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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 7, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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says, he didn't carry that over to the constitution because the other were interpreting their constitutional provisions our not interpreting constitutional provisions so it doesn't make sense to in areas where there was a shared interpretive enterprise, where there is a common treaty, he was one of the leaders on the court saying we ought to take into account what other countries are doing. own -- since. >> we have time for one last question. i saw that hand go up first. how does justice scalia pro
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religious decision, with his decision in smith and oregon. that decision came down my term. smith versus employment decision. what smith did most held whereally is you have a generally applicable criminal law, that is in that case of law prohibiting the peyote as a listing controlled substance without an exception for religious use, there is not a need for the court to create a religious exception. that was essentially the holding of smith. it was perceived as being contrary to at least some
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precedents where it seemed as though there was an exception that administrative agency doling out unemployment benefits would have to take into account orther the person was fired otherwise was not performing their duties because of a religious obligation. we grew up thinking that was an exception. the court held otherwise with smith. that was a very controversial decision. i remember the petition for rehearing. you are quite right, you can say, how was that protecting religion? really smokes that anyway? it is a small minority of people. the logic would allow a state to prohibit say drinking alcohol, as at least one state said that.
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kansas, is that still a dry state? , to pick aeption for topic near justice scalia's heart, the catholic mass where you are celebrating with wine. t ok would say, that is no and under smith, that would be fine. the protection against that lies in the political process. in the legislative process. he says this in smith. subsequently, the congress passed a law called the religious freedom restoration act that attempted to revive the doctrine. the court struck it down. justice scalia took on the historical case. protectionsaying the
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is with the people. the people are the ones that are making religious exemptions to otherwise generally applicable criminal laws. toon't see it as contrary any personal belief of justice scalia. he was fully aware when smith came down its logic would apply used to could be prohibit core religious activities. be thee it, it could subject. it, it to get filing don't to get was contrary to a view he had otherwise expressed -- if thereeeded was a law that was directed to religious activity such as no wine should be used in religious ceremonies, that would be
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prohibited. i've got a distinctly different view. my litigation head is the claremont institute, probably the leading proponent that the natural rights foundation and the declaration of independence has to inform our understanding of the constitution. this is one of those cases where the tension comes out most forcefully. when you peel the onion layers away, it disagrees with other principles that justice scalia argued. strong proponent that political process was sufficient to protect the federalism provisions. he opposed that. adoptedsmith, he
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political process accommodation. if you want an accommodation against the law, your remedy is through the political process. the turns the notion of bill of rights upside down. they are there precisely to protect individuals, particularly minority individual groups against the majority harry and political process. if the only people that can get a process -- accommodation are those with support of the do anyy, it is no longer right. it seemsing paragraph, that as the cost of democracy. i think it is a just law. it will be interesting to see, now that justice scalia is not there, whether there will be an attempt to revisit that question in a way that was not going to happen when he was there. >> my view is different than my fellow panelists.
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although i was skeptical of the smith case when it came down, on further casection, the historical for the opposing side is somewhat a week. make big picture arguments. identify ofo which granted these kinds of exemptions. there were some evidence for it. it is not overwhelming. if you have a view, which i think justice scalia did, notwithstanding his view of the importance of enforcing the constitution, that the courts should not enter mean -- intervene unless it was confident it had the history behind it, there is a strong
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ambiguity. the opinion rest on that. the case for the other side is not proven. but this is on your list of cases where he comes out differently from where you think he would tend to come out. , of course he knew the applications of this. it igave him some positive wasn't there at the time but i have heard discussions of the case later. i think he did have some pause but he nonetheless thought that is where the constitution led us and therefore that is where he had to go. relate anint, i will anecdote.
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we were doing a panel. when someone asked him about the smith case, what would happen if congress passed a law that prohibited consumption of alcohol and didn't have an exception for catholic mass? scalia said, according to what i heard, they would burn in hell but it would still be constitutional. it is one of the hardest questions in constitutional law because the text does not give a clear answer whether the freedom of religious practice requires exemptions. it creates absolute language. congress shall make no law. there is no exception for compelling interests or anything like that. i can understand what justice
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scalia was comfortable with, the formalistic approach. phrased in absolute terms. it is a way of being respectful to the fact that it is phased as a command rather than a -- but it raises difficult questions. what about anti-discrimination laws and so forth? >> this concludes not just our the chapter, until fall, 2016. thank you all for your generosity and support. please join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] >> washington journal, live
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every day with news and policy issues. coming up saturday morning, political pro-education reporter hows us by phone to discuss congress is dealing with student loan defaults. and then, neil irwin will examine job numbers released today and their impact on the health of the economy. also, coral devonport will story on a federal grant awarded to relocate a community. it is the first such grant of its kind. at the high school advanced placement government exam. adlaieachers from stevenson high school in illinois. they will discuss the cram for the exam preparation test and answer questions on the content and structure of the exam.
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be sure to watch "washington at 7:00 a.m.. join the discussion. the c-span cities to her -- tour takes you to san bernardino, california, to explore the history and literary culture. killed, 14 people were and more injured in a terrorist attack. a congressmanith about the attack and recovery efforts. his district includes the regional center. >> when we talk about the fight against terror, it is not in the abstract. it is something across this country means mean something. city that wasbig
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attacked. this could happen anywhere. >> we will also speak with a city councilman about establishing a permanent memorial to the victims. >> it provides a sense of remembrance. it highlights their lives and what they contributed to our local community. it will be a near and dear place to provide a place of consolation. we are thinking a serenity garden, a prayer chapel in and around this area. >> we will learn about the family of white herb. his book talks about the -- wyatt erp. tothe connection dates back 1852 when the father of w yatt, he basically left his
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theyy temporarily to read were living in illinois. he heard about the gold rush in northern california. he he went back to the midwest, entered to southern california. he passed through the san bernardino valley committee vowed one day he would come back. >> we will visit the san are you know history -- san bernardino history and railroad museum. and talk about the importance of the railroad. the 1918 santa fe depot. the museum contains objects related to the railroad history. inconstruction was completed 1918. built larger than needed, they decided to house the division headquarters at this location at that time. watch this on c-span2 and
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c-span3. ur, c-span cities to visiting cities across the country. previous --ins priebus talked about the political season and donald trump. this is over -- just under one hour. [laughter] -- [applause] out sok you for coming early. this morning, we appreciate. we have reince priebus with us, looking forward to a great conversation with him talking about tuesday. looking ahead, talking about the convention and about november. i would like to thank bank of america for continuing to support these great conversations.
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bank of america is here. convers. we appreciate our partnership with bank of america that is -- has taken us all over to talk about the most important issues. thanks to the bank of america for being a great partner for me years. we appreciate your support. we willall of you and be taking your questions. he has the twitter -- we have the twitter machine appear so just #your questions and they will pop up for me. without further a do, chairman prebus.s -- rights let's start with a gift to the guests which we have never done
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before. was doneile which before tuesday the asked you how you are feeling about how the primaries were going and you pouringm not exactly bailey's in my cereal. there are two glasses. one person who has a harder job than you? reince: maybe my chief of staff. >> your job is to elect donald trump president of the united states. that makes you feel how? reince: we have said all along that whoever the nominee is we
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are here to support the nominee. prepared as weas have been. today four years ago mitt romney would be president. data, field staff, we have gone from a committee that was in disarray to a committee that has raised over 75 million more dollars just the cycle. hundreds of thousands of people out in the field. 5000 people going through six a $100f training and million makeover. we are prepared to keep the senate, keep the house and when the white house. i would rather take a few elbows being thrown then the director of the fbi interviewing your top aides and potentially the democrat nominee. in milwaukee.
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tell us what happened when you tweeted that donald trump was the presumptive nominee. and kasichwould be was still in the race. you still need to be at 1237 to be the presumptive nominee. no one else is running. i think it is safe to say that at some point he is going to be the presumptive nominee. let me tell you where we were. we had planned a fundraiser in milwaukee and those are family members to me who have been helping me ever since i have in chairman of the wisconsin party. we had gone into 5th street. i thought i had heard some rumors about the potential of ted cruz dropping out in the afternoon.
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i did not go out of my way to confirm any of it or make any phone calls. times you do not want to be in the information loop on things like that because once you are in the loop if something leaks you are one of the people in the loop. did call chitty -- katie walsh and said what about if ted cruz drops out, what do you think of that and we talked, i do not ticket is going to happen. we went to the fundraiser and sure enough, the cell phone starts using, a few buzzes is one thing that when you get 15 in a row and you do not want to look down at your phone but you -- i would realize back to the house in kenosha which i had not been to in a long time.
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that was it. i made some phone calls and talk to donald trump a couple of times. i think he did a nice job and very gracious in his speech. we need obviously more of that. i think he did a nice job and was very gracious in his speech that night. i think we need more of that. being presidential, 30,000 feet, gracious. i'm hoping we will see more of that. mr. allen: does crooked hillary count as presidential? mr. priebus: i think he has done an effective job of labeling. i think she does have a history of being crooked. she has a lot to answer for. she has families of dead heroes in benghazi to answer for. she has a tenure as secretary of state to answer for. i think she has a lot of material for us to cling on to and use. mr. allen: what is he like behind the scenes? mr. priebus: far more gracious and personable than i think you see at rallies. i have never had a problem behind the scenes. i have never had a situation where something was said by him
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that was not followed through. all of my interaction has been extremely positive, which made the system rigged stuff so out of place for me compared to what was being said personally behind the scenes. mr. allen: does that bother you that there is one donald trump behind the scenes and one different on camera? mr. priebus: i think he said it himself. there is going to be a time to shift to general election mode. i think that is the way he sees it. i think that is the way he feels about it. now the general election is starting. and what you saw on tuesday night i think is going to be more of what you see in the future. and really, the person you saw on tuesday night was the person
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i got used to dealing with on the telephone and in-person. so that general election approach is the type of approach i had been dealing with for six years. mr. allen: the recidivism issue, the next morning he is on television -- mr. priebus: i'm sure it is going to take some time to get into general election mode and out of primary mode. mr. allen: is there anyway in cleveland, the rules could be
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used to nominate someone other than donald trump? mr. priebus: i see we have some rules experts in the crowd. my personal view is it is highly, highly doubtful. as i said before, the rules committee of 2016 writes the rules for the convention. i don't write the rules. the r.n.c.'s role at the convention is fairly limited. the r.n.c. is basically a caretaker, an administrator of the convention. mr. allen: you are saying is unlikely but not impossible? mr. priebus: nothing is impossible. like i said, i have said this many times. highly -- and i will add another one -- highly unlikely. mr. allen: ben sasse had a facebook post a few nights ago calling for a draft of an adult conservative challenger to trump. he predated it with hashtags "we can do better" and "give us more choices." mr. priebus: i think the amount
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of time, energy, money, and also it is a guarantee to elect hillary clinton. i think when people start to take a breath and let some of this stuff calm down people will understand the supreme court is too important to let differences of opinions and choices in the primary get in the way. mr. allen: republicans say there is no way to guarantee donald trump will nominate conservatives to the court. mr. priebus: i think the smart thing for donald trump to do would be to release five to 10 names of people he would say here are 10 folks i think would make great supreme court justices and work with people to come up with that list. i think things like that would be helpful in kind of recalibrating some people's minds as far as, what is this about, why do we need to support the republican nominee? i think we are going to get there. i don't think -- maybe some of you did. but i don't think too many people thought that tuesday and wednesday would be the end of
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ted cruz and john kasich. and so, for some people, and i would say in paul ryan's case, he thought he had 30 more days. there was this meeting planned next week, by the way, something the media is not really talking about. there was a plan to start having meetings on capitol hill. paul ryan and leadership were planning that meeting with donald trump. in their minds, they are thinking we have another month to talk about this, to get comfortable. and all of a sudden, you have cameras in your face saying, "what do you think?" i think paul is just being honest with how he feels. i think he's going to get there. he wants to get there. he just wants some time to go through it.
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mr. allen: politico is reporting this morning the meeting on capitol hill next week is expected to go ahead. do you expect speaker ryan to be there? mr. priebus: i do. i talked to him multiple times yesterday. he wants it to go forward. he was being honest. he says he is not there yet, but he wants to get there. so yes, he will meet. mr. allen: after speaker ryan made his comments he was not ready to jake tapper, how quickly did donald trump call you? mr. priebus: well, i had talked to him already once that day. but i talked to donald trump and paul ryan multiple times yesterday afternoon. mr. allen: donald trump called you within minutes. mr. priebus: uh -- [laughter] mr. priebus: you are pretty good. [laughter] mr. priebus: i can't lie. i would not lie anyway. he was not furious or anything. he was just like, what do i need to do? and so, i said listen.
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my view is just relax and be gracious. i will talk to paul, and we will try to work on this. i kind of like don't get overly hot either quickly. i know paul really well. i know he's being honest. i know how he feels. i am comfortable with the idea it is going to take some time in some cases for people to work through differences. and so, we talked about it. we talked about it multiple times. they are very comfortable with sitting down with donald trump. it may be at my office. it may be somewhere else, but we are going to have that meeting and start the process of unifying.
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mr. allen: jake scarborough said yesterday for him to vote for donald trump, trump would have to change some of his positions or emphasis including the idea of restricting the entry of muslims or forced deportation. do you sense with speaker ryan that it also will take some change in position? mr. priebus: first of all, i am in agreement on the ban coming in. i put a statement out on that already. it is not something i believe in or our party believes in. i believe our party is the open door. our party is the party of freedom and equality and will remain such. mr. allen: are you going to be able to convince donald trump? mr. priebus: it has been like three days, so not quite there yet. when we get the speaker on board, we both get into some of those details later.
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mr. allen: do you hope to persuade donald trump that the republican party should be the party of the open door? mr. priebus: yeah, and i think he believes that. i'm going to work very hard on making sure some of these issues are discussed and talked about and understood. and i am confident given my experience so far with him, that he is going to have an open mind to some of these issues. mr. allen: mitt romney said last night when he announced he would not support donald trump, he said i see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle. do you agree? mr. priebus: well, i guess everyone has their opinion. one thing i have learned quickly, every person -- mr. allen: do you think there is too much demagoguery? mr. priebus: there is plenty of it.
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i certainly believe -- listen. i think there is plenty of it. whether there is too much of it is a result of what people have been served up in this country. people feel cheated. they feel like they are not bringing enough money home. they feel government has not been doing its job or has been too big in many cases. you sometimes get the result you build. that is sort of what has happened across the country. mr. allen: in the primaries, what is the biggest thing learned about republican-base primary voters? mr. priebus: something people don't report on a lot, which is their incredible enthusiasm in the party. we have record turnouts, 70% higher among republicans, 30% lower among democrats. we have an advantage over voter registration in battleground states we have not seen in 25 years.
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in the first quarter of this year at the r.n.c., we raised more money than in any first quarter in the history of the r.n.c. we were raising more money in the first quarter than we raised in 2012. it is ok. you do what you have to do. it is only to focus on the drama, which i get because people are interested in the drama. they are not interested in the mechanics. but mechanically and because of the enthusiasm in our party and 17 serious candidates, you have a result that i think has built us into a machine that is going to be able to compete very well in november. mr. allen: what is the biggest thing you learned about the press during the primaries? mr. priebus: i think there is so
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much of it and there are so many people, a lot of talented people, online, traditional, that almost nothing breaks through. if you have a really good story that you are really proud of and think you have done a great job, very difficult to break through because there is so much. i also believe in too many cases, it is all about click bait. it is all about the headline. in many cases, i'm not worried about the copy. i am worried about the headline because the headline does not match the reality. you take the group of articles about the r.n.c. meeting in \april. all of you that wrote articles about how there is going to be a rules fight that erupts, not you all, but the people watching this, i think you owe everyone an apology because it is ridiculous. there is no rules fight. it is 54-2. it is that kind of stuff where
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you bog down organizations with click bait and give an answer for things that are inaccurate. it was inaccurate. there was no rules fight. it was smooth sailing. mr. allen: some of the stories said you were prepared for a rules fight. we want to welcome our c-span viewers and thank c-span for carrying this life. please shoot us your questions. do you agree with donald trump that beating hillary would be easy? mr. priebus: i don't know he said that. [laughter] mr. allen: he said in indiana 48 hours ago i have not even started yet. now i will start focusing on hillary, and it is going to be so easy, so great. [laughter] mr. priebus: you know, look, i don't think anyone would have
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predicted trump in this fashion would have taken out 16 other candidates. he has certainly defied the odds. and i would say -- i personally don't think it will be easy because i think raising the money, building the ground game, having the data, targeting voters. the truth is our party is a great midterm party, but we have a hard time winning presidential elections. it is nothing new. it is not like this just happened. in 2004, it was 1:30 in the morning and our still fairly popular president had a tough time putting away a horrible candidate as far as salability in john kerry. we know what happened in 2000. 1996 was not good. 1992, clinton lost six primaries initially or something like that. obviously, there was ross perot. bush 41 was a very popular president.
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last time, we won with relative ease was 1988. i think it is a difficult task but we are up to it. we have a big upside. i know there are perils, but i also know there is an upside. mr. allen: how does having a soon-to-be presumptive nominee effect the formal r.n.c.? mr. priebus: i think clarity has been helpful. there is no one else running, so therefore there is not this daily unknown which i think has been helpful. i think it has been helpful on the money side, too. mr. allen: will trump bring some of his own people into the r.n.c.? mr. priebus: there is no mechanism for it other than me agreeing to it. that is the only mechanism for such a thing. i don't know what the myth is about. someone has to issue a key card. someone has to get out the keys. mr. allen: would you do that? mr. priebus: sure, but there is not going to be any layering that would be different from what happened when i was chairman under the mitt romney
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nomination timeframe. in the case of mitt romney, brian jones was in our building and ward baker were in the building. but they were not saying what to do or not to do or sitting in on our meetings. there was a lot of trust that we knew what we were doing. i would say so far, we see that same approach with some of the folks on the trump campaign. they have no intention of taking over anything. mr. allen: you will remain in charge? mr. priebus: 100%. there was never any doubt. mr. allen: the night of the indiana primary, he posted a headline that said, "donald trump completes the takeover of the republican party."
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party ofemains the freedom and equality and our platform will remain much the same as it is right now and so we will remain continuously. i do not buy into that. >> here is the chief strategist tweeting that this was 100% not true. some staff members were told that if they were unable to get behind the nominee they should leave by the end of the week. what have you told your staff? >> nothing. i talked -- i have been gone and i talked to katie and this is what i know. says every other year are enteringis we the general election phase.
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weekends are workdays. if you have any family vacations , if you have something coming up that you will tell us about, now is the time to do it. that is 100 percent false as far totelling people they need leave if they are not 100% on board. the test is are you doing a good job and are you great at what you are doing and if you are there is a problem. >> is there anyone who has left it as they cannot -- >> not that i know of. expect anyoneyou to? >> i do not. it has been 48 hours. mr. adams? did their need to be change? >> maybe it does.
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>> do their need to be changes to the gop nominating process? there are some things that can be looked at but it is not that easy. we tend to respect states and their rights to conduct a distribution and delegate process as they wish. i have my preferences but it does not matter. what matters is the states themselves adopt their own delegate rules. the rules committee at the convention will look at all of this and make recommendations as to how to be better. you always want to be better and the changes we made to the rules over the two years were at the they were historic changes. the idea of making states that
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have caucuses or beauty contests tither allocation to those s.ntests, those are big change candidates were getting nothing out of it. if you are going to do the things you had better tied delegates to it. everyone has a lot of suggestions. i agree. there are things we need to do to improve the debate passes but people also thought we were insane when we said we would not have 23 debates. 12 createg -- we had we're not going to have a calendar that no one can count on. where one week goes by and you and we -- and abc debate are going to have some say on who the moderators are. will not have chris matthews conducting the republican party debate.
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i even eyes are never going to get this done. he is good at his job. david plus tweeted that he was folly and a joke. all this and we became in charge of the process. now what will happen is four and eight years from now we are have -- the party will more control. i would like to see one day of it is possible -- if it is possible for the party to own the rights of the nomination process. one day that is going to happen. both parties are going to own justights and they will -- like the nfl does. i just think we're going to get to a point where we are going to move even into a place that it would be more control over the process.
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for access. charge >> a think that is in the debates. should media outlets eating -- tens of millions of dollars on the product that the party should own, that is the question. i think both parties should get together and figure out what the answer to that question is. >> to charge for debates? >> you are saying that. we are the beginning of a long process that having the party should explore and i use the nfl as an example because the nomination process i think she -- should go to the benefit of both parties, not the benefit of the media. >> what about charging for rights to the convention? >> we kind of do that now. when media outlets have to build out a box obviously there is a fee that has to be paid. we can't bear the cost of the
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actual structures. i think there are certain things obviously that might be hands-off. all i am saying is i believe that this is the beginning of a process of exploration. that both parties should do >> my colleague e-mails me. only registered republicans can vote. would you encourage convention delegates to have a rule change requiring closed primaries in 2020? >> i believe -- let the delegates to with a want to do. i believe that only republicans should vote and republican primaries and contests. >> you would -- >> i believe in closed primaries and contests is the answer. i favor whatever needs to be done to make better reality.
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>> in december 2012 decommissioned the growth and opportunity project, which is been called an honest review of the 2012 election cycle. what is the biggest -- >> i call to the growth and opportunity report. [laughter] >> i might slip up once in a while. >> what is the biggest recommendation of that report? that has been achieved? data piece and the targeting piece. it's hard to see because it is in the weeds, but getting data, buying consumer data, consensus data, and then putting it in an application that easy for a field staff to use, central location has been the biggest change at the rnc. when you put almost $100 million without the white house, net cash, over four years into the system, it's a really hard thing
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to do. we have been doing it. we have been out raising the dnc and outworking the dnc for four years straight. it's undeniable. i don't think anyone write stories that thinks the dnc is doing better. that has been the biggest -- the other big change is and it sounds very basic but it is actually important is that we are the year-round party now. we used to be a party that would accumulate cash in a bucket. you would have $50 million cash on hand and in the nominee would walk in in may or june say let's go spend it all. one some people write articles -- one of your guys did that the other day. the problem is instead of having one full-time employee in ohio now, we have 29 or active 48. we are trying to get up to a hundred. we have the republican leadership initiative with thousands of people involved.
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engagement and black and hispanic communities. we are spending a ton of money too. deciding we are not going to be a party that shows up three months before november. it's a tough business model because you are going to keep raising revenues in the keep going up and up and it does not matter if the environment around you gets people concerned. you have to keep doing it. >> the republican leaders of all sorts getting credit for bringing the party back with your relentless fundraising. but still it would be nowhere near a match for the infrastructure of the clintons and the obamas. >> so far that is not been the case. we about raised the democrats every year for the last four years.
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i think even the last six years. we are ahead right now. the rnc, we build our infrastructure around the rnc. targeted congressional senate, candidates tap into that operation. what the democrats do is they build around the nominee, the candidate. it was barack obama the building $100 million data system in chicago. what hillary clinton has now done is something you never expected. she did not want to spend billions of dollars in new york or indiana and now millions of dollars in california. they are worrying about how are they did with this thing away. >> thank you c-span for carrying us live.
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the growth and opportunity project. many minorities wrongly think the republicans do not like them or want them in the country. what now? >> that is a part of being in the community. i think people can write all the books in the world they want about how the -- how to communicate, but if you're not in the community -- how do you square that with the perception of what donald trump has been saying? >> there are two parts of this. there is the mechanics. if you not mechanically in the community with people trying to talk about our party and school choice and sba loans for business owners, is somewhat is not there, nothing is going to change. you also need to have the tone at the top be the tone of people
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believe -- obviously you like them. if you don't like them, they're not going to vote for you. i think there is work to do. i think there was work on tone to. -- to do. this is not like breaking news. i said this recently. i have. and he understands it. that is what i'm saying. is not like him telling you one thing. and could this be possible, it is very possible because i think he gets it. i think you will see it and you will see the change in town. -- tone. you add into that the fact that we are in the hispanic and black communities every day. you saw the numbers in 2014. that is a midterm by cory gardner got 46% of the hispanic vote in colorado. we spent $7 million or $8 million in colorado. romney would of just gotten 10% -- john kasich at 20% of the
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black vote. aboutwe're talking long-term commitment to hispanic, black communities, asian communities, every community in between. the full-time year-round party that understands that it's important for us to do that work. >> you saw yesterday the donald trump tweeted a picture of himself eating from a tortilla bowl with a big dollop of sour cream in it. >> i heard about it. you can imagine i had other things to deal with yesterday afternoon. >> between says "happy #cincodemayo. i love hispanics." >> he is trying. [laughter] he is trying. and i will tell you what. i honestly think he understands
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that the building and unifying and growing the party is the only way we're going to win. i think he gets that. >> would you think when they -- what did you think when they told you about the tweet? >> honestly i had other pressing matters that i was dealing with that were far more important than that tweet. >> what are your plans for the convention? >> we don't have to worry about three separate headquarters, hotels, programming is something we are working through. a lot of things are already done. the stage is done. there are things that just have to happen. we moved it up seven weeks of july. while we were talking about an open convention it seemed like i was a genius for doing that. now we just have to get cruising and get going. >> do you feel like a genius? >> no. [laughter] no, i don't. i think we have done a great job at the rnc.
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when it comes to a confident national party i don't think anyone in this room can say this national committee is not the best mechanically rounded confident committee we never -- we ever had. >> what you like about cleveland the city? i am from wisconsin. milwaukee is like the big metropolis. i like the lake. i think having our convention in cleveland will pay out big dividends for winning ohio. i think people, even if they are independent and democrats, i think the understandable we have done for the city of cleveland by going to cleveland and putting them in the spotlight. i think it will pay off than we are excited about it. -- and we excited about it. >> who controls the public line
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up in cleveland, you or donald trump? >> a little of both. it's the republican party's convention. you work together in order to put a program together that we think is going to be effective. >> you interviewed last month and said donald trump it's important to put some sure things into the convention or people are going to fall asleep. do you agree that convention should have more of a showbiz feel? >> it like the idea of having convention with showbiz, if it is entertainment, whatever the is maybe. with every suggestion comes millions of dollars in money so the suggestions are great but there has to be a pretty big influx of cash to do something like that. tampaald trump said the convention was the single most boring convention i have ever seen. [laughter]
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>> i do not agree with that. we will have to talk about that issue yet. >> he says we don't of the -- have the people who know how to put showbiz into the convention. what sort of people you reaching out to to program the convention? >> i have not really gone there yet. it's only been a few days. i had dinner with our ceo of the convention last night. they are doing a great job. they've got good people in charge. >> how worried are you about money for the convention. >> we are good on the money. it is the dnc that has problems. there is a portion of the funding that the rnc kicks in anywhere from $14 million to $17 million and i think we are about 80% raised. the dnc is maybe 10% raised. mr. allen: went to the people have in common? they all say they are not coming to the convention. there is a tough race in new
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hampshire and. do you worry about 70 key leaders sitting it out? -- so many key leaders sitting out? mr. priebus: if they are in cycle, most of the time you're not coming to the convention. you have to look at people in cycle. if they are in cycle most of the time they are not coming. you asking that i do not think claire mccaskill went four years ago. did she? it happens. people make their own choices. mr. allen: some officials in the highest rung of republican leadership are advising the rank-and-file members to stay away from cleveland. a gop leader took cnn privately
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he advises collects old camping rallies and town halls during the time of the july convention. a senior senate gop leader echoed that sentiment. are you worried there is a fear among your leaders that cleveland is going to be perhaps toxic? mr. priebus: not really. kind of the are all are clamoring for hotels and suites. i know what they are asking for. i know if we only had another 1000 rooms for a lot of the different groups that are representing elected officials, we would be in good shape. mr. allen: cnn reports bob dole is coming. mr. priebus: great. [laughter] mr. allen: democrats are licking their chops about the possibility of the blowout. donald trump will either win 48 states or lose 44 states. do you sometimes feel that way? mr priebus: i don't. i think this will be a close
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election. i think people are divided. we have seen the last couple of elections that of the electoral college looks different. i think it will be tight. we will do a weekend and ensure we win. mr. allen: what is the percentage chance that donald trump will be hillary clinton. mr. priebus: i don't know. i think he will win and you have got to look at hillary clinton. she has got a letter to answer for -- a lot to answer for. if there is one person in a set -- who knows how to bring all of that out in a way that people can understand it, it's donald trump. he's going to do it too. he is going to bring it all out. unfortunately for hillary clinton, it is not going to be very comfortable. she has a lot to answer for. mr. allen: if current polling
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holds -- the new york times upshot -- mr. priebus: sometimes in the party begin criticized. we don't hit hard enough. we did not talk about some of the things that have happened in barack obama's life during 2008. i don't think donald trump will have a hard time bringing out some of the things that are going to be not good for hillary clinton. mr. allen: what is your specific scenario where donald trump winter home state of wisconsin? mr. priebus: wisconsin can be a populist place. you look up in sean duffy's district in the seventh up north and may be in the sixth along the congressional district, i think donald trump does pretty well. i think hillary clinton is someone that people in wisconsin just don't buy.
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bill clinton was different. in wisconsin. he has got a little bit more of the i would like to have a beer this guy kind of feel. that is not hillary clinton. that's a scenario that i think people are not giving enough credit to. mr. priebus: donald trump does not drink. do you predict donald trump will win this constant -- wisconsin? mr. priebus: i think he will but you have to look at a garlic ron johnson. i think he's in very fortunate to draw. like hillary clinton, they are in the same mold. retreads, people that are always coming around and bringing the same message. people rejected russ feingold. i think ron johnson is a part of this that people are not talking about either. mr. allen: a question than a quick rapid round. what other states decide
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-- besides wisconsin do you predict that donald trump may win or could win that romney did not? mr. priebus: i think he could win ohio, florida, pennsylvania, iowa. i think he could put michigan and minnesota in play. minnesota is a state that is hard to predict sometimes. i know obviously they went for walter mondale, in 1984 he is from there, people like jesse ventura. governor tim plenty. every once in a while minnesota flips. i think donald trump. could play in states like that. mr. allen: you are elected chair in 2011. you are reelected in 2015. are you going for a four-peat. mr. priebus: i will figure that out after november. i will figure it out after november. mr. allen: kyl says are you
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absolutely certain you will seek another term as chairman? i have them -- have not heard them rule out a fourth term. probably not but i have not decided. we will keep it there. mr. allen: speaker right has ryan has talked about this. what is a future of your physical office? mr. priebus: my aquarium. i have a 29 gallon aquarium. it looks like little nemo in there. it's a peaceful view during the day. mr. allen: why is that there? mr. priebus: listen, i love saltwater tanks and the challenge of them. if anyone out there is a saltwater tank person, you know it is to be an addictive habit. is an expensive hobby but i really enjoy it.
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it is a lot of fun. mr. allen: that's a surprising mr. priebus: i don't know if it's surprising that the tank stuff is a hobby. the piano is a hobby that is good for relaxing. i've been getting better because i have in -- have been practicing a lot more lately. mr. allen: what do you enjoy playing? mr. priebus: i like giving around. i like playing anything. classical, jazz, blues, anything. sheet music. mr. allen: will we see you playing in cleveland? mr. priebus: doubtful of possible. mr. allen: what job if you have if you were not rnc chairman? mr. priebus: i was a lawyer for 14 years in milwaukee. i always wanted to be a pilot. mr. allen: what? [laughter] mr. priebus: my debt is a pilot
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and he built an airplane in the garage. it lives or have the year in texas with a have a hangar in a grass runway with other folks that do the same thing on the lake. there was a little bit of a latent passion for being a pilot. if all else fails, i would like to be a catcher in the milwaukee brewers bullpen. not a real catcher, just catching balls in the bullpen. that would be a great job. just sitting there catching balls. mr. allen: they are 11-17 to they could use you. the president said that gop chairman is here, glad to see you feel you earned a night off. congratulations. [laughter] mr. priebus: i would've never thought being from kenosha, wisconsin that when it president would actually not just say my name but know how to pronounce it. i got off easy. i was thinking. ok, here we go this is going to get bad. and but it didn't.
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i came out pretty good. mr. allen: what is your favorite restaurant in d.c.? mr. priebus: i love going to cobbs on 8th street with sally and the kids. i love the greek food. in kenosha, wisconsin it is villa de carlo, best pizza in america. i cannot help but go there every time i am home. mr. allen: when you are done with this job do you stay or go home? mr. priebus: my ideal scenario would be to go home and make sure the kids have a normal life. mr. allen: what is your favorite vacation destination? you cannot say cleveland. [laughter] mr. priebus: i would say there is a resort in jamaica that i liked called goldeneye. it's cool. mr. allen: with your prediction -- what is your prediction for
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the world champion green bay packers? mr. priebus: i predict this is their year. i like their draft. obviously there is no one better than aaron rodgers. if we can just get the defense straight. they did pretty well in the last couple of games. i'm feeling good. for us, it's not good enough to be good. you have to win the super bowl. mr. allen: thank all of you out in livestream land. tonks to c-span and thanks bank of america for making these conversations possible. we appreciate our longtime partnership with you. i thought the chairman's staff who made this appearance possible. thanks to all my hard-working colleagues who bounced back after last weekend's as big as -- to make this possible. thank you for coming out on a early morning. thank you for coming out on a early morning. thank you for a great conversation. see you in cleveland and enjoy the bailey's. mr. priebus: thank you everybody.
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[applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> turning its attention to the general election, the clinton campaign has produced their first ad attacking donald trump. here is that ad and a political ad responding to it from a pro-trump political action committee. >> i am a unifier. we will be a unified party. >> he is a con artist. >> a phony. >> he is the not -- no nothing candidate. >> donald is a bully. >> this is an individual who mocked the disabled reporter. >> i do not remember. >> blood coming out of her wherever.
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>> the most vulgar person ever to aspire to the presidency. >> do not worry about it. >> the man is utterly amoral. >> a sign of deep insecurity and weakness. >> the bullying, the showing off. >> the absurd third-grade theatrics. >> he is a race baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. >> his domestic policies would lead to recession. his foreign-policy would make america and the world less safe. >> i bring people together. everybody loves me. >> he needs therapy. ♪ >> this is a movement. this is something like i have never seen.
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we have expanded the republican party. they came from the democratic party and they were independents and they all switched. i am a unifier. i am going to go after one person that is hillary clinton. we are going to be more inclusive, we are going to be more unified and we will be a much bigger party and i think we are going to win in november. >> i helped both countries with their constitutions being a facilitator of an agreement on key issues among the iraqis are afghans. your influence is considerable. the heads of state or government are very anxious to meet with you when you ask about a meeting. >> former u.s. ambassador to afghanistan, iraq, and the u.n. discusses his memoir "the
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envoy: from kabul to the white house." >> we saw the extremists such as zarqawi exploit it that we corrected it toward the end of the period i was there, by the surge and building up iraqi forces, by establishing a unity government, killing zarqawi. violence was way down but unfortunately when we left and the vacuum was filled by a rival regional power pulling iraq apart, violence escalated and we have isis no. >> sunday night on "q&a." non-foreign payroll rose in april, the official unemployment rate holding at 5%. president obama appeared at
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today's white house briefing answering questions about presidential candidates donald trump and bernie sanders. this is 25 minutes.
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president obama: good afternoon. seven years ago, in april, 2009, our economy lost nearly 700,000 jobs. seven years later, in april, 2016, our economy added 160,000 new jobs. that makes april the 74th consecutive month of private-sector job growth in america. over that record streak of job growth, our businesses have created 14.6 million new jobs in all. wages have been rising at an annual rate of more than 3% this year, so the unemployment rate is growing, unemployment has been falling, and wages have been rising. but the global economy, as many people are aware, is not growing as fast as it should be. you are still sing lacking growth in europe, japan, and now china. here in the u.s., there are folks out there that are still hurting. we have to do everything we can to strengthen the good trends and to guard against some
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dangerous trends in the global economy. if the republican congress joined us to take some steps that are pretty common sense, then we could put some additional wind at the backs of working americans. to create new jobs, they should invest in our infrastructure, our roads, bridges. schools. our water mains. some of you joined me when i went to flint this week, a great example of the kind of work that is out there to be done. we could be putting people all across this country back to work with huge multiplier effects across the economy if we started investing in the infrastructure that will make us more productive. to reward some of the hardest working people in america, congress should raise the minimum wage. this is something that would not only help those individuals who are getting a bigger paycheck, but also means they are spending more, and that would be a boost to business. to level the playing field for american workers and crackdown on unfair foreign competition,
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they should pass smart, new trade agreements. and congress should reform our tax code to promote growth and job creation which includes closing wasteful loopholes and simplifying climate tax code for everybody. i have been talking about this for a while. only congress can fully close the loophole that wealthy individuals and how corporations all too often take advantage of often at the expense of middle-class families. if they are getting out of paying their fair share of taxes, that means the rest of us have to shoulder the burden. i have put forward plans repeatedly to do exactly that. close loopholes, make sure everybody is paying their fair share, which would not only give people greater confidence in the system but would be good for our economy. it would make sure that families and small businesses who don't have fancy lawyers and accountants are being treated the same as big corporations who do.
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i think it's fair to say congress will not act on a big tax reform plan before the election. that would shut down some of these loopholes. what my administration has been doing is to look for steps that we can take on our own to make the tax system fair. in recent months, we have seen just how big a problem corruption and tax evasion can become around the globe. we saw what happened with the release of the panama papers, the degree to which both legal practices of tax avoidance that are still unfair and bad for the economy, as well as illegal practices that in some cases involve nefarious activities, continue to exist and spread. combating this kind of tax evasion and strengthening the
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global financial system have been priorities of mine since i took office and are part of our broader ongoing effort to make sure the rules are not rigged and the economy works for everybody. let me give you an example. here at home, we have asked the wealthiest americans to start paying their fair share. last month, the treasury department took action to prevent more corporations from taking advantage of a tax loophole that let them shift their address abroad just to avoid paying taxes in america. taxes that they rightfully owe. we have taken several steps to make sure our tax laws are enforced, including leading efforts to crack down on offshore evasion. as a result, thousands of individuals have come forward to disclose offshore accounts and pay the taxes they owe along with interest and penalties. today, we are building on those efforts. i believe you have heard from treasury but i wanted to amplify what they told you in detail. number one, we are requiring banks and other financial institutions to know, verify,
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and report who the real people are behind shell corporations that set up accounts at those institutions. one of the main ways that companies avoid taxes, wealthy individuals avoid taxes, is by setting up a bunch of shell corporations and making it harder to trace where money is flowing and what taxes are owed. we are saying those financial institutions have to step up and get that information. second, we are plugging a gap in our tax rules that foreigners can exploit to hide their assets to evade taxes. the treasury department and irs are issuing a proposed rule to make sure foreigners cannot hide shell companies formed inside the u.s. these actions are going to make a difference. they will allow us to continue to do a better job of tracking financial flows and making sure that people are paying the taxes that they owe, rather than using shell corporations and offshore
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accounts to avoid doing the things that ordinary americans, hard-working americans are doing every day, and that is making sure they pay their fair share. having said that, we are not going to be able to complete this job unless congress acts as well. so, i'm calling on congress to pass new legislation that requires all companies formed inside the u.s. to report information about their real owners to the treasury department's financial crimes enforcement network. that will help law enforcement better investigate and prevent financial crimes. i'm calling on congress to provide the justice department with additional tools to investigate corruption and money launderers. i'm calling on the senate in particular, senator rand paul, who has been quirky on this issue, to stop blocking the implementation of tax treaties that have been pending or years. these treaties actually improve
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law enforcement's ability to investigate and crackdown on offshore tax evasion. i'm assuming that is not something he's in favor of. so we will need to cooperate internationally because tax evasion, tax avoidance, money laundering, these things are all taking place in a global, financial system. if we cannot cooperate with other countries, it makes it harder for us to crackdown. if we can combine the actions that we are taking administratively with the new tools i'm asking congress to provide to the justice department, and treasury, these actions will prevent tax evasion, prevent money laundering, prevent terrorist financing, and they will, most importantly, uphold a fundamental principle of our economy. in america, no matter how wealthy or powerful, you should
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play by the same rules as anyone else. i will take a couple of questions. since you are now the incoming white house president correspondent. >> what is your reaction to donald trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the republican party? given the delegate math, do you think it is time for bernie sanders to step aside on the democratic side? president obama: with respect to the republican process, and mr. trump, there will be plenty of time to talk about his positions on various issues. he has a long record that needs to be examined. and i think it's important for us to take seriously the statements he has made in the past. but most importantly, and i speak to you all of you in this room as reporters, as well as
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the american public, i just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. this is not entertainment. this is not a reality show. this is a contest for the presidency of the united states. what that means is that every candidate, every nominee, needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny. it means that you have to make sure their budgets add up. if they say they have an answer to a problem, that it is actually plausible, and that they have details for how it would work. and if it is completely implausible and would not work, that needs to be reported on.
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the american people need to know that. if they take a position on international issues that could threaten war, or has the potential of offending our critical relationships with other countries, or would potentially break the financial system, that needs to be reported on. the one thing that i will really be looking for over the next six months is that the american people are effectively informed about where candidates stand on the issues, what they believe, making sure that their numbers add up, making sure their policies have been vetted, and that candidates are held to what they have said in the past.
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if that happens, i'm confident our democracy will work. that is true whether we are talking about mr. trump or ms. clinton, bernie sanders, or anybody else. but what i'm concerned about is the degree to which reporting and information starts emphasizing the spectacle and the circus. because that is not something we can afford. the american people, they have good judgment, good instincts, as long as they get good information. on the democratic side, let's let the process play itself out. you mentioned the delegate math. i think everyone knows what that is.
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senator sanders has done and extraordinary job raising a whole range of issues that are important to democratic voters as well as the american people generally. i know that, at some point, there is going to be a conversation between secretary clinton and bernie sanders about how we move toward the convention. the good news is, despite the fact that they are in the course of primaries, every is getting chippy -- i have been through this, it's natural. sometimes even more with the staff and supporters and candidates themselves. the good news is, there is a pretty strong consensus in the democratic party on a vast majority of issues. there is some disagreements about tactics, political strategy, or policy nuance, but both secretary clinton and
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bernie sanders believe that every american should have health care. so do i. both candidates believe that we should be raising the minimum wage. both candidates believe we should invest in our infrastructure and put more people back to work. both candidates believe we should pass a comprehensive immigration reform policy that makes sure we are enforcing laws and improving our legal immigration system and make sure our borders are secure, but also that we continue to enjoy the incredible boost that you get from attracting talent from all over the world. both candidates agree we should be prudent in terms of how we use our military and we should care for our veterans when they come home. so, if you look at 95% of the issues, there is strong agreement there. you don't see the same kinds of divisions between the two
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democratic candidates to remain that you have been seeing in some of the republican debates. yeah? >> mr. president, what did speaker ryan's comments say about the state of the republican party? how would you advise your fellow democrats, running against donald trump, as to how they can win in november? president obama: well, i think you have to ask speaker ryan what the implications of his comments are. there is no doubt that there is a debate taking place inside the republican party about who they are and what they represent. their standardbearer at the moment is donald trump. and i think -- not just republican officials, but more
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importantly republican voters, are going to have to make a decision whether this is the guy who speaks for them and represents their values. i think republican women voters are going to have to decide, is that the guy i feel comfortable with representing me and what i care about? i think folks who historically have been concerned about making sure that budgets add up and that we are responsible stewards of government finance have to ask, does mr. trump's budgets work? those will be questions that republican voters, more than republican officials, have to answer. as part of the democrats, i think we have run on what we are for, not just on what we are
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against. for the last seven and a half years, we have been pretty clear about what we believe will help working families who are struggling out there. and although it has been difficult to get through republican congresses to get those things done, the truth is that they continue to be prescriptions that would really help people. you know? making sure that families get paid sick leave and family leave and early childhood education. that would help families. raising the minimum wage would help a lot of people. rebuilding infrastructure would put that to work a whole bunch of guys in hardhats and gals in hardhats that need to work.
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now is the time to do it. so i want democrats to feel confident about the policy prescriptions we are putting forward and the contrast, i think, will be pretty clear. i will leave it up to the republicans to figure out how they square their circle. all right, i'm going to take two more questions. >> mr. president, what is your message to democratic voters who may be hesitant to vote for the democratic front runner because of the ongoing e-mail scandal, and did you see on the trump's taco bowl tweet and what is your thought? president obama: i have no thoughts on mr. trump's tweets. as a general rule, i have no thoughts about mr. trump's tweets. i think that will be true for the next six months.
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so you can file that one. [laughter] president obama: in terms of the democratic votes coming up, i'm going to let the voters cast their ballots and not try to meddle in the few primaries that remain. we will know. it will not be too much longer. >> not long before your nuclear summit when you had world leaders here, i'm wondering what that says about the nation's capitol, having the transit system closed for 24 hours and having a number of safety related problems.
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and what can your administration do if republicans are standing in the way of a bill -- what can your administration do if republicans are standing in the way of a bill? president obama: this is a somewhat self-interested question, i assume, because a bunch of folks here take the metro. but it's just one more example of the underinvestments that have been made. look, the d.c. metro historically has been a great strength of this region. but over time, we under invested in maintenance and repair, and the steps to being taken now -- i will refer to the department of transportation, but i can say obviously safety comes first, and we want to make sure safety concerns are addressed. the broader issue is we have bridges. we have roads, we have ports, we have airports, we have water
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mains and pipes, as we saw in flint, that suffer from neglect. and in many parts of the country, we still rely on systems that were built 30, 50, in some cases 100 years ago. and the reason we have been neglecting them is not because we do not know how to fix them. it is not because people have not been aware of the need. we have known for years now that we are a trillion or $2 trillion short in necessary infrastructure repair. i talked about this when i came into office. and sought to do more in terms of our nation's infrastructure. the problem we have is the republican congress has been resistant to really taking on
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this problem in a serious way, and the reason is because of an ideology that says government spending is necessarily bad. and i addressed this when i was in flint. that mindset, that ideology, has led to us not investing in those things we have to do together. you know? as you point out, this metropolitan area in the nation's capitol is actually doing really well. it does not matter how big your paycheck is. if you have been taking the metro and it is suddenly shut down for a month, and now you are stuck in traffic, trying to drive to work instead. you can't build your own metro system. you can't build your own highway. you can't build your own airport.
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and so we have a specific problem with under-investing in infrastructure. now is the time, by the way, for us to do so. interest rates are so low and there are so many construction workers and contractors that are underemployed at the moment that you can get jobs done on time, on schedule. it would give a boost to our overall economy because we know when we spend the dollar on infrastructure, we actually get a bigger bang for the buck. suppliers, food trucks, everybody is doing better. it gives a huge boost to the economy. it lasts for a long time. think about investments we made in things like the hooverdam and golden gate bridge or metro.
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it is a good thing to do and historically, it was not and should not be partisan. but if we have a mindset that says whatever government is doing must be bad, then these are going to be the results and it's going to continue to get worse. it's already tough in poorer communities like flint. but, you know, we are seeing these kinds of infrastructure problems spring up in communities all across the country, and it does not distinguish by race or by region. everybody needs roads. everybody needs airports. so hopefully, this will prompt a conversation. the last thing i am going to say about this -- this is a good example of making sure that the candidates are
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speaking to this issue. as you go into the presidential election. i put forward specific proposals for how i would pay for additional infrastructure investment. the numbers add up. and so the question is -- how do the remaining candidates for the presidency intend to tackle this? how do members of congress intend to tackle this? what is the republican agenda for infrastructure? do they have one? how do they pay for it? do they pay for it by cutting medicare or medicaid? if they do, that needs to be fleshed out and the consequences for working families needs to be explained. all right? thank you, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> we will have more from the
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president when he delivers the commencement address at howard university. watch that tomorrow morning on c-span. >> recently, our campaign 2016 stops in slippery rock university and harrisburg area community college, where students, professors, and local officials learned about our road to the white house service is is -- a road to the white house campaigns. the bus ended the week in warrington, pennsylvania, where it visited a middle school to honor seven middle schoolers. official thanks to our cable partners comcast and armstrong cable for their help and coordinating these community visits. you can read and see all of the documentaries on
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our conversation on america's middle class continues. with the "the washington post." with pew currier charitable trusts, the director of financial security and mobility. we have been using the pew poll to define the middle class. how do you define it? guest: there is not a universally accepted definition of the middle class. with our research, we tend to look at the whole income distribution and take the middle income section, potentially the 40th percentile, the 60th percentile, just that middle chunk. research defines and on how people self defined. most americans believe they are middle-class. host: do you consider yourself to be middle class? guest: i do.
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what is the range we are talking about? $50, north of lasts been the same the couple of years, though i expect based on some nongovernment statistics that we have seen that it is going to go up. in the last are we looked at, not by a time, that we are starting to see it go up. the band we're talking about is estimating. the band around the median income includes a smaller amount of income than most politicians talk about for the middle class. president about obama, keeping the bush tax cuts for the middle class, that was up to $250,000 a year by obama's own definition. it ended up more than $400,000. that is upper 20%, upper 10%. when we define these income
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bands, we are looking at a much smaller group of americans then the politicians are thinking of. pew research center -- ahundred and 44,000 $144,000 band. in washington dc, would you consider $50,000 in a family of four middle income? guest: no. host: what about in alabama? guest: yeah. that is the difference. the median income in alabama is lower than the middle income in the united states. cost of living is a big part of what we think of as middle class. come andn and counties around washington dc are some of the highest in the country.
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income in several counties in alabama is to be poor. some of that is mitigated by the cost of where you live. it is more expensive to have housing and other amenities in d.c. then alabama. are not.ts of it that is where we start to see the disparities borne out in how election about wher people who consider themselves middle class perceive the economy. guest: in many ways, it is like a perfect storm if you think about family financial security. we have been talking a lot about income an. but if you think about a family's balance sheet more holistically, we also want to look at is if their income is sufficient to cover their expenses? will kind of savings do they have? what does their debt look like? when he think
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that comprehensive you, you see a lot of families are really walking a financial tightrope. they have not experienced significant learning gains in the last decade, expenditures ise, familiesd to r don't have any cushing of savings -- cushioning of savings. stretchs pr etty high. it is much more universal, much more of a kitchen table issue. host: how big is the middle class? how many millions? if the population of the united states is 320 million, this middle band, this middle income ?lass any guesstimates, guest: that is almost impossible to say.
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it depends on who you that it it comes to who -- down to how you define it. if you look at the people who -- when you ask people what a middle-class income is and extrapolate out of that, you are looking at a lot more. on the other hand, if you're looking at one quintile of households, that is not nearly hundred million. million. host: has a gotten worse or better over the years? guest: we are interested in is the recession is a turning point. it really wasn't. that is not to say that the recession was not hugely impactful for a lot of people.
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for those who became unemployed and lost significant amounts of money, obviously the recession was a huge bump in the road. when you look longitudinally, expenditure trends, savings recessione was not the thing that caused financial precariousness. families have been struggling financially for a long time. host: this is one of the charts from the pew research center. 61% of american households were in the middle class, that is down to 50% today. is theou see the growth highest incomes, it has gone to to 9%.% guest: we have seen a widening out of wealth distribution over time. similar research we have conducted looked at economic
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mobility, how people changed their position on the income distribution. those raised in the middle fifth are equally likely to rise up or to fall down or stay in the middle. to go back to the question of the recession for a second, it is important to think about the story the middle class has gone through in the last 15 years. at the end of the bubble, the stock bubble in the late 1990's, the last sustained growth in median income we have seen in america for quite some time, at the end of that, you had incomes not rising for most americans the way they had been experiencing. they borrowed more money to keep up their consumption patterns. they were helped of it by a housing bubble. when that first, the recession was the stopping of the music.
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they could not borrow as much, their incomes started going down instead of just stagnating. what we have emerged from the --ession is a middle-class is with the middle class laid bare, with a more precarious position than we realized in the early 2000's. theye lost a lot of what had. middle-class home ownership was down after the recension -- recession. business ownership was down. middle-class incomes fell not just in the recession, but in the recovery. it only stabilized in the last couple of years since then. they maybe going up again, finally. be going up again, finally. when we think about the frustrations they are feeling now, it is not just because the recovery and recession were bad.
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things were pretty bad before that. a pretty terrible economic decade for most americans and we did not realize that as much because they were spending money they did not have and now they have to pay it back and stop borrowing until we see a situation where it debt frustrations are boiling over. host: we're talking about american middle class, the numbers are on the bottom of the screen. you can also participate on social media. mike is in chicago. we are listening. caller: good morning, thank you for having me. i appreciate what washington journal does for the country. it is the best news program on tv and i enjoy watching it every signal day. thank you for helping me start my morning.
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'sgarding erin currier comment about class being part of a social identity, yes it is. what is middle-class? i used to define myself as a middle-class citizen. poorer than they are. when you take financial security on the long term and short-term -- that is up to you. i believe that 40 years after my parents were born and i was born, i am worse off. host: what kind of work do you do and what kind of work your parents do? caller: my parents were both in the military.
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they went to wall street. my wife is veterinarian and i am a consultant. we worried about the long-term job market. wages are not going to get any higher. when theflorida recession hit, i am in chicago now, i grew up in new york. i solid the recession did. i saw how employers reacted. i really worried. theke and say i am probably first middle-class person out there. [laughter] ant: if you could give us idea of the income you generate? take in just over six figures. we are holding off on having kids. my wife is a couple of years older than me. we're worried about the long-term.
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we thought chicago was better. what they are trying to do with manufacturing is good, but it is not helping individuals get the help they need to stay in the class they are. whoow a lot of neighbors had to leave our neighborhood in the south side and had to move to indiana. they moved to a poor area. my heart goes to everyone who is suffering and i hope things change. host: thank you. isst: i think what mike getting at is more than our definition of the middle class, even our can civilization -- conceptualization of the american dream. was we heard loud and clear that what americans defined as the american dream is their children being better off than in mike's case, being
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better off than his parents, and having personal agency and sleep well at night. to be able to pay all your bills with the income you are coming in and said a little aside for savings. they not believe it is about being rich or middle-class, but this idea of financial security, just being in control of your own destiny is a big part of americans believe our country is structured and should be structured. the more that that feeling disintegrates, that there is theiculty getting ahead, more they feel the american dream is unachievable. guest: what mike brought up inut the contract work was port in. it is the feeling of stability,
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the money i am bringing in today is going to be there tomorrow. that is something i hear a lot when i talk to folks about the economy. not just the money, but i am worried about my job being there tomorrow and not outsourced or contracted out. , a lot oftankersley people say that well, the median income in america has risen dramatically since the 1970's and 1980's and the stock market has nearly quadrupled, things are good. guest: the median income is about the same today after you adjust for inflation as it was in 1989. that is a fairly striking statistic. it is just reality. there are a few researchers out we shouldclaim that use different inflation does leaders and thinking about this differently and actually people have gotten ahead more. it almost no one speaks the idea 2000 the income has
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flatlined or gone down. the stock market has gone up a lot and the economy has grown a lot. 1989, 26, 27 years since the of seeing all must in the size of the economy. wasn't money there to be had, we just have not seen the spoils flow to the average american worker. anne, you have to turn the volume down on your tv. if you get through on the line, turn down the volume of your tv, you will hear everything through your phone. john is in fairfax county, virginia. retired, i make , with my,000 a year
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wife's social security added. to raise taxes more, i would be glad. everybody wants more, but nobody wants to pay for it. the baltimore newspaperman, hl mencken, keynote it when he said that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the american people. between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. this morning, you ran donald trump telling the west virginia folks you have had no raise in 18 years, you'r. this is the same guy who went on record saying he was asked point blank would you raise the $7.50 wage that has been stagnant for a decade, he said no. the american people are suckers and if they vote him in i am
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going to laugh my butt off. column by john thierry who used to work for tom delay and bob michaels. he writes about donald trump, " he writes a clear message on the economy that resonates. the middle class is getting screwed because the political class is looking out for their interests rather than the broader interests of the american people, from being open to increasing taxes on the wealthy to express and concerns about trade deals, and promising to protect social security. clearlyrump is stating he will change the direction of the american economy." we did not invite you to talk about politics, but i would like to get your comments on the
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tenor of the campaign and some of the issues that are being discussed economically. happy to talk about politics, because if you are writing about the middle class, you're writing about politics whether you like it or not and you are certainly writing about donald trump trade i like john, he's a smart guy and the nail something about trumps message -- trump's message. their public and needed a message for the middle class -- the republicans needed a message for the middle class. michael rubio had a next her childtax care -- an extra tax credit. deals have gotten the best of you, well, republicans have pro.a trade free market he said immigrants have been hurting you, while at the same
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time republicans have been trying to reach out to more hispanic voters. they are having a big intraparty fight about immigration. he has an anonymous tax cut for the wealthy, more than any other part of the hemisphere. messagemp tod the ump hasdle class -- tr nailed the message to the middle class. i think that is some of the big fight we see in the party between speaker ryan and trump. wrestle.real can markets really help people or do you need a more populist approach? i tell you who is feeling left out, the business community.
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they are the ones you want to trade deals, immigration reform, entitlement reform. they feel if they are being left on the sidelines of an election where it is populist anger and middle class focus that has dominated. host: let's go to harry in pennsylvania. do you consider yourself to be middle-class? caller: i was in middle class all my life, except when i was young. i am 80 years old and i have seen a lot of changes in my lifetime. douestion for your panel is, they see a correlation between the rise of the middle class people in the rest of the world and a decline in ours? and is that have anything to do with free trade?
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i have knocked around the world a little bit and i've seen some very poor countries after the second world war, they are no longer poor. is that a good question for you to handle? we did quite a bit of research looking at whether there is a difference in economic mobility between the united states and other countries. on the whole, what the research shows is that there is. when you think about the chances of someone in the united states being born at the bottom of the is to region and rising, it is less likely in the united states that even that probably has to do it a lot of different factors. is just that the income distribution in the united states is so much wider
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men some any other countries. it takes a significantly larger increase in absolute dollar gains for people to move up the income ladder. still, a lot of researchers joke that if you want the american dream, you need to move to denmark. is of the middle class larger in canada? guest: i don't know about that. we did look at what could differentiate the united states and canada. canadians defined the canadian dream differently. they believe that the government has a different obligation to the population than we do. public polling did not reveal that difference. canadians define the canadian dream very similarly to the way americans do. there was no discernible difference in the ic


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