and other departments conducting the same sort of protection, you will be replacing? his answer was something like "i
really have no idea and why is that important? " i think that is reflective of things like fast and furious, the tax code. the government is so big and so bureaucratic. they just keep loading and loading and unloading. guest: it is at about 750 employees. when you start a brand new bureau, there will be significant hiring ramping up. we are getting back to the issue of how large of a role the government should be playing in regulating financial products. democrats say consumer financial oversight came up short before the financial crisis. as was pointed out by the caller, there is a question of how many people, and what sort of resources should be devoted.
host: stephen, wisconsin, you are next. fred, independent line. caller: i just wanted to say that i would think both democrats and republicans should be for consumer protection. they are working for the people, i thought. it just seems like they do not want consumers to be protected. they must be working for the corporations. host: one of the arguments is when dodd-frank passed, it was on a bipartisan vote. guest: that is been one of the main arguments from democrats. they say the weak -- they said we approved dodd-frank that laid out how it should be structured
and now all the sudden republicans are saying we do not want it to be structured that way. the majority made a decision and now the minority is deciding they do not like the decision and they are going to change it. the dodd-frank was a very tough vote. the vote yesterday was fairly close. it comes down to republican gains in the recent election. host: what was senator brown's argument for supporting him? guest: his argument was the fundamental issue. he believes consumers should be protected and they should get the opportunity to begin their work. if it is worth noting he is running in a tough reelection campaign against a woman who is largely credited with coming up with the idea. host: roy, republican of line,
good morning. caller: part of what president obama said in his conference yesterday was the reason why he needs this nominee. if it is because others were not doing their job. that pretty much says it is right there. if the sec, the gao, these different agencies are not doing their job, let's just get another agency in there. they will not be doing their job either. they will be under-funded. it just goes on and on and on. i think the sec, the government accounting office, ought to be held for criminal charges for not representing the public. host: we will leave it there. guest: this is an argument that you hear a lot especially since the financial crisis. the argument from a lot of republicans is we do not need a
slew of new regulations. we need regulators that are adept at pursuant the laws that .e have on the books that is been a point of leverage for republicans to argue we have a number of laws on the books that were not in forced. host: to the point about what the bureau does, if an average person were to ask you of evidence of their work, what would you tell them? guest: right now, not very much. much of what is coming out is in the early stages. one thing you may see it is when it comes to financial documents. they are working on simplifying financial documents. fenwick to products will be easy to compare right next to each other so you -- financial
products will be easy to compare right next to each other. they are in the process of trying to come up with a template document that they can use for financial products. once the cfpb gets up and running, it will be an area where people can be aware of financial documents. host: is there a disclosure law as to how clear they've revealed it to the person asking for a loan? guest: they have the ability to lay out these documents and say we want to make sure you are disclosing this, this, and this without a slew of paperwork. the onus is on the consumer to read all of that and catch every little wrinkle in the document. they want to be able to create documents where everyone is
filling out the same templates. host: john is a democrat from san francisco joining us. good morning. caller: good morning. there seems to be apparently a problem with the senate in general. i can't understand why every bill that is brought in front of the senate is filibustered or they say they are going to filibuster it. nothing can get passed. you almost have to have 65 democrats in order to get anything passed through the senate anymore. host: this issue is why we need
to get rid of the filibuster. guest: clearly, the filibuster is the issue here. the nomination was approved by the majority of the senators that they needed to clear 60 in order to block a procedural filibuster on. democrats point out most of the senators want this man confirmed but because of procedural rules, he is not able to van it. -- he is not able to advance. the democrats will probably be back in the minority as well. host: sue, go ahead. caller: it is quite interesting to me that dodd-frank were the two main characters in freddie mae and fannie mac which were the debacle.
fannie mae and freddie mac were not honest. and they gave money to people who could not afford it. whose problem was that? now, this regulatory bill is written by dodd and frank. interesting, isn't it? guest: that is another common criticism that we hear a lot when we are trying to allocate blame for the financial crisis. fannie mae and freddie mac got themselves exposed over a number of risky loans. now, we have moved beyond the five enterprises and a lot of the school or taking of what has happened. now we are getting to the point of trying to figure out what the landscape should look like after the crisis, what lessons have
been learned, and where we want the government to go to avoid happening again. host: columbus, ohio, chris is on our independent line. caller: hi. i am from ohio, columbus, and i am a huge supporter of richard scored rcoorddry. i wanted to get back to the partisanship that happens in washington so often. if it gets in the way of wonderful things that need to happen, necessary things that need to have been all the time. here we have another example of the republicans and democrats. yes, there needs to be checks and balances, essential to our consumer protection, as this is
the part in talks about. but i think partisanship gets in the way of so many things happening that really do need to have been. when we talk about we have one nation under god, indivisible, we are a very divided country. guest: if you are looking for evidence of partisanship in congress, you do not have to look much further than the cfpb. senators came out before a nomination and said we are not interested in confirming and the director. meanwhile, you have democrats that show no interest whatsoever in making changes that the republicans were asking for. we saw this vote go forward. he failed to garner the 60 votes to advance.
there is really no clear path forward for what might happen to that bureau given the fact that neither party wants to come forward and try to find a compromise. host: one of the arms deals with consumer education and engagement like fun into education, consumer engagement, service members. guest: one of the key areas is the idea that they want to educate consumers to make sure they understand what the products they are signing up for and what they might mean for them then ban. there are folks that are singled out for specific abuse of financial products. older americans is one of the key area spendin.
they are targeted by predatory lenders and people trying to sell them for a major products. host: how much of the mortgage industry with this cover? guest: it would cover the entire mortgage industry. the cfpb are charged with checking and making sure that anyone who sells financial products are meeting the laws that are being required of them. as it stands right now, when it is fully up and running, they basically have the ability to check in on any financial products sold to the average american. host: manassas, va., you are on with peter schroeder from "the hill." caller: if you look at what is happening today in congress, we need to go to the fundamental building blocks.
we look at the forefathers who established these three different bodies that govern this country. there was the assumption that anybody coming into this body will be a morally sound. the country first will be the prime objective to serve whether it is a president, senator, for congressman, or anybody else. that everybody will be following that particular criteria. that is one thing that our country has lost right now. the erosion of moral ethics has gotten to a point where it does not really matter for individuals what happens to others as long as their personal goals are met. host: thank you. guest: id is no secret that the public opinion of congress is not high at this point.
the white house suddenly embarked on a public pressure campaign to try to get cordray nominated, there is the believe they can tap into that frustration to get him nominated. there is opposition to that that is preventing that from happening. this dissatisfaction is manifesting itself. host: you heard from president obama on the candidate earlier. here is mitch mcconnell talking about what he is looking for. >> all today's vote is about is accountability and transparency. if it is a debate of whether we think americans need more oversight over washington or less spending we made our position clear seven months ago. we said we would not support a nominee for this bureau until
three common-sense conditions are met that would bring some transparency and accountability to the cfpb. that letter now has 45 signatures. the president chose to dismiss these concerns. now he is suddenly making a push to confirm his nomination because it fits into some picture he wants to paint about who the good guys are and who the bad guys are in washington. they are using the senate floor to stage a little political theater. they are setting up a vote they know will fail so they can act shocked later. this is what passes for leadership at the white house right now. the president has made his choice, and we have made hours. until a president addresses these legitimate concerns, we
cannot and will not support a nominee. host: can you expand on his theory of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? guest: the white house and democrats have tried diligently to paint this as a mainstream versus -- main street versus wall street issue. they really tried to make this stark comparison between that a the two.vi so that has been a fundamental struggle. we are trying to figure out who comes out on top. host: columbus, ohio, thank you for waiting. caller: i am a supporter of richard cordray also. i have been a part of his
program in ohio here. i would really hope that some republicans would get off their butts and get behind him and assist in his nomination. host: tell us what he did and some of the influences of his jobs there in ohio and what you saw as far as what consumer issues are concerned. caller: he was the attorney general and he had the save the dream program. by any senior citizen, retired on a fixed income and purchased a home. i was subject to predatory lenders. knowing that i should not have been in subprime, i was trying to work my way out of my problem. he developed the program. i got assistant.
and i got on the road to being straight and living a happy life after that. its got to the point where, after the assistance, get a fixed rate loan. that is the key to the housing problem right now. giving people fixed rate loans, putting them on adjustable rates, and then robbing them. guest: we have heard from a couple of callers who speak highly of him. as far as nominations are concerned, he is in a unique position because republicans are not coming out saying we do not like this election. they are basically ignoring him and saying we are not at the point of talking about a director because we are not happy with the way the bureau is structured. he has a reputation for being a pretty strong advocate for
consumers back when he was the attorney general pursuing litigation against some of the mortgage servicers that have been pointed to with a lot of problems in the fall of the financial crisis. republicans did not say we do not like him. they said we do not like the bureau. host: florida, daniel, good morning. chroeder is a fairly knowledgeable man. the voters fail to reelect him. that needs to get out in the open. first of all, and mitch mcconnell, thank you for playing his speech because the three fundamentals is accountability. you cannot put a candidate without the appropriations of
congress deciding how to spend this money and watching how it is spent. there is no way this man should be approved just because he is a nice guy. i will refer your guest to california. they were closed down in march 2009. this is what this unelected bureaucrat will be in charge of, bank reopenings and restructurings. indymac got changed over. john paulson, george soros, $1.2 billion in 2010 off of in the west bank.d one guest: as the budget is currently structured, it does not pull money from the general
fund. it gets a percentage of the operating expenses of the federal reserve. right now, it gets about 10% of the federal reserve's operating expenses which is going to ratchet up in the next couple of years to about $600 million by 2012. what proponents say is we need to keep it away from the appropriators because we need to keep bank regulators free from the process so they are not swayed one way or the other. if we do not have a say in how they spend their money, how are we going to exert oversight? host: the financial times has a story today, saying -- guest: exactly.
that is the fundamental concern. we are still trying to figure out exactly what we are doing after that. there is a wide number of regulations that regulators are trying to put in place. the overall marketing concern, and it is not something that will be relatively apparent, is how significant of the role of those new regulations are going to play on everyday business. proponents say if you are meeting all of the rules and meeting your obligation, it will not be a problem for you. the critics say it has the potential of having a dominant role in your day to day business. host: would it affect oversight with companies like mf global especially with john corzine appearing before congress? if mf: i did not know f m
global would fall under those? they are more focused on a person who walks into a bank and says i need a mortgage or a student loan for a business loan. that is where they are going to exert their influence so consumers are aware of the terms of the products they are signing up for. host: they would not have the ability to -- if a bank is too big to fail. guest: that would be more under the jurisdiction of already established regulators. host: anna on our independent line. caller: good morning. i have been in real-estate since 1986. i was only 23 years old. i saw what was going on in my
office. i remember the brokers coming in and talking to our clients. talking them into taking out these loans with very little money down. the sales pitch was do not worry about it because of the appreciation is a 30%. if you were to buy a house -- this financing stands all the way back to the reagan policies when he the regulated interest rates. i think a lot of the blame goes to the federal reserve which allow this to happen and created and continues to lower rates. everybody should take part in the plan, especially the banks on wall street. i just wanted to add that as anyone forgotten that in 2004 the interest rates started
creeping up? between the end of 2004 and august 2006, interest rates went up consecutively 17 times. everyone in the business knew that the federal reserve was doing this. we were being told that they were doing it to slow spending. guest: that is one of the fundamental issues here. what you hear a lot from advocates is the point at this issue that the financial crisis was caused by one bad mortgage at a time. homeowner signing up for mortgages that they would not be able to afford down the line. what proponents of the cfpb say if it was in place to the lead out of the financial crisis, they are content that the
financial crisis could have been averted because there would be someone they're preventing these people signing up for products that they did did not know they were getting. host: go ahead. caller: thank you, c-span. the problem to me is not -- the democrats think that deregulation is causing this problem. i am a tea party activist within the republican party. the government has a critical role in regulating the free market. they create laws against fraud, abuse, and theft. if we enforce those laws, that regulate them. they are not asking for regulations. they are asking for dictating. guest: we touched on this
earlier but we are always coming back to this fundamental issue when talking about the cfpb, about how big of a role the government should be playing. then you have other people saying financial institutions are trying to hide the terms of these products because they do not want you to know about the potential pitfalls. we are having this fundamental debate about how much responsibility we should place in the role of consumers and how much we should expect the government to step in and protect those consumers. given how long this fight has gone on, it shows the fundamental divide. given the current landscape, it is fairly likely given that no party seems to be giving an inch when it comes to the cfpb.
host: peter schroeder with "the hill," first time a guest on our show, we hope you come back. at 9:15, we will take a look at u.s. infrastructure. we will have a discussion about that. coming up next, the influence of the independent voter on campaign 2012. we will have that discussion when we return. >> december 7, 1941, a date
which will live in infamy. >> this sunday, for 24 hours, history tv looks at the japanese attack at pearl harbor including the 70th anniversary anniversar. live call-in programs at noon, 2:00, and 4:00 with world war ii historians then bang throughout the day come off first-person accounts. -- throughout the day, first deaf person accounts. sunday on "american history tv." >> why could the congress as a matter of its appropriations power fund cameras in the united states supreme court with the mandate that they be installed?
>> they could have a provision to fund them but the issue of mandating them to be used -- that is the different. it is all about line drawing. it is very difficult to draw the lines. that is why we need to let the court draw its own lines. >> find that hearing online at the c-span video library. you can learn more about the issue with our special web page devoted to cameras in the court. you will also find a link to c- span's youtube playlist. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us now, lanae erickson with third way. what is third way?
guest: we advocate for a center- led politics both in policy and politics. we work on a variety of issues from national security to culture issues to economic issues and energy. host: the organization just put out a law on independent voters. what led to the examination of this? guest: we wanted to find out what was the electorate going to look like in 2012 compared to 2008? it is a vastly different electorate that we saw in 2008 which will be trouble for democrats because we looked at the battleground states and we ask the secretary of state's what the change in registration was. the democratic share of the electorate is down in every single one of them.
host: is there any cause to why that is happening? guest: where they are going is to independent registration. there was also a decrease in republicans but not as stark as democrats. democrats lost about 825,000 voters in those eight states, and republicans lost about 375,000 voters. we think independence are really going to be key to victory for either side. host: when you contact the stagetes -- guest: we also look at exit polls in the four battleground states that do not have a partisan voter registration. the same trend. there. if we could find out how many
democrats had registered, we would probably see a similar shift. host: you say democrats have concerns over these numbers. where are these numbers going for who they are looking at for 2012? guest: the question is about focus and whether we can make this into a base election, a turnout election, or whether there will need to be a focus for persuading voters for next year. independents are going to be that key. host: if they look at what is being offered with this president or the republican side, what are the chances that a third-party campaign might emerge? guest: it is very hard for a third-party candidate to win in our current system. i am not really sure how that would play in terms of taking votes from one side or the
other. i do know that independents are rented and not owned in our s ystem. 2008, democrats won them by 8 points. they have had these huge, wild shifts because they are looking for somewhere to go. that means a 27-point shift in two years. what we did it is a look at how president obama would do with either his 2008 performance levels or the amount of that democrats won in 2010. if he performs at the level that democrats did in 2010 or anywhere near that, they are going to be in big trouble. there are five swing states that
are off the table already and the rest of them tighten up. it would be a very, very long election night. host: the role of independents is our topic with our guest, lanae erickson, from the third way. for those who have labeled herself as an independent, here is the number to call -- for those who have labeled themselves as an independent, here is the number to call -- you can also send us something off of twitter as well. what is an independent? guest: we used self-prescribed independents. in some states, there are unaffiliated voters. we put independents in this.
host: what drives an independent in how they vote? guest: we have done a lot of research at the center. we recently did a poll on swappers and switchers, obama voters in 2008 that either dropped off or switched to republican in 2010. those folks were driven by the concerns over the deficit and the economy but also of a general sense that they are worried america is not going to be on top for the next century or if we are going to be able to win the gold medal in the 21st century in the race for the economy. they are worried that countries like india and china are going to overtake us and they have a deep pessimism for our country's future. that was the biggest thing that drove them.
host: registered independent voters from 2008 until 2011. new hampshire, 118,000. what does that mean as we go into the primary season? guest: this is going to be focused on republicans obviously. republicans do not need centrist voters as much because they do not have -- because they have a bigger base. they need some independents but not as many as democrats do. it will mean something in the primaries but likely those voters will not have a big role in selecting the nominee. going into 2012, the question will be is the republican primary going to drive these candidates so far to the right that the independents will be
turned off? host: the first call comes from jacksonville, fla., passed on our independent line. caller: when you registered as an independent, you are closed out of the primaries. whatever your voice is, it is closed. as an independent, one of the things that bothers me in florida is this supposedly call of voter suppression. in mississippi, they just had that on the ballot. that was overwhelmingly backed by all of the people in mississippi. i think black voters gave its 98% approval. when we lose the ability of the vote, when i do not believe that the results that came in that morning are for real like what is happening in russia, as an
independent, that concerns me. the political parties are using the election as something to benefit their party's. guest: pat, that is a great question and i think you are right about the primary process in that it keeps out independent voters in some states. that is something that we also think is a really good idea because it is a problem when about a third of the elected are independents and they have no role in choosing who their choice is come election year. in florida in particular, our study was very stark. democrats lost about 5% of their voters in florida, which was about 225,000 voters that have left since 2008. they gained four points in
independents. we are seeing a big shift in florida that will make a large difference next year. host: florida specifically. guest: florida is one of the places that this is really going to matter. host: independents could vote for republicans as well. guest: right now, they are really disgusted with both parties. if you look at approval ratings, they are lower than the general population. independents are even less happy than the general population. they are looking for a third option or they are looking for one of the parties to step up and say i am going to represent
this middle section of the electorate that is not being represented. host: atlanta, georgia, is next. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a question for the lady. she keeps talking about how the republicans -- excuse the, i have a cold. most people did not go out and vote in that 2010 election. thank you. guest: she is right. looking at 2010 turnout levels i do not think gives you a very good understanding of what will happen in 2012 because we know that midterm elections are very different with turnout than presidential elections. we did not rely on those turnout levels when making these predictions. we looked at registration numbers and assumed that if big chunks of democrats are fleeing
registration and going to independents, that says something about where they will be going next year. we think that means that independences are going to play a bigger role next year. certainly the obama team is going to be focused on the turnout of democrats and keeping those numbers up, but president obama cannot really win any more democrats as he did in 20008. he already won 90% of them in 2008. he is going to need to pick up that gulf of . s -- gulf of independents. caller: good morning. do you think the other two parties will allow an independent party to come up?
everyone i speak to want an independent. do you think the other two parties will allow it? if so, who do you think that candidate might be? i like gary johnson from new mexico. he is more of a progressive democrat than a republican. they are trying to tell us who the nominee is going to be, and i do not like any of them. i'd like gary johnson. they should give him a chance. i like him. everybody i speak to here in jersey cannot stand the idiot in trenton. guest: thank you so much. i will leave it to other people to identify who a third-party candidate might be. i think it is very hard for a third-party candidate to run and be successful in our current system. independents are likely going to
be choosing between president obama and the gop nominee. that will be the state of the election. there might be a third party candidate that gems in, but given the electoral college, it is very hard for them to get a victory. the question is just whether independents are going to come back to president obama. they do like him personally. they have a 50% personal approval rating of the president. they want to like him. i really think they are up for grabs. if the president is speaking to them and making sure he is addressing them and not just the base, that is a victory for him. host: columbus, ohio. caller: thank you for taking my call. you used the word "moderate"
which i do not hear anyone wanting to talk about. the independents sound like they are either republican or democrat. i am just wondering -- i am a progressive. i voted for obama. newt saying he is a socialist. what can people do? is there a market for a moderate-type person to be running? what can the president do to assert that he is more moderate? thank you. guest: let me first address your question about whether independents are real independents. many say they are just calling them independents but they are really just democrats or
republicans. one thing we are working on is a look at the electorate data over time. when you look at that, you realize that independents are much more likely to switch back and forth in their votes between parties. weak democrats are much more likely to continue to vote with the party, and the same is true for republicans. independents are actually voting differently than those identifying themselves either way. in terms of whether there is a market for a moderate candidate, i think president obama did a great job in 2008 making himself a moderate candidate and talking about bringing a red america and blue america together. that did extremely well for him. i think there is the potential for him to do it again next
year especially if the gop continues to push themselves to the right. about 45% of them disapproved of the tea party, and the rest of them say they have no opinion. the more there is this in transients in washington driven by tea party stubbornness the more we are going to lose these independents because they do not have time for that drawing the line and putting your foot down and not listening to the other side. host: you say that independen ts could comprise one-third of the vote. guest: if you look at the data and the registration numbers, it looks like we will be at a third for the electorate next year which is huge. the last time we had numbers like this was in 1976. that was a time when there was a lot of dissatisfaction.
people were fleeing the republican party and the democratic party. here, it could be that occupy wall street and the tea party are doing similar things. host: alabama on our republican line, go ahead. caller: good morning. understanding that when harry reid and it's the policy were pushing through health care and they were not listening to the american people, i do not think it is republicans that are blocking. they have put forth a bill after bill and we saw that in the election in 2010, great support for them. we want them to hold that line of conservative because the government is tobig. about 125 million working taxpayer americans divided into
$14.30 trillion debt, $114,000 a head per taxpayer. which party do you think is going to help us with our debt load in the next election? guest: that is a great question and i think you are right that independents were frustrated in 2010. that is why we saw a wild swing from where they were in 2008. when both parties get these voters, they think they have a mandate. they do not see it as being rented, not owned. they think they own that group. now we see folks coming back and leaving the republican party. republican registration is also down. there is a lot of frustration towards both sides and plenty of blame to go around for why we
are not getting anything done in washington. host: if you were in arizona says it -- -- a view were in arizona says -- guest: that is right. in certain states, they do. they are not in others. in states like pennsylvania, there is still a huge amount of democrats more than independents. they are probably more likely to be in that democratic column then some of these independents. caller: hi to both of you. i want someone in the white house that would adhere to principles and i hope they use them in their campaign song.
i spoke of this before. i only voted for obama because i did not want a loose cannon running the white house. i found a perfect 1. dr. berzinsky. i spoke of him because i listened to him by accident, and he is just what we need in the white house. he can really shake things up. he is very knowledgeable. every subject, how to attain peace in the middle east. he is a very smart man, a combination of fdr, president eisenhower, and the pope. i hope he runs for the next election. even chris matthews, my favorite show outside of c-span, of course, he is too much about, oh, perry and the others that
are running. i am bored already. why is it happening so fast? host: thanks. guest: you are right, that the election season has extended so it may be trying the american people's patience. we have seen so many debates with these candidates. i think it would be an historic level of debates which is running a big risk for republicans because the more they exposed the extreme candidates, many of whom probably have no chance of being the nominee, but the more they expose those people to the rest of america who may be was not paying attention to what michele bachmann was saying before, the more they run the risk of making themselves look incredibly
extreme as a party and the more they associate themselves with the tea party in a very explicit way. mitt romney said the tea party and republican party is essentially the same thing. host: here is a look at 2012 likely battleground states from third way. you have mentioned some of what you see in these states. what other states would you like to highlight? guest: in colorado, voter registration went up among every group. among democrats, one point. republicans, two points. independents, nine points. the democrats share of the electorate is getting smaller because there are more independence registering and at
a faster rate. host: power line for republicans, go ahead. caller: i will be brief. after recent election cycles, we see the mass of the united states showing the electorate as red and blue. it is plain to see that the urban areas lean left and the rural areas lean right. can you give us a feel for independents? are they more rural, middle america? or are they more urban? i will take my answer off the air. thanks again. guest: independents are a mix of urban and rural. they tend to be slightly more male than the general population and slightly less
religious than the general population. they are actually kind of an anti-establishment type, maybe anti-institutional general people. but they think -- but i think a lot of different people are independents. we have not seen a lot of pop from the social issues. if it has all been about the deficit and the economy. but i think social issues play in in a certain way because they allow people to identify with the candidate and determine whether or not this person is someone who is like them. so we think that social issues are a prism that people can look through even if they are not voting on immigration. host: madison, fla., go ahead. caller: hi. caller: hi.