Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  April 23, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

12:00 pm
buy catastrophic insurance. it. the state. since they did not do that i think that illustrates from a policy and plausibility perspective that is not what this, kate -- guard the door because they will have the power whatever circumstances where they can cobble together some equally implausible rationale. what did you think about the arguments with respect to the states being coerced into the medicaid portion and how did that go on the last day? >> i was representing the private responded so well i had an academic interest in the medicaid stuff. it was purely academic.
12:01 pm
the dilemma in all of this is as the federal government becomes more and more involved in things we think of as traditional state regulation, most obviously health care and the like, the states do become dependent on the federal government. there is a case that says, look, you can condition federal moneys on the state's doing things. technically you're not forcing them to doing it. you are offering them -- making them an offer they cannot refuse, like the godfather. they argue for the states that, look, if this is not coercion, then what can be? we are literally talking about hundreds of billions of dollars and not participating in this program would create horrific budget problems for the state. i do not know how to handicap that. i did not try to because that was paul's argument, not mine. the argument went well and
12:02 pm
people were asking a lot of questions. the solicitor general seemed worried about it because it was during that occasion he made what i think everybody viewed as a jury summation speech with the supreme court talking about how many to be able to pay for their wives' breast cancer and people on dialysis machines as if the issue in front of the corps was whether the winter of the sick people out on the streets or adhere to what they were doing. even the more liberal justices were sitting there with their mouths open saying, where is this coming from. i do not know if that tells you one thing or the other about the medicaid argument. it was an odd moment during the argument. >> without asking you to engage in crassly go realism, what are your thoughts of the president setting up the supreme court as a foil and his state of the union address several years ago as well as his post argument comments. >> look, there is an obvious distinction between citizens
12:03 pm
united and this. had already written citizens united. if you're going to yell at these guys i would not do it while they are writing the opinion. there is always the chance they might be changing their mind. it was a relatively odd thing for a president to do. i was sitting there going, keep talking. i think at the end of the day can only help us. at the end of the day was kind of silly. as if this is going to have -- i do not think it will have any affect. i think it will be negative. we really do not need -- we have heard your briefs, we do not need you lecturing us in public, particularly when it was wrongly decided. >> [unintelligible]
12:04 pm
somebody in your office referred to the goldwater institute that was writing a brief on states the past of carefree the max. i want to thank you on your guidance on that. since the 10th amendment is an important piece of the puzzle because like any statutory or contractual construction the have to read the four corners of the document. if you're asking yourself what are the limits on congress's power under the commerce clause or the necessary and proper clause, the 10th amendment has to be read into that. it is my understanding there is not a real understanding that the 10th amendment will be a big part of the court's reasoning on this. is there any comment you to make on this? >> in one way saying the 10th the met will not enter into it
12:05 pm
is not criticism of the 10th amendment. the 10th amendment says that every power not given to the federal government, i.e. the commerce clause, is reserved to the states and the people respectively. in my optimistic days i do not think it will get to the 10th amendment because they will say this power was never granted to them so we do not need to get to the 10th amendment. it does come in this way. if the justices think that maybe in some circumstances we could require something that regulating non market participants, there is the necessary and proper clause. as justice scalia emphasized, it says necessary and proper. even if we thought regulating non market participants in some ways were ok, surely compelling them to transfer their property would be analogous to compelling in this case state government employees to enforce federal law.
12:06 pm
it might be ok, but is not proper because you have never used the historical and it really doesn't see the kind of powers that we had been -- that had gone to the federal government. the government was the response was, that is when you are taking care of states. that is a problem when you are commandeering states. we said, commandeering citizens is exactly on the same constitutional footing. the 10th amendment is as i said reserves the powers to the states and the peoples of the deprivations of individual liberty are just as problematic as interferences with state autonomy. >> [unintelligible] >> the question is, why would my opinion look like if i was writing something in favor of the law. it would be an extraordinarily
12:07 pm
short opinion. you know, it is not lock, it is not limiting principle. i guess it would -- people are really sick. we have to do something. these damn states cannot take care of sick people so let's ignore the competition -- constitution. usually they are not that candid. there are no legal arguments in support of obamacare. that is why a it is not a coincidence that congress for 230 years has never tried this before. they have had millions of opportunities with all kinds of presidents, nobody required you to buy war bonds during world war ii and that is because it was literally unthinkable that in a nation postulated on the principle that the people are
12:08 pm
sovereign to the government, that the government can commandeer the people to do something and they are merely required to salute and say, yes, sir, particularly when it is the federal government which by definition had its power is limited and enumerated precisely because they could not engage in this tyrannical police power. that was the odd thing about this entire debate from the solicitor general perspective. he kept saying, look, the way they acted as a much more efficient way of getting money into the insurance company's coffers than if we had followed this commerce clause thing and condition access to health care providers and then made you buy insurance. i was like, yes. that is exactly right. i cannot conceive of a system more badly equipped to force cedras and a to give the property to citizen be that the
12:09 pm
system the framers came up with. -- system a the what the framers came up with. they wanted to make it impossible. it is not reflect a flaw in our reasoning. it reflects only the fact that the paradigm example of what the framers were trying to deny the federal government was wealth transfers among the citizenry and that is why they did not give them the power. you can use that as my dissenting opinion. if i just wowed you with my eloquence? there is no further questions? with that, thank you very much. enjoy the rest of the day. [applause] >> thank you. what a great way to end the day. i want to remind everybody
12:10 pm
about the election law seminar tomorrow. it is not here. 2001 k street. of people are not coming tomorrow they need to turn their forms into ashley carter before they leave today. those coming should keep them and turn them into our. before we adjourn to the reception i want to recognize david warrington who is here on behalf of attorneys for ron paul to read somewhere? [applause] chris landow here on behalf of lawyers for romney. [applause] one of the three cochairs of the romney justice advisory panel. [applause] associate general counsel of mitt romney for president. [applause]
12:11 pm
with that, i want to thank -- i am sorry. >> [unintelligible] >> there you go. tune in on fox this weekend on the voter i.d. issues. with that, i want to thank everybody for coming. i want to thank the gentleman who lent me his iphone charger. we will see you out in the foyer for the lawyers for romney session. thank you. [applause]
12:12 pm
>> coming up live this afternoon on c-span, a conversation with former vice president, dick cheney. if he is the featured guest at a washington center event. again, live coverage starts at 1:00 p.m. eastern here on c- span. right now, a discussion on the history of u.s. forensic errors and the federal government's response from the washington journal. host: our guest right now spencer hsu, invested reporter for "the washington post." first, the program. here's a talk about the series you have been putting out dealing with u.s. forensic errors. big topic here. lots of copy in recent weeks. here's just one of the headlines.
12:13 pm
"forensic science not as reliable as you may think." tell us more. guest: for many years the nation's science establishment has had more and more skepticism about forensic science. in the journal of science there was an editorial several years ago saying that a forensic science was an oxymoron, which was crystallized in 2009, when a panel chartered by congress put out a 300 page report about this. they reached the conclusion that the greatest question for the courts is how much science is in forensic science. specifically they talked about disciplines. not like a laboratory disciplines that people think of, like chemistry or blood, but
12:14 pm
these subjective pattern-based analogies, fingerprints, marks made by firing pins of guns on bullets, hair, fiber, bite marks, that these were sort of sciences developed by law enforcement, for law enforcement, but they did not have scientific studies on how common matches were. like something developed for medical applications, sometimes it was brought down to experts saying that based on their subjective analysis for a number of characteristics, there it is. host: let's take this to the legal area. one of the other for room -- headlines in the post was about how the defendants were unaware in these cases. host: -- guest: we dealt with hair and fiber analysis, spanning many years, since the 1950's, the cases we were looking at went back to the 1970's and 1980's. what we found was that in cases
12:15 pm
where clear errors were alleged, or specific agents were identified for misconduct, the justice department and the fbi would review those cases as one agent. but they never told the majority of the men -- there were so concerned that they completed an independent scientific review, but word never reached half of those defendants, including a man in the district, who served 28 years for a rape and murder the dna showed he did not come -- did not commit. he was finally released in 2009 when he could have been released 12 years earlier. the second part is those identified by a task force. these are the 250 cases from 1996 through 2005. they were finding these errors, even with mounting concerns that other agents were
12:16 pm
conducting their business in the lab and the court room the same way. issues with overstated testimony, testimony exaggerating the significance of a match. one in 10,000 chases between one in 10 million chances. the odds of someone having the same hair looking alike, they do not know, because they have never done the work on it. furthermore, they have implemented dna testing as a backup or confirming test. they knew enough to change their testing standards to a dna standard. they waited six more years to determine the error rate and found that it was 11% under the best of circumstances, meaning the agents under the best controlled circumstances, they found it surprising, because it
12:17 pm
was not with the random public, it was the individuals where there was already evidence about probable cause. host: our phone number is on the bottom of the screen for our viewers. this is a two-part series recently on u.s. forensic errors. the investigative reporter is with us, spencer hsu, of "the washington post." their web site is where you can read this lengthy and interesting piece. as we get more detail from spencer hsu about what they have been reading about, we look forward to hearing from you. we talk about science, the courts. guest: so, to pick up where we left off, this was an example of the man whose case was
12:18 pm
handled by the fbi. he was a different agent. it turned out that in 1978 there was a murder of a taxicab driver. he and a friend were identified as suspects. the case was shaky. basically, the childhood friend turned out to be a police informant. the same police had believed that there were murders of taxicab drivers being committed by the same caliber of weapon. other than that, they had a reported confession to the informant that did not jive with the facts of the case, but it was one block from where you shot. the agent said that this was a match.
12:19 pm
in court he said it was highly unlikely that it was anyone else's. in other cases, examining it only one in 4000 times, for all the thing you it was one out of 10 million chances. the jury deliberated for two hours and ask one question. the judge said that this was the one that contained his hair. a couple of years ago, they learned of the other exoneration. they were able to get the hair tested. none of the 13 were his for the co-defendants. one of the hairs was a dog's
12:20 pm
hair. meaning that the fbi could not determine dog from human error. the defense attorney said the the odds were zero. the errors that the agent made were fairly typical of those that scientists may. host: your reporting has been done. reaction out there? what kind of reaction has been presented? legislatively, what might be happening in the future? guest: each one of these agents, there 10 in the fbi laboratory. doing the math, that were cut to tens of thousands of
12:21 pm
examinations per year -- that could work out to tens of thousands of insemination spree year. you're looking potentially at the universe of 100,000 examinations and tens of thousands of potential cases, hundreds, if not thousands of convictions that rely and this method. the district of columbia had decided that the results were strong enough to commission a review in the nation's capital, relying of hair testing for conviction. the fbi is assisting with the innocence project. question now as if to should be a review in the district of columbia.
12:22 pm
folks who are calling for the review include the public defender's of criminal the set -- defense lawyers and people think -- seeking post- conviction dna testing. the justice department says that they are reviewing it. right now we have not heard an articulated reason as to why. there were these other cases with a third man. host: we want to get the viewers involved in a conversation. california, cathy, thank you for waiting. your question or comment? caller: i am aware of this report and i certainly will go
12:23 pm
-- . i really appreciate your presenting this. i have been very interested in the innocence project. i am wondering if there is anything at all that the average person like myself can do to further the efforts of the innocence project, or this report on forensics. thank you. guest: i am sure that folks can get information on the innocence project online. i think that some of the areas that are up for debate that you might see -- you were from california? california has engaged their state legislature and law- enforcement. the american bar association opposed model ethics rules. prosecutors having to turn over potentially exculpatory information, those rules are
12:24 pm
murky. the american bar association has proposed stronger ethics rules from any time the may know of that information. three states have adopted this. another information would be california, because it is a state level commission with a freestanding independent expert agency that is available that would subtract in these situations. researching potential issues, highlighting when they come to bear. others the you can consult with our, keeping in mind the active discussion right now, with state bar association's, opening their case file, should laboratories have to file
12:25 pm
reports? finally, there is something like a final review by entities like the national academy of science. science is such a specific issue for these lawyers and journalists, they have a hard time understanding what a match means. one in 1000, 10 thousand, 1 million? this may all sound alike, but to a scientist and, ultimately, for a suspect, such evidence is used and can be critical in definition. host: independent caller, hello. caller: i have a comment and a question. in a lot of these cases, where
12:26 pm
people are falsely imprisoned and then released, they're not really care and anything as far as compensation. you can say that they're getting their freedom now, but these people who have been locked up for a decade, three decades, the have pretty much lost their ability to have any kind of american dream. faced of your expertise in this subject matter, do you think it is feasible, or what sort of practical plan could you come up with, based on your knowledge, that would really stop this sort of thing from happening? feels like as far as us having the highest prison population of all the industrialized lent -- nations, how many people are imprisoned falsely? that is my question. thank you. guest: you raise a lot of good points. let me try to respond.
12:27 pm
i and our example case, he served 28 of the next 33 years in prison. he was in ninth grade dropout with no work history. the convicted felon of a murder. you can imagine a difficult time of having a job, it is hard for anyone to get a job right now. practically? yes, depending of the ruling of the court, with proof from a clear and convincing standard, he could seek damages from the government. how practical that is, obviously it would not matter for his children.
12:28 pm
part of the toll was that his parents died and his sister passed away without ever knowing consequence of this case. as you point out, it is more likely that they will compensate people with reduced conviction in the first place. the error rate, while another the -- not inevitable, they have the lead is extremely low. then there is the same, rather 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man convicted. what is most concerned is that there has never been a test for a forensic evidence. it cannot be proven wrong, until dna. there have been dna examinations
12:29 pm
since 1989. rates and murders, the filing material for genetics, it comes from a universe of capital and where they were cowed a wrongful conviction -- where they work out a wrongful conviction, wrongful conviction is an illegal action. next step, anyone who looked at criminal convictions and 1983 to 1988, there is biological evidence in the final period the governor of virginia ordered a review of these cases and, of them, they found all the cases in which they were able to
12:30 pm
determine genetic profile. 16% of these profiles did not match, they excluded defendants and suspects. there may be other factors in their. this is another set of numbers that says if you include all of these, for one of a reason, it dropped 5%. whether it is 5% or 16%, it is far higher than anyone believed. host: we have some questions coming in over the twitter for our guest, spencer hsu. guest: we have not done enough research to be able to answer that.
12:31 pm
we know that the incarceration rate of minorities, as are the number of crimes committed, we know the area of discipline that we looked at, hair and fiber with different racial characteristics. the hair of an asian might be harder to distinguish, with fewer features. likewise, brunette -- brunette hair. there is a lot of pigmentation where it cannot be divined and know that one of the issues we found in the lab reports of the defense that we look at, there was no set number of the match in the air. some said 15, or 20. in other words, the of the but
12:32 pm
it you could verify this was to have another examiner look at it. we could not tell from the notes. the same examiner might come up with -- different examiners might use different terms for the same hair. it is a very subjective, and the process of we're talking about. when describing the hair of the defendant, they usually use only three or four characteristics. black, ethnic origin, and it is
12:33 pm
a broad range. people wearing their hair in a short, close cropped way, that is not a very distinguishing feature. host: adam, good morning. he wore on with spencer hsu. -- you are on with spencer hsu. caller: the governor of texas executed a man a few years back with a suspected had burned his house down with his three children in it. now they believe the man may have been innocent. a panel was convened and quickly dismissed by the governor. thank you for your time, but we do not need you. these things are just swept under the rug. are you familiar with this case? thank you for c-span.
12:34 pm
host: he may be referring to the case of kevin todd. i am not an expert. i have heard the accounts of it. the one that i thought was the most revealing was the new yorker magazine article a couple of years ago. what is striking about this case is that critics of the death penalty have looked at this case as a possible example where a person who may have been innocent was executed, but that hasn't happened, because as the column mentioned, there was a panel that stop short of the final conclusion. from my interests, again, it has to do with forensic science. there was a quotation in the new yorker that had one of the
12:35 pm
leading experts in the nation saying that it is better than which hunting. in other words, if she thinks she is innocent, it must be the way. arsonists have been examples for decades. handed down from older to the less experienced. what has happened over the last 20 years is that government agencies and the commerce apartment have started to to test earnings under controlled circumstances where they found that much of what was considered to be telltale evidence of arson happened in many different circumstances. like where the glass shatters and micro-fractures. a fireman's hose of water coming on to a window, window breaking leading to thermal
12:36 pm
ventilation, things that everyone had thought were caused by excellence. behavioral people, possibly started misfires, with fewer miss attributed work experience. host: why is that? what is the reaction to that? guest: there are two sets. in the mid-1990's, there was an allegation of misconduct at the fbi lab stealing with high- profile investigations.
12:37 pm
even the o.j. simpson murder investigation. agents were faulted for lack of qualification and bias, potentially influence in these prosecutions. the laboratory had to start a wholesale reorder in the documentation. including their certification requirements, approving the level of the scientific training. as far as the inspector general report, it triggered a review by the department of homeland security on all their work and potential information that should be turned over. according to that review, they
12:38 pm
set out to review 7000 cases with material and evidence that was critical yet problematic. the reason they were not notified was the legal position that needed to be turned over. whether it was legally actionable, whether a bill in the category of bad things happening in the world, they could not answer. short of a prosecutorial acting out of malice, the best thing you can do is to notify people now.
12:39 pm
the second was that almost all the cases we look? had many other examiners who, because they lacked the rules of protocol, the note taking practices were the same. the lab was not tracking the testimony. we have seen multiple examples including the two other d.c. agencies given the same misleading testimony, statistics and numbers from their personal experience that were not backed by any scientific research. ultimately, there was an error rate that they had researched by comparing it with the dna test results that leads us to think that the potential affected cases reached in the thousands. the reason the department had
12:40 pm
not looked for it is the inspector general report and no one else had supposedly put two and two together. i think another reason is, legally, they had not had to. you always wanted to get to a closer version of the truth. the law, for various reasons, is based on precedent. it was good enough then, it is good enough for the court. that is a practical matter so you do not get people in with small claims that do not have merit. the science proves that the culture is at odds with the legal culture and have a different value. given how rapidly science advances and given how there are no tools that can be used to answer these questions once and for all and the cost of incarcerating someone wrongly
12:41 pm
over the years -- would it not be economically feasible as well in the interest of justice to do a review and commission these tests? host: fabio from manhattan. democrat. hello. caller: i have a question for you. i know you are mainly focused on dna evidence, but what about those cases that do not have dna evidence? i'm talking about the case of my son which is close to me. my son was tried, found guilty and we went through appeals twice because it was considered double jeopardy. both appeals was the double jeopardy appeal, we won. the prosecutor then took it to the supreme court. this is a case going on in connecticut. when he took it to the supreme
12:42 pm
court and the rest of appeal, they overturned the appellate decision. then we won with a double jeopardy and brought it again to the supreme court in connecticut in which, to paraphrase, they agreed to double jeopardy, of but two justices wanted to hear the case in that is why they did. after that, they're going to lead it stand that it agrees is double jeopardy but because the direct appeal they overturned which is basically a bureaucracy going on. host: do you have a question for our guest? caller: i have tried to go to reporters and everyone tells me they are not interested because this is not anything that is new.
12:43 pm
guest: i'm sorry about that situation. it will be hard for me as an outsider not familiar with the case to be able to respond to the specifics. something you started with it is, if there is not dna, that is the game changer here. it is the rise in a specific technology or test that actually is a scientifically proven to be able to determine if a person contributed a particular piece of evidence. i think the other peace to keep in mind is, absent that test, it's very hard to disprove a negative. in the law of defense, it has evolved to handle this over hundreds of years in these kinds of situations. it is the best we have. however, a person who headed the national academy of sciences panel in 2009, the co-
12:44 pm
chairman was the judge for circuit court of appeals, the second most influential circuit in the country. his point was that the adversarial system we rely on to work out these disputes that your son is involved in is ill- equipped to deal with scientific disputes. lawyers may not have the scientific training. judges often rely on these cases as they happen and they cannot often refer to scientific manuals. the technology and science are evolving to such a point that is difficult for even experts to keep up with the latest. the adversarial legal system cannot do this alone. they need higher standards for
12:45 pm
labs and examiners, standard and control our testimony is processed and how the jury hears information and, most of all, have a commitment to the overall system. host: russell, independent, in florida. good morning. caller: i am involved in a veteran research program and they want to take blood for dna research and they cannot 100% guaranteed that it will not be shared with other federal agencies or the public sector which, pretty much, begs the question that if the informations is available in such a tight steady in the government, is that dna available in the private sector to anyone? it seems to me that the dna being taken, whether it be for the va or your private
12:46 pm
physician should be sacred sites and not available for scrutiny by the private sector or the federal government. host: a privacy concern there. guest: i am not aware of this, but that sounds like it is really on the cutting edge. it sounds like you have hit the nail on the head as far as i have had to the question which is the collection of biometric datum in general, fingerprints, i scans, dna -- eye scans, dna, is a priority and is rapidly growing. with the questions i'm sure that the defense bar association has it is -- what are the rules? how do you apply the tool or the technology? who can apply and under what circumstances? do you only collect for particular universe is? can you only convict from people who are convicted or
12:47 pm
accused of a crime? does that create a supposition or tilt the field when it is used later? and you are collecting on everybody else, are there any privacy safeguards, or are there adequate safeguards? i remember several years ago in the department of a man security, secretary michael chertoff said he was not sure people should limit data collection to people in the justice system. but someone in a private scenario wants to know where i have been it, they can take a saliva's wall off of a glass sample -- a saliva swab or what have you.
12:48 pm
host: if you want to read more, there is a chart here along with spencer hsu's reporting. how accurate is the analysis? dna, handwriting, hair and fiber. it goes on and on. except for dna, known that it has been able to accurately link evidence to a person or a single source. mr. hsu, ky about broadening this inquiry to of the parts of the country. do you see a legislative response in washington to wall of this? >> senator pat leahy of vermont has legislation undergoing revision that would attempt revisions of the 2009 report. senator jay rockefeller is also interested in the issue and has
12:49 pm
tried to carve out space for scientific agencies to set standards for law enforcement. the top scientific adviser for president obama has set up a process to see what policy steps could be taken administratively without the need for legislation. i think the progress for legislation is slim because it is an election year. budgets are tight at every level. you could set up an office independent from the fbi to take over research. each of these practice groups, so to speak, have panels of experts to set standards.
12:50 pm
for a long time coming practitioners set the standards. the people conducting the operations were also is setting best practices. that is great if they want to convict you. you may want a second opinion. there is some discussion about whether agencies like the national center for technology, a commerce department agency, should be involved. but there the agency that investigated arson and fire. i guess, also, i did not want to the people with the impression -- it looked it. these have worked for a long time. -- look. these have worked. just because they have not been validated does not mean that they do not work well. even with hair, error rates about 11%, and hand writing it
12:51 pm
may even be much smaller, 2%-3% when you are not trying to fake their writing. fingerprinting it may be even higher. it is a rare example. before dna, it was the gold standard. they call dna genetic fingerprinting. the fbi has long testified they have a 0% error. in 2004, it was the first time someone convicted with fingerprint evidence was exonerate it. the fbi first publically -- publicly apologized for the train bombing in madrid. they thought they found his
12:52 pm
fingerprint on a bag of detonators in madrid, but they were completely wrong and had to apologize. this shows the fingerprint identification process is highly subjective. three drug reviewers reached the conclusion that his fingerprint was on the bad. even if it fingerprint turns out to be correct 90% of the time, it has never been steady. both sides are saying we should start with the fingerprinting. there's nothing to worry about, but because this is the best known discipline, other disciplines are likely to be weaker. let's move on from that to the others. host: last call, charlotte on the republican line from pennsylvania. caller: i was wondering if he
12:53 pm
did speak to was a little bit about the current status of the federal judge's serving under maritime law and how they are not down to uphold their constitutional rights. how can the citizens protect our constitutional rights and be heard by constitutional lawyers as opposed to maritime judges? host: you can try to tackle that one or wrap up the reporting on forensic errors. guest: i'm not familiar with that issue. i would say the conclusion with the forensic errors is not to challenge it the hard working scientists that have been working on this for a long time nor the men and women who have been using these tools to keep the public's faith and the prosecutor criminals. -- keep the public safe and prosecute criminals. what is the best way to
12:54 pm
incorporate it advancing science in the legal system? can it be used to improve? host: you can read more on and reported by spencer hsu in april 17th and 18th. thank you for joining us this morning, mr. hsu. next, the topic of the federal >> the private sector relief feels that. always, we had some vision of where we were going. if ever we needed that, it is right now, when we have this imposing opportunity creating infrastructure and the 21st century. >> tonight, michael on
12:55 pm
legislation to reform the fcc, consolidation, and the state of the media, at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators." >> charles colson, who pled guilty and went to prison for his role in the watergate cover- up and later became an evangelicals print -- preacher died this weekend at age 80. he talked with the white house taping system in 2007. >> he had the right, although the abuse did, toboggan the office without somebody announce them. kissinger could just walked in when he wanted to. he told and not because of the severity of the foreign policy issues, to feel free and interrupt anything. well, he would do for trivial things. one day, nixon was really ticked off at henry for a variety of things.
12:56 pm
we were in the executive office building. when i looked, it was henry. nixon did not appear to look, but i know he knew it was henry. he said, i think you're right chalk, about that, i think we should use nuclear weapons. can't kissinger stood in the doorway, absolutely paris -- absolute paralyzed. colson did bring up the dark side nixon, everything they say is true. it was humor. nixon loved it. >> hear more about his political career, watergate, and his work on prison reform online at the c-span video library. with a quarter-century of politics and public affairs, available on your computer, any time. >> one of the things that i always remembered, because my
12:57 pm
office overlooks the building in the plaza, was there was a day care center. some of the children were killed and others injured. but during the recess period, there would always come play. you would hear their voices. that left a lasting impression, of course, when they were silenced. my son, a dear friend of his in high school, she had just graduated and was working in the social security office. her father was a good friend of mine. when i got home that morning, i had three different messages. first of all, what is the we could find out about his daughter. secondly, it did not look good. the third message, was when he was crying. >> watch our local content vehicles next stop, exploring the history and literary culture of oklahoma city was special bearings the weekend of may 5 booktv.h on c-span's
12:58 pm
live now to a conversation with former vice president dick cheney. his first interview in washington since his heart transplant about one month ago. [applause] >> thank you, everyone. welcome to the spring semester internship program here in the lincoln auditorium at the washington center. 25 years ago, a four-term congressman from wyoming spoke to a group just like you. we're very honored to have him back with us today. to introduce him is his good friend, another congressman and cabinet level secretary, the hon. norman mineta. [applause]
12:59 pm
>> thank you very much. it really does give me a great deal of pleasure and honor for me to have this opportunity to introduce our next speaker, the alan k. simpson norman mineta series of events here at the washington center and academic seminars. as all of you know, the washington center was founded in 1975 and has been the recognized leader in providing transformational experience for over 50,000 students through internships and special academic seminars. almost two years ago, my very, very good friend of 70 years, former republican senator alan
1:00 pm
k. simpson of wyoming, and in a former democrat, member of congress, agreed to agreed to lend our names to this series in order to present to washington center students distinguished individuals who have exemplified not only the high honor of public service, but the ability to engage in the statesmanship that this country and the whole world so desperately needs in these very challenging times. this is a forum -- excuse me, for intelligent discussion on important issues of the day that transcend party affiliation and
1:01 pm
encourages the bipartisan solutions. now, i was just completing a stint as the secretary of commerce in the clinton administration when i was asked by president-elect bush and vice pres.-elect cheney to join in their administration in an act of bipartisanship to service their secretary of transportation, so i know a little bit about partisanship. vice president cheney and i had a very special relationship, one that was cemented on that fateful, tragic day of september 11, 2001, during which i gave the first order in american history to ground all aviation in the united states.
1:02 pm
i was with vice president cheney in the presidential emergency operations center, a day that i am sure neither one of us will ever forget. dick cheney has served his country with distinction as white house chief of staff, a six-term member of congress from ye omi, secretary of defense, and then as vice president. this represents a lifetime of public service, and we're grateful to him for honoring his commitment to speak here after what has been, thankfully, a speedy recovery from his heart transplant surgery. so please welcome steven scully
1:03 pm
from c-span and my very good friend, former vice president of the united states of america dick cheney. [applause] >> mr. vice president, one change to the program. [inaudible] thank you very much for being with us. it has spent the months since your surgery. the obvious question is, how are you feeling? >> well, i am barrett -- feeling very well. very fortunate. i have been through living with coronary artery disease since i was 37, back in 1978. but gradually, over time, as is predictable in those cases, i eventually had five heart attacks and heart failure and so
1:04 pm
forth. so i got in line for a transplant, and i got that transplant just four weeks ago yesterday. and i feel a lot of emotion that goes with that, frankly. one is great gratitude to the individual who donated, the family who donated the heart that i was privileged to receive. the fact that i am no longer carrying around about 10 pounds of batteries, which is what i operated on for two years -- i had a heart pump installed on my heart to supplement it. it had batteries and control elements and so forth that i wore 24/7. i do not have to do that anymore. i am not wired to the wall or wired to anything else. i am back to having a strong, healthy heart and some great doctors and nurses who took good
1:05 pm
care of me. and i feel better in terms of my overall health than i have in a long time. >> walks through a month ago or a month and a day ago when you got the phone call -- who called you a question are -- who called you? what was your immediate reaction? what happened next? >> roughly two years ago, i was at end-stage heart failure. there was not enough blood to serve my vital organs, my liver, kidneys, and so forth. that is when we installed the lvat. that was in july of 2010. at the same time, i applied to go on the waiting list for an actual transplants. the device that was installed was designed and has been used for the past few years to use it
1:06 pm
on people who have a need for a transplant, but one of the problems we have is we do not have enough organs to transplant. this buys you time, so i was able to live with that for about 20 months. meantime, you work your way up the list with respect to being eligible for a transplant. and you have to go through lot of tests. there are a lot of things involved in deciding whether or not you are a good prospect for a transplant. there are also an awful lot of measurements that need to be taken to make certain that you get matched up playing with the right kind of heart. it involves blood type, the size of the heart relative to your body, and tests for the antibodies that you have. to make certain they get as close as much as possible so that that enhances the prospects of success. on a friday night at about midnight and i got a phone call
1:07 pm
-- i knew i was getting near the top of the list, but it was a matter of finding a heart and having a heart become available that met my requirements. we got a phone call at midnight. we got in the car and drove to the hospital. our home is about 20 minutes from fairfax. i checked in there. at about 7:00 a.m. that morning, they began the operation. it did about five or six hours altogether. i was up and around in two days. they had me off the respirator and out in about nine days. it went amazingly fast. part of it was that by then i had been living with an artificial system with the heart pump, but it had restored my vital organs to where they needed to beat to be able to tolerate that kind of surgery.
1:08 pm
it has gone very well. i would say i was out of the hospital in about nine days, everything has been marvelous ever since. >> what has this, you are what have you learned about the whole organ donor program? >> well, we could talk about that all afternoon. you hear people talk about their health, and a lot of times we overdo it in a sense. but the donor program is enormously important. i carry, for december, my wyoming driver's license and it has a little heart on it indicating i am 8 organ donor. if i had a car accident or something like that, they would know they could harvest my organs. my old heart, obviously, was not so good after 37 years of
1:09 pm
abuse. but when they do the transplant, lots of times they are able to get organs to help several people, not just one. it is not just the heart transplant. lungs may be involved for somebody else or a kidney for somebody else. a number of possibilities. there could be eight to 10 people that benefit when somebody agrees to donate their organs. one of the things you learn and say that i came away with is the kind of gift that is unbelievable. what it makes possible. i'd like to encourage people to participate, obviously, but that is a personal decision for people to make. but we're at a stage where our technology gets better and better all the time, and we do not yet have artificial hearts. we are able to supplement them to some extent, but the ultimate solution for somebody with
1:10 pm
coronary artery disease for over 30 years, as i had, is ultimately in transplant. and that is what i have been very, very fortunate to receive. >> let's talk about the book and then we will get to the students. you outline how you started out as a graduate student at the university of wisconsin. you never got your ph.d. but ended up at the white house desk. how did that happen? >> well, i had a somewhat spotty academic career. you might say. i am sure that has not happened to anybody here. but i was recruited to go to yale when i got out of high school and then -- well, i got kicked out twice. i ended up back in wyoming building power line and transmission line for some years and ultimately decided i needed to get an education. so i went back to school at the
1:11 pm
university of wyoming, and was seriously interested in the young lady i had gone to high school with. was an excellent student in graduated at the top of our class. she was not too sure about where i was headed. but after a year, she agreed to marry me, and we will celebrate our 47th anniversary this year. she was a strong motivator for me to work hard and be a good student. i got my ba and masters at the university of ye omi in the 1960's and then went on to the university of wisconsin where i was working on a doctorate, and i completed the course work for a congressional fellowship, in effect an internship with a stipend. it was a relatively small group, but we will -- we were able to pick a member of congress wanted to work for. i came to washington tuesday 12 months in 1968, and i stayed
1:12 pm
about 40 years. i overran my schedule. but the experience i had, a group of members of congress would come through during the orientation session, and i was very impressed with one young congressman from the north shore of chicago, a man by the name of don rumsfeld. he spoke for the group. i thought i would kind of like to work for him. i went to interview with him. he had me in his office, and he asked me what i was doing. i am explaining how i was studying the way congress voted into doing a ph.d. thesis and so forth and i was going to go back and become a professor. he listened about 10 minutes, stood up, and said this is not going to work. he threw me out. he claims that is not what happened, but i took notes. i remember very well. a couple months later, he was named by president nixon, who was just starting his administration, to run the anti-
1:13 pm
poverty agency in the office of economic opportunity. and i sat down shortly after he was announced and i wrote an unsolicited 12-page memo to him, telling him how he should conduct himself in his confirmation hearings, what he should do with the agency once he took over, and what kinds of policy initiatives he should undertake and so forth. i send it through the man was then working for and did not hear anything about it for a couple of weeks. then i got a phone call asking me to come down to the agency the next day to be part of the transition group to advise rumsfeld. this was the day he was sworn in. i went down. came in. he spoke to the big group and left. he sent a secretary in and she came in and said, is there anybody in here named jeannie? i held my hand up, to me back to his office. he looked at me and said, you,
1:14 pm
york congressional relations. now get out of here. [applause] that is how he hired me. he did not say i liked your memo. he did not say, would you like to work for me, he said, you are congressional relations, get out of here. so i went out, got directions, it took over. >> and you were how old? >> at the time, i was 37 -- no, excuse me, i would have just turned 28. >> a question from ariel. >> i want to thank you first for this opportunity. my question has to do with your book. when writing your book of memoirs, was there in any event or moment it would have done it differently at any regrets in your early years of politics that you wish you would have done? >> things i wish i would have done in political life? >> yes. >> not really. i look back on that -- two
1:15 pm
thoughts stand out. one, i was very fortunate. i had some great opportunities that came my way. but that was, in part, because of people willing to take a chance on me. after a career like mine, it is easy to look back on it and sort of get into the mindset that somehow in turned it all by myself. that is not true. that is almost never true. if you think about it, you're able to advance on what you do in the forward progress in a career because people are willing to help. i can identify john rumsfeld, bill steiger, a congressman from wisconsin, jerry ford who was willing to hire me to work for him. i actually went down in the day he took over to be part of the transition, eventually to become chief of staff, when i was very young. my subsequent career has turned
1:16 pm
on those decisions that other people made when i was here as a young man. i did not expect to stay more than 12 months. but those are the things i think about. in terms of what i would have done with my own career, i did everything i set out to do. and it was obviously very -- varied. had to do a bunch of things. i was glad to be there to work in the aftermath of watergate. and i was finished working for president ford, i went on to wyoming because i decided i wanted to run from congress and that was the place for me to run from. but everything here during the nixon and ford administrations laid the groundwork all the relief for my campaigns, and fortunately i won all of those and then i got to be secretary of defense and vice president.
1:17 pm
you cannot plan it. there is no place you can go to the job fair and say that is the package i want. i was extraordinarily fortunate. it has been, from my standpoint, it has been a wonderful career, and i have loved every minute of it. i am only sour i am not young enough to do it all over again. >> thank you very much. >> let me ask about the 40 years. you're not part of his administration when he pardoned richard nixon. but you said the impact of the pardon would have been lessened if more thought would have been given to how the pardon was announced. said it was the right decision. but in terms of public relations, what you think ford should have done or the people around him? >> rumsfeld and i came in and helped with the transition for about two weeks, i guess. then we both laughed. i went back to the private company i was working at. he went back to nato. we got called back a couple weeks, after the president had
1:18 pm
been there about a month and he decided he needed a new chief of staff. that is the job he gave rumsfeld and the name be his deputy. it was during that couple of weeks' time span between our tours that he issued the pardon for nixon. i thought it was the right thing to do from a standpoint that it was just, in a sense. nixon was resigning under fire, the only president to ever do so. he made a very, very difficult call. and president ford made the decision he did because he thought it was the right thing for the country. put watergate behind us so we can move on and deal with other things. the only problem i saw in that i talk about in the book was the president announced the pardon on a sunday morning on a nationwide television. nobody is up watching a nationwide television on sunday morning unless your, you know, a glutton for punishment and you
1:19 pm
watch "meet the press" or fox on sunday mornings. but in those days, very few people actually saw the broadcast. if you go back and look at those old tapes, you can see the sun streaming into the windows of the oval office. the leaves are in the trees. early in the timber still. it is a beautiful day and a fantastic setting. ford gave a great speech, but nobody heard it. there had not been any effort made to sort of laid the groundwork. you know, maybe, for some, some leaks to the press or maybe bring in congressional leadership and briefed them in advance. so everybody was really surprised by it when it happened. it dropped us about 30 points in the polls. we went from coast to 70% approval rating down to about 40%. it was a burden we carried on the way through the 1976 election. i take it contributed to our defeat.
1:20 pm
but the thing i really loved when i think about it was when president ford died, with a lot of people remembered and we're reminded of was that he had had the courage knowing full well it might well cost and the presidency to make that decision and to stick by it. and he was a remarkable man, and as i look back on it now, i think one of the things that proved that was, in fact, his decision to pardon nixon. >> of westfield state university. >> thank you so much for being here. i want to go back to the beginning a little bit. you start off as an intern in washington, d.c. and work your way up to chief of staff and vice president. the feel that your internship was vital to that process, and what kind of lessons did you learn there that you cannot have learned anywhere else? >> well, i did an internship in the wyoming state senate, but
1:21 pm
they only get 40 days every other year, so it was not like it was an extent, which is why the -- which is by the way the way congress should meet. when i entered that, i was sort of nonpartisan. i was a graduate student. then i work for the government of wisconsin for a year. both of those were with republican state senator and republican governor. out of that, then i got the summons, if you welcome the opportunity to go to washington as a congressional fellow, which was a yearlong proposition and also paid. i had to feed my family. the predominant impact of those experiences -- i really thought i wanted to be a political science professor. i worked hard at that. i had done everything except the dissertation for phd in wisconsin, and it is grade
1:22 pm
school with a very strong department. what i found after had been back here for awhile, based in part of those -- based in part on those early experiences, was i decided i was much more interested in doing it and then i was teaching about it. so when it came time for me, after we lost the 1976 election, i had to go fight the to do. "i really wanted to do was to go run for congress, put my name on the ballot. i was impressed and felt very strongly that if somebody like jerry ford, don rumsfeld, bill steiger could serve in congress -- that was honest work and those are great guys. those experiences really lead to the change in my basic life, and i never did finish the dissertation.
1:23 pm
i never did get my ph.d. i never did go back and teach. there are probably some political adversaries in wyoming who wish i had instead of running for congress, but i got caught up in the political wars. it was fascinating. it was interesting. it was something that fundamentally changed my life. that is how i met norm mineta, back in the 1980's. >> thank you. >> there is a juxtaposition in the book which is emblematic of the american political process. he began the morning of january 20, 1977 in the white house. by midafternoon, you and your family were having lunch in a mcdonald's at andrews air force base. take that metaphor and what that tells you about politics in america. >> well, it was a unique kind of experience to go through.
1:24 pm
i did not know at the time that was ever going to get the chance to go back to the white house or go back to senior levels of government. we lost the election in 1976. jimmy carter was taking over. we had run a transition appeared on january 20, i went up to capitol hill on the president's motorcade and restorer in president carter. then we got in the president wulff helicopter and flew over the city a couple times and then out to andrews air force base. the president of the helicopter and walked over and caught on air force one. it was the first time in as the time i had been working for him, the first time he had been on air force one all by himself without me. and that was a bit disconcerting. as his plane took off, a guy in a trenchcoat came out with the big aluminum suitcase that he laid open on the ground in front of us. i was there with my staff, our
1:25 pm
advanced men, military assistance, and so forth, those who work for me in my capacity as chief of staff. he said, ok, gentlemen, i need everybody's radios. throwed in the aluminum suitcase. then he closed it up and walked off and said, it has been great working with you guys. that was it. we were out of work. my family was there, so we stopped at the mcdonald's across the street from andrews air force base and had a little leisurely lunch. big macs. it was an interesting time. in part, because at that moment i was out of work. i had two young kids. lynn, my wife, was finishing up her ph.d. she got her spirit >> so she finished and you did not? >> she finished and i did not. we had to decide what to do. that is when i made the basic decision that wanted to go back home to wyoming.
1:26 pm
if i was to run for office, that was the place to do it. that was home. in that spring, since school was out, we loaded up the u-haul truck and hauled home to wyoming. that fall, a few months later, the incumbent congressmen announced his retirement and surprised everybody. we thought he was going to run for reelection. but he did not. that was my opening, and i jumped in and won a tough three- way primary and won the general election. less than two years after i left, i was back here as a freshman congressman from wyoming. >> there is a story about you running for reelection and one of your constituents did not know who you are. >> well, that happened on more than one occasion. i am trying to remember which -- >> they said -- >> well, my favorite story was
1:27 pm
-- had to do with a fellow down in torrington, a house painter. this is one of the guys who runs all the time anyway and never wins anything. he actually ran his dog one year. that was an insult, by the way, when he ran at the dog. but i ran into him -- i am trying to remember the exact event, but we were at a big barbecue that came along later in the campaign down in torrington, along the nebraska border. the farm groups route that day. i had a guy come up to me at the barbecue, as i recall, and i was introduced as the dick cheney candidate for congress. he said, are you a democrat? i said, no, sir.
1:28 pm
>he said, are you a lawyer? i said, no purity said, i am voting for you. that is all he wanted to know, if i was a democrat and if i was a lawyer. no offense. >> thank you for being with us. he started as chief of staff in the ford white house and later as vice president with president george w. bush. i was wondering if you could tell us the similarities and differences between those two roles both in the white house, and then how your position as chief of staff held view to be better prepared to serve as the vice-president? >> thank you. >> is a good question. the thing, when you study political science -- when i came away from my years as a student and a scholar, we were always looking for similarities across administrations, trying to identify institutional factors that you can look and see under
1:29 pm
each congress are each presidency, what they had in common. after i was involved doing that for awhile, i changed sort of my attitude in terms of what was significant and concluded that, especially from the standpoint of the white house and the president, that what was really distinctive about the job was it was a different for every president, and it depended a lot upon the time in which they govern it. you usually cannot forecast what it was that they were going to have to deal with. the bush administration, when i ran with then governor buckish, -- but, we were focused on a lot of domestic issues. he had been governor of texas. tax policy, education, and so forth. in eight months into the administration, 9/11 happened. 3000 americans killed by terrorists that morning.
1:30 pm
that fact and our responsibility to defend against any further attacks and so forth, is what dominated the rest of our presidency for the next seven years. that was the prime focus. the other thing that was crucial and vital is a your personal -- the personal characteristics of the individual behind the desk in the oval office, and each one of them is dramatically different. it is very hard to protect how dwight eisenhower might have dealt with the kind of thing we had to deal with, or fdr, who opposite -- obviously had not only world war ii but also the depression to cope with. we were fortunate during some of our times of great crisis to have individuals who could step up and do what needed to be done. but it is interesting. i just finished a book on dewine eisenhower by a met -- and
1:31 pm
dwight eisenhower, a new biography called "eisenhower: war and peace." it covers his life. what i come away with is a much higher regard for president eisenhower then the sort of conventional wisdom that the academic community may see. from time to time, they will list presidents and the historians will rank them in terms of who was the best and so forth. i would have to say that those rankings, there is almost no resemblance at all to my experience in terms of how i look at those individuals. the chief of staff's job, it is very different from being vice president. it is focused very much on what the president needs to have done. he needs to have somebody around him who is going to be there from early in the morning until late at night and do whatever he needs to have done and you can speak with the authority of the president, never to use it,
1:32 pm
never mistake his own position as chief of staff for what the president is doing. you only have one president. he is the guy that runs for office and put his name on the ballot. you're totally expendable as chief of staff. it is very, very important that you function, i think, in a way that emphasizes the staff part of that title. we, from time to time, have had chiefs of staff that did not do that. they spend a lot of time in front of the tv camera. if they saw the ability to be sort of a major public player, putting in a voice to their views in various issues, sometimes even a sort of managing the process to get the policy outcome they want. that is not why you're there. you are there to meet the president. you have to have the confidence to carry out his instructions and to do what he needed to have
1:33 pm
done. the vice president, on the other hand, mayor may not have much to do. it is a very interesting proposition. part of what you do, obviously, is your there in case something happens to the president. beyond that, it is really up to the president and what his relationship is what the vice president in terms of how much you're asked to do and what you get to do. it is really totally in his hands. we have had a lot of vice presidents that nobody remembers, because there were never asked to do anything. in my situation, the first, was offered a chance to be on the list to be considered for the job, i said no. i had a good private sector job and had 25 years in politics, and i did not want to come back to washington. eventually persuaded me that i was the guy who he needed in that post. he but me in charge of the search committee. and some of my friends subsequently said, yes, cheney
1:34 pm
went to work and he searched and searched, and he found himself. that is how he got to be vice -- class president. that is not accurate, but it is a charge. a very different kind of function, you're not in charge of everything -- you're not in charge of anything. you're not in charge of winehouse staff. you're not in charge of troops or civilians. there is a huge difference between cabinet members and a vice president on the one hand and a staff on the other. i love both jobs. there were absolutely fascinating. but they were very, very different. >> why did not work for richard nixon or nelson rockefeller? they did not like the job of vice president, nor did lyndon johnson. , you enjoyed it. al gore said he had a lot of responsibilities. what works and what does not? >> well, the norm has been, i
1:35 pm
guess i was the 46th vice- president, and when you look at the typical pattern, my guess is he may have somebody who is a very diligent student who could name all our vice-president, but i cannot. oftentimes, it has been described in various ways by other politicians or the vice presidents themselves, some were not even allowed to go to cabinet meetings. eisenhower and nixon had a somewhat strained relationship. they did not really know each other before nixon was picked. and it never was a close relationship. a lot of that i think had to do with nixon's own background. he had been the supreme allied commander in europe throughout world war ii. he ran a military-style operation. there really is not a place in
1:36 pm
that for a "vice president." you can add the deputy commander, a chief of staff that runs things on behalf of the supreme allied commander, but that style of operation was very much to delegate a lot of authority down, especially to the cabinet. he did not delegate much of anything to the vice president. then he would focus on the big issues himself. in other cases where i was involved, president bush was -- he spent a lot of time thinking about it. when he asked me to help him find somebody after i said no the first time around, i had the opportunity for several months to hear him talk about what kind of individual he was looking for. what he really wanted was somebody who could be part of the team and heavily involved in policy-making. and that is, in effect, what he offered me. what he said to me after we finished the search and we
1:37 pm
reviewed all the candidates, he turned to me and said, dick, your the solution to my problem. at that point, he basically put the arm on me and a few days later made the decision to sign me on. but it worked well in our case. i got to do an awful lot. part of it was because i happened to have a set of experiences as secretary defense, intelligence committee, and congress, that was very relevant after 9/11. so i was a valuable commodity in that sense. he asked me to spend a lot of time on those kinds of issues. but i became persuaded that, in fact, what he wanted -- she was not worried about a big state. wyoming is the smallest state in terms of population. only three electoral votes. but in 2000, that was the difference between victory and defeat, but that was not
1:38 pm
ordinarily the case. i did not have any special appeal in terms of ethnicity or gender. there are a lot of reasons people talk about hiring vice presidents, but he decided that he wanted me, primarily because of my past experience and i would guess also he consulted with his father, someone whom i had worked for as secretary of defense back in the early 1990's. i think those things came together. >> you make it a point in your book, your code name was back seat as chief of staff. >> right. it was. but i took that as a point of order. secret service gave me that. -- but i took that as a point tookhonor. secret service gave me that. we had a dinner when i left, and they gave me, as a token of affection, the back seat at out
1:39 pm
of an old beat-up junker of a car. it had rats living in it. it was a bad piece of equipment. they presented it to me that i to commemorate my secret service code name. but it was in the sense of keeping your head down, doing everything you could for the president, and trying to stay out of the line of fire, do not become a target, if you will, for the president and other politicians. >> thank you for taking your time to speak with us today. i wanted to know, have you felt that there were times when you stood alone on an important issue, if so, how did you handle that issue or the situation? >> well, there were times when i -- i guess i felt outnumbered. that is easy to do sometimes when you are a republican in the house run by the democrats, for example. but i had the attitude -- as
1:40 pm
opposed i am trying to think about some of the controversies we were involved in. some of the strongest controversy surrounded some of our post 9/11 policies. we had to do a couple of things that i felt were very important. the president made the basic decision and signed off on it. i did not do it by myself. but one was to set up our terrorist surveillance program that lets us collect intelligence on people calling from outside the united states to people inside the united states if we had reason to believe that that call may have come from an al qaeda type. the other was our enhanced interrogation techniques that we applied to a handful of al qaeda terrorists when recaptured them that were controversial. i will not bore you today here with everything, but we were careful to make certain they were illegal and we stayed
1:41 pm
within the limits, but we did -- and they were legal and we stayed within the limits, but we did develop a vital techniques for collecting information from people like khalid shaikh mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11. when we captured him in the spring of 2003, he was not very cooperative in the outset. after he was involved with the enhanced interrogation techniques, waterboarding, he decided that he wanted to cooperate. it ended was then a wealth of in valuable information for us in terms of putting together our program against al qaeda. leon panetta, when he was cia director of at the time he got osama bin laden, said he believed that their ability to get bin laden had been influenced in part by a lot of the intelligence we collected through that means before, and it gradually led to the location of the bin laden when president
1:42 pm
obama and the seals took him out. >> thank you. >> zachary is next, from tennessee. >> mr. vice president, thank you for joining us today. i am from tennessee tech university. what attributes do have as an older professional that you wished you would have had whenever you were a younger professional in washington? >> well, i would almost state it the other way in terms of now that i am and older professional -- [laughter] >> experienced, how about that? >> experience. one of the most valuable experiences that i learned over time that i did not have when i started was i thought when i started that the quality of my contribution was directly related to how many hours a day i put it into my desk, and the longer i stayed in the harder i work, the more i was
1:43 pm
contributing. that was sort of my mind set. that was not true. what i did not understand until later was there was such a thing as quality. and it was important not just to be at your desk, you know, sending memos out and responding. you have to do all that sort of thing. but it is much better to be organized in a way that helped. have staff working for you in getting them to focus on the things and give them guidance, and focus on the big issues yourself. but also to pace yourself. to take that time to occasionally grab a day with the family, seven days a week. sometimes it is necessary. but there could be a crisis. it will wear you down. i also made the mistake of smoking two or three packs a day when i was younger. the last one i had was when they wheeled me into the emergency
1:44 pm
room with my first heart attack, but that came only about two years after i left the white house. and there is something to be said for the notion that the way i lived during the first cycle in government, if you will, drinking a lot of black coffee, smoking cigarettes, not getting much sleep or exercise, and to some extent i brought it on myself because i did not take care of myself. what i learned over the years since is that there is such a thing as quality, and sometimes less is more. it is very important if you're going to make a career out of it, as i have, and pursue it over a long time, you need to develop that capacity. know what is important and less important and be able to focus on the big things and do not sweat the small stuff. >> thank you. >> in your book, this is the conclusion, but it might be a question on the state of politics. is that our political battles
1:45 pm
are messy, shrill, and sometimes cruel. yet, for all of that, you say the system has a way of producing courageous and compassionate action when it is needed the most. in terms of what you're seeing today in congress in american politics, what are your thoughts? >> well, i am still looking for it in this cycle. i think about it in terms of -- when i am asked today lots of times, people will say is this the worst time in american politics, the worst time when the rhetoric is more harsh and the relationships are more strained and people are nastier to one another? but then, you know, i think back and i think, let's see, when i came to washington in the summer of 1968, martin luther king had just been assassinated. bobby kennedy had just been assassinated. the cities had been in flames as and protests.itots
1:46 pm
when i came to washington to find an apartment to live in the summer, i came down for a day and came back to wisconsin. they had troops stationed on the steps of the capital. elements of the 82nd airborne had been moved into washington to maintain order during that time span. 12 people had been killed in rioting gear that summer. that was a difficult time. we were not sure if it was a civil war, the bloodiest conflict in our history, over 600,000 dead. and it was -- oftentimes we look at it, and at a time like now, and we say, gee, it has gone bad and nasty out there, and they do not remember the struggle we had, for december, to end slavery and to build freedom and democracy as we know it today. so some of those struggles were
1:47 pm
very, very tough and very difficult. what we go through today, we have a lot of people talking as though this is the worst of all times, but it is not. we have got a media operation now that tends to dramatize even some -- events. partly because that improves ratings. not saying that negatively, but it is the way our technical process works. as a nation and as the people, we have come through some very difficult times. we have survived. we have prospered. we have gotten more right and wrong. i think back on those times, and i feel pretty good about things. i think we will get through this, too. this is difficult. i will not deny it. we're not making much progress, obviously. i am a republican, and i do not agree with the administration. but we are about to have an
1:48 pm
election. it will be a good, hard-fought election, and that is as it should be. and we all get a chance to participate. that is pretty rare. that is not happen very many places. >> our last stupid question. >> our great moderator address to the question i initially had. but i am curious, as interns, we will not always agree with the stance is our supervisors have once we go into the workforce. spc -- since leaving the white house, you have become more outspoken and supportive of gay rights, while you're more silent in washington. was it more difficult for you to be more silent while you had the podium in washington? >> well, i did not feel like i was silent about it. one of my daughters is gay. we have lived with that as a family, and we crossed that bridge a long time ago. i remember in my first vice-
1:49 pm
presidential debate in 2000 against joe lieberman, i made a strong statement about how freedom means freedom for everybody and that people should be able to make choices of their own. so it has not been my standpoint, something that i spend a lot of time worrying about. i think there has been a significant, i guess, a process of enlightenment over the course of the last several years. things have changed a lot since i first came to washington. it is important, obviously, if you feel strongly about an issue that you jump in with both feet and it actively and aggressively involved in it. that is a different proposition then if you want to the public about it while you're working for somebody else. you have got to reach some kind
1:50 pm
of a accommodation or understanding on their point. one of the things you learn as a staff person, you get to express your point of view to your boss, whoever that may be. occasionally, you may fundamentally differ. the differences are big enough, you have got to leave. he is the boss, and you can go find some place else to work. on the issue of gay rights, when i worked for president bush, he used -- he felt strongly about and supported the effort to amend the constitution to define marriage. i did not agree with that. he and i talked about it on more than one occasion, and he expressed his views, i expressed mine. so it depends in part upon that relationship. you know, there are various ways to participate in the process. if you are going to be a staff member for president, he is the boss and got elected.
1:51 pm
you did not. you have to remember that in terms of how you participate and whether or not you support his policies. as i say, of the differences are big enough, then you should probably move on and find another line of work. but you may also want to participate with the boss as an advocate. you might want to spend full time worried about your particular issue, whether it is gave rights or environmental issues or the deep party organization. i mean, there are a great many ways to be a part of the process. you do not have to run for office. you do not have to only serve as senior staff person for the president of united states. some of you will probably have that chance eventually. there is also the basic fundamental fact that when you're working for an elected official, he or she is the one that will put their name on the ballot and went out and worked hard and got themselves elected.
1:52 pm
and your first obligation is to them, unless it is an issue you feel so strongly about that you cannot accept that, and then you need to go fines of appeals to work for. >> thank you for the question. -- then you need to find somebody else to work for. >> thank you for the question. for mitt romney, what advice would you give him and his team as they go through the process of running for president and finding a vice president? >> i have been involved in a couple of vice-presidential searches. some or more successful than others. the things that i think is important to remember is that the decision you make s presidential candidate on who you are running mate is going to beat is the first presidential-level decision the public sees you make. the first time you're making a decision that you're going to have to live with. it gives the public a chance to watch you operate and see what
1:53 pm
you think is important, what kind of individual you choose to serve as your running mate, what the criteria are. the single most important criteria has to be the capacity to be president. that is why you picked them. a lot of times in the past that has not been the foremost criteria. it really varies administration to administration. you watch the talking heads out there now, and they say you better get a woman or a hispanic or you better pick somebody from a big state. those are all interesting things to speculate about, but it is pretty rare that an election ever returns on those kinds of issues. it is much more likely to turn on the kind of situation where they will judge the quality of your decision making process is based on whether or not this individual is up to the task of taking over and is serving as president of the united states
1:54 pm
should something happen to the president. that is why you are there. aside from serving as president of the senate, that is your only constitutional responsibility. >> do you have another book in you? >> not yet. i am thinking about it. we could have written five or six of these, but we tried to keep it at a reasonable links. about 600 pages, which is what the publisher wanted. it is a good book. i recommend you read it. [laughter] >> on behalf of the washington center, thank you very much for being with us. we appreciate your time. >> thank you greater than -- thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [applause] >> enjoy your time here in washington. it really is a remarkable opportunity. you'll have a great time and learn a lot. jump in with both feet, and some
1:55 pm
of you might even find honest work as a result. good luck. >> thank you all. [applause] >> if you missed any of this interview with former vice president dick cheney, we will arrearage tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on c-span. beginning tomorrow, three days of testimony by james murdock, former chair of news international, and his father rupert murdoch in the investigation of british phone
1:56 pm
hacking. is starts tomorrow morning with james murdoch and then rupert murdoch on wednesday and thursday morning. live at 5:00 a.m. eastern on c- span2. also available on c-span radio. tomorrow on, rodney king and his new book. it has a video recording of his beating. he recalls the riots in los angeles and follows the acquittal of four officers in the case and reports of his own legal problems and alcohol addiction. that will be alive tomorrow beginning at 6:30 p.m. eastern on our website >> there is room for positive government policy. it is the private sector that drives development. the private sector really fuels it. always in our history, we have had some vision of where we are going, some encouragement, some
1:57 pm
policy by the government. whenever we need that, it is right now when we had this imposing and opportunity trading infrastructure of the 21st century. >> tonight, a former member of the federal communications commission on legislation to reform the fcc, consolidation, and the state of the media, 8:00 p.m. eastern on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> charles colson, special counsel to president nixon who went to prison for his role in the watergate cover-up died this past weekend at age 80. he talked about the white house taping system in 2007. >> kissinger had the right, although he abused it, to go into the office without having somebody announces it. kissinger could just walk in whenever he wanted to. there was the severity of the
1:58 pm
foreign policy issues to feel free to come in and interrupt anything. henry would do it for trivial things. one day nixon was really angry at henry for a variety of things, and we were in the executive office building. the far door swung open. i looked over. it was henry. i caught a glance of him. nixon did not appear to look, but i know he knew it was in retreat he immediately said to me, i think you're right, i think it is time we use nuclear weapons. everything else has failed. disinterested in the doorway absolutely paralyzed. somebody is going to hear that on tape sunday and said that nixon was a madman. colson did bring out the dark side of nixon. it was pure humor. nixon loved it. >> hear more online at the c- span video library.
1:59 pm
a quarter-century of politics and public affairs available on your computer any time. >> earlier today, president obama announced a plan to impose sanctions against foreign entities, specifically in iran and syria for using technology to carry a human rights abuses. he made the announcement during a speech marking the annual commemoration of the holocaust at the u.s. holocaust memorial museum in washington. we will hear first from a holocaust survivor, introducing the president. this is about 40 minutes. >> mr. president -- mr. president, chairman, fellow
2:00 pm
holocaust survivors and their families, the the families of officers steve jones, who was gunned down by a murderer here in the museum, director sara bloomfield, and ladies and gentleman, i stand before you today as a proud american. the in to -- jew in may is infinite the proud to be with the president of the united states in this museum, together to celebrate jerusalem, the greatest in the world and most important of all. this country, the united states of america, has welcomed the
2:01 pm
great majority of survivors of what we call the holocaust. it is a place of redemption, a place of unity. presidents of both parties, from jimmy carter to george bush, have spoken to us here, and now we are honored that rock -- president barack obama is with us today. it is also a place of questions. some of them, many of them disturbing questions which remain challenging. it is about the possibilities of power, suffering for victims, about the massacre of children. these questions, of course, are
2:02 pm
redolent -- relevant. why did america open up its doors? why did not the allies bombed the railway going to auschwitz? in those years, hundreds would lose a lifetime. 10,000 were guests every night bombing the allies which would have at least stopped that process for a while. from the very beginning of this institution, we attempted to confront the already distant past with this terrible tragic truth and the questions that we are compelled to ask. the jewish people's commitment to memory to israel.
2:03 pm
we had a problem that we did not know how to deal with. so much suffering, so much evil, which meant so much power. never has won people been condemned by another people to total annihilation. what are the questions, who are we to remember? the perpetrators, bystanders, a multitude of victims? all of them jews? it became clear to us from the beginning that while not all victims were jewish, all jews were victims, young and old, rich and poor, teachers and students, those from the city's and populations. all were targeted.
2:04 pm
and the children, why the children? and the old people, why the old people? was the enemy it afraid of the future, of the children, for the past, the old? now we know that this tragedy, we know how it was done, but we do not know why it was done. know why it is metaphysical, but physically, we do not know why did it happen? what are the conclusions? one thing that we do know, it could have been prevented. the greatest tragedy and history could have been prevented, had
2:05 pm
the civilized world spoken up, taken measures in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942. each time, in berlin, they always wanted to see what would be the reaction in washington and europe? there was no reaction. they felt they could continue. in this place, we may ask, have we learned anything from it? if so, how is it that assad is still in power? how is it that the holocaust no. 1 denier bachmann ahmadinejad is still in power? he here threatens to friends to use nuclear weapons -- he who
2:06 pm
threatens to use nuclear weapons. we must know, when the eagle has power, it is almost too late. preventive measures are important. we must use those measures to prevent another catastrophe. whenever communities are threatened by anyone, we must not allow them to do what they intend to do. of course, one more question to the believer and god in all of this. what does it named? -- what does it mean? was got fed up with his creation? however, auschwitz did not come
2:07 pm
from the heavens. human beings did it. human beings. the killers were human beings. boschwitz was conceived by human beings, implemented by human beings. so what is it about the human psyche, fascination, that could allow human beings to become in human -- inhumane? mr. president, we are in this place of memory. of course, i remember when you and i traveled together. we spoke about all kinds of things. i hope now you understand, in this place, why israel is so important, not only to the
2:08 pm
jewish people, but to the world. we cannot not remember. and because it remembers, it must be strong, just to defend its own survival and destiny. mr. president, you spoke and quietly, elegantly gave me the last word. today, the last word is yours. ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct privilege and pleasure to give you my friend, the president of the united states, mr. barack obama. [applause]
2:09 pm
>> thank you. [applause] thank you. [applause] good morning, everyone. it is a great honor to be with you here today. of course, it is a truly
2:10 pm
humbling moment to be introduced by elie wiesel. along with sara bloomfield, the outstanding director here, we just spent some time among the exhibits, and this is now the second visit i've had here. my daughters have come here. it is a searing occasion whenever you visit. and as we walked, i was taken back to the visit that elie mentioned, the time that we traveled together to buchenwald. and i recall how he showed me the barbed-wire fences and the guard towers. and we walked the rows where the barracks once stood, where so many left this earth -- including elie's father, shlomo. we stopped at an old photo --
2:11 pm
men and boys lying in their wooden bunks, barely more than skeletons. and if you look closely, you can see a 16-year old boy, looking right at the camera, right into your eyes. you can see elie. and at the end of our visit that day, elie spoke of his father. "i thought one day i will come back and speak to him," he said, "of times in which memory has become a sacred duty of all people of goodwill." elie, you've devoted your life to upholding that sacred duty. you've challenged us all -- as individuals, and as nations -- to do the same, with the power of your example, the eloquence of your words, as you did again just now. and so to you and marion, we are extraordinarily grateful. to sara, to tom bernstein, to
2:12 pm
josh bolten, members of the united states holocaust memorial council, and everyone who sustains this living memorial -- thank you for welcoming us here today. to the members of congress, members of the diplomatic corps, including ambassador michael oren of israel, we are glad to be with you. and most of all, we are honored to be in the presence of men and women whose lives are a testament to the endurance and the strength of the human spirit -- the inspiring survivors. it is a privilege to be with you, on a very personal level. as i've told some of you before, i grew up hearing stories about my great uncle -- a soldier in the 89th infantry division who was stunned and shaken by what he saw when he helped to liberate ordruf, part
2:13 pm
of buchenwald. and i'll never forget what i saw at buchenwald, where so many perished with the words of sh'ma yis'ra'eil on their lips. i've stood with survivors, in the old warsaw ghettos, where a monument honors heroes who said we will not go quietly; we will stand up, we will fight back. and i've walked those sacred grounds at yad vashem, with its lesson for all nations -- the shoah cannot be denied. during my visit to yad vashem i was given a gift, inscribed with those words from the book of joel: "has the like of this happened in your days or in the days of your fathers? tell your children about it, and let your children tell theirs, and their children the
2:14 pm
next generation." that's why we're here. not simply to remember, but to speak. i say this as a president, and i say it as a father. we must tell our children about a crime unique in human history. the one and only holocaust -- six million innocent people -- men, women, children, babies -- sent to their deaths just for being different, just for being jewish. we tell them, our children, about the millions of poles and catholics and roma and gay people and so many others who also must never be forgotten. let us tell our children not only how they died, but also how they lived -- as fathers
2:15 pm
and mothers, and sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters who loved and hoped and dreamed, just like us. we must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen -- because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, and because so many others stood silent. let us also tell our children about the righteous among the nations. among them was jan karski, a young polish catholic, who witnessed jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to president roosevelt himself. jan karski passed away more than a decade ago. but today, i'm proud to announce that this spring i will honor him with america's highest civilian honor -- the
2:16 pm
presidential medal of freedom. [applause] we must tell our children. but more than that, we must teach them. because remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture. awareness without action changes nothing. in this sense, "never again" is a challenge to us all -- to pause and to look within. for the holocaust may have reached its barbaric climax at treblinka and auschwitz and belzec, but it started in the hearts of ordinary men and women.
2:17 pm
and we have seen it again -- madness that can sweep through peoples, sweep through nations, embed itself. the killings in cambodia, the killings in rwanda, the killings in bosnia, the killings in darfur -- they shock our conscience, but they are the awful extreme of a spectrum of ignorance and intolerance that we see every day; the bigotry that says another person is less than my equal, less than human. these are the seeds of hate that we cannot let take root in our heart. "never again" is a challenge to reject hatred in all of its forms -- including anti- semitism, which has no place in
2:18 pm
a civilized world. and today, just steps from where he gave his life protecting this place, we honor the memory of officer stephen tyrone johns, whose family joins us today. "never again" is a challenge to defend the fundamental right of free people and free nations to exist in peace and security -- and that includes the state of israel. and on my visit to the old warsaw ghetto, a woman looked me in the eye, and she wanted to make sure america stood with israel. she said, "it's the only jewish state we have." and i made her a promise in that solemn place. i said i will always be there for israel. so when efforts are made to equate zionism to racism, we reject them. when international fora single
2:19 pm
out israel with unfair resolutions, we vote against them. when attempts are made to delegitimize the state of israel, we oppose them. when faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the holocaust and threatens to destroy israel, the united states will do everything in our power to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. "never again" is a challenge to societies. we're joined today by communities who've made it your mission to prevent mass atrocities in our time. this museum's committee of conscience, ngos, faith groups, college students, you've harnessed the tools of the digital age -- online maps and satellites and a video and social media campaign seen by millions. you understand that change
2:20 pm
comes from the bottom up, from the grassroots. you understand -- to quote the task force convened by this museum -- "preventing genocide is an achievable goal." it is an achievable goal. it is one that does not start from the top; it starts from the bottom up. it's remarkable -- as we walked through this exhibit, elie and i were talking as we looked at the unhappy record of the state department and so many officials here in the united states during those years. and he asked, "what would you do?" but what you all understand is you don't just count on officials, you don't just count on governments. you count on people -- and mobilizing their consciences.
2:21 pm
and finally, "never again" is a challenge to nations. too a bitter truth -- often, the world has failed to prevent the killing of innocents on a massive scale. and we are haunted by the atrocities that we did not stop and the lives we did not save. three years ago today, i joined many of you for a ceremony of remembrance at the u.s. capitol. and i said that we had to do "everything we can to prevent and end atrocities." and so i want to report back to some of you today to let you know that as president i've done my utmost to back up those words with deeds. last year, in the first-ever presidential directive on this challenge, i made it clear that "preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core
2:22 pm
moral responsibility of the united states of america." that does not mean that we intervene militarily every time there's an injustice in the world. we cannot and should not. it does mean we possess many tools -- diplomatic and political, and economic and financial, and intelligence and law enforcement and our moral suasion -- and using these tools over the past three years, i believe -- i know -- that we have saved countless lives. when the referendum in south sudan was in doubt, it threatened to reignite a conflict that had killed millions. but with determined diplomacy, including by some people in this room, south sudan became the world's newest nation. and our diplomacy continues, because in darfur, in abyei, in southern kordofan and the blue
2:23 pm
nile, the killing of innocents must come to an end. the presidents of sudan and south sudan must have the courage to negotiate -- because the people of sudan and south sudan deserve peace. that is work that we have done, and it has saved lives. when the incumbent in côte d'ivoire lost an election but refused to give it up -- give up power, it threatened to unleash untold ethnic and religious killings. but with regional and international diplomacy, and u.n. peacekeepers who stood their ground and protected civilians, the former leader is now in the hague, and côte d'ivoire is governed by its rightful leader -- and lives were saved. when the libyan people demanded their rights and muammar qaddafi's forces bore down on benghazi, a city of 700,000, and threatened to hunt down its
2:24 pm
people like rats, we forged with allies and partners a coalition that stopped his troops in their tracks. and today, the libyan people are forging their own future, and the world can take pride in the innocent lives that we saved. and when the lord's resistance army led by joseph kony continued its atrocities in central africa, i ordered a small number of american advisors to help uganda and its neighbors pursue the lra. and when i made that announcement, i directed my national security council to review our progress after 150 days. we have done so, and today i can announce that our advisors will continue their efforts to bring this madman to justice, and to save lives. it is part of our regional strategy to end the scourge that is the lra, and help
2:25 pm
realize a future where no african child is stolen from their family and no girl is raped and no boy is turned into a child soldier. we've stepped up our efforts in other ways. we're doing more to protect women and girls from the horror of wartime sexual violence. with the arrest of fugitives like ratko mladic, charged with ethnic cleansing in bosnia, the world sent a message to war criminals everywhere: we will not relent in bringing you to justice. be on notice. and for the first time, we explicitly barred entry into the united states of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
2:26 pm
now we're doing something more. we're making sure that the united states government has the structures, the mechanisms to better prevent and respond to mass atrocities. so i created the first-ever white house position dedicated to this task. it's why i created a new atrocities prevention board, to bring together senior officials from across our government to focus on this critical mission. this is not an afterthought. this is not a sideline in our foreign policy. the board will convene for the first time today, at the white house. and i'm pleased that one of its first acts will be to meet with some of your organizations -- citizens and activists who are partners in this work, who have been carrying this torch. strengthenrd, we'll our tools across the board, and we'll create new ones.
2:27 pm
the intelligence community will prepare, for example, the first-ever national intelligence estimate on the risk of mass atrocities and genocide. institutionalize the focus on this issue. across government, "alert channels" will ensure that information about unfolding crises -- and dissenting opinions -- quickly reach decision-makers, including me. our treasury department will work to more quickly deploy its financial tools to block the flow of money to abusive regimes. our military will take additional steps to incorporate the prevention of atrocities into its doctrine and its planning. and the state department will increase its ability to surge our diplomats and experts in a crisis. usaid will invite people and high-tech companies to help create new technologies to quickly expose violations of human rights.
2:28 pm
and we'll work with other nations so the burden is better shared -- because this is a global responsibility. in short, we need to be doing everything we can to prevent and respond to these kinds of atrocities -- because national sovereignty is never a license to slaughter your people. [applause] we recognize that, even as we do all we can, we cannot control every event. and when innocents suffer, it tears at our conscience. elie alluded to what we feel as we see the syrian people subjected to unspeakable
2:29 pm
violence, simply for demanding their universal rights. and we have to do everything we can. and as we do, we have to remember that despite all the tanks and all the snipers, all the torture and brutality unleashed against them, the syrian people still brave the streets. they still demand to be heard. they still seek their dignity. the syrian people have not given up, which is why we cannot give up. and so with allies and partners, we will keep increasing the pressure, with a diplomatic effort to further isolate assad and his regime, so that those who stick with assad know that they are making a losing bet. we'll keep increasing sanctions to cut off the regime from the money it needs to survive. we'll sustain a legal effort to document atrocities so killers face justice, and a humanitarian effort to get relief and medicine to the syrian people.
2:30 pm
and we'll keep working with the "friends of syria" to increase support for the syrian opposition as it grows stronger. indeed, today we're taking another step. i've signed an executive order that authorizes new sanctions against the syrian government and iran and those that abet them for using technologies to monitor and track and target citizens for violence. these technologies should not empower -- these technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them. and it's one more step that we can take toward the day that we know will come -- the end of the assad regime that has brutalized the syrian people -- and allow the syrian people to chart their own destiny. even with all the efforts i've described today, even with everything that hopefully we have learned, even with the
2:31 pm
incredible power of museums like this one, even with everything that we do to try to teach our children about our own responsibilities, we know that our work will never be done. there will be conflicts that are not easily resolved. there will be senseless deaths that aren't prevented. there will be stories of pain and hardship that test our hopes and try our conscience. and in such moments it can be hard to imagine a more just
2:32 pm
world. it can be tempting to throw up our hands and resign ourselves to man's endless capacity for cruelty. it's tempting sometimes to believe that there is nothing we can do. and all of us have those doubts. all of us have those moments -- perhaps especially those who work most ardently in these fields. so in the end, i come back to something elie said that day we visited buchenwald together. reflecting on all that he had endured, he said, "we had the right to give up." "we had the right to give up on humanity, to give up on culture, to give up on education, to give up on
2:33 pm
the possibility of living one's life with dignity, in a world that has no place for dignity." they had that right. imagine what they went through. they had the right to give up. nobody would begrudge them that. who'd question someone giving up in such circumstances? but, elie said, "we rejected that possibility, and we said, no, we must continue believing in a future." to stare into the abyss, to face the darkness and insist there is a future -- to not give up, to say yes to life, to believe in the
2:34 pm
possibility of justice. to elie and to the survivors who are here today, thank you for not giving up. you show us the way. [applause] you show us the way. if you cannot give up, if you can believe, then we can believe. if you can continue to strive and speak, then we can speak and strive for a future where
2:35 pm
there's a place for dignity for every human being. that has been the cause of your lives. it must be the work of our nation and of all nations. so god bless you. and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. [applause]
2:36 pm
2:37 pm
2:38 pm
2:39 pm
[applause] >> earlier today, of former vice-president dick cheney gave his first interview in washington since his heart transplant. he talked about his political legacy, experience in the white house, and what what life has been like since the transplant. you can see it any time on our website, the investigation into british phone hacking continues tomorrow with testimony from james murdoch, former chair of news international, and his father rupert murdoch. three days of coverage begins tomorrow followed by two more days from his father. also tomorrow on,
2:40 pm
rodney king on his new book falling his beating by police in 1991. that will be lots more from harlem, new york. this year's studentcam competition asked students what part of the constitution was important to them, and why? today second prize winner selected the 19th amendment. >> the 19th amendment is the amendment and give women the right to vote. .> women's suffrage movement 1848 through 1920. >> the 19th amendment ratified with tennessee the last state. >> how early but did american
2:41 pm
sentiments of start to appear? >> abigail adams was writing letters to john adams. they started to put things together. at least it goes back that far. >> elizabeth stanton, arthur right, mary ann beckham talk, and jane hunt held the first women's rights convention in seneca falls new york. >> when they held a convention in 1948 and had subsequent conventions in a decade after that, they're not just talking about the right to vote. it was not until after the civil war that the focus of civil -- women's rights became narrowed to the right to separate. >> of women's rights movement picked up steam as it got attention from the media.
2:42 pm
many more conventions occurred, however, many thought it was a ludicrous idea. it was a concept that went against everything that was taught against the generation. >> after meeting stanton at a women's convention, susan join the conversation. together, they would make significant steps to women's rights. >> how does this affect women's rights? >> the women's rights movement comes after the antislavery movement. their work for a northern victory and the abolishment of slavery. in turn, the expected, in time, to receive their due rights as women. that did not happen. the 30 demand was passed and ended slavery. the 14th and 15th amendments were established which gave citizenship to former slaves, and established civil rights, but nothing was done for the women. the women supported the north, the north did not support the women in the and.
2:43 pm
>> in a t-72, anthony voted. she argued the 14th amendment enabled her to vote. she was later jailed. despite her defense, she was charged with illegal voting. if she had won, she would have been able to vote on the 14th amendment. >> it not only did not include women, it specifically excluded them. the word meant appears in the constitution but women are referred to as a species. in the 14th amendment, the word mail appears which refers to their gender. >> the woman's movement was largely diverse and they did not have a unified voice, they did not work together, there were differing opinions and personalities. >> the strategy was to attain women's suffrage for an amendment through the federal constitution. henry blackwell and lucy stone formed the american women's
2:44 pm
suffrage association whose strategy it was to retain separate through members of individual state constitutions. >> december 101869. wyoming become the first territory to pass a woman suffrage law, which would reap all by 16 other states and territories. >> they are giving women power with the 13th amendment. to really help these women gain equal footing with the establishment. >> the national women's association and the american women's suffrage association merged to form the national women's suffrage association whose strategy now was to obtain women's suffrage to state constitutional amendments. >> susan b. anthony was tireless and was promoting women's rights and women's suffrage, but she
2:45 pm
never managed really to get it on the agenda in washington. alice paul came along and raised the first demonstration. >> she joined the national american woman suffrage association in 1910. she was immediately appointed as the head of the congressional committee whose goal it was to attend women's suffrage. an amendment to the constitution, which was the association's secondary goal. despite little funding, she executed one of the most famous women's suffrage marches, held on the day of woodrow wilson's inauguration. >> he organized a parade of 30,000 women marching on pennsylvania avenue. woodrow wilson, who was arriving to be inaugurated, wondered where the crowds were to greet him at union station. he was told that they were on the avenue looking at the
2:46 pm
ladies. >> they formed the national women's party and established a federal amendment. >> in the 20 century, it got more militant where women were holding demonstrations. they were tying themselves in front of the lighthouse -- white house. ♪ >> courageous women marched. they were arrested. >> took courage became popular because of the march, because at its brutal treatment of women receive in prison. president wilson part in the women and thought they would just go home. instead, they went back and stood on the picket line in -- at the white house again. he finally recognized this was a
2:47 pm
societal push that was not going to go away. he saw that as a war measure because he had made a promise he would not send anything to congress that would not have to do anything with the war effort. his argument was that women were on the front line, they were supporting the men, and deserved the right to vote. >> some of the first states to ratify the 19th amendment where the states where women have the right to vote. women had been devoting their in local elections. they had put people in the state assembly's comment in state house representatives, state senate's, that would be inclined to ratify an amendment like this. >> the 19th amendment ratified with the perfect 36 state, which happen to be tennessee, the last state that could make it. there were 48 at the time, 35 had done it, the rest said they would. tennessee gave women the right to vote.
2:48 pm
>> do you think women still suffer from sexual discrimination today? >> i do not think it will stop happening. >> while women may not get parity with men, they can vote, giving them a voice in their country and the ability to more easily changed. >> 02 to continue the discussion and to get more information. >> in national community reinvestment coalition held a conference on the u.s. economy and the housing market recently. friday, there from joseph smith, the man task of overseeing a $25 million mortgage settlement with five banks and making sure the banks
2:49 pm
over all their mortgage servicing operations, follow through with aid for a struggling homeowners. speaking is the national urban league president and the former ceo of fannie mae. this is about one hour 40 minutes. >> thank you for coming. and they do not play favorites. i guess they are starving. perhaps we will be more animated in the conversation. if c-span is ready, the other cameras are ready? ok, good. i just want to say, my name is john taylor, president and ceo of the national reinvestment coalition. welcome to this import discussion about the future of housing in america. scrc is pleased to welcome a distinguished panel about housing. homeownership, mortgage market,
2:50 pm
mortgage foreclosures. our panelists this year include joseph smith, a former banking commissioner of north carolina. if you could hold your applause. if you could hold your applause until the end, that would save us some time. appreciate that. he received critical acclaim for his work in pushing north carolina's anti-predatory lending laws, but important, appointed by the state attorney general to be the monitor of the recently-approved $25 billion agreement between the ag and five banks. franklin raines to my left is a scholar, once served as the omb director for president clinton, and is recognized as the first african-american to be a partner
2:51 pm
of a private wall street firm. perhaps best known for being the former ceo of fannie mae. to my left also is the director of economic justice for capstone, anncrc member organization. hubert is dave kerr member of the board of directors. also served on the federal reserve board consumer advisory council. to my far right, mark. he is from the cato institute. he is the director of financial services studies. before that, he served for six years on the senate banking committee working for senator shelby, republican senator from alabama. to my far left, has represented
2:52 pm
low income home owners since 1994. she served on the federal reserve board consumer finance council and the board of directors of the ncrc, and is currently counsel to the law center. marc morial to my right. for mayor of baltimore -- new orleans. >> get used to it. it will not be the only one. more importantly, for us, the present ceo of the national urban league. under his guidance, they have become one of the most respected national organizations. thanks for joining us. please join me in welcoming all of them.
2:53 pm
[applause] ncrc is asking the question of whether our country has an ensuing commitment to build an inclusive society which all people who are willing to work hard, play by the rules, regardless of gender, race, age, or physical challenges, that we have the opportunity to build a safe and comfortable future for themselves and their family. the pressing problems of massive debt, high unemployment, and anemic economic growth have increasingly divided our country into the warrant could -- political camps, if you make, to get the and this debate between the free market capitalism and government-driven solutions to our economic progress distract us from real common-sense solutions to our biggest economic and social problems? let's consider how deep is our challenge.
2:54 pm
meanwhile for a working class people of all races is declining rapidly. a class is in peril. the poor are getting more desperate. first slide, if you will. i want to show you graphically how this manifest itself. i do not know if the cameras are able to capture it. what you're looking at is the wealth disparities between the haves and have-nots in this country, and this is very much part of the problem. that big piece of the pie over there, 80% of all the financial assets in this country, leaving the rest of us to scramble over the remaining 20% of financial wealth. next slide. for black cultures, african- american culture is, this disparity is even more.
2:55 pm
whites have 20 times the wealth of blacks, the meeting wealth levels, and for hispanics, 18 times the wealth. final slide. a similar disparity is true when you look in home ownership rates in the united states. for whites versus blacks and hispanics, with the exception of the 10% of the population, most folks are losing wealth, and many at an accelerated rate. as you can see from the slide, the homeownership rate for whites in this country is about 67%, approaching 70%. for blacks and latinos, below 15%. with that said, where the wealth continues to grow and -- at an accelerating rate, the rest of the country, disproportionately, many folks are losing too much wealth.
2:56 pm
is it any wonder that movements like occupy wall street's -- and i do something wrong? the tea party even, the rebuild a dream movement, other efforts all designed to give voice to those who are worried about their financial security proliferate our landscape. today, our panel will help us understand and offer solutions to alleviating some of the persistent drags on the u.s. economy. our housing industry in crisis. one thing is certain. economic recovery will not occur soon without a housing recovery. the federal reserve bank estimates of american homeowners have lost over $7 trillion of wealth from their homes alone. in the past few years, over 5 million families have lost their homes to foreclosure, creating not only devastating impacts for each of these families, but also their neighbors and communities as nearly all property values are diminished.
2:57 pm
there are around 11 million homeowners under water on their mortgages. let me say that in another way. one of four households in the u.s. 0 more on their mortgage and their house is worth. in many cases, they owe a lot more than it is worth. the estimates are another 5 million households are heading into foreclosure. economists believe we will not see the beginning of the turnaround in housing values, property values beginning to rise, until sometime in 2013. as property values decline, the middle class declines, america declines. yet, we americans seem to be working harder, longer hours, receiving less benefits, lower wages, fewer pensions, less job to charity, and more are entering the ranks of the unemployed. even social security is on the chopping block. so people are working harder, earning less, and those in multiprocessing.
2:58 pm
today, after decades of paying on a mortgage, being a good citizen, responsible bar were, people are finding their home has not accumulated equity needed to help them in their retirement. older americans are particularly hard hit by this reality as you have pensions and their plan to use a combination of social security and profit gains from paying down their mortgage will be sustained them. and all of this comes at a time of record profits for corporations. even i was surprised to read this. in the third quarter of 2011, american corporations earned $1.97 trillion in just one quarter in profits. that is the highest level of profitability for american corporations since world war ii. all of this is going on but that 10% is still doing well. the top 10% continues to prosper -- prosper and build the world as more fall out of the middle class and into poverty.
2:59 pm
many, only a paycheck away from homelessness. so is it not time for a national reckoning of sorts in which our federal and state and corporate leaders put aside their partisan politics in favor of an immediate and real solution that stimulates our housing markets and creates jobs? [applause] so, my fellow panelists, please share your immediate thoughts about this challenge. is it really possible for our political leaders, policymakers, decision makers, corporate america, to put america first? is it a two party system capable of having an eye -- honest dialogue about the housing crisis? [laughter] >> as we were discussing before the panel, my current employment is a result of the
3:00 pm
work together by attorneys general of the united states. i did not know until i was told, 25 are democrats and 24 are republicans. in fact, with feed -- if the 25 democrats and 24 republicans work together -- there are differing views about the idea itself that the idea is non- partisan. [inaudible] [laughter] the other piece, on the other end of the mortgage process, we have a nationwide mortgage licensing system put together by my colleagues and myself and there were democrats and republicans and we worked after the safe act was enacted to do that. there are examples on a practical level of people working together across party
3:01 pm
lines. it's nice to see the state's taking the lead in all of this. >> we have 25 democrats and 24 republicans who came together and changed the agreement. why is it so difficult to have that the federal level this kind of discourse to come up with a solution? >> we did not get to the settlement very quickly. there was quite a process to it and there are a handful of things one can debate what the ultimate impact of the jobs act would be. we are in at a election year and that will make high-level issues difficult to reach agreement on. there are substantial disagreements over a diagnosis of the problem. part of it is policy, but when
3:02 pm
you can have a small number of areas where people can come together to agree, i'm hopeful of few things can get done. >> your slide told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. you can argue about diagnosis, but you cannot argue the facts. you cannot invent fax, although this town is excellent at spending facts, taking half of the facts and putting their mouth there. and you just identified what is really a challenge for the country -- coming out of a recession, how can there be a great disparity of wealth and healthy profits yet extreme difficulties for poor, working, and middle-class people in this country? >> -- my own take is that we
3:03 pm
have to reconcile that we need a plan to rebuild the country and this argument about government versus the private sector is an ideological argument when we need to have government plus the private sector working together. [applause] what i learned at the local level, or public-private partnerships are real, is that people are concerned about results. it is important to have a philosophy and ideology, but people hide behind philosophy and ideology. we have a challenge. one of the things history teaches us is when this nation has faced great challenges, it was willing to try new and different things. when this nation faced great challenges, one of this things
3:04 pm
at the heart and center is is this step going to be helpful and important for middle-class americans? we have to push all of these housing policies through that very important plan. >> i am a pessimist on this and i am a pessimist because in the time i was are originally working for the model cities in seattle many years ago, the debate was about affordable housing and could we get a consensus around affordable housing. that has been a struggle for a very long time. but there was never a debate about home ownership. there was never a debate that we have a national policy to extend homeownership to all who could qualify for all of the reasons we know, including the hard core economic reasons. the average american, for the
3:05 pm
average american, they have had more wealth in their home than they ever had in the stock market. but the extraordinary thing is we have lost our consensus about homeownership. we now hear that the biggest problem america faced in the financial crisis was too many people wanted to own their own home. >> i do want to get into that question -- that is the very first question i want to talk about -- what is happening to this notion? being a homeowner use to be a solid tenant in the american dream and i think that is in jeopardy. but what is it going to take to change the quality of conversation? regardless of whatever happens, whether president obama continues in january or whether there is a change, that is the
3:06 pm
better part of another year we can't expect to see something and i don't think we can live with that. mentioning occupy wall street and rebuild dream movement all in the same sentence, the point is there are gracile -- there is grass roots anchor and what we should do about it, but it seems like we are kicking the can down the road and not creating this kind of solution. >> just to clarify -- i'm not suggesting that because it is an election year we should not do anything. if i was a betting man, i would not put my money on a lot happening. i think we should push to try to get something done, but i think it is in an election year when people can shape what public officials respond to. [applause]
3:07 pm
that is why i hope people in this room will not go silent and continue to advocate. frank made a very important point. it strikes me as absolutely wrong to suggest homeownership is not essential to the future of the american dream. it strikes me as an important and puzzling change in the narrative for which there was a consensus for decades and decades. when that consensus emerged in the post-world war two time, we grew a middle-class. we built strong neighborhoods and communities. it was not absolutely perfect and there were many mistakes made. i challenge those who suggest home ownership should not be a central part of the american dream of their policy to house
3:08 pm
the nation >> -- that we go to some sort of eastern european apartment flat? is that what is? i call to question for those who say home ownership should not be an essential part of the american dream to articulate their housing strategy. is it subsidies for rentals? what is it? we have to recognize there is a nation that has to be housed. there's a growing nation that has to be housed. >> this is the question i interrupted frank about and we have to go with it because i think it is a good point and there is the notion of home ownership in america as a fair opportunity for people to be able to use that as a vehicle for building wealth and building
3:09 pm
a secure, safe environment. that is in jeopardy now. the conversations we here -- when an organization like the national urban league are in sync with the national association of realtors and the mortgage bankers association and the home builders that home ownership is critically important because we are all concerned about the level of the conversation about throwing the baby out with the bathwater on what happened in this financial crisis, sorry for interrupting you -- >> unless we get a consensus, the politicians are not going to respond. they do not lead. the find parades' and get in front of them. [applause]
3:10 pm
my experience is that somebody has to start the parade. right now, it is going in the wrong direction. there is a very serious argument going on in town, but it has been lost from housing standpoint. many people say home ownership is a bad thing economically and not a good thing for the country and we put too many resources into housing. if people don't know what they're doing bike and -- this is the standard economic analysis in this town about housing. this is what those of us involved in housing -- we have been having this argument for a long time. we want for most of that time and now we're losing. unless that argument is turned around, congress is not going to do anything to turn around homeownership. we may find in the guise of corporate tax reform that the largest source of funds supporting affordable rental
3:11 pm
housing could be eliminated because that is a credit going to corporations, so when they say take away all credit for corporations, that is the biggest source of financing for housing. we are losing the argument in washington. unless we can win the argument, there will not be a lot of brave souls fighting the political fight. that is why it is important to understand the need to make a positive case for housing and particularly for home ownership. [applause] >> i think that is exactly right and in the community organizing movements around the country, we missed the boat at the time of the obama swell because there was a time when the people of this country were
3:12 pm
really on fire about our problem and i think because we lost it temporarily, the tea party took over and absorb some of that energy and we lost. we have to be preparing very quickly for the next time we get that opportunity again. to help start this process by working to get the money out of politics and doing all that we need to do to start building a big enough movement to make sure housing is on the top of the agenda as we wanted to be. >> one of the things that struck me as interesting is when ben bernanke produced this paper that spoke to the housing
3:13 pm
issue, usually the fed chairman, we were not used to chairman greenspan producing papers on the housing issue, it kind of surprised us and when the paper came out, it was very heavily weighted toward what we should be doing with this problem is essentially creating a lot of rental situations. let them eat rent. perhaps that is not as fair as it should be, by even that is a nod in the direction of home ownership is out of the reach of people and what we ought to be doing is promoting rental housing. not that we don't have a need for quality rental housing, but we have people in this segment of the market being encouraged and supported to acquire these properties, these investment companies that are going to turn
3:14 pm
them into temporary rentals long enough for them to wait for the market to improve and a turnaround, flip them, and sell them. i'm sure that is not at all what ben bernanke had in mind, but i'm concerned about the tone of that suggestion and other suggestions from of well-meaning people that rental is an alternative to home ownership as opposed to it the need in this country and we ought to have a housing commitment that has the private sector and corporate -- >> inherent in that type of thinking is rental for some and homeownership for others. inherent in that is a return to yesterday, a return to a long time ago, in the early part of the 20 a century when people who had homes bought them with cash
3:15 pm
or put 50 percent down because they had the depth of wealth. also inherent in that is what washington revels in and that is absolutism. it is either home ownership or rentals when the truth at the community level is you need a comprehensive housing policy. where do we place our value proposition? is it going to be on home ownership for asset building? i would drive up their neighborhoods in my beloved new orleans and an eyeball inspection was all it took for me to separate those neighborhoods from people who owned as opposed to the neighborhoods where people rented. [applause] sometimes the discussion is dominated by an eastern seaboard
3:16 pm
view of the world. new york is a city with a low homeownership rate. it is a city where people are used to comfortable living in apartments. no cities in america are not like that. -- most cities in america are not like that. the one detached homes, a driveway, i want to have a lawn, even if it is small. we need to say yes, we can accomplish -- we can't accommodate a housing policy, a combination of rentals and home ownership. but we need to reaffirm the values. this is a discussion about values associated with the american dream. >> it is also a discussion of -- there are a lot of damages that came out of this malfeasance, predatory lending practices, and this is one of them.
3:17 pm
there was a time when a lot of mortgage lending was done to working-class people and working poor people and people of color, but they were prime loans and they were sustainable. in 1994 and 1995, fannie mae had a 50% jump in originations and home loans to african americans. 100% increase in two years in the loans they were securitized in for african-americans. they were all prime loans. they were not these things with no documentation and balloon payments and these predatory, non sustainable loans. somehow, that gets lost in this whole discussion. homeownership is for everybody if it is fair. if the terms and conditions are right. >> that is the point i have been thinking about -- what has
3:18 pm
gotten lost in this conversation is remembering what those loans were that led to the crisis and that collapse and a financial calamity across the world. was toxic loans made to people and largely refinance without any expectation that people would be able to pay them back. when you look at the numbers, african americans, the better their credit was, the more likely they were to get a subprime loan compared to similar white borrowers. an african-american with good credit was almost three times as likely to get a subprime loan. those were the loans. they were sucking wealth out of communities where they had built up well even before the crisis. those wrote -- the lead to foreclosure rates 30 times higher than prime loans. it was the kinds of loans that were made that drove this crisis
3:19 pm
and we have forgotten that when we have this conversation. [applause] >> i think that is exactly right and one. that illustrates that, during this time, the homeownership rate went up when we did the most stretching we have ever seen. the home ownership went from 64% to 67. the african-american rate went from 48 to 50. this is what stretching too much look like. we never had a policy in this country that everybody was going to own their own home. we thought would be a thrill of 70% did. that is something we would have said is such an achievement. but the notion out there now is that people thought 100% of people were going to own their own homes and african-american loans had gone up to some incredible number was absolute craziness. we made some progress, but where
3:20 pm
we did not was not loans aimed at folks who did not have a chance. if you look at the areas in the country most devastated by the housing collapse, their areas in which you had the highest percentage of loans to investors. some of you might call them speculators, but the official name is investors. in las vegas, 30% of all loans made were made to people who were investors. that is assuming you believe on their form that they said they were going to live in the house. have a't have to complicated economic theory to understand why all collapsed. if the 30% of a sudden saddam not going to buy another house, 30% of the demand goes away overnight. if they decide am going to lighten up a little bit, you can see why housing prices
3:21 pm
collapsed where you have very high investors. this has nothing to do with the average family wanting to own a home. this was ranked speculation being financed out of wall street with no questions asked and that is what caused this crisis. blaming ordinary people tried to own a home in this crisis is simply wrong. >> frank is absolutely right. to go back to something you shared is to dig into the numbers of who got the subprime price. most of them if memory serves me correct or not for first-time home buyers. many of them were to people who already owned their homes who were refinancing to take cash out. most of them were white and a
3:22 pm
large percentage were middle- class. what i ask each of you to do counteract the false narrative, counteract the weapons of mass deception which seek to deceive people. but at least have a discussion about public policy based on facts. we cannot build the future without understanding if we allow false narrative's, misinformation, spin and lies. to color our understanding of what's in fact happened. that is why this panel and what you do is so helpful because it helps to get the real facts to people in the community so that they can share it. [applause] >> one of the challenges for us
3:23 pm
today in promoting home ownership and making sure it is available to those who are creditworthy and can pay their mortgage, the options on where all lenders can go -- they no longer keep these loans in portfolios. they sell them to somebody and right now that is the u.s. government. there is such a monolithic call for the end of fannie and freddie and do away with the fha. if you think we have a housing problem now, that would collapse the housing market and probably send us into a depression. see folks in wall street, the ones who buy mortgages when the government is not secure a sizing or putting their stamp of approval on them, i do not see this pent-up demand of wall street firms saying we will buy them.
3:24 pm
it is more a case of where is the physical market that is going to step into this arena to make sure that quality loans that are sustainable done on the proper terms and conditions that the private sector of wall street, where is the mechanism for them to step in and help alleviate this problem? am i missing this? are they do -- of iton't tend to think as a choice. i think the discussion is going back to a jimmy stewart world where you knew the local banker and he knew you and he helped your portfolio and if he needed a modification coming into your
3:25 pm
circumstances and you worked out. of the problems we're having today, the fact that these are not loans on a portfolio, they're all securitization is somewhere. when a bank sells a thousand loans and its bought back a mortgage-backed security, that's not much of a securitization. you heavily made the situation more complicated. i want to go back to a time where we have credit available. there were problems in the past. it's not a perfect model, the assumptions are we are going to need it a trillion dollars in originations. banks have a trillion dollars in cash doing nothing. how do we get those banks to take that trillion dollars and lend it? [applause] i think it is unlikely we're going to end up in market that
3:26 pm
is back to the jimmy stewart days. my memories of "it's a wonderful life" is that there are also evil bankers. [laughter] it is simplistic to say there was this halcyon time where we lived in eden and then we felt. securitization is a function of life and it's one of the reasons it's important to think of risk retention and a liability and recourse for homeowners so when they don't make a home modification, the homeowner can defend a foreclosure. those things are important, but i disagree that the gse's have not been a force for good. a report from march found they'd dropped the ball on monitoring servicers, costing billions of dollars by failing to make sure modifications were done
3:27 pm
appropriately. it's no secret they have been a major impediment to implementing principal reductions which this country desperately needs. [applause] i think we are stuck with securitization and it's part of our lives and we have to make sure that it is accountable. >> i think we need to stir the pot with our friends in the administration as well. some of the happy talk is a little too happy. we still have serious problems in terms of the secondary market. when you have 50% of the servicing and having 50% of the second liens, there is an inherent conflict of interest not being addressed and it has to be dealt with at some point. >> i think this is an important part. some of this is chicken and egg.
3:28 pm
we have a persistent problem of unemployment. a person out of work cannot afford to pay much of anything, not a mortgage, not rent payment. we have large numbers of people and we need a housing comeback, can we get it without a robust jobs comeback? we've got a job creation but it is not at levels large enough to bring the economy back. i am torn as to what has to come back. my sensibility says jobs have to private and houses can accelerate it. challenge inreal creating demand and demand comes from a sense of certainty people have. that affects supply and demand for mortgages. >> perhaps it is not a chicken
3:29 pm
in a in the sense that they are simultaneous. we have a housing crisis, we have a 11 million properties either vacant or in need of serious repair. there is a tremendous amount of opportunity in the construction and building trades that could put people back to work and bring these properties back on line. how are we going to jump-start the home-building industry in america if we have this pent-up inventory of 3 million homes on the market for sale. project rebuild, a suggestion from the president, may be a viable alternative but in terms of a simultaneous act of creating jobs for the purposes of addressing housing, we are now stabilizing the mortgage market.
3:30 pm
>> i think that is right. we have to reestablish a stable market at the local level. there are ideas that make sense, but there are perils as well. you mentioned moving it into rental. the more sensible thing to me is if you are going to have a foreclosure, let the family rent the home. [applause] not turn this into a business for hedge funds, but let the family rented a home. if you are concerned about principal reduction and that's the only way a modification can work for that family, 50% of the homes under water today have second liens. those are called second for a reason. the largest source of funds for principal reduction out there is the one trillion dollars of second liens that are there that
3:31 pm
instead of participating, in my view, i would have a program that combines a foreclosure that got rid of it so the family could afford to stay in the home. the foreclosure is one way to legally get rid of the second lane. to me, you need a policy that works, but i judge how works at the individual family level because the new build up the community. housing is a very local business. but it was 20% of our economy at the peak. how can you have a recovery if 20% -- [laughter]
3:32 pm
>> i think frank was done [laughter] . >> eliminating the second liens means of the largest banks are insolvent. been the problem all along? that we are kicking the can down the road, hoping these banks will come back to solvency. they're too big to fail, too big to regulate, too big to prosecute. what do we do about that? >> i don't think recognizing the loans are worth less makes them insolvent. i think the fact they are worthless makes an insolvent. not a recognition of reality.
3:33 pm
if you are looking for sources to fund principle reductions, look to the deals people made. this is an old-fashioned libertarian idea -- a sign these contracts and said this is a second lien. this should not be a surprise to them if somebody says we're going to simply enforced contracts. all of these families are being reminded they signed a contract and you did not adhere to it and you are being foreclosed. why should this be news to the folks who made the second mortgages which are not bad? why should they look for someone else to come and subsidize them when if we enforce the contracts, you have the largest principal reduction program you could imagine. >> even if we did all the second liens, that only gets us about one-third of the principal reduction we need.
3:34 pm
we also have to look to the first. that is not sufficient. >> i agree partly -- if you look at the people have the seconds, they tend to be more under water. we are approaching about $200 billion of the 700 + billion solely in seconds. these are worse if not pennies, they are worth zero, and we'd have a process to go through that. one of the unfair things we have seen is when you treat seconds and firsts the same, it's a violation of what everyone agreed to in the first place. you take the risk, you take a loss. >> hubert expressed the concern
3:35 pm
that this could make the banks insolvent. that is certainly something we have heard from many of the financial institutions, if they have to take it off their books and suffer the actual loss that they would collapse. i don't know whether that is crying will for accurate, but i have heard it from more than one source. >> one of the positive elements is the principal reduction element. those of us who pushed for principal reduction before january 20, 2009, our earliest positions are what needed to be done on the housing crisis involved an aggressive principal reduction to reformulate the mortgage. i always use the example of donald trump. when donald trump got in trouble with his real-estate back in the 1980's and 90's, the banks not only reduced his principle, they
3:36 pm
gave him four or five years of forbearance on all payments and and more money to go do more deals. [laughter] when you think about this from strictly a commercial standpoint. >> and no one has fired him. [laughter] >> he trumpets the fact that after that happened, he came back and paid the banks off in full -- this is what he says -- paid the banks often fall and was well fear and more successful than ever. i think the average person who sits out there is not immune or unaware of what happens in the commercial space. some of the lessons in the commercial space, principal reduction, reformulating mortgages, reorganizing the payments, if we had done some of that early on, maybe we may not have stopped the crisis, we
3:37 pm
might have been able to update some of the cascading of the crisis. the good news is there is an opportunity for principled rejection and the gentleman sitting to my left is going to make sure everything [inaudible] [applause] >> we will see how much of a principal reduction it is because there's a question as to how deep that can go when you spread money around. what i don't want to leave is this notion of how we can use the banks or the market to reduce principal. one of the things when this crisis first occurred, they went to secretary paulson and secretary gunnar and they proposed -- tim geithner, and
3:38 pm
they propose to go buy the securities at a discount. they're not worth as much money because the market collapsed. buy them at a discount, so instead of buying mortgages at 100% value, you can buy them at 60% or 70%. i remember talking to george soros about this. we told him about this proposal and he said that's the craziest thing i've ever heard in my life. who the heck -- where does this thinking come from? it was a tough moment. just yesterday, but i was talking to an outstanding republican citizen, a player on wall street, who is now bank as part of his living buying the securities. i told him this story and he said soros is not always right.
3:39 pm
the point is neater administration was shot to a set time. but he is buying the securities paying 40 cents on the dollar. if you buy a package of mortgages and each one is a $200,000 mortgage, you are paying less than $100,000 for it. if you are looking for a principal reduction, it's in your hands. investors invest, sometimes they make money, and sometimes a doubt. somehow, we are trying to do with this idea of forbearance, where you are setting aside some of the mortgage for a while and this is what is advocated by the fha, is take the mortgage unsatisfied and talk about kicking the can down the road, we will charge interest on it, but you will be responsible for it. if you refinanced in two years and you sell your home, you have to pay it back.
3:40 pm
the entire out of that mortgage, even though the investor has lost, and i want to point to one of the services that has figured out it is more in the interest of investors to principal right down than up to allow these properties to fall into foreclosure because morris lost in foreclosure for the investors than by modifying or principally writing down these mortgages. and that helps all properties in the neighborhood. i would like to hear people's thoughts about that and why the government should be more engaged in trying to acquire these mortgages. obviously, fannie and freddie have to play. we have a lot of work to do, but it seems to be that is something that would stabilize the markets and not sink the banks at the
3:41 pm
same time. >> despite the fact that i was not a van at time, tarp was opposed by mortgage securities. one of these things you put trust on is these mortgages are on the back of institutions that carried at 100 cents on the dollar. i think getting these mortgages to institutions to buy them at a considerable discount, there incentives are far different and will modify in a way other banks will not. >> we have to have a standard that goes along with those purchases to make sure they're not flipping are adding back whatever they say. >> we are hearing huge stories from the field about people to buy these mortgages and engage in all kinds of terrific debt collection practices. there's a tremendous amount of room to modify these mortgages.
3:42 pm
if they are worth 40 cents on the dollar, that's a lot of principal reduction people can get. that money needs to somehow go to the homeowners and the only way that's going to happen is with government imposed standards. >> part of my concern is we would be sacrificing it could to get the perfect by doing things that would take a lot longer than if we get properties out there and deal with it. there are bad actors in every part of the market but i don't know if you want to stop the ones that are doing good at getting properties out there. i would rather fix the problem sooner or later, so if we impose standards on people who buy them and modify them, less people will be willing to buy them if there are litigation risks. the important thing is to move the profits along. >> mark made a good point about how a tarp was a bait and
3:43 pm
switch. the original proposal was to buy the mortgages it reformat the mortgages and it turned cash injection program for the purchases of a preferred stock program. i distinctly remember because we evaluated leigh deciding to support a tarp, the public stations that were made to support it, particularly a that created an entity or some sort of centralized entity to take on the mortgages and that somebody would be responsible for reformulating the mortgages. i still believe we could have all the standards but we need a better organizational mechanism, qualified government, that could buy the mortgages at the responsible for principal reduction and reformat it mortgage. it would be more organized it better. we worked through this early process of these voluntary programs and many of them did
3:44 pm
not work. lesson to be learned from all was done in the savings-and-loan crisis and the mechanism used their. there is a great ideological fear about too much government. the boat was sinking, give me an hour. i don't care offense hasg for government or p for private sector. the political appetite might not be there, but maybe it is one of these continuing examples of good policy, lessons learned from the past might be helpful for us. >> i was at a hearing recently at the brookings institute where they were talking about principle write-downs and forbearance.
3:45 pm
i left that session shaking my head, wishing i can understand why he was diametrically opposed to principal write-downs. i picked up the next day, papers that said he supported principal write-downs. i might have been listening with one side of my head. but i looked at the documents that he's pushing this notion of forbearance. his concern on principle write- down is even though it would save the american taxpayer a lot of money, which he sees as his first objective, forbearance would save more. the problem is whether one is more effective than the other. the other problem as he thought by principal right down, and this is a gentleman who heads a government agency that oversees fannie and freddie and controls hundreds of billions of dollars of these mortgages and he is feeling the principle of write- down would trigger this series
3:46 pm
of strategic defaults or people automatically go into default because they could get a better deal. i tried to imagine the folks we deal with in home ownership who are waiting on the sidelines to go into default and destroy their credit history, the almost 90% of the people in fannie and freddie are current on their mortgages. all of the sudden, there will be a plethora of people who somehow changed their habit of living up to their contract and their good personal policies of paying off their own loans and being responsible home waters. somehow that is all going to change. >> all you have to do is build a fence around who is eligible. where sometimes in these discussions, people are not
3:47 pm
complete poll -- people are not completely intellectually honest. you can say the eligibility date is as of this date and that prevent anybody from taking on a strategic default to be eligible for the program. you can put in standards, controls, and acted as of 2% against that. i believe from the very beginning the idea of principal reduction and the reluctance to embrace it has made the problem worse. you put your finger on the perfect place where the principal reductions exist because the secondary market and the revaluation of the second market has created the biggest barrier to principal reduction. and the early days, investors would oppose it because they would be afraid to lose the money. but that market has reset itself
3:48 pm
as a principal reduction is absolutely available throughout the chain of the holders of the market. we need to do something different. >> i want to bring joe smith back into this discussion. [laughter] i think he would be happy to sit there and let us talk out the rest of the session. but in the news is this $25 billion ag settlement. a lot of questions about how it's going to work. most people did not realize even you as the selected monitor was not official until 10 days ago when the a federal court here in d.c. approved the agreement. i don't think everybody knows what the role that monitors going to be, but what everyone
3:49 pm
is most concerned with is what is going to be the impact? is this going to help in the foreclosure crisis? >> apparently. i think it will. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today and i will like to clarify couple of things. to begin with, there is $5 billion of cash, and i don't have $1 of it. i hope i can still have lunch. i am not the custodian of the cash grants for payments to people who were foreclosed in 2008. what i am the monitor of the remainder of the agreement which has two pieces. one is the new servicing standards for the mortgage industry. the second thing is the
3:50 pm
principle is the most controversial, principal reaction. my job is a traditional bank supervisory job in the case for the banks are stressed. which is to say i am agreeing with the banks about a structure they're going to set up to monitor their own exposure to consumer relief and that i will hire experts who are going to work with me. if we need to do additional testing to confirm what we are told, i have every indication the banks are going to work with me to try to get this thing transacted. i think it is likely we will see a lot for those of you interested, there will be a problem that. you will see a lot of action on
3:51 pm
that during this year. >> how do people find out about that so the groups out there -- >> i have a way for them to get in touch with the. i'm so glad you asked. i thought you were trying to trick me, but you're actually trying to help me. [laughter] i have a web site -- mortgage it as a portal for experts like all of you to be in touch with me about a couple of things. first, i cannot tell the banks what to do. i monitor what they actually do. i'm going to be working with them to get an agreed program of work. but i believe the biggest job right now is to be a monitoring
3:52 pm
job and have the banks to make compliance job. how do i do that? we will be a very thorough and rigorous job of oversight. the other thing is i need your help. i need confirmation from the real world about what you are seeing out there. the professionals website we're going to have up, it still two weeks off and i wish i could say here it is right now. that will be for you to give me information about what you are experiencing out there which will inform what we do with the banks as we are supervising going forward. i hope this will be a new approach to regulation. clause i-regulation, where we incorporate market data base on what you are doing. i hope you are helping us. [applause] don't thank me yet.
3:53 pm
>> i think the important thing is for the servicing standards to be continued well beyond the end of my tenure. i think this will set the industry up to be a better start of people's hopes and dreams. >> rather than wait for the web site, i will give you [unintelligible] right now. a week after the agreement was reached, one of the large banks in the group, i'm sure they are represented in this room, sent a modification proposal to a client our organization. there was $18,000 of interest
3:54 pm
back into the principal and $35,000 worth fees. none of those these were enumerated or explained in the agreement with this gentleman. to me, what was was that bank think theyhe ag's did something. >> they did do something. one, i do want to know about that. we're going to enforce this thing based on what we hear around the country. as you know, your -- there is no way for the client to seek redress anyway. we would all like a situation where this stuff doesn't happen and i'm hoping we'll have it soon. apologize orto defend the banks. i'm going to try to work with
3:55 pm
them so this stuff doesn't happen in the future. i a understand where you are coming from. i was the commissioner of banks in north carolina and we have legislation adopted -- my last great power trip was to be able to delay foreclosures for 45 days. our experience was we found if a distressed bar or could find an advisor of some kind who could actually work with them to get their stuff together, to determine what the real problems were, there was a lot better chance of getting a resolution that was favorable. not always, but a lot. this is back to our discussion previously -- i have agreed the case studies and the records on why the people were where they were in their lives.
3:56 pm
it was a job loss, health, or domestic. it was the holy trinity. sometimes to of the three and sometimes a hat trick. i agree with the comments that were made before. there are other, more systemic issues with regards to people's lives. >> another question you made that want to comment on -- you begin by correcting me on the $25 billion and say you really 0 $5 billion. >> this is obviously going to be going to different states -- 25 democrats-run and 23 republican. a number of the attorney general's are trying to funnel
3:57 pm
the money into things like infrastructure, roads, education, and not to deal foreclosure problem itself. this may not be a question you want to answer, but obviously people worked so hard on this supplement, it obviously has to do with real people suffering through the rubble of signing and fraud and abuse. to have that money go to another source does not seem fair at all. [applause] >> the only thing i can say to you as a former officer of the state government is that the governors and legislatures of these states are democratically elected. we may like the results are we may not like the results. we either by democracy or we don't.
3:58 pm
as a former state official who believes in federalism, including the states, i will live and die with my friends, what happens at the state level is between state officials and their citizens. the important things is we are citizens at the state level to take advantage to prevent this. >> this is a very big issue for all of us. [applause] it goes to the necessity for us to focus like a laser on the actions and activities of state attorney general's. understanding in some cases, state attorney general's have never been near a housing
3:59 pm
program ever before. in other cases, state attorney generals have been intimately involved in seeking redress on behalf of their citizens. our message should be the state attorney general's should follow the letter and the spirits of a settlement which was about housing. [applause] not about asphalts colin not about planting trees, but we need to really beat vigilant because in the scheme of things, this was interesting settlement because it was a settlement before any real lawsuits were filed. its parameters were shaped to the best of the ability by this to happen to be a table.
4:00 pm
but we cannot remain silent. we want to see the money that goes to the states, things like housing, said that people -- [cheers and applause] so that people can be equipped with the help they need to take advantage of the programs that are going to be created and the opportunities that are going to happen. we can all come together. because the alternate success of the settlement depends on, one, the ability of the bank, but two, for the consumers to understand and get the help they need to take its vantage of the opportunities that there are, so we have already at the national urban league written to the attorney general. flea encourage you to do the same. we encourage you to have meetings with the state attorneys general, share with
4:01 pm
them you're thinking, appeal to a friendly state legislators, because the attorney-general and answer to state legislators, but we have got to recognize that we have got work to do to make sure that they are accountable. >> ok. let me ask this. obviously, this was a settlement with the five major banks, but should we -- obviously, certainly the urban league and another, we all know that these financial institutions that ought to be signing these agreements and making the commitment to help homeowners avoid foreclosures, at any insight on that? conversations with the attorneys general? will there be more of these sightings? more help on the way? >> i have got plenty of business
4:02 pm
right now. we could do it now if we had to, but i am not soliciting new business at the moment. hist having conversations about it, but i do not have any. >> it is good as far as it goes, but it does not cover all banks. >> and, jill, would you mind talking just a few more minutes about the standards prove >> only 300. 500. >> 37 pages. never mind. i am hopeful, and ultimately, the jurisdiction, to promulgate national standards, so i am hopeful, frankly, that they will
4:03 pm
begin to generate a record about the implementation that is helpful and also for more further action at the federal level. these are not the final solutions, but i and they are part. i think it is a first step forward, and that is what we are going to do. 37 pages, 300 requirements reinvests what is required is a little crazy. but it is a concern to be slightly that if we have a very complex and expensive system of service in regulation, and we may need it. we need to ensure that people are fairly treated. that does influence the shape of the industry itself. how many can afford to do it,
4:04 pm
the consultants, the lawyers, taking the money to do it properly, so i think like a lot of other things, the first thing you do is build out, and i will be gone, but the rest of you may be here. to try to pare it back and make it efficient, to balance efficiency and fairness. we cannot get back what we had. i do think others ought to be looking at them as a way you can pretty much assure yourself. you can meditate regulatory risk. >> looking at them as a sitting duck for litigation. [applause]
4:05 pm
>> as a business guy, let me say something in favor of regulation, project early with financial services, and i hope it will follow this guide. one of the problems in financial services is it typically is very competitive between the companies, and small differences make a big difference in market share. what happens, and i think this is what happens, serving as an example. if one store research -- if one servicer begins to not check if the note is really here, did someone really sign the document or not, then they are getting a competitive advantage, and the other guy said, gee, how are they doing it so much more quickly than we are, and then maybe we will not check. so there is a race to the bottom, and i think that is part of what happened during the
4:06 pm
crisis. there was this race to the bottom. people knew how to service loans properly. they have been doing it for decades, but when it became disadvantageous, they followed. i think there is a benefit to the businesses in having standards where, if there are outlaws in the industry, they will be the first one to drop a dime on them said they will be sought rather than becoming the example, and this race to the bottom is behind so many financial crises that we have seen, and so, ordinarily, most business people would be saying no regulation. regulation is always in impeding. in this case, i think it could be one of the best things to happen to the industry, to have some common standards. you do not have to worry about competing with someone who is just cutting corners all of the time. [applause]
4:07 pm
>> by the way, when we used to have the -- and distribute model, regulating that piece of the industry, enforcement information. we found out it was competitors. i am serious. we got more leads that actually resulted in this with competitors. that is true. >> one minor question, as you develop this database of really important information about services and what is occurring and what has happened, is that something that might be available for groups like ours? that would be incredibly valuable for us, and also what needs to be done. >> there is a lot of conversation with a lot of people, including government agencies, and i interested in
4:08 pm
suggestions. i am actually waiting to hear from a number about what exactly, what exactly are we talking about, so i am interested about what you and your colleagues think that is, and i can promise you what i promised them. i promise you i will take it seriously. i do not promise you joy. i promise you i will work on it. [laughter] but i do think, i agree with you that it will be a sad statement there. we went through this process, and if he would be credible. in a hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar.
4:09 pm
>> we will probably have some conversations, and there are some cards on the table. please to write them legibly and not too long a question, and then we will have the staff pick them up. in the meantime, while we are doing that, i'm going to ask our panel for a brief vignettes on if you were put in charge, what would be the first thing you would do, the first two or three things, immediately, to try to address this foreclosure prices and to jump-start the economy. we will start with you, mark. >> i tend to think of what is going on in the housing market is a combination of weak demand and excess supply, and i think i've tried to address the issues in various ways. part of the demand equation is the availability of credit. obviously, some of the credit we had, we do not want to come
4:10 pm
back, but i think there is some that we want to come back that has not come back. >> so you are a judge. how would you make credit come back. >> well, for starters, i would take a good look. >> we agree with you. >> the devil is in the details. i would just get rid of it. i think it is going to be disruptive, and i do not think we have the time to figure out how to do it right, so that come to me, would just go. this will be a counterintuitive one, but quite frankly, if i were to do it all, then i would assume i could direct mr. bernanke to do it. we will start with raising rates, because i think that the rates that we have to they are discouraging banks from taking loans on to their balance sheet because of the interest-rate risk, and we know that rates are going to go up at some point which will depress rates then.
4:11 pm
i would rather hold off on that and move forward, so those are some of the things i would do. there are a whole lot of, a variety of things. senator schumer has an immigration bill. i do not think it will be a small number, but i think it is a smart idea. you see people from europe and buying homes in south florida. again, trying to have ways to get that demand back in. getting back into this, as was said earlier, speculators were a big part of this. how much speculation do we want to come back in terms of prices? this to me means there is no speculation, the prices are going to be weak for a while. if you want to look at spending capital gains for somebody buying a house for the next five years, i do not know how you can fix las vegas.
4:12 pm
>> that is ok. thank you. we have got it. >> i am going to decree an automatic pencil reset for every homeowner that is underwater, to take those loans and reformat them so the people can confidently pay on them going forward. number two, i would take the concept of a comprehensive program to take the abandoned, foreclosed properties to work with construction company is, construction unions, community- based organizations to get those properties fixed up and not put them back -- and put them back into commerce, even as rentals that lead to home ownership or as home ownership opportunities.
4:13 pm
it would be comprehensive. it would be directed with strong leadership, and it would be a public-private collaboration. the law third finger i would do is, going forward, i will -- the third thing i would do is, going forward, i would -- when people are financially literate and educated, they make good decisions. and that ought to be part of the dna of the mortgage market going forward. because we live in the complex world, and helping people become more financially educated through housing counseling and other types of programs has been proven, proven to reduce bad decision making and secondarily to lead to -- lead to lower foreclosure rates if you control job losses. >> thank you.
4:14 pm
it seems to me that financial education really belongs in early education and through high school. >> everywhere. >> the fact that we community groups have to keep doing this and working with banks and churches, that is good because it is not there, but it seems to me, and it is not just about mortgages, it should be about compact -- compound interest and building wealth. joe, you said the magic wands. as a former banking commissioner, someone u.n. force predatory banking laws, they have given you a bigger job, and it comes with a want. >> before i left. my former fellow regulators. the civic leadership. our banks and all banks,
4:15 pm
particularly some banks have the concentration of real-estate generally, and there is a regulatory disfavor, so what i said to the people in various cities is to have an actual community development plan. look at everything we have got. find out the neighborhoods. what are they? and then present to the banks, the local community banks, here is our local idea of what the credit needs of the community are back, what the credit needs of the community are, in dealing with vacant property, to refinance commercial properties that are otherwise not going to roll over and be foreclosed on next, and then, get some crazy person to go talk to the federal
4:16 pm
colleagues to quit this, what should i say, mania about no real estate lending. use the powers the banks have and give banks and credit for addressing these problems. that is what i would do. [applause] >> thank you. you are back in charge. >> well, the first thing i would do is roll back the clock and undo some of the things that were done over the past 10 years, particularly dealing with the crisis once it happens, and i think the failure to use tarp as the basis was a tragedy, because i have no desire to hurt the banks. i have a desire to help the families. with the tarp money gone, you sort of do not have that tool, but the most important thing that we can do, as someone said
4:17 pm
earlier, was jump-start the economy, and get people jobs. this affects most people's lives, and then you have to attack the problem in pieces. anytime you deal with something as big as the mortgage market and say, how do we deal with all of it, you cannot. you have to deal with the issue of the origination of loans. today, it is hard even for a creditworthy person to get a loan. it takes so long. it is making it difficult for people because of a long enough time it takes for an origination to occur. people are trying to sell. you have got a contingency. the origination process. we have got to get over the fear of making a mistake and originate loans in a normal business like way. the underwriting standards themselves, particularly by banks on the non fannie mae and freddie mac loans have been jacked up to a level basically that we do not want for this
4:18 pm
business, and i do not want to have the government telling them what they're always should be, but they need to look themselves, and a lot of these banks are in shock of what has happened to them, because many did not know much about this when they bought all of these, so this whole thing has been a great revelation to them. the next step, in servicing, we talk a lot about that. we have got to get a handle on how we can turn the modification process into something that is much more streamlined, get the ideology out of it. i understand the moral question and the moral hazard issue. i understand the reo, but all we are doing is depressing value for everybody. everybody's wealth has gone down. we have done things to fix this problem, and sometimes you're going to have to swallow and make the problem work at the family level. on the securitization sides, we
4:19 pm
have to find a way to revive securitization. it is bigger than our banking system, and people, they lose the context in this. there is about $1 trillion of credit. there is $11 trillion in mortgages. these are huge, and we cannot do that without access to a worldwide capital. we have to make securitization work again. [applause] >> if i was in charge, i think the first thing i would do is resign and then have them fire the fullback appointed may -- fired the fool that appointed me.
4:20 pm
those are parts. for the long term, i think we ought to make sure that consumers financial protection rules remain strong, that there is no way for that to be weakened going forward. we do need why it herb. we probably need dog colony to join and wife are to govern the financial institutions going forward, and those would be the things besides taking the money out of the political system. i think that is sort of the linchpin that is corrupting our politics, and we have to figure out a way that our elections can be federally financed, and that is the huge amount of money. [applause] >> diane? >> my focus would be on the few
4:21 pm
million homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes still, and i think the first thing i would do would be to say that before a servicer can foreclose, they have to evaluate the homeowner for modification, and this is a radical proposal, if that modification would return more to the investors, they have to offer it to the homeowner, and if they do not, then they cannot foreclose, and that would be my proposal. [applause] >> thank you, diane. i was looking at some of the questions, and they are tickling me. the first one is for you, joe. joe smith, how much are you relying on self reporting in your enforcement proved how would you determine the accuracy of those reports? >> well, it is required that i receive documents from the banks, so the banks do their
4:22 pm
analysis first, but the important thing is that the banks have internal review groups that are independent enough, big enough, competent enough to do a job so that we do not have to do much additional. if they are not, we will do more. i think, frankly, this is something we will leave behind, i hope will be left behind, which is to say that the banks will do a better job of self monitoring. quality control, so we will have an industry to respond quicker, and we go down the road. i am an optimist. i think that can happen. we will see. >> here is a question for all. why not have principal reduction for those severely underwater and not in default? why not allow that? maybe we will allow it. nobody? we are all in agreement. why not?
4:23 pm
ok. what keeps financial institutions -- unless someone wants to say more than that, but what keeps on into institutions from paying their portfolio -- from purging their portfolio loans before the final settlement? purging their portfolio of loans in minority communities before the final settlement? >> i do not know if they did or did not. the statement contains -- i really do not know if that is true or false. >> anybody? can we call upon banks to voluntarily estate foreclosures until borrowers are reviewed for principal reduction made under the h.g. settlement? -- the h.g. settlement -- the ag settlement?
4:24 pm
>> this is one of the 300. this is one of the better ones. >> it is not as tight as it needs to be. >> thank you very much. [laughter] it is more than we had, so if it is a start. there may be other additional appeal rights. they are moving in that direction. i know you will help me, which is good, and we are going to see how the enhanced services work, if they have an impact at all, right, is it enough, and we can go from there. >> final question. can someone make housing counseling mandatory prior to receiving assistance? >> great question. [applause] >> i do think counseling, in my
4:25 pm
experience, is crucial. i do not think the settlement requires it, and it is not so much the banks as some of the capital markets that have opposed that because it inhibited economic efficiency, but i think there is a clear correlation between counseling and good results, so i think that is a good idea to have that in there. >> frank? >> when we first introduced our loans at fannie mae, we required that, and there was terrific support from the counseling industry, and it had a lot of resistance from lenders, who wanted to make the loans without counseling, and so over time, those requirements got watered down and became a judgment call for lenders. personally, i always believed, as somebody who would do a credit background, i always
4:26 pm
believed the counseling was a value added. for example, some lenders said, why are you requiring a down payment of 3%? that is so little. let's make an 0%. in my experience, people with a little bit of skin in the game goes a long way. people know are not serious, they do not show up. if you said you have to have counseling, if they are not serious, they do not show up. you do not want them to have a loan if they are not willing to show up. counseling is important, and i believe it is important now. it is for a lot of people their success in home ownership might come from waiting three months and sitting $1,000 more just in case, so when you get into home ownership, you have a greater chance to be successful. these are the kinds of things that ross economic efficiency in
4:27 pm
running a business, this is unnecessary, cut that out, that is just cause, when, in reality, i think it has a significant effect on performance. >> quickly on this and. thank you. >> in the fha reverse mortgage product, it might surprise you that i spent a number of years pushing to have counseling expanded to some programs. i met with resistance from friends of ours who will remain nameless, but fha is 50% of first-time buyers today, and to me, that is the market that needs counseling. >> i think there is also an opportunity under the qualified mortgage standards in dodd- frank to push for this for qualified mortgages. >> so counseling matters. we all agree. i really appreciate these
4:28 pm
gentlemen and gentle women and joining us on the stage to have this conversation. >> several hundred people in the room, i hope you enjoyed this conversation. sounds like you did. but equally important, in america, through c-span, a lot more people understand the perspective and the challenges we have and the need to have a civil discourse with a sense of solutions, immediate solutions, a collaboration regardless of party affiliation to deal with the foreclosures, to jump-start the housing market, to get the economy back on track, and, clearly, jobs and housing creamy matter. thank you, diane, joe, mark, for all of your help. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
4:29 pm
>> today, former vice president dick cheney gave his first public interview in washington since his heart transplant last month. he talked about his political legacy, his experiences in the white gauze, and what life is like after his heart transplant. we will show you his remarks starting at 8:00 p.m. here on c- span, and you can see it at any time on our website at c- the investigation into the british phone hacking continues with james murdoch, the former chair of news corp., and his father, rupert murdoch. this begins tomorrow followed by two more days of testimony from
4:30 pm
his father, live starting on c- span2 and on c-span radio. also tomorrow, when rodney king, on his new book which recounts his life in the days and years following the video recording of his beating by los angeles police officers on march 3, 1991. that will be live tomorrow from new york, 6:30 p.m. eastern. >> there is room for government policy. it is the private sector that drives development, the private sector that feels it. but always in our history, we've had a some encouragement and policy by the government and if ever we needed that, it is right now when we have this imposing opportunity creating infrastructure of the 21st century. >> tonight, a former member of
4:31 pm
the federal communications commission on legislation to reform the fcc of the state of the media and reforming the fcc. that's on c-span2 tonight at 8:00. >> mitt romney and marco rubio held a news conference in pennsylvania today where they talked about the vice presidential selection process. senator marco rubio has been that mentioned as a possible running mate for said former governor. -- for the former governor. >> good afternoon, good to see you arll. i'm happy to have senator marco rubio with me. this is less data for the primary and a lot of states. we are campaigning to get people
4:32 pm
to get out the vote. this is a big campaign push on the last day before the voting and i'm delighted senator marco rubio agreed to join before the trip. we have some work to do with the people behind us. i had to stand it's a good crowd and we're going to have a town meeting, so it's gotta be a good opportunity to chat with you as well. >> glad to be here with the next president of the united states and i'm glad to help anyway i can to let the american people understand the way we are going out at the way we should be going. >> [inaudible] >> the process for selecting a vice presidential running mate is just beginning. beth myers has begun to put together a number of the names and criteria that would be associated with that price tag
4:33 pm
-- but that process. we have not really had a discussion of putting together a list or evaluating candidates. we're looking at various legal resources to help in that process, accounting staff and so forth to look at tax returns and things of that nature. she is putting the processes together and it's in the very early stages. >> [inaudible] he and i have spoken about his thinking about his version of a different tact than the dream act that has been proposed in the senate. the one that has been proposed in the senate creating new category of citizenship for certain individuals and the senate -- the senator's proposal does not create that category and provides a visas for those
4:34 pm
to come into the countries who came in as young people with their families. i am taking a look at his proposal. as many features to commend that bid is something we are studying. -- and it is something we are studying. >> [inaudible] >> i think young voters in this country have to vote for me of their thinking about what's in the best interest of the country and what's in their best interest. the president's policies have led to extraordinary statistics. when you look at 50% of the kids coming out of college today cannot find a job or cannot find a job consistent with their skills, how can you be supporting a president that has led to that kind of economy? and the debt that has been amassed that they will have to pay off all their lives -- we're fighting to make sure we can reduce the deficit and
4:35 pm
eliminate its debt overhang, yet the president continues to amass these huge deficits. young people will understand ours is the party of opportunity and jobs. if they want to have a president who can create good jobs and allow them to find a bright and prosperous future for themselves and their families, i hope they're going to vote for me. we are going to take that message to young people across the country. this is a time when young people are questioning the support they gave to president obama 3 1/2 years ago. he promised to bring the country together and that has not happened. he promised a future with good jobs and good opportunities. that has not happened. the pathway he has pursued is one that has not worked in and people recognize that and that is why they will increasingly look for a different approach. >> [inaudible]
4:36 pm
>> i don't think i have any comments on the qualifications for individuals to serve in various positions in government at this stage. that is something we will be considering down the road as we consider various vice- presidential nominees. >> i am not talking about that process anymore. >> [inaudible] >> i have a lot of memories of france. the best memories were with my wife on vacation. last vacation we had there, walking around the city of paris and around the garden of
4:37 pm
luxembourg and the city is one of the most magnificent cities in the world. i look forward to occasional vacations again in such a beautiful place. >> [inaudible] >> i anticipate before the november election we will be laying out a series of policies that relate to emigration. our first priority is to secure the border. we have a substantial visa program in this country. i spoke about the need to have a visa system that is the right size for the needs of our planet community. how we adjust the program to make it fit the needs of our
4:38 pm
country is something i will be speaking about down the road. >> thank you. >> there is one thing i wanted to mention that i forgot the very beginning. that was particularly with the number of college graduates that cannot find work or that can only find work well beneath their skill level, i fully support the effort to extend the low interest-rate on student loans. there was some concern that would expire halfway through the year. i support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students as a result of student loans because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.
4:39 pm
♪ >> thank you. thank you. thank you for having us today. i'm honored and privileged to be here today with the next president of the united states. [applause]
4:40 pm
and i am glad to be here in one of the states that will put him over the top. [applause] tomorrow, you get to practice doing that when you turn out and vote. all in all ways that surrounds these elections, let's not forget what they are. elections are choices. four years ago, this nation made a choice. when i disagree with. and from what i hear today, when most of the disagreed with. we made a choice and the choice was to give barack obama a chance to lead this nation. from the day he took over in january 2009, today he has a record as president and that record as numbers behind it like unemployment, which under his watch as got up, like a debt which has under his watch has gone up, like the value of our homes which under his watch have gone down. he is no longer a theory. he is a reality. for millions of americans, life
4:41 pm
is worse than it was three years ago because he doesn't know what he's doing. [applause] he will make all kinds of excuses about it. it's somebody else's fault treated always is. but the truth is his party controlled the house and senate for two years, his first two years as president. they would have given him anything he wanted and they did. they gave him a stimulus that failed. they gave him a health-care law that's failing. they gave him regulations that are failing our country. so we get to choose again and will we should choose are the things that make america great. this place is a testament to america's greatness. [applause] i used to give speeches and my campaign where i said one of the great things about america was there were few places in the world where you could start a business out of your parents
4:42 pm
garage, in violation of this zoning code, but you could do it. [laughter] that is what she has done. the job of government is to make it easier for people to do that and not harder. there is only one person running for president that understands that. there is only one person running for president as ever help do that. there is only one choice running for president that will help us reclaim and recapture the things that make this nation of ours different from all the other countries on the air and he happens to be here today. his name is mitt romney, the next president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you. what a welcome. [applause]
4:43 pm
i know why you are so excited. i heard the flyers beat the penguins last night. that's what did it. that is why you are so excited. and maybe because we have senator marco rubio here. isn't he an extraordinary leader? [applause] what a terrific welcome. this is just extraordinary. i appreciate your generosity and willingness to come out. i need your vote tomorrow in the primary. [applause] the senator was absolutely right. president came into office with all sorts of dreams about how we bring america together. that sure has not happened. now he is spending his time
4:44 pm
attacking fellow americans and dividing us one way or another. he also said he was going to have a report card. four years ago at the convention in denver when he accepted his party's nomination he, -- he got up on the stage with those greek columns. he won't be standing in front of greek columns because he does not want to remind us of greece. [applause] he got up and said how he measures success. he said he measure success by whether people have good jobs that can pay for a mortgage. on his ownre him measure. he's been in office three and a half years. unemployment has been above 8% even though if we said -- even though he said if we let him borrow $783 billion it would be below 8%.
4:45 pm
today, 50% of kids coming out of college cannot find work or find work concerned with their skills. unthinkable. this president has failed and the number one measure he described -- good jobs for americans and good jobs that can pay for mortgages. how has he done that? 2.8 million homes foreclosed upon. he has failed on that. he said he would measure success on whether -- on incomes have gone up or down. dessau they have gone? down. -- guess how they have gone? he said he would judge success by whether people had an idea would take the risk of starting a business. but during this presidency, the number of people starting a business has dropped by tens of thousands, costing jobs galore. this is a president who on his own measure has failed.
4:46 pm
now he is looking around to find someone who -- to find someone to blame and he blames republicans in congress. republicans did not have congress for the first two years, the democrats did. he is out of ideas and he is out of excuses. in 2012, we have to make sure we put him out of office. [applause] we sure hope things are getting better. we sure hope the economy is getting better. there are signs it is getting better. i hope it keeps getting better and the president is going to stand up and say he deserves credit for that. if it gets better, it's not because of him, it's in spite of him. [applause]
4:47 pm
i say that with some evidence. look at what he's done and ask yourself or ask sam here or anyone else who's in a business, big or small, did what he do help or hurt job creation. go through one by one. first, there was the stimulus i mentioned. that was three and a half years ago. that is not creating jobs today. then there was obamacare. does anyone think that has created more jobs in america? people have talked to in business they have pulled back in hiring because of the fear of obamacare and the cost that's going to put on their business. the novel is the regulatory efforts in the known asdodd- frank designed to keep the too big to fail banks from getting bigger. guess what has happened? they got bigger. the banks that got hurt are the community banks that loaned to small businesses to start up
4:48 pm
businesses. that did not help create jobs. then there was is labor policy, stacking the national labor board with labor's do just that decided boeing could not build a factory in south carolina because it was right to work. there is nothing he has done that has allowed the american entrepreneur to say this is a good time to add jobs and grow and expand. antibeen anti jobs, business and anti growth that we're going to make sure that kind of approach is over in the white house. [applause] this is meant to be a town meeting and that means you get to ask questions and we get to dodge with our answers. i'm just kidding. we will do our best to answer. i want to say one more thing before we turn to you.
4:49 pm
this is an election about the course of america. we're going to decide what america is going to be not just over the next few years but the rest of the century. i had the privilege of speaking with a former first lady, barbara bush. she said this is the most important election i have seen in my lifetime because we face challenges here and around the globe. how are we going to face these challenges and remained the shining city on the hill? i believe we will make the right choice but it's a stark contrast between where president obama would take as and where i would take us. he has a fundamental belief that government can do a better job guiding our lives and our economy and can free people. so government gets larger and larger under his vision. right now, government at all levels consumes about 38% of our economy. if we let obamacare stand, it
4:50 pm
will be almost half the economy directly controlled by government. that if we consider all their regulatory efforts into energy and health care and automotive and financial-services, the government would control over half the u.s. economy. we cease being a free economy. that is where he would take us. my view is we should cap the scale of government and 20% and do not let it get larger and get government out of our lives. [applause] he seems to be willing to accommodate trillion dollar deficits. trillion dollar deficit. he has amassed $5 trillion of debt, almost as much as all the
4:51 pm
other prior presidents combined. this is something i find acceptable. if i am president, will cut federal spending, we will capet and finally get a balanced budget. [applause] the president vision for america is one where the government thinks they can do a better job than you can deciding what can be in your health insurance policy. ultimately, they can tell you what treatments you can receive. if i'm president, we will repeal obamacare and turn the responsibility of health care over to you. [applause] under the president's vision, it's harder and harder to use the energy we have in abundance -- coal, oil, natural gas. he has made it harder and
4:52 pm
harder to regulation, moratoriums and so forth to take advantage of those resources. i have a hard time understanding what he means when he says he's for all of the above when it comes to energy. then i finally figured it out. the energy sources that come from above the ground. the wind and the sun. i like the wind and sun to, but i like the energy it comes from below the ground, the oil, coal, gas, we are going to get them both. [applause] let me mention something about our military. the presidency is to be cutting dramatically one area of the federal budget and that is our military. i don't happen to think the world is a safer place. i happen to think as you look around the world, north korea, iran, pakistan, the troubled middle east, other developments
4:53 pm
from the world, the world continues to be a dangerous place. yet we have a navy today that is smaller than any time since it was since 1917. 1917. our air force is older and smaller than at any time since its founding in 1947. the president wants to cut our number of active-duty personnel even as they were stretched to the breaking point in the last conflicts we had. my own view is we should take navy shipbuilding from 9 to 17 year, which purchased or aircraft, have more active duty personnel, and give the veterans in this country the care they richly deserve. [applause] i subscribe to ronald reagan paused view, which is you have a strong military, not just to win a war but to prevent war.
4:54 pm
a strong american military is the best ally peace has ever known. [applause] so this election will come down to a very dramatic choice between the course for america that we're going to take. are we going to believe in a bigger and bigger government more and more interested in our lives and become more and more dependent on government or are we going to return to the principles that made the country it is, which is free individuals pursuing their dreams, building enterprises that employ one another, and relying upon freedom, economic freedom, religious freedom, personal freedom, that is the course i represent. the president wants to fundamentally transform america. i don't want to transform america. i want to restore to america the principles that made us the greatest nation on earth. [applause]
4:55 pm
now it is your turn. what does that say? romney, believe in america. i certainly do. [applause] there's a question right there. they are going to try to get your microphone. could we get that microphone on? you don't need to touch it, it's the guy in the control booth. [applause] >> sun oil co. had to refineries operating into recess -- until
4:56 pm
phillips and conic had a refinery. these refinery decisions were based on complying with epa regulations which for coming as well as those that have already been met by these refiners, we are suffering from inflation in gas prices not only because of that but because of the use of corn, food, and our gas tanks which makes our cars less efficient and we use more fuel. what are you going to do about these things? [applause] like eveready in the room, we like clean air and water, so we will make sure -- like everybody in the room, will likely air and clean water, so we will make sure we have clean standards in developing gas and calls that
4:57 pm
make it possible to use those resources. in some cases, the epa puts are regulations that can be made with current technology and that causes enterprises to go out of business. sometimes i am convinced they put these things in place to drive these sources of energy out of business. [applause] it is with the view that if we drive these forces out of business, finally solar and wind will become economic. we have a long way to go before they become economic. i like those sources and -- and pete -- and appreciate renewable sources, but i don't believe in driving out of business those resources we have in abundance and believe we have to work to make sure we don't have regulators trying to kill american enterprise. pennsylvania has suffered with job losses over the years, over the decades. one of the reasons this manufacturers have left and one of the reasons for that is
4:58 pm
energy costs have become so high. we have to have a president that understands how business works and recognizes one of the key enterprises for manufacturing is the cost of energy. i want to raise the cost of energy and drive manufacturers to go to china and india where they use the call we have been mining in but the same pollution into the air. they don't call it america warming, they call it global warming. let's stop bearing the burden of what happens around the entire world. [applause] >> do you know what i want to add to that question right this is the most energy rich country in the world? the american innovator has invented ways to access natural gas and oil we never had a chance to get to it. at a time when the world needs more energy, we have found more of it and let me give you a graphic example of the direction of this administration. canada decided to build a pipeline. it can go into directions, it
4:59 pm
can go toward china or it could come toward us. which direction do you think the president chose? which direction do you think mitt romney will choose? america. [applause] in a moment of rhetorical flourish the other day, i said if we can't get that thing built, i would build up myself, which is not easy to do, but i will find a way to build that pipeline and get that oil here in this country. thank you. [applause] >> we are finding out in minnesota that there have been a number of illegal voting procedures. we lost a great senator because of 312 votes. people who were felons were allowed to vote in minnesota. in south carolina, that governor in south carolina, that governor is


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on