tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 1, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT
>> one more time. spanish or english? vote. it is going to be difficult for me because i speak spanish. but i will try just beginning was so you can understand. tonight, i am not here to talk about economic issues because i am not an economist. i am not here to talk about our right to free quality education or free and accessible health care. i'm not here to talk about the commitment needed to save our environment from pollution in order to save ourselves. [cheers and applause] i could speak of the racial injustice that people are serving in this country and in therest of the world and of need for copper has of immigration reform. these are serious issues in america. but today, i came to speak
briefly about the history of puerto rico. [cheers and applause] and a little bit about the history of latin america. and why i'm here tonight in support of bernie sanders. i have traveled the world, thanks to my music. and in traveling, i have learned more about the world than i ever learned in college. my name is rene. many know me as residente. and i am from puerto rico. puerto rico is a colony of the united states. we are the oldest colony in the world. for years, we have been used as an expendable island, from the medical experiments on our people to the chemical experiments on our land. until 2003, the united states navy undertook a series
of experiments with a different biological and chemical weapons while using the island as a bombing range. [booing] to this day, the land and people have not fully recovered from this devastation. rican, aa puerto political prisoner, who has been incarcerated for over 34 years, longer the nelson mandela. his name, oscar lopez rivera. and he deserves to be free today. [cheers and applause] 200,000 puerto ricans have served in the u.s. military. in our schools, children are taught more about u.s. history than of the history of their own country. .hat is a colonial education, without giving your exact
numbers, can tell you that the u.s. gets more out of puerto rico economically than puerto rico receives from the u.s. anare currently living unprecedented economic crisis. yet the u.s. government does not even allow us to restructure our debt. and this is the best one. people in puerto rico cannot vote for the president of the united states. words, we are not allowed to choose the person who makes crucial decisions regarding our country. i did not come here to complain, rather to put things in proper context. you might wonder what i am doing here, a person like me with all this information has come to the bronx to support a candidate for the u.s. presidency. i will explain. i support bernie sanders because
he has been the only candidate with logical proposals and has expressed support with my country's debt relief. amount to support this now, in the middle of an election cycle to win votes. but he spoke out from the moment that the economic crisis began. i support bernie sanders because i think he is the most honest candidate there is. [cheers and applause] i support bernie sanders because he is the only candidate who currently stands up and defend human rights and the rights of the lgbt community. [cheers and applause] i support bernie sanders because he has spoken out against those latin american dictatorships financed by the united states
which left more than half a million people dead or disappeared. [indiscernible] i support bernie sanders because someone like hillary clinton does not deserve my vote. [cheers and applause] the thought of hillary clinton, who has dared praise the likes of henry kissinger, the architect of latin american dictatorships, responsible for all of those who disappeared in the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. it is enough for me not to vote for her. i'm not with her. represent an insult to consider yourselves latin american and vote for her.
not just an insult to oneself, but for the many victims who still suffer from this history, an insult to the countless children who have lost their parents and grandparents. becauset bernie sanders i know there are still good people like him in this country. [cheers and applause] and when senator sanders wins the coming election, people will see the united states in a different light. and will no longer be a country that invades, that provokes wars, that quiets people. it will not be a country that tortures or beliefs in colonies. instead, the united states will be a country that strives for unity, equality and peace. [cheers and applause]
sanders were puerto rican, i'm certain he would fight with all his might and all as many puerto ricans have done to bring freedom and self-determination to his country. i am here, like all of you, to support bernie sanders because we all support change in the world. thank you. and now, here -- [no audio] -- [applause] [chanting] >> bernie. bernie. bernie.
ion -- i am, as you know, a very proud united states senator from vermont. proud that i was born here in new york city! [cheers and applause] born inwife was brooklyn, new york! father came to this country at the age of 17 from poland without a nickel in his pocket. he never made much money. 3.5-roomin a rent-controlled apartment in brooklyn. bit abouted a little
what it means to grow up in a family that has no money. and i also learned a little bit about the immigrant experience. lessons i will never forget. campaign is about is creating a political revolution. [cheers and applause] and the 15,000 people who are , you are thening heart and soul of this revolution. [cheers and applause] and what we are saying loudly
enough.rly is enough is we want a government that , notsents all of us wealthy campaign contributors. [cheers] campaign finance system that is not corrupt. want an economy that is not rigged! we want a criminal justice system that is not broken. that, insteadned of spending trillions of dollars on a war in iraq that we never , we areave gotten into
going to reinvent -- reinvest in the south bronx and in communities all over this country. [cheers and applause] [chanting] >> bernie. bernie. bernie. bernie sanders: there is no reason in this country that anybody should be spending 40% or 50% of their limited incomes housing.ng -- in there is no reason why people should not have access to the health care that they need. why, in thiseason country, we should not have the best educational system in the
world for all of our people. reason why we should have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth. why we shouldason have more income and wealth inequality than any other major country. about is campaign is telling wall street and the billionaire class they cannot, they will not have it all. [cheers and applause] nationgoing to create a in which our people have decent where our children where ouremployed,
parents and grandparents can live with the dignity on social security. and that is why we are going to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. it is why we are going to have pay equity for women. it is why we are not going to accept deteriorating in the , where weinner cities are going to build affordable housing. why we are going to rebuild our roads and bridges and our water systems and our wastewater plants. createn we do that, we
13 million decent paying jobs. in america today, we will not accept a situation where the top 1/10 of 1% now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. situationt accept the where the 20 wealthiest people own more wealth than the bottom half of america. we are going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just of people on top. [cheers] in america, people should not have to work two or three jobs just to get by.
that, 58% of of all new income goes to the top 1%. that's wrong. in this country, we can and will create a first-class public school educationa >> cyst -- educational system. [chanting] >> bernie. bernie. bernie. bernie. bernie sanders: i went to public schools in brooklyn, new york. had a good education and i want every kid in the city and in the state to have equality, good public education.
and that means that, instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires while fighting wars we should not be fighting, we will be investing in housing and education and health care. [cheers and applause] in this country, we should not be the only major nation on earth that does not guarantee paid family and medical leave. when a woman has a baby, she has the right to stay home with that baby, not have to go back to work. and when we are talking about women's rights, we are going to
stand and make certain that every woman in this country has the right to control her own body. [cheers and applause] and we are going to stand with our gay brothers and sisters[. cheers] and we are going to defend their rights to be married. [cheers] nation isa great judged not by how many millionaires and billionaires it has. it is judged by how he and the most how it treats vulnerable people in that country. accept and you will
not accept children in this country sleeping out on the streets. i will not accept and you will not accept senior citizens $11,000 oret by on $12,000 a year social security. a congresshaving that works for the benefit of the few, we are going to have a government that works for all of us. [cheers and applause] now, i am a member of the committee that passed and wrote to the affordable care act. act hasaffordable care done some very good things. we ended the so-called obscenity
of pre-existing conditions. and we provide insurance to 17 million people who didn't have it. have much more to do in health care. states is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right. and together, we are going to en d that. 29 million americans have no health insurance. many of you are underinsured. with large to duck doubles and copayments. companies are ripping all of us off every single day.
to fix in a major way a broken criminal justice system. it is an international embarrassment that we have more people in jail than any other country on earth. not unrelated that we have communities were young kids, white, black, latino, native american are suffering unemployment rates of 30%, 40%, 50%. so you know what we are going to do? we are going to invest in education and jobs for our kids. investment in education and in jobs, not jails, not incarceration.
and all of us are tired of seeing unarmed people shot and killed. i have been a mayor for eight years and i worked with police all over my state come all over this country. the vast majority of police officers are honest and hard-working. officer, likee any other public official, breaks the law, that officer must they held accountable. we do know want to see all over this country police departments looking like occupying armies. we need to de-militarized our police departments.
we need to make the police departments represent the diversity of the communities they serve. private,o end corporate ownership of prisons and detention centers. need to rethink the so-called war on drugs. over the last 30 years, millions of americans have been arrested for the possession of marijuana. today, marijuana is listed under the federal controlled substance act as a schedule 1 drug.
ride alongside of heroin -- right alongside of heroin. that is pretty crazy. and that is why i have introduced legislation to take marijuana out of the federal controlled substance act. [cheers and applause] [chanting] >> bernie. bernie. bernie. ernie. birdie. is not onlyrs: this the right thing to do, but it is also a major racial issue. because it turns out that the black community, the white community possess and smoke marijuana and about it will levels. blacks are four times more likely to be arrested than whites.
but let me say something else when we are talking about drugs. in my state and all over this country, we have a major epidemic of heroin addiction and opiate addiction. this is a very serious crisis. the way to deal with that crisis is to understand that drug musttion, substance abuse be dealt with as a health issue, not a criminal issue. when we talk about criminal justice reform, let me tell you a brief story. goldman sachs, one of the large financial institutions -- [booing] i gather you know about goldman sachs.
goldman sachs recently received a $5 billion settlement with the united states government. agreementeached that because they were selling worthless packages of subprime mortgage loans. and they and the other wall street crooks were the people responsible for driving our economy into the worst recession since the great depression. now here is a funny thing. picked up for smoking marijuana in vermont or new york city. that kid gets a police record. ing]÷÷÷÷ but if you are an executive of a wall street firm, you don't get a criminal record for destroying this economy. you get a pay raise.
[booing] together, we will bring justice back to the criminal justice system. and equal justice under the law means that if you are rich or poor, you will pay the price if you break the law. that includes wall street. [applause] about say a word or two some of the differences that exist between secretary clinton and myself. [booing] when we, when we began this campaign, we had to make a choice. and the choice was, would we do what every campaign is doing, establish a super pac?
we agreed with you. about 1/10 of a second thinking that we do not represent wall street. we do not represent corporate interests, we do not represent the billionaire class. we do not want their money. [applause] so, what we did is reach out to working families all over this country. over 6 received now million individual campaign contributions. [applause] that is more contributions than any candidate in the history of this country, up to this point. [applause]
anybody know what the average contribution is? $27! right,nders: that is $27. to paraphrase abraham lincoln, people a campaign by the÷÷÷÷÷÷ and for the people. [applause] secretary clinton, secretary clinton chose to go in another direction, in terms of how she raised her funds. she had several super pacs. [booing] her largest super pac reported raising $25 million from special interests, including $50 million from wall street.
street.llion from wall that, anddition to some of you know, secretary clinton has given a lot of speeches on wall street, behind closed doors. $250,000 a received speech. now, i kind of think that if you are going to get paid $250,000 for a speech, it must be a brilliant speech. it must be an earth-shattering speech. prose. in shakespearean÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ [applause] [cheering] >> bernie, bernie, bernie, bernie, bernie!
thatsanders: and, and if speech is so great, i think the american people have the right to hear it. [applause] [cheering] but i,do not know why, myself, have not got an invitation to speak on wall street. not for$250,000, $25,000, not for two dollars. they have been invited me. but i have my cell phone on, i am waiting for the call. and if it comes, this is what i would tell those people on wall street. i would tell them, i would tell them that their greed, their recklessness, and their illegal behavior has destroyed this
economy. resulting in millions of americans losing their jobs, their homes, and their life savings. i would tell them that they were bailed out by congress, against my vote. [applause] banks were too big to fail. but today, three out of the four largest banks are bigger now than they were when we bail them out, because they were too big to fail. [booing] i woulduld tell them, tell them that when you have a handful of financial institutions, with so much economic and political power, now is the time to break them
up! [applause] [cheering] them up, break them up, break them up. sen. sanders: all of you know that learning and growing intellectually is a part of who we are as human beings. and all of you know that we live competitive global economy, where we need the best educated workforce on earth. [applause] ago, if you had a high school degree, you were doing pretty well. and the likelihood is that you could go out get a good job, and make it in the middle class. but the economy in the world and
technology have changed. and that is why i believe that when we talk about public education today, it is not good enough just to talk about first grade through 12th grade. we need to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. [applause] [cheering] mother and father never went to college. in theant every kid south bronx -- [applause] [cheering] and i want every kid in america who is in the fourth grade, the sixth grade, freshman in high school, i want them to know that if they take school seriously, study hard, do their work in school well, i want them to know
that they will be able to get a college education, regardless of families. of their [applause] [cheering] and together, we are going to reduce this very high load of student debt that millions of people have. we should not be punishing people for getting an education. [applause] we should be rewarding people. [applause] and that is why we have legislation in that would allow people with student debt to refinance their loans at the lowest interest rate they can find. criticized forn this. unrealistic, too expensive.
let me tell you how we are going to pay for this. greed÷÷÷÷÷÷ destroyed our economy, the middle class bailed them out. to, it is wall street's time help the middle class. [applause] [cheering] and that is why we are going to impose a tax on wall street speculation. [applause] [cheering] now, another difference between isretary clinton and myself the issue of foreign policy. listened to what george w. bush had to say in 2002. [booing] i did not believe him. i voted against the war in iraq.
[applause] [cheering] then u.s.clinton,÷÷ york, her theew÷÷ same information. she voted for the war in iraq. [booing] one ofopposed every these disastrous trade tradeents, nafta, relations with china causing us to lose decent paying jobs. secretary clinton has supported virtually all of them. [booing] we have got some very real differences. tos campaign is listening our brothers and sisters in the latino communities. [applause]
and what they are telling me is millionh 11 undocumented people in this country, they are tired of living in the shadows, tired of being exploited, tired of living in fear. [applause] [cheering] want,ant, and i comprehensive immigration reform and a path towards citizenship. [applause] congress does not do its job, i will use all of the executive powers of the presidency in order to make that happen. [applause] bernie, bernie, bernie. sanders: this campaign is
listening to our brothers and sisters in the african-american community. [applause] and they are tired of having their kids go to broken down, inadequate schools. skyhigh÷÷÷÷ed of unemployment rates. they are tired of their kids breathing filthy air and getting asthma. they are tired of paying half of their income for housing. want, majornd i investments in inner cities, throughout this country. [applause] we by the way, when rebuild affordable housing, our roads and bridges and water systems, we create millions of
good paying jobs. [applause] i am a÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ member of e committee on the environment. [applause] [cheering] i have talked to scientists all over our country, all over the world. the debate is over. climate change is real,. . it is caused by human activity. it is already doing devastating harm to this country and countries throughout the world. together, we must have and accept the moral responsibility of leaving this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable to our children and grandchildren. [applause] [cheering] and together, we will take on
the fossil fuel industry. [applause] [cheering] transform our energy system to sustainable energy and energy-efficieny. cy. brothers and sisters, we live in the wealthiest country in the history of the world. but very few people know that. and the reason they do not know that is almost all of the new income and wealth goes to the top 1%. [booing] know that the history of real change in america never takes place from the top on down. it always takes place from the bottom on up. [applause]
[cheering] a hundred years ago or more, when workers were being treated like animals, working seven days on theand had no rights÷÷÷÷ job, could be fired arbitrarily, workers came together, formed work unions, and began to for contracts. for hundreds of years, african-americans and their allies stood up and fought back against racism, segregation, and bigotry. [applause] [cheering] we do not know how many of them died, were lynched, were beaten. but people by the millions said that in america, we will not continue to have a racist society. [applause] [cheering]
ago, not a long time, women in this country did not have the right to vote, did not have the right to get the education or the÷÷ jobs they wanted. [booing] alliesen and their male stood up and said, women in america will not be second-class citizens. [applause] if we were here 10 years ago, 10 years ago, and somebody jumped up and said, you know, i think gay marriage will be legal in 50 states in this country, the person next to them what it said you are not's. uts. but as a result of the struggle of the gay community for decades, against incredible bigotry and hatred and with the
support of the straight community, gay marriage today is legal in 50 states. [applause] [cheering] ago, were here five years all, somebody jumps÷÷÷÷ $7.25 says, bernie, the minimum wage is starvation wage, we have to raise it to $15 an hour, the person next to her one of said that is nuts. you have to go to eight dollars, not $15 an hour. but people in the fast food industry, people at mcdonald's and burger king and wendy's, went out on strike. [applause] up, they fought back, and you know what happened?
seattle, los angeles, san -- $15 an hour.÷÷÷÷÷ [applause] -- $15 anlifornia hour. and if i have anything to say about it, if elected president i hour in every state in this country. [applause] [cheering] >> bernie,÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ bernie, , bernie, bernie. is, here is: here my point. real change takes place, not when some president signs a bill or when the supreme court reaches a decision. real change takes place when millions of people look around them and say, you know what, the status quo is unacceptable.
the exploitation of workers, unacceptable. racism, unacceptable. sexism, unacceptable. homophobia, unacceptable. and we can do better. and where we are right now is a pivotal moment in our history. and all over this country, all over this country, people are looking around them. they are saying, you know what? we should not have more income and wealth inequality than any other country. we should not have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country. we should not have our people working 2-3 jobs to survive economically. we should not have women earning $.79 on the dollar. [applause]
we should not have young people orving school $100,000 $50,000 in debt. we should not have a crumbling infrastructure. we should not be the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all, or paid family and medical leave. [applause] and people all over this country are looking around and they are saying, establishment politics and establishment economics, the same old same old, is not working. [applause] [cheering] and that is what this campaign is about. what this campaign is about is telling you that no president, not bernie sanders or anybody else, can address these issues alone.
we need millions of people to stand up, make a political revolution. [applause] [cheering] and create a government that works for all of us. it will not be an easy fight. i know that. wall street has unlimited simums of money. the insurance companies will do everything they can to prevent us from going forward. industry morel worried about their short-term profits and the future of our planet. corporations wanting to destroy public schools in america. i understand all of that. i understand it. and you understand it. but together, we are not going to duck away from this fight. [applause] >> no! sanders: we are going to
defend our kids, parents, grandparents. date onth or so, this this state will be having a very important primary. [applause] if there is a large voter turnout, we will win. [applause] [cheering] and if we win here in new york, we are going to make it to the white house. [applause] [cheering] bernie, bernie, bernie, bernie.
america ♪ just a few days before the wisconsin primary, we wanted to check in with charlie syke, tmj milwaukee. thank you for being with us. charlie: my pleasure. >> can you compare this to any previous wisconsin primary? charlie: no. does like this campaign is hard to compare to any previous campaign that we have seen, wisconsin has been a major player in presidential politics before. but this particular circuits is all on its own. >> to keeping references to the establishment. if you look at wisconsin, the chair of the republican party is from your state. speaker paul ryan is from wisconsin. are they the establishment? charlie: well, i am not sure. i am not sure what the
establishment is anymore. in fact, looking at mainstream conservatism, you use that w kind of realized what is going on here. wisconsin is actually -- a conservative resolution since 2010. scott walker, paul ryan, a variety of others. i think the main dynamic here is that you have a very motivated, very locked in conservative electorate. that has been through a lot of fights before. and that is the buzz saw that donald trump is running into. not so much the establishment per se. >> why do you think governor walker used your program, your venue to endorse senator ted cruz. charlie: governor walker -- i have known him since he was -- before he was in the state legislature. we go way back. i think that scott walker and other conservatives in wisconsin have a very close relationship with talk radio. talk radio has been the way they
have been able to go around the mainstream media, the way they have been able to build support in the state. the way they have been able to disseminate their ideas. so given my relationship with walker, it was not all that surprising. >> donald trump phoned into your program on monday. we will hear an excerpt in a moment. how did this come about? charlie: ok, that was surprising. i did not see that coming. i will be honest. i was taking a nap on easter sunday after brunch. my producer said, are you sitting down? he said donald trump, 8:35 tomorrow morning. i said no way. somebody on the staff will realize i have been a very consistent critic of him for rtrump guy.ve i've called a cartoon version of the candidate. there was no way he was going to call, but he did. that was a surprise.
but apparently, nobody in his staff had thought it was important to let him know that talk radio in wisconsin is very different than some of the national talk shows. >> so what does that tell you about donald trump and his staff? charlie: it tells me that i think the campaign say,structure is, shall we lacking. i actually got call from a national figure afterwards you say, you know, that was very revealing -- that when you asked him, did you know that i was #nevertrump. that was very revealing. it tells you something about the campaign, that it does not have the normal infrastructure that does the blocking and tackling. a talk radioing host. i think this significant difference, delegates moving forward, state after state, things you expect to happen in a campaign that happening in this campaign.
either through arrogance or because it is this 35,000 foot -- i'm going to fly around in a jet and that is all i need to do -- sometimes you actually need to sweat the details. i don't get the sense he is doing that. >> here is an excerpt from your conversation this past monday. charlie: is this your standard, that if a supporter does something despicable, but it is ok for you personally, as a candidate of the u.s. presidency, i expect that from a 12-year-old boy on the playground. not abraham lincoln. mr. trump: i did a retweet, it was by someone else. i have a tremendous amount of very fervent supporters. they were angry about what they did, sending out this photograph. which was frankly fine, it was an artistic picture actually. q. was a cover of "gw "
charlie: your wife is a beautiful, classy woman. why cannot you say the same thing about ted cruz's wife? trump: i do not know her. all this was was a response to what he did. it was a very minor response, by the way. >> that was a portion of your conversation. what was your take away with donald trump? charlie: donald trump is never going to apologize, never going to back away. as result, i think he backed himself into a corner. the context of that question was twofold. number one, i was welcoming him to wisconsin during saying in wisconsin, we take these conservative ideas very seriously. so now that you are here, how would you like to start your pivot toward being a different kind of candidate, by apologizing to heidi for tweeting a picture that makes fun of her looks. he certainly could have said, you know what, you are right. i need to be more presidential.
let us agree to leave the wives out of it. i will stop reach weeding out insults. instead, he decided he was going to double down, play this he started it sort of thing. he is continuing to do that. in the last three or four days, he has doubled down on that kind of tactic. so this is my -- my take away is that donald trump is not going to rise to the occasion. he -- either he decided not to or using incapable of pivoting to a more serious candidate. >> the latest polls showing senator ted cruz is ahead of the wisconsin primary. governor john kasich is in third. is it a tactical move not to compete in wisconsin, moved to a contested convention? what is going on there. why is it accrues so popular among -- senator cruz so popular among republicans? baseie: the conservative
in wisconsin will coalesce around the one candidate who can beat donald trump in wisconsin. his numbers have not changed. he is been at 30%. yes i dropped, gone up. but that means that 70% of wisconsin republicans are anti-trunk. the question was whether they would split the vote between the candidates. i thought this be a great state for marco rubio. i thought there would be a coming together for him that did not happen. what is happening now is, i think a lot of people who might not have thought of ted cruz as even their third choice are recognizing on a technical basis look, if you want to make wisconsin a firewall, it has to be going with a guide can actually beat ted cruz statewide trump, andeat donald that is ted cruz. a talk radiokes is
host in the walk. thank you for your time. we appreciate it. charlie: my pleasure. >> during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the white house, as we follow the candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> coming up on c-span, president obama and the chinese president talk to reporters of the nuclear security summit. after that, our issues spotlight past speeches on the supreme court nomination process. president obama and chinese president ping addressed the president ahead of the nuclear security summit on washington, d.c. this is 10 minutes.
pres. obama: as i said before, the united states welcomes the rise of a peaceful, stable, and prosperous china, working with us to address global challenges. and i have been committed throughout my administration to working effectively with china on a whole range of issues. and have developed a frank and effective level of communications cooperation with president xi, as we seek to expand cooperation between our countries and narrow our differences. the united states and china have established a relationship when it comes to nuclear security, and that includes china's new nuclear security center of excellence. i believe we can deepen our cooperation, including against nuclear smuggling. of great importance to both of us is north korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons, which threatens the security and stability of the region. and president xi and i are both
committed to the denuclearization of the korean peninsula and full implementation of u.n. sanctions. so, we're going to discuss how we can discourage action like nuclear missile tests, that escalate tensions and violate international obligations. i'm also very pleased that, today, we're announcing new steps to accelerate implementation of the historic paris climate change agreement. our cooperation and our joint statements were critical in arriving at the paris agreement. and our two countries have agreed that we will not only sign the agreement on the first day possible, but we're committing to formally join it as soon as possible this year. and we urge other countries to do the same. i look forward to working with president xi as well on the global economy. as the world's two largest economies, we have a special obligation to find cooperative measures that we can take to expand growth and global demand.
and because china is hosting the g20 this year, we look forward to using this meeting to establish some of the agenda items that we want to drive at the g20. we very much want the g20 to be a successful meeting, and given china's past hospitality of large summit meetings, we're sure we can be successful in helping to promote global growth as well as address a range of other challenges. now, as has been true in the past, we will have a candid exchange about areas where we have significant differences -- issues like human rights, cyber, and maritime issues. like china and other countries, the united states has significant interests in the asia pacific region. we have deep concerns about our ability to protect the intellectual property of our companies. and we care deeply about human rights.
but i very much appreciate president xi's willingness to have candid conversations on these issues in a constructive way. and this will just be one more step in our overall efforts to assure that the u.s. and china maintain the kind of effective, constructive relationship that is important not only to our two peoples, but also to the world at large. so, president xi, welcome. let me allow you to address the press briefly. pres. xi: [speaking chinese] mr. president, it's my great pleasure to accept your invitation and attend the fourth nuclear security summit, and to have this bilateral meeting with you on the margins of the summit. i appreciate the opportunity to have this bilateral meeting. through the joint efforts of both sides, many major steps of
progress have been taken in our bilateral relationship. we have worked alongside others to make the paris climate conference a success and adopted the historic paris agreement. we have worked closely together on the iranian nuclear issue, and concluded and implemented the joint comprehensive plan of action. our two-way trade, two-way investment, and two-way travel have set new highs. and we have had effective communication and coordination on the korea nuclear issue, syria, afghanistan, and peacekeeping development,
and other important issues. demonstrates the enormous potential in building the new model of major country relations, and highlights the importance and necessity of enhanced level of coordination and cooperation between china and the u.s. the world economic growth is sluggish, and regional issues are complex and protracted. the terrorist threat is on the rise. as the largest developing country and the largest developed country, and also as the world's top two economies, china and the united states have growing responsibilities for promoting world peace, stability, and prosperity. there are wide areas where we
should, and we can, work with each other. in the meantime, as you have said, mr. president, our two countries have disputes and disagreements in some areas. on the basis of respecting each other's core interests and major concerns, we should seek active solutions through dialogue and consultation. when this is not possible, for the time being, we should manage them constructively and avoid misunderstanding and misperception or escalation. and prevent big disruptions to the overall interests of china-u.s. cooperation. i'm glad that, this time, the two sides have issued the third joint statement on climate change. and we have announced that we will both sign the paris agreement on april 22. after this bilateral meeting,
the two sides will issue a joint statement on nuclear security cooperation, and work together to make a success. we will also actively explore possibilities of deepening cooperation in wide areas, from economy and trade, to mil-to-mil ties and people-to-people exchange, from counterterrorism to law enforcement and cybersecurity. and we want to enhance communication and coordination on the korea nuclear issue and other regional and global issues, and to consolidate and expand our shared interests. i wish to reiterate that it is a priority for china's foreign policy, to work with the united states to build a new model of major country relations. and to realize no conflicts or confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation. i look forward to increasing communication with president obama, focus on cooperation,
manage our differences, build mutual trust, and set china-u.s. relations on a path of healthy and steady growth. thank you. pres. obama: thank you everybody. obama holds a press conference of the nuclear security summit. we will have live coverage starting at 5:45 eastern here on c-span. former israeli ambassador to the u.s. speaks at the wilson center friday about israel and middle east issue, including the israeli-palestinian conflict and the ongoing conflict in syria. you can watch live at 10 a.m. on c-span two. later, the congressional internet congress is live at
noon eastern on c-span two. >> immediately just us the democrats and republicans are supposed to be at odds at each other. and i think that people need to beognize that we need to respectful towards each other, we need to understand that senators have respect towards each other. that will be more conducive to getting real policy done, as of just acrimony and vitriol. >> the people we see on television, on c-span, they are real people. when we saw president obama, the thing that most stood out to me, he had bags under his eyes. he is a real person. that is interesting. >> high school students from around the country attending the 54th annual senate youth program talk to us about their experiences in the weeklong program, plus there plans for
the future. they met with members from the executive, judicial, and executive branches plus media and military representatives. us, and thetalk to insight he gave us about being the outside source, you know, reporting back to the electorate about what is going on in our government. was mostader ginsburg inspirational person we met this week. forhas been one of my idols a long time. i either want to be in the legal profession or possibly a senator. >> i understand the need for bipartisanship at times. but i also think it is important that politicians go to washington or the state capital with the eyes on the goal. they are determined to me that, in the light of money or bipartisanship or whatever it is. >> we need to get back to constructive discourse. we need to get back to respecting all americans, no matter the background. and for making this country a
more respectable place where people are welcome to give their opinion. q&a. c-span's >> president barack obama has nominated merrick garland to fill the seat of antonin scalia. republican senators have vowed to block that decision, saying it ought to be left to the next president. senate democrats have said there is but the time left in the senate session to hold hearings and floor debate on the nominee. over the next few hours here on c-span, we are going to show you what some of the major figures have said in the past about the nomination and confirmation process for the supreme court and lower courts. including a summer 1992 speech i've been senator joe biden, it is received a lot of attention lately. we are going to start though with president obama in the rose garden, a few weeks ago, not
announcing the nomination of merrick garland. pres. obama: good morning. everybody, please have a seat. of the many powers and responsibilities of the constitution invests in the presidency, few are more consequential than appointing a supreme court justice. particularly, one that has two follow judge antonin scalia. the men and women who sit on the supreme court are the final arbiters of american law. they give us our rights, ensuring that our system is one of laws and not men. they are charged with the essential task of applying principles put the paper more than two centuries ago, for some of the most challenging
questions of our time. so this is not a responsibility that i take lightly. it is a decision that requires me to set aside short-term expediency and narrow politics so to make things safe with our founders, and perhaps more poorly, with future generations. that is why, over the past several weeks, i've done my best to set up a rigorous and comprehensive process. i have sought the advice of republican and democratic members of congress. we reached out to every member of the senate judiciary committee. the constitutional scholars, the advocacy groups, bar associations, representing an array of interests from all across the spectrum. and today, after completing the exhaustive process, i have made my decision. i have selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of america's sharpest legal minds, with someone who brings
to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, evenhandedness, and excellence. these qualities, and his long commitment to public service, have earned him the respect and admiration of leaders from both sides of the aisle. will ultimately bring that same character to bear on the supreme court. an institution in which he is uniquely prepared to serve immediately. today, i am nominating chief judge merrick brian garland to join the supreme court. [applause] now, and law enforcement circles and in the legal community at
large, he needs no introduction. but i will like to take an moment to introduce them to the people he so ably served. he was born in the land of lincoln, my hometown of chicago, my home state of illinois. his mother volunteered in the community. his father ran a small business out of their home. inheriting that work ethic, he became valedictorian of his public high school. he earned a scholarship to harvard, where he graduated summa cum laude. and he put himself through harvard law school by working as a tutor, stocking shoes in a shoe store, and in is what is always a painful moment for a young man, selling his comic book collection. [laughter] been there. [laughter] merrick graduated from harvard law, in the early years of his
legal career bear all the marks of excellence. he clerked for president eisenhower's appointees, on the second circuit, and then for supreme court justice william brennan. following his clerkships, he joined a highly regarded learned firm, focusing on pro bono. he earned a partnership, the dream of most lawyers. but in 1989, just months after that achievement, he made a highly unusual career decision. he walked away from a comfortable and lucrative law practice to return to public service. merrick accepted a low level job in george h.w. bush is administration, a 50% pay cut. traded in his elegant partner office for a windowless closet
thiat smelled of stale cigarette smoke. crime was at a proportion, and he wanted to help. he made a name for himself going after corrupt politicians and violent criminals. his sterling record as a prosecutor led them to the justice department, where he oversaw some of the most significant prosecutions in the 1990's. including overseeing every aspect of the federal response to the oklahoma city bombing. in the aftermath of that act of terror, when 168 people -- many of them small children -- were rrick had one evening to say goodbye to his own young daughters to board a plane before oklahoma city. he would remain there for weeks. he worked side-by-side with first responders, rescue workers, local and federal law enforcement. he led the investigation.
and supervised the prosecution that brought timothy mcveigh to justice. but perhaps most important is the way he did it. merrickut the process, took pain to do everything by the book. when people offered to turn over evidence voluntarily, he refused. taking the harder route of obtaining the proper subpoena instead. because he would take no chances with someone who murdered innocent americans, that they might go free on a technicality. a concerted made effort to reach up to the victims and their families, updating them frequently on the progress of the case. everywhere he went, he carried with him in his briefcase the program from the memorial service. when each of the victims' names inside, a constant, searing reminder of why he had to succeed. judge garland has been referred
"the most i quote, important thing i have ever done in my life." through it all, he never lost touch with the community he served. it is knows apprise then that soon after his work -- it is no surprise that soon after his work in oklahoma city, he was appointed to the second highest court in the land, the washington, d.c. circuit court. during that confirmation process, he earned overwhelming bipartisan praise from senators and legal experts alike. hatch,can senator orrin who was then chairman of the senate judiciary committee, supported his nomination. , in alln, he said honesty, i would like to see one person come to this floor and say one reason why merrick garland does not deserve this position. he actually accused fellow
senate republicans trying to obstruct the confirmation of with judges.ics he has since said that judge garland would be a consensus nominee for the supreme court, who would be very well supported by all sides. and there be no question that he would be confirmed with bipartisan support. confirmed toe was the d.c. circuit. the second-highest court in the land. with votes from a majority of democrats and the majority of republicans. three years ago, he was elevated to chief judge. and in his 19 years on the d.c. circuit, judge garland has brought his trademark diligence, compassion, and unwavering regard for the role of law to his work. now, the circuit court known for strong minded judges on both
ends of the spectrum, judge garland has earned a track record of building consensus is a thoughtful, fair-minded judge who follows the law. he is shown a rare ability to bring together odd couples, assembling unlikely coalitions, persuade colleagues with wide-ranging policies to sign on. and his record on the bench speaks, i believe, to his fundamental temperament -- is with all views deserving a fair hearing. to borrow a phrase from former justice john paul stevens, of understanding before disagreeing. and then disagreeing without being disagreeable. it speaks to his ability to persuade. to respond to the concerns of others with sound arguments and airtight logic. as his former colleague on the d.c. circuit, and our current john robertsce
once a, anytime judge garland disagrees, you know you're in a difficult area. at the same time, chief judge garland is more than just a brilliant legal mind. he is someone who has a keen understanding that justice is about more than abstract legal theories, more than some footnote in a dusty casebook. hislife experience, experience in places like oklahoma city, informs his view that the law is more than intellectual exercise. he understands the way that law affects the daily reality of people in a big, located democracy and in rapidly changing times. and throughout his jurisprudence runs a common thread. of dedication to protecting the basic rights of every american. a conviction that in a democracy, powerful voices must not be allowed to drown out the voices of everyday americans.
defined as someone with such a long career of public service, marked by complex and sensitive issues, defined as someone who just about everyone not only respects particularly likes, that is rare. who merricks to garland is, not this is a lawyer, but as a man. people respect the way he treats others. his genuine courtesy and respect for his colleagues, and those who come before his court. they admire his civic mindedness, mentoring his clerks throughout their careers, urging them to use their training to serve the community. by tutoring a young student at a d.c. elementary school each year for the last 18. they are moved by his deep devotion to his family. lynn, his wife of nearly 30 years, and their two daughters,
becky and jesse. as a family, they indulge their love of hiking, skiing, canoeing, and their love of america by visiting our national parks. respect his deep and abiding passion for protecting our most basic institutional rights. it is a passion i'm told that manifested itself at an early age. it is notable. as valedictorian of his he had to deliver a commencement address. the other student speaker spoke first and unleashed a fiery critique of the vietnam war. fearing the controversy that might result several parents decided to unplug the sound system and the rest of the student's speech was muffled. merrick didn't necessarily agree with the tone of his classmate's remarks, nor his choice of topics for that day but stirred by the sight of a fellow
student's voice being silenced he tossed aside his prepared remarks and delivered instead on the spot a passionate, impromptu defense of our first amendment rights. it was the beginning of a life long career as a lawyer and a prosecutor and as a judge devoted to protecting the rights of others. he has done that work with decency and humanity and common sense and a common touch. i'm proud that he'll continue that work on our nation's highest court. i said i would take this process seriously and i did. i chose a serious man and exemplary judge, merrick garland. over my seven years as president in all my conversations with senators from both parties, in
which i asked their views on qualified supreme court nominees, this includes the previous two seats that i had to fill, the one name that has come up repeatedly from republicans and democrats alike is merrick garland. now, i recognize that we have entered the political season, or perhaps these days it never ends. a political season that is even noisier and more volatile than usual. i know republicans will point to democrats who made it hard for republican presidents to get their nominees confirmed. and they're not wrong about that. there's been politics involved in nominations in the past, although it should be pointed out that in each of those instances democrats ultimately confirmed a nominee put forward by a republican president.
i also know that because of justice scalia's out sized role on the court and in american law and the fact that americans are closely divided on a number of issues before the court, it is tempting to make this confirmation process simply an extension of our divided politics. the squabbling that's going on in the news every day. but to go down that path would be wrong. it would be a betrayal of our best traditions. and a betrayal of the vision of our founding documents. at a time when our politics are so polarized, at a time when norms and customs of political rhetoric and courtesy and comedy are so often treated like they're disposable, this is precisely the time when we
should play it straight and treat the process of appointing a supreme court justice with the seriousness and care it deserves. because our supreme court really is unique. it's supposed to be above politics. it has to be. and it should stay that way. to suggest that someone is qualified and respected as merrick garland doesn't even deserve a hearing, let alone an up or down vote to join an institution as important as our supreme court when two-thirds of americans believe otherwise, that would be unprecedented. to suggest that someone who has served his country with honor and dignity, with a distinguished track record of delivering justice for the american people, might be treated as one republican leader stated as a political pinata,
that can't be right. tomorrow judge garland will travel to the hill to begin meeting with senators one-on-one. i simply ask republicans in the senate to give him a fair hearing. and then an up or down vote. if you don't then it might be an abdication of the senate's constitutional duty. it will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair. it will mean everything is subject to most partisan of politics. everything. it will provoke an endless cycle of more tit for tat and make it increasingly impossible for any president to carry out their function. the reputation of the supreme
court will inevitably suffer. faith in our justice system will inevitably suffer. our democracy will ultimately suffer as well. i have fulfilled my constitutional duty. now it's time for the senate to do theirs. presidents do not stop working in the final year of their term. neither should a senator. i know that tomorrow the senate will take a break and leave town on recess for two weeks. my ernest hope is that senators take that time to reflect on the importance of this process to our democracy. not what's expedient. not what's happening at the moment. what does this mean for our institutions? for our common life?
the stakes, the consequences, the seriousness of the job we all swore an oath to do. and when they returned, i hope that they'll act in a bipartisan fashion. i hope they're fair. that's all. i hope they are fair. as they did when they confirmed merrick garland to the d.c. circuit, i ask that they confirm merrick garland now to the supreme court. so that he can take a seat in time to fully participate in its work for the american people this fall. he is the right man for the job. he deserves to be confirmed. i could not be prouder of the work that he has already done on behalf of the american people. he deserves our thanks and he
deserves a fair hearing. and with that i'd like to invite judge garland to say a few words. [applause] judge garland: thank you, mr. president. this is the greatest honor of my life other than lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years ago. it's also the greatest gift i've ever received, except, and there is another caveat, the birth of our daughters jessie and becky.
as my parents taught me by both words and deeds, a life of public service is as much a gift to the person who serves as it is to those he is serving. and for me there could be no higher public service than serving as a member of the united states supreme court. my family deserves much of the credit for the path that led me here. my grandparents left the pale of settlement at the border of western russia and eastern europe in the early 1900's, fleeing antisemitism, and hoping to make a better life for their children in america. they settled in the midwest, eventually making their way to chicago. there my father, who ran the smallest of small businesses from a room in our basement took me with him as he made the rounds to his customers, always impressing upon me the
importance of hard work and fair dealing. there my mother headed the local p.t.a. and school board and directed a volunteer services agency, all the while instilling in my sisters and me the understanding that service to the community is a responsibility above all others. even now my sisters honor that example by serving the children of their communities. i know that my mother is watching this on television and crying her eyes out. so are my sisters who have supported me in every step i've ever taken. i only wish that my father were here to see this today. i also wish that we hadn't told my older daughter to be so adventurous that she would be hiking in the mountains out of cell service range. when the president called. [laughter] it was the sense of responsibility to serve the community instilled by my parents that led me to leave my
law firm to become a line prosecutor in 1989. there one of my first assignments was to assist in the prosecution of a violent gang that had come down to the district from new york, took over a public housing project, and terrorized the residents. the hardest job we faced was persuading mothers and grandmothers that if they testified we would be able to keep them safe. and convict the gang members. we succeeded only by convincing witnesses and victims that they could trust that the rule of law would prevail. years later when i went to
oklahoma city to investigate the bombing of the federal building, i saw up close the devastation that can happen when someone abandons the justice system as a way of resolving grievances and instead takes matters into his own hands. once again, i saw the importance of assuring victims and families that the justice system could work. we promised that we would find the perpetrators. that we would bring them to justice. and that we would do it in a way that honored the constitution. the people of oklahoma city gave us their trust and we did everything we could to live up to it. trust that justice will be done in our courts without prejudice or partisanship is what in a large part distinguishes this country from others. people must be confident that a judge's decisions are determined by the law and only the law. for a judge to be worthy of such trust he or she must be faithful to the constitution and to statutes passed by the congress. he or she must put aside his personal views or preferences and follow the law. not make it. fidelity to the constitution and
the law has been the cornerstone of my professional life. it is the hallmark of the kind of judge i have tried to be for the past 18 years. if the senate sees fit to confirm me to the position for which i have been nominated today, i promise to continue on that course. mr. president, it's a great privilege to be nominated by a fellow chicagoan. i am grateful beyond words for the honor you have bestowed upon me. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. congratulations. good job. [applause]
>> joining us now to discuss the modern history of the supreme court confirmation process, david hawkings, senior editor of "roll call" and the editor of the hawkings here blog. the controversies of the supreme court nominees is nothing new but a lot of republicans are pointing to the nomination of robert bork back in 1987 as a turning point. the nomination came after the resignation of justice powell who was considered a moderate on the court. what was that period like and why are people still talking about that nomination today? >> one thing that makes it unusual by historic standards is that it was at a time of divided government and only recently divided government. the first six years ronald reagan was working with a republican senate but in the mid-term election of 1986 the democrats regained control of the senate. in 1986 there were two supreme court confirmations, justice
william rehnquist was elevated to chief justice and actually 33 senators voted against that but it was contentious but not a knock down, drag down fight. and when rehnquist was elevated from an associate justice to a chief justice that was the occasion when antonin scalia was nominated to essentially fill the associate justice spot. scalia as many people who recently recalled his career at his death was confirmed, 98-0. this all happened at a time when the republicans were running the senate, so it was no surprise that reagan's two nominees got through. the next year louis powell retired. the democrats had taken the senate back. and they were ready for a fight. and they had known that robert bork was coming. i mean, robert bork had been on the short list for a republican president supreme court nomination really since the 1970's. robert bork had been assistant
attorney general for richard nixon. he had been a solicitor general for richard nixon. he had been part of the so-called saturday night massacre during watergate when several senior people to him resigned and bork was acting as attorney general. as soon as reagan became president in 1981 one of his first judicial appointments to the d.c. circuit court of appeals was robert bork. so the democrats knew this was coming and they were prepared and they wasted no time at all. some people complained in the current situation that senator mcconnell waited less than a couple hours after antonin scalia died before staking out his claim to this nomination fight we're now in. in fact, senator edward kennedy went to the floor of the senate something like 45 minutes after bork was announced as the nominee and essentially said, we the democrats are going to go after this guy hammer and tongs. he is all wrong. he's out of the main stream. so the stage for the confrontation was definitely set. >> let's take a look. we'll go back to 1987 and show you what republican senators
chuck grassley and mitch mcconnell had to say about the senate handling of the bork nomination. these speeches are from 1987. you can also find them in their entirety in our video library at c-span.org. senator grassley: i would like to add my welcome to you and your family as you appear before this committee. i am eager to hear your views. it is often said, and i think correctly so, that one of the senate's most important functions is that of reviewing the president's nominations to the supreme court. sadly, i believe this important function has been demeaned. your nomination has been turned into a real life-and-death
battle among the direct-mail giants of american lobbying. the intense lobbying has transformed this nomination into the legislative equivalent of a pork barrel water project, all strong-armed politics, no substance. the partisans who act as the generals in this war of mudslinging have had some success. in fact, some members of the senate have outflanked each other for the honor of taking the most extreme positions, even before the first day of the hearings. i think such positions are as intemperate as they are premature. it puts the judgment ahead of the inquiry, precisely the kind of closemindedness that some accuse this nominee of having. these remarks remind me of a famous passage in alice in
wonderland where the queen of hearts said to alice, sentence first, verdict afterward. now, i am just one of 100 senators, but i just want to say, at the outset of these hearings, that i found the proceedings of the past two months deplorable. this debate over a supreme court nominee would have come as a very big surprise to at least one of our constitution's founders, alexander hamilton. hamilton was, of course, the first to articulate the vital power of judicial review. at the same time, he recognized that the judicial branch was to be the weakest of the three departments, and in his words, the judiciary was supposed to have neither force nor, only judgment.
the framers, such as hamilton, expected the choices among competing social values would be made by the people elected -- people's elected representatives, not by the unelected judiciary. during the summer of 1987, perhaps this furor only confirms how far the judiciary has drifted from its initial purpose in 1787. it is no exaggeration to say, especially in this year of the bicentennial constitution, that the existence of the constitution of america hinges on the capacity and willingness of the supreme court to interpret the constitution consistent with its true intent. accordingly, it is our awesome responsibility to ensure as best we can that a president's
nominee to the supreme court possesses this capacity and willingness. beyond the mere resume of this nominee, outstanding as it may be, he is not qualified to serve as a justice, in my view, unless he is willing to exercise self-restraint, self-restraint which enables him to accept the constitution as his rulings are made and resist the attempts to revise that document according to what he thinks is good public policy. former chief justice stone identified this duty of the court when he remarked in 1936, "while an unconstitutional exercise of power by the executive and legislative branches of government is
subject to judicial restraint, the only check of our own exercise of power is our own sense of self-restraint." now, judges have no license to toy with the constitution as if it were their personal plaything, rather than the precious heritage of all americans. as justice frankfurter wrote in his majority opinion, "nothing new can be put into the constitution except through the amendatory process. nothing old can be taken out without that same process." unfortunately, a new generation of judges seems to have forgotten that they are appointed, not anointed. these judges have demonstrated an impatience with the democratic processes on which our nation was founded and under which it has flourished.
instead, they would abuse the power of judicial review to impose their own view of wise public policy. they would prefer to act as scientists, who use some kind of judicial alchemy to transform the words of the constitution into meanings contrary to its plain reading or intent. i am unalterably opposed to this kind of judicial irrigation of legislative and executive functions. i believe judges must give full effect to values that may be fairly discovered in the text, language, and history of the constitution, and of course, apply them to modern conditions. but unelected and unaccountable judges should not freely
overturn the legitimate policy choices of the equal, elect did branches -- elected branches solely because of personal preference. that is why the founding fathers such as alexander hamilton referred to the judiciary as the least dangerous branch, and that is what judicial restraint is all about. the nominee before us today has weighed in many times against the kind of judicial activism that tends to grant rights not granted in the constitution or the statutes. his view that judges should confine themselves to interpreting the law rather than advocating their own ideas of wise public policy is very appealing to me. i am anxious to hear more of these views, to see if they follow in the tradition of
restraint practiced by frankfurter, homes, brandeis, stewart, powell, and a few others. along the way, i expect that opponents of this nominee will likely focus on specific views or decisions that they disagree with. i urge my colleagues to keep their eyes on what i believe to be the real issue in this confirmation debate, and the real issue is the extent to which judges should respect the decision-making of the respective legislative branches of government. make no mistake, the critics of this nominee know the law they prefer is judge made and therefore susceptible to change by other judges. they would prefer the law that is not found in the constitution or the statutes. if their views were found in the democratically elected law, they would have no fear of any new
judge pledged to live by the credo of judicial restraint. instead, these critics prefer judges who will act as some kind of super legislature, who'll give them victories in the courts when they lose in the legislature. judge bork, i look forward to learning more about you from your own words in the next few days. having identified my standard of review for this nomination, i would like to turn to a much debated point, and that is the senate's proper advise and consent role for this nomination. traditionally, the senate's role has been a very limited one. the senate has not made a nominee's political philosophy the test for confirmation. it is universal knowledge that judicial nominees should not be asked to commit themselves on
particular points of law in order to satisfy a senators politics. the usual advice and consent standard -- we are not attempting to determine whether or not the nominee agrees with all of us on each and every pressing social or legal issue of the day. indeed, if that were the test, no one could be passed by this committee, much less the full senate, or, as senator kennedy said at the same time, it is offensive to suggest that a potential justice of the supreme court must pass some supreme test of judicial philosophy. it is even more offensive to suggest that a potential justice must pass the litmus test of any single interest group.
senator metzenbaum at the same time said, "i come to this hearing with no preconceived notions. if i have to disagree with you on any specific issue, it will in no way affect my judgment of your abilities to sit on the court." i might add that i very much agree with everyone of my colleagues in these statements on the senate's role. each of these views recognizes that the power to give advice is not the power to decide the issue. from george washington to ronald reagan, the senate has enjoyed a range of discretion in nominating supreme court justices, and the senate has deferred to the president's choice in all four choices. the senate should refuse only when the president's discretion
has been abused. giving the president the last word without such deference would mean that the senate has the only word. this constitutional power the framers did not give to us. in the absence of constitutional power, raw political power can fill the vacuum. i will stipulate right now the power of a handful of my colleagues to block the nomination, but i believe it would be the wrong way to approach the duty. the dangers of politicizing the process are exceeded only by shortsightedness because, after all, presidential elections and supreme court nominations come and go. i urge my colleagues to resist the clarion call of raw politics that undermines the independent judiciary contemplated by article three of the
constitution. in closing, if my colleagues cannot reuse -- resist the use of bald political power, i would at least hope that they would have the courage to shed the fig leaf behind which they hide their real agenda. thank you, mr. chairman. i have been in public office for 28 years, and never have i seen such an unjustified assault on a distinguished american citizen as i have witnessed these last few weeks. words are inadequate to express my shame at the distortions i have heard in this room.
three weeks ago, i watch this debate transform into the worst pressure politics i have ever seen. i spoke out then and hoped that unprincipled attacks on judge bork would end when he finally had an opportunity to speak. i underestimated the power of mob justice in america circa 1987. three weeks ago, i set out what i believed was to be a nonpolitical and principled standard for the confirmation of nominees to the supreme court. first and foremost, i have respect for the constitution as a precious inheritance for all americans. full appreciation of the separate functions between the unelected judiciary and the