tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 30, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EST
iowa caucuses. we will also get the democratic party's perspective on the republican candidates. later, a discussion on the iowa economy. we will have a professor as our guest. ♪ host: with four t -- with four days to go, the political wings are at the back of mitt romney in the sprint to the i will vote. the countdown continues. candidates continue to crisscross the hawkeye state. we will continue to track them throughout the day and weekend. he will have several guests today. of course, we will take your
phone calls. here is a question for you regarding politics. what matters to you more? personal chemistry and a biography? or personal positioning and policy? as you look at the gop presidential candidates, we want to get your thoughts about what matters most in terms of those qualities. for republicans, 202-737-0002. for democrats, 202-737-0001. for independents, 202-628-0205. here is a photograph in "the new york times," today, of iowans listening intently to newt gingrich. reminding us that the caucuses are taking place on tuesday. the headlines are the voters are examining the candidates, but often to a fault. the right that a 21-year-old
college student from spencer, iowa, is leaning toward ron paul because of his on polished speaking style. a " high-pitched, squirrelly voice." he seems like a real person." then there is andy from new hampshire, who is drawn to mitt romney because "the candidate reminds him of his father, a business executive." "something about the way that he carries himself." then there is a retiree in the peace who is representing for michele bachmann, because the voter raised -- because the candidate raised 23 children.
host: that is the basis for our question this morning. the first call is from pennsylvania. it is from mountain union. go-ahead, pennsylvania. caller: i do not think that it really matters whether we have personal chemistry with any of the candidates. we do not even really know them. the only thing that we know is the record. host: how do we stay on top of those voting records? there is so much out there, is there not? guest: -- caller: it is all
fingertips away. host: the personal part does not matter to you, does it? caller: as long as their eloquent and can speak their senses, that is what matters. host: charleston, good morning. we read a couple of comments this morning that said that even it -- even the way that a voice sounds matters. what matters more to you? caller: as a democrat, i could care less about these republicans. i know what they really are. they are lying and manipulating the public. as a democrat's, -- as a democrat, ron paul comes across as coupe to -- cuckoo for cocoa puffs, but he exposed the
republican party for what it is. a party for the rich that does not explain how they would get the economy going. host: we appreciate your thoughts. calone more call before we read from this piece. caller: hello. the morning. host: good morning. caller: the corporate media always tries to filter the public through the politicians. to me, all politicians, no matter who we vote for, are the same thing. no difference between bush and obama. we should be questioning the money and politics, trying to keep the money out, first of all. we should also have public financing of elections.
24/7, all that you hear about is mitt romney, nuking rich, obama. -- newt gingrich, obama. host: you get to the money part of it, which we understand. the framework of this peace talks about personality versus policy. do you lean one way or the other? caller, personally, after obama and his deception, -- caller: personally, after obama and his deception, personality means nearly nothing to me. it is the money in politics. taking out jobs, doing very malicious things to us. host: thank you for weighing in. we have plenty more calls.
those go they go on to talk about what the candidates are up to of all of this -- host: they go on to talk about what the candidates are up to all of this. pete, good morning. what do you think about this idea, the way they're shaping this piece to talk about policy versus personality. what do you think? does one or the other draw you in? caller: know. everyone wants to see someone with an honest, sincere personality and not a lofty elitist. i think that what is really important is a candidate that has a core belief. a true, honest core belief that regulations and taxes are poisoned to this economy and creating jobs and that big government does more harm than good when it comes to the free
enterprise system. host: does one person do it for you in that area? caller: mitt romney, of this group, would probably be head and shoulders above the others. gingrich, he has those beliefs, but i think that mitt romney is more of a business oriented type person. it is also important to have a candidate that has a traceable american past. i do not mean the court -- current president of being born in america, but i mean a president that looks and acts and talks like an american, with american values and american history and a traceable history. if you went to college, or she went to college, find some classmates that remember them. talk to them, find out about the person.
a simple thing like that is more important than people give it credit for. host: that is peak from georgia. several ways to weigh in on our program, besides your phone calls, of course, and we will keep your -- we will keep putting the numbers on the bottom of the screen. there is twitter, and the twitter address is twitter.com/c-spanwj. we will read those as we progress. also, facebook. facebook.com/c-span is another way to post your comments. our suggestion on facebook is also to ask some questions of our first guest this morning. go to facebook and week -- we will pull out a couple of those questions to ask the senator in that segment. carolyn, independent, texas, what matters most to you when
looking at a candidate? caller, it matters to me very much that the people of america have not truly examine the governor terry cost record. he is the most anti-education candidate out there. he has laid off thousands of teachers. we are 48th as far as education goes in america. and he has absolutely no respect for it. why aren't people talking about his record in texas? he claims to be a christian, but we have not observed any christian behavior from him in this state. host: you are looking squarely at policy. looked as personality, chemistry mean anything to you? caller: i think that his charisma is deplorable.
he pretends to be a christian, but only one denomination of christian was invited to his prayer meeting in which he announced his candidacy. the evangelicals have a stronghold on politics in texas. presbyterians, methodists, are not invited. from james onar the republican side. caller: i was wondering why none of the candidates are not touching the root cause of the economic issues. we put ourselves at competition with a communist country right now, which is why we need to roll back entitlements and we need labor production to be competitive. host: is anyone saying anything appealing to you? caller: ron paul, but he is way off to the left with things that
he is saying. i am looking for a candidate that is more moderate and will balance the equation as opposed to just throwing things off the table haphazardly and not really trying to moderate. what is the word that i am looking for? host: we get the point. no worries. we understand the point you're making. we will move on and get some other viewpoints. coverage beyond this program includes live events with several presidential candidates today. we will kick it off on c-span 2 at 9:10 eastern time. mitt romney will hold a campaign rally in west des moines. chris christie will be there with him. you can watch the whole thing live, over on c-span 2, starting
at 9:10 this morning. here is another headline about mitt romney. they're making the point that he has unveiled plans for an aggressive finishing sprint in iowa that is designed to lock down a victory that will leave his rivals scrambling to catch up. they point out that ron paul continues to show strength in the polls and that former senator, rick santorum, is on the rise. host: that is the piece from "the washington post," today. good morning. caller: i want to say that character matters. i am with the lady that just came on. the south, really,
they are all hypocrites. we do not need any more southern presidents. some of them, they say they are for god, but they are not really for god, because they are not for all people, they are just for the majority. we do not need any more southern president. i think the president obama is doing a fantastic job. i like romney. if it was not obama, it with romney. that is what i think. no more southern presidents. and host: here is a clear message on this. host: here's a call from cleveland. rather, from indiana. it is cleveland who is calling.
caller: i am an independent voter. how i agree that we have to get a handle on the entitlements as far as social security, medicaid, medicare. i do not think that they need to be abolished, but i think that they need to be cleaned up. my question to any of the new candidates out there right now, and i do not hear much of this from any of the other republicans, " with their policy be for helping the poor working class. i am not talking about middle class, i am talking about the poor, working-class americans, and the disabled americans. host: have you heard anything from anyone on that? caller: i have, but very little. you hardly hear anything at all. i would like to hear more from
the republican candidates. i would like to hear more about what they would do to help the poor working class and the disabled americans and disabled veterans of this country. i would like to hear more from them. host: albert, texas, good morning. caller: good morning. host: what matters most to you? policy stuff? personality? what do you think? caller: i do not mind voting with emotions. when you look at their policies, i would probably go with ron paul. but i had a question for you. do you think the candidates will it focusing on the mdaa bill? it allows the detention of u.s. citizens indefinitely?
what do you think about that? host: thank you for your caught -- your thoughts this morning, albert. here is one question -- years one campaign ad from rick perry. >> asking a congressman to fix washington? that idea. their years in congress led us into debt. they get paid $174,000 for year. the bill goes to you. >> cut their staff in half. send them home. let them get a job. >> rick perry approves this message. host: "usa today," if you want to hear from the candidates themselves and their closing arguments, here is the place to go. "all seven candidates state
host: metro, massachusetts. you are up. good morning. caller: i like to go by history instead of personality. if we look at president hoover, who gave us the greatest depression ever known to mankind, and then you go to president nixon, who froze wages on the middle-class and we went into another downturn, with people getting laid off. and then there is reagan, who cut taxes on the rich people and gave us the highest deficit ever
known to man. $2.80 trillionths. he then turned around, because i heard his directive, they said that the worse than they ever did was lower taxes on the rich. so, they raise taxes the next seven years, lebron times. and then, of course, we go to bush. he went to china to give tax cuts to the rich. look at us now. it is worldwide, what the republicans have done to this country because of taxes. and it is a shame. may i ask you a question? her request? if you could get on your show a political historian? a group of them?
and let us know what the real truth is 1/2 about the history of democrats and republicans, and independent's in this political arena? host: thank you for calling this morning. a reminder of one of the big holes out there this morning, it just came out and gives you a strong look at where the candidates are at this point. mitt romney is on top, with 25%. ron paul, with 22%, also up by five. from the last hole at the end of november. the current poll was taken right around christmas time. rick santorum, 16%, and 11% increase. the big story of the coal is newt gingrich, down 19% from the last poll. here is the headline on rick
santorum from " washington times," this morning. host: you can read that at "the washington times." at 11:00 eastern time this morning, newt gingrich will be hosting a coffee break town hall meeting. this will be in the morning, at a place called java joe. there is another live event later with rick santorum. he will host a faith, family, and freedom town hall events in
host: that is one of the lead items in "the wall street journal." what matters to you most in these candidates, or a candidate? caller: personality should not come into it. ron paul is talking about saving as $1 trillion in the first year. decriminalize drugs, that is good, you know? one of the two most important issues to me. these other candidates are in the back pocket of lobbyists. that is the two party system right now. ron paul is trying to change the status quo. that is a good thing. i would love to hear him and obama debate. host: i appreciate that, alex.
gerald, of detroit. caller: i would like to say that personality does make a difference. the president has policies, but congress and the rest of the cabinet are the ones to really put the law into effect. this man, when he is the president, he represents the united states. in our foreign policy, we need someone strong the can come across as a powerful person, representing the most powerful nation in the world. if they do not have this personality and they fail, it makes a difference to me. the personality has to come across as strong. host: thank you for your input. a couple of e-mails have come in.
host: that is from the state of new york. here is another e-mail. host: a viewer from venice, florida, there. dale, democratic line, good morning. caller: what i am looking for in the candidates is integrity. i am tired of allies we cannot fix anything unless we use some truth and some facts. you have to have effect base to really fix the problem. and they want a good critical thinker. a brilliant man that can think and problem solver. or a woman. that is what i am looking for in a president. i think that the media and our
constituents, we let them get away with way too much. for instance, when mitt romney runs around the country talking about president obama's the economy. that this is an obama economy. five months after president obama held up his hands, the recession bottomed out. we thought we were going to lose about 3.8 gdp and we lost 7.5. that is why the stimulus was not large enough. the way that the republican fought the stimulus when they knew that was what we needed, this is what they gave us. for six years we had a republican president that dominated a republican congress, senate and house, and this is where we ended up. host: thomas on the line from frankfort, ky.
caller: i am an independent. my wish would be to see jesse ventura run on the independent ticket. the media needs to address the failures of mitt romney and the business community. this man destroy jobs and companies. third, the gentleman that was the grading the south a few minutes ago, i agree with him. we never need another president from the state of texas. we never need another president that was born in kenya. thank you. host: here is mitt romney's closing advertisement entitled freedom and an opportunity -- freedom and opportunity. >> when generations saw the statue of liberty for the first
time, one thing that they knew beyond a doubt is that they were coming to a place where anything was possible and that in america, their children would have a better life. i believe in that america. the spirit of enterprise for held our economy pass that of any other nation on earth. in the campaign to come, the american ideals of economic freedom and opportunity meet a clear and unapologetic defense. we stand for freedom and opportunity the principles that made this nation a great and powerful leader of the world have not lost their meaning. they never will. in mitt romney. i believe in america. and i am running for president. i am mitt romney and i approve this message. " host: moving from iowa to new hampshire, this is out of
these candidates? what matters most? caller: the election of a president should not be like electing a from king and queen. i do not care what they sound like or look like. my concentration is on whether they will do the right thing for this country had not. i will not throw stones of the current administration, because every politician in washington right now seems crooked in one way or another. but we need someone who will stand up and do what they say they are going to do, when they say they will do it. host: of ohio, you are up. caller: i would like to start out with our governor in ohio. he is a copycat of florida, wisconsin. what they are trying to do is to elect a president in the republican party, which has a very long history of corruption.
taft used to be our president -- governor here. but where he ended up. not in prison, where he should have been. and they are trying to take down the middle class and the poor. then they will have this agenda of having republicans everywhere, in the house and the senate. then they can hire everyone down here at a lower wage. they want to control. take a look at it. we have got the coup clucks klan in here. at the moment it is a really bad situation. they are going that way. host: we appreciate your calling. in atlanta, they are talking about iowa. the right that the nation's
economy is out front. -- they were right that the nation's economy is out front and that the job message still resonates. moving to iowa, "spending cuts are the number one issue for voters." host: they have a shot of ron paul supporters here. we will ask chuck grassley what issues are moving folks in his home state. a reminder, you can ask a question of the senator, not just over the phone on the program, if you are getting into the phone segment.
, but also on our facebook page. jackie is on the line from ipod -- idaho. good morning. caller: how are you? caller -- host: well, how are you? caller: i am concerned about this law is a fair -- laws a fair. these people are going to say whenever they think the need to say to get elected. people have been sitting around for too long, and not checking people out. do your job. if you want your government setback in its place, with people taking back our country, we have got to do our homework. the get in there and do research. it is not that hard anymore. find out what these people are really about.
do not make it as simple as liking how someone smiles. this is serious business. we have to get serious. that is all that i have to say. please, everyone, get serious. host: ok. a couple of michele bachmann stories to point out, if you are a fan of hers. "the new york times," has a branding story. talking about the congressman trying to keep her campaign alive, comparing herself to margaret thatcher. host: if you are interested in reading more about michelle
bachmann, "michele bachmann's hard fall," is the name of the peace in politico." host: we have a piece from "the washington post, close book today. "female politicians are always bridesmaids." belzberg, oregon. you are up now. good morning. caller: good morning. host: yes, sir. what matters most to you and the candidates -- in the candidates? caller: president obama has created programs for fha loans,
for business loans, for college tuition. the only problem that i see that he needs to deal with is the war that we have over in afghanistan. we are capable of going into any country and taking over. we have the technology. we are the superpower. i think that obama would make another good four years. i will vote for him. that is all that i have got to say. host: we appreciate the call this morning. dale, what matters most to you in a candidate? caller: integrity. definitely how smart in
situations -- i think that our president has proven himself over and over and over again, how strong, how determined, how smart he is. let's face it, the gop, i call at the barnum and bailey circus. because it is a circus. not one of them are qualified to be a congressman or woman, let alone a senator or president. we all know it. it is a joke. the gop led america into a ditch to the size of the grand canyon. we all know that. the republicans did that. and they handed over the biggest pile of scrap in racine. -- pile of crap i have ever seen. these candidates are a complete
and utter joke. the people who will lose the most at the end of the comedians. come on, this is all they have to offer? all that they do is-the president. they have nothing to offer. we know what they are against. what are they for? i am going from a rock -- going for barack obama. i hope that the middle class people in america do not vote for republicans, because they are cutting their own throat. worst of all, you're cutting the throats of your friend, your family and neighbors, everyone in the middle class. host: one of the stories this morning about newt gingrich's that the tea party groundwork is of little help to newt gingrich.
living in mexico. ron paul, i would pick him. if he delivered 4000 babies, i trust that man. thank you. host: a lead story this morning in the the moines register -- in "the des moines register." there are a lot of stories, actually. the winner of the lottery is making a ton of news, because it is a mystery. but they also had this special feature about turnout teams. "at this point there is no paid -- there's no distinction between paid volunteers and staff. the goal is the same, "turnout."
we will begin our coverage at 7:00 p.m. eastern time, here in the east, with a preview of things. then the caucus meetings themselves. admiral, oklahoma. good morning. what are your thoughts? what matters to you most with the gop candidates? caller: that we have a president that will not destroy our country. ron paul says that he is a christian, but the bible warns that iran is a huge threat. persia is what is called in the bible. i am afraid that he will wait too long and we will be taken over. everyone should look up what george washington had to say about our country. anyhow, on ron paul, this man does not understand that iran is a huge threat and would leave us
totally defenseless. on obama, everything he does are the three major things that bring judgment on the nation. he is the strongest on abortion. even after they are born, he does not want to rescue the babies that have been aborted and are still living. israel, of less those that less is real. and he slipped homosexuality into the military when no one knew it was even there. and one of the main things is this. every nation that has gone communism -- russia, asia, china, everyone of them, they have failed totally. this is exactly what he is doing. glenn beck had it right. in other words, if you promote these things that are
communists, you can call them what you want to, that is exactly what he is doing to our nation. it is destroying us. he bankrupted the company -- the country, which could be intentional, so that he could takeover. it is absolutely terrifying that anyone would think about voting for him again when he has destroyed the economy. if you want your children and grandchildren to go hungry, just keep voting for someone like that. it is outrageous that people are not really looking into these things and seeing -- on the bible, the three major things that i've just mentioned, abortion, protecting israel, and homosexuality, if you vote for any of those things, you will stand before god and -- host: lets it one more call before we run out of time. -- let's get one more call before we run out of time. john, good morning.
caller: first of all, i want a president that loves america and believes in america. i want a strong president will stand up against other countries. i want someone who will follow the constitution with limited government. i want someone who believes in capitalism. 51% of this country has no scan in the game. like jfk asked, ask what you can do for the country. obama is not the guy that we want. he is only for handouts for people. if you want a socialist government, go to greece and i am sure that you will enjoy that. host: plenty of more time for calls in this program, especially on the state of iowa. charles grassely will be joining us from des moines this morning. all of our guest will be coming to us from des moines this
morning. as we set up the senator to talk to you, we will show you some of the ads coming out of iowa. here's a look. >> the reckless obama agenda can be stopped. who is the true conservative the even trust? rick santorum has fought for conservative values his whole life. a champion for life. a visionary who understands the threat of radical islam and a proven reformers that took on washington and one. rick santorum, a true conservative that we can trust. >> washington elites are destroying our way of life. rick perry hits from washington. his energy plan freeze america from foreign oil. reforms are flattened and simplified. getting america back to work.
stopping the washington insider. rick perry, a conservative for president. >> jon huntsman should be a conservative hero. his program is the most conservative. erik erikson, george will, they all agree that huntsman has the best plan to fix the economy. his record is more conservative than newt gingrich and mitt romney combined. he is more pro-life and would be a more conservative presidential the consistent conservative who can win. >> "washington journal" continues. host: continuing on from there -- des moines, caucuses are just four days away. a longtime senator from iowa, charles grassely, who knows his stay quite well. first question, are you endorsing anyone this time around?
guest: i announced in october that hit in that act that so many of these candidates are vying for the republican nomination, i was satisfied that they could make a good president and beat obama. i decided i would not get involved in the caucus section this year. it is unusual that i do that, as i was involved in several of the bob dole campaigns for the presidency in the iowa caucuses. i was very much involved in georgia of the bush's campaign to win the caucus. sitting things out is not usual for me, but i did not want to choose between one of the other. host: the senator has been on our program many times. this time he is coming to us from des moines, iowa, to talk
about the situation out there. we have different lines for republicans, democrats, and independents. there's a fourth line that we will put on the screen specifically for iowa residents. we will hear from them as well, senator. what is the mood of the electorate out there this time around? what are they thinking? feeling? looking for in these candidates? guest: number one, someone with good answers to the problems facing the nation. no. 2, who is the best one to win in november. oddly enough, social issues, unlike most of the previous caucuses of the last 20 years, have not involve the social issues so much, which is kind of surprising to me, but considering that the economy is in such bad shape and
considering the fact that most republicans feel that president obama is not doing as well as he could, i am not surprised that social issues have gone to the background. and that these other issues have become foremost. consequently, that is one of the reasons why we have not had the social conservatives coalescing around one candidate. that they are split around three or four candidates, as an example. unlike huckabee, who was solidly behind him. host: we do not -- we know that you do not endorse, but who do you like? what are you hearing the to like? guest: it would be easier for me
to say that one aspect of any candidate would be finding disagreement, such as the foreign policy, or lack of foreign policy, on ron paul. in his domestic policies i do not find fault, and on the domestic policies of other people i do not find fault. i compliment senator santorum for emphasizing foreign policies. i also compliment him for having a balance between domestic, economic issues, social issues, and foreign policies. unlike most of the other candidates, who have spent most of the time on economic policy. but i think that your most recent callers, who i heard speak when we got on here, one of them talked about obama destroying the economy.
another one talked about the necessity of limited government. another caller talked about economic freedom. i think that those three issues, other people around the country summing up what they're looking for, would be descriptive of what iowa republicans are looking for when they go to the caucus. host: one more question from the senator. there is a lot to talk about. michael barone recently wrote a piece in "the wall street journal." talking about how all of the republican caucuses have what he calls a core record in choosing party nominees. he says that in the last five, your state has voted for the eventual nominee only twice. only once was the winner elected president. get to it -- yet to the importance of iowa, in your
view. what would you say? guest: he picks on iowa, and i do not disagree with his statistics, but you have to look at the process of the island's being involved in republican and democratic caucuses. there are at least two people in the democratic caucus that would not have been president if they had not gone through this process. one of those would be jimmy carter, who live here for a couple of years before he became president. the other one would be president obama. if he had not defeated hillary clinton here four years ago, he would not have been president of the united states. if he is trying to discount just of the republican caucus, you know, statistically he is probably more accurate. if he is using that as a basis for discounting the legitimacy of the caucus system in iowa being the first in the nation, i
completely disagree with him. host: chicago, a democrat, first call, thank you for waiting. hello, karen. caller: hello. my statement is, the only thing to come out of the mouth of republicans, every time i hear them speak, it is to defeat barack obama. that is not your job. your job is to help america and do what is right for the people of america. we did not elect people just to defeat a president. get in there and work with this president. how can one president, when he goes to put something fourth for the american people, which you all hollering about, you shoot it down. you have not even given this president's policies a chance to hit the floor. it is no, no, no, no. guess what? senator barack obama -- president barack obama will get
back in the white house. i do not like ugly. host: that was karen from chicago. senator grassley? guest: i would have two answers for that. number one, we are political leaders in the united states, outside of being members of congress. whether we are grassroots republicans or office holders, like i am, in the political process of choosing a new president, it is perfectly legitimate for us to talk about the necessity of beating president obama, otherwise there is no purpose to exist. and it is not just the defeat. political parties do not just exist to defeat someone else. they only exist because of the philosophical and ideological backgrounds. what do they have to offer? what republicans are doing in the process of attempting to
defeat president obama is to say that the principles of our party are superior to the principles of president obama for his political party. the second thing, she is talking about republicans in congress not working with president obama. you have got to understand, for the caller, that the democrats control the presidency and the senate. the republicans only control one house of the three political branches of government. i do not know how it is legitimate for her to say that republicans have to work with democrats without saying that the democrats do not have to find common ground with republicans. it seems to me that since they control the senate and the presidency, they have greater weight than what republicans
have. the last thing that i will stop with year is that there is a dislike of republicans for the personality of president obama. you cannot help but like him as a person, but he has not shown the leadership that a president ought to show. just before christmas, he was totally aloof. the president goes around the country, talking in a political fashion, campaign fashion, at the taxpayer expense, telling the people of this country that you ought to write to your congressman and tell them to pass my jobs bill. at the very same time that he shuts down the building of a pipeline that would create 20,000 jobs. that is just talking out of both sides of your mouth.
we cannot stand that sort of disingenuous talk on the campaign trail and take action back in washington that destroys jobs when jobs are what people in this country expect out of the president of the united states and unemployment republicans would even admit to president obama that he inherited a very bad economic situation. by every measure of the economy, whether it is inflation or unemployment or is the values or the price of enemy, every measure has gotten worse in the three years that he has been president. two of those three years he has controlled the cold political branches of government by big margins and the still cannot turn things around. host: four days before the caucuses take place tuesday night. we will have live coverage on
the c-span networks. many more calls for the senator, including edward, an independent in ottawa -- iowa. caller: my question is where he was talking about ron paul's for policy and how it is terrible, i guess. something that really gets me is i saw yesterday that we will be selling fighter jets to the saudi arabia'. and the national defense authorization act that took presley supported with the indefinite detention of americans without charges. bad,s ron paul's policy so but we will be sending fighter jets to our enemies? and people being killed and held indefinitely?
host: more about ron paul. guest: in regard to the f-15 fighter jets, and this was a relatively new issue, evidently it takes presidential approval, for the sales to be made, the saudi arabians will purchase a plan similar to that some place around the world. the question is do you want them to buy american airplanes where we understand how they operate and they can get parts from us and they have to rely on us for technical advice or do you want them to buy them and from the chinese or the russians or someplace else? they know what the needs of their military is and they're going to buy them. so, when we have a chance to employ american workers, and i think we ought to take advantage
of that. i was not complaining about ron paul's foreign policy except the lack of our leadership in foreign policy, the absence of foreign policy. as far as the detentions of people, when you half either foreign or combatants or u.s. citizens that are fighting with a foreign entity to kill americans, it seems to me that it is common sense you will handle them like any prisoner of war and their detention should not be in the united states where they are subject to the constitutional rights of americans. understand, these are people that want to kill americans. they're not just common criminals. they are war combatants. the only protection they are entitled to is what the geneva conventions give them. that is the legislation i voted
for. that is the legislation that passed and that is legislation the president has signed. this is an example of bipartisanship, when you can get republican house and democratic senate and democrat president to agree to something. host: more about the mood inside the hawkeye state. i am not sure if you can see, but we will read some of the information. this just came out this week. it was done around christmas time. they have mitt romney fairly clearly on top now. 25%. he is up 5%. ron paul has gone up 5% as well. 22% for him. rick santorum up by 11 points in the third place. that is from a month ago. and newt gingrich is 20 points down from the last poll. guest: don't forget, a month ago
or maybe for the last two months 70% of people in iowa were undecided. it was still 30% as of yesterday. it is still very fluid situation. it does seem like mitt romney is solidifying to some extent. it also seems like a person that has been last for a whole year, senator rick santorum, is coming out pretty strong. i would be surprised if next january 3 when we have caucuses, that there's going to be a clear winner. i would be very surprised. i think you'll end up with three people or four people that will have 70% to 23%. and four people will go out saying they have a ticket to new hampshire. obviously, one person will be
number one. they will declare victory. i think there will be three people or four people. it may be that mitt romney is coming on very strong as the tail end. he may be a clear victor. if he is a clear victor out of iowa, it will be difficult for people to get up with him in new hampshire, south carolina, florida. .ost: here's a question for you what do you think? guest: i think he can be a winner, but not number one. what you have to look at its first of all hard work pays off. i have town meetings in each one of our 99 counties every year for 31 years ago. senator rick santorum has been in every county least once prior
to two months ago and is going back to each of these counties, a second or third time. he has worked this state harder than anyone else. the surprising thing is he was always at 2% in all these polls. all of a sudden he is coming into double digits and could be third or four and a close to the others and could consider himself pretty victorious. it does show that hard work pays off. something similar to what we have seen when bob dole won the iowa caucuses. host: john in san antonio, texas, republican. caller: good morning. i have several problems that i cannot get through my headcount. when you get old, you cannot get everything as fast as the youngsters. none of these guys so far have talked about doing anything for
the economy. in terms of reducing the size and cost of government. many of you say that we need to do something down the road. my problem is here today, not 10 years from now. until we decide to cut the size and cost of government, get rid of those programs today, like the department of education, department of energy spent all the rest of these little programs. if we don't cut these programs today, we will never get the problem solved as far as getting someone to take care of our national debt. everybody talks about doing kingsport, but very few people, have wanted to really do anything. folks say we are going to do this tomorrow. the sky is falling today because of government taking everything from the people.
and lifestyle and everything else. seem to understand what the problem is. host: thanks for calling. there's a headline that says "spending cuts our number-one for folks as they travel around the state." how about responding to that last caller? guest: it is very easy for me to answer his question, because he has detected something about how we talk in washington, to lead him to believe that we are only talking about cutting something 10 years from now? instead of right now. and we are talking about cutting right now, but also because the congressional budget office under the law of 1974 -- and at the you know this -- the cbo , always has to look ahead 10 years, so we are making policy today that they look ahead and
say what is it going to cost for each of the next 10 years down the road. so when we talk about cutting things today, it is also protected ahead how that will impact the next 10 years and probably to the caller san antonio it looks like we are not actually going to make any cuts for 10 years. but each one of those years of the next 10 years has a certain reduction in expenditures. that does not mean we have to spend that. but it means if we don't make any changes, that amount of money will be spent. when you decide in 2011 you are going to cut so much in 2011, it is also so much in 2012 all the way ahead until 2021. a little bit in each of those years. because that is the way accounting is done. in done but it does not mean you will wait and for 10 years to make cuts. you will start cutting right now.
it also is cutting projected spending. host: senator, if you want to ask a question to the senator, our address is at facebook. here's a question for you. would you be willing to take a pay cut to help lower costs in this country? guest: if governor rick perry gets elected and he makes a halftime job, the answer is yes. and if we did from the standpoint of congress working half the year and being in business or having a job back for half the year being a citizen legislator, if that is the type of representation this country wants, then obviously there would be a 40% or 50% cut. what we are doing right now
under present law, congress, does like social security recipients and federal employees, get automatic increases. we have frozen congressional salaries. and we have frozen federal civil servants' salaries for the last two years and for the third year and maybe for the next five years. congressional budgets have been cut 5% for what we run our individual offices. that is where it is right now. but for the answer to the question about the specific 40%, i assume that he is getting that from governor rick perry. if that idea went through, obviously, you cut salaries by probably 50%. host: senator chuck grassley joining us from des moines where our next call comes from gary.
caller: good morning, senator. ron paul stands for america. he is the only one who will cut the budget and do the right thing for america. cutting back foreign bases would be the best thing for america. thank you. guest: the only thing i would have to say in regard to that is there's a general feeling that the united states, for instance, be -- by being involved in europe under nato that we actually prevented a third world war with russia by our presence over there, because after the second world war, stalin was going to take over europe. when nato was formed, it put an end to its efforts to take over. he had already taken over half of the continent.
hase's a real feeling that never invaded south korea because we have a mutual defense treaty with south korea. there is also a lesson to be learned from when iraq invaded kuwait, that it took us about four months to get all the materiel and individuals to the middle east to actually enforce the international agreements that we had already agreed to. if a country is going to keep its credibility in foreign policy, it has to live up to the agreements it has signed. if you say we should not sign those agreements, that is a different thing. but the atmosphere after the second world war was if the united states was the only superpower at that time, if we did not stay in the forefront of everything, then the communists would overrun and lots of
europe -- a lot of europe. in the persian gulf war, we learn that four months is a long time to get things into place if you need quick action. prepositioning some of our troops and materiel seems to have a way of discouraging people to take action against a weaker country if the united states is present, and they think they should not do it. so you kind of have to decide is it better for the united states to stay here in north america and black happen what happened at pearl harbor, the japanese attacked us and then we have to take five years to beat them back? or is it better to be out in front ahead of it and be better positioned to ward off attacks
against us? do you want another 9/11? i think most americans don't. being around the world to stop terrorists from being trained to kill americans is one of the points of our positioning. host: we have 15 minutes left with senator grassley in des moines. all of our guests from iowa today. the caucuses are tuesday night here. kentucky is on-line, johnny on the democratic line. caller: hello. i have two comments and questions. respectfully speaking, as an american citizen and as a christian, i am appalled bypass every day that the senate and the house start by prayer by
different ministers and ask this body of people to do the right thing for the entire country. feel day when it's over i like they did the right thing for only the richest or most important people in the country only. my response is our senator mitch mcconnell from kentucky is on the job for the next year-and-a- half, his only job is to get obama out of the white house. that's not right. my question is what do you think the most important thing that the republican party can do for the u.s. in order to get back to where we need to be? for us to be a productive, responsible country. guest: the most important thing is to turn the economy around,
to get people employed, increase the number jobs, drill now, to keep energy as cheap as we can, being less dependent on foreign sources of energy, using our own energy, getting the budget deficit under control, which probably is a forerunner to the other three things i have already mentioned and should be number one, and put a moratorium on regulations, be-- when i say put a moratorium on regulations, and i am talking about new regulations. many new regulations put in place by this administration or propose to put in place are very detrimental to getting people hired. and, also, the budget deficit is
keeping people from hiring because they don't know what the future will hold for the country is a whole. the other thing is not having the biggest tax increase in the country, which is going to come up next year if we don't intervene. so, high taxes, high deficit, too much regulation, and not making adequate use of our domestic sources of energy is what seems to be hindering people from hiring. people not being hired is what is keeping the economy from being turned around. most of this comes from -- you could describe some of this under one word. "certainty." particularly small business people, but even big corporations are not hiring because they feel the future is so uncertain.
our job as republicans, but now working with democrats, is to bring some certainty. what we can do it through get the budget does the under control, keep taxes where they are, moratorium on regulations, drilling now, and all sorts of alternative energy, are the best things we can do to create jobs and turn the economy around. host: tim, republican. caller: good morning. as your constituents, you voted for the national defense authorization act, which is shameful, giving one person, the president, or even the executive branch the right to imprison or even kill american citizens is atrocious. host: explain what he is talking about and your viewpoint,
senator. guest: i think i have explained this to a previous caller. whether it is an american citizen or a foreigner, if people are at war with the united states, and they are oring to kill unyou and me people overseas, or taking action against their own country, they are not entitled to the protection of constitutional law. if this goes all the way back to a supreme court decisions of the late 1940's. where maybe it was even during the second world war that the court decision took place. but seven or eight people came here from germany, landed on our shores off of a submarine and -- two were american
citizens here to sabotage and kill american citizens. they were tried by a military commission. if there were executed. -- they were executed and they did not have the protection of the american constitution even though they were american citizens. that's kinda principle applies. do they have any rights? yes, the same rights as every other person who is at war against the 90 states -- the united states. that is the geneva convention protections. i don't know why you are upset about american citizens not having constitutional rights when they are taking up arms to kill americans. it does not add up to me. i am sure it does not add up for most americans. host: we want to get the conversation back soon iowa -- back to iowa.
evangelicals. they talk about a rift and it could curb the influence voters. it says the crucial evangelical vote in the state is factored and uncertain just days before the first ballot, potentially boosting massachusetts governor romney. what is your observation on the evangelical vote in that state? guest: i think i know a lot about the evangelicals community in the united states and particularly in iowa. i attended the evangelical church, so i am an evangelical christian. i see it strictly from a political standpoint, not from a religious standpoint, of how the wall street journal story is accurate. their intention is not to necessarily promote mitt romney by being fractured. the fact of the matter is that
there are several candidates like rick perry, like michelle bachmann, and rick santorum, and maybe others as well, but at least those three, where they all stand for things that we call -- on social conservative issues. so it is just natural that some evangelical christensen like bachmann -- some evangelical christians like michelle bachmann best and others like rick perry best and others like rick santorum best. it has something to do with the economy. people are more concerned about jobs, more concerned about the economy, more concerned about america's leadership in the world community of nations. they are concerned about that
more right now than about these social issues. not to say the social issues are not important. if rick santorum has made that as clear as anyone has made it. saying how important they are, but they are not quite at the level this year than in 2008 when the economy was a little better. host: tampa, florida, gary on our independent line for the senator. banks awaiting -- thank you for waiting. caller: i would like to ask the senator a question and then give some basic facts. i would like to commend him on being one of the most long winded senators i have ever heard answer the question and i would like to commend you on hitting every little fear button that the republican party has in their playbook in an entire paragraph answering a sentence.
second, a question. we all talk about how families sit around a table and decide what they can pay for and what they cannot, how everybody has to balance their budgets and home, i would like to ask, is one of the possibilities those families have going out and getting another job? guest: would you explain to me what his question is, paul. going out and getting another job does not fit in with everything else he said. host: i'm not sure i can articulate his point that he was making, i guess it was an economic one. guest: 4 a person saying that i was long winded and hitting every fear button, you think
that he would come up with all more concise question because he is entitled to an answer, but i cannot answer based on what he has told me. host: when it comes to energy and ethanol, which has been a topic among the candidates, this question is from twitter. he is asking what iowa do if it were not for ethanol -- can you put that into perspective? guest: the ethanol issue prior to four years ago used to be passive very hot topic at every caucus for the last 25 years. -- used to be a very hot topic. ethanol was a tax incentive to get this infant industry started. right now, in one more day, this
incentive will end and there is not going to be any subsidy -- no tax incentive on ethanol. and all will have to stand on its own legs now. that is perfectly legitimate after all the years of government tax incentives to help the industry gets started. but politically it is not an issue like it has been in the past. but the ethanol is very important from the standpoint that 10% of the fuel that people burn in their cars is renewable. most of that is ethanol. so whoever is complaining about an ethanol subsidy, would they rather not have the ethanol important%nd i
more fuel from iran or venezuela where people don't like us? host: georgia, jackie, a democrat. caller: good morning, senator grassley. guest: good morning, jackie. caller: i would like to ask you one question. can you tell the american people why it is ok for you and your family to have government-run health care that is paid by taxpayer dollars, but it's not okay for your constituents or any of the rest of american families to have government-run health care? guest: i am very glad to have that question because i have been involved in this issue. first of all, would you say we have government-run health insurance, we have blue cross blue shield, like a lot of people in the united states. some government employees might have something else.
but the point is that we pay a cold premium just like everybody else that has blue cross blue shield. if in fact, you could take some corporations in america probably supply health insurance for their employees that is much better than what the government employees have. coldthe standpoint of tjhhe premiums and cold pays, but i am not complaining. then in regard to why we don't have exactly what you have, if you are under blue cross blue shield, we have something similar to what you have, if you have blue cross blue shield. there was a debate that the place two years ago when president obama's health care reform bill passed, at that time the issue was just about what you asked me. in order to respond to that, i was successful in sponsoring an
amendment and that with a year 2014 comes and these exchanges are set up under the health care reform plan for you to purchase health insurance if your employer does not provide that, members of congress and our staff will have to go to the stamp exchange to get health insurance. so you can never say again in the future that we have a better health care plan than what you have. we will have to go to the exchange just like you do. in other words, what we have today under blue cross would not continue the way it is. we would have to go to the exchange and get the same way that you would. i did not pass that bill does because of questions like yours. i have a history the last 15 years of passing laws that congress had exempted itself from that we should not be exempted from. we are employers and we should
be subject to the same laws as any small business or major corporation. prior to and 1995, congress had passed about a dozen laws that exempted congressional offices. so i got the congressional accountability act passed in 1995 to put us under those same laws. and so, naturally, when this came up with the health care reform issue, i did the same thing for the health care reform bill and congressional offices to be covered under the same basis as the congressional accountability office anbrought us under those same laws as well. host: tony, independent, a chapel hill, tennessee. caller: good morning, senator grassley. glad to talk to you. i have always had a lot of respect for you. you have some good common sense.
however, this morning, when i heard you say that it's ok for the president to make a decision that you are guilty of suspected of being a terrorist and you are going to put him in jail, that destroyed my view of view. and i want to ask a question on the economy. i want you to really tell the people that you truly believe that. it is amazing to me. host: any more comments on that particular issue? guest: what did he say that i said about the economy? host: no, it was in your earlier comments about terrorism. guest: well, all i can say is i don't understand where people are coming from that if an american citizen goes overseas
or even here working with foreign entities declaring war against the united states, for anybody to say they have constitutional rights, are you going to read them to the miranda rights on the battlefield before your arrest them? is that what people want american soldiers to do? they are trained to fight a war. they are not law enforcement officers. that is what you would have to do. would you think that if your vested -- i mean, if you captured an american citizen waging war against american citizens, that you could not question them to get information from them about people they are working with to kill americans? the number one responsibility of the federal government is to protect the american people.
and so, if american citizens declared war against all of america, you cannot expect them to have the same rights as a law-abiding citizens in america. host: one more quick question, senator. will you attend a caucus meeting on tuesday? guest: i am going to be going around to different caucuses. so i will not be caucusing with my local precincts because as a republican leader i have a responsibility to go-around and encourage and to thank republicans for participating in the process and encourage them to work hard to elect a republican president. host: senator chuck grassley, republican of iowa. spanx for joining us from des moines guest: thank you. host: coming up, a discussion on president obama and the democratic campaign strategy. first, a look at small
businesses in the des moines area preparing for the caucuses. >> we are south of downtown des moines at a bakery. we are joined by its owner, christina moffatt. she is also the president of the downtown des moines chamber. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> tell us how small business benefits from the caucus coming to town every four years? guest: did january is the slowest season. people have spent all their money and assets new year's resolutions. it is cold at that time. , morer the caucuses december people are outdoors. we have seen an increase in
business. several other candidates or rather their people come to us. people are always celebrating birthdays or vague are celebrating a rise in the polls with cupcakes. we will be doing a big event on january 3 with google for the media to stop in and pick up a cupcake. host: you have a few employees at your shop today. guest: small businesses like myself are the ones that are hiring. we are the ones creating jobs. i am able to keep my employees busy throughout the slow season because of the caucus. host: the president of the chamber is your position. what has it been like for other businesses? have you seen people leaving des moines or transitioning to new businesses? guest: we have seen many people starting businesses, not necessarily because of layoffs,
but because of the timing. people want to try something new. they want to come back to des moines. this is the perfect time. if we are in a recession, we will go and hopefully up and not down. we see people stepping forward in faith and wanting to do what they are good at. host: how did you start this business? guest: i had a great corporate job-killing and loved them, but i had a passion for baking. the timing for me is that i wanted to make a leap of faith in january when i knew it would be slow and i could actually learn and not just jumping to a really busy season. i just wanted to do what i loved to do. it has been the best decision. host: the one becomes a political hot spot every of all your years. as a small-business owner, how do you look to caucuses on a business perspective? guest: we have been doing well
and have been talking about the caucuses since august and how we were going to welcome people, not only for my business, but as a timber. how to help people get around downtown. we have revamped to the web site for the chamber, making sure businesses are up to date. and i added staff in october and preparing for the holiday season and the caucuses and we plan to continue to grow. hopefully this is a hot spot for des moines. host: what is the best-selling cupcake's? guest: red velvet with cream cheese frosting. host: she is the president of the des moines downtown chamber. thanks very much. guest: thanks for having makes. host: we are live in des moines this morning. 1774 precincts in the state will hold a republican caucus tuesday night. there's also democratic action going on in iowa.
the vice-chairman of the democratic national committee is our next guest, r.t. ryback, who is also the mayor of minneapolis. explain what the dnc is doing these days especially to counter the messages the republicans have put forth against president obama? guest: based on your last guest, the first thing is to find that cupcake shop. the other work we are doing is a lot more serious. it is about the fact that we are there to make sure get our message out about what the president has been doing. we were there four years ago and i spent a lot of time going door-to-door. people are asking tough questions. if they said is this really going to be a president who will work with the middle class and get us out of this terrible iraq war, somebody who will take on health care, so i could come back and say the president did all that and did it in the middle of the worst economic
catastrophe since the depression, but we have a lot more to do. we will carry that message and we have been. we are also organizing. the irony is, called it you are hearing about the iowa caucuses, there's one candidates more organized than anyone else, and that is barack obama. we have more offices than any of the other candidates. it's a good example of the fact that the president knows the good people of iowa or able to open their doors and listened to his message. we're going back into that same conversation one-on-one. we are not about all the negative ads. if we are going to have an honest midwestern one-on-one conversation which propelled him to the presidency. host: we have a dnc memo that you folks put out there. "mitt romney tries to rewrite history and distract voters."
what are you saying about the man who's on top of the polls right now? guest: mitt romney is leading in the polls in iowa and new hampshire. he is the focus of our attention, obviously. what is important that you cannot say one thing in new hampshire and another in iowa and one thing a year ago ended pretend that -- and pretend that people cannot put two and two together. for instance, over this past month the most important piece a policy going on in this country was the question of whether americans would be able to continue to have a tax cut at the new year. the president has been fighting to make sure that tax cut continued. and mitt romney and the rest of the republican field or silent and quietly cheering on the
zealots in the republican caucus who were trying to prevent the middle class from getting a tax cut. what is that all out? if you make a statement that you are from the middle class, but if you are preventing the middle class from getting a tax cut, seemingly that you want to protect those at the top, then we should clarify that record. that is part of what we are doing as well. host: ron paul is up in the polls and rick santorum rising. might we see a similar memos about other candidates? guest: i am not sure what will be put out in the next couple days. one of the things that's happening is you have seen jockeying. one of band one down. mitt romney is in a little different situation. he campaigned extremely hard here four years ago and put millions of dollars into that effort and he lost.
now he has put many millions more and his surrogates are spending many more to attack the rest of the field. most of the best of the field -- most of the rest of the field collapses. mitt romney can barely get over 20%. maybe he will squeak through with a victory. if he does not, that would be a big setback. you have to ask yourself if, after all the time and money, if he cannot win over the hearts and minds of republican caucus goers in idaho, that would be a question of whether he can connect with the middle part of this country. we don't like the idea of people saying one thing and being about another. we are the midwest. we don't like to elect whether veins as president -- a weathervane as president. host: good morning on the line.
gwen on the democratic line. caller: a proud democrat. i am listening to these people calling this morning. i cannot believe some of the stuff coming from some of these republicans. like a person who called about abortion. it is given this, some of the statements. also, wake-up. president obama was dealt a terrible blow with this economy. the man will get the economy back from the brink. and i hope america would wake up and look at what you have to nominate for the gop.
it will never happen. host: on the economic point, how do you promote a re-election of seven obama in the economic situation that we are in? guest: the caller was right about what the president inherited. you have to stop and say that when president obama took office we were beginning to see the collapse of. the of it primaril -- see the collapse of the economy. it was caused by heavy oversight on wall street, giving tax breaks to the very top end. so the president took office in a month where several hundred thousand jobs or being lost. we have had 21 straight months of private sector job growth now. we are moving in the right direction. if mitt romney and the others have said they would not take action that the president took in the recovery act which led to
turning the economy around on many levels. let's look at the automobile industry. that industry last year -- in this past year sold 12.8 million cars, which was 1 million more than the year before. if you think about all the people working in the automobile-related sector, 12.8 million cars a, that's a lot of people. mitt romney, said lead the automotive industry run its course, let it collapse. stop and think about that. if america was not making 12.8 million cars today, that's in large part because of the president's leadership, how much worse with the economy be? and do we really want to turn the economy back over to people like mitt romney, who are talking about the same strategies as george bush, who would let the automotive industry collapse? we will definitely talk about the economy now that we are better off than we were four years ago.
and jobs were being lost the month that the president took office. much better now. and there was a war that had no mission or purpose the sucking the economy drive. it seemed to be unstoppable. president obama refocused us and moved us out of that war and has focused the whatever, stopped bin laden, began to take apart some of the terrorist networks around the world. that is also an economic issue as well as peace. we cannot spend a lot on excursions abroad that have no purpose. that is what was being done by president bush and exactly what mitt romney says. he does not want us to get out of iraq. frankly, we had better get focused on building a peace around the world. and then refocus our dollars and human capital on our economy.
after all the efforts in iraq and all the efforts that the brave americans put forward to fight a war that had no purpose, that we would go back and do that again, that is not sensible. host: in north carolina, and jim is an independent. you are on with the vice chair of the dnc. caller: yes, there's a lot of talk about creating jobs, more jobs. even when we had jobs, for a long time they were not keeping up with the cost of living for the majority of the labor force. i wonder -- i have never heard any kind of talk from any politician on this matter. also, i would like to know if our leaders are doing anything during this recession as far as any kind of cutbacks they are taking in the offices
themselves. guest: i think the caller is absolutely right about the idea we have to look out for the fact that more and more americans are feeling squeezed. the idea of wage is being stagnant is unusual. there are certain things that a president can do. the first one is to make sure the main thing that the political situation is in charge of reflects the values of the middle class americans. that is the tax code. the whole battle that you saw going on during the last month in washington was all about that. the president from day one has been focused on the idea that people doing the hardest work, in the middle class, feeling squeezed, they should have a tax system that reflects that. the president fought like crazy and finally one after the zealots in the republican party -- and i am not talking about everybody in the republican party -- after they finally
capitulated, president won. and the middle class americans during the tough work will continue to get the tax breaks. mitt romney and the others don't want to do that. they want to raise those taxes. let's go back to any other issues where the president has put our resources. the small business administration is really where we need to get more starts for people who cannot only be working, but hopefully holding those jobs. that's the kind of economy the president is building. it is tough out there and there's no magic wand, but the president is moving in the right direction. the president is governing with the values of the people working hard in the middle class, the people with tough jobs. the republicans want to say that an economy that seems to have been raised too much at the top
funds should be rigged even more. that is not what obama wants. host: we understand protesters were yesterday at the iowa democratic party offices demonstrating. they said that the president received more campaign dollars from corporations than any other candidate, in their view. i want to play a clip from earlier this week. he has been an organizer 4 occupy des moines. he says that he's been disappointed with the party. >> the democratic party has left me. it is not a party that i once thought represented people's values. it is a huge disappointment. president obama, who i supported, is a big disappointment. i feel homeless when it comes to major party affiliation. guest: i think there's plenty of
reasons for americans in the toughest economic catastrophe since the great depression to feel worried, troubled, disappointed. there's nothing surprising about that. i think all of us would like the situation to be better. but the real question is who is on your side. there is no question about what the answer is. you saw that in the past month in washington. the president has been fighting like crazy to make sure that we stood up for the middle class. the republicans, the extreme wing of the republican party, fighting like crazy to prevent a tax cut for the middle class because they wanted to have tax breaks for those at the top end, because they did not want more oversight on wall street. if a person from an occupy movement has that question, stop and think, what is the debate going on in this country? it is about the tax code that i spoke about with the president siding with the middle class and it's about the idea that if an
economist collapses in part because of a lack of regulation, then we should certainly have regulation if over industries that were gaming the system. the republican party is fighting that. if you are watching as a voter, attach yourself -- if you don't want to attach yourself to a political party, that is your business. but it has never been more clear that democrats in this country are fighting for those who have the values of having things to be fair. the 99% slogan is a good and important one, but it is a value system that is demhas characterized the democratic party and for many years. host: we have maybe 20 minutes or so with our guest, the mayor of minneapolis, r.t. ryback, the number two official at the dnc. caucus night is this coming tuesday. our guest is from des moines. our next caller is susan from north richland hills, texas,
democrat. caller: i agree with everything your guest is saying, everything. what i found totally fascinating with truck presley, he has a personal worth of over $6 million, did not understand the question from the man talking about jobs. -- chuck grassley. it blew my mind. host: let's hear from a republican from nevada. don. caller: good morning. let me preface my question first. i am a naturalized immigrant and a veteran. this morning on the news i heard that the justice department's set up a hotline for illegals to make sure their rights are not trampled on and or if they have issues. i know that the obama administration specifically the justice department has been suing quite a few states that
are inundated with illegals and would like to have some kind of i.d. card. my question to you is, excepis t the policy of the democratic party to facilitate illegals? if so, will you facilitate all illegals come around a world or is it just a temporary policy? guest: i probably and will not be the expert on immigration ffor the long term. the number-one focus of the obama in administration is to secure the border it and we have to make up for mistakes made over many years of immigration in this country. the most realistic strategy if it is not to have buses lining up from the canadian border to mexico to return everyone. we have to figure out some strategy. there's no magic bullets. what the obama administration is about is making sure that we
continue to have fairness and the country. how that is done is it goes way beyond the skills and a of a mayor in the middle of the country. but what i do know is that we have a country that is powered by immigration. my city has immigrants from all over the world and they are part of an incredible economic renaissance that is taking place. you are an immigrant who fought bravely for our country and we thank you for that. it is important for us to get away from the hot-button issues in immigration and recognize that the country of the statue of liberty we have those values. i believe we are on the right path. host: with all the gop talk, there are democratic caucus gatherings happening this coming tuesday. what is the decency role and how will president obama be fitting
himself into the picture on tuesday night? guest: president obama will be coming via videoconference to all those caucuses. we did a trial run last night, so the president will be talking to all the people in all those different caucuses. i think it is a reflection of the fact that the president never stopped being a grass- roots organizer. certainly in iowa and all around the country. his values are to get into communities and really understand them. that is how he got elected. if that is why these caucuses will be really important. we will not have the same turnout as four years ago. that is often driven by people that want to be part of a contested race and thankfully we will not have one of those. but we will have people using this as an organizing strategy. they will hear from the president and hear a little about some of the work we are doing on the ground. if we are very organized in this
state. we have more offices even in this highly contested the republican primary. what is really cool is when you go to some of the different towns in iowa, i was in sioux city a couple weeks ago and went into an office, a quiet office where people may call after call after call everyday because they believe in the president, because they know how important the issues are in this country, they don't get a lot of fanfare if, they don't see big tv trucks interviewing them, they are just doing their work. it is really moving to see that. how many people are so committed to the idea that we are beginning to move in the right direction, but we have to continue that. we cannot slide back to the past, which is what the republicans are saying. the good news is when you turn on the television in iowa and you hear the most extreme right- wing adds, they