Skip to main content

tv   President Obama and Secretary Arnie Duncan Town Hall  CSPAN  September 14, 2015 4:40pm-7:01pm EDT

4:40 pm
and i love our country. thank you. host: mr. hoagland. guest: thank you, bob. first of all, i think every administrator of every agency -- i respect the time and efforts that they put in these programs. i do not think they would have any difficulty signing it because that is the law. you are not to spend money that has been appropriate to the agency for activities that are not designated by congress and fraud is not something that we appropriate money for. i do not think it would be an issue here. i want to make it clear that it ouldot something that w significantly modify the level funding for these programs. host: gina's calling and from corpus christi. caller: good morning, gentlemen. 36statement is based on my years of practice as a registered nurse. it is in regards to planned
4:41 pm
4:42 pm
i hope that your listeners are educating your teenagers and starting very early, that the pressure starts really early. host: anything you want to add? guest: only to say thank you for your many years of service as a nurse, a critical profession for our country, and i clearly endorse your statement as it
4:43 pm
relates to prevention, whether it be in this particular area or any area of health care, is critical. host: tell more about the anatomy of the potential government shutdown. eter this morning says "government shutdown? we know that doesn't happen. it is running on cruise control. 80% stays open. is that true? guest: appropriations make up about 30% of the federal budget. your twitter person is absolutely correct about close to 70% of the federal government is that which is associated with paying benefits, social security benefits or medicare benefits or as we talked about here, medicaid benefits come interest on the public debt. that goes on regardless of appropriation. what happens is if you do have a government shutdown, the
4:44 pm
agencies that administer the benefits say -- the clinics, hospitals, social security offices -- the personnel are affected by it. the benefits continue, but it does create disruption. suggest that we would not want, nor does the leadership of congress, want to see a shutdown. nobody wins in that particular situation. host: we are a couple of weeks away. to the trip --ns does the treasury secretary have to start making? guest: the treasury secretary has to focus on the debt. not to confuse the issue here, but the treasury, much like the other agencies, will have to worry about which personnel should remain on the job as essential personnel. but in terms of the treasury,
4:45 pm
they will be under the same situation that every other agency out there is in terms of who should and shouldn't come to work and maintain essential services. the treasury has a different issue they will be focusing on. has sent a letter to congress last week in dealing with the bigger issue, which is that we have we will call it the statutory debt limit. when you add up all the borrowing we have, we are at a limit. there is a limit in the law that we are about out of room to have any more borrowing authority. about theed earlier end of october, middle of november. that is when the treasury has to start being very worried about how to manage a situation where we were not have enough borrowing authority to pay our bills. host: these two issues coming close together in time. here's a little bit of treasury secretary jack lew, actually
4:46 pm
couple minutes from june. we will get back to calls in a moment, but congressman mike mulvaney and the treasury secretary had a conversation about the prioritization. r [video clip] mulvaney: mr. secretary, you told another time that the systems are automated to pay -- you for 224 years went on to say that it would not be easy to pay, they were not designed that way, etc. in may 2014, you gave this chairman a letter saying something slightly different, that is the debt limit were not race and the treasury had sufficient cash on hand, the new york fed systems would be technologically capable to make the payments on the treasury was not making other kinds of payments. when did you come to
4:47 pm
learn that the new york i was technologically capable of making the payments set forth in your letter of may 2014? congressmen come i don't remember the exact date, but i remember the statement i made to the senate and the statement to the committee are entirely consistent. -- what i said is that we make tens of millions of payments and we don't have the capacity to pick and choose amongst all of them. i did not addressed specifically the question of is that the technical capacity to pay principal and interest. we indicated to this committee that we do have the technical capacity but it would be a terrible thing to do because if you chose to pay principal and interest, you would be defaulting on something else. you would be defaulting on medicare payment or veterans payment or something else. the only solution is to raise the debt limit and not put any president in the position where they would make the decision to pay one thing but on another. host: bill hoagland? guest: what the secretary is
4:48 pm
referring to is that you can continue to pay on the basis of what income is coming at that time that you have to set a priority of who receives payments. do we pay the bonds for investors from overseas first or do we pay -- hold back and accumulate the cash and then be able to pay social security benefits? it is a very, very difficult process, and when you are making 10 million payments almost daily, it does put a tremendous amount of burden on the secretary to determine what should be paid and shouldn't be paid. how guest is bill hoagland, senior vice president of the bipartisan policy center, here to talk about government spending, the debt ceiling manner that is coming very quickly on s. more than three decades on capitol hill. from allen in florida. allen is an independent. caller: hi, how are you?
4:49 pm
i wanted to speak a bit on the planned parenthood issue. i am an independent. i'm not for either the republicans or democrats. my impression of what is going on with this so-called issue is that the republican party basically wants to abolish anything like the jefferson-madison principle, which is, a, endorsed the separation of religion and state, and the republicans also oln's policyish linc on the issue of birthright citizenship, which lincoln favored, and they simply want to endorse the policy on abortion that limits the quality, that ian kershaw, the scholar on hitler, wrote in his book on
4:50 pm
hitler, hitler criminalize abortion in 1935, 1936, the hitler regime in germany. republicans seem to want to endorse a policy on women and women's rights and equality that al qaeda, the taliban, and isis have. i favor women's equality and i favor the separation of religion and state, which means the and allbefore the law religions or no religions, and i favor lincoln's policy of birthright citizenship. it appears that the problem with the republicans is that they have come to endorse outright nazi policies, and the democrats will not come out and say that endorse.he republicans that is my problem with the republicans and democrats. they seem to want this country to go nazi or fascist. host: any reaction there?
4:51 pm
guest: thank you for your comment. i did work for republicans all those years on capitol hill and still consider myself to be a republican. i take a somewhat umbrage at the fact that republicans are classified as being nazis. that would be my only quick comment on the street more importantly, we are talking about funding of something -- i am a budgeteer. set aside a policy. the issue is to you shut down the entire federal government over $70 million? can we find solutions to this without going through the process of shutting down the entire federal government for one of these issues? that is the critical issue, and something that madison, as you mentioned, believed in, working it out between the two ranches of government. that is where we need to get back and find solutions on both ends of pennsylvania avenue. host: michael, republican, you
4:52 pm
are on the air. caller: good morning to read i'm enjoying this conversation quite a bit. my question for mr. hoagland is simple. i came to the realization that when congress budgets and approves money for a project, our federal government instantly assumes the money is spent. if the project does not come to omb isn, by law the supposed to apply the excess back to the treasury, but they don't. they are not manned for it and they never have done it. i was involved in killing off any doing other budget when i was in the air force -- and a billion-dollar budget when i was in the air force, and 4 years later it became very parent that the money was spent. the money added to the federal budget, it added to come if you want to call it, national debt, and what we have
4:53 pm
got is an accounting process that needed to be cleaned up many decades ago. and neither party will address it because it is too technical. this is your expertise. i would love to hear your opinion on this. host: thanks, michael. guest: michael, thank you very much. you are getting into the nitty-gritty of appropriations and allocations and the apportionment processes that happened within the government. one quick observation. i am not aware of the particular program you are talking about, a nine dollars, maybe a billion $8 million,ect -- maybe $8 billion project to be committed, but if the money appropriated is not spent, it is classified as unobligated moneys. the department of defense in mike's parents will go back to congress will work with the stuff forion committee and reprogram that money from that particular
4:54 pm
project to another. i think what you are referring to hear, that must have been the situation, where they got approval from the office of management and budget and approval from congress. we are not going to spend this money on this project but we are going to reallocate that money for a different set of priorities for the department of defense. it has not been appropriated or obligated, it will be tracked through the process is appropriately. twitter, "please tell us how the government price on the accounting figure -- arrives on the county figure they call deficit." guest: nothing more than the total amount of revenues retaken and the total amount of spending we may connected tickler year. the difference is -- we make in that particular year. basedifference is the cash- accounting. the complication that some
4:55 pm
people get to just for classification here is the stimulation of annual deficit from the beginning of the is what we today refer to as debt, and that is a different number than the annual deficit figure. and our annual deficits were the beginning of the public to .oday's closer to $17 trillion journal" --street ceiling."he debt why would investors be nervous and anxious over a debt ceiling problem? --st: the federal government the treasury that is one of the world.spected in the if for some reason the
4:56 pm
government defaulted on not paying interest on the obligations, that would have ramifications that would run all the way through our financial system, would create havoc and make our treasury instruments, which has been the basic inrument for financial security throughout the world, it would undermine the credibility of the federal government has an organization that is willing to pay its deb ts. host: leo for bill hoagland. caller: good morning. i'm calling in reference to planned parenthood. it is crazy to shut down the government over this situation. my main concern is the key talking about this video in which they are saying it has been edited. this committee made it clear, not one of them has seen a fully unedited video of this incident. i'm a retired police officer.
4:57 pm
i can't see how you would go into court with the edited version of the video, and that is my concern. that is the key question in this whole situation. guest: no real question, no real response here, leo. i've not seen the video so i cannot comment on it. is ongrand gorge, leigh the line, republican. caller: good morning. my question is the gentleman earlier mentioned the fact that people in the government should sign a statement about fraud. i don't believe in terms of fraud, but what i am thinking is that certain branches -- well, all branches of the government appropriate a certain amount of money. it seems if they don't spend it all, they don't return it, because they get less, and the soundbites say that they renovate their whole office or hire new people to continue getting that money. when you hear the scandals like
4:58 pm
the treadmill, the situation in these conferences that are so elaborate and don't pertain to business, and i have an average income, i'm a federal taxpayer, and when i see these things, it really upsets me. thank you. guest: leigh, a very good observation, and one which i have observed in my years here in washington, and that is when you just indicated, that if the administrators of these particular programs have not appropriately planned their expenditures over the course of before thed up fiscal year runs out increasing to spend thetures entire amount, i think that is unfortunate and shouldn't be that way. we do ever process by which agencies are exposed to -- supposed to allocate their expenditures on a quarterly
4:59 pm
basis if this doesn't happen. but i think that is a form of what i would call soft fraud, and i don't think it is meant to be. there are issues associated with this. but i do hear your point and i think it is well taken. pennsylvania,om republican. good morning to you. caller: good morning, gentlemen. thank you to everyone at c-span. c-span is kind of a national treasure, i think that mr. hoagland, first, i would like to thank you for your many years of public service, sir. guest: thank you, peter. caller: i would really like you to enlighten us a little bit on -- i would call it micromanaging -- is the congress trying to exert on spending. to me this is an irritating manner. it reminds me so much of your marks. -- earmarks.
5:00 pm
when i see members of congress are doing to amend -- add amendments to the budget and try to control exactly how an individual agency or government entity will spend or may not spent any of the money that is appropriated to it, i just kind of long for a day when the -- i just long for a day when congress will allocate funds and i guess it is too much to hope for that they will allocate the money to the cabinet level departments and let the secretary decide or to the individual federal agencies. let the agency administration take responsibility for how the money gets spent. is there any limit on how much control congress can attempt to exert on how these dollars gets spent? thank you very much. guest: absolutely. this is a system in which no
5:01 pm
money shall be spent subject to appropriations made in law. congress is the first responsibility for having oversight. i think to your point is to what extent as we are talking about planned parenthood and the -- [applause] now at north high school in des moines, iowa, as president obama joins education secretary arne duncan. there you see secretary duncan. secretary duncan: i would ask all of our students to stand and let's give our students a huge round of applause. [applause] secretary duncan: can i ask all of our teachers and administrators and staff to stand. please thank them for all of .heir hard work that they do
5:02 pm
[applause] and if we -- secretary duncan: and if we have moms, dads, aunts and uncles, grandparents, please stand. [applause] secretary duncan: the president and i are thrilled to be here and we are talking about not just education, but making sure that college is the dream, the aspiration for all of you. you have to think about not just graduating high school, but some form of education beyond that. the goal is not to go to college. the goal is to graduate. we are doing everything we can to make it more affordable and bring your information to make the right choice. 7000 is out there in higher education and to help you figure
5:03 pm
out what is the right fit for your dreams and passions. we look forward to a great conversation. please ask me all of the easy questions and please as president hard questions, and we will have a great afternoon. to introducehonor the new student body president here at north high school, rochon johnson. [cheers and applause. -- [cheers and applause] secretary duncan: he is going to introduce the president. if i were him i would be nervous, but he is cool as a cucumber. he wants to become a teacher. we need more men teaching and more men of color teaching. please give a warm round of applause for rochon johnson will
5:04 pm
johnson --r shawn for rochon johnson. of the message and applause] chon: education is more than just knowledge. it is more than just power. andeans knowing the right wrong of things. my education support was so little at such a young age i was already two steps mind, which discourage me from wanting to move forward. i gained educational support through teachers such as christopher robbins and emily lang, who really connected with me. [applause] rochon: and then fired me to do better in school. during his time, my mother was in prison and she always remained in my corner and give me a reason and someone to do it for. my plan was to go to college and
5:05 pm
become a teacher, even a counselor so i can always help teenagers in need in any way possible. i want the youth of today to know that change is not a bad thing. it is a very good thing, because you have to decide how you want how youo see you, and see yourself. why waste it when you can inspire people to do what you can do, or what i did. now it is an honor for me to introduce the president of the united states. applause]
5:06 pm
rochon: barack obama. [applause] everybody give: it up for rochon. [cheers and applause] president obama: hello, i was. it is good to -- hello, iowa. it is good to be back in i was. [cheers] i was missing you guys. go, polar bears. [cheers] president obama: it is great to be back in des moines. i landed at the airport and i saw the hampton inn. i must test stayed there 100 days. --i must have stated their
5:07 pm
stayed there 100 days. i must have 100 points or something. everybody have a seat, relax. i know it's september, so i know you guys are all about to be fromed with ads and calls a bunch of folks who want this job. i just can't imagine what kind of person would put them -- themselves through something like this. [applause] president obama: although i notice that i did not know rush was on the ballot. during the introduction it was like, "the next president of the united states." [laughter] it is an obama: example of what our young people can do when they put their minds to it. i would like to thank your principal, mike goodrich -- mike
5:08 pm
ukovic. [applause] president obama: your superintendent is here. where is tom? [applause] president obama: your mayor is here. he was here. he had to go to a city council meeting. he is missing out on the fun. i was attorney general, tom miller. [applause] president obama: treasurer, mike fitzgerald, a great supporter. [applause] president obama: and of course, secretary of education, arne on his for letting me bus tour. i will not give a long week, because we want to and most of the time taking questions from you. i want to ask the net we came to north high school because you guys have done some great things
5:09 pm
over the past few years, making laptopse students have and ipads, improving ap courses, test scores. you have become a good example for the whole country of what is possible. and -- [applause] we thought wea: would come and pay you a visit, talk with some of the students here in des moines, and with your parents, because i know there is nothing a high schoolers love more than being in public with their moms and that. [laughter] that is what my daughter's me all the time. it was seven years ago this week that a financial crisis on wall up ushering in some really hard times on main street. but thanks to the incredible resilience and great and hard work of the american people, we bounced back. we created 3.1 million new private sector jobs in the past 5.5 years.
5:10 pm
16 million people have the security of health insurance, many of them for the first time. -- our high school graduation rate is the highest that it has ever been. [applause] and i shouldma: point out, by the way, if you want to see the best graduation rate in america, it is right here in iowa. [cheers] [applause] we have beenma: investing in things that help to grow the middle-class and provide opportunity for every young person. century economy -- nobody in a 21st century economy is going to be able to do what they want to do with their lives , unless they've got a great .ducation that is just the truth. by 2020, 2 out of three job
5:11 pm
openings will require some kind of post high school education, whether a four-year university or a community college or a tech school. and it is an investment that pays off. nartly it pays off, and rocho mentioned this, it empowers you and gives you a sense of who you are and your hopes and you dreams. it helps to sharpen how you see the world and empowers you in all sorts of ways. but it also has some pretty practical ramifications. compared to a high school diploma, a degree from a two-year school could at earn you and for $10,000 per year. a four-year degree could earn you $1 million more over the course of a lifetime. that is how important an education is in today's economy. just as higher education has never been more important, let's face it. it has also been never more expensive. rne and i are
5:12 pm
working to try to make post high school education more affordable. we have increased scholarships. we have reformed our student loan system that final -- that funnels millions of dollars into big banks. we cut that off directly and said let's give that to students. at $2500 to help working families pay for tuition and books and fees. we are helping people cap therefore will -- their federal student loan payments so if you want to be a teacher or social worker or some profession that may not make a huge amount of money, you can still do that you will still be able to afford yourself and your family while doing it. for twore fighting years of free community college for any student willing to work for it. [applause]
5:13 pm
president obama: the bottom line is, no young person in america should be priced out of college. they should not be priced out of an education. i know that finding the right school for you, the best school for you is a top process. melia is going through it right now. deadlinesre juggling and applications and personal statements. and some of you in the back of your mind, you are asking yourselves what you plan for a career and what you want to do with your life. i think we should make that process easier. a couple of things that we have done that we are announcing over the worst of this week on this bus tour, we have introduced something called college scorecard. right now, a lot of families do not have all of the information they need to choose the right school. a lot of the college rankings comes that you see -- ranking systems that you see, they reward schools for spending more money, or for rejecting more
5:14 pm
students. i think that is the wrong focus. our colleges should be focused on affordability and serving students. we pull together data across college cost and value and we created this scorecard. you can scroll through it to see which schools are more likely to graduate their students, more likely to result in good jobs for those students, more likely to make sure those students can pay off their student loans. and you can use that information to make choices that are right for your future and for your budget. you guys can go to we've already gotten half a million visits since we launched this thing on saturday. it is a valuable tool for students and parents as you try to make a decision about where to go to school. we are also simplifying the
5:15 pm
system. part of it is that it is just complicated and time-consuming. those young people are leaving money on the table. there maybe some of you that are not aware of all the financial help you can get. we have shortened the federal student aid form, called fafsa, down to about 20 minutes. it used to be two or three times as long. and because only congress has the power to eliminate certain requirements, we are asking them to simplify it even further. the good news is, it has good bipartisan support. we have a congressman here from virginia who traveled with us, congressman bobby scott. where is bobby? there he is way in the back there. [applause] is adent obama: he democrat and working with republicans to see if we can further shorten and make this form simpler. also announced that
5:16 pm
beginning next year, families will be able to fill out fafsa even earlier, starting october 1, right around the time that college applications ramped up. you will not have to wait for months for your w-2s to arrive to get started so you can get a jump on the college application process. you will knows in her how much aid you while for and have more time to evaluate your options. working with colleges and universities and scholarship programs to align their financial aid processes and applications with this new start date. all of these that taken together should help hundreds of pay for college. i know that is important to you. i will end my remarks with a story of someone who could not be here, but graduated here from -- graduated from here last year. his name is miko green. you might remember him from the polar bear basketball. [applause] president obama: the reason i
5:17 pm
want to tell his story is for the past few years, niko was homeless as a junior and senior. he was grateful to mostly stay with his coach or his counselor. spent nightsat, he in shelters, church basements, or hotels where his mom was sometimes sleeping next to drug addicts or worse. he said, i have seen some terrible things, but i'm in full for a because it has taught me to be strong. for what i'vel been through because it has taught me to be strong. last year, he filled out his found out he qualifies for thousands of dollars in federal and state aid. and stillis studying playing ball, hoping to make money enough one day to build a
5:18 pm
career and give back to the mom that he loves. [applause] president obama: so that is why we are here. this what this is about. so students like niko and rochon, and students like many of you who want to take that big step and work toward your dreams, we want to know that we are there to help you achieve those dreams. we willto make sure help those who are willing to put in the effort to succeed. just good for those students, but for america. this country was built on the notion that it doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like, what your last name is. if you are willing to work hard, you can make it. an education is the key to making that future possible.
5:19 pm
that is how we grow this country. that is how we make it successful. ,hat is the incredible project the great experiment and democracy you are all a part of. with that, we are looking forward to taking your questions. thank you very much, everybody. [applause] president obama: anybody here me question mark is this working -- can everybody here me? is this working? here's how it will work. you are your hand and i'm calling you. boyill go girl, boy, girl, to make it fair. there are people in the audience with microphones. wait until they get there. introduce yourself and keep your questions short enough that we can get as many in as possible. said,ntrary to whatarne he will get all the tough
5:20 pm
questions and i just want the easy ones. [laughter] president obama: who wants to go first? this young lady shot her hand up quickly. right here. we need a microphone up here. hi, my name is angelico. my question is for you. what do you believe the role of the teacher should be? president obama: what do i believe the role of teacher should be? that is a great question. life, think about my own you know, some of you may know my dad left when i was very young will stop i did not really know him will stop i was raised -- i did not really know him. i was raised by a single mom. my mother was a teenager when she had me. she was 18. she was still going to school and working at the same time as raising me, and then my sister.
5:21 pm
great teacher.t and what she taught me was , caring about other people, but she also taught me to be curious. when i think back to all of the great teachers that i've had, it is not so much the facts that they have taught me, because i can get those from books. it has been teachers who were able to spark in me a sense of curiosity. how does that work? why is that the weight is? -- why is that the way it is? somebody who would want -- somebody who would help me want to learn more, that is the great -- that is the role of a great teacher. someone who can convince you to be so interested in a subject that you start all the time teaching your cell.
5:22 pm
i'll bet there are -- teaching yourself. out that there are a lot of great teachers here. a challenge in being a teacher is that sometimes students don't always appreciate good teachers. let's face it, because i think sometimes we think education is something that you just receive from somebody else. it is passive. they just kind of foreknowledge r knowledge in here. but in fact, good teaching is a conversation with somebody where they are giving you not just answers, but asking new questions and helping your brain get a workout. and trying to help you figure out things yourself. are, having great teachers people who have confidence in you and have high expectations .or you and they see something you were they get a sense of, you know, you are important and you can do
5:23 pm
amazing things. when you feel that from a teacher, that a teacher really thinks you've got something in you that is worth saying or , those are the teachers that you remember. those are the teachers that inspire you. what do you think, arne? i will beduncan: quick. i think that is a great answer. sometimes teachers see things instance that they don't see in themselves. lots of folks could look at you and say, well, that is where you are going to go, because they look at your mom and she is locked up. those are teachers i remember from my childhood, who saw things in me that i did not recognize in myself and helped to bring that to light. [applause] great question. alright, i think it is the guy's are now.
5:24 pm
gentleman right back there. right in the corner there. >> my name is dennis. i'm a senior here at north high school. [laughter in the background] >> what is so funny? president obama: are you the dad that is so embarrassing? >> maybe. if they mayor's me -- if they embarrass me, i embarrass them. ok come of all the next presidential candidates in line, which have the best ideas for education reform to make it more affordable and accessible? president obama: well, you know -- let me -- [applause] i'm going toma: beg off this question a little bit.
5:25 pm
i promise you i'm generally going to give you straight answers. on this one, i'm going to move around a little bit. now, i'm going to stay out of the campaign season partly because i cannot track of all the candy -- the candidates. one andait until it is won and done before i can say. here's what i can say. a society's values are reflected in what we put our time and our efforts and our money. it is not sufficient to say we care about education if we are not actually putting resources into education. [applause]
5:26 pm
both arne and i have gotten go sometimes -- gotten guff sometimes from within our own party because we have said money is not enough. if a school is in teaching consistently kids so they can andeve, so they can share change how they do things. in collaboration with parents and teachers, we have to figure out how to make it better. we need to be encouraging more creativity and empowering to it.s more -- in a very teachers more.
5:27 pm
those won't cost money. but we also know that if i said don't have the right equipment, then it's hard to teach science. if kids don't have access to broadband and laptops, they are at a disadvantage to those kids who do. if you've got a school that ,oesn't have enough counselors and so come time to apply for college there aren't enough counselors to go around and kids aren't getting the best advice they need, then they may end up selling themselves short in terms of their ability to go to college. resources do matter. part of the reason i'm making this point, so when you are you payng candidates attention to this. we are going to have a major debate in congress on this
5:28 pm
coming up. the budget is supposed to be done by the end of this month and so far, congress has come up with a cop -- with a budget. and there are some in the other party who are comfortable with keeping in place something called sequester, which is going in significant cuts over the next several years in the amount of federal support for education. them,s going to force either through layoffs or kids not given the kinds of support that they need, it will have an effect on the education of students. i just want everybody to be clear without endorsing any thatcular candidates ideas if somebody is running for president and they say they want to be the education president, it means two things. you care about every
5:29 pm
student doing well, not just some. because weber is president is president for all people -- because whoever is president is president for all people, not just some people. that is when number one. [applause] president obama: endpoint of virtue is that you've got to be willing to provide -- and point number two is that you've got be willing to provide the resources for communities that do not have as much of a property tax base, and so they cannot always raise money on their own to help their students achieve. anything you want to add? very quicklycan: in getting into this candidate or that, you've got about two dozen to choose from and they all want your vote stop -- all want your vote. questions to ask any candidate is, one, what are you willing to do to have access in early child to quality education? what are you going to do to
5:30 pm
increase the high school graduation rate? we are proud it is at an all-time high but nowhere near where it needs to be. what are you going to do to make sure high school graduates are truly college and career ready and not having to take remedial questions? and we need to lead the world in college graduation rates again. we were first a generation ago. today we are 12th. every candidate, asked the concrete goals for those things and what resources you are willing to put behind that, our country would be a much stronger place. [applause] president obama: not to be a tagteam, here is one last time. i am sorry. what was your name? angelica asked what it means to be a great teacher. say theear a candidate big problem with education is teachers, you should not vote for that person. [applause]
5:31 pm
president obama: it is a hard job. and it is the most important job we have got. folks who go into teaching don't go into it for the money. they go into it because they are passionate about kids. that does not mean there are not some bad teachers. it does not mean we should not hold teachers to high standards and continue to work in terms of professional development, recruitment, and retention of great teachers. there have been times where arne and i have had some disagreements with teachers unions on certain issues because we want to encourage experimentation. is you cantom line measure how good a school is by whether or not it is respecting
5:32 pm
and engaging teachers in the classroom so they are professionals and feel good about what they are doing and given freedom and not being forced to teach to a test. it is very important for us to that if what we hear is teacher bashing, i cannot tell you who to vote for now. i will later. but i can tell you who to vote against. that is somebody who decides somehow teachers don't deserve the kind of respect and decent pay they deserve. [applause] right.nt obama: all it is a young lady's turn. you in the brown sweater. go ahead. >> i am a senior at roosevelt and in turn at the hillary clinton campaign.
5:33 pm
president obama: i guess i know who you are voting for. >> i will make it more general. do you think it is possible or realistic for there to be free tuition for college the united states? president obama: i think that is absolutely realistic for us to have the first two years of community college free because it is in my budget, and i know how to pay for it. [applause] essentially if: you close up some corporate tax loopholes that are not growing the economy and are a boondoggle, you take that money. you can then help every state do what tennessee is already doing. tennessee is already making community colleges free the first two years. what that does is first of all,
5:34 pm
who may young people not right now want to get a four-year college education but know they still need some technical training or they want to get an associate's degree. they away, that group, know they can get their education for free as long as they are working hard. for those thinking about a four year college education, they can also get the first two years at community college, then transfer those credits to a four-year college and they just cut their .verall college costs in half it would be good for everybody whether you are going to do or four years. if we can get that done, we can start building from there. want to makeme, i sure everybody understands what we are talking about in terms of fast --fafsa. you have to fill out this form.
5:35 pm
we are making it easier for you to do. you have no excuse. parents, even if you did not need -- go to college, you need to nag your kids to make sure this fafsa form gets filled out so you know the student aid you may be entitled to. collegema did not go to , even though she was probably the smartest person i knew. but she did know you had to go to college, and you had to fill out this form. so i want everybody here to make sure you stay focused on that because there is more help already than a lot of people are aware of. the college scorecard we talked ,bout, what that does is it allows you to look at the schools to find out do the graduates their students -- do they graduate
5:36 pm
students, how much debt do they have, are they getting a job after they graduate? we are not just ranking the most prestigious school. you canetting your news use in evaluating whether the schools you are applying to actually deliver on their commitment because a lot of times students who get big student loans, debt after they graduate, it is because they did not think through where they should go, what they should be studying, what resources are available. we want you on the front into have as much information as possible in order to make a good choice. arne, anything to add? ingrid --uch secretary duncan: how much do we give out eat year the mesh each year -- how much do we give out each year in grants?
5:37 pm
$30,000? total. how much? $30 billion. any other guesses? out $150 billion in grants and loans each year. the president said we have a lot the best long way to go and do more to make college free. we don't care whether your money family has money or not, you work hard, $150. it is the only form you will ever fill out in your life that will give you access to $150 billion. i want to emphasize this. you have got to fill it out. president obama: got to fill it out. all right. this gentleman back here. i don't want to neglect the folks in the back. >> how are you doing, mr. president?
5:38 pm
my name is rudolph dawson. my concern is the historically black schools, a lot of pressure is put on them in terms of not getting the budget they need to continue to educate people like myself. they are not getting programs they need to attract students that want higher pay. what can you do, what can your administration or the next administration due to right the andg done in the past continues to be done to these universities? it is also a land-grant college. they have not been getting all the money they need for agriculture, like the university of georgia. i would like to see some changes their. we've got a lot of young people here. to give you a little bit of history, the historically black
5:39 pm
colleges and universities arose at a time when a lot of schools were segregated. african american students could not attend a lot of the traditional state colleges and universities. on to becomewent incredible educational institutions that produced some of our greatest tinkerers. howard,e college, spellman,. all across the country, particularly in the south, a lot of these historically black colleges and universities were the nurturer of an african american middle class. many of whom went on to become the civil rights pioneers that helped lead to dr. king, and the civil rights movement, and all the history i think you are
5:40 pm
aware of. a lot of those schools are still doing well. some of them have gotten smaller and are struggling, partly of good news, university of georgia is not segregated anymore. it is good african american students or latino students have more diverse options. but they still serve an important role. working with people like congressman bobby scott others, we have continued to provide support to those schools. but one thing arne and i have been doing is saying to these historically black colleges and universities, you have also got to step up your game in terms of graduation rates because there whosome of the schools
5:41 pm
taken a lot of students but don't always graduate those students. those students end up being stuck with that, and it is not a good deal for them. we have a task force and commission devoted to working with the school's to make sure they have the resources they need to continue to perform an important function. but they are also stepping up their game so kids who attend these universities and colleges, they are graduating on time and are able to pursue the kind of careers they need. anything you want to add? let's see. it is a young lady's turn now. i need to go up top. that young lady in the striped shirt i can barely see. this is what happens when you get older, young people. first time i came to iowa, i had no gray hair. i didn't. look at me now.
5:42 pm
>> i'm currently a junior at lincoln high school on the south side of des moines. i know you don't want to get involved with the presidential race at the moment. they candidate has said want to cut government spending to politically biased colleges. i was wondering if that would hurt the education system for those who depend on that or what it better education as a whole? all, int obama: first of did not hear this candidate say that. i have no idea what that means. [laughter] president obama: i suspect he does not even. -- either. [laughter] [applause]
5:43 pm
look, theobama: purpose of college is not just, as i said before, to transmit skills. widen yourto horizons, to make you a better citizen, to help you evaluate information, to help you make your way through the world, to help you be more creative. is to create that a space where a lot of ideas are presented and collide. and people are having arguments. and people are testing each other's theories. and over time, people learn from each other because they are getting out of their own narrow
5:44 pm
point of view and having a broader point of view. so, arne i'm sure has the same expense i did. when i went to college, suddenly there were folks that did not think at all like me. they would opinion, look at me and say that is stupid. then they would describe how they saw the world. they might have had different sets of politics or they might heavy different view -- have a different view about poverty or a different perspective on race. sometimes their views would be infuriating to me, but it was because there was this space where you could interact with people who did not agree with you and had different backgrounds that i started testing my own assumptions. and sometimes, i changed my mind. sometimes i realized maybe i have been too narrowminded. maybe i did not take this into
5:45 pm
account. maybe i should see this person's perspective. college in part is all about. the idea you would have somebody in government making a decision about what you should think ahead of time or what you should be taught, and if it is not the right thought or idea or perspective philosophy, that that they would not get funding runs contrary to everything we believe about education. [applause] president obama: i guess that might work in the soviet union. but it does not work here. that is not who we are. that is not what we are about. one thing i do want to point out
5:46 pm
is it is not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem. sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal and maybe agree with me on budget issues who sometimes are not listening -- on a bunch of issues who sometimes are not listening to the other side. that is a problem, too. i was talking to a friend about this. i've heard of some college campuses where they don't want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative, or they don't want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to african americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. you,now, i've got to tell i don't agree with that either. when yougree you,
5:47 pm
become students at colleges, have to because old and protected from different -- have to be called -- coddled and protected from different points of view. [applause] [laughter] president obama: anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. but you should not silence them by saying you can't come because i am too sensitive to hear what you have to say. that is not the way we learn either. what do you think, arne? secretary duncan: [indiscernible] president obama: he said amen. ok. let's see. i think it is a guy's turn. this gentleman in the tie,
5:48 pm
you had your hand up a couple of times. i did not want you to feel neglected. you almost gave up. i wanted to call on you. wait for the microphone. >> thank you. my name is james quinn, this is my wife, and our daughter. we have been saving for her college education for 10 years. over that time, the federal deductibility of 529 contributions has gone away even though we can still get the deduction from iowa income taxes. it would be nice to see a reward for saving rather than just making borrowing money easier. [applause] president obama: i'm going to let arne hit this one because he is an expert on our various savings programs. secretary duncan: as a parent with two kids, my wife and i are putting money in 529's and getting the government to encourage that would be fantastic. this is something we would --
5:49 pm
have to work with congress to do the right thing. some families starting kindergarten are saving each year to help their kids go to college. we need to incentivize.. great point -- we need to incentivize that. great point. president obama: there was a time when he did at the ability of student loans was more significant than it is today. whenever you make something tax-deductible, that means there's less money going into the treasury. that means either somebody has got to pay for it with other taxes or the deficit grows or we spend less on something else. debate part of why this right now in congress about lifting the sequester is so important. it is a washington term. i hate the term.
5:50 pm
essentially what congress did is it said we are going to law off -- lop off spending at this level for the next decade. the problem is the population is going up. the economy is growing. even though the deficit right now has been cut by two thirds since i came into office, which is -- [applause] president obama: you would not know that listening to some candidates, but it has. place, notr stays in only our ability to spend for education or help families with student loans, but also things like early childhood education, head start programs, pell grants, all those things can be adversely affected. this is one thing i would ask everybody to consider.
5:51 pm
when you hear budget debates, i know your eyes glaze over. but the federal budget is where we express our values. a lot of times, people say we should just cut government spending because there is all this waste. but in fact, the vast majority of government spending is for social security. it is for medicare, medicaid. it is for helping vulnerable populations, and it is for defense. and not a lot is left over for helping middle-class families send their kids to college or to save. ceiling, thisis artificial cap, without taking into account the growing population and more young people going to college, you end up
5:52 pm
with a situation in which fewer people are getting help. that is why it is important for us to lift this artificial cap. it is also why it is important for us to close some of these tax loopholes going to either the very wealthy or the corporations that really don't need them because they are doing just fine and not having a problem financing their college educations, their kids' college educations. [applause] president obama: all right. it is a young lady's turn. all right. i'm going to go with this young lady. originally, i called on her first but we got mixed up. go ahead. >> i go to roosevelt high school. hopefully, my question is not too difficult. what is your best advice for
5:53 pm
malia as she goes off to college? president obama: my best advice to malia? this is assuming she listens to my advice. [laughter] president obama: she is very much like her mother at this point. [laughter] president obama: she has got her own mind. one piece of advice i have given her is not to stress too much about having to get into one particular college. there are a lot of good colleges and universities. important for everybody here to understand, you can find a college or university that gives you a great education and just because it is not some namebrand, famous, fancy school does not mean you're not going to get a great education.
5:54 pm
levels lower the stress in terms of having to get into one particular school. i think that is important. the second piece of advice i keep your grades up until you get in. after that, make sure you pass because it is important you run through the tape in your senior year and not start feeling slack. i don't worry about that with her. she is a hard worker. the third thing is the advice i already mentioned, which is be open to new experiences when you go to college. don't go to college just to duplicate the same experience you had in high school. don't make your decision based on where my friends are going so i can do the exact same things
5:55 pm
with the same friends i did in high school. the whole point is for you to push yourself out of your comfort level, meet people you have not met before, take classes you had not thought of before. stretch yourself because this is the time to do it when you are young. experiences because when you do that, you may discover you may think you wanted to do one thing, it may turn out you want to do something completely different and you have an amazing talent for something different but you have not been exposed to it yet. you have to know what it is that is out there, and that requires you to do some things differently than you have in high school. arne, anything you want to add?
5:56 pm
secretary duncan: particularly for seniors, please don't apply to one school. apply to five or six. it is amazing how many just apply to one school. it might be the best fit, but keep your options open. apply to a bunch of places. finally to emphasize, the goal is not to go to college. the goal is to graduate. figure out where you are going to go and graduate. it might take you three years or five. the big thing is we need you not to just attend but to walk across the stage with a diploma in your hand. [applause] president obama: the gentleman right here. you can use my mic. >> thanks, mr. president. i am elementary school principal. one of the things we value is the diversity we have in our community. i'm curious to hear from you you
5:57 pm
and secretary duncan the value you see diversity brings to a young person's education. president obama: that is a great question. how long have you been a principal? five years? that is outstanding. man, becauseg old, i thought he was a student. [laughter] president obama: he is not just a teacher. he is a principal. thank you for the great work you are doing. , i have already answered this question. the value of diversity is getting to know and understand people who are different from you because that is the world you will be living in and working in. it is really interesting. they have been showing through a people of studies that who can understand and connect
5:58 pm
with a wide range of people, upt that insult -- ends being as important if not more important a skill than anything else in terms of your career success. whatever the field. also is part of what makes our democracy work. i was having a discussion about .his earlier today our democracy is premised on an assumption that even if somebody is not just like me, that they are a good person and a generous person, that we have things in common, and that we can work things out. and if we have a disagreement, we can have an argument based on facts and evidence.
5:59 pm
i might sometimes lose the argument. i don't persuade as many people. that is how voting works. majorities are formed and change. that is how our democracy is supposed to work. because whenarly you have diversity in schools, you are less likely as an adult to start thinking that person, they are not like me, or those persons don't have the same values or don't care as much about their kids. democracy starts breaking down because then everything is a fight to the death because there is no sense we can bridge our differences and disagree without being disagreeable and find common
6:00 pm
ground. it is not only good for your career, but it is also good for our country. as part oflds true diversity. studies show organizations that have women in decision-making positions function better than those who don't. [applause] so,ident obama: and seriously. if you look at corporate boards, you can correlate their performance with the number of women they have got on those boards. it also is valuable for us to make sure not only is there diversity, but that in leadership positions different voices are heard. arne, anything you want to add?
6:01 pm
so, keep it up. the young lady right there. you. i'm sorry. i will call on you first and get back to you. the mic is already there. >> hi. i am a junior here at north high school. i have two questions. one is for my friend. he is shy. we are part of a group called upper bound -- upward bound, and we work through simpson college. there have been stories of our budget being cut. if the to know government can work with us for that. my other question is, in your professional opinion, how much is visual arts important to our school and how will you save it? [applause]
6:02 pm
president obama: ok. i will take the first -- i will take the question on israel arts -- visual arts. secretary duncan: it goes back to what the president talked about. it is not just upward bound at risk. it is pell grants at risk. childhood education, folks in congress want to see rebecca out of the balance -- budget -- congress wants to zero that out of the budget. we need to hold folks in washington accountable for investing in education. we want to make sure we are getting results. there are lots of things in our budget, upward bound, being a piece of it in danger. the president is fighting hard. there are some backing us. others see this as extras. it is important that your voices be heard. he cannot by himself prevent these cuts.
6:03 pm
that is not how democracy works. hold us accountable. we will continue to push hard. but we need voters voices being heard saying we need upward bound programs. we need early childhood. we need afterschool programs. we need arts. you can talk about arts as well. arts are obama: the what make life worthwhile, right? [applause] president obama: you know, we need food and shelter and all that good stuff. but the things that make you , love, so,, connect much of that is communicated through the arts. i don't want our young people to
6:04 pm
think that the arts are just something you sit there passively and what's on the tv screen. i want everybody to have the , andience of making art had the experience of making ofic, because that is part what makes for a well-rounded education. we also know young people learn better if they are not just anding at a textbook multiple test quizzes all day long. it breaks up the monotony and gives expression to different sides of themselves. that is good for the overall educational experience. arts, music, it is all important. and we should not be depriving young people of those experiences. they are not extras.
6:05 pm
they are central to who we are. part of what- makes us human is our ability to ma art, to represent what is inside of us in ways that .urprise and delight people and i don't want us to start thinking that is somehow something we can push aside. now, i want you to be able to read and be able to do algebra. but i don't know where we got the idea we have got to choose between those things. we've got to be able to do them all. it used to be standard practice. there was no debate, even in the smallest town in a poor community or a world community, there was always the art teacher and a music teacher. nobody assumed that was an extra. that was part of it, just like
6:06 pm
having a sports program was part of it. that is part of what a well-rounded education is all about. but it does cost some money. that is something i want to emphasize. you can't do all this stuff on the cheap all the time. how many more questions? how much more time? only one? i'm going to take two. [laughter] president obama: i'm going to get to you. don't worry. i promised. it is a guy's turn. this guy right there. all right. [applause] alright, ok. president obama: what is your
6:07 pm
name? >> my name is marcus carter. i am a senior. out of all the schools in iowa, why did you come here? and after this, can i get a picture with you? [laughter] [applause] president obama: now, marcus, i'm going to answer your first question. [laughter] president obama: second question, if i start taking pictures with you, look at this crowd. we would be taking a lot of selfies, so i am imposing the no selfie rule although i will try to shake as many hands as possible. we came here because some really good work is being done here. i think your teachers, or principle, the superintendent, deserve credit for the improvements made. [applause]
6:08 pm
president obama: i want arne to address this because arne travels to schools across the country. focused one get so what is not working that we forget to lift up what is working. and when a school is doing a the teachers sure feel they want to do even better, but when we have made progress, we have to acknowledge that because it makes us feel hopeful we can continue to make more strides. secretary duncan: a couple of quick things. it is not a coincidence we are here. this is a school that struggled, had some hard times. new leadership, new expectations, the president talked about technology, a better sense of culture, different ways of discipline.
6:09 pm
i think a couple of years ago, you had two a.p. classes. and now you have 15. [applause] twoetary duncan: to go from to 15 is a big deal. what i say is the students here are not seven times as smart as four years ago. it is just higher expectations. a different belief about what is possible. we try to highlight places that have not always been successful but are moving in the right direction. no one is satisfied. you are trying to get better, but that is real progress. that is adults saying and people deserve the opportunity to take college class in high school, deserve technology. i think there are lots of lessons other schools could learn from the progress you are making at north high school. [applause] president obama: i promised i
6:10 pm
was going to call on this young lady last. go ahead. what is your name? >> my name is time to montoya -- tonya montoya. if you legalize free two-year college, is everyone including illegal students with a good g.p.a. able to get this? president obama: this is an important question. i know this is a debate taking place among presidential candidates. , the way the federal student loan programs work is that undocumented students are not eligible for these loan programs. that is how the law is currently. well, twoiew --
6:11 pm
things i want to say. first, if you fall in that category, you should still fill states orfsa because universities or colleges may have private scholarships or other mechanisms. so it does not automatically mean you may not qualify for some benefits. it is still important for you. that is a standard form used by everybody. but this raises the broader question i have been talking about now for a couple of years. and that is that for young people who came here, their parents may have brought him -- them here and they are now by every others criteria except for a piece of paper. they may be your classmates, your friends, your neighbors. the notion that somehow we would
6:12 pm
desire to beheir full-fledged parts of this community and country and to makesbute and serve absolutely no sense. [applause] president obama: you know, this anti-immigrant sentiment in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. [applause] because unless: you are a native american -- [applause] president obama: your family came from someplace else. [applause]
6:13 pm
although weama: and are a nation of laws and we want people to follow the law, and i have been pushing congress to make sure we have strong borders and we are keeping everybody moving through legal processes, don't pretend that somehow 100 years ago the immigration process was smooth and strict. that is not how it worked. there are a bunch of folks who ,ame here from all over europe all throughout asia, all throughout central america, and certainly who came from africa. it was not some orderly process where all the rules applied and everything was strict, and i came the right way. that is not how it worked.
6:14 pm
so the notion that now suddenly that one generation or even four or five generations removed, that suddenly we are treating if they arets as the problem when your grandparents were treated like the problem or your great-grandparents were treated like the problem or were considered unworthy, uneducated, or unwashed -- no, that is not who we are. that is not who we are. we can have a legitimate debate about how to set up an immigration system that is fair and orderly and lawful. i think the people who came here illegally should have the consequences of paying a fine and getting registered, and all
6:15 pm
kinds of steps they should have to take in order to get right with the law. but when i hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids were less worthy -- or less worthy in the eyes of god? that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care? i do not believe that. i think it is wrong. [applause] president obama: and i think we should do better because that is how america was made, by us caring about all of our kids. thank you, everybody. i love you. [applause]
6:16 pm
>> ♪ let's go ♪ you don't know where you're going lay your head up on my chest carryl take what we can and we will leave the rest
6:17 pm
fg wheels roll through ields where sunlight streams meet me in the land of broken dreams ♪ youwill provide for and i will stand by your side you need a good companion for this part of the right and leave behind your sorrows well, tomorrow there will be
6:18 pm
sunshine when all this darkness is passed fiewheels roll through lds where sunlight streams meet me in the land of broken dreams ♪ ♪ well, this train carries saints and sinners hores andn carries w gamblers this train carries lost souls this train, dreams will not be thwarted this train, saints will be
6:19 pm
rewarded this train, here the steel wheels this train, bells of freedom ring ♪ this train carries saints and sinners carries whores and gamblers this train carries lost souls
6:20 pm
this train carries broken hearted has sweet souls departed this train carries fools and kings train, dreams will not be for to -- thwarted on this train, faith will be rewarded on this train, bells of freedom ring ♪ know you are not alone
6:21 pm
because i am going to make this place your home settle down it will all be clear mind to the demons that fill you with fear downle might drag you we feel lost you can always be found just know you are not alone because i'm going to make this place your home ♪ >> if you missed any of president obama from north high school in des moines, we will re-air the event at 10:00 eastern on c-span tonight. democratic candidate bernie sanders took his progressive
6:22 pm
ideas too conservative liberty university in virginia earlier today. we have that whole speech tonight at 8:00 eastern. here is a look at some of what he had to say. bernie sanders: let me take a moment, or a few moments, to tell you what motivates me in the work i do as a public servant, as a senator from the state of vermont. and let me tell you it goes without saying, i am far from being a perfect human being. visionm motivated by a which exists in all of the great religions, in christianity, judaism, islam, buddhism, and other religions. and that vision is so
6:23 pm
beautifully and clearly stated in matthew 7:12. everything, don to others what you would have them do to you. for this sums up the law and the prophets. that is the golden rule. do unto others what you would have them do to you. that is the golden rule, and it is not very complicated. as i said aank, moment ago, i understand the issues of abortion and gay marriage are issues you feel strongly about. we disagree on those issues. i get that. suggestme respectfully
6:24 pm
that there are other issues out there that are enormous consequence to our country and the entire world that maybe, just maybe, we do not disagree on. and maybe, just maybe, we can try to work together to resolve them. [applause] university typically invites republicans to speak. you can hear what senator bernie standards -- bernie sanders had to say at 8:00 eastern. we will follow that at 9:00 with a campaign appearance by republican candidate carly fiorina. congress is coming back to capitol hill tomorrow. conquers takes -- congress takes another vote on moving forward with the disapproval of the iran deal. the house will work on airport security and banning federal
6:25 pm
funding for planned parenthood. we will have that debate on cp -- c-span. congress is having a late work week due to the jewish new year's celebrations. >> tonight, the chair of the f.c.c.'s auction task force will discuss the upcoming broadcast spectrum auction that will allow wireless companies to bid on airway space. >> a congressional determination made, one thing i want to emphasize, we are not taking spectrum from broadcasters. it is a voluntary option -- au ction on behalf of broadcasters. broadcasters continue to provide a valuable service. congress passed this act where broadcasters will be able to relinquish spectrum rights in return for a share of the proceeds of the forward auction. it is congress' determination
6:26 pm
and the f.c.c.'s implementation to use market faces to make available more low band spectrum to meet wireless broadband needs. the need for broadband spectrum is burgeoning exponentially. there is not a lot of good low band spectrum left. this is a new and novel method congress has put in place and the f.c.c. is to implement. >> tonight at 8:00 on "the communicators." iran tweetedent of a greeting to jews yesterday. he associated press reports sent a tweet wishing jews happy new year. this morning, "washington journal" looked into the influence of iran in syria. over it university of virginia.
6:27 pm
good morning. make ais expanding to two expand a major airport in syria. it is in the coastal province qia.a what is going on there? official russian position is that for the duration of the conflict now, servingrs, they were out contracts signed many years ago. they are continuing to supply weapons. assad obviously needs those. the broader picture, though, is very disturbing, and that is, that the are escalating military conflict where the united states
6:28 pm
and many other countries are already present. it is definitely a multisided conflict. the more weapons and the more sides, the more dangerous he gets. host: secretary kerry has spoken about this escalation. what is that like? guest: there's not a lot of dialogue. he quickly talks to lavrov, his russian counterpart. hand, the on the one united states and russia are on the same side in the fight against isis. on the other hand, they have to radically different positions when it comes to the assad regime. the russians say you cannot solve this problem without making a sod -- assad part of the solution. if you don't have some functioning of the state, you will have iraq. you will unleash a new wave of extreme terrorists.
6:29 pm
the view of the u.s. and the gulf states is quite different, which is that it is time to move .ast sod -- assad there is a lot of daylight between russia and the united states, and that as well as ukraine crisis as we have discussed before on the show, is thereason why russia and u.s. are not talking to each other on a tactical level. that is a huge problem. you have russian military forces operating in a very complex, dangerous space, and u.s. military forces, and they are not communicating. host: my guest is matthew rojansky of the wilson center talking about russian actions in syria and involvement by the u.s. we welcome your comments and phone calls, as well as your tweets. the headline in the "new york times," -- syria -- movesn
6:30 pm
in syria pose concerns for the u.s. the president had something to say about it recently. [video clip] obama: russia has for .ears now sold weapons to assad i had a conversation with mr. putin some years ago and said that was a mistake and would make things worse as long as he would continue to support assad. he did not take my warnings, and as a consequence, things have gotten worse. isappears now that assad worried enough that he is inviting russian and visors in an russian equipment in. and that won't change our core strategy, which is to continue isil in iraqure on and syria. but we will be engaging russia
6:31 pm
you cannot know that continue to double down on a strategy that is doomed to failure. if they're willing to work with us and the 60 nation coalition we have put together, then there is a possibility of a political settlement in which assad would be transitioned out and a new coalition of moderate, secular, and inclusive forces could come together to restore order in the country. that is our goal. this is going to be a long discussion we will be having with the russians. but it is not going to prevent us from continuing to go after isil pretty hard. it could prevent us from going after the political settlement that could ultimately bring peace back to syria. this is where our military
6:32 pm
efforts have to be combined with .ffective diplomatic efforts host: matthew rojansky of the wilson center. guest: this is the same thing that the president has said all along, you are trying to make a purse out of a sow's ear. huge numbers of people are dying, as you know. but the president says we can extract this perfect democratic solution, rather than the two alternatives, which is the assad very bad,ry that -- or isil. horse andf we pick a
6:33 pm
it is not assad. the more the russians committee, the more we have this three sided conflict in which two of -- inde of them simply which two of the site ostensibly fighting the same enemy are not talking to each other. host: let's take the first phone call for matthew rojansky. thank you for taking my call. it baffles me that the united states continues to make the same mistake in foreign policy over and over again. bush went to war in iraq to get rid of saddam, and now he's gone and look at iraq now. he helped to bring down gadhafi and look at libya now. syria,h this conflict in the president has been saying that assad has to go. i think that's a mistake because it backs us into a corner. you cannot negotiate after
6:34 pm
saying that. moderate rebels don't seem to be strong enough in alternative to isis as a site government. actuallyans may be helping us against isis by supporting assad, because the efforts to help the moderates have not been very successful. i would like to your your opinion on that. host: thank you. guest: yeah, thanks. all, when the russians think about both the examples that you gave, iraq and libya, they would tend to agree with what you said, but probably take a stronger position. which is that this is the united being probably incompetent, but intentionally these regimes. , andocus for the region
6:35 pm
specifically to the russians, is afghanistan. that has been triggered by the hunt for bin laden, 9/11, and so forth. that has been a multibillion tights -- a multi-decade long morass that has a lot to do with the radical as long throughout the region, weapons being floated into the region, and chaos. that is concerned, in particular when you think about syria, which for moscow is the last bastion of russian influence in the middle east. they saw gadhafi in libya go. they don't want to see that in syria repeated. let's go to ron in new york. caller: hi, i was wondering about what i call the 500 pound gorilla in the room. where is turkey right now? me that the sunnis
6:36 pm
in the region want to get rid of the iranian influence, be it in yemen or syria, or hezbollah in lebanon. go ande let the turkeys overthrow assad and then turn on isis later? is turkey ok with that? host: the role of turkey. an extremely has complex and basically impossible role in this equation. it is true that relative to its immediate neighbors, it is a military superpower. it is a member of nato. it is a critical transit state either for nato flag operations, or for russian transit. let's not forget that the russian ships that we have been observing over the last several have been passing through the bosporus straits will stop -- the bosporus straits. by treaty, but
6:37 pm
basically turkish waters. refugee crisis, which has been dominating the headlines in europe and is an existential crisis for leaders in the european union. turkey was once an aspiring member, and now it is the superhighway by which those escaping the conflicts are getting into europe. it seems the last thing the turks you want to do is get involved in fighting this conflict, because they are either going to have an enemy on their doorstep in the form of the assad regime, or they are going to be -- where they are going to be propping up a neighboring dictatorship. what they want to do is quietly managed the refugee crisis and keep the border more or less controlled. they have not been able to do that. and then provide low-level support to the us-led coalition. host: we're talking to matthew
6:38 pm
rojansky of the wilson center. susan is our next call from massachusetts democrat. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. host: good morning. caller: i understand generally there was a consensus that assad had to be dealt with, or compromised with or is part of the solution to the problem. has that assumption changed in the past few months, or is that an assumption? to, -- number two, is there still anyone in the country that still works for the government that could perhaps be relied upon to get him to come and become a more reasonable player in the field? host: thank you, susan. guest: the question you vast in many ways -- that you asked in many ways is the question a lot of us have been asking the last couple of years. the answer, i think, was taken
6:39 pm
out of the hands of those in the discussion because the white house made it very clear that of theicial position united states is that we see a future for syria without assad. and became clear when the u.s. was hacking one of the rubble ones admittedly -- backing of the rebel groups, admittedly are therebels that today. there might be someone in the assad military who we should talk to. situation inhe iraq. if you give it of the entire army, no one knows how to control weapons on the battlefield. as long as the folks that we are backing say that their purpose is to bring down assad and the regime, that just kind of to the gadhafi in libya russians and anyone who does not want to abandon assad.
6:40 pm
host: didn't this iran deal that a son guarantee will never be deposed in syria? both iran and russia will support him? is, itthe answer depends. it depends a lot on what the iranians are going to do. obviously, the russians have been supporting assad for the past four years. they have been supplying limitless weapons. it is clear that syria is one of the top weapons clients from russia. ironically, the biggest frustration i've heard from russian interlocutors is not that assad has been killing so many people, that he is so bloody, that he is so bad, but that he not very good at being a bloody dictator, not very effective at ending the conflict. if the iranians were willing to
6:41 pm
escalate to the point of actually sending in concrete assistance, perhaps their own writers -- their own fighters for example, and that is not entirely off the table, that could turn the time. on the other hand, that could result in a huge outpouring of support of the islamist rebels on the other side. host: bill, and republican. go ahead, please. caller: thanks for taking my call. this will headline is concern over russia's military buildup in syria. i think it is a false title for the segment. i'm certainly not concerned about the russian military buildup in syria. i don't know who is, the site someone saying there is this buildup. i remember no little while ago refusing the situation in syria " -- let'scoalition
6:42 pm
call it what it really is, the u.s. vassal states. they decided to go in and get rid of this chemical weapons thing. it was probably cia work. syria, but itnto was prudent that de-escalated that situation. say that this is russian military buildup seems a little false to me. guest: it seems clear that there is an uptick in the russian shipments to syria, both air and sea shipments. and those include logistics equipment, for example, tents where truth -- troops can be housed. the russians have acknowledged it includes technical experts. and it definitely includes weapons, which the russians are supplying under existing contracts. but to your point about whether
6:43 pm
there is this a go over this strange dance that happened over the chemical weapon issue where russia seem to be on the wrong side from the u.s. physicians -- position until suddenly he was solving all of our problems. -- until suddenly putin was solving all of our problems. that might be one of the small handful of possible outcomes that putin has in mind. there is no question that he wants to support the assad regime on the ground, support those that are already there, in particular the naval center. be russia's prestige and russia's access on the line and the russians will fight to defend it. but i think there is a corollary purpose here, and that is, positioning for the international negotiation that will take place on the sidelines of the u.n. general assembly meeting later this month. the stronger russia's hand, the more cards they are showing on the ground, the more likely it --that will get the kind of
6:44 pm
that putin will get the kind of respect that he wants at the table. even against the objections of the united dates and others in the region who turn and say, moscow, we see you have all of these forces in the region will stop what can you do to help -- in the region, what can you do to help? host: in the "wall street journal" these talk about russia's syria play. and a right that russia could it have intervened long ago. do you agree with that? guest: it is an enormous counterfactual. i have no idea. and there is no way to say that
6:45 pm
american intervention at that point would have looked like libya. maybe we would have unleashed an earlier, maybe even deadlier wave of crisis from the heart of -- of isis from the heart of syria. are islear that where we not what you want to be. in particular, we have a really dangerous cocktail of geopolitical superpowers on the ground and then local transnational terror forces, and then the assad regime itself. it is really explosive. no one wanted to be here, but here we are. and everyone is digging in. -- he isrew fox writes the director of the henry jackson society.
6:46 pm
guest: the problem with this logic over and over is i can have all the sympathy in the world for the position that the author there is taking, but if you're negotiating position is, we dictate all the details of how our cooperation is going to work, you are not going to get cooperation stop -- cooperation. cooperation is always a two-way street. we've got to find some way -- and russian position is that we got to find some way to accommodate assad. the u.s. has said we will not accept that. we have military on the ground
6:47 pm
and we want them to be the pictures. russia has said that is not possible. there not going to get russians on board. it is not going to happen. host: it's good to travis, a democrat. good morning. in regards to what the gentleman said earlier about the 500 pound gorilla in the room, turkey. why should we involve those that are not in the region? let's just let turkey absorb it. any other outcome of western powers intervening, it becomes that. let turkey take it over. let them manage it and control it. i know a lot of people say that is the recreation of the ottoman empire. but they were managing that look, hundreds of years. let the middle easterners to get their own garbage. andthe turks invade syria
6:48 pm
manage it, done deal. no more civil war, no more refugees running across europe and dying stop -- and dying. let the turks take care of it. know, travis, history 10th repeated so. i can only imagine that the conversations being had amongst highly educated and thoughtful westerners about world war i about how to manage the middle east and warring tribes the desert kind of went like that. can't we make this the turks problem? the unfortunate answer is, yeah, you can't. you may get the iranians problem, right question mark but pretty soon you will have another -- right? pretty soon you have another problem. i don't think there is anyone answer in the region that will solve the problem. the answers have to come from within. the biggest problem that we have is most of the answers that we are seeing right now, we can pretend there is some viable,
6:49 pm
democratic, secular, from into the west's alternative. but most of the answers we are of powerhat get a lot on the ground are radical islam of some strike, or they are aligned with iran and the shia. none of those seem to be acceptable to the west. and now we see that bad things that happen half a world away tend to have repercussions right here at home. we are barely just past the 9/11 anniversary, so that is the reminder. host: a call from california, ellen. caller: good morning. mr. rojansky, i've met are the work you do at the wilson center. i have a question for you regarding the migrants. i want to know how many russia has taken in, and if you have a number. i also want to know why the arab states are not taking any of these migrants. why are they all going to europe? thank you and i will take your answer off the air. guest: a great question.
6:50 pm
i don't know how many if any russia has taken in. i do know that russia, to the surprise of many people, is the second destination the world after the united states for immigration. this is the -- i would not be surprised if we start to see flows come through those regions. they are all to the south and all local regions. surprised ife legally, or illegally, we do see flows of refugees from the syrian conflict. certainly, i know we have seen refugees from the past coming out of the central asian conflicts, to stand and afghanistan going into russia. it is true that plenty of refugees are going into jordan and lebanon. but the history of refugee flows in this region, going back to 1948 to the establishment of israel and before that, is that these government can not to have -- these governments tend not to have an integrated flow for
6:51 pm
immigration. they just examine refugee camps and hold them there and try to client them into an international problem so someone else takes care of it. and unfortunately, that is west. host: we have about 15 minutes , of with matthew rojansky the wilson center. if you would like to call, here's the number. the numbers are on the screen. we look forward to your continuing questions and comments. and we can connect to what the said color said -- caller about refugees. do you see a spike of people wanting to leave syria? conflicte longer the goes on, the more you will see it.
6:52 pm
we have already three or 4 billion displaced -- three or 4 million displaced. the russian view is a little cynical in this respect. that is, the migration crisis, the refugee crisis, insofar as it shakes the pillars and foundations of european unity at a time when european unity has been response or four european sanctions against -- in responsible for european pension against russia over ukraine, then shaking at my not been such a bad thing. i would not say that the russians are looking to make the conflict worse, to send more refugees into europe and break that apart more. the channels through hungary and other parts of europe, it just reduces the likelihood that the next round of european diplomacy and sanctions over ukraine will be quite as moralizing and resounding as the last time. that is all to the good for moscow's perspective. host: 10 puts it simply on
6:53 pm
twitter. the problem will never, ever, ever be solved. simple as that. let's go to michigan. david, a republican. go right ahead. iller: yes, on this issue believe a lot of the blame that the news media is putting on pruden -- putin belongs on obama's lap. the guns that were being fired at the government of syria were american guns and american bullets. they were supplied by american people stop -- by american people. firedhole first shot was from people using american guns american bullets, and american influence. they were doing what we wanted them to do, get rid of assad. and then he started fighting and, oh, he's bombing his
6:54 pm
own people, they say. we would call it collateral damage if we were doing it. what he's doing is killing his own people, which gives us more reason to invade. i find it disgusting. i find it hypocritical. and i find a government in washington, d.c. to be criminal. here i network right listened right after the president of the ukraine was overthrown. the people from the east, c-span opened up the line to ukraine. and they had people from the east calling in and saying, america, get the heck out of our business. and the people from the west of ukraine were thanking us for having their back, like we really didn't have anything to do with that. me, this president who says he is proliferating fee -- proliferating peas is the biggest warmonger in the world. i've never seen anything like it. well, david, i definitely
6:55 pm
get your frustration of the absolute failure so far of any i wouldervention -- say, not only in syria, but in the region more broadly. almost everything we have tried to achieve, lets you really dress it up, doesn't look very positive right now. -- unless you really dress it up doesn't look very positive right now. and actually, it is a bipartisan feeling. the u.s. is the biggest weapon supplier on the planet. the russians are a close second. that means the weapons being used to kill people in conflict around the world have at some point been supplied by the united states or on behalf of the united states, or russia. the irony is that we are both there on the ground in syria. not only through our proxies, but there directly flying missions, or their in the case of -- or in the case of the russians, there on the ground.
6:56 pm
you have these military behemoths seeking to solve at least the military problem in syria, and at least nominally on that problem they should be able to work together with all the weapons at their disposal. but i grew into, that we are just floating the weapon -- flooding the region with weapons. it is discussing to see isis running around in american-made and armor -- american-made and supplied armored vehicles and americanand firing bullets at our people. but i would hope that we could at least nominally talk to the people on our side and at least the feet isis. it is a small thing, but an important one. host: we have joel on the line from texas, democratic line. caller: these people in iraq and syria, i'm going to say it, they are cowards. don't want to fight for
6:57 pm
their countries. we can give them all the help that we want. but i don't want to see our men and women going over there and fighting their workers -- their wars until they can take their skirts off and put a pair of pants on and fight like men. and we can help them out. crossing young men over. look at the news. look at the pictures. if you want to take these people into this country, by god, send 45,young men from 17 to these guys, send them to live june -- kathy june and our military bases and train them -- send them to can't live june le -- send them to lejeune and they can join the fight. theory -- syria-
6:58 pm
ize the conflict or even vietnam-ize conflict. end, it is not going to be the folks that we say we want to win. we could wash our hands of it and say you deal with it, that is one thing. but as i mentioned earlier, i think we are living in a world in which unfortunately, the consequences of a regime change and a bloody vacuum in a far part of the world can come to at home. that is largely what the obama administration -- what caused the obama administration and the bush administration to intervene. again, i think there are coalition approaches to at least defeating adversary like isis that can work. i am encouraged that on one level the russians are nominally
6:59 pm
fighting against isis and are prepared to cooperate. i would like to see a coordinated approach that might achieve something. host: an op-ed from the washington post, -- >> of course, you has yet to get his way fully in ukraine and is unlikely to succeed but if one of his aims has been to push the u.s. around coming yes been doing pretty well. but if go to thomas in humble, texas, republican. caller: good morning. i was just went -- remembering out colin powell said come you broke it, you bought it full -- said, you broke it, you
7:00 pm
bought it. palestiniansw, the , are they part of the human now and will be embargo be lifted at the gaza strip? guest: i cannot really comment on the israel-palestine stuff. it is not my area. as far as the -- the russians going broke in syria, they have been in syria for half a century. it has been a pretty lucrative thing. one of the motivations for them being in the room in the first place is that the russians, first with assad's father, and now with the charlotte thought, have had multi--- and now with besar al-assad, have basically had military contracts. it is another way of subsiz


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on