tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN August 30, 2013 10:00am-2:01pm EDT
opposed to boots on the ground in syria. either -- i would support an airstrike." >> house democratic leader nancy pelosi was briefed, she said it is clear that the american people are weary of war. gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional security, and global security. the u.s. rejects the use of chemical weapons by assad or any other regime. we are following this story and will continue to bring you coverage. we will post any documents released today on the alleged chemical attack against syrian civilians on our website, www.c- span.org. of the most fun times i ever had was -- it was 2006. it looked like democrats were
going to take over, take back over the house, it was looking pretty bad for republicans. vice president cheney's office called and wanted to know if we could come over and have breakfast. we went over and had breakfast. before, it is unbelievable how much he knew about individual -- he had been to so many of these districts over the years as one of your republican leaders of the house. he was asking us how bad is this. , it is saying, yea pretty bad. that is fun when you get to do that, talk to the caucuses, you get a glimpse of the inside of the players. >> more than 30 years as a political analyst, charlie cook has uncovered trends and covered sincecongressional race 1984. see this sunday night at eight
on c-span. what you see as the causes of the first lady become so entwined with her image that she keeps that cause and that image for the rest of her life. roseland and her commitment to barbara bush and her commitment to literacy and her foundation. toty ford and her commitment sobriety and addiction. >> monday night, historians preview season two of "first ladies," featuring 21st ladies from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. looking at their private lives and public roles. monday night on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. next, naacp president and
ceo ben jealous talks about racial profiling. he spoke yesterday at the national press club in washington, d.c. he addressed a voter id laws and the feature of the republican party. this is about one hour. >> our speaker today is benjamin jealous,who at 35 became the youngest president and ceo of the national association for the advancement of colored people. a mixed race kid from california, jealous grew up in a family always challenged by the issue of race. according to an interview in "essence" magazine, his grandparents faced obstacles dating back to slavery. his mother helped desegregate her high school in baltimore, and joined sit-ins at lunch counters in virginia. his father told him what it was like to be the lone white guy at a lunch counter sit-in and getting worked over by the police, who saw him as a race traitor. as a kid, mr. jealous recalls being at a discount store with a black friend, and noticing a white lady peeking at them through the pegboard to make sure they were not stealing anything.
he has led advocacy, but he could, at one time, qualify for mentorship at the national press club. reliable reports say he once tried his hand at investigative reporting in jackson, mississippi, at "the advocate," a historically african-american newspaper. but "the advocate" had a history of being firebombed, a fact that worried his mother, so that did not last long. mr. jealous was also the executive director of the national newspapers publishers association, which represents african american focused, owned, and operated newspapers. what may have been his biggest advocacy challenge is how he courted his wife and the struggle to keep her and win her over with little money and a new job in d.c. he succeeded, however, and is married to lia, and the couple have two young children. but at the core of what mr. jealous is speaking about today, yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on washington. five decades since martin luther
king spoke, the nation has its first black president, but still has serious issues for the african-american people, including record incarceration, double digit unemployment, ballot box suppression, and youth violence. the killing of trayvon martin brought back racial concerns to the front pages. questions remain if the naacp, like many long-time organizations, is up to the challenge of tackling these issues. the naacp, in recent years, has been criticized in the punditry circuit for engaging in symbolic challenges rather than being a louder, out in front voice on issues, such as the killing of an australian baseball player by two young black men, or the alleged beating death of an 88- year-old world war ii veteran by a black man. this week the president of the national center for neighborhood enterprise, robert woodson, told the republican national committee that the welfare of black americans is stuck behind other causes. everybody has come out in front of them on the bus -- gays, immigrants, women, environmentalists -- you never hear them talk about the
conditions confronting poor blacks and poor people in general. with these issues laid before him to address, please welcome to the national press club the naacp president and ceo, ben jealous.[applause] >> to my friend at the rnc, i would encourage him to just listen to what we are talking about. thank you, president burr, for that great welcome. thank you for being here. i did not think anybody was going to be here. what an honor to be invited. they want me on the thursday before labor day weekend, i will be talking to the cameras. [laughter] this is great, and it is a great honor. somebody who started out their career, their adult years, as a reporter in jackson, mississippi, this is a great
humbling honor. i am pleased to be here with people who have helped make me who i am and supported me in this work. my wife lia, julian bond, who has been one of my hero since i was a small child. [applause] julian's wife pam horowitz, the great members of the naacp staff, including joteka eaddy, who is leading the charge on our work to secure voting rights across this country. i am thankful to jeff and irie for extending this welcome to the press club. to the press club staff and ms. cook.
50 years after the march on washington, it becomes ever clearer the role that the media continues to play in informing our conversation about race and being the conscience of our country. we are grateful to "the new york times" and the role it played in challenging the stop and frisk in new york city. today i want to thank the man who is been my co-captain of the national staff for the last five years, roger vann. roger is the chief operating officer, and last year you might recall there were a lot of questions. indeed, throughout 2011 and 2012, there were a lot of questions would black folks turn out to the polls? will black men turn out to the polls, in particular. roger vann was the man with that plan, and he got it done in an incredible way, and i just want to say thank you, roger.[applause]
we are joined by my president, the president of the maryland naacp, who has racked up the most impressive string of civil rights victories in the country in the past year. gerald stansbury is a man who is on point as we move black voters in support of marriage equality and the dream act and we took the lead in extending voting rights and expanding restrictions on guns, gun safety reform, and was point in abolishing the death penalty last year and completed a campaign that was started by that famous marylander, frederick douglass.[applause] this afternoon i want to talk about racial profiling, but i want to talk about the press release that will go out this afternoon. the naacp five years ago, when i started, the national operation had been in tough times.
a lot of you all reported on it. i had a conversation with "the baltimore sun's" leadership the other day, and i said, where are the reporters covering the naacp? i said, 5 years ago, you had reporters who covered the naacp, where are they? i said because there is no bad news anymore? we have been in the black five years. we have increased revenues 10%, but we have organized people online and nationally. we are now not just online, mobile, and on the ballot box. we have 1.3 million people organized online, the largest list outside the obama campaign. and we moved more than one million new and unlikely voters to the polls, and we have more than 1.2 million organized voters.
that is how we do our work, and that is what gives us the power to do what you have seen us do, whether in maryland or new york city, where we have worked with a broad range of groups to push mayor bloomberg, forced mayor bloomberg to stop what is the largest local racial profiling program in the entire country. and we just produced a veto- proof majority, second time in a row. first time for the vote, second to override his vetoes, and we did that because we are organizing, we are building big, broad audacious coalitions. the march on washington will be referred to as a grand alliance, and we are winning. today i want to talk about the
history of racial profiling. we in this country, as a young country, have no excuse not to know our own history. and when we forget our history, we repeat our history, and we do so at a great price. specifically, i want to talk to you today about a century or so of our national experience with racial profiling. raise your hand if you remember the d.c. sniper's. keep it up if you were living here during that time. so was i. and you might recall just how disorienting it was, how you were told if you go to a store near the beltway, do not walk in a straight line to the front door, you zig zag, and if you are pumping gas, do not stand still, keep your head moving.
so you got insight it what everybody's personal theme song was, because it was easy at the gas pump, but we did not have flat screens and music playing 13 years ago, which everybody had a different beat. there is this cacophony of people as they pump their gas. we did it because we were scared. and the police could not tell us who was doing this. and our neighbors kept dying, until eventually the police felt compelled to put up a profile. a profile, a racial profile, but a police profile was put out there when you do not have a description. you use a profile in the absence of a suspect-specific description. theyway the profile works is start with a probable and they go to the possible. you start with anti-social. they are killing people, check. probably military trained -- they are shooting at great
distances with precision, ok, check. probably traveling alone or in small groups. that is believable. if they were in a big group, we would have found them by now. probably male, probably white. and the police got good in setting up these dragnets. the killings were happening at rush hour, when there is maximum traffic on the beltway, and there was pressure on the police to be efficient with the searchers, because you were stopping everybody, getting into work, in the morning, and so i'm sitting there at the water cooler at amnesty international and my friend walks in and he says it was the most disorienting thing today. we were driving in, the long trip back home every friday, and the shooting happened and the dragnets is put up, and next thing i know i am on the side of
the road and i have my hands up and i look to my left and it is all white guys like me. i looked my right and it is all white guys like me. i said, stop there, brother, you why don'tally profiled. we have a beer over lunch. in the midst of this i was inthe safest place where you could possibly be. saturday night, there had not been any shootings that morning or evening. i was in the center of the city far from the beltway. the basic comedy club.with dave chapelle. dave, my god-brother, my godfather's son, every now and then he will call out to me from the stage. when we were in college i was known as his bodyguard, they big guy who did not smile much you-- who stood behind him. there is a little bit of rapport we had. the middle of his routine, he said, ben, i figured it out, i said, what, dave?
when all the dust clears, the d.c. snipers, we will figure out they are black. i say why, dave? he said that is because they are taking off the weekend. [laughter] dave chapelle said that, not the president of the naacp. here's the crazy thing in dave's mind, he was starting at behavior and working his way toward race, and the police who had my friend on the side of the road, all these other white guys, were starting at race and working there will ways toward behavior. our neighbors kept on dying. and then the arrest, john athammed and lee boyd malvo. the press conference the chief ,aid, we stopped than 10 times 10 times before we looked in the
trunk and found the gun. they look in my friend's trunk, they looked in a lot of white men's trucks. they stop these two black men. one man wearing a military , that is asmelled sign of being antisocial. when you are psychotic, you lose track of things. they were bathing once a week at the silver spring y. antisocial.traveling alone in small groups -- check, check, check, check. you inject race into the equation, go on through. 10 times. raise your hand if you remember no one remembers. it happened right at the same time. i was writing a report on racial profiling post-9/11 in the midst of the d.c. sniper.
nathaniel was a student at a small college in raleigh, north carolina, and he was commuting back and forth to bwi on a small plane. guilford college. one day he goes through security and he had a box cutter and he notices it goes right through. this is before tsa has set up. those in formal years, years when guys who look like me, vaguely, i do not know, arab, i do not know what you are, brother.put your hands up. we are going to search you. i get checked every time. a friend of mine said, chief lobbyist, naacp, he said i convince my middle name is random because every time i asked them why, they say it is random.
nathaniel goes, the backpack goes.the box cutter goes through. he said, that is weird, i left my box cutter in here. nathaniel would go on to take box cutters and modeling putty which on an x-ray looks like plastic explosives, put them in the vanities in the bathroom, some in ziploc bags, where they stayed for four to six weeks, until he wrote an e-mail to tsa saying this is what i am, this is what you have never done. you have never found the box cutters going through. you never found a modeling clay goes through. this is where you can find them. they had x-rays, but apparently they were more focused on what nathaniel looked like, because guys who look like me, we could not even get through the x-ray machine. we could not get through the metal detector.
nathaniel was able to get a box cutter through.and onto multiple flights. and you look at these cases and you think maybe that is how we are. maybe we are hardwired that way. maybe race and gender will always infect our ability to discern what is really dangerous. then you remember squeaky fromm. raise your hand if you remember squeaky fromm. for 200-plus years the secret service and its predecessors have had a very similar protocol, look at everybody in the crowd, look for the men.the killers are the man. squeaky fromm took a shot at gerald ford.
how long do you think it took them to change 200 years of protocol? whose life to that save when they did? george h.w. bush, because about 20 years later, a woman showed up to one of his rallies with a pistol in her purse, and they were doing something they had done for the last 20 years that they had not done the 200 years before then. they were checking purses, too, and they found that. then you say to yourself, maybe what we need, maybe what we need is a racial squeaky fromm, and you start searching through the history books, you find out we had one.in 1901. raise your hand if you remember who was president before theodore roosevelt. no one remembered.a few guys, thank you. put those guys on "jeopardy!"
most people forget when roosevelt came into the administration he was vice president and was somewhat who is this guy, this showboat guy from -- fighting wars in cuba. hat elevated him was that he was a very popular vice president for a popular president. it was mckinley.he was killed just after he was reelected. he was at a pan-american exposition, a world's fair in new york state. president mckinley was working the rope line, and a man standing at point blank range at the line pumped a bullet into the president's stomach. before he could squeeze off a second round, the bullet glanced off to the sized and grazed him. i have done presidential advance work with secret service and
mapping out an event, setting up the rope line, watching them do their thing, and when you talk to guys, the only thing that has changed is technology.protocol is basically the same. you search everybody coming up head to toe.now we use metal detectors. you might imagine that the secret service agent in charge was pretty perturbed with the guy in charge of the rope line. he said, how did this happen? you are supposed to search everybody head to toe. this guy walks to a checkpoint with a gun in his hand, hidden in a crudely faked cast. well, boss, he looks like any other mechanic out for a day at the fair, and he had a wound, so we did not want to hurt him. so we did not feel or squeeze beneath the cast. it was actually a gauze.
boss, i think he had a decoy. pause here for second. there was a profile at the time for potential assassins of western leaders, based that eastern european anarchists had killed a number of leaders throughout europe and have warned leaders of the west that they would be next. and the profile was the person when you got to the ethnic and racial component would be swarthy, tall, and with exotic facial hair. when he said this was a guy out for a day, he did not fit the profile. he looked like anybody else. boss, he had a decoy. what do you mean? right behind him, a tall man,
swarthy, and had a long mustache, exotic facial hair. by all means, find him. we have good news, bad news. what is the good news? the good news is we found the tall, swarthy man with a mustache. what is the bad news? how do i say this? that is constable big jim parker, who tackled the a light-skinned black man. it is not as if the world did not know who constable jim parker was the next day. because newspapers were like cnn now. keep running the same story until it stops selling. for a week the president was surviving, there was an update every day, morning and night, and there was a sidebar about the man who saved the president. a week later, from bad health care, president mckinley died
and big jim parker faded into our distant memory. in other words, we had our racial squeaky fromm, we had our heads up that racial profiling distracts dangerously, so dangerously that if you inject race into a profile that is otherwise based on behavior, blinders go up and people die and sometimes it is the president of the united states himself. race is our issue. gender we were able to deal with. squeaky fromm, boom, we saved george h.w. bush. race -- we are stuck. we knew 100 years before the d.c. snipers, while the police
let john mohammed go at least nine times, that racial profiles are problematic. the question is, what can we do about it? we need to keep doing what we have just done in new york city where we passed the community safety act, because what is a failure or for national security is a failure for neighborhood security. we need to focus on people's behavior, not on their race. an op-ed last summer said an officer working a neighborhood and he had a black and latino neighborhood and he had a suspect description of a rape suspect. he came across four young ladies sitting on a stoop, and said, have you seen this guy? and then heno.
stopped and frisked them. that is the problem with stop and frisk. my grandfather was a probation officer for 40 years. law enforcement is not that different from anything else. if you do one thing, you're not doing something else, so you better be doing the right thing. if you are searching for a rape suspect and you decide to stop and check if these for girls have a joint in their pocket, you are no longer looking for the rape suspect. that is why new york city is on -- is subpar according to john jay university in solving crimes, because they distract their line officers too much. we have got to be aggressive again in our country about doing everything we can to stamp out discrimination. we got to have a frank conversation about it. we got to be clear to the young people that it is real and they are wrestling it. there are studies done,
princeton, ucla did one, the one from princeton said it is easier for a young white male with a felony conviction history to find a job than a black male similarly educated, with no convictions. the white guy with the rap sheet had an easier time than a black kid who has never been to jail. we got to dig into that. we have got to be clear about it and we need to stop pretending to the extent we do that racism is a thing of the past. the most important thing is we got to be willing to open our hearts and shift our mindset. i will close on this. years ago, i was in south- central los angeles, the 10th anniversary of the rodney king riots. the person speaking before me
was the honorable jack kemp. and jack was on fire that day. he said, our kids, our kids, and he was talking about the kids in the neighborhood. and an older black woman standing next to me, waiting to go out, just after me, and she iaid, ben, where's he from? said, ma'am, that is jack kemp. i said, where is he from? i know what he did. answer my question. where is he from? i said, ma'am, i do not know, but i do not think it is south- central if that is your question. she said, yeah, i did not think so. she said, whose kids is he i said, i think his point is is that they are all our children
because we are all americans, and they are all american children. and she said, huh, and she thought about it. and that is what we need to think about. try it, try it for a week. describing a child you read about in the newspaper, or you wrote about, just to your family, without using all the adjectives, and just say this american kid, our kid, see how hard it is, see how ingrained it is to dehumanize someone who has come into the world perfect, a child, before we get around to talking about what the story actually was. thank you so much. it is an honor to be here. i am happy to take your questions. god bless.[applause] >> thank you. what you said about racial profiling -- a questioner wants to know, if you set aside the moral debate, does profiling
have any utility in a national security or local neighborhood security system? >> i understand the questions were written before the speech was given, but i hope my speech got to that point. racial profiling is problematic because it is morally wrong. it is unconstitutional. that should be the end of the conversation. it is ineffective from a law enforcement perspective. there's something about my grandfather -- my background is in criminology, and there is this notion called carnival theory, and it explains basically how terrible things happen when a well-funded network is involved. they can be a drug shipment, it can be a bomb. when you have a network that has resources, ultimately a number
of people who appear very differently to accept the mission. and before they deliver the actual package, they send decoys to see who gets through and who gets stopped, and that it is why it is not surprising that jose padilla or the shoe bomber or the young jewish american convert to islam spokesperson that al qaeda had for some time, that we see this diversity in the actual folks who either carry the message or carried a weapon. and so we have to understand that if you use a racial profile, you are giving the enemy a formula for success. cityank you.new york police commissioner ray kelly
said the beneficiaries of stop and frisk are overwhelmingly members of minority groups. he said without a policy in place, people who live in minority communities are more likely to be homicide victims in the future. >> ray kellye? should remember what he used to say, what he said about a decade ago, that taking credit for a drop in crime, is like taking credit for an eclipse of the moon. or when he referred to stop and frisk as dubious tough on crime tactics. ray kelly was against stop and frisk before he was for it and he was against it for all the right reasons. >> julian bond is a guest today. he said voter id laws are rolling back civil rights gains since the march on washington. they are targeted at blacks and other minorities. do you agree? >> read that carefully. yes, i do.[laughter]
>> what are some of the biggest challenges in you face navigating racial profiling practices? >> the biggest obstacle i have faced has been in new york city, and the willingness of mayor bloomberg to resort to scare tactics. and i really hope some point he will apologize for what he has done. there is no evidence to back up his claims that people will die if we end racial profiling. what he has chosen to do is what demagogues have chosen to do in history, which is to strike fear in the hearts of people, to force them go in a direction rather than wrestle with the facts. when you look at the facts, the decline in homicides in new york city peaks are in the dinkins administration, falls during the giuliani administration. it goes from about 2400 down to under a thousand. 800, 900.
then it continues to fall during the bloomberg administration over the next 10 years. 3/4 of the drop in homicides occurred before 2002. second, the massive increases in stop and frisk happened after 2002. during the bloomberg administration, crime fell by in los angeles, it felt like 59% while they were fighting racial profiling. -- it fell by 59%. there is no evidence for mayor bloomberg's claims. his resorting to scare tactics was a shame. because he is one of the wealthiest men in the city, because he is one of our media moguls, for all those reasons, he has a responsibility to stick to the truth. in this case he deviated in ways that slandered an entire generation of new york city's children, and it is just not acceptable.
>> switching back to a subject, you talked about earlier, at in terms-- in of a petition regarding the trayvon martin case and the efforts, where does the naacp stand and has there been progress moving toward a civil suit? >> for the civil suit, i will refer you to been crowned -- to ben crump. that is a decision of the family, and the attorney is involved in that. he had been pushing for charges to be brought against mr. zimmerman, not unlike they have been brought against officers after the rodney king case and some of the under instances. doj is doing exactly what they should be doing, putting things together. some of the facts are in from of them, witness number nine, the witness who was the member of george zimmerman's
own family, who called in just days after, who believe that george zimmerman had done racist things before and had committed crimes against her when he was a child. the young boys who lived in that gated community with him said they targeted him because of their race. he said came up with a patterns of calls he made over the years. in this case, we have delivered 1.7 million signatures to doj from a diverse range of people in this country who feel the with another 219,000 that they have received. >> what specifically is the naacp doing to address your >> in your ground laws?
this century, the reality is that the primary tool of civil rights advocacy has shifted.in the last century, it was federal level litigation. in the century, it is primarily state-level legislation. our friends are focused on finding sponsors to introduce repeals to stand your ground laws. we are pleased that we have been somewhat successful in blocking new ones from being passed. >> on the trayvon martin case, it seems that thate are issues that pop up bring race back to the front page. does it take something like trayvon martin to spur action or can something be done without something horrible happening to make people pay attention? >> a good example of how we get work done without -- in the
absence of a horrible case. marriage equality, abolishing the death penalty, extending voting rights, and so forth. with that said, the role of cases is often to galvanize millions of people in a particular generation. if you talk to older friends, they might slip and say till when they mean martin. my generation might say rodney king. this generation has been baptized like other generations. what is true about activism is that oftentimes the most harmful cases are the gateways to a great cause great so people come in to the movement, because they are outraged over a case, something that they identify with, but they stay in because they see that when we work together we can
get a lot of great things done on that issue and many other issues they care about. >> turning to politics, what do you think so many state republican legislators having-- have enacted voter id laws? and is that turning blacks away from the republican party to the point where they never come back? >> i do not claim any special knowledge into the minds or hearts of men. a gop leader in pennsylvania made it clear, and he was putting voter id to skew the vote in favor of mitt romney and ostensibly all future republican candidates. what we know is voter id disproportionately impacts young people of all colors, because poor,are disproportionately and people of color of all races. they are more likely to move frequently or have been out-of- date i.d.
to your question about the rnc like mr. bond, i grew up in a family with a great sense of history, and part of that history was an appreciation for the party of lincoln and the role it had played historically. my daughter is named for peter morgan, who was born a slave and was in the first class of blacks in the virginia house of delegates, my grandfather's great-grandfather, and the republican party has a proud legacy when it comes to civil rights. they made a faustian bargain 40 years ago with the southern campaign. they are now being called to reckon for it because our country is becoming majority people of color and they need to ask themselves, can they survive with that bargain, or do they need to go back to their roots,
the party of lincoln, the frederick douglass as well. when i look at the public and-- when i look at republican governors, you have the makings, if you put their different planks together, they great gop civil rights agenda, in alabama, they are pushing for early childhood education, georgia and texas where they are downsizing it isison system.whether employment or in voting. unfortunately, the party is not there yet, but i believe that as our country continues to evolve in a way and we get closer to that vision of the great public -- the vision that the great republican frederick douglass, he said our composite nationality that every country has a destiny and its destiny is based on its character and its character is defined
as how it did at its best, not its worst, and our geography is unique. we are bordered by two oceans that connect us to every country on the planet , and two borders that connect us to nations a very different races.our destiny, based on our character, geography, is to be the most perfect example of human unanimity that we have every seen. that was yesterday's republican party. if it becomes tomorrow's republican party, that's great. if not, their party will fall apart. >> speaking of, all but two republican senators voted for passage of the 1964 civil rights bill, but no republicans were present yesterday at the march on washington. what does that say about the focus on the republican party?
>> i would have liked to have seen republicans speakers there, and there is a message that could have been brought. what i was heartened by was the message that sensenbrenner delivered to a republican gathering in recent days over at the rnc headquarters talking about his commitment to restore section four of the voting rights act. i am heartened by cantor in sending signals that he might support the same thing. i am hopeful that mr. boehner will look into his heart and into the eyes of john lewis and recognize on this one any sort of recent tradition of we do not put anything forward unless the majority of the party is in alignment, that in this case it might be worth it to let that be the exception to the role and apart and let the majority of the u.s. congress have its voice heard, because we believe when the time comes to-- for the vote,
the majority of the congress-- will be and favor of restoring the section four of the voting rights act. >> if you were to pick up a newspaper 50 years ago, you would find the speech on page 15. in the ap version of the story, the 19th paragraph. what would you say is the most similar situation today with the news missing the big story because it is consumed on an angle and preconceived notions? >> a good question. i think how we talk about our young people generally, how we talk about our young people generally, i would talk our-- how we talk about young people of color in particular. as president of the naacp, active in communities and can transform people into leaders, i am always struck by when it comes to our
young people, our media too often is guided by rules we should apply only to adults, we focus on the negative, we focus on the violence, on the sects, -- on the sex. in the process we encourage ourselves to be afraid of our own children. the story that is missing -- you look at the dream defenders in florida, the young people on the moral monday movement in north carolina, you look like geniuses in a program, the mathematical whizzes who won the math component that we put on our convention every year, and you realize there's leadership and power and genius in area-- in our young people that we ignore too often. and we fail, therefore, to acknowledge and therefore encourage -- and our country has a vested interest in just the opposite. >> congressman lewis is the last
surviving speaker from 1963. julian bond -- who would think is in the next generation of civil rights leaders? >> you are going to get me disinvited to a lot of parties. what i would say is that there are people in states across this country who are doing incredible work that the national media should pay attention. if you cover criminal justice, you should know that head of the texas criminal justice coalition because last year she passed, working with the naacp, the tea party, and the legislators to support together 12 progressive criminal justice reform bills so effective that texas is projected to shut down its first person ever.
itis year she passed 50. should not take so much effort for reverend barber to become well known. he has been leading people for a decade or more. should know the president of the florida state conference of the naacp. last year, when the sheriffs showed up the tuesday after martin luther king day to put her people and the representative and the league of women voters in jail because the new law said if you had your voter registration forms out for more than 48 hours, you were either going to jail or paying a fine. many other groups shut down and filed a lawsuit that she took the risk anyway and she let her group in registering more than they voted atoters. all 93% for the president. the president won florida by 60,000 votes. an old woman with a big hat and
a wheelchair is responsible for that. the story is in the states right now when it comes the change in our country, and the heroes are in the states, and the people we know nationally, will invariably be there, a person from mississippi who is doing great work, these are folks who are winning transformative victories, people who stood up when even their own allies said we cannot win marriage equality in maryland. he said we can. >> president clinton admonished those assembling yesterday to stop whining about the gridlock in washington because it is what goals is the naacp said -- pursuing that would garner bipartisan support? >> voting rights, voting rights, voting rights, voting rights, voting rights, voting rights, it should not be partisan, and signals from sensenbrenner and cantor say it will not.
as do the actions of the governor of michigan, when he vetoed a voter id bill, and that of governor mcdonnell when he kicked a dent in the century old ban of incarcerated people voting by empowering nonviolent offenders to vote. the criminal justice reform is a big untold bipartisan story. there has been some fascination with right on crime. and there is a flipside to that, which is the entire community has been working with states across the country to get these reforms through. and people, whether rick perry in texas who signed these bills or the governor in georgia who has played a more active role, a decade from now we will have tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of families that are grateful
because these very large prison systems are being aggressively redesigned in a way that will result in the most dangerous people being in prison, but other folks like nonviolent drug offenders, it is more effective --carceration, they will be in it is more effective to use rehab instead of incarceration. they will be in rehab and their families will not be broken up. >> there has been criticism that from the punditry circuit about the naacp not speaking out when there are black on white crime, such as the young man, black man who beat up a world war ii veteran in washington state. what do you say to that criticism, and also to the concern that the naacp has a fractured goal because there are so many issues like immigration or gay rights you are also pursuing?
>> the first i would say, in that case, it happened fairly recently. from what we could tell, people were arrested quickly, and there is not clear evidence there was a racial motivation. the national is often criticized for being slow on cases because we let things take their pace. let the local informed the state as far as our own structure. we were criticized for not moving asked enough on trayvon martin as well. we took our time, and we got so outraged about trayvon martin, somebody kill him is not put in jail. and that person's own family member said that race was a factor. trust me, if those factors were at play in a washington case, we would speak out. we stood up when white people are the victims of hate crimes,
often because they are lgbt. and we in many places are not just if you will do civil rights organization rooted in the black community, we are the only civil rights organizations in those communities, and we championed the matthew shepard bill, and that is an example of the power of wide concern. the depth of our concern existed from the beginning. the word "negro" meant black. word colored meant what people of color means today. coloredme, all the square negros to. coloredsllards -- the were "negros" too. for those, like dubois, there was a distinction. dubois walked into a naacp board meeting and said we have to change our name. if you have ever been involved in a voluntary authorization, one does not change your name. at a time our name was the
national negro association. and dubois said our mission is broader than that. our mission is to overturn the system that says one group is on top and everybody else along the bottom. he was thinking about ireland, india, a whole world in which he was involved, the continent of africa, and he said our issue at the bottom is with white supremacy. the new name would be the national organization for the advancement of colored people.he did not want to push white people down. he wanted to lift everybody up. frederick douglass said if you believe majorities matter and i believe they do, then it should matter that 4/5 of the world is colored, and only 1/5 white. he was not talking about black. . he was talking about every other color. that is where we start. roy wilkins was on fire when
people tried to slander ruskin during the 1963 march, and it motivated him because he was gay. right after the march on washington, we were pushing through the voting rights act, we got rid of the europe only preference, part of the grand coalition put together, we were all together. we got rid of the europe only preference for immigration. we have always been for sensible immigration reform. the new naacp is nothing but a renaissance of the old naacp and the multiracial and were multiracial from our founding. thatet fueled by the anger
the specific oppression of black people in our society generates. and the perspective that it itrs in your soul, that in-- sears in your soul, that in order to have friends, you have to be a friend, and in a democracy, in order to win, you have to have a lot of friends. >> we're almost out of time, but the last question, a couple of housekeeping matters. on september events. 7, the national press club will host the 16th annual be the deadline 5k. the race features tony horton-- creator of p90 x, and erika gonzalez. more information, go to press.org.on september 10, director of centers for disease control and prevention. on the 17th, the vice chair of the national governors association.
november 11, the president ofthe charles swab -- charles schwab corporation. before i ask the last question, i would like to present mr. jealous with the national press club traditional mug.[applause] >> thank you. thank you. this will go next to the ones i stole at "face the nation." >> if dr. king were with us today, beyond the obvious of having the first black president, what do you think dr. king would be proud of? >> on this particular day, i think dr. king would be very proud that today, in dozens of cities across this country, thousands of people are young, young people, walked out demanding they receive more than $7.25 per hour, because you you cansurvive on $7.25. work 50 hours a week and still qualify for public assistance.
dr. king in his heart good that even with all the isms we deal with, that name list is a we have into many of our hearts against the poor in this country is what wounds us most broadly. and his last campaign, the poor people's campaign that he never quite finished, he intended to go to jail for years after massive civil disobedience to wake us up to the sinful tolerance we have for the suffering of our fellow hard- working citizens in this country. if you have not listened to the voices of those people who are walking out in cities across the country, i encourage you to go online and listen. they are inspiring. somebody in my family way back
helped form a union, and wages went up and generations went to college as a result. they are those people, for generations unborn, and they are the ones who are making sure that they are putting their ability to pay the rent on the line, to make sure our country is not equitable from the top down, but from the bottom up. >> thank you, mr. jealous. [applause] i would also like to thank the national press club staff and the broadcast center for organizing today's events. you can find more information on the national press club on our website. thank you. [applause]ourned.
>> we are learning that john kerry is going to make a statement at the state department. reporters are tweeting that is going to be about syria and the alleged chemical attack. we will have live coverage from the event. it is excited to start at 12:30 p.m. kerry was one of the top officials that briefed president obama on the chemical attack. also briefing were chuck hagel, susan rice and james clapper. washington journal talk to a reporter about what was discussed in those briefings.
guest: the top party leaders in both chambers and members of relative committees and subcommittees. some of them weren't able to get on the call. host: what do we know about what was said and what information those members were given? guest: there were a couple of big takeaways. number one, the president has not made a decision. number two, there was the sense coming off the call that the president would go it alone even if there was not an international partnership. number three, the members of congress were making a pitch to
the president that he needs to do more to convince their colleagues that this is the right thing to do. we are seeing tremendous revolt on capitol hill right now in terms of members of congress signing letters saying that the president needs to seek authorization or should seek authorization from congress before using military force. the numbers are somewhere in the 180 range of members of congress having signed off on such letters. there was a republican letter that had up to 140 signatures. there is a democratic letter that has 54 signatures. there is a little crossover between the two. given the fact that this is all just in the challenge of tracking down members of congress who are on vacation, getting all the signatures is a
monumental task. you would have to assume that there is actually more discomfort than just reflected in the number of signatures. host: what is the timeframe if the president does consult with congress? members aren't going to be back in d.c. for a little over a week and a half, right? guest: at the white house press conference, the president spokesman said there might be complications with all the members of congress sometime next week. i asked if that meant the strikes would happen before the consultation. he said they weren't going to get into a discussion of timeframe. one of the things the white house has tried to do is leave the president's options open as to when the strikes might occur.
host: nancy pelosi, the hawk, tells barack obama to act on syria. take us through some of the leaders in congress' reaction. guest: i think nancy pelosi's was the most distinct. a source familiar with the call said the former speaker and current house minority leader basically had agreed with the person who spoke before her, speaker john boehner, who said there needed to be more consultation with congress. she turned in another direction and urged the administration, chuck hagel, and vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff -- she urged them to do something to take action against assad. she was not specific. secretary of state kerry urged
her to take action. the united states should take action, this should come as a surprise to some listeners and readers. nancy pelosi is generally known as pretty liberal and pretty hesitant to get into military conflict. she was pretty strong on this one, in terms of military action. the chairman of the foreign relations committee bob menendez and the ranking member, bob corker and came off that call. i think they were in position similar to before, saying that they favored strikes on syria. you have the members carl levin and jim imhoff they both had a
very different view. imhoff of oklahoma said that there shouldn't be any strikes. carl levin said he wanted to see the president do more to seek international support. obviously the british pulled out of any coalition with a vote in their parliament. i think as in recent years, this is going to be something the president is ultimately going to make a decision on because the congress is not going to speak with one clear voice on what he should do. host: jonathan allen is politico's white house journal >> that conversation from earlier today. we are learning that president obama is meeting with his national security team at the white house. this is in preparation for a response on syria.
should any news come from that meeting, we will bring it to u.s. soon as it is available. among those briefs in the house john boehner, nancy pelosi, eric cantor, steny hoyer, and kevin mccarthy. the top foreign relations committee, bob walker, charles schumer, and james imhoff. just some of the members that were briefed on the chemical attacks in syria. we will have live coverage at 1230 -- 12:30 eastern. bama the universe may bend towards justice, but it does not
bend on its own. to secure the gains that this country has made requires constant vigilance. whether it is by challenging thee orange shoring of scales of justice work equally for the criminal justice system is not simply a pipeline from underfunded schools to over crowded jails. wednesday -- the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. starting saturday morning at 10:00 eastern. for benls and comments shapiro. that is at noon on book tv. , the uss3 constellation tour. it is the last ship built in 1954 by the u.s. navy. heritage action of america
held a town hall meeting in wilmington delaware. it is the last in a series of defundingsupport the the affordable care act law. >> hello, delaware valley. it is so great to be with you. i am part of the team at heritage action. the opportunity to be here in the first state is very exciting for all of us. thank you for the warm welcome. [applause] as you know, this is a nine city true -- nine city tour about defunding obamacare across the nation.
we decided that delaware and the surrounding areas are important because weme to agree with vice president biden. this bill is a big deal. it must be defunded. [applause] last night, we were in pittsburgh. we were talking to them after the program was over and they were talking about how great the pirates were doing. that is exciting for those of you that are pirates fans. they told us to give you a hard time about how they are doing better than the phillies. i told them we would have to be careful about that because the eagles have done better in the
preseason than the steelers. they did not like to hear that. we are pleased to be with you tonight. we have an incredible program. so incredible. c-span is here and they will be broadcasting live at 7:00. i am going to get everyone on their feet. this is a rambunctious crowd. let's give him a warm welcome, the leader of the heritage political action. [applause] >> good evening. action to the heritage defund at the town hall. you arenthusiastic that here to support defunding oh, care. defunding obamacare. about going to hear a lot
congressional accountability. what is important about defunding obamacare, and how you can provide some accountability to your member of congress. we believe that every member of congress needs accountability, whether they are the best or worst member of congress. what does that look like? [applause] we believe congressional accountability looks like this. those that know, grow, and go. they know the issues, inside and out, often better than their member of congress. they grow their network of relationships, their skill set, so they can get the conservative message out, and then they go and lead in their communities. they get the message out and are influential, and we are looking for a vast network of these people across the country so we can provide an infrastructure of accountability. we believe they have been doing it all along, and we want to
them to stay and equip them. we have established federal programs to invite more people to be trained and to do this kind of important work. in pennsylvania, there is one woman who is involved in her local tea party, or local republican club. when she first started, she was relatively inactive, but now, she is taking meetings with her congressman. she goes in there armed with the facts, and she is able to get the message out about obamacare. she is giving us her pledge. [applause] >> i pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the united states of america, and to the republic of which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
[applause] we are now going to have our next guest come up and give us our prayer. for those of you who do not know him, rafael cruz came the country in 1957. [applause] he fled oppression and came to find a better life. he came to texas and started a life for himself. he started a small business and grew it and became involved in a ministry, and now he is a his son justeacher. got elected to the united states senate in the great state of texas. [applause] and i am judging by the clapping that you think he is doing a
pretty good job to defund obamacare. [applause] he is going to come up later in the program to do a call to action. for right now, please welcome him to give us our prayer. [applause] >> since you are standing, please remain standing for our prayer. oh, father, we praise you. we thank you for being americans, father. thankful for living in this wonderful country. father, we thank you for the history of this country, the only country in the world that was created by people seeking the freedom to worship you. we thank you for our heritage. we thank you for those founding fathers who were on their knees, seeking revelation from above as they created the two greatest documents that ever existed in government.
father, i want to thank you for the principles of the declaration and the constitution that have guided us for over 230 years. we know those principles are under attack today, and we pray, lord god, that you listen to us, with the perseverance to restore those principles to our country. we bless you for it all. in the name of jesus, amen. [applause] >> thank you, rafael. with us now is a man who got his start at the heritage foundation and then went on to run one of our top policy centers at the heritage foundation and went to business school.
we like to think of him as having a brilliant mind with the guts of a street fighter. please welcome him. [applause] >> thank you, all. thank you for being here. thank you. my wife says something very different about my gut, and i like what you said better. [laughter] i start off with an apology. we have been doing this all around the country, and somewhere around, we lost our teleprompter, so i apologize. my mother told me if i just tell the truth, i will not get mixed up. that is what we will do tonight. thank you all for being here. it makes a big difference in our country. i know there is a lot of things we could be doing tonight.
we would love to be out with our families or friends. some with our jobs. but we all know if we are at home, screaming at the tv by ourselves, our voice would not matter, so we come together with 500 people unified together with one voice, demanding change from washington, demanding washington step up and have the courage to defund obamacare. [applause] and it makes a difference that we are all here speaking with one voice, but i can tell you what smart people in washington are saying right now. i can tell you. they are saying that all of us here with our commitment to principle, with our spending thursday night together, it is all of us here that is the reason washington does not work. we are the reason nothing gets done in washington. which is just an astounding idea. in the last 12 years,
washington, d.c. has passed the feingold campaign finance reform, sarbanes-oxley, dodd- frank, and no child left behind. we had medicare part d. we had obamacare in 2010. in any other period in our country's life, the legislation of this magnitude would be historic. we are told that this does not work. washington is not broken. washington is a finely tuned machine that is aimed at expanding government, taking away our freedom, and picking winners and losers in the economy. [applause] but here is the dirty secret. all of us in this room together, when we stick together, when we make sure that our voice is heard, when we hold congress accountable, we can stop it. they cannot pass this legislation unless we allow them, and if we go to their town halls, if we go to the ballot box, if we demand change from washington, we will get it.
[applause] and so, we have a problem in washington that there are a lot of people that seem to be part of the no, we can't caucus. they say, no, we cannot have a low, flat, fair tax. they say, no, we can't get rid of our department of education. and right now, they are saying no, we cannot defund obamacare. that is not true. we all know, yes, we can do all of those things. [applause] and let me tell you how we can do it. the first and most important, immediate thing is that every member of congress who tells you he is against obamacare, every member of congress who says we are in favor of repealing it, that i will do everything i can to stop obamacare, needs to sign the letter in the house or the letter in the senate, and let me tell you what those are.
the senator from utah. he would not vote for any continuing resolution, i will not vote for any continuing government built in september unless you defund obamacare. [applause] and a representative from north carolina has a similar letter, and right now, there are 14 names in the senate, and only 14 names in the senate who have stood up to say they will not vote to do that, and they are 80 people in the house who have said that, so one of the things we have to do is go out and hold our members accountable, ask them the question, are you on board with the letters, and if not, why not? and the second thing that has to happen, the house of representatives comes back on september 10, the first day they are back, and pass the government funding resolution, say we are going to fund the entire government. we are not going to shut down or slow down, but we will not fund
obamacare. [applause] the elected representatives have to go on offense. they have to go all around the country, because we have done our job. we have funded the government, but we are taking a timeout for obamacare. there is a lot of information that has come out over the last couple of months, the employer mandate, to the way premiums have gone up, to dropping people off their coverage, to just yesterday, a delay in signing up people with the exchanges. so we are going to have a one- year defunding of obamacare, and if the president wants to shut down the government because he is so insistent, then that is on him and not on those people who want a timeout. [applause] but you are going to hear a lot of excuses from your elected
representatives when you say that, and one of the reasons heritage action exists, and one of the reasons we are located here, and as you are leaving, please stop by our table and sign up. there is someone full time in this area, who will give you the answers to the questions you will hear from the people in congress. some are saying, well, i would love to do this, but, you know, it is just not possible. there is so much going on here, mandatory spending, and you will not touch mandatory spending on a cr. congress passed something called a hide amendment. it talks about no money being spent for abortion. this is every year since 1976.
furthermore, every single spending bill that passes in washington, d.c., there is changes in mandatory programs spending. so we have all of this information for you at heritage action, so when you go to a town hall or ask your representative a question, and he says, i would love to do it, but i cannot, you will have the information to push back. a lot say that we acknowledge you can, in fact, defund the mandatory spending on the appropriation bill. they can say, well, we only have part of the government. we only have the house of representatives. well, that is fine. that is true. but they have the power. if the house of representatives does not want to fund obamacare, it does not have to. [applause] and then people say, yes, that is true, we could do that if we want it. the constitution gives us the power. but they will say, we will never win the debate.
we will never convince the american people, and the as ifdent has the mandate. the people love to listen to the condescending speeches that the president of the united states gives. when we have fought have the american people not listened to our ideas and said, those ideas make sense? on the stimulus, we were told there was no way we could win the argument, but we did. there was no way we could win the argument, but we did. obamacare, they jammed it down our throat and used procedures to get it passed, but the american people will continue to be against this law. [applause] but here is the final thing you will hear. i agree with you that we could do this. i agree we have the power to do it. maybe we need to go out there and win the argument if we
forcefully made it. but let's not do it right now. if we just wait 60 more days, then the playing field will be better set. everything will be lined up, and then we will fight. do they think we are stupid? how many times have we heard this? we heard it in 2011 and 2012. we were told in 2012 if we just put our heads down, we are going to ride to victory in 2012, and that did not work out very well. but, you know what? we do not have the time to wait. on october 1, sign-up for these exchanges start. on january 1, things start happening. we do not have time to waste. the time to fight is now, and that is why we are all here now to defund obamacare. [applause] but i can't say that from a peer
-- from up here on stage. i need to hear it from all of you, so with all due respect to the president of the united states, i ask you, can we keep them from enforcing obamacare? yes, we can. can all of us get a waiver for obamacare? >> yes, we can. >> to tell our representatives you told us you were going to do everything, you are going to defund obamacare. >> yes, we can. >> can we do defunding of obamacare? >> yes, we can. >> ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce the president of the heritage foundation, senator jim demint. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you.
[applause] thank you. thank you for coming. i am so proud of mike and his team. i know from being on the inside that they are making progress. that way i know it is that a lot of people are complaining about what they are doing on capitol hill. [laughter] [applause] as we say, if you're not taking fire, you're not over the target. we have republicans and democrats and media and everybody firing at heritage action. that means good things are happening. mike, thank you to you and your team. [applause] i am especially proud of mike. if you heard him introduced, or when he first came out he said, thank you for coming. now he is from new york. [laughter]
respect fors out of someone who came from south carolina am a but i appreciate that. he is making a lot of progress in trying to relate to us everyday americans. [laughter] i hope you are it's -- as inspired as i am. you can make a difference. that is one of want to talk about your tonight. [applause] a lot of you had to wait a long time in line to get here. you packed in here tonight. a lot of people are having to stand up, but we did that on purpose. [laughter] we did. we wanted to simulate what it will be like in a doctor's office in about a year or so. [laughter] [applause] so, while -- welcome to national run health care. this is what it will be like. i can't tell you how good it is to be out of this and that and with you tonight.
[applause] many good things have happened to me since i left the senate. [laughter] the first thing was that i did not have to go to the inauguration. [laughter] [applause] that a cup better. i did not have to go to the state of the union address. [laughter] [applause] the best part of it is that every day i get to go to work with about 270 people who love this country and understand the principles that make this country great. they understand why we are the most powerful, successful, prosperous, most compassionate nation that has ever been on the face of the earth. they know why that happens. it did not happen by accident. it was not geography or the people here. it was a set of ideas that were unique to the world. that is why we are gathered here
as conservatives tonight. , andlieve in this country would love this country. we want to protect those things that make this country so wonderful. it is great to start a meeting like this. [applause] the first amendment gives us the right to petition the government or redress of grievances. we are here tonight because we have a lot of grievances, but one in particular we want to talk about. before we do that, i want to go cruise -- kville rafael cruz's prayer. when he to go back to the redress of grievances back of that prayer. we are grateful that we are americans and we live in this country, a recognition that where soap last -- blessed to be here. the blessings of liberty, the
things in that prayer, that every time he asserts that -- he starts that, it reminds me of how grateful i am. everything we are talking about should be in the context of how and tol we are to god the millions of americans who came before us. [applause] we know that we have rights and privileges and blessings, not only from god, but from andicans who sacrificed, gave their lives so we can have what we have here today. ronald reagan reminded us that freedom is a fragile thing. e extinct.om we as americans have to stand up and fight for what we have been
given. . lot of you have a lot of you have served our country in a form -- in uniform. [laughter] [no audio] [applause] family, if you volunteer in her church and your community, you work to make this country better. that is part of handing it to the next generation, what is so good about this country. so many in washington have forgotten that. this is not a top-down country. we did not get great because we were centrally managed and planned or someone in a distant place mccain decisions for us. we are so unique and prosperous and successful, and so much opportunity in america is because we are a ground-up country. andegin with the families
platoons that make this country great. freedom is when millions of people can make their own decisions about what they want to do and what they value. when you have new the people doing that -- millions of people doing that, people are entrepreneurs and innovators. a work in their communities and volunteering to make things better. that is what america is about. when we have someone, and we have politics and politicians who want to take those freedoms away and replace it with a centrally planned and managed system that will destroy so many nations. people arenger, when betraying those principles, we make life better. we are not here tonight for ourselves or people who vote for conservative ideas.
as conservatives, we are not going to rest until every american can get their hands on the ladder of opportunity and climb as high as they can dream. [applause] even though some in washington and around the country don't understand those principles are a personal or spots ability, those key ideas would talk about, those are the ideas that create a better life or everyone and more opportunity. even though some people do not understand it, i am not going to rest until they do. they understand why america is special and blessed, and we cannot sit idle while people misinform and give all of these false promises so people give more of their freedoms to a theynment, even though consistently do not come through. for hisare here tonight
trip. -- is truth. it is not a political argument anymore. president -- where president obama's policies take our country. we do not have to look at greece and portugal anymore. we can look close by at detroit. that is a picture of where the --e per growth of ideas go goes.l progressive growth as you have a government unions grow and higher taxes and more regulation, as you saw these liberal progressive ideas that were help -- supposed to help .he poor,
only seven percent of children in the eighth grade read at the grade level. has it created the prosperity they talk about when a third of the buildings are empty? you have 400 liquor stores. not one chain supermarket and what was america's premier city. argument a theological anymore. other states are following those policies and are not far behind in bankruptcy. showcasedare being all over the country. when you create more choices and a petition and education, people drive and children get a budget education -- and a better education. we have seen it. [applause] nowave liberals who are pro-choice in education because they saw in the d.c. scholarship program. we have real names and real people who had failing schools
in the third grade got color ships to get out to another school. they are in college and taking advantage of the opportunities of the country today. for me, that is not a political idea or a conservative idea. it is in america idea to allow people to have noises -- have choices of schools where their children can succeed. children are getting but it -- better education all over the country. this is for the people who have been told that our ideas would hurt them. in fact, those ideas are being proposed -- opposed because of special interest, not because of the interest of the children. states recognize that less government and lower taxes will create a better economy and more jobs.
texas with no income tax, and tax, andith no income businesses moving from big tax dates to the states, it is not just about helping business, it is the families and people eating the jobs and having a better life -- creating the jobs and having a better life that we want to help. reform,y passed tort what happens? the best doctors move to where they want to practice. the cost of health care goes down. [applause] we know we are right. it is not enough to be right. we need to make sure that every american understands that what takee here for is not to some political agenda, but to make their life better, to give their children better education, to give them better health care. that brings us -- [applause] call brings us to what we
obamacare. the principles i just talked about, i cannot think about anything that is more un- american than national government run health care. [applause] those who believe and those present bowls of socialism and that theysm see control their health care system. it is a personal service and a big part of the economy. if they can control that, they can control most areas of our lives. that has been something this country has wondered for years. proposals that were designed to make the best health care system in the world better, to make health insurance more available to every american, they have blocked them.
we know that they are commonsense ideas that can make health care and insurance available to more americans. a 2000't have to have page bill. it is common sense that if you give businesses a tax break for buying health insurance, you should do it for individuals as well. it is a simple thing to do. [applause] insurance make health less expensive and more available. if you let people who live in pennsylvania or delaware buy health insurance anywhere in the --ntry instead of just here [applause] and dozensve dozens of insurance companies instead of just a few competing for your business. the new choices you want, whether it is ida dockable -- high deductible, or keeping your
deductibles,he those choices become available --japanese have to compete as companies after compete. small businesses have to pay more than large companies. we have proposals that i have supported in the house and the senate that suggest that small businesses come together and pull their employees and buy less expensive health insurance. why not? [applause] that does not have to be just for businesses. clubs, whyotary would someone oppose that? leftists ins and congress blocked it. do you know why? nationalhey want government run health care.
they do not want our system to work better. when we have ideas to work with the state to create insurance plans for those who have pre- existing conditions and high risk conditions, democrats do not support that. it is not about getting people insured. it is about controlling our lives. that is what this is about. [applause] you that there are now ways to fix the system or that conservatives have not offer them, they are not telling you the truth. we have ideas that we know work. and they have been tried and we know that we can get people the health insurance they need. we also know that promises made by this government run health care law have not been kept. they have not been telling us to truth. it was sold under false pretenses. the american people were lied to. they have every right to demand
of your elected officials that we stop this bill now. [applause] let's review some of the promises. if you expect people to get insurance from this, the promise will not come true either. what did they tell you? first, it will lower the cost of health insurance. the president said by this time the average cost of health insurance premiums would go down $2500. instead, they have gone up $2100. they told americans that if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it. ups employees found out that wasn't true. employeesstudios found out it was untrue. not only will they keep their health insurance you want, they the healthep insurance.
this was to improve the economy and create jobs. now the second-largest of our in america is a temporary firm. even the unions are saying it will destroy the 40 hour workweek. the promises are not coming through. they promise that people who do not have good health turnout will have it under this plan is not going to come true either. the reason for that is they push people onto medicaid style plans that do not pay doctors and of to see you. what will happen is you will see a plan that you will not have a doctor that will see you. it is like having a bus ticket with the buses. [laughter] the final thing for may, after being in washington, and seeing the federal government try to do a lot of things, i have yet to see one thing that they can manage all. [applause] -- can manage well.
not somewhatry was outside the political process, we would also be in trouble. even though programs like medicare and social security that people have paid into, these are promises we have to keep. the way they have been managed in washington, all of the money you put into them has been spent before you got there. the program is in the red it now. more is going out than is coming in. people have been paying into medicare their whole lives. no money has been saved. that is creating tens of trillions of dollars of liability on our children. i've sinned and try to start small programs that seem like they might do it. if they were going to help sell -- they were going to help sell american cars a couple of years ago. cars -- a used car
business that a billion dollars that was supposed to run a program for six months. two weeks later, it was broke. i call a obamacare ers" plan.for clunk no matter what the intentions and motivations, even if they wanted to, they cannot manage america's health care system. we do not want government run health care. a team of us from parentage were in london a month ago talking about their national health plan. per --dlines in the play were therer while we were about the number of people dying in our hospitals. they cannot change it because the health care system in britain is the largest employer in the country. they are all unionized, even the doctors. they control not only the health
-- health care't system, but the government. it is locked in. you have to wait forever. we don't want that in america, and we did not have to have it. there are better ideas. we can stop it. let's talk about obamacare for a few minutes, then i will get like ike appeared. first, it is important and urgent. wordsre has been anything -- worth fighting for, it is this. [applause] as americans, government run health care will change everything about america. our culture, how we think about each other, not only our health care system, but our political 6 of ourit is 1/ economy. it is important to have high quality health care.
it is urgent because october 1 is when the senate begins. on january 1, subsidies go out the door. those in washington who say that the best strategy is the leftist idea to be implemented, americans will see what a mess it is and that will help republicans win the next election. i am not willing to unleash that leg on america in the hopes that we can unravel it later. gue on america. [applause] once people are on government health care, the private market will dry up him and will be a possible to go back. this is our time to stop it. it is urgent and important and we can do it. this is a winnable that all. -- winnable battle.
politicians are saying is that we are crazy and we are -- and it is impossible. i have been told that things were impossible in washington. a lot of those are called senator sell. [laughter] when i broke ranks a couple of years ago and said that this place is a mess and we will not change it until we change the people here, i did not go to the party. i went to the able around the country. i went to pennsylvania. [applause] lectured to understand that pennsylvania would never vote for me. it was too conservative. i heard the same thing in florida. same thing in kentucky. also in utah and wisconsin. ,hen you have heard the names one day i saw was when they say
it is impossible, it is a good time to go to work. it is possible that we can change things. the same people told me there is no weight you can get rid of the favor factory of earmarks in washington. --rybody loves to take on take on the bacon. that is why you go and come back in 30 years. you cannot change it. i have a resolution in my conference in 2008 to ban earmarks, and i got five votes and a lot of dirty looks and lectures. we took the case to america -- to the american people and talked about the bridges to nowhere. of americans thought we should get rid of these things, even though sometimes it benefited their districts. the politics followed. you had people in 2010 running on a pledge that if they got their am a if you elected them, they would walk in the door and
ban earmarks. 2010, when the new group came into the senate, the first thing we did was the say petition that failed a couple of years before. a pass by what one vote -- it passed by one vote. [applause] my point is this -- it is not a possible. it is winnable. it is up to you. you have party taken the first major step to make this happen. every member of the delaware and pennsylvania delegation and people all over the country know you're here. there are a lot of you. we know in politics that if one person calls you, a thousand people probably feel the same way. if people show up, there are tens of thousands of people around here that feel the same way that you do. we are americans. we do not have government health care in america. we are more innovative than
that. we can make a system we have better until everyone has a policy they can afford and keep. [applause] let's celebrate our country tonight for the principles that made us great. let's leave here and do something about it. our point of going around the country, this is heritage action's tour. we want to make sure people understand how bad the policy is to educate and communicate people that they can do something about changing it. heritage action takes the ball and there to congress network serving the country. together, we the people can stop the bill. mike, come up here. [applause] >> this question is from henry
in pennsylvania. why is it that only a handful of principle congressmen represent the people and further the wishes of their constituency? dc toeasy in washington play the game. it is easy to get there. if i just stick one little tax loophole into a complicated code, nobody will notice great i can -- nobody will notice. another company will pay me. if i give an advantage to one , i can raiseess millions of dollars necessary for my campaign. the more i do it, the higher i will rise in congress. the more arise congress, the more will be on my paycheck.
it is comfortable. there are a lot of people who come to washington to drain the swamp, and they enjoy the hot tub. [laughter] as i said, there is a way to stop them. that is for all of us to uphold all of congress accountable. i was told by a senior leader in the political world that heritage action only look at expectations. you think that congress can inspire the american people, but they cannot do it. their approval rating is four percent. -- 12%. he looked at me like i told him for the first time that the world was round. i said you don't try to inspire people. is -- it is important to be out here to champion the people doing the right thing. cruz --
[applause] he took a leap of faith to say that he did not come to washington to join the 40, he came to join five. address the american people will back me. -- i trust the american people will trust me. >> the reason people fall off the longer they are there is because there is risk there if you take a stand. most of the echo chamber in washington is telling you to spend more to grow the government. people are lobbying for more things. to stand up for something is a risk. i reminded people all over the country that it is risky if we try to stop the funding of this government health care plan. we could lose. all of this work we have done around the country could be wasted. that is what america is about. it was risky to sign the declaration of independence
proved it was risky to storm the beaches of normandy. -- it was risky to sign the declaration of independence. it was risky to storm the beaches of normandy. [applause] >> this question is from ellie. obama care is successfully repealed, what is the rest way to make sure that america receives affordable health care? -- about a lot of those ideas. we want every american to be insured. we think we can get the better insurance that a medical -- medicaid style plan. to help people get plans where they can see a doctor and make their own decisions. i talked about the individual
deductibility and the small business health plans and shopping across state lines and fixing frivolous lawsuits. thatthings we can do americans could understand and that we get a moment that would be a low cost to taxpayers. if we keep working on it, we can keep finding ways to make sure that no one i would like to think that i can help by insurance for my grandchildren when they are five years old, policies they can keep throughout their life. there is no reason they have to wait to get a job to get insurance, and when they lose a job, they have to wait to get new insurance. but we do not have to replace our system of government health care to fix that. >> this question is from tawny potter.
would it not be stronger to lump defunding and obamacare into one big issue? >> there are two major points between now and the end of the year. our country is in bad enough shape that we need to take care of both of them. everyone that says that we should wait, what will be different if we blow past that point and then fight on the deadline? there are a lot of people that say we should not mess with the debt limit. why do we have a debt limit? there is no economic reason. there are a lot of countries that do not have a debt limit. the debt limit is a fire alarm. we choose to have a debt limit so when a fire breaks out, the alarm goes off, and we have a conversation about whether or not to do something about it, and it has been 78 times that the fire alarm has gone off, and each and every time, we have taken the battery out. [laughter] we have opened a window.
there is a fire going on in our house, and both parties have a responsibility. $17 trillions in debt. and so the time to fight on obamacare is now. the date is october 1. not in october. the time to fight is now. >> this question is from susie. since the current administration is dividing americans, how can the conservatives bring a message of unity and healing to america? >> i love to talk about that, because i know there are messages that unite people. we have seen a lot of that. while the tea party has been vilified a lot, i went to a lot of tea party meetings, and there were americans there who did not like either political party much.
they were liberals, libertarians, a lot of people, but they were focused on the basic economic issues. they want to stop the spending. they knew in their gut if we keep going this way, we were going to bankrupt our country, and part of that was stopping obamacare, stopping bailouts. it was a strong message of fiscal responsibility, and it united the whole country. that is what gave americans the majority -- gave the republicans the majority in 2010. it was to stop the madness, and that is what we need to do. it is what we are going to do in the heritage foundation next year. all we need to provide americans in the conservative movement, a united american agenda that is simple and clear and that pulls
everyone together. even those who never vote conservative, if you sit around the table and talk to them, most americans agree with why you are here tonight. >> this next question is about divided government. what is the plan b? >> there is an assumption built into this question that talks about where we are. here is what the assumption is. one side of the debate care so much about enforcing this that if we get into a showdown, if we get into a temporary showdown situation, there is no chance that the president and democrats will blink. it means that much to them. and on the other side, there are the conservatives, and if we get into a showdown, we do not care about it.
we have gone against obamacare 40 times as long as it does not mean anything. if we get into a showdown with the president, can you imagine if the current consulting class in washington, d.c., on the side of the republican party, in 1993 when hillarycare was defeated, the first thing you would be told is do not touch health care. and the left believes this stuff. the democratic party actually believes the progressive agenda. the only way to win is for our side to mean it as much. like you are on a football team. the coach of a football team, and you have got one team, and these guys are trying to win, and we say, if we agreed to talk, maybe they will place the
ball on the 42 yard line. there is one party who believes the role of the government is to do defend that, talking about the declaration, and there are a bunch of grievances, and it is the government's role to solve that. the other is to take the fight to the american people, trust them to be there to catch you, and when you do, we win all of the time. look at the situations senator demint talked about earlier. >> this question is from paul in delaware. how do you get the message out to young people about obamacare and in general? >> there is a six-year-old towards the back there.
can you stand up? i will go into battle with him any day of the week. we are not here because we care about an election. we are here because we are trying to save the country for that young man, and that is what we are here for. i am very optimistic that the younger generation, i started off with an apology. my generation, we voted 2-1 for obama, so i apologize. the generation that saves the country. my brother is 24 years old. he has never in his life bought a c.d., but when i was growing up, we would spend $15 to get 15
songs and we only wanted two of when my brother wants to book a flight,he goes to kayak and looks at every single flight. he looks at how much money he can save if there is a layover. he looks at wi-fi and the price, and he makes a decision. the notion that this generation is going to accept obamacare, that they are going to have a panel of people to decide what the cost effective treatment or be mandated to buy certain coverage in their insurance package, they are absolutely not in touch with the younger generation. >> this is our last question,
but if we were to encourage complacent friends to do one thing to become informed citizens, what would that be? >> take some action. >> i will talk for a second and let the senator come up, since i have halt the last couple of questions. mpta be involved, and by showing up today, every single stop on this tour we have been on, there has been major media attention of the capacity crowds. we have turned away, unfortunately, hundreds of people who could not get in because of the great demand to come out here and be heard. and then stay involved. i want all of you to go to our website and look at our scorecard. we make it as transparent as possible.
every vote, what out thinking was, why this was an important vote. why it was one way or another. and go ask your members of congress. why were you not on the side of heritage action? why did you not take the conservative view? a lot of members get a lot of heat. we actually caused. but they also need to hear thank you when they do the right thing. on your way out. you can be as involved as you want to be. we will be right there. if you want to spend time e- mailing and calling, we will help you with that, and we will go all of the way up the ladder, going to town halls, going and organizing in your neighborhood. stay involved and let us help you be as involved and active citizen so we can get out on track. >> thank you.
>> i want to let rafael cruz close, but i want to leave you one comment with somebody who has been on the inside, in the house and senate, so you know how much power you have. when i was there and trying to shake things up, and a lot of folks were trying to take my legs out from under me, the only thing that kept me going was knowing there were millions of people who had my back -- [applause] wherever i went in the country, people would say, thanks for fighting. we are praying for you. what can i do? and i knew i was on the right team when i got out of youington.never
forget,whether they are in your state for not, i can tell you a lot right now. ted cruz does not even have to travel. every time we mention his name, people clap. so the power to change our country is in your hands, and that is why we are here tonight, and i want you to hear from rafael cruz. i wish you all could have been in dallas, and he will tell you the story. when he was introducing ted cruz, talking about their story from the time he was in prison in cuba to the time he was there swearing in his son in the united states senate, what a wonderful country we live in, but it is not a country that belongs to government. it belongs to we the people.
>> let's hear it for senator jim demint. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] senator demint, let me tell you that you were the inspiration for my son. you paved the way for him. and he has big boots to fill. thank you. while i stand here before all of you, i know from personal experience what it is to feel the heavy weight of a centralized, the government, taking away my freedom, my freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, confiscating private property.
shutting down businesses, ,hether it was small businesses shutting down businesses, attacking everyone that had anything, small business or big business. putting preachers in prison. i will tell you that in the middle of all of that they impose a socialized medicine system in cuba. before castro they had a premier medical system. the university of havana was renowned worldwide for its quality of medical instruction. today that system is gone. relatives that go back always take a suitcase full of medicine. there isn't aspirin in cuba. in the hospitals in cuba, staph infections are epidemic. everywhere.
there is something else that socialized medicine will do. under socialized medicine, the indoctors cannot make enough money. what happens is doctors go somewhere else so they can practice. it happens in canada. came to practice it because they cannot make any money in canada. thousands upon thousands of medical doctors left cuba and our practicing medicine in this country. i talked to you yesterday, he said he started at the university of new orleans. he said the majority of the professors in medical schools were doctors from the university of cuba that have come to florida and now were teaching. this will happen all over the world.
socialism does not work. it has never worked. by the grace of god, i had the privilege when i was being persecuted and was imprisoned, i had the blessing to be able to come to the greatest country on the face of the earth. i am so proud to be an american. i feel so fortunate to be in the land of the free. and the home of the brave. i will tell you, i love this country. i love the opportunity that this country is given me. when i came, i couldn't speak a world of english. practically didn't have any money. got a job at the dishwasher because you didn't have to talk to anybody to wash dishes.
they bring you dirty dishes, you wash them. you get paid. i worked full-time with the school, started a small business. i was watching my son being sworn in as u.s. senator. i could not contain the tears in my eyes. only in america. only in america. i have been a student of american history. even before i came to this country. then, here i just fell in love
with the founding documents of this country. i love the constitution. even more, i love the declaration. the declaration of independence has changed my life. i meditated upon those truths. as i was sharing in my prayer, i believe the reason the declaration of independence and the constitution have lasted over 200 years is because they were written on the knees of the framers. those men were seeking revelation from above. youi believe without a shadow of a doubt, outside of the bible, those are the two greatest documents that have ever been written.
as you look at the declaration, it has a series of grievances to king george. did you know that every one of those grievances were preached from the pulpits of america before they were written on the declaration? it was pastors that were the backbone and of the revolution. did you know where paul revere was going when he was saying the british are coming?
there were two patriots at a home, and clark was one of many that were called the black robe regiment. many had the continental uniform anderneath the black robe. i want to encourage pastors not to hide behind their pulpits. take the spirit of the black robe regiment and become leaders to inspire us again to restore liberty to the nation. as i think on the declaration, the declaration begins by saying that these truths are self- evident.
they are not self-evident to this administration. they continue saying that all men are created equal. to the obama administration, some are more equal than others. like we heard about obamacare, big businesses are more equal than we the people. they get an exemption. it is very interesting that the irs was charged with forcing obamacare on us. the labor unions that were pushing and jumping up and down with obama, now they want an exemption. we the people need an exception.
it is not by accident that the first three words of the constitution are in big letters saying we the people. we the people. the declaration continues by saying that we are endowed by our creator. very interesting that you don't hear the obama administration uttering those same words. they want you to think that those rights come from government. of course, if they come from government, government can take them away and government can control them, and they are doing precisely that. then after it mentions the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it says that
governments are instituted to protect those rights. not to trample up those rights, but to protect them. then it says that government exercise its powers by the consent of the governed. we are the governed. we refuse to give the consent to this government to impose obamacare on us. then it continue saying that when a government ceases to protect those rights, that we
have the right to replace that government. that brings us back to what both mike and the senator were saying. accountability. we need to hold our elected officials accountable. they work for us. we do not work for them. i will tell you. i want to encourage each and every one of you before you leave here tonight, that you go by that table and you talk to mike, and you say, i want to be a sentinel. we already told you plenty about being a sentinel. as a sentinel, heritage action
will train you through skills clinic to be an effective grassroots leader, through skill clinics, through conference, through coaching individual coaching. they will give you the tools necessary so you can become a leader in your community. i want to encourage you to become a sentinel, and then tell everyone you know to become a sentinel. let us create an army of we the people that will take this country back. i want you to do a second thing. there is a website called dontfundit.com. when we started this tour, there
were 375,000 people signed to that website. right now, it is almost at 900,000. over half a million people have signed up for that petition to defund obamacare. sarah palin just signed that two days ago. my son is going all over the country, encouraging everybody to make every elected official accountable. i want to encourage you tonight to sign up. you can do it from your phone. you can do it right now. www.dontfundit.com.
we can send the big message to all those elected officials. they either align them to the will of the people, we have the power to make them accountable. i want to leave you with my favorite part of the declaration. that is the last few words of the declaration. before i get there, i have to tell you one more thing because we are where we are because of two problems that have plagued us. the first one is political correctness. we must stop being politically correct.
the second one is apathy. in cuba i saw my freedoms taken away overnight. here a little bit at a time, gradually so that people say that could never happen in america. the best is able i can give you is that of a frog. you throw in a pot of hot water, put that frog will jump out. that frog in a pot of cold water, and that water being warmed little at a time, a little bit at a time, that frog is comfortable. that frog is complacent.
you can boil that frog today. we just like that frog are being boiled to death a little at a time while we remain complacent. we can be complacent no more. we can be silent no more. i want to leave you with the last few words of the declaration of independence. it says, relying upon the protection of divine providence. we mutually pledge to each other
our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. we have seen our lives under attack. our quality of life is being eroded more and more. our liberties are taken away. more taxation. we are seeing our lives being destroyed. our treasures, the obama administration, they have both their hands in your pocket. they are trying to take every dollar that you make. they cannot take our honor. noey cannot take our honor.
one can take our honor. i want to challenge you to make a covenant. not a covenant with me. a covenant with one another. i would like for us to face someone next to you. let's make a pledge to one another of these last few words. i'm going to say these words i want you to repeat it to each other. relying upon the protection of divine providence. we mutually pledge to each
>> this is a live picture from a room in the state department where john kerry will make a statement from syria. the statement will come after a meeting this morning where obama and his security team discussed us abilities for military action. the meeting will be followed by a release on intelligence that the u.s. has gathered on that deadly chemical weapons attack last week in syria. saysbama administration they believe the asad regime is responsible for that attack.
for secretary of state kerry, we spoke earlier today with the reporter watching the role up to possible action in syria. host: i want to bring on jonathan allen about the meeting last week -- last night. it was a phone meeting? who was on that briefing ?uestion mar rankinghairman and members of committees. some of them were not able to get on the call, but that was the group. host: what was said and what information that the congress members were given? couple of big
takeaways. the president has not made the decision which is what he is saying publicly, about whether or not to strike the regime. there was a since coming off the call that the president alone if there were not international partners. number three, the members of congress were making a pitch to the president that he needs to do more to convince their colleagues that this is the right thing to do. we are seeing tremendous revolt on capitol hill right now in terms of members of congress signing letters saying the president is to seek authorization from the congress for using military force. thenumbers are somewhere in 180 range of members of congress who have signed on to letters. from both parties.
mostly a republican letter that is up to 140 signatures, a handful of democrats, and then a democratic letter with 54 signatures. a little bit of crossover where there are democrats that were on both letters. given the fact this is august and the challenges of tracking down members of congress who are on vacation, some of whom are in their districts, but getting all the signatures is a monumental task. you would have to assume there are actually more discomfort than just reflected in the number of signatures. host: what is the timeframe if the president does consult with congress? we know members will not be back in d.c. for another week and a half? guest: at the white house rest briefing, the president spokesman said there might be
broader consultation with members next week, and i asked if that meant the strikes would happen before the consultation, and he said he was not going to get into a discussion of time frames. one of the things the white house has tried to do is leave the president's options open in terms of when a strike might occur. host: i am showing your story last night. nancy pelosi tells brock obama to act on syria. take us through the leaders congress' reaction. speaker andormer current house minority leader basically had agreed with the person who spoke before her, beaumont, that there needs to be more confrontation -- consultation, and then she urge and secretarytion
of state john kerry, chuck hagel, susan rice, james clapper , and vice chairman of the joint urges of staff -- she them to do something to take action against assad. she was not specific what that action would be. kerry put hertate on that and asked her what action should be taken. this point isn the united states should take action. i think that will be surprising to some listeners, to some readers of the story, that nancy pelosi is generally known as pretty liberal and someone has attend to get engaged in military action, and yet pretty strong on this one in terms of this internal debate. there were a lot of different reactions from members coming off the call. some like the
chairman of the foreign relations committee in the senate and the ranking member of that committee, both of whom came off the call taking positions similar to where they were before, to say they were in favor of strikes in surrey a. you had the members of the levin,s committee, carl jim imhoff, had a different view. imhoff said there should not be any strikes as opposed to carl levin who said he wanted to see the president do more to seek international support of the of the coldling out ocean yesterday. a lot going on, a lot of different people from the hill, and as in recent years this will be something the president is ultimately going to make a decision on because congress is
not going to speak with one clear voice on what he should do. host: jonathan allen is politico's white house bureau chief. thank you for getting up with us this morning. >> we are waiting for john kerry as he prepares to make a statement about the situation in syria, following a meeting this morning with president obama and his national security advisers. that meeting wrapped up a few moments ago, at about 12:32. secretary kerry was seen leaving the white house. we expect him to be a couple minutes late. after that, we will open up our phone lines to get your thoughts about syria. reading tweets of members of --gress,
those tweets coming from members of congress. we are waiting for john kerry about to make a statement on the situation in serious after meeting with the president this morning. the resident,for we will go to a segment from this morning where we talked about you as possible military intervention in the syrian civil war. [no audio]
we are planning to bring you live coverage of john kerry here talkingtate department about the situation in serious. we apologize, the conversation with a former senior adviser for the 2012 romney presidential campaign who joined us on this morning's "washington journal," we will have that for you in a moment. we will go to that now. host: our guest is a former senior advisor to the romney 2012 campaign. i want to ask you the same question we have been asking viewers this morning. what is the white house
responsibility when it comes to making its case for action in serious before going ahead with that military action? >> what it has to do is convince the american people that a strike would be in the national interests of the united states him and that can have a humanitarian component or a geopolitical component. the burden is on the white house to make the case if they strike there will be a better outcome in syria that is the current condition. the way the administration is handling it right now is .errible my biggest fear in terms of syria is the administration goes a professor att john's hopkins is calling a therapeutic bombing, a in print mommy am of limited duration, scope, and does nothing to alter
the allen's of power on the ground. that will do is involve the united states in a civil war, but actually i saw that will emerge stronger, not weaker from the bombing. i think right now the administration is handling it is not good, they have not articulated what our national interest is. host: are you in favor of a guest: it syria now? depends on how it is done. you can make the argument that we shouldn't be involved at all. the situation is hellish. the window is closed in terms of opposition groups that are relatively moderate. it might be worse if we do get involved. on the other hand you do try to get involved and balance -- try
to alter the balance of power. you try to deliver a blow that would debilitate the assad regime and arm and train rebel forces. the syrian free army is geographically isolated in the country. you do this in hopes of getting together a coalition government. that is a different strategy and there is an argument for that. in the worst of all worlds, we would get halfway into this, do pinprick strikes, get us involved but have no real effect. host: the white house has promised some sort of assessment on what they know about the what are you syria. expecting from that assessment? guest: the intelligence agencies did not believe there was a
slamdunk case in terms of assad having given a green light to chemical weapons. he may not have, but it appears clear that there was regime use of weapons. that is a problem for obvious reasons, but the administration has shown a stunning diffidence when it comes to trying to convince the american people that they ought to support the strategy. the president seems to be unbelievably reluctant. what he is talking about right now is the most reluctant and most telegraphed a military strike in american history. i think that the administration's fixed to form, they're not going to do much in the way of convincing american people to support this. host: you worked in the bush white house, a lot of stores today talk about how the iraq war is hanging over this decision and the assessments
leading up to the decision. what role are you seeing the iraq war playing in what is happening now? did that effort discredit the intervention for the foreseeable future? guest: there's no question that iraq is overhanging this debate debate. we see that in the uk where there was a bad defeat for prime minister cameron yesterday when parliament said they're not going to support what he wanted which was britain's intervention with military strikes in syria. i will say in terms of the iraq war there were certainly problems. how we executed a war, but it is important to bear mind several things. number one, the objective was achieved to get rid of saddam hussein. secondly, by the time bush left office, iraq was a fairly
pacified country. we had a very difficult period. where we didn't plan for the al qaeda insurgents that came in. iraq was descending into civil war, but the president endorsed a third strategy which was executed brilliantly by david petraeus. violence was down and the various factions and ethnic groups were actually negotiating what happened after that. present obama withdrew our forces from iraq because he never supported the war. we lost our leverage their. iraq, like so many other countries in the middle east, is on the downward path. host: were you surprised what happened in parliament yesterday? guest: there is no question in
the west there is a kind of war weariness that is a product of of iraq, afghanistan and some other things. the public in the united kingdom really turned south on the iraq war and they have continued. i will say when tony blair was prime minister, he was a courageous leader, and i still think he made the right decision. host: we take your comments and calls. he was a speechwriter for the 2012 romney campaign. you can also see his pieces in "commentary" magazine. we will go to the phones. robert is up first from west columbia, south carolina, on the republican line. caller: i want to ask how much
harder it is for neoconservatives to sell these bloody wars to americans? most americans realize that the twin towers were brought down with pre-planted explosions on 9/11. guest: his conspiracy theories are looney, but usually it is a derogatory term when people refer to neoconservatives. neoconservatives that supported the iraq war have a hard time explaining. i'm not going to argue that
there is a kind of war weariness. the ability to shape events in foreign countries and foreign cultures, particularly the middle east where civil society is practically nonexistent, where they have very little experience with democratic institutions, pillars that make public policy possible. it is a very difficult task to know what to do and how those countries govern. one way that you can't do it is from a distance without any aid, without any involvement at all. host: is there now a way of punishing syria for using chemical weapons without going down the entanglement road? guest: there are about 20 or so air bases in syria, six which are primary.
you could target those six air bases and take them out. what that would do is remove the capacity that president asad would have to pound the rebel forces. that is what he has been doing. that is one way to do it which wouldn't get us into boots on the ground. but it would be a serious strike that would debilitate to a large thent the asad regime.-- assad regime. another thing you could try is to decapitate assad himself. target him and kill him. there are various ways to execute a military strike short of boots on the ground. i think the way the administration is inclined to do
this is de minimus. host: a piece notes that we support a larger military intervention in that regime change. short of that any u.s. military strike should focus on doing enough damage to the syrian air force so that rebels can change the regime themselves. that is from today's "wall sue fromournal." wisconsin. withr: instead of going in military power, why isn't this guy arrested for crimes? we have an international court,
don't we? i can't understand why they are not going in and arresting him. guest: it is get difficult to do, and we do not have the ability to do that kind of thing. we have international courts to try war criminals, but they are largely fiction, not always, and the reality in the real world, the way this works, is you have to knock out these people. president obama did it with osama bin laden who was not a leader of a nation, but a leader of the al qaeda movement. the united states did it with saddam hussein. one of the questions, and it is a difficult and collocated question, and i do not want to pretend this is a self-evident answer in terms of what to do, is if i thought is gone, what is an openm? that
question. you have analysts on both side of the issue that argue on the key question, which is how strong are the relatively moderate rebel forces in syria? theypeople say because were not aided earlier, they are too weak now and there's not much hope that they could help others, like one of the strategys of the surge actually said that rebel forces that are relatively moderate are fairly strong and we could make a difference. david up next from north carolina. good morning. caller: actually, that is wilson, north carolina. i would like to thank you for being so moderate. your art to a great job interviewing him. it is still speculation that this has not used chemical weapons against his own people. however, you can go on youtube
and see three different videos of the rebels themselves loading chemical weapons into mortars and firing them into cities that were hit by chemical warfare. i have a hard time believing againstod would turn his own people and start using chemicals -- chemicals against his own people. you can see the rebel forces that we are actually trying to help right now without being asked to, they are going out and killing people. they think part of a sod -- i watched on youtube a couple days two kids were shut down because they were believed to be a sod followers. we have china and russia who are supporting a sod.
russian troops are there in syria guarding the chemical compounds where they store chemical weapons. if we start shooting at those-- >> president obama has spent many days now consulting with congress and talking with leaders around the world about the situation in syria. last night the president asked all of us on his national security team to consult with the leaders of congress as well, including the leadership of the congressional and national security committees. and he asked us to consult about what we know regarding the arthritic chemical weapons at pack in the damascus suburbs last week. i will tell you as someone who has spent nearly three decades
in the united states congress am i know that that consultation is the right way for a president to approach a decision of when and how and if to use military force . it is important to ask the tough questions and get the tough ,nswers before taking action not just afterwards. and i believe as president obama doesn't that it is also important to discuss this directly with the american people. that is our responsibility, to talk with the citizens who have entrusted all of us in the administration and the congress with responsibility for their security. that is why this morning's release of our government's unclassified estimate of what took based in surrey is so important. its findings -- based in syria is so important. its findings are compelling.
i'm not asking you to take my word for it. read for your self, everyone, those listening, all of you, read for your selves the evidence from thousands of sources, evidence that is already publicly available, and read for your selves the verdict reached by our intelligence community about the chemical weapons attack, the assad regime inflicted on the opposition and on opposition-a troll or contested neighborhoods in the damascus suburbs on the early morning of august 21. our intelligence community has and re-y reviewed reviewed information regarding this attack. i will tell you it has done so more than mindful of the iraq experience. we will not repeat that moment. accordingly, we have taken unprecedented steps to
declassify and make facts available to people who can judge for themselves. but still still, in order to prt sources and methods, some of what we know will only be released to members of congress, the representatives of the american people. that means some things we do know we can't talk about publicly. so what do we know we can talk about? regimee know the asad has the largest chemical weapons program in the entire middle east. regime has used those weapons multiple times this year. and has used them on a smaller scale, but used them against its own people, including not very far from when the attack happened on wednesday. we know that the regime was
specifically determined to rid the damascus suburbs of the opposition and it was frustrated it had not succeeded in doing so. we know for three days before the attack, the syrian regime's chemical weapons personnel were on the ground in the area making preparations. and we know the syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapons. we know these were specific instructions. we know where the rockets were launched from and at what time. we know where they landed and when. came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-contested neighborhoods.
world,know, as does the 90 minutes later all hell broke loose in the social media. with our own eyes we have seen thousands of reports from 11 separate sites in damascus, all victimsshow and report with breathing difficulties, people twitching with spasms, coughing, rapid heartbeats, foaming at the mouth. in consciousness. death. ordinaryow it was syrian citizens who reported all of these horrors. important, we know what the doctors and the nurses who treated them did not report. a shrapnelch, not wound, not a gunshot wound. dead wind up in burial shroud's.
white linen unstained by a single drop of blood. safely in their beds at home, we saw children onng side-by-side, sprawled a hospital floor. all of them dead from assad's by parentsrounded and grandparents who had suffered the same fate. united states government knows 1429 syrians were killed in this attack, including at least 426 children. the the first responders, doctors, nurses who try to save them, they became victims themselves. we saw them gasping for air. terrified their own lives were in danger. ,his is the indiscriminate
inconceivable horror of chemical weapons. this is what assad did to his own people. many disturbing details about the aftermath. official, whoor knew about the attack, confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime. impact and actually was afraid they would be discovered. we know this. and we know what they did next. i, personally called the foreign minister and i said to him, your soion has nothing to hide, let the united nations in immediately and give the inspectors the unfettered access so they have the opportunity to tell your story. theyad, for four days shelled the neighborhoods in
order to destroy evidence, bombarding block after block at a rate four times higher they had over the previous 10 days. and when the u inspectors thatly gained access, access was restricted and controlled. in all of these things i have listed, in all of these things that we know, all of them, the american intelligence community has high confidence, high confidence. this is common sense. this is evidence. these are facts. the primary question is really no longer what do we know. we, westion is what do collectively, what are we going to do about it? as previous storms in history have gathered when unspeakable
crimes were within our power to stop them, we have been warned against the temptations of looking the other way. history is full of leaders who have warned against inaction and indifference and especially against silence when it mattered most. our choices had grave consequences and are choice today has great consequences. it matters that 100 years ago in response to the horror any manner the of world war i but the civilized world agreed chemical weapons should never be used again. that was the resolve then. that began almost a century of effort to create a clear red line for the international community. today we are working as an international community to rid the world of the worst weapons. that is why we signed agreements
the the start treaty, chemical weapons convention, which more than 180 countries, including iran, iraq, and lebanon have signed on to. security and our the security of our allies. it matters to israel. it matters to our friends, jordan, turkey, lebanon. all of whom live a stiff breeze away from damascus. it matters to all of them where the syrian chemical weapons are and if unchecked they can cause greater damage and destruction to those friends. to thematters deeply credibility and the future interests of the united states of america and our allies. it matters because a lot of other countries whose policies challenge these international norms are watching. they are watching.
they want to see whether the united states and our friends mean what we say. it is directly related to our credibility and whether countries still believe the united states when it says something. they are watching to see us syria can get away with it. can putmaybe they too the world at risk. in ano mistake, increasingly complicated world of sectarian and religious to violence, what we choose to do or not to do matters in real ways to our own security. some side the risk of doing this. we need to ask, what is the risk of doing nothing? and matters because if we choose to live in a world where a thug like bashar al-assad can cast thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the united states and our allies said no,
and in the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve and the dangers that will flow from those others who believe they can do as they will. this matters also beyond the limits of syria's borders. it's about whether it ran -- emboldened infeel the absence of action to obtain nuclear weapons. it's about hezbollah and north korea and every other terrorist group or dictator that might contemplate the use of weapons of mass destruction. will they remember the assad regime was stopped from those weapons? or will they remember that the world stood aside and created impunity? our concern is not just about
some far off land, oceans away. that is not what this is about. our concern with the cause of the defenses people of syria is about choices that would directly affect our role in the world and our interest in the world. it is also profoundly about who you are -- we are. we are the united states of america. we are the country that has tried, not always successfully, always tried to honor a set of universal values around which we have organized our lives and our aspirations. conscious,against this crime against humanity, this crime against the most fundamental principles of international community, against the norm of the international community, this matters to us and it matters to who we are and itners to leadership 0--
matters to leadership and our credibility in the world. it matters if nothing is done. it matters if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens. america should feel confident in gratified we are not alone in oure t alone in our will to do something about it and to act. the world is speaking out. friends stand ready to respond. the arab league pledged "to hold to the syrian regime fully responsible for this crime. " the organization for islamic tooperation said we needed " hold this. government legally and morally accountable for this heinous crime." turkey said there is no doubt the regime is responsible.
our oldest ally the french said the regime "committed this vile action and it is an outrage to use weapons that the community has been for the last 90 years in all international conventions." the australian prime minister said he did no want history to record we were "a party to turning such a blind eye." so now that we know what we know , the question is what will we do? let me emphasize, president obama, we believe in the united nations. we have great respect for the inspectors who endured regime gunfire and instructions to their investigation. but as ban ki-moon has said again and again the un's investigation will not affirm
who used these chemical weapons. that is not the mandate of the investigation. whetherl only affirm such weapons were used. by the definition of their own mandate, the u.n. can't tell us anything we have not shared with you this afternoon or that we don't already know. and because of the guaranteed russian obstructionism of any u.n. subsumeh the -- security council, the u.n. can't galvanize the world to act as a should. so let me be clear, we will continue talking to the congress , talking to our allies, and talking to the american people. ensurent obama will united states of america makes our own decisions on our own timelines based on our values and our interests. we know that after a decade of
conflict the american people are tired of war. too.ve me, i am fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility. just longing for peace does not bring it about. all arewill judge us showing -- harshly if we turn to a blind eye to a dictators use of weapons of mass destruction, against all common understanding of decency. these things we do know. presidentow we have a who does what he says he will do. and he has said very clearly whatever decision he makes in syria will bear no resemblance to afghanistan, iraq, or even libya. it will not involve any boots on the ground. it won't be open-ended.
it will not assume responsibility for a civil war that is already well underway. -- president has been clear any action will be limited in wrist wants to ensure -- in response to ensure the use of chemical weapons is held accountable. and ultimately, ultimately we are committed. we remain committed. we believe it is the primary objective, to have a diplomatic process that can resolve this through negotiation. because we know there is no ultimate military solution. it has to be political. it has to happen at the negotiating table. we are deeply committed to getting there. so that is what we know. that is what the leaders of congress now know. that is what the american people need to know.
core of thehe decisions that must now be made for the security of our country and for the promise of a planet where the most heinous weapons must never again be used against the most vulnerable people. thank you. >> secretary of stay john kerry on possible military action in syria, his statement after a meeting with president obama and his national security team. meeting finished around noon. secretary kerry's pretending -- presenting some of the evidence. the unclassified version of the evidence has been released by
the white house and is available on the press office we also have a link to it on our webpage, c- span.org. urging americans to read the evidence for themselves. we are going to open our foam eyes to find out what you think about how the u.s. should respond unserious -- our phone lines to find out what you think about how the u.s. should respond to syria. --ocrats call for all others -- we are also taking some of your tweets this afternoon. a have received a couple from congressman. under no circumstance should force beforeitary consulting congress. we have received a tweet from james lankford, if the administration is making the case to punish assad it is fair to ask where the weapons originated. also from alan grayson, help us
reach 10,000 against intervention in syria. you can take action. he has a place to sign up for action. your calls now. 85-3886. the first call is garrett from indiana. >> how are you doing? >> go ahead. >> i just wanted to say that it is disappointing to see secretary kerry lay it out like that. a's reminiscent of the iraq decade ago. it is sad to see our country going this way forward. i hope it does not escalate further. i have a bad feeling about this one. i really do.
god bless everybody. it's really sad to see it going this way. marietta, california. did i get that right? caller: yes, you did. it's between los angeles and san diego. i think that president obama faces a difficult decision. i am really glad he is our president. i do not think he will rush to war in the way that happened in 2003 with iraq. i appreciate secretary kerry's remarks today. i think he has worked tirelessly to try to bring peace to that there and unfortunately has not been a lot of cooperation with some of the governments there. but i do not want war. -- despite the idea about military intervention. i agree a political intervention is necessary. i think we have the right people in president obama and senator
kerry and chuck hagel to be able to make a decision that is worthy of our values. thank you very much. host: thank you. speaking for just over 20 minutes on the situation in the evidence that is out there that could lead to military action against the syrian government. we are taking your calls and next is from flushing, new york. caller: yes, good afternoon. i followed the speech. he made it clear there is no regime change but my feeling is that you are going to bomb this country. maybe the air force. he believes that there is already a civil war. we tried to change the equilibrium to topple the government but the question is, this might be a complicated matter. the neighboring countries like iran,who is supporting
they don't want this government to be totaled. we're going to aggravate the civil war more more and more. i do not know where the diplomatic solution comes in russiassia -- unless comes in. it will be a long, protracted war. i don't think it will help shorten the crisis. back.can't turn even the british are not on board with him. i don't think those countries like bush till you the arab league are going to help. strailiausher alea -- au or the arab league are going to help. i don't think we are going to help in the long run by bombing. two rhode island, it is jeff. giver: i think we should
hours to-assad 24 vacate his palace headquarters and then bomb his headquarters as we said we would. and also in that notice, the 24- hour notice, we should let them know that something has to be done for the future that these weapons of mass destruction so come and chemical weapons, will never be used. we should let them know we are going to bomb that installation. and then do it. host: pictures of bashar al- assad in syria. looks like it is from an event we may have had on c-span. we are continuing to take your calls. linda in new hampshire. yes, i believe what they
inhuman, theious, most anybody could do. just because he was mad at them for shooting at him or whatever. there is a civil war going on in that country. these things are bound to happen. the use of chemical weapons is forbidden. and i believe they killed thousands of harmless people for no good reason. with all of the other countries, i am worried about russia. but we will handle that when we get there. i believe we should bomb them. that some kind of punishment must be given or else this will continue. i also believe the united
findns should go in and these chemical weapons and remove them. bombing syria. i believe what they did was wrong. thank you. host: john kerry laying out the case for action against syria as he talked about some of the evidence in the unclassified report. we have a link to it. we are taking your calls on that evidence and on the situation in syria and the civil war. in particular the use of chemical weapons on the syrian people. in washington. thank you for calling us. caller: good morning. it is morning out here, anyway. i'm an independent. i have not always been a
supporter of the obama administration but in this case i am. know, when you're in a situation like some of us were in vietnam and you had to kill a snake, the first thing you did was cut off its head. there you are. we have a steak on our hands that has killed his own people with gas. off the ahead and cut head and we will take care of the rest of the snake later. steve is calling from indiana on the republican line. go ahead. caller: i would like to point out it was interesting john kerry would express that countries were supporting us, france. he made no mention of how england, their parliament said we are not going to help you. wes important for america,
are not the police of the world. we can't afford to go to war every time. we want other countries to support us. other countries can't say we will just tear for you. other countries should always help us and he failed to mention that. nsc, in a tweet from the am sorry, a representative is expected to brief the foreign affairs committee on the situation in syria. that is expected to get away this afternoon. if any news comes out of that we will bring it to you. next is low in massachusetts calling on the democrats' line. caller: i am an elected local officials here. i am a democrat. i have been a democrat my entire life. i am also from the vietnam war era. maybe just once in my lifetime usehould constitutionally
the article one section eight and have the congress vote for war. so that the people who dye their diet legally. -- die there die legally. thee is no proof parliamentary members did not have full proof, david cameron even said he could not guarantee the regime use those weapons. where did those weapons come from? they came from the united states. united states used chemical weapons in in iraq and iran and sold them. we are guilty. it is absolutely unconstitutional to do it. i am a democrat. but my party does not come first. the constitution comes first. bush should have been on trial
and this president should be impeached if he goes ahead. it's not his call. only congress can send us to war. that is what is in our law. host: have you taken a moment to read the white house report? caller: i just listen to john kerry. he did not prove anything. he is trying to change everybody's mind. change the american people's mine. 95% of the public knows this is baloney. iran, -- how many times are we going to lie to the american public? times in our lifetime is this going to happen? i am tired -- i am sickened by john kerry doing this.
what it does not matter. it matters about country. it matters about the constitution. host: scott from new hampshire. we have to get the chemical weapons out of there. we don't know how far they can reach. mother nature will take it to animals and insects. it has to come out of there. if people want to have a war, that is one thing. but we can't have the spread of chemicals around to other countries that are allies with us. we have to protect our embassy and other people as well. the weapons have to come out. the u.n. has to do something about it.
host: warren is a republican calling. go ahead. chemicals, as that man said, came from the united states via saudi arabia. to the rebels in syria. war, another unjust war of aggression like we did in iraq, is spreading this false rumor we are bringing democracy to the middle east where we have no business at all. and this hoax of democracy in the middle east has caused the so-called arab spring, where we have thousands of arabs killing arabs. who could benefit from that? fornformation we got
weapons of mass destruction, that information came from israel. same as the information we are getting today. pro bono. who benefits? thousands of arabs, even arabs killing benefits. who benefits? other than israel. let us mind our own business. don't get involved in a civil war that is not our business. thank you. mary on the democrats' line. caller: i just caught part of his announcement. i don't understand why we have to police the whole world. our allies now are not our allies anymore. the vietnam war year
also. we went there and did not accomplish the thing. i don't understand why israel and saudi arabia, they are right there, why aren't they trying to help? i do not want people to die from chemical warfare. it just seems crazy to me we have to be policing everybody. else to say.what i'm not real good at speaking. i will close with that. jason is next in florida on the republicans' line. show you a map of some of the areas affected by on augustal attacks 21. 12 areas where people were affected by those chemical attacks, when this report was put together. you can read some of the evidence that is being presented as a reason for taking action in
syria on our website. -- report prepared for prepared by the white house. jason in florida. go ahead. caller: i believe if he used chemical weapons we have every right to attack his country. are the world's police because that is the price we pay for living in freedom. for being a democracy. we have always been the world police. if we weren't, hitler, the not would have wons world war ii. first of all, the previous caller does not note he is talking about. we are republic. article four section four guarantees a republican form of mock -- government. we are not a democracy. ciae were supplied by the
along with stinger missiles and ak-47s and now this is a major operation, just like lyndon that got 58,240 americans killed. just like george bush's phony war in his so-called claims of weapons of mass destruction which saddam hussein was never found to have, either by u.n. inspectors or u.s. inspectors. genocideothing but being committed by barack obama. these dangerous weapons, these chemical weapons to al qaeda and when they kill assade he blames bashar al- for these chemical attacks when andd has nothing to gain everything to use by using chemical weapons. this business is ongoing. we have lost too many americans over the years by these
fraudulent false flag operations and this time they stop now. barack obama, hillary clinton, and john kerry are international war criminals and should be tried in a court of law for genocide against humanity. host: we appreciate all of your calls this afternoon. expressedollande readiness friday to push ahead for plans to strike syria using chemical weapons despite the british parliament's rejection. in an interview published today, he said the chemical massacre of damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished. the last day of their probe into the alleged attack. john kerry laid out the case for action against the government when he spoke to the media after a meeting with the president and his national security team this
morning. >> president obama has spent many days consulting with congress and talking with leaders around the world about the situation in syria. last night he asked all of us on to consult with the leaders of congress as well. of theng the leadership congressional national security committees. he asked us to consult about what we know regarding the horrific chemical weapons attack in the damascus suburbs last week. wholl tell you are someone has spent three decades in the united states congress, i know that consultation is the right
way for a president to approach a decision of when and how and if to use military force. it's important to ask the tough questions and get the tough answers before taking action. not just afterwards. is also important to discuss this directly with the american people. that is our responsibility. to talk with the citizens who have entrusted all of us in the administration and in the congress with the responsibility for their security. that is why this morning's release of our government's unclassified estimate of what took place in syria is so important. his findings are as clear as they are compelling. i am not asking you to take my word for it. everyone,ourself,
those listening, all of you, read for yourselves the evidence from thousands of sources, evidence that is already available. verdict yourselves the reached by our intelligence community about the chemical weapons attack, the assad inflicted on the opposition and on neighborhoods in the damascus suburbs on the early morning of august 21. our intelligence community has and rewrittenewed you to information regarding this attack. and i will tell you it has done so war than mindful of the iraq experience. we will not repeat that moment. we have taken unprecedented steps to declassify and make facts available to people who can judge for themselves.
but still, in order to protect sources and methods, some of what we know will only be released to members of congress, the representatives of the american people. that means some things we do know we can't talk about publicly. so what do we know we can talk about? well, we know the assad regime has the largest chemical weapons program in the entire middle east. we know that the regime has used those weapons multiple times this year. and has used them on a smaller scale, but used them against its own people, including not very far from when the attack happened on wednesday. we know that the regime was specifically determined to rid the damascus suburbs of the opposition and it was frustrated it had not succeeded in doing
so. we know for three days before the attack, the syrian regime's chemical weapons personnel were on the ground in the area making preparations. and we know the syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapons. we know these were specific instructions. we know where the rockets were launched from and at what time. we know where they landed and when. we know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-contested neighborhoods. and we know, as does the world, 90 minutes later all hell broke
loose in the social media. with our own eyes we have seen thousands of reports from 11 separate sites in damascus, all of them show and report victims with breathing difficulties, people twitching with spasms, coughing, rapid heartbeats, foaming at the mouth. unconsciousness. death. and we know it was ordinary syrian citizens who reported all of these horrors. just as important, we know what the doctors and the nurses who treated them did not report. not a scratch, not a shrapnel wound, not a gunshot wound. we saw rows of dead wind up in burial shrouds. white linen unstained by a single drop of blood.
instead of being tucked safely in their beds at home, we saw children lying side-by-side, sprawled on a hospital floor. all of them dead from assad's gas and surrounded by parents and grandparents who had suffered the same fate.the united states government knows at least 1429 syrians were killed in this attack, including at least 426 children. even the first responders, the doctors, nurses who try to save them, they became victims themselves. we saw them gasping for air. terrified their own lives were in danger. this is the indiscriminate, inconceivable horror of chemical weapons. this is what assad did to his own people.
we also know many disturbing details about the aftermath. we know a senior official, who knew about the attack, confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime. reviewed the impact and actually was afraid they would be discovered. we know this. and we know what they did next. i personally called the foreign minister and i said to him, your -- if yournation has nothing to hide, so let the united nations in immediately and give the inspectors the unfettered access so they have the opportunity to tell your story. instead, for four days they shelled the neighborhoods in order to destroy evidence, bombarding block after block at a rate four times higher they
had over the previous 10 days. and when the un inspectors finally gained access, that access was restricted and controlled. in all of these things i have listed, in all of these things that we know, all of them, the american intelligence community has high confidence, high confidence. this is common sense. this is evidence. these are facts. the primary question is really no longer what do we know. the question is what do we, we collectively, what are we going to do about it? as previous storms in history have gathered when unspeakable crimes were within our power to stop them, we have been warned against the temptations of looking the other way.
history is full of leaders who have warned against inaction and indifference and especially against silence when it mattered most. our choices had grave consequences and are choice today has great consequences. it matters that 100 years ago in response to the horror any-- and inhumanity of world war i the civilized world agreed chemical weapons should never be used again. that was the resolve then. that began almost a century of effort to create a clear red line for the international community. it matters today we are working as an international community to rid the world of the worst weapons. that is why we signed agreements like the stark treaty, the
chemical weapons convention, which more than 180 countries, including iran, iraq, and lebanon have signed on to. it matters to our security and the security of our allies. it matters to israel. it matters to our friends, jordan, turkey, lebanon. all of whom live a stiff breeze away from damascus. it matters to all of them where the syrian chemical weapons are and if unchecked they can cause greater damage and destruction to those friends. and it matters deeply to the credibility and the future interests of the united states of america and our allies. it matters because a lot of other countries whose policies challenge these international norms are watching. they are watching. they want to see whether the united states and our friends mean what we say. it is directly related to our
credibility and whether countries still believe the united states when it says something. they are watching to see us syria can get away with it. because maybe they too can put the world at risk. make no mistake, in an increasingly complicated world of sectarian and religious extremist violence, what we choose to do or not to do matters in real ways to our own security.some cite the risk of doing this. we need to ask, what is the risk of doing nothing?it matters because if we choose to live in a world where a thug like bashar al-assad can cast thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the united states and our allies said no, and in the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve and
the dangers that will flow from those others who believe they can do as they will. this matters also beyond the limits of syria's borders. it's about whether iran will now feel emboldened in the absence of action to obtain nuclear weapons. it's about hezbollah and north korea and every other terrorist group or dictator that might contemplate the use of weapons of mass destruction. will they remember the assad regime was stopped from those weapons? or will they remember that the world stood aside and created impunity? our concern is not just about some far off land, oceans away. that is not what this is about.
the concern with the cause of defenseless people of syria is about choices that would directly affect our role in the world and our interest in the world. it is also profoundly about who we are. we are the united states of america. we are the country that has tried, not always successfully, always tried to honor a set of universal values around which we have organized our lives and our aspirations. this crime against conscious, this crime against humanity, this crime against the most fundamental principles of international community, against the norm of the international community, this matters to us and it matters to who we are and it matters to leadership and our credibility in the world.
it matters if nothing is done. it matters if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens. america should feel confident ad gratified we are not alone in our condemnation and we are not alone in our will to do something about it and to act. the world is speaking out. many friends stand ready to respond. the arab league pledged "to hold to the syrian regime fully responsible for this crime." the organization for islamic cooperation said we needed "to hol thd the syrian government legally and morally accountable for this heinous crime." turkey said there is no doubt the regime is responsible. our oldest ally the french said the regime "committed this vile
action and it is an outrage to use weapons that the community has been for the last 90 years in all international conventions." the australian prime minister said he did no want history to record we were "a party to turning such a blind eye." so now that we know what we know, the question is what will we do? let me emphasize, president obama, we believe in the united nations. we have great respect for the inspectors who endured regime gunfire and instructions to their investigation. but as ban ki-moon has said again and again the un's investigation will not affirm who used these chemical weapons. that is not the mandate of the investigation.
they will only affirm whether such weapons were used. by the definition of their own mandate, the u.n. can't tell us anything we have not shared with you this afternoon or that we don't already know. and because of the guaranteed russian obstructionism of any action through the u.n. security council, the u.n. can't galvanize the world to act as a should. so let me be clear, we will continue talking to the congress, talking to our allies, and talking to the american people. president obama will ensure united states of america makes our own decisions on our own timelines based on our values and our interests. we know that after a decade of conflict the american people are tired of war.
believe me, i am too. fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility. just longing for peace does not bring it about. history will judge us all ar harshly if we turn to a blind eye to a dictator's use of weapons of mass destruction, against all common understanding of decency. these things we do know. we also know we have a president who does what he says he will do. and he has said very clearly whatever decision he makes in syria will bear no resemblance to afghanistan, iraq, or even libya. it will not involve any boots on the ground. it won't be open-ended. it will not assume responsibility for a civil war that is already well underway.
the president has been clear -- any action will be limited in response to ensure the use of chemical weapons is held accountable. and ultimately, ultimately we are committed. we remain committed. we believe it is the primary objective, to have a diplomatic process that can resolve this through negotiation. because we know there is no ultimate military solution. it has to be political. it has to happen at the negotiating table. we are deeply committed to getting there. so that is what we know. that is what the leaders of congress now know. that is what the american people need to know. that is at the core of the decisions that must now be made for the security of our country
and for the promise of a planet where the most heinous weapons must never again be used against the most vulnerable people. thank you. >> secretary of state john kerry speaking for about 20 minutes about the evidence and reaction to the apparent chemical attacks on august 21 in damascus. numbers of congress are weighing in. secretary kerry makes -- excusing, john mccain, secretary a compelling case. with the response be cosmetic or change the momentum? listendial says did you
to his comments? he also wants to you know your thoughts. am a sign orays i requesting the presidency congress of any military response to syria. ae white house has compiled four page report on the evidence available to read on our homepage, c-span. work. -- c-span.org. we would also like your thoughts. you can go to facebook and offer your comments. we have these from cheryl. first of all, i am wondering why we believe the same administration that lied about benghazi. it sounds like a sales pitch to go in. says mostenzie convincing case for humanitarian intervention i have heard. i stand by what this administration decides.
we are just learning that president obama will speak about 2:15ituation in syria at eastern. we will have coverage shortly afterwards. one of the most fun times i ever had, 2006 and it looked like the democrats were going to take over the house. it was looking bad for republicans. vice president cheney wanted to know if we could come over and have breakfast with him. we went over to his residence and had breakfast. . had met him before it was unbelievable how much she knew about -- he has been with so many of these districts as a leader, but basically he was asking us how bad is this? saying, yes, it is
pretty bad. it is fun when you get to talk to caucuses on both sides. you get a glimpse of the inside players. >> with 30 years as an analyst, charlie cook doesn't cover the trends all tracking every race since 1984. see the rest of this interview sunday night at 8:00 on c-span. very often what you see as the cause of the first lady becomes so entwined with her image she keeps that cause and that image the rest of her life. we can talk about her commitment to mental health and we could talk about barbara bush and literacy and her foundation. commitment to her sobriety and addiction. historiansight,
review season two of c-span's the series first ladies, influence and image. 21st ladies. looking at their private lives and public roles. monday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span and c-span.org. rising seas are threatening local freshwater supplies. the first annual summit was held in june by the association of climate change officers. speakers include the white house council on quality chair. they discussed the efforts to help state and local communities. this is about one hour 15 minutes. >> good morning.
i'm the executive director for of the commission of climate change officers. thank you for joining us. this is an exceptional time for us as we learn more about how global warming is impacting sea level rise and more specifically what the projections for sea level rise might look like. later this morning you will hear from a group of experts , whichng john englunder puts into historical and current and future perspective what we will be facing over the next few decades and hundreds of years. there is exceptional work already being done to address those issues and i am enormously pleased to see we have such a vibrant audience, great participation, speakers, and great leadership already taking place in this country and we need to work on it further. so with