tv First Ladies Influence Image CSPAN January 7, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EST
>> i think our journey as american muslims has to be about refusing to be told by cleric islam andfor us that its ideals is a seven century reality. we are americans and muslims who need an islam of the 21st century. >> being muslim in america, sunday night at 9:00, part of .ook tv this weekend on c-span2 online we will be discussing mark blevins the liberty amendments. read the book and join the conversation.
>> our series first ladies continues in a few moments with an exclusive interview with former first lady rosalynn carter and steve ford, the son of former president gerald ford and first lady betty ford. senator ron johnson on his lawsuit to stop members from congress and their staff from getting federal subsidies to buy health insurance. later, president obama's top urges membersor of congress to extend unemployment benefits. as part of our series first ladies, it influence an image, we recently spoke with former first lady rosalynn carter in an exclusive interview at the carter center in atlanta. she talked about attending cabinet meetings, working on mental health issues, the iranian hostage crisis, and what she hopes her legacy will be. she talks about her continuing work with former president jimmy
carter on a variety of issues. this is a little less than an hour. >> rosalynn carter, do you remember when president carter started having conversations about him running for president? >> i do. >> what was that like? what was that conversation? >> it was very interesting. we had a friend that wrote and told jimmy he thought he should run for president. well, we couldn't even say the word, that my husband was running for -- we do not tell anybody. because we kept it quiet. but then once he decided he would do it, that was when -- he could hardly say "i am going to be president." it was not something we never, ever dreamed would happen. but i was excited about it. i had campaigned the whole last year before the governor's race
for him. it was hard. amy was a baby. i didn't like to leave her all the time. but i enjoyed it. i learned so much about our state. we have 159 counties. i knew the capital of every county. i knew -- and issues. that is how i got involved in mental health issues, running the campaign for jimmy. our big mental health facility hospital. there had been a big expose and the mental health systems act had been passed, and this was in 1963. this was 1966 when jimmy first ran for governor. he got beat that time. we got in late because our leading democratic candidate had a heart attack. but they were moving people out of the hospital because there were like 12,000 people and had room for 3000. it was awful. it was happening all over the
country. they were moving them out before they had any facilities for them and no services in the communities. and everybody started to talk to me about, what would your husband do if he was elected governor of georgia? i just learned so much about what was going on. after we lost that election, i worked four years to learn about mental health and then the first month in office he appointed to the governor's commission to improve services to the mentally and emotionally handicap. so when he told me about that, i thought this is giving me a chance to go across the whole country. and it was so much fun to me. i loved going in people's homes when we first started campaigning for president. i went to iowa a lot and florida in the beginning. those were the two primaries. and i had been working in our farm supply business at home.
we got home from the navy, jimmy had me. i didn't work the first year. i started helping him. he only had seasonal labor. i started working for them and said, why don't you keep the office while i visit the farmers? and so i would go into iowa to a tea. there might be six people in somebody's house. i knew the price of fertilizer. i knew how much they could get for their corn. we had a corn mill. i mean, i loved it. it was hard. but i was so excited. i had been able to learn about georgia and i learned about the country. i thought -- i knew he would be a good president. >> mrs. carter, when did you know during that campaign that your husband would be elected president? >> i never doubted it. he never -- we never doubted it. i don't think anybody in our whole campaign thought we would lose.
maybe you have to have that set of mind to win. because we campaigned all the time just like we were going to win. >> what was the peanut brigade? >> the peanut brigade was a lot of our friends. it started out from georgia, people from georgia, but then it just grew and grew and grew. they would campaign all over the country for us. it was really wonderful. they paid their own way. in fact, we had no money. everybody who worked in our campaign had to find a house to stay at, somebody that was a supporter and let them spend the night with them. or either they had to pay for a hotel. that could not happen now. but it was really close, not with money. not with the money you have to have. even to win the nomination. >> rosalynn carter, january 20, 1977.
what do you remember about that day? >> that was inauguration day. we walked down pennsylvania avenue in the cold weather. it was exciting. >> whose idea was it to walk? >> it was jimmy's idea. he did not tell me until the night before. >> why not? >> he didn't tell anybody else except the secret service agents. because we didn't -- well, the secret service agents wanted to to for't want him security. they do not want him to walk at all. but i guess he just thought it was better nobody was anticipating him walking down pennsylvania avenue. i think he thought everything would be different. maybe we shouldn't do it if everybody knew it. anyway, it was really wonderful. >> so january 20, 1977, you are the first lady of the united states.
how do you prepare to become first lady? >> well, becoming first lady -- the hard part was going from the farmer supply business to the governor's mansion. a beautiful governor's mansion. it was new. the outgoing governor had only lived in it for two years. columns on all four sides. authentic furniture all the way through. i went to see the outgoing governor's wife after we won. i asked her who did the cooking. she said, "i do." i said, "who serves the tables"" she said, "i do." everything i asked her, she did. i said, "i would like to see your office." she said, "i do not have one. my office is in the capital with the governor. they handle my correspondence." i said, "do you make speeches,"
and she said, "no, i let the governor's mother do that." i went home and thought, "what have we done?" and all the help in the house were trustees from the prison. the first thing i do is hire a housekeeper. and then we taught the prisoners to cook and to serve tables. i developed a fairly competent staff. we had to hurry. the music club of atlanta had invited me to entertain van cliburn. he was coming to perform in atlanta. on january 30, we actually moved into the governor's mansion on january 12. jimmy had an aunt in this area. and i called her. she was a wonderful person. she came and helped me and we did a beautiful dinner. we put tuxedos on the prisoners,
which was new and different for them. anyway, we had a wonderful meeting. and then -- aunt c.c. we called her. i got her to organize to take people through the governor's mansion. when i went the first time, the state patrolmen were in the hallway guiding the tours. and i thought that didn't seem very homey. i got -- aunt c.c. had a list of people that came and helped, came every day. the mansion was open. anyway, i had to learn everything. i had to develop a staff. we learned by trial and error. my assistant helped me and when we entertained, one of the first entertainers we had was a man who -- we read his biography and his talent and what he did.
it sounded perfect. we had a lot of race car drivers. atlanta has a speedway and they were coming to eat dinner with us. so we got him. he stood up. when he stood up to sing, he sang like opera, if you can believe. i slid under the table. after that we learned we had to audition everybody. when i got to the white house, everything was already done. had a social secretary. i didn't have to worry about what we were going to serve or any of those things. she would make out plans for me and bring them to me. i would decide what i wanted to do. it was really quite wonderful. and amy was 3 years old when we moved to the governor's mansion. she had never known anything else. and in the governor's mansion, the only thing i would change is that you couldn't get from the upstairs where we lived to the kitchen without going through the tourists. and amy learned at 3 years of age to walk through the tourists
like this. because everybody would -- "there's the baby, there's the baby." and she got to where she would walk straight through without even seeing them. i remember when we got to the white house and she went to school the first day, there was amy going in like this, which she had been doing all her life. and everybody felt so sorry for her. but it was part of her life. and after that happened on the first day, the press got together and decided not to bother amy anymore. and that was really wonderful. we do not have to worry about that in the white house. >> where did you first meet jimmy carter? >> well, plains, georgia, has a population of 634. i think i knew everybody in town. there were no girls my age in town. and of course i knew who he was.
can i drink some water? i knew him but he was three years older than i am. but his little sister, who is three years younger than i am, would stay in town if we had a basketball game or some event at the school. she would stay with her grandmother who lived in town. we became really close friends. she was my best friend growing up. >> this is ruth. >> this is ruth. but he graduated from high school at 16. we only went 11 grades back then. i was 13. there was no way i ever thought i would go with jimmy carter. and i didn't go with him until he came home before he was a first-classmen, he came home
from the naval academy. i went out with him the night before he was going to leave. but ruth and i plotted to get me out there with him, because i wanted to -- i had fallen in love with his photograph on the wall in her room at home. and so she would call me and say, "he is here." he had a month's leave, and i would go out and he would be gone. and one day -- we had a pond house. jimmy's parents had a pond house. fairly close to the house. and everybody in town used it for church events and school events. one day she called and said that somebody had used the pond house the night before and they were going out there and cleaning it up. she and jimmy. so i spent the day with him. that night i was in a church meeting standing at the door. there was a youth meeting one night during the week. ruth with her boyfriend and jimmy drove up and he got out of the car and asked me to go to the movie with him.
so i went to the movie with him and then i went to the station to see him off the next night and then we started writing letters to each other and at christmastime he asked me to marry him. and i turned him down. i was young and i had promised my father on his deathbed that i would go to college, and i had not finished college. well, i went to annapolis on the weekend of the ring dance. i do not remember what they called the weekend. he asked me again, and i accepted. i was still young. >> it was july 7, 1946. >> that's right. >> you said your father died when you were quite young. >> 13. i was the oldest of four children. i had two brothers and then my little sister who was 4 years old.
my father developed leukemia. i didn't know he was sick and had been wanting to go to a church camp in the summer, and they told me we did not have enough money for it. and then one day i came home from school and my dad asked me if i would still like to go to the camp. i said great. what i didn't know was he was going through at the hospital to see what was wrong. he died maybe -- that was in maybe may and he died in november. >> how did that affect your role as the oldest child? >> everything changed for us. i was the oldest one. my mother had never written a check. she went to college for two years and had a teacher's certificate but she never
taught. back then in plains you ordered your groceries and the company you brought your clothing and things and they would send the gross as to the house and my daddy paid for it all. when he was on his deathbed, he called us all in and told my mother that she wanted him to sell the farm if she had to so that we could go to school. and i think we sold -- i do not know. the next year her mother died. she was an only child. and mama died not even, we had no idea she was sick. my grandfather went out to live at a farmhouse out of town. he went out to milk the cows. when he came back in, she was leaning over, tying her shoe. dead in the chair. and somebody called my mother 11 months after my daddy died, and we had been depending on them so
much and said, "your mother died this morning." you cannot imagine anybody doing that. i was getting ready to go to school and i heard her screaming in the hall, where the telephone was. and it was tough. my mother went to school. she worked in a grocery store. then she worked in the school lunchroom. then when i was still in high school, she got a job in the post office and worked there until she had to retire. she had to retire at age 70. it was the law. i was campaigning. this was 1975. christmas. her birthday is christmas eve. on her birthday she had to retire. so i was campaigning. i went campaigning after christmas. i came back home and my brother said "call me" as soon as i got home. and i went to see mother. she cried all week long. i went to see her. i said, mother.
she had to get up every morning at 7:00. then she had to come back late in the afternoon. but my grandfather came to live with us when my grandmother died. and so my mother had flexible hours because the post master didn't want to get up early. and he didn't want to stay late. but anyway. i said, "mother, don't you enjoy just being able to sleep in?" she said, "it is not that. it is just that nobody thinks i can do good work anymore." so that made an impression on me. when jimmy was president, i did work with aging. i became interested in working with mental illnesses, too, because there were no doctors to care for people with mental illness. and actually no geriatric doctors. he passed an age discrimination law people where people in the federal government could work as long as they wanted to and people outside could work until they were 75. >> rosalynn carter, you have
always been a political partner to your husband. is that a fair statement? >> i have been a partner. i would call it a partner. he was in the navy for seven years. after we got married we had three boys. the first two years -- after the first year, i had one baby and he was gone for two years. he was on battle ships. back then you had to serve two years before you go to the air force or submarines. and he was gone from monday to thursday every week and he had duty one night. i had to take care of everything. and then when we got home, i began working in the farm supply business. i knew more in books very soon then he did. i think that is when we developed this good partnership. i can say, "don't buy corn anymore. we are losing money on it." i could advise him. it just developed into a wonderful partnership. and so -- i did not campaign when he ran for the senate.
i kept the business while he campaigned. but then i campaigned when he ran for governor, was the first time i had campaigned. but then when he got in the governor's race, i learned all the issues and campaigned and enjoyed it and did the same thing when he was running for president. i think it was the first time -- i know that lady bird had come through plains on a train. i think it was the first time people, that the women had campaigned. i got in the car with a friend when jimmy started to run for president. and i wanted to know if i could campaign in other states like i did in georgia. we went to florida and stayed 10 or 12 days. we would just stop along the way in the towns and pass out brochures and looked up the
radio stations. we started working and going toward antennas because they were radio stations. you would go in. this might be a music station where they play music. they would have no idea. i would say, "my husband is running for president and i would like you to interview me"" they would say, "president of what?" "president of the united states." "you have got to be kidding." i said, "no, i am not kidding." and they would have no idea what to ask me. before the first day was over, i had five or six questions, the things that i wanted people to know about jimmy. and i came home and said, "i can do it." what i learned is everybody is the same. they want good families, good places, good things for their families. they want a church. usually they wanted a place to worship. they want to make a living and have a good life. i mean, everybody wants the same thing.
regions have different other things. but just in general, people want to be happy and have a good home and a good family. >> in your book "first lady from plains," you write that you are more political than your husband. what did you mean by that? >> he says what he thinks no matter what it is and sometimes i would get after him. i think you have to be political in a certain way. you have to be honest and you have to say the same things. but still, you have to cater to people sometimes i think and know what they want and need to be able to influence them to vote for you. it is not being dishonest. it is finding out what they want and letting them know how you are going to help them with those problems were things that they want and the government. just being political.
but jimmy thinks it's something needs to be done, it needs to be done now. and when he was in office. when he was president, i do not think he ever did anything that wasn't controversial. that bothers me sometimes. i didn't like the controversy all the time. >> rosalynn carter, in the white house you held press conferences, traveled solo, acted as the president's emissary. how did you develop the issues that you wanted to talk about or became expert in? >> i worked on mental health. i worked on problems of elderly and a lot of that came from seeing what happened to my mother, because that was in the campaign. but also in campaigning, they took me where there were a lot of democrats.
and so i went to a lot of nursing homes, facilities for older people. and saw what great needs there were in that area. so that influenced my work. i have worked on immunization in georgia. i had a good immunization program. and dale bumpers, later a senator -- he was a senator when jimmy was elected. but he was governor at the same time jimmy was. and at governor's conferences, they would get together. and he work with us at the center for disease control and developed a good immunization program. she talked me into doing it at home. and so after we got to the white house, she called me. of course i was ready to work on immunization in the white house. that was when my great
victories. immunization was required by school-age in only 15 states. there was a little bit about argument about whether it was 15 or 17. the first year we were working with the secretary of hhs and we got it in all 50 states. that was exciting. we had this big meeting in washington -- i go from one subject to another. we have this big meeting in washington to celebrate at people from all over the country. the next day there was not one word in the paper about it. i was so upset. so i called joe califano. i said, "i know there was a camera there." he said it was ours. but nobody was interested in immunization. i got upset with the press. they covered my mental health work, my first few meetings i had. and then they never showed up anymore. one of things i wanted to do was
bring attention to the issue and how terrible it was and what few services there were. and thinking just getting it out in the public. that is what i did in georgia, developed a good program in georgia, by the way. but they did not come. one day i was walking in the white house and met this woman who was one of the press people. and i said, nobody ever covers my meetings. she said, ms. carter, mental health is not a sexy issue. that i did not like. but it never did get very much coverage for it. but we toured the country and find out what was needed, developed legislation and past passed the mental health systems act of 1980. it passed through congress one month before jimmy as he says
was involuntarily retired from the white house and the incoming president put it on the shelf and never implemented it. one of the greatest disappointments of my life. and now we had a mental health symposium at the carter center. i have a great mental health program here. last week and one of the people who work with me in the white house -- the subject was the affordable care act. and he did a comparison of what we did in 1980 with what the affordable care act, and it is almost identical. we just passed parity. it was announced here. the final regulations. i had parity in the 1980 system, mental health systems act. things do not move very fast in the mental health field. but i am so thrilled now that we have parity and the affordable care act covers parity and we also had integration in the 1980 legislation by combining mental
health and substitute behavior health. >> and you and betty ford worked on that together. >> that is right. after we left the white house, betty nine would go to washington. she would get republicans and i would get democrats. we made some progress. >> did you and betty ford have the same relationship? >> we were we went to the funeral after we left the white house. that is when jimmy and gerald ford began talking a lot of times and saw how much each one they thought similarly. and then betty and i started
working and we developed a wonderful relationship. >> there are several first lady still living. is there a sorority of first ladies, in a sense? >> i had a good relationship with betty ford and lady bird, as long as she was alive. that is about it. there has never been -- we see each other at events and a library dedications. but there is never been a closeness that i had with betty ford and lady bird. >> when you are first lady, unity weekly luncheon with your husband. what was the purpose of that? >> well, there are always things
i wanted to ask him and some was about the family and finances and things going on back home. we also talked about issues. i would say it was more family and personal things that were going on. that gave us time to do that. after we were there until about august, jimmy stayed at the oval office a good bit in the daytime and did not go back much at night. but in august he started calling me about 4:30 in the afternoon. my office was in the east wing.
but he started calling me and said, let's go do something. and i wanted to be home when amy got home from school. so i stopped scheduling anything in that part of the afternoon. we would jog or exercise, swim and sit on the truman doctrine and talk about what he yet done during the day and what i had done during the day and we had a good relationship. what i learned in the white house was that there is no way to know what is happened because of the press. you cannot learn from newspapers or from two minutes of tv. we didn't have computers. we have a big mainframes still in the white house. i don't think he got those activated. this was a long time ago. 30 years ago. but i couldn't tell. he said every day he stepped off the elevator upstairs, i would ask -- i had to know. i was touring the country had press conferences and i needed to know.
in february, one day he stepped off the elevator he said, why don't you come to cabinet meetings and then you'll know how we do things? i sat around --cabinet meetings have staff around the room. i sat by. max cleveland was in a wheelchair. he was head of veterans affairs. i set by him next to the door. i went by and every time i could the cabinet met. i thought it was necessary for me to know what was going on. so that i could explain to people in the country as i toured around. >> did you received criticism for attending those meetings and for being the president's emissary? >> i do not think i ever received criticism from the west
wing. they knew how close we were. and how interested i was. but there was all kind of criticism. i learned while jimmy was in the state senate. that is the hardest because you know everybody criticizes you. then you expect when you become governor. when i went to the governor i knew it was coming. you have to accept that. i think you almost have to in public life. you have to know what your husband does, if what he thinks is the best possible thing for our country. what i am doing i think is the best possible thing for this country. he sat me down and said, if you don't think i am doing the best
job i can do, then worry about it. you have to just accept that. my feeling was if they reported things in a way we did not like, is because they did not know or were ignorant about what was going on. lots of times it is true. if they know why you are doing it and so forth. and today with today's decision, there is no way to know what is happening. there is talk every day and we were so confused by the time we had our meeting. we had people here who knew what was in the room, which was so good for us. and then to have the regulations. we found out the day before kathleen sebelius was going to announce the final regulation. passed the law in 2008. i have been talking to her about it. she's a good friend.
her mother is a good friend. i've been talking about the regulations. i am sure her hands were tied by the white house. as soon as i heard it i started shaking. this is 33 years after i wanted. pretty exciting. it was emotional. >> was it possible to have a private life in the white house? did the white house feel like home? >> it felt like to home to us almost immediately. we were together. not all of us -- i had two of my sons and amy in there.
we had meals together. we had to make a rule that if you're not going to be there for a meal, you have to check off a little thing so we knew who would be there. and amy and i was there almost every day when she came over from school and i helped her with her lessons and took her to her file and classes -- violin classes. and then jimmy and i would jog and swim. if it was raining we would go to the bowling alley and amy like that. we had a fairly good family life. i think it was so precious because we were gone traveling for two years. >> does the white house affect a
marriage? >> i think it could. i do not think -- it did not affect ours. we have been partners working together for so long. and i could see if the first lady was not particularly interested in the issues, i think it would be difficult. but jimmy could talk to me about all that and i think it happens that way more and more with first ladies. some of the early first ladies were very active but others were not. >> when you look back at previous first ladies, who did you admire? who did you emulate? who did you learn from? >> the closest person i had and only first lady was lady bird. she came to georgia at helping with the highway beautification program.
i just knew her. the main thing she tell me was if i would ask you something she would say enjoy, enjoy because it is not going to last long. just enjoy it. she did help me a lot. everybody looks back at eleanor roosevelt, who was quite wonderful. one person that had a big impact was margaret mead. i decided i was going to work on mental health issue and she came to georgia to see me. we developed this wonderful relationship. she would give me advice and went to canada for a mental health meeting. she was just the neatest -- to meet her was emotional for me.
i would like to have met eleanor . >> your husband in 2010 published his white house diaries. did you keep a diary or journal during the white house years? >> i kept them at different times. i didn't do very much in the beginning. and i started having my secretary put spaces between events and i have a desk in my bedroom and i would go to the event and put what was happening and who would be there. that would start writing notes about what happened at that event. and i did that pretty readily for a while. i have a really good diary about camp david. i kept those notes all the time. from the first day. >> are those public? >> no. [laughter] >> if and when will it be public? >> i just went through them and edited them. i didn't edit anything. i struck out a few passages. >> why?
>> i might not want you to know what i called some of them just who were not cooperating with jimmy. it was just my personal thoughts along with what was happening. i did not sit in in any of the meetings but i was there the whole time. as soon as they would come out of the meeting i was there to see what was going on. it was incredible. it was from the heights of excitement that was going to happen to the depths of despair that it was not. i came home one day. we did know we were going to be there 13 days. and so the last few days i had to go into town to do some events for jimmy and some for me. some that i had planned. i got back one day and this was
toward the end. jimmy and hamilton jordan and jody powell, staff people, were in the swimming pool at camp david. they said it is over. and they thought it was. and it was a bad evening. and when jimmy left, when i left on sunday, the day they came back, jimmy said is either today or not. we're just going to have to end it. and we had -- we opened the white house -- we had pbs did our events for a while. and i cannot remember who was there that day i had to come in. i had to come in and introduce them. i got a call about halfway through it or something. about halfway through the concert.
and jimmy told me he thought they had the budget not tell anybody. he didn't know for sure. that was interesting. when they came in that night, the helicopter landed. it was dark. dusk or dark. they came in and mrs. begin and i were standing in the blue room when they came in and prime minister begin went straight to her. "mama, we're going to go down in history for this." it was really thrilling. >> do you think we will see rosalynn carter camp david accords diary book sometime? >> we might. there is actually, i guess it is all right for me to tell us. there is going to be a play in washington. opening in a theater in washington in camp david. early next year, i think. >> will you be there for it? >> i will be there for it.
>> another issue that i wanted to ask you about, mrs. carter, the iranian hostage crisis. did you keep notes? what were you feelings throughout the whole crisis? how did that affect you as a person? >> it was awful. i look back now and i have memories of just waiting for the the press conference and iran to say what happened on that day. because we had no idea what was going on. the only way we knew what was going on was when they would come on and announce it. and thinking about -- we met with the families all along and thinking about the people whose family members were there and what it was doing to jimmy's presidency. it was awful. it was awful. and i would go out and campaign.
i had found out earlier that -- when a president goes out, he's so surrounded. he speaks to them to say hello and so forth, but he doesn't get close enough for people to have conversations normally like you would otherwise about what their hopes and dreams are and what they thought about and what i was doing what jimmy was doing. anything we could help them. i had learned that early during his presidency. but i would go out and everybody would say, tell the president to do something. and tell him he has to do something. i would come home and i would say, why don't you do something? and he would say, what do you want me to do? you want me to mind the harbors? that is what a lot of people were talking about. he said and then have them bring out one prisoner every day and hang them in public? well, maybe not. not the best thing to do.
but, you know, i wanted it over. of course he did, too. everybody did. every night on the program started on tv and nobody got over it at all, could get over it. just think about it. it was every day, every night. it was awful. i kept up with what i was doing. i never stopped doing the things i was doing. >> by the time four of years or were over, how tired wereyou? >> you know it you lose the election in november and that is depressing. it was depressing for me. but then you are therefore until january the 20th, november, december, january. i just wanted to go home. and then when i got home, i do not know that i was tired. i guess i was tired. i just remember coming home, boxes to the ceiling.
we lived on the edge of the woods. we have been gone 10 years because jimmy was governor four, the campaign, two. the woods had come up around our house. the vines and things. we both had agreed to write books. it was overwhelming. i didn't have time to really worry about it, to really mourn it. i think i mourned it before i left the white house. i know i used to walk around the house i think, there is my mental health legislation. i think i realize how important it is for the president to have a second term, although jimmy carter would not have changed anyway. he would not have changed anything. >> in your book "first lady from plains," you close by saying, i would be out on the campaign trail today if jimmy carter would run again.
>> all the time after he lost the election i thought there is no way he is going to run again. i would have been there. >> you have a grandson who just announced for governor of georgia. >> i am thrilled. i will do whatever he asked me to do. he's a great young man. he graduated from duke university and went to the peace corps, came home and went to law school. he is in a law firm now and has two terms as a state senator. >> rosalynn carter, you have had 33 years post-presidency, the longest in history now. and you and president carter have been very active. what do you think your legacy as first lady is? or what would you like it to be?
>> i hope my legacy continues more than just first lady. the carter center has been an integral part of our lives and our motto is waging peace, fighting disease and building hope. and i hope that i have contributed something to mental health issues. and help to improve a little bit the lives of people living with mental illnesses. but i also hope -- i have had great opportunities for so long now. and to go through africa -- we have programs in 70 countries. we go to africa two or three times a year. and to go to those villages and now things are coming to fruition. we have almost eradicated guinea worm.
to go to a village where there's no longer guinea worm, it is a celebration. one of the good things about the carter center is we do not give money to the government. we send people in to teach to help people in that country how to do something. and we work with the people in the villages. and the health department does and we work with them. and they do the work. just to go to a village and explain to them about guinea worm. if you can get their chief to do. if they see or hear about it from another country, they are so happy you are there. just to see, to go back when it has gone from a village and the hope it gives to them. most of the time it is the first thing they have ever seen that was successful. it is just so wonderful, just to see the hope that something good is happening. i didn't mean to get emotional. >> rosalynn carter, we are here in atlanta at the carter center
for this interview. how much time do you spend in atlanta, plains? >> we schedule one week a month a year ahead of time to be here. most the time we have to come back more than that. i was here three days for my mental health conference. that was last week and yet this is my weekend. this week is my weekend. and we have to come back more than that. and we schedule that so we can plan our travels around it. and we travel almost too much. this year i will be interested to see how long we have been gone. maybe not half but most of the time it is -- is not half of the time most the time but getting pretty close. the only thing -- to go to africa, something wonderful
happens if you go there from the carter center. because everybody -- let me tell you one funny story. we put mobile 2000 in africa because we found out if the heads of state get credit for what they do, if somebody has gets rid of guinea worm, there is a wheat field crop has grown three times as much as they used to. so they get so excited, the head of state does. my agriculture program. the word gets around. one time we were in a village. there was a farmer who led the who had been named the farmer of the year. we went to this village. this might've been -- they were
pulling these plush chairs. they put some blue tarpaulin over. the whole village came. there was a little girl about halfway through what jimmy was saying, she held up the sign that said, go away, guinea worm, jimmy carter is coming. [laughter] so word gets around and people know it. and so when we get to that village, to other countries may be, the word is already around. the carter center just works some magic sometimes. it gives hope to people who have never had any hope of their lives being better. it is exciting. >> what is your advice to future first ladies or first husband? >> well, in a first place i would say enjoy, which is what lady bird told me.
but i think i have learned that you can do anything you want to. they used to ask me about if the if i thought the first lady should be paid. then i have to do what first lady is supposed to do. but you can do anything you want to. it is such a great soapbox. it is such a great opportunity. so i would advise any first lady to do what she wanted to do. if she doesn't -- you're going to be criticized no matter what you do. i could have stayed in the white house, poured tea, had receptions. and i would have been criticized as much as i was criticized outside. for what i did. and i got a lot of criticism. but you learn to live with it.
you just live with it. you expect it and you live with it. and never let it influence me. but i would just tell her also, just to enjoy and do what she wanted to do. i know another first lady will have things that she wants to do because women have changed in time. what women do now change from what they did when i grew up. i could be a secretary or school teacher, librarian, a few things. but now women, most women are more active. >> as part of her series, we also spoke with steve ford, the son of former president gerald ford and first lady betty ford. over the next half hour, he
talks about growing up in the ford family. life in the white house, and his mother struggles with substance abuse. with steve ford, son of both betty and president gerald ford. your mother is one of the , if you turn around she is in the artwork for our series. she represents someone who did have influence and image. as a mother, talk to us about what she was like. >> you could say that about so many congressional lines. the more -- majority that time he was the house majority leader. he was on the road maybe 200 nights a year.
i spent 25 years in film and tv business as an actor. i have to think what ever that calling was for me came not from dad's side but from mom. >> how successful was she -- you did have a typical -- how did going to the white house change that at all? >> looking back, we were fortunate. if you were a member of the bush or reagan family, there was
almost an expectation that at some point, your father was going to run for president or be president. not with gerald ford. he was a house minority leader and wanted to be speaker of house. there was never any pressure on us that he would be president. it happened overnight, very quickly. we barely had time to comb our hair. within days, nixon resigned. we moved to the white house. to our advantage as a person, there was no chance to worry about it. it happened so quickly. that allowed us to come in and not have a chance to change. we got to be ourselves. >> how old were you? >> i was 18 when dad became president. i was getting ready.
i was two or three weeks away from going to duke university. all of a sudden, i get 10 secret service guys. that is not the group you hope to hang with at 18. i kept having visions of moving into the freshman dorm at duke and 10 guys with machine guns do not work for me. i said, i am not ready to go to college. take a year off. they let me. i took my 10 secret service agents. i moved to montana to work on ranches. i fell in love with the west. it changed my life. >> did the white house change your mom at all?
>> i do not think so. it did not silence her. if i were in her position, i would've gotten there a bit afraid to speak my mind. she was not intimidated. she spoke her mind and continued to speak her mind and spoke out on issues that first ladies had never spoken out before. sometimes it went against her. people were offended. they thought - we have never seen a first lady talk like that. others applauded her for saying you are like me. a mother of kids. you go through all of the same things. she was very brave to be herself. >> i know you were out of montana. you came back. is it possible to have a semblance of a normal life living in the white house? >> if you are surrounded by family -- i was at age 18 and i had friendships that were established.
i had people i could depend on and two older brothers. my heart went out to chelsea clinton, who at the end of the day, she had no siblings and was surrounded by adults and probably lived in the governor's mansion before that. if my life was weirder that day, i could turn my brother and sister - is it as strange for you as it is for me? chelsea, i do not think had that circle. she was surrounded by adults. we were very fortunate. >> the prom in the white house. >> everybody went, didn't they? >> your mom must've had something to do the planning.
what did the public not getting chance to see concerning your mom? >> mom, again, was part of our family that she and dad so many times showed us a relationship where you could differ in opinion and yet still love each other a great deal. that is the thing i appreciated most about mom and dad. i remember when mom got behind equal rights for women. that was not part of the republican platform or democratic to be fair. dad listened and let her do her thing. as a son to watch them, have that relationship where they respected each other and supported each other, was a wonderful thing. there's a great story about dad
was in a meeting in the west wing during the campaign with some of the political types, not the administration. he and mom had been talking about the e.r.a. and other things. somebody said, mr. president, do you think there is any chance you would go speak to your wife and asked her to kind of tone it down for the next couple of months until we get through the campaign? dad smiled and pointed over to the east wing and said, that is where her office is and i know she is in there. if anybody will like to speak to her, you are more than welcome. that was his way of supporting her. >> famous stories in the white house. there have to be very rich ones. >> first of all, you have to remember after dad got sworn in, the day nixon resigned, everybody remembers the image of
nixon's helicopter and saying goodbye on the steps. we go into the east room where dad puts his hand on the bible. mom holds the bible. we are sitting there. we take a family portrait in the oval office. what people do not remember is we did not get to move in because nixon -- we lived in our own little home in alexandria, virginia in suburbia. because nixon resigned so because nixon resigned so unexpectedly, they were not able to pack up all of the belongings. they left their daughter and son-in-law to pack up. it took seven or eight days. we went back to our little house in virginia.
dad had become president of the united states. we were in the dinner around the table. mom was cooking and she looked over and said, jerry, something is wrong here. you just became president of the united states and i am still cooking. that was our reality for the next seven or eight days. >> did the betty ford that the country came to know accurately reflect the betty ford that was your mother? >> yeah, yeah. for some reason, ethst the way her life unfolded she was challenged with two major issues. first, breast cancer and alcoholism. within the first 30 days of dad's administration, you had the resignation and the economy in shambles. mom was diagnosed with breast
cancer. you have to remember at that time in 1974 people do not talk about breast cancer. you literally did not say the woly "breast." it was a closet disease for women. here you have an image of mom and dad standing there in front of the press holding hands saying we are going to take the shame of the disease and be very transparent. that was important to her as a person to be able -- she did not choose it but to be that role model and she did well. of the hundreds of thousands of letters she got, women who said thank you for helping to take the shame of the disease. and saying i went in and got the exam and we caught it early. the letters that dad got. dad received letters from men
saying thank you, mr. president for showing me how to stand and support my wife. this was kind of groundbreaking new things as far as breast cancer went. right after the presidenche l after dad lost to jimmy carter, mom found herself out to their talking about alcohol and drugs because of through an intervention that the family did in dealing with her own addiction to alcohol and pain medication. took the shame of that for women. the stereotype at that time of the amy ccarolic was a skid row bum. no one thought here's a former first lady raising her hand as saying, hi, my name is betty and
i'm an alcoholic. you have two hhey e issues that mom got to be a part of. if she were here todahe l she would tell you that she was probably an ordinary woman cin aght in a very extraoly inay time. she did what she supposed to do. >> it was haly to imagine a president who have more impact than your mother did. >> those t shae of issues. president dealing with war and the economy. mom was dealing with health issues that affected a lot of people. >> did y'all know she was having some of the issues while she was first lady? >> i think we seame oed somethig during the presidency because she had legitimate pain from several pinched nerves and she
was getting medication. what we did not know was the combination of alcohol and those medicatioame o produce that cocktail that t of thk away som her sharpness. eventuallhe l it had to play out. it had to get to the other side of the presidency where it created a time for mom after te presidency where she was not first lady. she was out in california. dad was traveling a lot. they were building a new home and the kids were all gone. over months, she developed a melancholy that turned into depression, pulled back from life and started canceling appointments and not showing up. sleeping in late. slurred speech. that takes months and we did not know what we were looking
at. we were like millions of other families. what is wrong with mom? it was not the education about alcoholism and drug dependency that there is now. it took -- dad searched through several doctors before he finally found a doctor that have the courage to sahe l i think yr wife's an alcoholic. that was not the image anybody acound stted. finally found the right doctor, dad had the courage to say, we wlul do this intervention. the whole family went in and did the intervention with mom. at that time, i had never heard the word intervention.
now, you have tv shows. it was a different time. we did it. dad led the intervention. my memory of that is very clear. we walked in the door that morning with all of the kids and dad surprised mom. he took her hand and said that betty, we are here because we love you. the kids want their mother back and i want my wife back. those interventions are tohey h. that is tough, haly , hard stuff. a lot of tears, a lot of crping, a lot of raised voices. a lot more hugs and denial. it goes babecau and forth. it's a they -of-war. dad never gave up. betty, we love you, tmst us. we woke her up and she did the work. >> how recd sttive was she? >> as typical of any intervention, at times you are recd sttive and then there is denial. when we got to the other side which took several hours, she wasyou thery receptive. we woke her up. we cannot to do the work. she did the woruse it is hard, hard work.
i went through alcoholism 10 years after mom. i was right behind her. i know what she went tsm ough. she would tell you today, your disease of alcoholism, it's outside the door doing push-had waiting for you. it's a lifelong commitment. she did the woe did and woke up. that morning, nobody ever thought there will be a betty foly center. we were strictly fighting to get our mom back and dad was fighting to get his wife back. to see the other side of that, ãwoears later, for her after she had sobriety for a while, felt comfortable enohey h to put her name on a treatment center that
today has had about 90,000 people. nonprofit. her mission of affordable health to help peltple to g ki healthy and sober. she was very proud of that. >> when she announced that she had breast cancer, i remember going through footage and your father, he choked ufrom did they go through a process together becin ase of such a f the hey ab of th at that tim b what type of process did she go throhey h? do you think she nerew she was having this influence over people? >> i do not think she nersuc she had the influence on to letters and cards started coming in.
at that moment you are fighting for your life. she would tell yo-o it was all that support, thousands of letters and cards they kept her spirits had. i remembered she shared with me there were letters she got from men who said, i have been through this with my wife and my wife had a mastectomy and i love alther even more today than i did. that was encouragement. she nersuc her relatioame ohir h dad. they have been married for 25 oruars at that point. shepatnew if he lost a leg, she would not leave him and if she lost a breast, he would not leave her. there was a wonderful moment that she tait.ed about when she got home and she was at the white house, she was concerned, she was worried she would not be
able to wear her evening dresses a and smore and be part of he90g at the white house at state dinners and things like that. she was having a fsuc insecurities. dad, in his wonderegl wahe l he said, do not be silly. if you cannot wear them cut the low, wear them cut low in the and smbecau. it was a wonderful laughter. their appreciation of each other and humor. they were a great team. >> they did a lot to heal the country at that time. what role did she play in the babecau and your family? >> i thimin -- there was a lot f healing that went on. much of it was reccancernized later. it goes back to the nixon pardon. the same time that the dad gave a nixon the pardon or offered the pardon, he did the same for
the pet canada. he stood in front of the v kierans of forpbgn wars and gave the speech. and he knew he was not going to get an applause. this whole thing was about grace and mercy. if you ca seot mthing e grace ad mercy that broad and big, we are not trying to show a nation. it was about bringing draft avoiders home. things like that. oruars later, it was recover izd as the healing of the nation. mom played a role in that she was your average housewife that ended up in the white house. she spoke about that. people appreciated that. administrations before that were more formal. they were a package. great buttons for the campaign in 1976 that told you how popular she was -- jerry's wife, betty's hus and smnd for president.
she was more popular than him at the time. >> last question. she did his concession speech. that is historical. how is histocka going to pa suc your mom? >> she gave the speech becin ase the days before the final election, dad was giving so many speeches and he lost his t tioice. the next morning we are standing in the oval o shice getting reay and dad could not spething . he had totally lost his voice. mom was there and thepatids wer there.
she was reading the note. and looking and smbecau as a ft showed what a team they were. it seemed vecka natural when he was not available, she could step in. i l of thk at the cancer thing d the aidsoholism. they were like a team -- like climre ng a mountain. climbing mount everest, you get to 27,000 feet and your partner gets sick and you could go to the top without them or wait until they get well. dad waited for mom to g ki well when she had breast cancer. he waited until she got sober and went tsm ough treatment for alcoholism. for him, it meant nothing to g i to the tor gif she was not with him. that was the one true thing about the relationship.
>> find out more at cspan.org/first ladies. >> our message was this, as mothers we're concerned, as first ladies we're committed and as cit, wens of the world we pledge to do all that is possible to stt >> however different we may appear, there is far more that tionited states us than dividess and we are here to find common ground so that we may help bre g nsuc dignity and respect to womn and girls all over the world. >> all of you are s wih a vital. s part of that very conversation because in the coming years all of you wlul be building the
businesses, you'll be making the discovere pes and drafting the. s laws and policies that will move our countries and world forwaly for decades to come. >> monday our original series first ladies infhe9ence and i ke r kiurame o with the five most recent first ladies moppeds at. s 9:00 eastela lt se on c-span an c-span 3, also on c-span radio and cspanism.rg. alnceon the next "washington. s journal" the president of the american pre pncfrom les proa pl tait. about social conservative priorities and agenda this year in congress. followed by a look at investment in green technology companies. then a dispr ssion about gaiamey al qaeda and affiliated groups in iraq.
laal" is live.tou s with your calls and the day's headlines every morning at 7orwr la on essspan. >> a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow here on cblepan. army chief of staff speaks about the future of the awife y. that's at 1:00 p.m. eastern. at 2:30 p.m. eastern the senate subcommittee on 1i68 and human. s rights looks into the situation of retthey ees from the ct slu . s in syrhis . >> republican senator ron johnson of wiscoame oin is sd ro stt their staffs from getting 3 rderal s the sidies to buy health insurance. he was joined by attorney paul clement who a. ued bettore the
supreme court against the new health care law. al> i appre ate you coming this afternoon. is the counsel of recr this lawsuit. he is the president and founder of the wisconsin institute for law and liberty. he will be talking about the filing details and the basic legal case of this lawsuit. i have mr. paul clement -- he has been retained to consult on future potential appellate issues. of course, paul is a partner at the bancroft law firm here in d.c. he was the 43rd solicitor general of the united states under george w. bush. i became familiar with him because he was the attorney arguing against obamacare in front of the supreme court. i attended all four of those sessions. i am very grateful that these
two gentlemen have joined me today. this is a lawsuit that i am filing against captain archuleta and the office of personnel and management to overturn their ruling that gives members of congress and their staff special treatment under the health care law. why am i doing this? there are two basic reasons. the first is, i think it is a basic issue of fairness. i really do believe that the american people expect and have every right to expect that members of congress should be fully subject to all of the rules and laws that congress imposes on the rest of america. it is not the case with the health care law. particularly with this office of personnel management ruling. you all have received a press kit. we provided a detailed timeline.
a history of the legislative history of the past health care laws. to take you back to that moment in time, the public was skeptical about this grand scheme. it is doing neither of those things. the public was skeptical. democratic supporters of this law basically made a covenant with the american people. they put on a pretty good show. they wanted to show the american people that they were eager. they were more than willing to benefit from the health care law, but also be subject to all of the rules and regulations. they were eager, until they really started thinking about what the true effect on themselves would be. that is when they went running to president obama for special treatment. they got it. i realize that there has been some dispute in terms of whether
this is really special treatment. let me describe exactly how egregious this treatment is. it is true that members of congress were singled out by the health care law to lose their employer-sponsored care. let's face it, contrary to president obama's repeated assurances, he has broken promises. if you like your plan, you can keep it. that has been termed the lie of the year by politifact. we are now realizing that millions of americans have lost their health care coverage. including members of congress and their staff. millions have already lost, and they are primarily people who are getting insurance through the individual market. the next wave of lost policies will be those individuals i think that is the issue because those individuals urrently are getting tax advantage healthcare benefits through their employer. hen they lose their coverage
they will have to obtain it through an exchange, exactly of congress and staff have to do. here is the difference and the special treatment. only members of congress and their staff when they lose their sponsored care will have the ability to have their a tax advantage contribution to the healthcare pl plan. treatment. special that is completely unfair and unjustice. that is what i'm trying to ov this particular lawsuit. now, if you take a careful look at the life history you will notice the senate, when they law was before them, had they opportunities to actually allow employer contributions. first nator harry reid filed the law there was all kinds of committee activity and
that allowance for a in ribution was included that committee work but he chose not to include it in his law. senator grassley twice offered allowents to specifically a employer contribution. last time on march 24, 2010, put up to a t was vote and was defeated by a vote 43-56. so, it was not like this was something that congress didn't this was that something they didn't understand. this was specifically debated rejected. so, what we are talking about law of that this is the the 4r57land. if this administration don't law of the land, they should come to congress to land.e the law of the they should not change it by presidential decree or fiat.ential that is really what brings me to he second part of the reason i'm bringing this lawsuit is to
law.ld the rule of i think that this lawsuit will a very long vide overdue check on presidential expanding presidential power particularly with this administration. seeing it and y people will see over the next hree years a real abuse of executive authority by this preside president. primary is one of the reasons i'm bringing this lawsuit. as it ainly have seen it affects the united states senate with the national labor unconstitutional recess appointments. that was one instance where able to senators were file an amicus brief. one reason to file this lawsuit because in general members of congress don't have or can't to blish legal standing bring a lawsuit. i truly believe this is one of and we will have mr. clement talk about that, in
have i believe i do standing and, as a result, i believe i have the obligation to point to overturn this the to try to reestablish check and balance, the careful eers put at our found into the constitution to limit the size and power and scope of government. with that i would like to let legal issues the of the case. >> the lawsuit was filed this divisi n the northern division, the eastern district of wisconsin where senator johnson lives. division sits in into the constitution to limit the size and power and scope of government. with that i would like to green bay. case has been assigned to just william greasback. when congress passed the affordable care act it knew some with including those employer provided coverage would lose it. in uild confidence and to, simple terms, accept for themselves what they were about
for millions of others congress decided the only overage that would be made available to members and their staff was that which could be a.c.a. exchange. there is no doubt about that. 1312 d--3 -- d provides only health plan that can be offered to members or their those that may be purchased under an exchange affordable r the care act. for our purposes this afternoon two types of exchanges. one is a small business exchange business se small exchanges a tax-free subsidy can on behalf an employer of individuals who are purchasing on this exchange. affordable care act explicitly defines a small one with fewer than 100 employees.
of exchange type really pertinent here are the individual exchanges established under the a.c.a. a.c.a. nor any other provision of the law permits those who are purchasing insurance under those individual exchanges to receive tax-free subsidies. nor does the hrau case hlaw cov employee health benefit program provide for payment of policies ubsidies for purchased under these exchanges, fehb f which qualify for funds. got legal matter, congress whether it wanted -- what it wanted. members and their staff are the same dell as millions of -- deal as millions of americans that lost their as a result of a.c.a. and must purchase insurance on the exchanges. was not a mistake. congress knew this with happen.
a.c.a. didions of the expressly state that members and their staff could receive tax-free subsidies to purchase health insurance but that language was not included in the .c.a. as it was ultimately passed. after the act was adopted an amendment was proposed which would have permitted the payment tax-free premium federal by the government but as senator johnson pointed out, that was passed. unfortunately, what has happened having chosen to make this solidarity with those who would lose their coverage doesn't now turns out really want to feel their pain. to avoid the ay premiums to pay these would be to change the law. but as senator johnson pointed
this ongress has not done and does not appear to want to take a vote on the issue. so, what has happened, as has happened so frequently with the as it is written is being ignored. getted promise you will a rule -- promise you will promiulgated a rule that government with almost three mechanical civilian a small is actually employer for purposes of participation in the small business skhaeupgs and members congress and their staff -- but only members of congress and purchase on - may the individual exchange -- on the small business exchange and receive these tax-free subsidies. no one else who works for someone other than a small employer would be able to do this. this is quite frank ly unlawful.
one of manyy, it is examples in which the affordable has been act , ilaterally altered, deferred exemptions grant the or there's been a simple refusal to enforce the law as it has been written. egregious he most example perhaps but it is one that senator johnson is able to about.ething from our perspective this case is not about whether or not congress and their staff should be able to receive contributions ee to their health insurance. it is about the rule of law and of law should le be followed and we are confident that if we are able to make our united states district court for the eastern district of wisconsin that osition will be upheld w. that i will turn it over to mr. clement. >> thank you. i wanted to pick up where rick
off. as he indicated, when the affordable care act was passed congress that f the president signed and it included a number of very deadlines, very specific formulas. hat has happened as the implementation deadlines have come to the fore is that the multiple tion on occasions has relaxed the deadlines, changed the rules, this part of the law, that part of the law won't go into ffect on the date congress specified. a lot of people, in looking at branch actions say it is contrary to the law doubt but they would somebody would have standing to bring a challenge to those executive actions. the executive here to essentially eliminate an law congress thought was important namely that members of congress and toir staffs would be subject the same healthcare system with
the imitations as constituents, that provision has gh this opm resume likewise been relaxed. what we think makes this think nt and what we gives somebody -- and senator johnson and his staff members in articular -- standing to raise an objection is this doesn't just affect everybody in the is not an abstract concern. this is a provision that senatorally affects how office get their healthcare. it affects how the senator khrfs employees -- classifies within his office for purposes of their eligibility. challenge a classic to a statute that is a that lized grievance affects everyone this is a challenge to the implementation f a statute that is specifically directed to the senate, congress, their offices healthcare.y get so, we think that critically distinguishes cases that are out
suggest that many instances legislators do not ave standing to raise objections in court. in particular thing are two things that make this case distinct. is the fact this directly his ts the senate and administers w heedhe the office and how they pay for healthcare. not a generalize d grievance. the second thing that other uishes this from circumstances is that oftentimes you have legislators bring court cases when they haven't been able to prevail in the halls of congress. classic example is the senator who doesn't like the war in vietnam or something and then a court action to challenge the legality of that ction after having lost a vote the war or something like that. this is in a sense is the exact opposite.
as both the senator and rick indicated, congress specifically considered the question of whether or not members of congress should get their health the same way as their constituents. decision a conscious vote essentially created parity with their constituencies. so, if healthcare turned out to be a great boon all the boats together.e if it turned out to be a problem then members of congress and suffer affs would through the same problems and would experience those problems be thand and perhaps would best positioned then to address those problems. sense the opm rule -- and this is the heart of the challenge that has been filed that -- interferes with congressional judgment. stops what happened in the halls of congress and effectively relaxes the impact of the decision that congress made to make congress and its staff members directly deal with healthcare me situation as their constituents. so, that, too, really makes this
where, unlike past efforts by legislators to hit court and unlike these other instances in which his administration has not implemented the law that congress passed, this is a real case for the s senator and his staff to raise this objection directly in court. so we do think away feel confident there is standing and to having the opportunity to hit gate there there is standing and we look forward to having the opportunity to hit gate there issue in court. we are happy to open up to questions. and naudible] how do you your staff get health insurance and if you are successful what o you think is the most fair way for this situation to be remedied? ould you would to return to [inaudible]? > my wife went on the d.c. exchange and stopped almost immediately because first of all she couldn't get through and
did just the, among personal information she had to fully consists she was aware of the lack of any kind of security on the website, she want to go any further so i supported that decision and we went to a broker wisconsin and just purchased healthcare still in the private market. members of my staff also xperienced the same problems and in many cases almost against as they ran up the deadline unable to log into the system, unable to get confirmation and each instance of my staff members their experience with the healthcare different and we will be working with them to make sure they can secure good affordable healthcare. >> can't you or members of your can't lawmakers or members of your against the staff review subsidies, can't they go
on the individual exchange and sign up there and not go through the small business one and get the subsidies? >> that is exactly what i would like to do. i think most members are trying to just follow the letter of the law as it has been written and regular litted. i have no criticism just followe law as it has been written and regular litted. i have no criticism of any member of conscious not doing i'm doing in terms of taking advantage of the employer contribution. to do so. chosen not talk about what most americans are going through and congress's ates to situation but most americans are getting healthcare through mployer covered healthcare policies. so, we are talking about a smaller group of americans that trying to -- can you talk about how big that group is comparable that is congress's situation? >> sure. that group is going to grow and grow k it will dramatically. i bought healthcare for the people that work with me at my
business for 31 years. the decision now that the healthcare law is in place and exchangeestly once the gets up and running more ffectively, this is going to put greater pressure on to make a pretty simple decision from a business standpoint. now with the health care law the $15,000 per do i pay year for a family plan up $2,500 and reduced which is what president obama promised, pay year and try to comply 20,000 pages to of law or pay the $2,000 or $3,000 and not expose my employees to financial risk, i them eligible for subsidies through the exchange. arguing for een is that there will be all
kinds of employers, there will be millions of employees that will lose the employer sponsored care because the incentive is there for the employers to drop the coverage and have them get coverage through the exchanges. we will have a lot of americans, millions of them losing their is that there will be all kinds of employers, there will be millions of employees that will lose the employer sponsored care because the incentive is there for the employers to drop the coverage and have them get coverage through the exchanges. we will have a lot of americans, millions of them losing their tax advantage healthcare coverage get dumped in the exchange, have to secure after tax. now, we can talk about the tax treatment. i always felt it was grossly nfair you got the employer benef benefit. here i would have been pushing that as a reform. if you want to subsidize health care individuals let them enjoy tax advantage and what i want to see is the republican the first of the year. congress alking about singling itself out not relating to what your constituents are it seems by but getting employer sponsored care you are actually getting similar care to what most of your constituents are. right? again, what has --
>> the argument isn't philosophically right or wrong but when you want to mirror your onstituents employer sponsored care. >> i'm talking about millions that are losing healthcare. some lost individual policies people are losing the employer sponsored care and the special treatment is again, wha >> if you lose an ordinary citizen you lose your tax advantage and you with of a-tax e dollars. e are the only class in our staff that when we lost our employer sponsored care because we get a tax advantage employer sponsored contribution. just unfair. that is unjust. it needs to be corrected. > if conditioning were to take on this issue instead of letting the obama administration change hings what is the right outcome? get rid of the subsidy? > if the administration wants to change the law to put members a position back in like this reporter was talking
get most americans employer sponsored care, they should come to congress and pass the law to do so. would be certainly one remedy for this. but i do not believe the president has the authority to willy-nilly change the law as he has done with for example he employer plan date which is pretty specific is that there wl be implemented no later than 31, 2013. he just changed the law by decree.ntial that is the point of this lawsuit. the president doesn't have the authority and he needs to be on that.d >> [inaudible]? >> i would like to be in this lawsuit because i do want, as mr. clement was pointing out, it extremely important members of congress have the same experience as the other millions americans that are experiencing to their detriment law.ealth care it is one way to force action. we have been receiving thousands of e-mails and alerts --
and they want to see the healthcare law succeed and are shocked by the increase of and shocked by the fact that president obama's promise and now they oken are seeing their premiums double, triple, out of pocket and triple.ble ccess to the doctors it kept them alive taken away and treatments that kept them alive. so, in order to prompt action halls of congress, to start repairing that damage of this bill, to limit future it is extremely important that members of exact s experience that harsh reality that those exact same pains that the constituents are. that is not going to happen right now because this presid t by ident, because democrats and large went running to him for special treatment and them that and thank is wrong. >> a legal question. i'm not sure who is the best answer this. why is the court filing in
wisconsin rather than in d. rfpc. since the d.c. exchange is the the care?ing > for many years in my home state of wisconsin we had a rule that if you wanted to sue the government you had to go to resides, government the capital in madison. e changed that recently in recognition of the fact -- this has been the rule in federal court for a long time -- that are aggrieved by government action should be able their government in court where they reside. e filed this lawsuit in the eastern district of wisconsin because that is where senator johnson lives. is in wisconsin where his constituent constituents, many of whom have lost health and care coverage to get the able tax-free premium subsidies from employer, are feeling that pain. thought it was appropriate for us to file the lawsuit in
johnson's home state. > back on the employer sponsored coverage one thing a lot of businesses are talking bout doing planning to drop coverage or dropping coverage is provided their employees with compensation it buy insurance on their own. would you consider that as a olution to this issue to help your staff? it wouldn't be tax free, it .ould be taxed >> on a case-by-case basis that i will be considering per staff member. frugal so as ally i -- for the three years i have every year i ss underspent my budget by a half becausedollars not only i'm frugal but a i knew this was coming. going to be as result. what is bizarre is coming from
where, when iector hire somebody to work with me, i not only have to pay their to budget for ve their pension plans and unemployment insurance and their insurance.e i understand those full costs. a n you come here it is bizarre system. a member of congress's budget is to pay salary. somebody else, the secretary of the senate provides the benefits congress don't know the cost, which is part of the problem. if this ruling were overturned it would force congress to start considering and understanding how expensive these benefits are. i have allowed myself the flexibility, retained enough those to be able to make types of adjustments so that i an help individuals work their way through that so they can continue to afford to remain office. in my >> you mentioned that you are frugal and you felt like this
obligation you wanted to -- how much is this cost and who particularly it the retaining of mr. clement? senate ve had to go to ethics. i had to options. und it personally which i was willing to do but the senate ethics committee did allow me to do it through my campaign committee. so that is another way i can fund but the senate ethics committee did allow me to do it through my campaign committee. so that is another way i can fund this. so i can do a combination or all the other.ll of i hope to be able to quite my stly raise funds through campaign committee. some wouldn't do that. you have campaign finance those contributions and can be pretty precious dollars. ut this is such an important more than i think i'm willing to either fund it utilize those limited campaign funds. that is how it will be funded. critics, iyou say to utilizeu have a fellow
congressman, member of congress james sconsin sensenbrenner who said there is a political stunt and it will serve as a distraction away from what is really wrong with obama we will he said that focus on a trivial issue. he is a republican. what would you say to critics him? >> first of all i have a great eal of respect for congressman sensenbrenner. i'm disappoint and puzzled by his action. issue that i believe republicans publicly because record voting for the treatment i think only two members of congress this was to us ever republican except two in both chambers voted to support of what i'm trying to do in this lawsuit. way, shape orn any form believe this is trivial or a stunt., that this is i think this is a very important constitutional question.
i think it is a very important issue that deserves a full airing. it deserves its day in court and public discussion and debate. that is why i'm doing that. disagree with the congressman or anybody else that has hard feelings about it. do you expect to see my more action supporting this? >> was hoping for a legislative fix. i was co-sponsor of an amendment the fact they e were trying to add members of the administration, political appointees, make sure the entire political class has the same experience, good or bad, that public do.n so, i support that amendment. senator reid refuses to allow even a vote on that. i certainly supported what the when they attached basically the vitter amendment
one of those continuing resolutions and i think everybody republican voted for except two and when harry reid put it up for a every table it republican senator voted against tabling it. so, one reason i held off filing there would beif legislative action. i thought maybe in the budget conference committee that might be something we might have extracted as one of our wins in that didn't happen. it doesn't look like this will legislatively. asking that this will be set aside. [inaudible] rule part of the rule also clarifies of congress members and their staff would not have to go on the exchanges. >> that is not an issue i really
considered. don't believe that is part of the law, is it? >> no. >> we are talking about current members. >> some of the things you said and a couple of items here in mentioned , you have or implied members of congress should have to get their exchang e through the exchanges. but looking at the actual wording in the affordable care coverage s the only that can be offered by the federal government is through the exchanges. re you saying they have to get their coverage through the exchanges or -- the law really states the only thing james canenbrenner who the federal tt provide or offer is [inaudible] i'm not defending the law. repeal the law. i think it is causing all kinds of harm to all kinds of americans. don't want to defend how poorly it was written but it was written in a way and i think it s clear this lawsuit is about enforcing that law and enforcing
president that really feels unrestrained by his faithfully execute those laws. > do you think the law doesn't deal with that at all? >> i have chosen that option myself. >> to follow up on that, if i right that means effectively you have declined this subsidy by going to the private market. correct. >> i wonder if you knew how many lawmakers had done that. my other question was, it is not clear how you are handling it with your staff. something about case by case. how is that working? >> first of all i do not know ow many other people have declined it and i'm not in any way shape or form critical of trying it is just follow the law, follow the rules as they are currently written with it or agree not. most republicans utterly. but we are trying to follow it. so, i was forced as part of the
tonding issues, i was forced take action that i believe is unlawful.is that is part of the issue. in terms of how my staff is it, they, i believe -- they believe that they all did coverage and again it is a wide spectrum in terms of what they did. decided not to take employer coverage and got on we go coverage and as back to salary reviews we will talk to those individuals on an basis in terms of what is it costing you, what kind of harm was done? et's look at your raw pay package. so don't have any blanket rule. flexible. very --some did take the employer >> i imagine all of my staff members most people here in did take the taff employer contribution. i'm not being critical of that. being critical of a
no legal who knows bounds and is doing things by presidential decree. >> [inaudible] staff because of this? >> no. know that is one of the canards is this will be a huge we will lose d senior staff. i think that is up to members of is ress if somebody disgruntled or one of the first terms i learned when i came here no legal bounds and is doing things by presidential decree. totally oud in any kind of elective office, first term i heard interviewing potential staff members was cashing out. not like this was a new phenomenon. he fact is it is a constant issue with members of congress and their staff in terms of how do you retain good people. a lot of good people here. that is just an issue people will have to deal on a case-by-case basis with individuals. do we have time for one more? thank you for coming. i appreciate it.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] president obama's adviser i benefits for three months.n th them more time to develop a long-term solution to the problem. this is a half hour. >> thank you. tha thanks, jay. there is no question that we go into 2014 w with more economic w men item, unemployment rate is down to 7%. we had more than three million private sector jobs in the lastg year. we've seen housing prices up about 13%.