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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 5, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT

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like the partnership for peace, that helps a dozen nations and helps bring them up to military standards in education and support. those are the programs we need to look at ways to reinvested. i fear that domestic gridlock and the atmosphere of fiscal constraint is getting to the point that it is making us actually really overly narrow what in we can do as a country when you ask about, can we do asia policy and handle ukraine? of course, we can. we are still the largest economy on earth. we are still spending over $600 billion a year on defense. we have plenty of resources. we have to have the willingness to apply those resources where they need to be applied. we seem to be in a political
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environment where gridlock is the watchword and tough political decisions do not come no matter how severe the provocation or how important the need. and that is what challenges american leadership in the world. the gridlock is the issue, much more than the specifics of any given response, because the world understand how complicated these sorts of issues and responses are. i will wrap up with that. >> thank you. let me ask questions for the panel to pick up on the themes i heard throughout the comments. the first one is a question, a difference reference, the utility of the ambiguity in terms of options and leaving space for yourself as you manage a problem. one of the first things the president did and has repeatedly done was take military force off the table as an option. andy, you had said before that the use of economic sanctions may be asked to look for in a way we do not anticipate. i assume taking military force
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off the table was done anyway to try to defuse the crisis a bit. what is your view of how putin may perceive those statements by the president, and does that need any policy correction going forward? >> thanks. great comments by both clark and vikram. my main problem against -- february 28 in the initial response, to me was clear that actually crimea was gone and what we were playing for at that point was for the rest of ukraine, and it was clear that for mr. putin, winning crimea and losing the rest of ukraine would never be satisfactory. and that is why the response right from the get go had to be much stronger and firmer. granted, that is a very hard
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thing to do when you see such a stealthy and frankly surprising action that was taken. but a couple days after that and the week after that and the week after that, in the public, the sense of a very permissive environment for mr. putin, that was in his head. we know what he would have done with a different response. this gets to taking use of military force off the table. i am a huge believer in deterrence. the counter argument made by the administration that any kind of military action or certainly military support for ukraine, the concern about it being perceived as provocative to moscow, to me it does not make sense.
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what i saw as more provocative was creating the impression in putin's mind of a more permissive environment. if you're thinking to yourself that you're taking military action off the table, fine, do not say it. what is the point in saying anything about it? why not create ambiguity in your adversary's mind? more importantly, on this point, the administration would critique people like me and accuse us of being warmongers -- i would never suggest providing an article five guarantee for ukraine or anything like that -- that is not -- but there is a whole range of options in between that and sending 300,000 meals ready to eat.
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there are far more options. there is a problem that the security forces in ukraine are penetrated by russia's influence, that is an issue for sure. there could have been more done there in a nuanced way that could have changed the calculus. >> you want to jump in on that? >> i go to exactly what it was that president obama is saying. he said many things, but on 26 march, he said ukraine is not a member of nato in part because of its close history with russia. nor will russia be dislodged from crimea or be deterred by military force.
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there is this you to give us official saying the american people are not going to war with russia over ukraine. i am not a warmonger. maybe i am a little bit. there are lots of things you can do short of launching a desert storm-like invasion of kuwait. you might actually move forces into what they are now calling the front-line states, nato allies on russia's borders during that time. nato has not. what has happened is the united states sent to each of the three countries in question, 150 paratroopers, and those paratroopers were delivered by commercial transportation because we were worried less
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about having them jump out of the sky or being delivered by military transport that would be too provocative. sending 150 paratroopers in when you have 100,000 troops on the borders. there are lots of things we should have done. i think obama has done a little bit better on the economic side that he has not done on the military side. you should be doing things to indicate to our nato allies, the new europe, as don rumsfeld used to refer to, that we are really there for them, and we have not during that time. for me, strategic ambiguity about when you are going to use force, that is a concept that was developed in terms of the use of nuclear weapons.
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it is not a concept used for 150 paratroopers to signal intent. there are lots of things that could have been done on the military side that would demonstrate a much firmer intent than we had heretofore shown. >> the only thing i will throw into this mix is i think a lot is made -- as if there is a notion of high-speed tactical deterrence in itself. there's the idea that had we just asked, he would've said i will leave crimea or i will not meddle in the rest of ukraine. that is not accurate, and the reason he was not that heard -- deterred finds its roots in how we respond to the georgia incursions into 2008, which remain in place. much more sloppy, loud, noisy,
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messy, and it claimed like 500 georgian lives, that was met with no response by previous administration. vladimir putin has tested the waters and determine that in his immediate neighborhood he is not going to face a military response from the united states. so i agree with what my colleague is saying here. he can't debate about the tactics. the failure to deter in this particular set of circumstances, which vladimir putin steadily encroaching on and grabbing a russian enclave of neighboring states like moldova, georgia, ukraine, and potentially others like azerbaijan, that is a position he has tested over the
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years, and i would say more of what we have done in this crisis, what we did not do in 2008, has affected the world we are looking at today. >> one last question. the question, there has not yet been a release of an obama administration second-term national security strategy, so there is opportunity to put something in there about this issue to signal very publicly on this issue said that we brought up here. what would you recommend be in the national security strategy? i am not saying that putin will read it, but it is a chance to have a discussion internally in the and frustration like we're having here. what are some of the issues they need to take a hard look at?
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the second part of the question, we just had the release of a new defense strategy in the form of a 2014 quadrennial defense review. did that strategy adequately after the space we are in now with russia? is russia properly accounted for and our defense strategy if it is going to be the kind of long-term challenge that you all believe it is going to be? whoever feels most comfortable going first. >> i will go first on that. i will start with the ease your question first, the 2014 qdr. like the one that came out six weeks after 9/11. it was legislated to come have a certain time, so it came out. at the time it was legislated to come out. it was adjusted at the very last minute to talk a little bit about 9/11, but the whole thing had been written before 9/11 had occurred. same thing is true right now. a slated mandate to put out a 2014 qdr. we're still talking that qdr
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that we want to shape china as a responsible stakeholder and russia as a responsible partner as well. that was the language that was in there. you cannot rewrite those. they probably would have gone to the printers before it was clear what was going on right now with russia and ukraine. as far as the national security is concerned, do not put another one out. last time you want to put something out was right after you are sitting there with egg all over your face, and people wondering about your resolve, and i would argue you have to rebuild your credibility for action, your reputation to action, to use a term that thomas schelling used, you have to rebuild that were one red line at a time. there was a recent article that said we need to reset our foreign policy, have a full architecture.
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we know well if we try to put up five red lines, we are going to get a number of them wrong no matter how stronger president is because we do not know what our toleration for pain is and we do not know what people we are trying to effect. he followed those kinds of things over time. that is a longer-term thing. i would argue right now if you have to put out a national strategic strategy, you probably should've done it two years ago. if you did not, do not do it now. >> i think that is great part. the qdr did not account for this turn of events. the fact is the international community has rejected what russia has previously done in terms of these kinds of actions, and nobody recognizes other places as russian territory, but has attempted to move on and figure that there is going to have to be a resolution at some
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point, and we have continued to try to encourage russia to be a part of a responsible mobile order. and any logical -- if you take a longer term, not putin's political calculus, but the longer welfare of the russian society, that is a better course of action. long term, russia would do well to make those reforms that and he was talking about, to open up its society can have a free media, to make to be attractive to capital again, to establish the rule of law, and got a russian that has a decent future in the 21st century. this is taking russia down a path that will not have a decent future in the 21st century, and that is something that does need to be factored in to national security thinking. i would imagine national security strategy is not that about anybody's list of the
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white house now given the number of challenges they are facing. obviously, the shifting dynamics from power and how sovereignty disputes have been muffled or very rarely acted on in recent years and how those might play in to challenging the international order and undermining security in large important regions of the world, that has to be something we look to address. >> andy? >> thanks. of course, the qdr could not account for this. there are two sides of it. one is capabilities. the other are intentions. we know the russians have been working the last five or six years to improve their military sector, and i think this deserves a lot more attention, looking at the kinds of
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capabilities that they have. there has been a lot of focus, not surprisingly, on access of weapons, to raise the cost of military interventions that the united states and its allies has led. i would look very closely at the nuclear balance and look at what the russians are doing their with their modernization program and what we are or are not doing with our program. i will leave it to clark to make a comment on that. you know, on vikram's comments on the long term, vladimir putin is 61 years old. he takes good care of himself.
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he plans on being in power for a long time. and so, sure, we would like to wish for the return back to a reforming russia, but i just do not see that happening any time soon. the logic of what he has done and where he has moved has constrained him and has encouraged him to go further. so i am afraid unless something happens to him personally, i do not see any way that we are going to be doing with him for a long time. that has to be accounted for, i think, in the strategy, because that is where the intention has shifted in a fundamental way, from being in a quasi-partner, a
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frenemy, to clearly an adversary. and an adversary which i am worried is ready to inflict and sustain major losses all across the board. i know this is a kind of a crazy thought, but i have these crazy thoughts in the last few months. i do not even think about it, and they hit me. i was reading a piece last friday, and the thought hit me, the greatest achievement of the soviet union, besides winning world war ii, was achieving nuclear parity with the united states. what would really rock vladimir's world would be if to somehow acquire a first-strike capability. i have not even thought about that for decades. >> you have not even thought reform. >> look, this cannot be underestimated in any way,
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shape, or form. you know what? since we have little capacity to influence russia, i think we have to think about much more strategically, is how we support the sovereignty and independence of the state on russia's borders from east central europe to the southern caucasus. central asia -- i just came from central asia, spent a couple weeks there, and for example, some very thoughtful kazakh analysts, maybe another 9/11 and how they think about their security and their position. that whole area -- we need a new eurasia policy, not just a russia policy, and the core weakness was ukraine's own sovereignty itself. >> let me turn it over to
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audience questions. please identify yourself and if you could keep it to a question so we can hear more from these gentlemen. somebody will come with a microphone, sir, in the back. >> thank you. retired diplomat. over the years, the u.s.-ukraine military to military relationship has and one of the best aspects of our bilateral relations. the police have performed pretty poorly out there, but now that the military are engaged, is it likely that the bilateral military to military relationship is going to bear some fruit in the quality of performance of the military? and there have been suggestions from some observers that the west should provide some
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anti-armor, defensive weapons to the ukrainian military to help them to turkey and defend, and that kind of weaponry is available on the market so it would not the something like writing them weaponry that they would not know how to use. >> want to jump in on that? >> more than one or just ---- >> why don't we start with -- >> i think the provision of defensive weapons would not be -- i do not think it would be decisive. i do not think that in the power dynamic there is a step that would be decisive in the immediate term. i do think ukraine needs a heck of a lot of help. the military to military relationship with ukraine has been good.
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i understand that from knowing that if has been one of these countries that we partnered with over the years, but it was nowhere nearly as good as the relations with georgia. i think you could see a situation in which perhaps it is not just an american issue, but the united states could be provided and a lot of higher-end military support in terms of how they do things and how they manage their military and how they can run things. european countries can provide additional equipment. ukrainian army has stocks. they have a military. the real question is do they have the command and control and integration they need to deal with this kind of complex threat? that will be tested if we see further military action. i do not think you will see a crimea situation where nothing happens.
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we are seeing the violence and things being contested now, and i imagine there's a point at which the ukrainians will stand up and they need to be backed up by countries around the world that do not think they should have their country dismembered just because there was a popular uprising and one corrupt leader ended up fleeing from office. unfortunately for the ukrainian people, they have been led in their country for decades by corrupt leaders who have left the country. >> in the front here. >> i would like to see one of you all comment on arming ukrainians with stinger missiles so that the air force cannot operate anywhere near territory. they pulled out of afghanistan.
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therefore, it was totally inured. the russian air force has a low tolerance for casualties. when the russians from across the borders with their tanks in their armored vehicles, that they can take them out. both cases would such a high price on the russian game that the russians have no chance of getting your people to put up with the casualty rate that they are going to incur. i would like to comment on that. >> let me take one more. sir, right here. >> thank you. i am representing the mccain institute from georgia.
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my question is on the nato contingency in the baltic direction. today russia officially notified lithuania that they are suspending weaponry information exchanges. this was the formal notification they received. i presume there will be some enhancement -- particularly in tactical nukes. my question is, if in the future we see -- appearing in one of the baltic countries, article five considers the support of the ally when there is an armed attack on a member country. would it be considered an armed attack, or would nato continue their actions in this potential scenario?
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>> i do not think you will see in ukraine -- i will leave it to andy to make a more authoritative statement on that -- i do not think you are going to see a russian invasion of ukraine with lots of helicopters and with lots of aircraft. they are susceptible to being shot down with stingers. remember, russia invaded afghanistan in support of a puppet government, so they occupied a country, and it took quite a while for the united states to develop the supply lines and stuff to provide them the wherewithal to start shooting down aircraft in afghanistan territory. i do not know how far putin is going. there is a united institute of security for london that published that said nobody knows
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what putin will do next. do you sort of agree with that? do you think he knows how far he will go during that time? i do not think it is going to be an invasion. there will be lots more green men, lots more violence in cities, there will be a creeping. i do not think it will stabilize until a larger chunk of ukrainian territory has been lost to russia during that time. i think it will go that far. putin has had more appetite for this than i thought he had. he has not been confronted with the kind of opposition that is going to lead him to back off for a while. i think he looks at this -- he is playing a great game in his mind and playing it better than his opponents, and he sees a feasible game.
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there will be forced ethnic cleansing, to use that kind of term, which is much more out of yugoslavia and so on, but i think you are going to find that there are not going to be ukrainian freedom fighters in that strip of southeastern ukraine that will go russian. i think the military aspect of it is not going to be part of it. as to your question, i think it depends a lot on how the world reacts to what is going to happen to ukraine. i saw a tv show where the ambassadors for the three baltic countries talking to each other, saying, of course, ukraine is a part of nato. it was clear they were happy to be a part of nato at that time and to be having those defenses. i do not think putin is ready to take on that challenge yet unless we have a lot more
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dithering and ineptitude and capacity from the rest of the world in response to ukraine. i do not see that replay happening right away, but could it happen six months from now in ukraine? i think so. but i do not think it will, but it could. >> you want to pick up? >> i completely agree with what clark just said. let me use a term we used during the cold war. we are coming up to a critical moment with the presidential election. it has been an essential part of the strategy to be able to claim that the ukrainian government in kiev is illegitimate. i think what we see the efforts to control if not to control, at
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the stabilize areas of eastern and southern ukraine are going to intensify up and to the election, and of course may 9, the great victory in europe, holiday friday, a nasty day that may look that last friday will look like a picnic. when the elections are held, the goal is to have as few people vote in those regions where the opposition's control or destabilize. then with the election results, the claim can be made legitimate, that their rights are being violated, and in the russians will declare the right to protect.
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they have already been talking about the right to protect. they likely will still want to avoid a full-scale military invasion to protect, but i would not exclude that as a possibility. i think that is what we are going to likely see up to the point where on april 17 in his phone-in program, mr. putin raised the term "new russia." to me, this is clearly what he wants. this is the most industrialized part of ukraine. it is the most wealthy part of ukraine. it is where the heart of ukrainian military industrial complex is, and if you want to have a greater russia project, a greater russian military-industrial complex, you do not want the ukrainian industrial military competing with sales to china as they have the last couple years. in the some way, the endgame will be for a truncated ukraine and it will be an annexation of
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that territory to russia. i do not think that a frozen conflict zone will be satisfactory. you will be left with a -- which is much economically weaker, much more focused economically to the west, but much weaker. military supplies to the ukrainian -- i do not like to say this, but i feel in some ways that the train might have left the station. we had been thinking about this two months ago in a more strategic way. nevertheless, we need to do what we can do. let me emphasize again. military to military relations, this is the distinguished former ambassador of georgia, who was so modest not to inform the audience that he was the ambassador of georgia. good to see you again. wherever countries have an appetite for a stronger
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relationship with the united states, do it. secretary hagel, get on the airplane, go to central asia, and see what people are looking for. there is an interest for more cooperation with kazakhstan, and definitely with uzbekistan. certainly with turkmenistan, but more cautious. >> let me take a question from this side of the room. >> i'm in touch with ukrainians currently that say give us tactical intelligence. in a country with a flat muslim population, putin just got himself a million russians.
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he got a couple million more by taking the southeast. that is a big driver here. pundits have failed to note it. is it possible to establish a training trigger force to serve that purpose? he is out of office in 4 1/2 years, so he has 4 1/2 years to establish this. maybe he puts a puppet in. >> there are elections in 2018, and he can run again. he would be president until 2024. >> tell us about that training trigger force. >> take another one in the back. >> national security --
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mention was made of intelligence failures in this crisis. we know that snowden is entirely in custody of fsb, and it is reported we have had significant losses of intelligence assets with regard to russia. i'm wondering what the panel thinks is how big a factor it is in the administration's decision calculus. >> who wants to start on this one? you want to take this one? >> sure. i will take the first one. you point out, with crimea, russia has also inherited more than 200,000 crimean tartars,
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who have a difficult history with russia and the soviet union. over the weekend i saw that a major political leader there was stopped at the border from reentering crimea. so far the crimean tartars have been very quiescent in all of this. i think that will be a problem for putin at it might actually increase the larger problem that he has with an increasingly islamifcation of the russian federation. there is no question that with the rapid environment of russian nationalism in russia today, beyond anything i have ever seen
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or conceived of, that is almost certainly going to increase the problem of the insurgency that mr. putin faces in the north caucasus and in other areas in the -- region where there is a significant muslim population. >> snowden? >> above my pay grade. >> intelligence failure is not the way i would characterize what happened in the inability of our intelligence agencies to predict that putin was going to do what he was going to do. there was a comment made by a spokesman talking about 25,000 russian troops mobilizing and active on the borders of south east asia, where he said, we do not have an idea what their intentions are. ok. you cannot see those out front. you can see the forces. you do not see what they are going to do with them.
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a lot of us were surprised him including andy was apprise him that putin did as much as he did and could go on to do as much as what he is doing now. we're talking about people who have been nothing but russian leaders for a long time. snowden -- it has weakened the united states a bit in terms of its allies. certainly with merkel. that is not explaining why the european reaction to what russia is doing has been so weak. it is not snowden and that is responsible for a former chancellor of germany sitting on the board of a russian oil company. it is not snowden that is responsible for the effective united states has bilateral, economic relationship with
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russia, $27 billion a year, and europe has owned $370 billion a year. you talk about us sanctioned the russian banking sector. let london go down the tubes. there has been a case of interdependency or dependency, depending on how you look at it, created between russia and europe now where europe is not an independent agent. where we said with nato, where we will move with nato as an alliance, we are asking malta, the united kingdom, countries that benefit from the russian empire to take strong action that will hurt their economies. it is not going to happen. as for a trigger force them
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there's no trigger force we can do in the near term that could stop the russians. what will stop the russians from going further is the reading of their own interests that they have gone as far as they need to. why, if you are putin, think about that kind of stability? he is in a place where 45% of the population is russian and the rest is ukrainian. you push ukrainians further away and you make sure you just left the russians. what you do not do is you take over an area that is 100% ukrainian and have to deal with them. as we know too well, occupations are tough, and i think putin is a little smarter about that. >> i agree i do not think putin is looking to occupy ukrainian parts of ukraine. i do not think we are looking at the reabsorption of ukraine into russia. we are looking at what will and he was talking about.
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we can easily move into the realm of talking about the options that may or may not be there. there are tactical decisions that could be made in terms of what kind of supports to provide, what kind of -- how you reassure and reinforce and make clear that the nato alliance is going to stand firm on protecting alliance members from aggression. but we should remember in dealing with russia as a civilization that we have at challenges with for a long time, and that is the situation we are in now.
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we are not going to like economic sanctions, but it is not all or nothing. russia will have it units interests to continue to sell if some other sector has been sanctioned and the united states could have a disproportionate impact in some areas. taking action in the banking sector is a high order step. i think it's really impossible to see credible response that doesn't include steps that hurt both ways. we're going to have to see that happen. in banking in particular, where the united states goes, so goes the world in a lot of cases. because banks will have to self-select out of business. i think it is important to be
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very honest about the fact that interdependence has developed. you're right, not only the economy, the properties and all sorts of things and london are owned by lots of russian olgarts. we welcome a flood of russian cash. i believe it has to be something clearly something we're patrolling call for. it has to be something the united states has to take action on even if europe does not want to follow. we have to do that just for the annexation of crimea, and
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certainly for further steps. >> let me get the final word and then we'll thank the panel. >> two things. one, another collateral damage of economic cause for russia is economic cause for those states that have very strong economic relations with russia. some of them which are very fragile anyway. that's something that needs to be thought about. when we think about what was the core weakness of ukraine, it really sort of the economic foundation of its own sovereignty. the military cooperation is
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important, but it is this factor, the economic engagement, that really needs to get the attention, and i would like to see that be a big part of that. skip back toink -- china for one second because the logic is that the russians will be pushed more closely to the chinese. the chinese will be ambivalent about this. theink that may be some of -- we look at the potential economic costs of trying to isolate russia, and for countries around russia, this is something to talk with with chinese counterparts, and even more broadly about where they are. maybe it would be useful for secretary john kerry or someone to have a trip, or maybe the treasury secretary to have a trip to try to have a serious discussion with them.
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putin will be going at the end of may, and this is where -- you know, the chinese did abstain on the u.n. security council on this sanctions question. i think it's worth trying to explore to what degree we can work together in this context as well. >> thank you very much. let me thank t.j. who did all the work to pull this together. told me to stop complaining to her about ukraine and pull an event together, and my colleagues. thank you for coming this afternoon. [applause] >> was on. -- well done. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> in a few moments we will look
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at this year's key races for the senate, house and governorships around the country. in a little more than an hour, oral arguments in the supreme court case decided that allow government meetings to be open with prayer. then the center for strategic and international studies on tensions in with ukraine. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow on our companion network, c-span3. military leaders led by martin dempsey will be at capitol hill for a hearing on military compensation. live coverage of the senate armed service committee is at 9:30 a.m. eastern. at 3:00 p.m., the senate foreign relations committee will hear from representatives about russian intervention in ukraine.
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>> you can now take c-span with you wherever you go with our free c-span radio at for your smart phone or tablet. i listen to all three c-span channels or c-span radio anytime and there is a schedule so that you can tune in when you want or play podcasts from signature programs. take c-span with you wherever you go. pp onlineyour free a for your android, apple, or blackberry. >> now, we will look at some of the key races around the country this year. from "washington journal," this is a little less than an hour. we have nathan gonzales of the rothenberg political report. this time he is here to talk
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about the 36 gubernatorial races taking place in 2014. races,get to specific nathan gonzales, set the map for us. how may mansions are democrats defending and how many are republican defending? guest: we have 14 that held the democrats. both of all the governorships are on a four-year cycle. back we are in 2014, we go to 2010, which was a good republican year. it means there are more democratic offense of opportunities than what republicans have. of the bigger states have some of the biggest fights. we're talking about ohio, pennsylvania, michigan, florida, texas. california is not much of a competitive race. most of the big states are in the cycle. you can check out
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rothenberg political we're going to go through several of the states in the segment aired we will start with targets for democrats. here are the top three. targets areop three maine, pennsylvania and florida. there was a three-way race. it was an independent who came from the democratic side, who is running once again. paula paige started by getting lesson 40% of the vote. this time, democrats are trying to avoid the same thing. democrats really feel like he's in a better position to consolidate that democratic support than what their nominee was last time. cutler, the independent, is running again. peakssee if he tends another term without having to
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get that speaker. right now, a businessman and tell more is a front runner. he is self funding. he went on the air earlier with that. allyson schwartz goes on the air. we'll see if she can close some of the cap. reports say this is possibly the most endangered governor in the country. why is it that way? polling numbers are low. he is suffering from democratic voters and even republican voters. he was attorney general during the penn state scandal. atmanaged to handle things the private level.
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maybe governor quinn illinois, who i'm sure will talk about, some of the numbers are battling for that most vulnerable position. he is definitely near the top. scott., governor rick he is facing former governor charlie crist, a former republican governor of the state, now running as a democrat. it will probably be one of the most expensive and nasty races in the country. it is one the democrats really want. ever since a katherine harris 2000 president election days, symbolic oflmost what both parties want to win. it was--versus kind of one of the beginning fights between the establishment and the antiestablishment crowd within the republican party.
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the independent is trying to get elected very i think democrats are excited that he is on their to take this back in and you are in the very extensive state -- a very expensive state. he sees this as a passing back to higher office. as we do, we are opening up our phone lines. open, 202 nathan gonzales at the rothenberg political report. republican top targets. >> i think the first one is arkansas.
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republican senate primary, but the front runner is former republican asa hutchinson. there is a recent democratic poll last week that came out where president obama's job approval rating was 33%. is a lot to overcome, even in a gubernatorial race, which is sometimes separate. she's a very credible candidate. i think is hoping that a popular .overnor host: do they overlap in congress at all? guest: they did some. mike ross just left a couple of years ago. they're both trying to claim that outsider mantle. emocrats are charging -- host: you mentioned illinois
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before is one of those endangered governors out there. what happening in the illinois race? polling ispublic slim. he has been struggling. he was a surprise winner in the 2010 10 cycle. to win.ple expected him the primaries are already over. a guy named bruce rounder is very wealthy here democrats are hoping to make that an issue in the race. it is up to quinn. we counted quinn out in that a national election. the clicky wasn't even going to win the democratic riemer in this cycle, but he won the fields. it is one of the republicans tiltingin tossup democrats category, the main race were talking about, a
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question on the race ratings. how do you rate a race? >> it is not a magic formula. we take as many factors into consideration as possible. it is a mature polling, public polling, private polling, we look at fundraising. we take that all into consideration. also, the national atmosphere has a play. gubernatorial races used to be more separate from government -- from federal issues. now we're seeing some of that come together in the national environment. get closer to election day, it is all about polling and numbers leading to the most likely result and a successful projection. question from still an individual on twitter.
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guest: in maine, govern the question is whether that independent review is able to catch some fire. he is the most credible independent right now. >> brad is waiting in wisconsin. good morning. .ou are on with nathan gonzales i wonder if the capitalism system is going to fall apart. host: not sure about his overall question about the capitalist system, but talk about wisconsin. governor scott walker is
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up for reelection. he is already had a reelection of sorts when democrats tried to recall him after his initial election. most likely democratic nominee is a businesswoman. party, iop democratic just do. -- i just do not think -- wisconsin has become so polarized, it it is really only four and six percent of the election that is persuadable. most people have made up their mind on the race. class can we talk about the larger game for governors not just about -- not just talking about 2016? guest: they are trying to do rail some of the governors with high hopes. governor scott walker of ohio, and governor of democrats believe they could not him down the cycle and then they
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would not have to worry about them in 10 years. governors like new mexico's democrats are trying to weaken them and take them down a notch. martinez has a race, even though we think she is favorite. if they can do some damage this time, it might help them down the line. host: nathan gonzales is with us for the next 45 minutes or so. callers toaiting for call him, we want to ask you about the role of national parties here. the republican governors association, the democratic governors association, how much money are they putting into races this year and how big a role will they play? guest: critical roles in the
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state. it is different because they are bound by each individual state. you see them set up state that will than advertised. you see them with more ambiguous names. they will be big players. they are able to raise money, sometimes more money, because they are not bound on federal death by federal limits. more money raised than spent in the states. but they are looking for the it ispportunities and probably better that states like california and texas will not be on the most competitive because that will suck up the most money. >> some of the money already being spent on campaign ads. here's one from the republican governors association.
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hitting on his background as a defense lawyer, in the race in south carolina. we will play that and come back and get a comment. >> have you heard the news? >> a sex offender who abused a minor and negotiated a man's to 38ce from 10 years days. >> you heard right. a sex offender who abused a minor. 10 years-38 days. he personally represented dangerous criminals, reducing their jail time and putting them back on the street. vincent wrapped -- represents criminals, not us. that at getting some pushback from democrats in the race. >> it is an early attack. it is an effort to try to drive up his negatives before the race even gets started, even though he also ran in 2010.
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this is the rates democrats want to push to the top. he has become a polarizing figure. democrats deftly want to defeat her. ad isype of that -- something they have to deal with. it is a record we have seen come up in other races. it is controversial because he is just doing his job, but almost everything is fair game when it comes to political ads. post""the washington talking about spending by the party campaign arms. having spent about $4.8 million in four skates. you can see south carolina there, and other states, wisconsin, michigan, and arkansas now. the democratic governors association come about half of the spending is playing out in arkansas and michigan. we will talk more about that. alfredring in alpha --
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waiting period good morning. class good morning. -- caller: good morning. join the race for governor. general,would say in he is in a state that is trending republican. his handling of the snowstorm, the ice storm that happened, democrats started to see an opportunity. they are likely to be the grandson of former president sometimes, --rea that gets jason carter some attention but president carter has not been on the ballot were almost 35 years. it opens the door and gives him a second look , but i still think it will be difficult for any democrat to win a race in this midterm with president obama in office
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overshadowing some of the races. think we could see you change the rating from safe. the governor does have some work to do. another race you have rated as safe is vermont. someone on twitter says, vermont will be democrat for sure. we do not even have a republican candidate for governor. the amount of safe races on both the republican and democrat side, this year is it unusual? guest: i would have to go back and look. there are always competitive races. the cycle because 2010 was such a great year in 2014, republicans are defending those needs, there are more safe republican races. and house races, there is that divide between competitive and noncompetitive. quest for minds are open if you have a question or comment about
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the race. is with us. lee is waiting in philadelphia, pennsylvania. a democrat. quest good morning. nice to see you. i am living in philadelphia. i know it is predominantly democratic or the governor we have now has not done -- done anything for the state. he has ruined the school system. he keeps cutting money off. i would like to see if a female -- i would like to see a female governor. what do you think her chances would be to win the election? would do a whole lot more than the present governor. quest the congresswoman is a credible candidate, running behind in the primary because tam went on the air old -- early with the advertisement and boosted his numbers.
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allison has had a good fundraiser. we will have to see whether they resonate. there is a second woman in the race. a former's -- former environmental official. his initialon for web ads was raking up the good that exists in harrisburg. have another in the race, pulling in the single digits, that might be, it'd for someone like allison's words. -- allyson schwartz. host: you bring up tom in pennsylvania. where do you think he gets his money from? it seems to be an issue in this race. >> he is a businessman. he has been willing to spend and put that money up front.
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sometimes, early advertising does not necessarily work. voters are not paying attention, so he could almost be a black hole for candidates. get closerble to into the 40%, which, in that race, can be enough to win in the state. seehe role in 2014, are was are wef self funders -- seeing a lot of self funders? guest: now, they're are able to fund raise incumbents. they could draw on personal wealth to win reelection. some of those are already in, and now they defend themselves. -- : a reflection of
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what people already think. it does not tell people what to think. be making a calculated decision and they're looking at a nominee and a look at the primary polls, and they see even if their candidate is not getting to the nomination, they might try to look at their second choice because that candidate might have a better shot. there might be some of that calculation going on. sometimes, holes get it dad not. thinkwith people already and not trying to tell people what to do. in florida on our democrats line. caller: good morning. i want to ask your expert there about our governor race in florida. governor scott one last time without any interviews with local newspaper editorial
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boards, nor any interviews with local tv stations. do you think he could win again without disposing himself and doing more of a grassroots campaign? thank you. florida is such a large stake, you do not have to run the grassroots campaign. is a media battle. it is about being able to raise enough and spend enough money on television in all of the media markets to get your message out. that is part of the reason candidates of florida do not have to do that as much as retail politics. as the incumbent governor, he is getting far more a share of student he than what he did as a candidate. whether he wants to be interviewed or not by different media outlets is almost irrelevant. those stories are going to run.
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it is a big state, different than almost any other state. one of the questions with the hascratic candidate, he name id, but his campaign throughn, he has gone multiple staffers and he is trying to get that together in order to run. the official campaign is necessary to win in florida. you cannot just be an accidental governor. host: as a former republican does heas a democrat, have anything to worry about in the primary? guest: senator bill nelson is still keeping his toe in the water and wants to be mentioned as a potential candidate. i guess we cannot rule that out now. it seems not likely he will do that in, but in general, democrats are united in their disklike for governor scott and that is amending some of the
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fractures in the party. they just wanted to beat him and are willing to look past something to get that done. quest we are talking about in 2014. races robert in clinton, maryland. caller: i was wondering about our race in maryland. we have a primary next month. on the republican side, there is a black republican, charles, who won the gop straw poll. your thoughts on his chances on being able to bring fresh air and a new image of the republican party. he has been reaching out into black neighborhoods. could maryland see its first african-american governor on the republican side? i do not think it will be this psychotherapy look back to when michael steele was a credible candidate for the senate, that looked like an opportunity and ended up fading
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comes final days. when it to the race in maryland, it comes down to the democratic primary. three people are in the race, but it comes down to the lieutenant governor. that primary is fascinating because we are seeing health care and the affordable care act layout in a different way. a criticizedcandidate ofwn for the implementation the affordable care act in the maryland exchange, criticizing the rollout of it in maryland. it is i didn't touch a dynamically do not see in other races, where it is an issue between democrats in the democratic primary. in this cycle, it will be a democratic governor, we just do not know which one quite yet. quest maryland is one of eight states that has currently been ranked as safe democratic states. any other interesting primaries out there among those a?
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those eight? in july, governor deal is a polarizing figure. he got criticism when he appointed senator brian to that vacant senate seat. , we are seeingy an independent candidate now. peerng as an independent that changes the dynamic for the general election. it is too high of a hurdle for republicans to get over 50%, but if the democratic vote is the governor and a democrat is running as an independent, you could see someone like that governor potentially sneak into that. we have had that related -- rated as safe or democrats there we will change the rating soon. there is at least a viable
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scenario or path for republicans, though i think it is still a long shot. >> we are talking with nancy gonzalez. , do most states have term limits for their governor? yes.: a majority. there are exceptions. it a rick perry has been governor of texas for the good part of a quarter-century. he is not running for reelection. that is an open seat now appeared a majority of states have term limits. limits to two terms. making newsy yesterday in comments about a possible future presidential run . we're talking about the governor editorial races -- the gubernatorial races. from the republican governors association early in the segment. now i want to buy one from the democratic is as the agent. this came out back in january.
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class a former congressman who lost to tim walberg. now a congressman. democrats wanted him to run. they feel like he is a credible candidate they need to defeat snyder this cycle. class here is a bit from the ad that came out earlier this year. >> i grew up in livingston county. among was a nurse that was a science teacher. i saw the difference. charge of early childhood education. in congress, i thought for early interest rates on student loans. we need to stop the cuts to school funding. to tax- that money goes breaks to businesses, even if they send jobs overseas. cut a school funding is no way to build a strong economy. earlier thisunning year in michigan. your take on that ad? one of the reasons we
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have seen that is because he has not been able to keep pace in fundraising. i was an effort to boost his chances, boost his profile, and also get in attacks on snyder to buy some time in order for them to increase his fundraising. what is fascinating about michigan, it will be a great stay to watch in terms of getting the most bang for your buck. you have a competitive gubernatorial race and a competitive over and -- open seat race. you also have multiple or -- multiple congressional races on the ballot. is in theto watch former district now held by the candidacy isif his boosting his turnout, he might be able to be him again. your thoughts on a races taking place in your state. if you have questions with -- , he will begonzales
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here. dwayne, good morning. caller: i have a couple of questions. what is obama's popularity rating in florida, and what effect do you think that will have on the governor's race? seen a lotis, i have and i was wondering what the reason for that is. the president posses job ratings in florida, it is similar to nationally. --e people disagree with slightly more people disapprove of his job man approved. there was a special election in wherea's 13th district, we were looking at his job approval ratings and it was not something that was an anchor
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around the neck of the democratic nominee there. it is something democrats will have to deal with. badi do not think it is as as running in arkansas like we were talking about earlier. in terms of ads, rick scott is an incumbent governor and he has personal money. i believe he said he could spend $70 million total raised in his own money getting reelected, and being able to have the deeper well of resources is the reason why u.s. a more scott adds. you will see ads from outside democratic groups coming to help as things get going. --do you think governor stop scott will win in the summer? caller: it is a one-sided race. we are only seeing as from one candidate. it is like chris is not even in the race yet. host: thank you for calling in
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to add thoughts. we are interested in hearing from you and what you're seeing. nebraska, omaha. joan is waiting. good morning. i have a comment on all the polling places calling. i'm getting maybe 3, 4, and they are coming from all over the nation, and as far as i'm who i willas far as vote for, that is between me and the ballot. it is private. hello? host: yes. caller: i'm getting calls from california and all over, kansas, utah, texas, florida, -- >> is it worse than it has been in previous election cycles?
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for the election coming up, we have got primary care in nebraska on the 13th of this month. i'm getting calls from all over the nation for who i am going to vote for. it has gotten worse and worse. i have shut off my tv because all they are doing is slamming ish other, and what i mean they are putting the other candidate down i am tired of it. guest: you mentioned the primaries coming up on the 13th. you will see a refrain from some of that. you're right in the epicenter of republican primaries right now. a crowded primary for governor and a crowded primary for senate it. raceple candidates in each , wanting to know where they stand in each race to make those
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last-minute calculations. in the next few days, it will not end until the primaries are over. >> let's go to john in california, and independent. good morning. your tv and go ahead with your question or comment. caller: i was wondering if you think kevin johnson would ever run for governor of california. guest: good question. moreobably gets as much or attention than most mayors in ,he country from his background but i always think running for higher offices a lot about opportunity. when is the right opportunity coming up, who else is running, whether there is a viable path to the nomination, but he is
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able to get more attention than most mayors are so he is one to watch. >> california is one of those states where candidates go to fund raise. which state will spend the most money on governors races, how much? i think it will be florida. i think we will see florida and in total, iould see will give a guess of at least $150 million. that could be a low estimate. >> the candidates themselves? could rick scott alone spend between 70 and 100 million. when you add on chris and outside groups, we will get to at least total spending of at least $150 million. host: we are talking to nathan gonzales. the rothenberg political report.
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lady in california on our independents line. go ahead and turned on your tv. caller: ok. we have a situation going on in california that most elected officials are not even aware of. california, as you know, is a very large state. she does entirely different types of backgrounds. northern california, where most of the resources are, such as water. then you have southern , which is supplied by us. simply, there is not a large
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population appear. there is a grass movement and to bringions are out california into two separate states. my question is, i am wondering when the politicians will catch all of this and what they will do about it. think we see these efforts pop up from time to time and i think it will be difficult. candidates that want -- want to run successfully, what they want to try to do is bring together different factions in order to win statewide. you are right that some of the issue discrepancies are very different than what someone in l.a. and orange county, how they feel about the issues and what someone in central valley feels about the issues you're we are watching a number of competitive
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congressional races, one of them district,nia's 21st that water is a central issue in the state, something democrats and their teammates are trying to take issue with. being such a large state with differing populations is -- have tohey live deal with. i do not think we will see us dividing and adding other state, whether in california or the east coast. i do not think we will see that in the future. class we would love to hear from viewers, their thoughts on governor races in their states in 2014. south carolina. the line for independents. dan is waiting. caller: good morning, gentlemen. are determined by how you ask a question. i think it is ludicrous to try to -- last i heard, 70% of
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people were called for polls. they do not even want to get into them. another thing, we are seeing our elections in completely circumvented, circumventing the will of the people by the wealth of corporate america. it is a terrible thing and it is not inp soon, we will be living a system where the europeans with families inheriting power, wealth, and prestige, and we will be without anything. good they. >> a couple of points, one on polling. you are right some polling, the question wording and the way it is asked can impact the results of the poll. there are some good pollsters who asked the questions and do not ask leading questions in order to get accurate results, but there are some who tried to determine the
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order in aasking the certain way. a poll came out last week that asked questions about the affordable care act before they even asked about the candidates. you bring up that issue in the minds of the person responding to the poll, and i think that does have an impact on the other questions. in terms of influence and money in corporate america, you are hitting on one of the central campaign issues democrats are talking about, whether it is the white house and equality, to democrats. they want to talk about equality and fairness and he is the influence of outside money as an issue to resume with swing voters. >> what are the polls you trust the most? we try to take in as much polling as possible and not rely on any single poll. when you are looking at polling for a national poll, nbc news in
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washington journal is a great goal to go through. looking at everything together and trying to take the long view, there are good partisan pollsters on each side. we have a different view on partisan polls. isot of people say if it paid for by republican or democrat, you should throw it out and it must a skewed. pollstersere are good on both sides. remember the candidates pay money in order to do the polling to make strategic decisions. they're not interested in paying $20,000 for a poll just to put to a press release and tried inform public opinion. they're trying to get the polling numbers in order to help them know what issues to talk about, what it is people want to know about, and guide strategic decisions. helps in the following get a better idea of what is going on. classic question for you, how come states like kentucky have
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democratic governors. chris is a good question. there -- their offices where voters have shown a willingness party, aor the office party we are not thinking of in red or blue. because of federal issues, they are different from state issues. we are not talking as much about social issues but more about economic issues. when one party is in power, they make economic issues they do not poweror they have been in so long, there is an alleged abuse of power. one is in the office for two or three terms or longer, voters are more willing to say, let's give the other party a chance rather than continuing on and sending the same party to watch him. they can begin to everything. -- they can be two separate things. >> there is an opportunity to
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focus more on local issues. federal issues are going to be guided -- the federal races will be guided by what is going on in -- on the hill. those are questions the candidates have to answer to. --h state is dealing with on economic issues but in a different way. is the state's budget like, what sort of decisions have to be made to balance budgets so it could be a more localized race. it comes back to the federal cannotand the president be ignored. plays into the psyche because it is what is going on as well. victor, democrat, good morning. caller: good morning. turn down your tv and go ahead with your question or .omment
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we will come back to you in a second, get your tv turned down. gladys in maryland on our line for democrats. good morning. i am calling concerning rick scott in florida. he does not seem to want to be reelected there is he has done so many things that are negative. he had people standing in line for hours and hours just to vote. how does he expect people -- deep down, i do not think he wants to be reelected. then the medical care, he is against that? what does he think? so many people are poor. it is a large state. younnot understand how expect to be reelected. cannot understand it. host: bringing up medical care, can you talk about the impact of affordable care affordable car?
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guest: if governor scott were here, he would give a different story. he would tell us he wants to run for reelection but those are some of the issues democrats want to bring up in order to generate enthusiasm within the base, which can be critical in midterm election. medical expansion is something governors have to do with. that is one of the tangible things with the affordable care act. we are seeing different governors making different decisions and different levels of success. with the state insurance exchanges, i know in kentucky, i know the governor is not up for reelection this year, because they are in an off year, but that is one of the places where democrats have nationally pointed to a success story here that is a place that can impact a senate race where mr. o'connell is running for reelection. also, maryland with the implementation there and talking about lieutenant governor
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anthony brown having to answer questions about the role out there. the limitation of the affordable the act is something governors in these races are dealing with. happening this november. republicans defending 22 season democrats defending 42 seats in the fall. let's go to pennsylvania on our line for republicans. tell us how you see the race there in pennsylvania. good morning. i'm wondering if a lot of money .s being spent i heard other people that i admire that corbett needs to be the person elected for our especially with what is going on in our state, where everybody else seems -- their
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campaign thing is to get as much off of the oil companies as they can get and keep feeding our entitlement type of state that we have. i wish we would go more like texas. our local area, there is a lot of improvement, companies expanding, with that industry, it seems to be one of the things that might turn us around here. think.ondering how you you think it might make it? guest: i think it is a tough race. what you describe is a tough race, of who has the best vision for the state, who do you believe is going to take the state and the economy in the direction you want to take? that will be a fight in the general election and will also be a little that about what has governor corbett done in his
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first term. that economic vision is something you see in pennsylvania and we are seeing all of us the country. sarah in florida on our line for independents. caller: well, i am an independent voter. i tend to be more democratic, but i vote for the person and i am very disgusted with congress and how they do not care about the country and they just care about getting reelected. i am very much a christian and this country started out christian. because of the unbelievers and atheists, they have taken god out of everything in our country and i heard yesterday on that somebody is going to try to take the "in god we trust" off of our paper money and our clients. i could not believe what i was hearing. i could not believe it.
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where were you hearing that report? caller: on a christian channel. i just want the american people to know and stop the unbelievers from taking away our wonderful god that created us, ok. that is my belief. guest: by disapproving with congress, she is and with 87% of america. she can rest easy knowing she is in the majority on that. on our line for democrats, caroline. good morning. caller: thank you. nathan in george definitely deserves not to be reelected for several key reasons. number one, he is heartless and uncaring. and refusing to expand medicaid.
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by saying the state of georgia cannot afford to expand medicaid, that is ludicrous when everyone knows it is free for the first three years. nathan has demonstrated his incompetence and management skills. we had two snowstorms in george on his watch. the last one was made worldwide news. his incompetence. the people endangered and into the enhanced for 24 hours because of his incompetence. also, his fellow emergency management director came into the office at 12 noon on the day after a major snow storm was predicted. then we learned in the middle of all of that that that was his usual time for coming in. he comes in every day at 12 noon and he did not change his habits on the day a storm was predicted. nathan is not on top of things. not managed his staff well. he is endangering the people of the state.
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he does not need to be reelected very thank you. calling from georgia. that is one of the states you touched on before has the key senate race as well. can you talk about the down and out ballot influences of some of the big senate races around the country? guest: in georgia, jason carter was the likely nominee for governor. in the senate race, the likely nominee is the daughter of the former senator. on the republican side, there is a crowded primary. we start on may 20. looks like there will be a runoff. any number from former secretaries, the businessman who is a cousin of the former governor, three members of congress am a so that will go to a july runoff. in the general, this is georgia in the senate race, one of two democratic offices of opportunity.
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democrats are really pushing. to is the comes down democratic senatorial campaign committee is dedicated to keeping the majority in the senate for democrats and spending $60 million nationwide on over 4000 paid field staff in order to boost democratic turnout, get out the voting efforts, particularly in a place i georgia, with the african-american community. one of the things they are focusing on is identifying new black voters, voters who have 2008-2000oted in the 12 presidential election, to try to identify those people and register them to vote, get them out to vote. if they are able to do that on the senate side, that could help in the gubernatorial race as well. get a few more calls in a while we have nathan gonzalez.
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bruce, on our line for independents. good morning. caller: generally, as an independent, i conservative on most issues. the size lieutenant governor brown who is running, the other two candidates, the attorney -- ial,bruce i cannot recall forgot the guys name. and the other person running, a delegate, they are extremely liberal. on illegal immigration is ridiculous. some of the other stuff they picked and supported -- one other issue, repeal the death county. listen how stupid they are. there was already a moratorium in the state of maryland for any type of death penalty, they carry out the death penalty because of the drugs involved with that. been anybody
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executed in something like 20 years. host: bruce bringing up several issues there. i want to get a response from you. when you have a safe state, the site is in the primaries. when you get to the primaries, you are talking to one segment of the electorate. to a polarization of the candidates where they are moving to the left and right on issues in order to win the primary because that is essentially the general election. carl on our line. ofler: i have a couple points about the election process. i would like to know about how
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you feel about debates. i would also like to know, in the debate process, instead of -- please forgive me, but instead of having a high saluting reporter or a television commentator, i would like to see more directed toward , toward hall mentality the common folks, somebody not in the eye of the media, asking the questions, so you can get, in my opinion, a more honest response from a candidate and not be so scripted. haveems to be, when we debates, it is scripted unless you go to a town hall. i think debates are part of our political process. depending on the state and depending on the race, sometimes you see a mixture of the different formats you're talking about. some of them are guided by reporters and some of them are guided more in town hall. the presidential race has two
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different styles, of debates. be easyne hand, it can to say, let's take it out of the hands of the reporters, and just by being a political reporter, i am not defending that being the only way, but sometimes with average citizens, you get an issue they might care about nmi not have as broad an appeal. the is one of the things reporter as a moderator should do, is try to boil down what are the most important issues to the majority of voters and try to get answers that way. inre are town hall meetings order to touch with grass-roots voters. those are being recorded. even though they are not debates, the answers are being recorded by the opposition and those are becoming a part of the bigger debate, even though they are not official. host: nathan gonzales and then we look at the highway
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trust fund which provides for transportation projects plus your phone calls and tweets. washington journal is live at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> c-span's newest book, a collection of interviews with some of the top storytellers. the notas in love with the revolution. she was enthralled with nazis.
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how could you be enthralled with not seas? there she was. >> eric larson. sundays at eight, published by public affairs books. >> house speaker john boehner announces that the representative of south carolina will head out looking for the benghazi attack. joined by our correspondent from the greenville news. >> he has been a very vocal critic. colonel benghazi is known for one of the most tenacious interrogators. it is that background that was
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especially important to the speaker. >> he spent five or six years as a federal prosecutor. how was his track record viewed? >> he was also a state prosecutor. >> people regard him as a pretty successful prosecutor. bigandled a lot of ,ontroversial cases himself which the elected solicitor doesn't have to do. he won all of his cases. i think he was considered a very effective prosecutor. earliere tweeted lindsey graham's tweet saying he is the right person at the right time. what does the rest of the delegation think? >> a lot of them came in together. close-knit pretty
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bunch. i am talking about the congressman as well as tim scott. they are pretty proud. they are pretty proud of their hometown guy getting this national stage. the democrats are less thrilled about the fact that this has evolved into a select committee, is a conservative area. i would say they are pretty proud. >> what other details do you know about the formation of the committee? we would assume he would be tapped as the chairman. what is the next step? think itne seems to will be this week. i have not heard when there will be a vote. i believe at that point the minority leader would be allowed to make the appointments for the other
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members of the committee. we don't know if the democrats are going to be able to participate. lot we are going to learn a about the committee -- what their powers are, how long they have to issue their report. the structure it will take. how many hearings they will have. the special channel on benghazi. you can follow her. she is the washington correspondent for the greenville news. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. up our own prison. we set up our own trap. we don't know we are contributing to it. when you get addicted to drugs the whole world is built around your need for drugs. when you get suicidal every signal in the world is you are going to die. it's a beautiful sunrise.
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it's a beautiful day. i think we ourselves get caught then those traps, but on other hand we take it personally. we can't see of the world is really there. ande are angels and mentors people who care for you. , ithe book tv selection calls you back. by the former gang member and community activist. start reading and join the .onversation >> in a few moments, oral argument and the supreme court case decided today that would allow government meetings to open with a prayer. and in our the center for strategic and international
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studies on a new strategy for dealing with ukraine. we will look at the key races for the senate house and governorships around the country. a couple of live events to tell .ou about tomorrow on c-span be onry leaders will capitol hill for a hearing on military compensation. the senatege of armed services committee is at 9:30 eastern. at 3 p.m. the senate foreign relations committee will hear from representatives of the state treasury about russian intervention in ukraine. ruled 5-4e court today that legislative bodies can begin their meetings with prayer, even if those prayers are overwhelmingly christian.
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citizens are encouraged to participate. the majority wrote the practice does not violate the establishment clause as long as no religion is advanced. the case involving the city lastil was argued november. it's an hour. 3>> we'll hear argument first this morning in case 12-696, the town of greece v. galloway. mr. hungar. >> thank you, mr. chief justice, and may it please the court, the court of appeals correctly held that the legislative prayers at issue in this case were not offensive in the way identified as problematic in marsh, but the court then committed legal error by engrafting the endorsement test onto marsh as a new barrier to the practice of legislative prayer. >> mr. hungar, i'm wondering what you would think of the following. suppose that as we began this session of the court, the chief justice had called a minister up to the front of the courtroom, facing the lawyers, maybe the parties, maybe the spectators. and the minister had asked
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everyone to stand to bow their heads in prayer and the minister said the following he said, we acknowledge the saving sacrifice of jesus christ on the cross. we draw strength from his resurrection. blessed are you who has raised up the lord jesus. you who will raise us in our turn and put us by his side. the members of the court who had stood responded amen, made the sign of the cross, and the chief justice then called your case. would that be permissible? >> i don't think so, your honor. and, obviously, this case doesn't present that question because what we have here is a case of legislative prayer in the marsh doctrine, which recognizes that the history of this country from its very foundations and founding, recognize the propriety of legislative prayer of the type that was conducted here. >> well, the question -- the extension just between the legislature and any other official proceeding, is that correct? >> well, clearly, marsh involves
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legislative prayer, the tradition that we rely on 20 involves legislative prayer, and this case involves legislative prayer. whether -- what rule might apply in other contexts would depend on the context. >> suppose i ask the exact same question, same kinds of statements, same sort of context, except it's not in a courtroom. instead, it's in a congressional hearing room. maybe it's a confirmation hearing, maybe it's an investigatory hearing of some kind, and that a person is sitting at a table in front of the members of a committee, ready to testify, ready to give his testimony in support of his nomination. the minister says the exact same thing. >> i think that's a -- that's a closer question because of the
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congressional history, but, of course, at least as far as i'm aware, they have this history as it applies to the legislative body as a whole, not to committees, but it would be a different question. one, obviously, important distinguishing factor there, in addition to the fact that it's not the legislative body as a whole >> we should -- we should >> is that people are compelled to attend and testify under oath, which is a different situation from the one here. >> well, why >> we should assume -- to, to make it parallel to what occurred here that the next day before the same committee a muslim would lead the invocation and the day after that an orthodox jew. i mean >> yes, your honor. >> it makes a difference whether it's just one -- one denomination that is being used as -- as chaplain or open to various denominations. >> that's correct, your honor. that's why we believe this case
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is actually an easier case than marsh because in marsh, there was a paid chaplain from the same denomination for 16 years. >> but the question, mr. hungar >> suppose you are correct, mr. hungar, for 11 years the prayers sounded almost exclusively like the ones that i read, and one year on four occasions, there was some attempts to vary it up, to have a baha'i minister or a -- a wiccan, but for the most part, not out of any malice or anything like that, but because this is what the people in this community knew and were familiar with and what most of the ministers were, most of the prayers sounded like this. >> well, no. i mean, it's clearly not correct that most of the prayers sounded like the one you just read. >> but your position is that wouldn't matter, as i understand, because you have you have -- you have two limitations, proselytizing and disparaging.
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and -- but i think justice kagan's question just set place -- place limitations. one could read your brief and say, well, it doesn't matter, it could be an executive body, it could be a court, it could be a town meeting, a school board, a zoning board, a utilities board. that's -- is this case about prayer at the beginning of a legislative session or is it about prayer in all three branches of government? >> this case is about prayer at the beginning of a legislative session. that's exactly what the meetings at issue here are -- are about. that's what the board of the town of greece is. in fact, respondents try to argue that this is somehow what they call coercive because there are public hearings that are held. but the public hearings are held at least 30 minutes after the prayer and anyone coming for the purpose of the public hearing can easily show up after the prayer if they don't want to be there. >> why was it that you so promptly answered justice kagan's question to the effect
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that this would be a violation? why would there be a violation in the instance she put? >> i'm sorry. which instance, your honor? >> the first question justice kagan asked you, the hypothetical about the prayer in this court. you seemed readily to agree that that would be a first amendment violation. why? >> well, perhaps i conceded too much, but i think the important distinction is between the -- both the judicial context and the legislative context on the one hand the -- the absence of a of a comparable history that shows that it did not >> well, is it -- is it simply history that makes -- there's no rational explanation? it's just a historical aberration? >> no, it's not -- it's not a question of historical aberration. it's a question of-14 >> well, what's -- what's the justification for the distinction? >> it's a question of what the establishment clause has understood, both at the time and throughout history, to forbid and not to forbid. the judiciary is different than a legislature. legislatures can be partisan, the judiciary should not be. people are compelled to testify under oath. >> but you had no problem, mr. hungar, with the marshal's announcement at the -- at the beginning of this session. god save the united states and this honorable court.
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there are many people who don't believe in god. >> that's correct, your honor. and clearly >> so that's ok? >> yes. >> why is that ok? >> whether -- perhaps i misunderstood the hypothetical. if the hypothetical is as you described with a different minister, with -- with an open process, a nondiscriminatory process like the one we have here, i think it would be a much closer case than this one, but it might be constitutional. but whether that case is constitutional or not, this case is far from the constitutional line, further from the constitutional line than the state legislature's practice in marsh. because there, nebraska had one chaplain from one denomination for 16 years and yet, that was constitutionally permissible, and his prayers were not distinguishable in content from the prayers at issue here during the time that was relevant to the case. >> would it make a difference in your analysis if instead of, as i understand the hypothetical, there was a point of saying, all rise or something of that sort? would it make a difference if the hypothetical justice kagan posed were the same except people weren't told to rise or invited to rise or, in fact,
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were told to stay seated, something like that, so there would be no indication of who was participating in the prayer? is that a -- is that a ground of distinction that you're willing to accept or not? >> i don't think that is constitutionally significant, unless -- i mean, it might be different if people are compelled to stand, but whether they are or not -- i mean, in the marsh case itself, senator chambers testified that the practice in the nebraska legislature was for people to stand he felt coerced to stand. because when he was there -- he tried to avoid it -- but when he was there, he felt he needed to stand because everybody else was doing it and he needed to have dealings with these people as a fellow legislator. the court, nonetheless, held
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that he's an adult and he -- he is expected to be able to disagree with things that he disagrees with and that is not a constitutional violation. >> i wonder how far you can carry the -- your historical argument and whether some of these things are properly regarded as more historical artifacts, right? i mean, our motto is "in god we trust," right? that's the motto. it's been that for a long time, right? >> yes, sir. >> but wouldn't we look at it differently if there were -- suddenly if there were a proposal today for the first time, to say let's adopt a motto "in god we trust"? would we view that the same way simply because it's -- in other words, the history doesn't make


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