tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 29, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
have a baby, you have no guarantee you will be paid to stay home and take care of your baby. that is an outrage. i will fight for the right. not only moms, but that's as well. they have a right to get to know their baby. our people are working the longest hours of any people in any major country. many new jobs offer zero weeks of paid vacation. i want to see us learn from other countries and make sure college is affordable for all people. it is beyond stupidity to say, you do not have money? you cannot afford to go to college.
or you have to spend the rest of your life paying off debt at 8% interest. it is counterproductive. host: i have read that you have taken bus trips to canada. why is it so much more expensive in the u.s. and across the border? sen. sanders: let me just tell you. sometimes events happen and you do not forget. i was the first member of the house to take people across the canadian border. we took a bus load of people from vermont. mostly women, working-class women dealing with breast cancer. we went across the border. we went into a pharmacy in montreal. women were buying a particular drug for 10% of the price they were paying in the u.s. tears were coming out of their
eyes. the pharmaceutical industry in this country is one of the most powerful lobbying forces. very wealthy, very powerful. any other major country, including canada, negotiates drug prices because they have national healthcare systems. in this country right now, because of the power of the pharmaceutical industry, you walk into a drugstore tomorrow the price would be double. there are no regulations. they can charge any price. not only brand-name drugs, generic drugs are also skyrocketing. the pharmaceutical industry can do anything it wants. and it is a horrific situation because in working-class committees, 25% of patients cannot afford prescriptions doctors are writing. that has been an issue for a long time.
you have to regulate the pharmaceutical industry. host: your critics say you are espousing socialism. how do you respond? sen. sanders: the answer is i am a democratic socialist. we have a lot to learn from countries like denmark, norway sweden, and finland, who have done a much better job than we have in terms of equality, guaranteeing health care. if you go to denmark today finland, do you know how much college costs? they actually pay you to go to college. should i apologize for that? i think it is a good idea. making sure everyone can get an education regardless of income. child care for working families
is an embarrassment. many families cannot afford care in one of the most important years of a human being's life. we need a government -- we are an entrepreneurial society. when you have a situation where the top 1/10 of 1% controls as much wealth as the bottom 90%, when all income is going to the top 1%, that is not an economy that works for the people of the country. it is not sustainable, not moral. we have to make some changes in the way we do economics. host: how do you do that and have a free enterprise system that creates private sector jobs and innovation that is known in this country? sen. sanders: good question. the way to do that is to say go out and innovate. we want you to do that. at the same time, you cannot have all the wealth being created in the country. what i say to the billionaire
class is their greed -- we appreciate their innovation -- but their greed is destroying america. they cannot have it all. you look at countries around the world, you need a tax system which is fair. we have major corporations in this country who are stashing virtually tens of billions of dollars in profits in the cayman islands and other tax havens they have to start paying their fair share. warren buffett says his effective tax rate is lower than his secretary's. you have to say to the wealthiest people, sorry. if you want to enjoy america you have to accept your responsibilities. and that is paying your fair share of taxes so kids can go to college, so we can have a child care system, rebuild public infrastructure.
host: you told john harwood you advocate a 90% tax rate. is that a reality? sen. sanders: that has been around the internet. we are working on a comprehensive tax problem. that is not quite accurate. what we have done is introduce legislation of. -- already. here is what i want. we are going to eliminate loopholes that allow corporations to stash money. we lose about $100 billion a year on. we will ask for a transaction tax on speculation. weekend raise a lot of revenue doing that. we will put forward a progressive estate tax. unbelievably, at a time where the rich are getting richer and everybody else is getting poor my republican colleagues have decided to eliminate the estate tax and give a $200 billion tax break over 10 years to the top
2/10 of 1%. unbelievable. instead of doing that, we are coming up with a progressive estate tax that does ask the billionaire class to pay their fair share. host: if you are elected, you will likely have a republican-controlled house and senate. how do you get things done? sen. sanders: great question. this is what i say in every speech i give. i'm probably the only candidate that has said this. no person as president can address the enormous problems facing the middle class and working families of this country unless there is a political revolution in the sense that we develop a strong, grassroots political movement which not
only elects somebody to be president but maintains their energy in demanding the congress represent all of the people, not a handful of contributors. very often, people say, you are out of touch. really radical. but if you look at the issues i talk about, the vast majority of people support the issues i talk about. in the wall street journal overwhelming support for expanding social security by lifting the cap for taxable income. i want to expand it. strong support for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. that is my view.
many republicans want to eliminate the concept of social security. strong support for asking corporations to pay their fair share. republicans want to lower taxes. so the interesting point is what you have right here with a republican congress is these guys, in my view, are way out of touch with the american people. my job is to rally the american people, working with people to create a strong political movement so that congress starts listening to them. when that happens, we can get a progressive agenda through. if that does not happen, the billionaire class and wall street will keep it up. host: has president obama met expectations? sen. sanders: yes and no. i personally like president obama very much. i should also say that i think history will judge him much kinder than his contemporaries. when he came into office, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. the economic system of the world
was on the verge of collapse. we are in better shape today. i have disagreed with him. i was on the floor of the senate for 8.5 hours against tax breaks for the rich. i strongly disagree on the transpacific partnership. i disagree with him on a number of other issues. but do i like him? do i think he is trying to protect working families? i do. has he gone as far as i would have liked? no. i believe he made a mistake. after running a brilliant campaign in 2008, he essentially said to his grassroots movement, thank you for electing me. i will take it from here. we will sit down with john boehner and mitch mcconnell. they never intended to have serious negotiations.
he lost his clout when he pushed aside the people who elected him. i will not make that mistake. i will keep the movement alive to bring about change. host: what about speaker john boehner? sen. sanders: i knew john when we run a house together. i think he is a traditional center right leader, whose views are virtually different from mine on every major issue. he has a tough job keeping conservative folks in line with extreme right wing people. a difficult job. host: you had an interesting phrase for newt gingrich? sen. sanders: obviously, we disagree on everything.
but what i expected about gingrich when he took office in 94 was, he was a bright guy. i disagree with every element of his plan, but he laid out a bold, right-wing agenda. an agenda which represented the wealthiest people possible. i think it is time we had a bold progressive agenda that speaks to the needs of working families in this country. those that are working longer hours for low wages. many of them who are falling further behind. i think we need an agenda that says, we are going to create decent paying jobs, raise the minimum wage. make sure your kid can afford college and you have decent childcare. we are going to overturn the disastrous citizens united decision, which has done so much harm to the country. host: we covered an event in denver, huge crowd. you said we need to think big
and the challenges in the country are more profound than the great depression. sen. sanders: the middle class in this country has been disappearing for 40 years. i want people to think about this. there is a huge explosion in technology. we have seen a huge increase in worker productivity. if that is the reality, how does it happen that millions of people are working longer hours for low wages? i was in iowa recently. someone told me that 90% of the people who walk into the emergency food shelters are working people whose wages do not allow them to adequately feed their families. 45 million people living in poverty. worse at any time since 1928. you have an economy that is failing the middle class. the rich are becoming obscenely richer.
you have real unemployment youth unemployment at over 30%. you have a campaign-finance system right now in which billionaires are able to buy elections. the koch brothers say, i'm with you. we will get you elected. you work for us. does anyone believe that is what a democracy should be about? on top of all that, as the pope recently reminded us, we have a global crisis in terms of climate change. scientists are telling us if we do not get our act together, do not transform away from fossil fuel and into sustainable energy , the planet we will leave our children and grandchildren will be significantly less capital than today. and karahchi, that speaks to the future of the planet. adding all that stuff together rich getting richer, billionaires buying elections,
climate change not being significantly dealt with, it is fair to say we have problems. host: what did you say to pope francis? sen. sanders: i love this guy. i think what he has done his extraordinary. what he says is not just that we have to pay attention to the dispossessed, the children all over the world who do not have jobs -- african american youth unemployment is 51%. this is true all over the world. he says pay attention. he also says be worship money -- we worship money. billionaires are great heroes. less than $80,000, you are not significant. we do not have to pay attention to you. i think he has been an extraordinary leader. speaking out on issues. so count me as a strong supporter of pope france. host: you think he will be a
transformational figure in history? sen. sanders: i do. he came along at the time we needed that voice. ..not only speaking about wealth and wallaby, -- wealth inequality, but the culture where you tell kids to make as much money as you possibly can. do not worry about your neighbors or the environment. he is spending so much this time saying, greed is not good. caring about fellow human beings is good. that is what life is supposed to be about. i am a huge fan.
we posted on our website many of the things he is talking about. host: would you consider yourself middle-class? what is your personal status? sen. sanders: i started out our middle-class. i would say upper-middle-class. host: do you own stocks or mutual funds? sen. sanders: i never did. we dealt with ibm. i own $500 in ibm stock. other than that, no stops at all. host: your campaign is about choices and different -- differences. on policy, where you differ with martin o'malley and hillary clinton? sen. sanders: i have known hillary clinton for 25 years served with her in the senate. i respect her. this is an intelligent woman. she is a very strong career in public service. he will not hear me making public attacks on hillary clinton. but we have differences. let me give you a few examples. not only did i vote based on information i receive, not only did i vote against the war in iraq, i was one of the leaders in opposition. a lot of what i feared would happen did happen. secretary clinton obviously voted for the war. i believe that climate change, as i mentioned, is one of the great global crises we face. it makes no sense to me that we should extract and transport some of the dirtiest fuel in this country from alberta, in terms of the keystone pipeline. i was opposed to keystone. secretary clinton did not have an opinion on the. -- that. i believe it was wrong to craft trade relations with china the resulted in the loss of millions of jobs. i led the opposition to the tpp and will continue opposition to it. hillary clinton has not was an opinion on that. while everybody views terrorism is a threat to the united
states, i thought the patriot act went too far in attacking our privacy rights. i voted against it. secretary clinton voted for it. the bottom line is right now above and beyond all of that, we need leadership that says to the billionaire class that you just cannot have it all. that our country belongs to all the people, not just a few. i have spent my entire political life in opposition to every special interest you can imagine. host: there will be differences in how you fund your campaign and how others fund their campaign. sen. sanders: big differences. one of the hesitancy's i had in deciding to run is, could we run a campaign with people setting up super pac's? when you talk about citizens united, you talk about outrageous super pacs with no disclosure whatsoever. super pacs will spend more money than contributions coming in. to me, that is the undermining of american democracy. i will not support a super pac. i was wondering, could we raise enough money through small individual contributions not to outspend components -- opponents, but run a credible campaign?
about 200,000 americans donated to bernie sanders.com. our contributions average less than $40 apiece. that is really incredible. i will be outspent. but the good news is that we have enough money to run a credible campaign. host: are you taking lessons from your campaign for burlington across the country? sen. sanders: absolutely. the lesson i learned as mayor of burlington is the way you win elections is you bring people together. so you bring people in the union together with people in the environmental movement. bove have differences of opinion? yes. you bring people in the women's movement, the african-american community. you bring people together around a common agenda that says, we may disagree on this or that issue, but let's not get divided up. that's what republicans like to do, get people divided up. we will fight for the government which is not beholden to large campaign contributors but to the needs of ordinary americans. we're also going to focus a lot on young people because i think there is so much idealism among young people this country and especially around issues of women's rights and climate change. we're going to try and tap into that as much as we can. >> one of your supporters in iowa says that bernie sanders will bring up the issues that hillary clinton may not want to talk about. sen. sanders: it is one thing to
talk in generalities, but we have been as specific as we can. how we are going to make every college and university in this country tuition free, by a tax. i have introduced legislation that will call for a fee on carbon so that we can transform our energy system and deal with flood -- and does climate change. we have introduced legislation to deal with health care -- to introduce health care to all of our people as a right. i introduced legislation to overturn citizens united. i don't talk about vague or general ideas. we have been very specific on many of the central issues. >> you have huge crowds. poll numbers look promising.
does it surprise you? sen. sanders: i thought from day one that the inside the beltway mentality that you see so much in media here and in congress is way removed from the reality of people out there. people out there don't understand why 99% of all income are going to the top 1%. that is what i knew from day one. when i did not know was that the campaign would be catching on as fast as it has. >> if you are going for a running mate or cabinet, what types of people would you surround yourself with? sen. sanders: let me say this. with all due respect to recent presidents, from president obama , president bush, president clinton, i would not surround myself with people that come from wall street. there are a million people out there in all walks of life who have spent a lot of their life fighting for the needs of working families, fighting for minority rights, and those are
the people that i will be turning to -- is a little bit premature to be talking about that. i'm not a great fan of polls but i'm feeling good about the election. a little bit premature to be talking about running mates. >> you are 73 years old, how is your health? sen. sanders: i feel very fortunate about that. i can't remember the last time i had to take off of being sick. thank god, my health has been very strong. when i was a kid i was a long-distance runner. i used to run cross-country and was a pretty good miler. i worked pretty hard and have a lot of energy.
>> is go to college? sen. sanders: i went to brooklyn college for one year in than the university of chicago. >> one of your first major bills was the national registry. sen. sanders: i am a great believer in epidemiology and that is what we want to ascertain is, what are the factors that will result in people in one country coming down with more types of disease that people in another country. why do farmers who may be handling chemicals or fertilizers.
why do people in the northeast perhaps come down with problems that people in the southwest will not have. there is a lot to be learned about environmental and other factors. if you are looking for international information, you find that rates of certain cancers fluctuate all around the world. >> what did you learn? sen. sanders: i learned that there are reasons
>> if you are going for a running mate or cabinet, what types of people would you surround yourself with? sen. sanders: let me say this. with all due respect to recent presidents, from president obama , president bush, president clinton, i would not surround myself with people that come from wall street. there are a million people out there in all walks of life who have spent a lot of their life fighting for the needs of working families, fighting for minority rights, and those are the people that i will be turning to -- is a little bit
premature to be talking about that. i'm not a great fan of polls but i'm feeling good about the election. a little bit premature to be talking about running mates. >> you are 73 years old, how is your health? sen. sanders: i feel very fortunate about that. i can't remember the last time i had to take off of being sick. thank god, my health has been very strong. when i was a kid i was a long-distance runner. i used to run cross-country and was a pretty good miler. i worked pretty hard and have a lot of energy. >> is go to college? sen. sanders: i went to brooklyn college for one year in than the university of chicago. >> one of your first major bills was the national registry. sen. sanders: i am a great believer in epidemiology and that is what we want to ascertain is, what are the
factors that will result in people in one country coming down with more types of disease that people in another country. why do farmers who may be handling chemicals or fertilizers. fertilizers. why do people in the northeast perhaps come down with problems that people in the southwest will not have. there is a lot to be learned about environmental and other factors. if you are looking for international information, you find that rates of certain cancers fluctuate all around the world. >> what did you learn? sen. sanders: i learned that there are reasons -- we are still studying, i'm not a scientist -- but there are
reasons why certain people in certain parts of the world come down with illnesses rather than other people. i think that chemicals and environmental exposures have an impact. >> do you think you make a difference in the debate here in congress? sen. sanders: recently, at a time when republican presidential candidates are talking about cutting social security, where george bush wanted to privatize social security, now the debate is a significant expansion of social security benefits at a time when the discussion was how much in tax breaks to be give to the rich. at what point do we demand that the wealthy and large corporations start paying their fair share of college?
making colleges -- making public colleges and universities free is an idea that is catching on. raising consciousness on the crisis of dental care, taking care of our veterans. i'm proud of we accomplished on the serious problems that continue to plague americans that came up from iraq and afghanistan. >> whether people along the way who have helped shape your views or form your opinion's? sen. sanders: this is a little bit unusual if you look at the people who are around me on my campaign, we are a pretty tight group of people. with one exception, ted devine was a consultant. my think tank, so to speak, is progressive people who know me very well and you i have worked
for. >> so voters are in the voting booth and have to decide between you and somebody else, make your pitch. sen. sanders: i think the answer is that these are very tough and unusual time for this country. we have a handful of people, a billionaire class, which has unbelievable wealth and power. and unless we have the courage -- and i understand this is not easy and people are uncomfortable to talk about it. but unless we have the kurds to take them on and create a government that works for the middle class and working families, not just what the campaign contributors, the future is not going to be a good one.
i know this is a tough fight. i talk about the need for a political revolution. i worry about elections in which politicians are bought and sold and is middle-class shrinking. >> the people will say we are not denmark. sen. sanders: that is a small, homogeneous country. when i was the mayor, what we established with a best practice what we established was a best practices policy. you look at oregon virginia, we should be prepared to be as open-minded and say, you know what? in germany they provide food, college to their kids. tuition. is that a good idea or not? i think it is a great idea.
their health care system is much more cost-effective than ours. they have a very strong educational system. so, i think we do some things very, very well in our country that we should be proud off, but we should be open-minded and take the best ideas and countries around the world to protect the working class and middle class of those countries. >> why are roads, railroads in such disrepair? senator standards: oh, my god. it is basically a bipartisan no-brainer.
republicans just want to be of the minute. they want to protect the wealthy. if you are not raising money you cannot spend money. it sounds partisan. that is the simple truth. we have passed a highway bill where the more conservative members worked with barbara boxer and the others. it does not go anywhere nearly as far as we should go. we should invest a trillion dollars in two rebuilding our infrastructure and when we do that, we will make huge progress , but we will also open up 13,000 jobs we desperately need. >> if there is a foreign-policy objective, what would it be? senator sanders: the world is a crazy place. but this is what i do for a living. i voted against the war in iraq.
i think that was the right vote. what you have to understand, when you go to war very often you have unintended consequences. you heard, i heard people like vice president cheney, they said we will go win, our troops will be back six months later. we will establish democracy, isn't that a wonderful thing? yes, it's a wonderful thing, but there were unintended consequences. we are suffering those consequences today. we have to understand war has consequences. be very, very careful before you put our troops in harms way. you cannot do it alone. you need an international coalition. i do not want to see the united states and perpetual war with the middle east. the countries in the region, the muslim countries have to lead that effort with our support.
>> who do you think has been america's most consequential residents? senator sanders: i would say frank when delano roosevelt for a couple reasons. obviously he came to office in 1932 in the midst of the worst to economic collapse in american history, the great depression, and he developed programs which put people back to work and ka gave confidence to the american people. that was almost as important as the program's he created that created millions of jobs. the second thing he did which was extraordinary -- he called the economic royalists what we would call the billionaire class today, he said, these economic royalists, they hate my guts and
i welcome their hatred. i'm not afraid of them. i'm going to stand with the working people of this country. i'm going to take them on. >> can we get there again? senator sanders: yes, i'm a norm is lee confident in the -- i am a norm a sleek confident in the future of this country if we have the political will. that is what i say to people. all of our kids will have the ability and -- i do not except the fact that all of her kids are at the ability cannot go to college. i do not except that we cannot have a health care system of high-quality cost-effective, that guarantees health care for all the people. 100 years ago, a hundred years ago workers went to the streets
and they said, we are not beasts of burden. we are not animals. we want a 40-hour work week. today, 80% of workers are working longer than 40 hours. people are working two or three jobs. can we create an economy that works for the middle class? i believe we can't. i'm confident of that, but we cannot do it unless we take on a handful of people who want it all. >> you know your friends, ben and jerry creating bernie's rebellion. if you were going to create this ice cream, what would your ingredients be? senator sanders: chocolate chip. chocolate ship. cherries. some ingredients to give you bounce and a real energy because
we need that today. >> senator bernie sanders of vermont, thank you for your time. >> today the supreme court issued the final three rulings of his term. it will be environmental protection agency needs to take cost into consideration when limiting omissions of mercury another pollutants. you can hear that oral argument later today at 6:25 eastern. the court ruled against three death row inmates who said an execution drug could cause excruciating pain and thus violate the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. now the executions can go forward. and they upheld an independent commission from arizona voters to redraw congressional districts without input from
lawmakers. and tomorrow new jersey governor chris christie will announce his candida candidacy for president making him the 14th republican to enter the race. >> next week while congress is out for the july 4 holiday break, american history tv is in prime time on c-span3. monday the manhattan project. the development of the first nuclear weapon during world war ii. tuesday, is symposium on the debate between james baldwin and william f buckley junior on the american dream. highlights of our c-span city store, and thursday, examine the text of the declaration of independence and efforts behind preserving the original document. friday we are in virginia to welcome a ship replica.
watch a special primetime edition of american history tv starting monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern and tune in every weekend as we tell america's story on american history tv on c-span3. >> more now from our series of conversations with presidential candidates. we spoke with republican senator rand paul of kentucky. >> senator rand paul, presidential candidate -- i want to begin with your book. this gets to the essence of the thesis. you said we need to reduce areas of government that go beyond the scope of what was intended by the constitution. what needs to be cut? sen. paul: the shorter list is what does not need to be cut. the constitution was pretty specific.
you have article one, section eight, and it lists 17-19 functions. that is what they should be doing and very little else. now they do everything from cradle to grave. the government should do what the private marketplace can't do. if the private marketplace is doing it, the national government should stay out of it. national defense is one area that you can have the private marketplace do. there are internal improvements the government can do, roads bridges, things like that. old-fashioned conservatives think it should be done by the state and local governments and not by the federal government. there is some argument that since we have more federal government involvement, our scores have not improved. in fact, america has continued to dwindle the more that federal government has gotten involved. >> one of your role models ronald reagan, talked about decreasing the size of government. a grew during his eight years in
the white house. sen. paul: for example, when he won, he didn't control congress. he controlled the senate, but he had to work with tip o'neill. tip o'neill was knocking get rid of the department of education. there was a little bit of a trade-off. one thing he did get through were tax cuts. tax cuts did stimulate and help get out of recession and create jobs. domestic spending never went down, and defense spending went up significantly. there were more deficits under reagan. there were deficits under george bush as well, but now there is a tripling and quadrupling of the rate of accumulation of debt under obama. there is an argument to be made that neither party is good at controlling the deficit. >> you are proposing a flat tax. how do you get it done? sen. paul: the consensus would be the american people are tired
of our tax code. we are losing jobs overseas and losing companies overseas he comes we have the highest business tax in the world. our corporate taxes 35%. canada is 15%. i say joking me that i am embarrassed that i have the to complement canada for having a better tax rate than america. burger king just left america went to canada. we have companies talking about re-incorporating overseas because the regulation environment is better overseas so we have to win a national election. i would get rid of the tax code and have one rate, 14.8% for a business tax, 14.5% for a personal income tax. we are to get rid of the payroll
tax in the process. if you have $40,000 in income, wife and two kids, you would have a $2000 savings under my hand through -- under my plan to payroll tax reductions. >> the overall debt, had you cut the debt and reduce taxes? sen. paul: you would have to cut spending. i put forward 35 your budgets with significant tax cut's by cutting spending. i would cut the federal government in a dramatic fashion. i would eliminate for-five departments, department of energy, department of commerce department of interior department of education. i want the federal government lots smaller. the trade off is, and this is a debate we have to have, why baltimore has 37% unemployment young black men between 20-25, 37% unemployment. our big cities are crumbling rife with crime, poverty, and
drugs, and we've been trying the government solution for 50 years and it hasn't worked. i want to try solution where we don't take the money from detroit, baltimore. we leave it in the inner city with businesses and in the hands of those who earn it and see we can create jobs in the inner city. it doesn't work to send it to washington. by the time you switch it around, it's eaten up by the bureaucracy. >> you talk about republicans and democrats and say many americans are looking for a combination of the two. is that which are basing your candidacy on? the american people are ideologically changing? >> also, a plurality of americans, one third, our republican and democrat, they don't fit neatly in one box or the other. sometimes i am that way. and fiscally conservative, but
i'm more libertarian on privacy issues and having a less interventionist foreign policy. i have allies, ron wyden, a progressive democrat on privacy. cory booker on criminal justice. kiersten gillibrand on trying to end sexual assault in the military. i think it is interesting that there is a different way that is not entirely partisan. i'm pretty conservative on fiscal policy, but there are many other issues where i side with the progressives. >> you said you have a vision for america beyond partisan politics and petty differences. clinton, bush, barack obama, they also campaigned on the same things. >> why i like president obama as an individual, i don't think he has gotten beyond the politics.
he has not come up to here enough, met with congress, work the legislative process. there are many things that could get done that we agree on. i've only been here a few years. most of my career was as a physician. let's say for example, immigration, it cannot pass as it was passed in the senate. however, if there are 10 items encumbrance of immigration three items could pass tomorrow. the question is, do we box ourselves in and make ourselves beholding to an agreement where we we can't find common ground. there is petty partisanship. we also want to accept of what we want sometimes. it doesn't mean we split the difference. it means you find things you agree with. senator wyden and i, but on
privacy we happen to agree on issues. we don't split the difference. it's actually that we both strongly believe in privacy. >> 2008, your party was critical of barack obama, saying he did not have enough experience. you are a one term senator. do you have enough experience? sen. paul: what you want when somebody runs for president is wisdom, someone who is going to be commander-in-chief, someone who is going to be in charge of the nuclear weapons who is not rash or reckless. i think there are a lot of things that you want as far as who you want to be making these decisions. whether you are a senator or not, i think it's more the wisdom you're looking for than
the exact job they've held. >> let me read a quote to you. we are approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion, where the government is free to do anything it pleases while the citizens may act only with permission. that is for my grand. -- ayn rand. sen. paul: it could apply to today's time could we have such a big brother government that everywhere you look, the government is involved in our activities. economic affairs, personal affairs, e-mails, phone messages. they are not forthright or honest about whether they are doing it or not. that is one of the most disturbing developments that they are looking at our phone records. the head of the intelligence agency said that they weren't doing this, the government was not collecting phone records in bulk.
it was an out and out lie. we tolerated and he still works at the intelligence agency even though he told us an out and out lie. he is still in charge. that scares me. there are executive orders that i believe have to do with your text messages as well as your e-mails. they said the not reading e-mail content, but after six months, the content of your e-mails is not protected either. any e-mail that is over six months old is not protected either by content. they also don't consider the subject heading to be content. there is a lot that could be in your subject heading. they also don't consider the website that you searching google to be content. think about it. if you google aids, civil rights, something like that come that could be a a personal thing and indicates an issue you are interested in. i think that is something that
ought to be protected by your right to privacy. >> if you could write the first sentence of what the obama presidency has meant for this country, what would you write? sen. paul: i would say that the obama presidency, the worst thing that has happened for my point of view is the collapse of the separation of powers. i wouldn't blame it just an the president. i would blame it on the 100 year history of congress acquiescing and giving up power. this president has been frustrated by not getting his way with congress. after we took over in 2010 after obamacare was passed after dodd frank, he basically gave up on working with congress at all as he figured he would not get what he wanted so he went around congress to use the executive branch. it's not him alone. it has been republican and democratic presidents who have consumed more and more power. i would say that it would be marked by this aggressive accumulation of power in the executive branch. >> you grew up in a political family. what was the best advice your
dad ever gave you? sen. paul: people always ask me what he said when i ran for office. i think that one thing he advised was to have a career before you get involved in politics. so, i practiced medicine for nearly 20 years and still do. i think it's important for people to have other life experiences. i don't think a legislator is truly connected with the people very well. i think it will be difficult to run a campaign for hillary clinton focus on the middle class. they make $200,000 an hour giving speeches. it will be hard for her to relate to the middle class. a lot of politicians suffer from that on both sides of the aisle. that is why i am a big lever in term limits. i think we ought to have more turnover in office. i laughingly say this, but i
think there is no monopoly of knowledge here. i met a lot of people, and a lot of them are well-meaning, well read, bright, but i don't think they are especially uniquely qualified above and beyond. i would like to see more turnover. i would like for congress to be half as long and pay them half as much. they need to go back home, go to the grocery store, working at home, and you could see the frustrations of those who are trying to run a profitable business. >> why did you decide to be an ophthalmologist? sen. paul: my grandmother was a big influence on that. she was losing her vision during my childhood. i used to help her sort through coins. she had trouble with glaucoma, and then corneal swelling or edema and she also got macular
degeneration. she did not go completely blind, but she became legally blind throughout her life. i went with her to an ophthalmologist a lot. i also went in surgery with my dad who was a note be -- an ob. i wanted to be a doctor, but over time i decided to gravitate to the surgical side. >> when you travel to haiti or guatemala, what is your take away? sen. paul: one of the things i tried to do is separate politics from what i'm doing. i tell people down there not to ask about my politics. we tend to focus on what we have to do. they do a lot of cataract surgeries. they are very good at it. we have a goal. it's a goal where we get to see
the result immediately. you take a cataract out from someone who is functionally blind, and some of them concede can see to read almost immediately. you take their patch off and it's an amazing thing. we had a guy last year in guatemala and he was weeping and crying and thanking god. he had lost his wife, family he was being kept in the shelter at a church. he completely lost everything, his job. he had been a truck driver. he was so hopeful to try to get some of that back. >> how did you meet your wife, kelly? we see her a lot on the campaign trail. sen. paul: we met at an oyster roast at a friend's party and we wound up there and just started talking. i found that she was interested in books. i am interested in books.
she had been in english major at rhodes college. i was more of a science major, but i did a lot of english and was interested in the american short story. we got to talking and dating and we got married as i was starting my residency. i went back to duke from atlanta to do my residency. >> you went from randall to randy? >> my wife said your name ought to be rand, and it was. when i did, and it's hard to believe it is true, i never thought about ayn rand. i have read all of her novels and everything. it never crossed my mind. and i was not involved in politics. a couple of years after that, i was starting a group, but the first question out of the reporters mouth was if i was named after her.
a lot of people circulate that. it was a shortening of my name and never intended to have any connection with her. >> the story goes that you cut your hair before your wedding. sen. paul: my wife will complain that there is a problem with my hair, of course, so there is a running battle. it's not that i'm cheap, although i am frugal. it's just time. >> how do you cut your own hair? sen. paul: it's an organized cast anyway, so you can't really tell most of the time. >> three children, what are they think of your candidacy? sen. paul: they are all involved in their own lives. they come to things than they like going to the big speeches. one of my favorite memories is when i won the general election, we had a big huge sign behind the stage, and when i came on stage, my two younger ones were playing ac/dc's "tnt.
that was a good memory. i think they enjoy. it didn't bother me too much growing up. although you seem to be under the spotlight a little bit. it's not always easy being related to someone famous. >> why do you want to be president? sen. paul: because no one is really serious about the debt on either side. democrats are going to spend until the end of time on domestic spending. republicans see no restraint on military spending. it has to be restraint across the board. what you are finding now is everybody is trying to explore the sequester. they already got rid of the meat of the sequester last year. republicans and democrats came together. the same argument is going on in the senate right now. my prediction is republicans will give the democrats what they want, more domestic
spending if they can get the defense spending. the problem is that it is not good for the country, $18 trillion debt. we borrow a million dollars a minute. we need someone who will hold the line on all fronts. if you were to cut 1% across the board from everything, out of every dollar, the budget balances in five years. every american family has had to do that at some almost anybody point. you meet, there was a year where you had to take a job with less pay or did not have a job and we had to cut back on what we spend. in washington, we do the opposite. when there is a recession, there's less money coming in less in tax revenue, and we spend more. in the first four years of that presidents term, we added over a trillion dollars a year in debt. over president obama's two terms, we will add more debt than all the previous presidents combined. we can either have a gradual demise, you just lose your
purchasing power. you can also have a rapid unraveling, and that is a panic. 2008 was close to a panic. i don't believe we have fundamentally fixed all of that. i believe there is still enormous debt. there could some day be an instantaneous recognition that something is seriously wrong here. the country is no longer producing like it did and has enormous debt. i hope that they doesn't calm. -- i hope that day does not come. to defend that off, we need to bring it into balance. it is a simple proposition. you only spend what comes in. most people say, that sounds pretty common sense. if you did that, that would be so radical that everybody would say you can't do that. that's crazy. if you tell people outside the beltway in america when i say i , only want to spend what comes
in, outside the beltway, that makes sense. >> why is it hard for the government to shrink? sen. paul: the people up here don't know what to do because they have been here too long. when i came up here and offered spending cut's, they said good when i was back home, but it's not enough to balance the budget. i was going to call $500 billion. up here, everybody thought it was too much. so it is mindset. it could be done. the upside here about austerity and it will be terrible, but with the government spending less, there is more left in the community to create jobs. i think you get an anonymous amount of prosperity if you send less to washington. i think it will help poverty in this country. i'm saying let's leave more money in the communities. if it goes to washington, it never gets back to the people who need it. let's leave it in the community. we have never tried that. we never have.
we'll try the government way of sending it to washington and try to get some of it back. >> how do you win the nomination? what is your strategy? sen. paul: i thought you're going to tell me that. that is what i really need to know. it's going to be a big field, 15 people running, 12 credible candidates on the republican side, and so you have to carve out your space. i think we have a good space. i am the only one who fought against the nsa and privacy. i'm the only one who said any spending for defense you want to increase will have to be cut somewhere else in the budget. i am the only one that's really about balancing the budget, for a flat tax across the board to stimulate the economy. we do have a space. i am also the only one who thinks intervening overseas is not always the answer. we need to look before we leap. we need -- i'm guessing we will hear from others on the state you want to be involved all the time.
i think that has led to a lot of problems in the middle east and has not made things more stable or less chaotic. >> do you enjoy campaigning? sen. paul: sometimes. i don't like the long hours on the plane, being in airports not being able to get out in the sun and exercise and a can of thing. do i like talking about issues? when i am in the element of engaging at a dinner party or a question-and-answer, i like that. i like talking about the issues of the day. i would sit at the table with the adults when i was a kid to have a discussion about politics. a politician would be lying to you if they said they love being in the airports and on the planes and stuff. it is time away from home and family. i won't do it forever. you won't see me doing this every four years. i'm doing it now because i'm going to give it my all and i think we have a real chance, but you won't be seeing me do this every four years. >> the book is called taking a stand. senator rand paul, republican
from kentucky. thank you very much. senator paul: thank you. just but the supreme court issued the final three rulings of its term. it ruled that the epa needs to take economic costs into consideration when limiting emissions of mercury, arsenic and dangerous pollutants. you can see this later. then later, a case on lethal injection. the court ruled against death row inmates who said that the drug could cause excruciating pain and violate the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. now the executions can go forward. and the supreme court ruled it was constitutional for a commission created by arizona voters to draw congressional
districts without partisan interference by state lawmakers. tomorrow here on c-span, new jersey governor chris christie announces his campaign for president. he will become the 14th republican to enter the race. that announcement from governor christie's high school in livingston, new jersey. >> c-span gives you the best access to congress, live coverage of the u.s. house congressional hearings, bringing you events that shape public policy. and washington journal is live, with your comments by phone facebook, and twitter. c-span, created by america's cable companies and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> former president jimmy carter
and first lady rosalyn carter sat down for a wide ranging congress nation at the aspen institute in colorado. they spoke with the ceo of about race relations, the middle east, and meeting with russian president vladimir putin. [applause] walter: when i told president carter we had an overflow crowd he said they all came for rosl slynn. so, thank you. the former president of the united states and mrs. carter, wellcome to aspen. i will start with a quick story
because kathy and i are here at the aspen institute because of president and mrs. carter. you were the honor he at an aspen institute dinner in new york and kathy said, i excepted that dinner, and i'm thinking oh no. she said judy woodruff called and said president carter will be there. i said, great, and it was at that dinner they recruited me to come work at the aspen institute. i thought, yeah, that is cool. president carter: if he has not done a good job, it is my fault. [laughter] walter: believe it or not president carter is now 90. the title of this book is called "reflections at 8990." not only does he not look 90
but he went to russia last year. a pretty active life both of you have. i wanted to start if i may, president carter, by looking at some of the travels you have done recently in this wonderful book and talking about your trip to the middle east you just came back from. where did you go? president carter: a couple months ago, i went to russia and we met with gorbachev and the foreign minister. and i also met with putin for about three hours. i asked him questions and he responded. i might say he made a very good impression on us. he was fully aware of all of the difficult issues. he never turned to his foreign minister for any answers. he gave the answers himself. he was quite relaxed. yet a good sense of humor, which was a surprise to all of us. walter: flatter your putin had a
good sense of humor? president carter: getting ready to go, he said by the way, be sure to tell your president and the europeans to leave the sanctions on russia. we were surprised to hear him say that. he said, i am making reforms and agriculture and the banking that i could not make it the sanctions were not putting pressure on them. they have been importing from eastern europe, so now they are trying to reform agriculture in the banking system. he said, if they could take it off six months later that would be fine. mrs. carter: i was not part of the wii. i did not go. but he was with the elders, if you know what they are? president carter: the elders are
a group of people, the best description i have, ex politicians. nelson mandela was our founder. his wife is a member. i represent the united states and this region. a former prime minister of norway who is a medical doctor and also was the head of who for a number of years. the former president of ireland. the former president of finland, who also won a nobel peace prize. a former president of mexico and also a former president of brazil. that's 11 members, and also we have the chief negotiator from the united nations for 10, 11 years, and he also tried to bring peace to syria. so, he's a very wonderful
negotiator. we meet every six months or so and decide where in the world we could be helpful. and we tell the truth. we do not have to accommodate voters, so we can always tell the truth. [laughter] walter: let's get back to the middle east question. where did you go in the middle east? president carter: we last last year, and the former prime minister of norway and i went to the middle east. the carter center has had a full-time office in ramallah which is in the west bank, and also in gaza for the last 15 years. the carter center still has the policy of bringing peace to israel in our immediate notice. the carter center has monitored the palestinian elections and we
work with the palestinian factions in israel, trying to promote peace. walter: do you think netanyahu wants a two state solution? president carter: no, i never have thought so. i was in europe, i was in jerusalem on another visit when netanyahu made his speech and said he would accept a two state solution. i did not believe him then. everything he has done has indicated he does not want a palestinian nation next door to israel. my leaf is -- my belief is he was to take over the entire west bank except for a little tiny spot -- a couple of little tiny spot to believe for the palestinians. walter: you did the last really major candidate of peace accord. what kind of solution do you think is possible now? president carter: the camp david accords had different factors. one was to bring peace between
israel and egypt. that peace agreement is now about 34 years old and has never been violated, not a single word has been violated. there is still peace between israel and egypt. but the one we worked hardest on was full of time -- autonomy for the palestinians and that part has not been honored. that is what i hope and what i hope my successors in the white house would attempt to do and try to bring peace to israel and it neighbors but we have pretty well given up on that since the recent election in israel and an even more conservative or right wing government now than they had before. and he has made it plain in recent days he does not want a two state solution. walter: you also met with king solomon on this trip. what do you think of america's
alliance with the saudi's now especially when it comes to bombing yemen. how did you find out about the bombing of yemen? president carter: also in saudi arabia and qatar ends other arab -- and other arab countries in that region. i was waiting for saudi arabia to leave with the new king solomon and we were supposed to leave with the crown prince. we met with the crown prince and then we were escorted to our car to go back to our hotel. about an hour or two later i got a message from the king saying he was to see you the next day. we found out that night that the reason he could not meet with me was because he was planning and
approving an unfortunate decision to attack yemen. and since then saudi arabia has been bombing yemen, which i think is a serious mistake. i met with him the next day to talk about the issues i have a my schedule. walter: mrs. carter, when you go to a place like saudi arabia, what is your role and what is your role in advocating for women in places like that? mrs. carter: this time i did not advocate for women. walter: but you have before. mrs. carter: i did not with the king. but i did in dubai and qatar and the other places. and i also -- we went to seven or eight of those countries. the main thing i worked on was health issues. i have fellowships with journalists, teaching them how
to report on mental health issues accurately and in depth. we have been doing this for 18 years now. so, i wanted to get a journalist from outages era -- al jazeera because they cover the whole region and the stigma there is so bad. they shut people up and do not let anybody know they have a mentally ill person. but there is a really good program, so i did talk to and advocate for women and caregiving and those kinds of things. but not with king solomon. i take notes. walter: ok. [laughter] mrs. carter: i get to see the top officials because i take notes. and i write down everything he says. president carter: she also gives me instructions -- [laughter] walter: yeah, i was reading this
book which was a total delight. i am going to ask mrs. carter about this. you say the president rights and their that when you came back -- writes in there, that when you came back from the navy and you're doing your business work in georgia, you left dollar b decisions to the family, but in 1962 when he decided to get into politics a changed your relationship with mrs. carter and she became much more a partner in making decisions. is that right? [laughter] i want to fact check this book. mrs. carter: i did not want to come home from the navy. by then i had become very independent. because jimmy was gone all the time in the navy and i was taking care of everything. so i became a total housewife for a few years. i have that for about a year. [laughter] then jimmy called me and asked me one day to come down.
he was the employer and had no employees, except seasonal. four seed and fertilizer and when we bought the produce from the farmers. so, he did not have anybody to stay at the office while he went out to visit the farmers, so i came down. it got to be a habit. the children -- the schoolhouse is right across the street, the highway from our office and the children would come, the little boys would come over in the afternoon after school. but pretty soon after the first year or so, maybe not even that long, i knew more about the business and the books than he did. i could say, shut down the cornmeal. were not making any money off of it. we developed this really good partnership that lasted for a long time. walter: how long has it lasted? mrs. carter: we will have been
married 69 years. walter: whoa. [applause] mrs. carter: in july. walter: what is the secret? i will tell you one secret i learned from this, you wrote a book together once. mrs. carter: oh, that is the worst experience of my life. [laughter] we have totally different writing styles. i am a night person. he is a morning person to start with. i like to write at night. he does not like for me to write at night. that's not much of a problem. the problem was trying to remember what we did in the past -- it's not possible. you can remember 95% and we would fight. we got so we could not mention it without me crying. [laughter] and so, we started writing notes to each other through the
process. never -- and he said, it takes me a long time to write a chapter because i wanted to be just right. he can write one in an afternoon . so he sees mine and i see his and i was like, i figured my chapter was -- i had gone up on mount sinai and came down with it in concrete words and i did not want him to change a word. and it was true. walter: that does a semi-get rough draft. mrs. carter: could not do it. [laughter] walter: -- president carter: so we decided to you upon the book. we had gotten a small advance and we decided to give the advance back and cancel the
book. our editor came down on a plane and said look, you've written 95% of the book. this other 5% is where you cannot agree. let me resolve this for you. we said, ok. half of these paragraphs are rose's and she can write them and jimmy you cannot touch them and the other half are yours and rose cannot edit them. so, if you read our book, a lot of paragraphs have an r by the side or a j. [laughter] that is why we are still married today. [laughter] walter: let me, if i may, take you back to world affairs for a moment, which is your presidency is when the iranian revolution happened. let's go back there, but also what is happening with the u.s. and iran right now.
after the irani and revolution -- iranian revolution, you kept diplomatic relations. but the hostages, that is who they were, the diplomats. you think the ayatollah wanted to have that rupture with the united ace? -- with the united states? president carter: no, he didn't. i think he was completely surprised when the young -- students i call them -- captured the u.s. embassy. there were 70 ambassadors there diplomats. he had almost to the same amount in washington. after the young students were there occupying the embassy, the ayatollah's son went to the embassy and allied himself with the students and then and only then did the ayatollah endorsed the taking of the hostages. i have never believed he originated it or was in favor of it. walter: do you think we could
and should work to have restored relations with iran? president carter: i do. the others did, by the way. the others go where they want to. but the present negotiations -- i hope the present negotiations on the nuclear issue will be successful. walter: do you think that will take us back to the. of the 1970's where the irani and people are -- iranian people are our strongest allies in the region? president carter: i do not think the strongest. walter: cautious. president carter: one of the things putin said, not to change the subject, he said, i have had two different sessions in russia this year, in january and april, with representatives from syria to try to resolve the syrian
issue. he said it has not been very fruitful. what i think we should do is have the united states and russia sponsor a meeting with the top leaders in the region. saudi arabia, iran, and turkey. if you get those five liters together or the representatives, and we can decide together what to do about syria, and whatever we decide, aside and his syrian opposition will have to agree to it. i said, that's a phenomenal idea. have you made that proposal to president obama? he said, no, i haven't. i said, do you mind if i make that proposal to him on your behalf? he said please do. i sent obama an e-mail and told him that is what putin had asked in about a week later, you may remember that john kerry went to see putin to discuss the issue with him. i do not know what has happened since then. walter: what you think of john kerry as secretary of state?
president carter: i think he is one of the best secretaries of state we have ever had. i think he is outstanding. [applause] walter: what about president obama's successes or failures on the world stage? how would you assess that? president carter: on the world stage, i think they have been minimal. he has done some good things domestically. on the world stage -- to be as objective about it as i can, i cannot think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship now than when he took over. if you look at russia, england china, egypt. i am not saying it is his fault. but we have not improved a relationship with individual countries, and i would say the united states influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower now than
it was six or seven years ago. and let me add -- let me repeat -- i do not blame him for it because circumstances have evolved. but i think john kerry has been a very courageous and innovative and dynamic secretary of state. as a matter of fact, when president obama was inaugurated the second term, rose and i went to the inauguration and john kerry came to our hotel room and spent two hours before the inauguration ceremony and john kerry outlined all of the things he planned to do as secretary of state. at that time, president obama had not even visited israel era that was one of the things he said he was going to ask, for obama to visit israel, which he did later on. he tried, i think, his best to bring about a peace agreement in the mideast and do other things that i need not mention.
walter: to what extent though do you think it is partly obama's fault he has not been able to establish relationships with other countries? president carter: i think -- this may not be a good thing to say to a group of americans, but i think the historical trend is for the united states to relinquish its unquestioned domination of the world's politics and economy and cultural influence. walter: is that a good or a bad thing? president carter: i think it should be a good thing, because i think the so-called bric countries -- china is rising, russia's going to come back. india is increasing its influence, compared to what it was 10 years ago. i cannot say i could blame president obama for it. i think it is an inevitability. i think the thing for president
obama and the next president is to say how can the united states fit in? instead of promoting the elements of a superpower. what are the elements of a superpower? this may be preaching a little bit, but i think a superpower should not only be the top country as far as military power is concerned, which we are going to continue to be, but i think the american superpower goal should be to be a champion for the piece. [applause] --for the peace. [applause] and to be the champion of human rights. and to be the champion of the environment. and to be the most generous nation on earth. those of the elements that i hope of eventually the united states will set as goals.
we have been the most warlike country on her. we have been a laggard in addressing the problem of global warming. we are now violating about 10 of the 30 paragraphs in the universal declaration of human rights. so, you know, i think these are opportunities for the future. walter: the two of you came on this aspen trip that a lot of us took to the arctic. i want to turn to mrs. carter -- your views, how they changed on the environment, that trip to the arctic, and also may be just what it is like traveling with president carter? [laughter] mrs. carter: i travel with him all the time. we go -- we have been to 80 countries. 80 countries, the most isolated countries in the world. but that trip to the arctic was really special, i thought. we had on that ship, i think was
-- what was it? national geographic? yeah, it was national geographic. -- everybody had to be an expert, had to say something about the environment. we heard the best people. jimmy's been working on environmental issues since he was governor of georgia marshlands. so, i think he has taught me pretty well a long time ago that we really needed to take care of the environment. walter: president carter, in this book, which i really do urge people to read, one of the things i didn't really quite know, although i did read "hour before daylight," about growing up in a tiny unincorporated town. you were one of only two white families and the only white kids
in that town. explain how your views on race were formed there, and then i would love to take you to this past week, where we had another great confrontation on race. pres. carter: well, you're right about this. there were about 55 african-american families and our family, and i was the only child of that age. and all of my playmates when i grew up were african-american, were black boys. and we played baseball together and fought and wrestled and went fishing and hunting and worked in the field together, so that was my life. it was during a time of racial segregation, which lasted 100 years in this country, as you know, from the 1860's to the 1960's. and i was very unaware of the racial distinctions, because we
treated each other equally. whoever was the best wrestler or caught the biggest fish or hit the baseball the best was the best for an hour or two. [laughter] i didn't realize at the time that the african-american kids had inferior skills -- schools. they had to go to their own schools, their own churches. black people were not permitted to vote. they were not permitted to serve on a jury, and so forth. but my opinion was distorted by the fact that the richest and most influential and respected person in archery was a black person, and african methodist episcopal bishop. that was the same denomination as the church in trusting -- charleston. he was in charge of the ame churches in five northern states . when bishop johnson came home to archery, it would be front page
in the county paper that he would be visiting his home church on the weekend. he was rich. he had a black cadillac or a black packard. he had a driver. he was a chauffeur. when he got ready to talk to my father, the custom was the black people didn't come to the front door of a white family. he wanted to abide by the mores of the south but not admit he was inferior in any way. he would send his chauffeur down to our house to make sure my father was at home, then he would go back and get bishop johnson and drive up in our front yard and blow the horn, and my daddy would go out and talk to bishop johnson in the car. i look upon him as the most successful and admirable person in my life. but later, i began to see much more clearly about the distinctions. my mother was a registered nurse, and she was immune from
criticism because of treating black people as equals. after my father got a little farther along, my mother quit nursing in the hospital. she nursed in an african-american home in archery. she was supposed to get paid $6 a day for 20-hour duty. so my sisters and i very seldom saw my mother during those times because she would come home at night at 10:00 and she would wash her uniforms and take a shower and write instructions for us for what to do the next day, and she would go back on duty at 2:00 in the morning. she was on duty 20 hours a day. she refused to admit in any way that african-americans were not at least equal to white people. and so that, those kind of experiences really shaped my life for the future, i would say. walter: what happened in charleston last week involved
three of the most controversial issues we have -- race guns, and mental health. i want to get this is carter to address them in -- get mrs. carter to address the mental health issues. what was your reaction on how people reacted with regard to race and the guns issue? pres. carter: on the race issue, i think there is no doubt that south carolina is going to finally lower the confederate flag. [applause] georgia did about 10, 12 years ago. and the governor that lowered the confederate battle flag was defeated in the next election by republicans who were in favor of keeping the flag and the republicans have been in power in the south in georgia ever since. i think that's one thing that will be accomplished. but i don't think the nra is going to relinquish any of its
present, almost disgusting influence over state legislatures or congress. [applause] we will continue to have a plethora of guns quite unnecessarily in the united states. i don't think we are going to have any need for proof of past experience of whether you're qualified to get guns. i think the nra tends to prevail, which is adapted -- dastardly -- which is a dastardly thing to have happen. i'm a hunter. i've got a number of guns. but i think that anybody who gets a gun ought to be fully qualified and give a background briefing. i don't believe that we ought to authorize the sale of submachine guns and armor piercing bullets and guns in churches and guns in schools and that sort of thing. i think it is absolutely ridiculous to do that. [applause] mrs. carter: i get very upset
when people with mental illness are blamed for everything that happens like that. because only 4% of all violent crimes are committed by people with mental illnesses. and if you look at the statistics or if you look at their lives most of them, you will find, have not had access to services. people knew that they needed services, but they didn't -- the one in washington, in the capital, how many times had he been in to try to get help and could not get it? anyway, it just -- i hope the stigma is lifting a little bit now. i have a program at the carter center a mental health program there. and we have mental health fellowships with journalists. and when they were sitting around 18 years ago trying to decide what else we could do to overcome stigma, and somebody said, why don't we bring journalists in and let them know
about mental illnesses so they can write accurately and in-depth, and my journalists have been doing that for a long time now, and i think it has made a little bit of difference. but i just -- i do also think that stigma is beginning to lift a little bit upward on mental health issues. i've worked with mental health issues for 44 1/2 years. i started with stigma. but now, we, with our journalists and our programs in california our international program on trying to overcome stigma -- now, a countries including australia, to european countries, and others, have a program like that, which makes me feel really good. [applause] i do think the time has come. young people now will go for help.
older people don't go for help because they don't want to be labeled mentally ill. hopefully, hopefully hopefully that stigma is beginning to lift a little bit. walter: what can we do to have more access to mental health services, especially for young people, in addition to lifting the stigma? mrs. carter: well, the largest mental health facilities in our country are the prisons and jails. you can get money for prisons and jails. it's really difficult to get money for mental health services . mental health, ever since i started working on it, has gotten what was left over after everything was funded. the parity law is changing that a little bit. i hope it's going to change it a lot. sometimes, it takes a little while for people to get access and services because of stigma. health, ever since i started working on it, has gotten what was left over after everything was funded. but the parity law is insurance for mental health illnesses the same as those for any other illnesses. and i one of my greatest
disappointments in my life was passing a mental health systems act that the next president put on the shelf and did not implement. we had parity in insurance. we had integration of services, meaning -- now we are working on having somebody with a mental professional in the office of a primary care professional. and that's really helping, too. the whole country is kind of moving that way. parity -- once people begin accessing services, i think it's going to be a flood doing that. i had parity, i had integration of services. i had incentives for people to go into the mental health profession. all of that in my bill what, 30-some years ago.
walter: this was during the presidency period? mrs. carter: yes. i did work in georgia, too, the governors commission and in the white house, the president commit -- president's commission. walter: thank you for what you do. [applause] one other program you are involved with is what i will call domestic caregiving, but i would rather you describe it. explain how that works. mrs. carter: when we came home from the white house, our local state university had a small mental health program. by the time i thought i could do something because i was writing a book and doing lots of things, by the time i thought i could do something else, i already had a good mental health program at the carter center. so, we decided to work with those caring for people with mental illnesses, because i had seen so many people, when somebody in the family would develop a mental illness, they had no idea where to go or what to had a
good mental health program at the carter center. so, we decided to work with those caring for do. and there are lots of services out there in the community. before the first conference that we had, a program on burnout, we brought in people in the small community. everybody knows what's going on. we had people who were caring for the very elderly family members or handicapped children who wanted to come. we invited them in. we let the university students go and sit with the ones they were caring for. it was the most emotional meeting i've ever been to. people crying. this was 1987. people crying, saying, this is the first time i've ever been with anybody who knew how i felt that was talking to each other and we knew we had hit a real program -- problem. so, we began that program. it has grown and grown and grown.
we started working with the national guard in georgia with veterans coming to. -- coming home. and michelle and jill have a program for veterans. i wrote michelle a letter and said "you left something out because these veterans are coming home with mental and physical problems, and somebody has to take care of them." by then, i had seen so many young wives, particularly, who had no idea what to do when someone came home with mental illness. johnson & johnson has helped me too. we have done program for alzheimer's caregivers. -- done programs for alzheimer's caregivers.
this caregiving program for veterans, going into the home and working with the families -- people who work with veterans have a hard time getting a veteran -- we talk to the family. it's a lot easier to get in. there are a couple programs i'm proud of. walter: thank you for that. [applause] i'm going to ask president carter about two more court -- countries and then we will open it up to questions. first, china. you went there for the first time, i read, in 1949, right? when it was before -- before it had become a communist nation. and you been almost -- you have been almost every year since then, is that right? what should we be doing with china?
are we handling it right? are we turning them into a competitor more than a cooperative alliance? pres. carter: i got interested in china because i did go there on a submarine. this was a time when the nationalist chinese were permitted by the communists to stay in a few seaports. that's the one we visited -- those are the ones we visited. a few weeks after i left china is when the people's republic of china was formed, on october 1 1949, which was my 25th birthday. i'm 25 years older than the people's republic of china. i've been going back ever since. when i became president one of the things i put at the top of my agenda was to normalize the relation with china. the president had been to china in 1972 and had the shanghai communiqué. he announced that there was only
one china, but he did not say which one. we continued under him and president ford to recognize taiwan as the only china. i committed to normalize relations, which i did january 1, 1979. i've been going to china ever since i got out of the white house almost every year. i've seen tremendous change taking place in china. they still have some serious human rights problems, but they have made a great deal of progress compared to what it used to be when the communists first took over. first, there were no bibles permitted in china. there was no religion permitted in china when i normalized relations. i wanted to let bibles back -- i wanted him to let bibles come back and freedom of religion come back, and that's now the law of china, with some restraint. china is now the fastest growing christian country in the world. they've made some progress. under xi jinping, whom i've met
five times now -- i met him three times before he was leader. under xi jinping, he has become the most powerful chinese leader since deng xiaoping. i think he is very highly committed to a nationalistic point of view, that is, china has to be preeminent. you see the long-term trend taking place where china is becoming the leader in politics and the economy. i think what the united states needs to do is to make a very firm commitment to find some areas in which china and the united states can cooperate with each other. the last two or three times i've met with xi jinping, i have urged him to form a partnership with the united states in dealing with global warming because i think that, no matter what they decided, if the united states and china would agree on anything, that would help prevent climate deterioration -- on anything that would help
prevent climate deterioration, the rest of the world would have to go along. without diplomatic or financial or military problems, if they could agree on that one thing, it would transform the world. i think it would be the basis for further improvement. i would say that particular issue and any others we can find on which we have particular agreement, to emphasize those instead of the differences which exist between us. walter: finally, in this book you reminded me that you were in favor of normalizing relations with yuba, -- cuba if possible when you were president. why did you not do so? what do you think of what's happening now? pres. carter: when i became president, i saw the cuban policy was unsustainable and erroneous. so i lifted all travel restraints on american citizens. while i was president, any american could visit cuba if
they wanted to. i worked with fidel castro on moving toward full diplomatic relations. we made very good progress the first 2 1/2 years. for instance, he released 3000 political prisoners he was holding and about 1000 of them were permitted to come to the united states. we established an intersection in havana. the last time i was there a few years ago, there were 300 people working there. our ambassador -- they have almost the same number in washington. we got right up to the point of normalizing relations, but castro went back on his word to me. he sent a large number of people do ethiopia to fight alongside the communist dictator and the russians. he also continued to try to convince some latin american countries toa adopt his policy.
i wish i could have normalized diplomatic relations with china and i would have if i could have. i think what president obama has announced doing is a very good move, and i hope he will go through with it. constitution -- the constitution gives the president unilateral right to recognize any government he wants to. the congress has nothing to say about it. this is one thing the president can do by himself, one of the only things i can think of. if he wanted to, he could say "i recognize the cuban government." i hope before he goes out of office, he will be able to do that. walter: let me open it up. as i do, let me single out bonnie an d tom mccloskey. this is the first of our mccloskey speaker series. thank you very much for doing
that. >> what you make of edward snowden?: pres. carter: first of all, i think edward snowden violated the law and the customs of keeping our secrets secret. but at the same time, i think that his overall impact on the united states has not been a disaster. and i think what he has revealed to the american people needed to be revealed. and i believe that what we are now seeing in congress backing out from the unlimited intrusion into the internal affairs of every human being in america is coming to conclusion because congress has now seen what snowden said. i think what he has done has been beneficial to our country in the long run. i don't think he has betrayed anybody that works in security overseas, so far as i know, but
he did violate the law. i think if he comes back home, he would be tried, and that's what he's not coming back. so in balance, i think that what he's done has been helpful to our country instead of damaging to our country. [applause] walter: yes, sir. right there. >> thank you for speaking, president carter. i wanted you to maybe address the audience, the project you have going on to eliminate parasites in africa. i think that's one of the best things going on right now. pres. carter: the carter center started out reloading piece. i was -- promoting peace. i was going to have a little camp david. i would negotiate peace agreements by going to their countries. we still do a lot of that. we go to north korea. i won't list all the countries we go to. the second thing we were going to do was to promote democracy and freedom by orchestrating and
helping paln -- plan and then monitoring honest elections in the world. we just finished our 100 election, in -- our 100th election in guyana, last month. also, dealing with issues in health care that no one else wants to do. there are diseases that the world health organization calls neglected tropical diseases. we have five of them that even medical doctors in the united states would not know about. these are the diseases we address. also at the carter center, we have the only international task force on disease eradication in the world. we bring in top leaders from the health field in general. we analyze constantly every human illness to see which ones
might possibly be eliminated from a particular country or region or eradicated from the entire world. so we are the ones who decide and recommend to the world health organization which diseases should be targeted for elimination. we are working now on getting warm -- on guinea worm, one of the most terrible diseases in history. it's in the bible. it's the fiery serpent that attacks in the old testament. so, we undertook this about 35 years ago, to eliminate it -- eradicate it from the world. we found it in 20 countries in india and africa and 26,600 villages we've been in every village that had guinea worm.
we found 3.6 million cases. we told people -- top people what to do to do away with it -- we taught people what to do to do away with it. i just got a report yesterday that we have five cases of guinea worm left in the world. [applause] so, if we are lucky, we will soon have guinea worm completely eradicated. walter: congratulations. were there any women? ok. i will get to you next. pres. carter: one thing i might say, this year, the carter center will treat 71 million people for these diseases that no longer exist in the developed world but afflict hundreds of millions of people in africa, primarily. 71 million. [applause] mrs. carter: and most of it is by companies that give us the medicine. walter: i'm sorry, companies that? mrs. carter: give us the
medicine. pres. carter: the companies -- walter: they give you free medicine to do it. it's great to have you all in aspen. >> it's terrific that the aspen institute was able to bring you. president carter, when he first ran in 196, -- 1976, there was a well-known aspenite woh die -- who died a few years ago. he was one of the first to say "this man has a chance to win the presidency." can you tell us a little bit about the collegiality with hunter thompson? pres. carter: when i was governor of georgia senator ted kennedy came down to make the main speech at the university of georgia law school. and i was going to make a speech to the alumni in a separate meeting at lunchtime. when kennedy made his speech, i
was almost -- it was all most exactly what i was going to say. i went in the back room and made some notes about the problems with our judicial system in this world, in this country. i made my speech, and hunter thompson was listening to my speech. he was filling up his iced tea glass with wild turkey. after my speech, he was profoundly affected by it -- [laughter] walter: the wild turkey or the speech? pres. carter: the speech. maybe both. he finally got a copy of my speech from the university of georgia president. he lived near aspen. whenever anybody visited him at his home near aspen, he would make them listen to my speech as a ticket to come to his house for entertainment. [laughter] when we used to come out here to ski, hunter thompson always came and spent late at night with my sons and daughter.
i generally went to bed at around 2:00 in the morning. he was a very close friend of mine. i remember one time when i was campaigning, by the way, he insisted to my press secretary that he would interview me. hunter thompson brought a bunch of stuff out of his room and built a fire in front of her hotel room. [laughter] so, he had his idiosyncrasies, but he and i were good friends. mrs. carter: and only time we had little white things flying all around was when he came. walter: did he come visit you? what was it like to host dr. thompson? mrs. carter: it was interesting. [laughter] but he did always complain what are all those littlew white things in my bedroom?
walter: what were they? moths? hallucinations, i get it. yes, ma'am. >> thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. my question is for the first lady, mrs. carter. first, i would like to thank you for your service to improve the lives of people around the world. and very heartfelt when i think of all the humanitarian efforts -- i'm very heartfelt when i think of all the humanitarian efforts you've gone to. i'm also intrigued by the research and outreach provided through the rosalynn carter institute. is there anything else you would like to share about the institute, the research, or maybe a specific family story that comes to mind that really touched you? mrs. carter: this is one of the most interesting things. when we decided to have a
program -- a mental health program in a post-conflict country, and we decided on liberia, because we already had access to information, trying to help women know what was available to them, and access to justice -- we had people all over liberia anyway. we found out they had one psychiatrist in the country. that was all. no other mental health professionals. so we organized a program to help the country organize a mental health program and trained 144 -- our goal was 150. we saved 144 before the ebola crisis. but when the ebola crisis came along, we started working with -- we stopped the classes, and we started working with the families of those who