tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 4, 2016 9:30am-10:01am EST
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communicators"the " on c-span2. >> c-span takes you on the road to the white house and into the classroom. this year, our student cam documentary contest asks students to tell us what issues they want to hear from the presidential candidates. follow c-span's road to the white house coverage and get all the details on our student cam contest at c-span.org. announcer: "washington journal" continues. now, we have us richard lugar, former u.s. senator, republican from indiana and now president of the lugar center. we will be talking about one of the centers projects, ranking bipartisanship in the segment. thank you for joining us. talk to us about what this bipartisan index is. guest: the bipartisan index at
the lugar center rates all the members of the senate and the house of representatives. 1-100 and 1-435 in terms of their ability to cosponsor legislation, introduced it to begin with, and get cosponsors. we have found that that is a pretty good criteria for measuring the ability of people to work together and actually accomplish something in congress. program to moving a .egislatures desires for any viewers and listeners of the program, you can get your own chart and listing at the lugar center bipartisan index by going to our website at www. lugar center.org. and getprint it all out the whole list of the writings
of your congressmen and your senators or anyone else you are interested in. center ranks not just current members of congress, correct? guest: we met one rating of the current members published last fall. the one that was just published for 11ays ago is congresses. in other words, a goes into the history of the senate. we are doing one for the house shortly. anybody who has served for a iod of time during the last 11 congresses is in this last senate list, about 230 senators. the reason that we did this is to show how the partisanship that has become very intense in the last two congresses developed. in other words, this was not always so. in any event, it is very interesting to take out people who have served during that 20 year period of time dion b 100
better serving there now. -- beyond the 100 that are serving there now. host: we want to bring in our viewers talking about bipartisanship with richard lugar feared democrats can call in at (202) 748-8000. republicans can call in at (202) 748-8001. and the independents can call in on (202) 748-8002. why focus on the issue bipartisanship? guest: most political scientists and most citizens think congress is not working, that things are dead in the water. at least this time we got a budget so we do not shut down the government. in essence, very little legislation is passing while the needs of the public are great as always, both home and abroad.
in short, the partisanship has become so intense that is impossible for most people to pass legislation, amendments to ratify the nomination of judges or ambassadors or anything else. this is unsatisfying. ask do you if you approve of congress, a startling know. no. it is very rare that either party has 40% approval. most frequently, it is down to the 30's or the 20's. this is not a healthy government. what we are trying to do is illustrate in a very critical way why you can have a situation that is different, namely if members at least talk with each other. occasionally introduce legislation as opposed to making speeches about it.
draw somebody across the aisle to cosponsor it so there's a chance to pass. government begins to working in. it does not mean that anybody gives up for a moment their convictions or the convictions of their constituents. it's just that as a practical matter that congress works only if you get a majority of votes that passed bills. we are trying to look at something like that and to recognize those members that have been doing this and much better than others. it is only fair to the public that they should know who they are. host: you spent a lot of time in the senate. guest: 36 years. you thinkdo bipartisanship is a lot tougher to achieve now than it used to be? it's essentially because many members, in order to get reelected in their democrat or
republican, are not taking a look at the lugar center ratings but veryisanship or specific interest groups. they are very down to particular parts of their constituency. so the scorecards there are very tough and very rigorous. likewise as many have pointed out, a grade of more money has come into politics. whether you have a particular cause like drug control or agricultural or whatever it may be, and a lot of people are willing to spend a lot of money on a specific issue and run negative ads to try to terminate the career of those who do not serve the interest, not the public as a whole, but that particular interest. much has been made of how the junior remembering -- gerrymandering has occurred in the so-called safe districts. this means the primary is even
more important because it is virtually impossible for the other party to win a seat in a general election. very few people vote in primaries. this is too bad. it means that specific interest often dominate the situation. so when it comes to the for the congress, you have people not interested in talking to each other. they are interested in staying alive politically and keeping track of who sent them there. host: let us talk about the rankings. who is at the top of rankings for senator? who is the most bipartisan senator according to the new list? guest: susan collins of maine has done very well. 11he latest list of congresses, lincoln chafee of rhode island came out number one. ofan collins is number one those who are now servin servin.
nunn, with whom getting for 20 years all the missiles and warheads out of the former soviet union, comes in at number five. you have a lot of people from the past who really were remarkable exemplars of bipartisanship and statesmanship. host: you came in at number 24. was that disappointing for you? [laughter] guest: it shows it's at least an objective survey. the work being done on a lot of the data was done by the school overhead georgetown. people diligently went through all these votes for 22 years in essence. while i am pleased that i was no than 24th, i would hope to be in the top sensors to
so to speak. rsst: let's bring in our calle in from the independent line. i probably pronounce that wrong, richard. caller: you are close to the post. host: what's your question for senator lugar? caller: it's a pleasure to talk to him and more of a pleasure to listen to him. i wish he would run for president. my question is that he mentioned the leader center. -- the lugar center. from what he was saying, i know you want people to get to the point, but when people run for congress or senate or political office, they will say what you want to hear. when they enter, sometimes they cannot do it all. i think they are all good american people no matter. if they are running for office, they mean the best for the
country. i know they do. when people say this guy wants that's our guns away, not a reason to vote for him. issues thate other are more important to the country other than gun control. people are so biased toward certain issues that they don't look at the bigger picture. illegal be bad for aliens in the country or not good on international issues. how can you get more background on them where people can be more informed instead of voting over one little thing? host: let me get the senator to talk to that. do you think some of these hot button issues make it tougher for people to really think about bipartisanship? guest: of course, they do.
getting to richard's question, this is one purpose of the bipartisan index -- to at least bring recognition and reward people who are thinking about a lot of things. in other words, if you're introducing legislation and you are getting scored on the number of times you introduce bills, and more importantly, get some the on the opposite side of the aisle to support you, and more than one person on the other side of the aisle, your score for that. this means that you began working for the problems of the country. it cannot be simply gun control or any other specific thing of that friday. people on the other side of the aisle will not support something that is perceived as extremely partisan. host: on our democratic line, we had been from winchester, virginia. you're on with former senator richard lugar. caller: thank you for taking my call. i'm glad to hear you mentioned the gerrymandering issue because
i have been deeply troubled over the years watching more and more primary challengers taking out the people who are willing to work across the aisle and get something done. do you think that has bled over to the senate? there is this plot of the primary challenge. if we were to do something more on the federal level to the most or discourage excessive gerrymandering, do you think that would also bleed over to the senate and bring bipartisanship to the senate? guest: i think the reforms will really have to occur at the state level. this is where the maps are drawn and that is appropriate. i would say that there are some states that have really tried to argue this through. california, i think, has done a good job in providing for a primary in which the top two candidates are the finalists. that could be to democrats or
two republicans, but at least you are very likely to get some middle of the roaders and you will get the majority of the voters in that particular district, as opposed to a primary in which you have a so-called safe district in which few people vote and special interests are more paramount. host: and our last segment, we were talking a little bit about congressional races. i noticed people in tough reelection bids also rank very high on your bipartisan index, such as kelly ayotte, a republican from new hampshire, mark kirk, a republican from illinois. talk about that economy -- that that the more bipartisan you are, the tougher to keep your job in congress. guest: it's tougher because most of these special interests are not interested in bipartisanship.
they are not interested in the production of legislation or the congressmal workings of and the checks and balances of the president. they worry about the issues that are most important to them. whether it is kelly ayotte mark kirk, you have to keep looking over your shoulder. the specific interest groups in their states are getting up on them and preparing to run a lot of negative advertising and do a lot of negative research, literally trying to sabotage their campaigns, as opposed to general discussion of the foreign policy of this country or how jobs might be produced or how roads might get repaired or how education might improve for everybody. these are things that ideally people always say this is what we ought to be talking about. if you are looking over your shoulder at a very specific special interests, that is not with those folks are talking about. host: we are talking to former senator richard lugar.
we want you to join the conversation. you can call him on the democratic line at (202) 748-8000. the republican line at (202) 748-8001. and the independents can call in at (202) 748-8002. let's talk about your list a little bit. who was the least bipartisan on your most recent list? guest: i cannot recall to be truthful. i do not want to single out. i do not have the list in front that ibut there are some suspect our nominees. i think in the current senate ted cruz was very close to the bottom. tim scott of south carolina was another very close to the bottom if i recall. host: speaking of ted cruz, we have a lot of our current
presidential candidates who have been in congress in the past. , a mentioned lincoln chafee former candidate for the democratic nomination, was number one. the next candidate -- you have to go to number 122nd, senator lindsey graham, who was until recently a candidate for the republican nomination. why the low numbers of people who are running for president do you think? guest: they too are looking over their shoulder at all the people they're going to have to raise money from. all the constituencies across the country as they run into town meetings or wherever they are speaking. as a matter of fact, i have some admiration for people running for president who are at least in the top half of the list. heroes and i respect them.
we talked about that in our commentary in the lugar center index that it takes some courage to be in the top half. host: some other folks on the list -- hillary clinton, former at 156.of new york, is we have marco rubio from florida at 170. bernie sanders at 217. republican rand paul at two 22nd. and as you mentioned, ted cruz comes in at 224, the republican from texas. let's go back to our cause. next, we have derek from lakeland, minnesota. you're on with senator richard lugar. caller: good morning. welcome, host. i've not seen you before and i've been watching for 25 years. so welcome to you. host: thank you very much. caller: you're welcome. for a guy who is been around so
long, respectfully i say to you -- i was born in 1970 and our country in any way has gone down the tubes. the almost represent the whole amount of time. you might be the one to blame. i don't know. what i will say is that when you start a bipartisan center, you're right there telling me that there's nothing different. quad it not a tri-partisan? the greed and power in d.c. is so polluted. the kool-aid that you are drinking is potent because i -- her husbandr left, they moved to the east coast, they do not take calls. if you are anything other, they do not take your call or respond to questions. there's no accountability for
those folks. six years, you get turned every time. we look at it and i think we need citizen statesman do not get wrapped up in the power. do we need to not your salaries down to $90,000 versus $200,000? host: let's give senator lugar a chance to respond to you. guest: let me respond by saying that i did serve 36 years through much of the time that you are describing. i mentioned already that my partner, senator sam nunn of georgia, with whom i work for ,he better part of two decades we formulated legislation after visiting the former soviet union and satellite countries. the possibilities to disarm them and take back the missiles and the warheads and the chemical weapons and what have you during a time that the soviet union was breaking up.
this was a bipartisan mission from the very beginning. it involved ask carter, the secretary of defense, who had a white paper for breakfast that brought republicans and democrats together. pass this in a lastgasp session of 1986. it was something kept alive through appropriations bills every year. it was very important to the security of the country. we were in 40 years of mutually assured destruction or a bad mistake could have destroyed an american city, like my own city of indianapolis. when i was mayor, i had no idea that we could of been annihilated by weapons that i was busy destroying over there. constructive work is done by members of congress reaching across the aisle, not just want but really working out these problems. i believe our country is much
better off than we were of 40 years of mutually assured destruction. there are still potential problems in which terrorists might get a nuclear device create -- and create havoc in a city in america. this is very different than all of our cities being annihilated and all of our armed forces. we have moved from that and moved very successfully. host: up next on our democratic line, we have jason from hyattsville, maryland. you are on with former senator richard lugar. caller: good morning, c-span and senator lugar. i know that there are rules committees they are in congress. i wonder why they cannot get together and just work on the rules. it seems to me that so much of the problem with it impasses there are due to the short term look at things. it seems like an objective, longview rewriting of rules,
targeting six or eight years out in order who is going to be in the majority or the minority and write some very fair rules to allow legislation to come to the floor and improve the efficiency of congress. a good step toward the bipartisanship. guest: i believe the rules that we have currently in the congress are reasonable. they come really from our constitution, which provides for checks and balances and provides that one party should not simply trample over the other or one particular interest. least of always at ensuring that you get a majority. there's always possibilities at the margins for changes there. when you look at this
objectively, the checks and balances are reflected in the rules of congress. the question is -- given the fact that you're going to need 60 votes for something, your ability to reach across the aisle, if you do not have 60 votes on your side at one time or another and find others to work with you. the point that i'm china make with the lugar index is the desire to talk to somebody else and try to persuade them in the best interest of the country. this is something we ought to proceed on. we do this very frequently because we have many issues in our country that need attention. host: we are talking about the bipartisanship rankings by the lugar center. we are talking with former senator richard lugar. the president and vice president are both former members of the senate. they both have rankings as well. president barack obama, democratic senator of illinois,
165 while joe biden, democrat from delaware, ranked at 37. quite a difference there. how does that make them work with each other and how did that difference occur? guest: i was on the foreign relations committee with joe biden as chairman. i was a ranking member of the committee at the time. position in terms of foreign policy that the face of the americans foreign relations committee better be close to unanimous. peace,re talking war and countries will not be impressed with a 10-9 vote. we work very hard together on issues that were very important to the security of our country. joe biden exemplified that.
he really was very helpful throughout that. president barack obama works on the foreign relations committee just for our year or two while i was still chairman. he was very conscientious. he was just in the beginning of his senate career is so much happened after that, of course. i would say that frankly after a few months, can i go with you to russia? i know you go there every year. said, sure. barack obama went with me to russia and to ukraine. both went there together and we saw the dangers that our country still faced in the things that we could do. as a result, barack obama said we need to offer legislation of our own -- called the lugar-obama act. when barack obama was running for president, he was challenged
in the debate on legislation he pursues. -- he had produced. easy -- the lugar-obama acted that was a result of obama working in the foreign relations committee. host: a piece of bipartisan legislation. charles from north carolina. you're on was senator richard lugar. caller: is a pleasure to speak with you. i just got back from washington. i spent a week up there and i saw the construction cranes. i think i counted like 32 cranes around washington. i think they do not make anything, so that means the government is a lucrative business. clintons from "the washington post" are pulling in of hundreds of millions dollars.
a former congressman is now lobbying for turkey. these guys have to have a business when they get out of congress. and i think the rule roots of partisanship comes down to just money. number 2 -- you talk about statesmanship in congress. i just want to have a quick memory on air for senator dale bumpers of arkansas, who i think was the ultimate statement. you may be correct that a good number of members of congress do find employment in washington as lobbyists or members of corporations that are doing business and what have you. that is not true, however, for all of us. let me just say for the record that the lugar center help formulate with former staff members of the foreign relations committee that i receive no salary or compensation. do this because i believe it
needs to be done. we need to work on arms control and food security. there are many persons like myself doing this kind of work in washington or in the states or constituencies in which they came. i admire that. i do not want to criticize anybody, but i would say a good number of us that have come out of congress have tried to capture some of the idealism that we found there, some of the ability to work together, and continue to do that. senator richard lugar, former republican senator from indiana and president of the lugar center, thank you for joining us today. guest: thank you. i appreciate it. host: that is it for today's "washington journal." we will be back tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. have a great monday.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> coming up in about half an hour live on c-span, a conversation about military and humanitarian issues and afghanistan posted by the brookings institution. we will hear from the executive director from doctors without borders about the bombing of a hospital in afghanistan by the u.s. military and the challenges of providing medical care and conflict zones. we'll hear from a former naval flight officer. that discussion scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. eastern time. president bill clinton will make his first campaign trip for hillary clinton. we'll have live coverage