tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 31, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
passion not just to ick up his brother's -- do more than his of her sons going into the priesthood. had jack kennedy gone into the priesthood, he would have been a pope. had bobby kennedy been a priest, he would have been a parish priest. he was a kind of guy that got down with people and loved being there. and he knew that it was not only threatening because his brother had been assassinated and there was no way to protect him in the crowd. he would lose a shoe. his hands would come back bloody. people would grab a tuft of his hair. he understood that people related to him in that way and
so even though it was scary, it as inspiring to him. mr. tye: i probably expected a lot and got even more from a guy named john who, by the end of his life, was probably bobby kennedy's closest friend. he was a journalist from nashville, tennessee. he was a mentor and a guy who nderstood bobby kennedy. he had worked for him at the justice department and he had helped him take time off after his fellowship. he had advised bobby and helped rescue his california campaign when he was running for president. he gave me a sense of a melding. people knew bobby kennedy as a friend or as a professional. he helped me see the bobby
kennedy that traversed the different worlds, personal and professional, and he so adored him but adored him from the take as a journalist. he helped me understand most of all the question that i went into the book with -- how could these half journalists fall in love with bobby kennedy? if i could tell you one brief story. and it is one of a guy that covered bobby kennedy in 1968 for the washington post. a guy named dick harwood. n ex-marine. harwood was assigned by ben bradley to cover the 1968 campaign because bradley believed he would be the one guy that would not fall in love with the kennedys. one of his first experiences was to go out and play touch football with bobby kennedy. he came back with a badly bloodied nose. he thought bobby had played nfairly.
he watched bobby during the campaign where he would go out and speak to white and black audiences. and he would say the same thing to all. he spoke with rich and poor and said the same things to each. he would tell people exactly the opposite of what they wanted to hear and it was what he thought they ought to hear. by the end, harwood said he was the opposite of a demagogue and he went to ben bradley and said i have fallen in love with bobby kennedy and you have to take me off the campaign. bradley told him to stick it out. the most eloquent of all of the obituaries that i read about bobby kennedy was by harwood. brian: his son is very visible. go back to john. we got to know him here. as the publisher of usa today. he came here and talked about james polk. go back to the circumstances
surrounding your chat with john who lived in tennessee. mr. tye: i got a contract from random house and the next day i got an airplane ticket to go to nashville to see john because he had colon cancer. i knew he was essential to the book. when i got there, and talked to him, it turned out that he lived about two years after that. he turned out to be not just energetic but inspired because he was talking about bobby kennedy. he also did me the most extraordinary favor of anything which was -- i think it was his word that i was ok that led ethel kennedy to talk to me. there had been a circling of the wagons of the kennedys where they tried to keep people from alking to the press. partly it was that there were fewer people left to circle the wagons by the time i got to my ook.
and those that did circle the wagons liked john. everyone i have spoken with, i have been a reporter and an author for 30 years and i've never had an experience where all the 400 people i spoke with, easily half of them at some point during the interview cried. and it was not because of anything mean that i did. it was because remembering bobby kennedy and having the sense of what was lost with him dying so young brought back to them the extraordinary hope they had in him. and the sense of what they were doing then -- several of these people went on to become attorney generals themselves. what they were doing in the kennedy administration mattered more than anything. brian: however, from your book, this quote from the number two guy at the fbi who was close to edgar hoover.
here is what you quote in the book. i hope that someone shoots and kills that s.o.b. mr. tye: we saw in the clip that you played a moment ago, the way he inspired people. positively. he did the same thing negatively in a way that jack kennedy and few other politicians have done. you have to go back to fdr to see someone that inspired as much venom as well as hope. brian: why did he not like him? mr. tye: he understood that bobby kennedy given enough time would fire his boss, j edgar oover. if i could tell one brief story about bobby's relationship with hoover. bobby kennedy comes in as a young attorney general and he is the boss of the fbi director who
has been around for generations and survived a lot of attorneys general. and presidents. and bobby kennedy wants a hotline. on that line when bobby first tried to use it, in rang not at hoover desk but at his secretary's desk. bobby insisted that the phone go o hoover's desk. hoover, much as it pained him to do this, put the phone on his desk. the day after jack kennedy was killed, the phone went back on the secretary's desk. he was sending a message to bobby that he did not matter anymore and that hoover had a direct line to the new president and did not have to worry about an intermediary like the attorney general. brian: here is an oval office tape with lyndon johnson and bobby kennedy from july 1964.
there was an accusation being made that bobby kennedy was undermining lbj and leaking information. here is what they are talking about. and it makes sense when you hear it. >> he sends all kinds of reports to you about me from the department of justice. the planning and plotting of hings. >> no, he has not sent me a report that i remember. > i had understood that he had sent reports over about me. >> no. that is an error. he never said that or indicated that or given any indication of hat. mr. tyre: i definitely do not
believe lyndon johnson because at the same time he was saying that, he was ensuring that fbi agents were at his nominating convention in 1964 keeping an eye on bobby kennedy. and bobby kennedy in his life had four people that he truly hated. one was roy cohn, one was j edgar hoover, and another was jimmy hoffa. the one who he hated more than any of them was lyndon johnson. and from the moment that they met, when bobby was a young staffer with senator joe mccarthy, there was this antagonism there. it was difficult to understand at that early phase. what i think it was is that bobby represented to lyndon johnson all of the things that came from the eastern establishment, especially the kennedys who came with extraordinary resources and
never had to really work a day. that was everything that lbj hated. on the other hand, bobby hated that lbj would lie blatantly like he did in that phone conversation. the extraordinary thing about their antagonism is that had they ever been allies, we would've gotten a strong civil rights bill even earlier and they did end up being collaborators on it. and they both desperately believed that we had to do something more aggressive to attack poverty. most importantly, rather than lbj reacting to bobby's antiwar sentiments by fighting even harder in vietnam, they might have come to some sort of resolution on vietnam. i think these two were political enemies -- it doesn't make sense when you look at what they represented and what they were
trying to do for america. brian: lyndon johnson was probably about 55 at the same time as bobby kennedy was in his 30's. where was bobby kennedy when his rother --? mr. tye: bobby kennedy was a will strong supporter of fighting in vietnam. more so than his brother. he had a sense that we could not just win but we could make a stand. he was so supportive of the counterinsurgency strategy. some people believe he coined that term. he was there with his brother. as always, when bobby kennedy believed in something, he believed in doing it full tilt. brian: this is from june 9, 1964. a conversation. it is bobby kennedy talking to lyndon johnson about the war. >> i am fearful that if we move without any authority of the congress that the resentment
would be pretty widespread and ould involve a lot of people >> i am fearful that if we move without any authority of the congress that the resentment would be pretty widespread and would involve a lot of people who would normally be with us if we ask for the authority. on the other hand, i would shudder to think that if we debated it for a long period of time and they are likely to do that. ur choice is not good. >> it seems likely that they will start asking someone to spell out exactly what is going to happen. if we drop bombs in and they retaliate will we bomb hanoi -- all of that business. the answers to those questions are so difficult to give, particularly if you are giving it to a lot of people that are antagonistic. >> that is all true. we cannot go into the details. if you take the other route --
they may ask you by what executive order you declare war? >> you really do not need that onstitutionally. brian: what are you hearing? mr. tye: two people talking at ross purposes. bobby kennedy believed passionately when much of america still supported the war, he believed it was wrong and lbj was just talking in circles. he was not going to back down. one of the tragedies of that
whole relationship was that i think it was partly based on lbj misreading what happened in the cuban missile crisis that led him to be as strong-willed as he was about staying in vietnam. he thought it was jack kennedy standing down the cubans and making them with a blockade see that they had to withdraw the missiles without arguing anything in return. that is not what really happened. he did not know that at the time. the country did not know that until in the 1990's, the former defense secretary robert mcnamara at a conference in cuba explained that we had promised quietly, it was robert kennedy conveying the word that we would withdraw as a quid pro quo our jupiter missiles from turkey if the cubans withdrew their missiles from cuba but we would not say we were doing it as a quid pro quo. we would do it months later as a goodwill gesture. lyndon johnson i think misread that it was compromise and not tough mindedness that won the day and bobby kennedy never shared what he knew about it at the time. brian: here is some video from the 1964 campaign when robert kennedy was running for the
senate in new york at the result of bitter relationship between these two. this is president johnson this is president johnson campaigning for bobby kennedy in new york. >> the country needs robert kennedy in washington. his knowledge and fighting crime, his knowledge and education, his knowledge in bringing taste of the world is what brooklyn needs in the united states senate. you don't very often find a person who has the understanding and the ability and the heart, the compassion that bobby kennedy has. new york needs robert kennedy. mr. tye: can i paraphrase what he was really saying there? i think what he was really
saying is that i need robert kennedy out of washington, let's get him off in the senate. brian: he was gone at that time. mr. tye: he had retired as attorney general he was still being speculated as the guy who could challenge lbj. having him in the senate was precisely where johnson wanted him rather than hovering around washington and around his administration. i think what johnson expected, and he had a right to expect, in return for what he did -- johnson carried new york by more than one million votes and most people who look at the election think that the reason that bobby kennedy one was because of he long coattails. he clearly understood that. when he thanked everybody on election night, the person he left out was lyndon johnson, who
was watching it live from texas. one of the people he was watching it with with later write a memoir and said that it destroyed johnson that bobby was not grateful for what he is done. they should have realized that together they could have been an amazing force. brian: as you say in your book, many books of been written about bobby kennedy. how many did you read? mr. tye: i have a library of over 500 books, some of which are partly about him in some which are exclusively about him. when you try to sell a biography, you either want nobody to have written about him or you want enough people to have done it so there is new information or the interviews i had and a new thesis on what makes the person ick.
brian: what did you tell your ublisher that was new? mr. tye: all of these boxes of papers about the cuban missile crisis and new factual material, we are trying to understand that bobby kennedy was a lens into how america was changing at the time. he was a reflection of the change and a driving force in the change, and to understand those 20 years, those critical 20 years in america, it was no better figure, no more zealot like figure that turned up in the middle of everything that bobby kennedy. and i think, nobody who better redefined what america ecame.
brian: who is next on your list? we talked about at the kennedy. who is next on your list who told you something you don't know? mr. tye: one person who was terrific is george mcgovern, who is one of bobby's closest friends and strongest supporters in his presidential campaign. mcgovern helped me see, much in the way that martin luther king had to find it, the tough bobby kennedy versus the tender bobby kennedy. he helped me see that this was an evolving character. he started out as someone who kewed to the side of toughness and after his epiphany moment of his brother's assassination in 1963, he started skewing to the underdog and tenderness and all of the things which mcgovern stood for years later.
brian: give us some words to describe bobby kennedy as a person. how tall was he? mr. tye: under six feet, the only kennedy family member. i think he was 5'10" and a alf. he had the look of a teenager, a that of buck teeth and a cowlick always falling in his face. if you saw him in the street, you would think he was one of the neighborhood kids if you did not have his suit on. and yet there was something his presence that was even more magical and even more drawing people to him with a kind of charisma. you would never have seen the scene we watched a while ago, the crowd going madly wild, with jack kennedy or any other politician with a possible exception of barack obama in
2008, people responded to him. there was something about his vulnerability. when he talks, he would have to sit on his hands because his hands were shaking. he was not a natural speaker and even at the end of his life not naturally eloquent. begin speeches that are more memorable than anybody i can think of in the last 50 years. brian: you go back to his youth. why did he have to go to three different boarding schools? mr. tye: partly because he was a bad student and partly because he was a lazy student and partly because his parents could not decide if he belonged basically catholic school or a more protestant school more likely to get him into harvard. brian: how did he get into harvard if he was a bad student? mr. tye: luckily, he went to boarding school and went to milton academy at a time when
if you were a decent student and you had a father who had been a harvard alumni and have lots of money he was willing to give, you could get into harvard. i would say he got in partly on the basis of what he had done, but more on the promise of what he could become and the promise of what his father would donate. brian: what would have happened if he is grown up in a family with no money? mr. tye: a great question, and a great question, and it think he would not have had the opportunity to devote to public service, not worrying about money. he would've had to worry about all kinds of things that normal people worry about, and all the kennedy kids had to worry about is what they wanted to do in terms of making the kind of contribution joe wanted them to make. joe had made enough money and his political aspirations were dashed early enough that he wanted his kids to never have to worry about money and always read about public service. ideally, in the case of his sons, for all of them to
become president. brian: the ninth child, where did he fit? mr. tye: he was the seventh of the nine children, the third boy. he was the one who in that wonderful picture, we see bobby bobby there in the white jacket. here's, not surprisingly, standing with his sister. his grandmother was worried that he spent so much time with the girls that he would become a sissy. i think in fact he became the toughest one, the one you least want to face across the football field. brian: there is ted kennedy in the sailor suit. would you have liked joe kennedy? mr. tye: the journalist in me what it been fascinated by joe kennedy.
given all that he's been through but more important, his candor. that's what cost in his ambassadorship to great britain when he talked about appeasing the nazis. i think i would've had a fantastic time with them and it would not have liked them. brian: when did you start your research? mr. tye: it took three years of research. read a lot of things. three years seemed like an endless amount of time. brian: what are you doing now? mr. tye: i'm also running a training program for health reporters, that is why spend most of my time in journalism most of my time in journalism doing. brian: who do you train? mr. tye: every year we taken a dozen reporters, they come to boston for 10 days of training on issues ranging from public health to mental health. brian: are you already working on another book? mr. tye: i just submitted a proposal for another book. it is never a book until the publisher says it is a book. brian: can you give us an idea of hat it is about?
mr. tye: someone almost as much a hero of mine as bobby kennedy and figure like him in terms of having a complicated story. host: you talk about all the letters his mother wrote him. mr. tye: the kennedy parents had nine kids and they used to joke that some of the kids were rose's and some were joe's. bobby was rose's. she decided he was tender enough and needed her guidance. she adored him the most and had the highest hopes for and was most crushed by in terms of watching for of her kids die. brian: how many children of his are not alive?
mr. tye: nine out of the 11 are still alive. one died in a horrible skiing accident when he was throwing a football at the same time and crashed. brian: what did ethel kennedy tell you about his relationship with jackie? mr. tye: not as much as i would have liked, that was a tender topic. on the other hand, ethyl over the years has headed both ways with jackie. in some ways, she was the most embracing of jackie, and yet after jack's death, there was a more competitive feeling, a sense that when jackie would say, i can't wait until her back in the white house, ethyl responded, "what do you mean we?"
brian: i want to run a clip of this so that people can see what ethel kennedy was like today. >> campaigning was against his nature. >> how did you like it? >> i loved it. >> i think when people think of bob kennedy, they think of courage. i cannot think of anyone who would better represent you in the senate of the united states. brian: was there anything she told you that she did not like about her husband? mr. tye: rory kennedy is an award-winning filmmaker, and that will never win an award, but i think it should because every time ethel answered, it was with one or two words. they built an entire film around
that. the only person she would have talked with like that was her daughter. she adores rory, who was in he womb when bobby died. i think the skill building around a reluctant subject is extraordinary. i interviewed half of the nine children and had some extraordinary sessions with them, and kathleen has shown up to two of my book talks. he told wonderful stories. the kids were great, but they were also too young to have known much about their father's public life. the ones i most depended on were ethel and jean kennedy smith.
i learned that in between he things that she said, i had a sense there were two tiers of kennedy children, the ones that got the most attention from their father, and then there were once like jean and bobby who spent their time listening and who adored their older siblings and yet who later imbibed the lessons of joe kennedy and the importance of the kennedy clan as much as the older siblings. bobby had three totems and his life, when was the catholic church, he was probably the most devoted of any of the siblings. the second totem was the democratic party, he was clearly devoted. the most important of all was his family, and he was the leader of the klan after joe
had stroke. brian: this is a strange question, was there anything that ethel said that was a bad memory of her husband? mr. tye: if she had bad memories she never would have shared them with anybody. she was as much bobby's partner as any couple that i knew and she hated the word partner. that's too much of a 2016 term. she saw herself playing a very subservient role in her public career, and i saw her as his alter ego, the one who gave him the strength to run for office and to do this incredibly grueling campaign in 1968. brian: one of bobby kennedy's assistance worked for him, i want you to put this in context.
mr. tye: he was one of the exceedingly smart, young aides bobby hired when he became a senator. peter was very helpful in the early days of the book in terms of pointing me to people to help me understand bobby as a senator. peter is one of the people i was thinking of when i said, people who cried. he went on to have a really senior position in the clinton administration and health and human services, he is been a distinguished professor at georgetown law school and there is no question that the most important period in his life professionally and personally was working for bobby kennedy. peter was with bobby -- one of the defining moments in his life as a senator was when bobby kennedy went to the mississippi delta to understand the poverty he had been hearing about in congressional testimony. peter and his soon to be wife,
then a stranger to him, took bobby on a tour of tenant farmers shacks in the delta. when bobby thought no one was looking, he went into one check, got down on the floor with a toddler who had a distended stomach that made it clear the child was suffering from malnutrition. body tried to make eye contact with this toddler and have some human response, and the journalists who were watching what was going on, described the fly flying overhead, the refrigerator with a jar of peanut butter, and the tears coming down the senators face when he was sitting on this shack dirt floor. most the senators would be moved by that. the next monday in washington met with the secretary of agriculture
and got the rules changed for food stamps so there were fewer hungry people after his trip to the delta. it was extraordinary. one last thing about that trip, that sunday afternoon when he went home to his amazing estate called hickory hill in virginia, just over the hill from the cia, his kids and wife were sitting there with the fine china on the dining room table having their sunday dinner. bobby gave them a lecture saying that he had just been there at the delta, where in a house but size of the dining room, 15 people would be living, and the kids had a responsibility in their life to do something to try to make a difference. that speech is something you could write off as hyperbole, but kathleen kennedy was with me this week and she could recite verbatim every word of bobby kennedy said to the kids that day. i say this because it
suggests how much they took to heart what he said and how just making political change was never enough for him. he had to infuse his own life and his own family with the things he was seeing in learning. brian: you did point out in your book that hickory hill sold for $8 million. mr. tye: it did, it was the other side of his life. e could afford anything. he thought about taking over the family and going to europe after jack's dad and leaving public service. why did he have to be out there with crowds attacking him and running this quixotic campaign when he had this kind of money? brian: peter edelman, the man u were talking about. >> is that more of a republican look at welfare?
>> senator kennedy was calling for partnerships between government, the community, the private sector, really all the elements of our society. he did not have a label. he was not a traditional liberal. he was not a conservative, he really had a view of it that was all his own. that meant that the purpose of government is not just to tell people what to do, it is to help people build a community and to help people empower themselves. brian: some people would say he was not a traditional liberal, or traditional politician.
mr. tye: if bobby kennedy was precisely the type of tough liberal or tender conservative, many of us have been waiting for the reincarnation. brian: just as many people thought he was ruthless. mr. tye: there was evidence in his life or both, of the bobby kennedy in 1968 was a whole lot more compassionate than uthless. brian: i had forgotten that five other people were wounded at the same time. did you have a chance to talk to any of them? mr. tye: i did. i talked to a union organizer in california, a guy who believes there was more to it. to me, the ultimate tragedy -- i don't know anything more about the assassination the people who have reported, and most of the people who can answer those questions have died. to me, the ultimate and ironic tragedy of bobby kennedy's death is that he spent the early part of his political career of trying to outrun run the stigma of being an anti-semite
because of being joe kennedy son. the idea that at the end he would be killed because of his pro- semitic take. it was one more irony. brian: the shooter is in prison, did you try to talk to him? mr. tye: i would be fascinated to talk to him but i would expect to get a true or different story than the one he told 40 ears ago. brian: what was the impact on the country after he was shot? this was after martin luther king had been shot and his brother, jack. mr. tye: if i can rephrase your question, the great what if. i will give you my version. i talk to -- bobby kennedy's last words were "on to
chicago." he was due to meet with richard daily. richard daley's son tells me that there was a 70% or greater chance that his father would have endorsed abi kennedy during that trip to chicago. everyone i talked to says that if richard daily had done that, there would be a groundswell of people coming to support bobby kennedy. we would have had one of the two tickets. it would have been either bobby kennedy-bobby kennedy to get or hubert humphrey-bobby kennedy. hey liked one another. going up against richard nixon, there is nobody in 1968 who understood richard nixon's vulnerabilities better than the
guy who eight years before had run his brothers successful campaign against nixon. nixon thought bobby kennedy would be his opponent and i think he was afraid of bobby kennedy being his opponent. had bobby kennedy beat richard nixon the way he would have, america would be a different place, i think. some of the issues we are revisiting today, racial tension nd international discord might be a little bit different if we had tried to address them 50 years ago. brian: we only have a couple of minutes left. william manchester, you have a page on william manchester in the book. why did you include that? mr. tye: because i think understanding what bobby kennedy's fight was with manchester over jack kennedy's legacy was important, partly because the way he defended and jet kennedy because he was defending jackie kennedy. brian: manchester had three
books. the last was finished by paul reed. what was the story behind the death of the president? mr. tye: manchester had the kennedy support in interviewing everybody about what happened, but when he told his story, the kennedys do not like the story, did not like going public with the tensions behind the scenes. they did not like the true story being told him that way. they wanted to spend it the way they wanted to and manchester refused. brian: what was the agreement between manchester and the family? mr. tye: it was vague, and it was unclear what powers of veto they ould have. manchester, i think, was frustrated to the point of depression by the battles he was having with the kennedys. the kennedys thought they had given him enough of their authority in doing it that they
should have some role in it. it was some confusion about what journalism and authorship is about. brian: let's see, you say, sued manchester, the family sued manchester. he had devoted two years to the project and was threatening to kill himself. mr. tye: he was depressed, whether he was suicidal, i don't know. he was going up against having done all of that work and having the kennedys trying to pull the plug on it drove him to at least contemplating it. brian: anybody who refused to talk to you? mr. tye: that is good question and he answer is there are
people like bill moyers, he wants to write his own memoir and he is protective of lyndon johnson, but i would still love to talk to him, if he is listening. there are a few people like that. here are surprisingly few. when you get 450 people, you are lucky. brian: the book is called "bobby kennedy, the making of a liberal icon." our guest has been the author. thank you for being here. r. tye: thank you for having [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by tional captioning institute]
>> for free transcripts or give us your comments visit us. the programs are available as c-span podcasts. >> and news on the hillary clinton email investigation, time political reporter tweeting the ap story, the justice department says it will dedicate all needed resources to quickly review emails in clinton case. former congresswoman gabby giffords will join hillary clinton. she held a rally in ohio. mrs. clinton is kicking off the last full week of campaigning
this is a little less than an our. >> hello and welcome to our exclusive debate between new york senate candidates. we are on time warner news. >> and inside city hall. we are coming to you live from inside 9 historic memorial at union college. and candidates, please come to the stage and crowds please join me in welcoming the two candidates debating tonight, senator charles schumer, democrat from brooklyn, seeking a fourth term. [cheers and applause] .> and wendy long, a republican
[cheers and applause] wendy long is a republican from manhattan who also ran in 2012. cheers and applause] >> now we have to lay out the rules that the candidates agreed to. each gets one minute for an opening statement and one minute for a closing statement at the end of the debate. we will ask a series of questions of state, national and international issues and rebuttals will be limited to 45 seconds. further responses will be allowed at the discretion of the moderateors. we will limit these to 30 seconds. we will have the candidates asking one another a question. >> let's get started. the order of opening statements was selected randomly earlier today. first up is mr. schumer. r. schumer, friday's letter -- opening statements come first.
senator schumer: let me thank you and union college for having this debate. i fought my entire career for the middle class and those trying to get there because that's who i am. my father was an exterminator, my mother a housewife, my father-in-law a cab driver. and i remember vividly my father pacing the floor at 2:00 a.m., worried about how he was going to pay the bills. so i have worked really hard to bring jobs, good jobs, to the middle class and those aspiring ,o be there, whether it's alcoa the four kraft plants, the laser lab in brooklyn. i brought many good jobs here. when there is a crisis, whether 9/11 or sandy downstate or the horrible snowstorm in buffalo, i'm always there for new yorkers. if you give me the honor of
re-electing me, i will work really hard for the middle class and those trying to get there, raising the minimum wage, making college affordable, a major infrastructure bill that will employ tens of thousands of people in good paying jobs. ms. long: i want to thank union college and those involved in the debate here for a beautiful job and beautiful setting and welcome all of our friend. i want to thank our veterans and active military, our law enforcement, firefighters and first responders, who are here in the audience and those at home. you really do the public service and we are in debt to you all for the work you do for america and for civilization. i think that this election is really a big turning point in our country. we face a big choice. do we want to go along with more of the same, the establishment, the status quo in washington
that's produced record low economic growth for a decade, that has put so many new yorkers out of work and have had incomes stagnating. corrupt eople have a rigid, play for pay system in washington. and many people feel that my opponent sits at the apex of that system. we need to change that and i have a lot of ethical reforms i would like to propose and hope to in the course of this debate. >> mr. schumer, we saw a letter issued to members of congress to the f.b.i. director which he announced new information to hillary clinton's use of a private server that has triggered reaction including more reaction and calls for comey's resignation. do you think the timing and content of his letter was
appropriate and should he step down or be fired? >> i know him. i have worked with him in the past. we worked together about cleaning up the u.s. attorney's office when alberto gonzalez was politicizing them. you know, there is a tradition in the u.s. attorneys' offices in washington and justice department and goes down to the brooklyn d.a.'s office that a prosecutor always avoids interfering with an election, and the fact we heard today that comey had to issue a search warrant for these emails means he doesn't know what is in them. yet he goes ahead and writes a letter and he knows what was going to happen. what he has done is wrong and both donald trump and hillary clinton have called for the emails to be made public. i i believe that's the right thing to do.
mr. comey ought to make them public and second, he owes not only hillary clinton and the american people an explanation for what appears to be an appalling action. >> were you in that first round of letters that were sent by the f.b.i. director? senator schumer: i was not. ms. long: well, it's hard in 60 seconds to unpack everything that has gone wrong from a prosecutorial standpoint in this sorry mess about the clinton emails. i was pretty unhappy with what happened when f.b.i. director comey sort of took a path, if you will, on the evidence that he had uncovered. and i think the reason for that was the great impropriety of bill clinton going and meeting with loretta lynch. she said i'm going to defer to whatever director comey said. director comey is supposed to be
gathering the evidence. and she's the one who is supposed to be the prosecutor to making the decisions. it amoved the ability to make a proper decision. it would be one thing if hillary clinton came in and gave the evidence she was required. we are in this mess because she failed do do that. > does mr. comey deserve a reprimand? ms. long: i don't know. i wouldn't dare to comment on that. >> i believe the majority leader suggested in a letter today that perhaps the f.b.i. director perhaps violated the hatch act? senator schumer: i haven't seen his letter. >> do you believe the director can continue to serve? senator schumer: the first step is he owes an explanation and he burden of proof to
speak that goes against the tradition of prosecutors at every level of government. when i heard about it, i found it hard to believe that comey i thought had some degree of integrity to do this. >> it doesn't go against prosecutorial conduct if you find new evidence if it comes to light, in this case, your friend, anthony weiner, who would have thought it turned up there. when something like that comes to light, it's the duty of the prosecutor to evaluate it. so i disagree that it should have been just ignored just because we are farther down the road. senator schumer: i have talked to a lot of prosecutors. for instance, if a grand jury is convened a month before an election, it supposed to be kept secret because we are innocent until proven guilty.
what comey did, i disagree, what he did was appalling and prosecutors from one end of america to one end of america know it. a leading republican prosecutor who worked for george bush said he was shocked by what mr. comey did. >> i would like to move. ms. long, you are an attorney and not everyone is familiar with your resume, but he did run statewide. you were defeated in that race when you ran against senator schumer's colleague and despite the statewide run, you remain unknown to a majority of new yorkers. you are tied closely to donald trump although he is not popular according to the popular opinion polls in this state. how have you changed since 2012 and why should candidates give you serious consideration?
ms. long: some of the principles i'm espoused in 2012, still the same conservative vote. the principles i'm standing on are very similar. they have been affected by some of the thoughts advanced by my nominee that have caused me and other nominees like questions on free trade and whether it makes sense to be against some of these big trade deals that they have lauded so much or whether it makes sense to move off to a more exacting and bilateral trade posture where we can get better deals. and there is a good one and good conservative one the more you think about it, is what is best about america, put the american worker first. i think rethinking what we have done in the middle east is a good idea. i think those of us who are loyal republicans certainly backed george bush and thought
it was right to go into iraq and many of us over the years had second thoughts about that. >> we are going to get to those. just very quickly, if i could change it slightly, do you consider yourself more conservative than you were the last time around? ms. long: these principles of america first, protecting our borders and protecting the rule of law, those are very conservative principles. i think they are very american principles. i think putting a label on them is rather difficult. i'm more comfortable with them, put it that way. senator schumer: well, the issue of donald trump goes way beyond his positions on the issues. some of the things he has done have been appalling, what he has called women, and made fun of the handicapped, how he has so many, so many times demeaned different people and different groups and goes beyond that. that's why so many republicans, the bush family and others have
refused to endorse donald trump and it's not a question of whether he is more conservative or more liberal than previous republican nominees is that he is just not fit to be president. george will, far more conservative than me, maybe more conservative than you, mrs. long, said he does president want to be in the republican party because of how he has conducted himself. it goes beyond the specific ideology. >> before we move on, would you like to defend or reiterate your support for the nominee? ms. long: when we talk about use of vulgar language or saying things to women, donald trump apologized just like senator schumer apologized for the bad language that he used to that nice flight attendant. these mistakes happen.
people apologize. i have to say, i find it somewhat hypocritical from those on the left that we have to cover our children's ears. if we listen to "the howard stern show" and listen to amy schumer with the racism and all these things going on or hillary jayzee, to encourage young people to come out, and look at the words. good read the lyrics. the level of vull garth, this is the pot calling the kettle block. senator schumer: neither schumer, jayzee or howard stern are running for president. i think most americans would think they wouldn't make good presidents either. >> i would like to switch to the economy. 16 years ago, a candidate for
senate made extensive promises for job creation and a famous pledge to create 200,000 jobs for upstate and many new yorkers were skeptical to cure the state's economic ills. what have been the most successful economic growth programs you have supported and if elected to a fourth term, what new or different approaches would you advocate? senator schumer: a number of programs have been very, very supportive. when we got a transportation bill, it took a long time because there was a blockade among the hard right. it is employing thousands and thousands of new yorkers, and building infrastructure, making college more affordable, really important. in fact, i proposed the american opportunity tax credit which a family who makes below $180,000 get a tax credit. i propose making it permanent right here.
we have gotten it done. when kids go to college, they are much more likely to get jobs. there are more things we have gotten done. since 1999, new york here is something i would change -- trade. i oppose nafta, i oppose tpp. i think our trade regime is wrong, particularly when it comes to china. crucible steel in syracuse. they told me about manipulation of currency that china is doing that those american workers out of work. i have been the leader against china on that issue. i hope both dem and republicans could change our trade regime. on one thing, i have , isay -- the college plan have a much better college plan than you do. credit will2500 tax
not help people all that much. this is one of the problems that is really causing most trouble for the middle class. ien i started this campaign, put my thinking cap on and thought what would really help, and whose fault all this was. partially, it is the fault of the federal government driving up the subsidies of federal education. anytime is something subsidized -- think get they subsidized yankees tickets. sen. schumer: they are pretty high already. we've got to get that part out of control at some point. for immediate relief, what can we do? sitting ons are these big endowments. i think the college you went to has about a $40 billion endowment. mine is about $4 billion. most aren't that large. college took the brave step of lowering its tuition 42% down to $20,000.
i hope more colleges will follow suit. my idea is this -- i think we need to ask colleges to bring tuition rates down immediately to 1996 levels, effective, adjusted for inflation. the stick to make them do that is that if they don't, they will no longer receive all the different kinds of federal funding and benefits they get, including tax-exempt charitable status. i think that is the kind of immediate relief, and i think it will be much more significant relief than just this $2500 tax credit. sen. schumer: it is not one time. it is every year for every person. let me tell you -- and the number of new yorkers who have come to me and said they were able to go to college because this credit was available. you can hear about it everywhere. certainly the cost of college is too high. we must do something to reduce it. plan,connected ms. long's
we would throw tens of thousands of people out of work, probably some here at union college. finding a good way to reduce the cost of tuition, i am all for it. the question was about job creation, then we morphed into trade and then got to college. sen. schumer: they are related ms. benjamin:. quite clearly -- ms. benjamin: tpp and fasttrack are two different things. you oppose tpp. would you give whoever is sitting in the white house next astec power -- fasttrack power? sen. schumer: no. bottom line, our whole trade regime has to change. i am pained by how trade workers -- trade occurs, particularly in china. i once to see america stay number one. i love this country. general keith alexander -- not a politician, not somebody prone to hyperbolic language -- here greateste said -- "the
transfer of wealth in the history of the world occurred in the last 20 years when chinese companies, aided by their government through cyber attacks , stole the intellectual property of american companies." and yet to know, he is the head of cyber security in our government. we ought to be coming down on chan all the time. ms. benjamin: we're going to get there. sen. schumer: i could go on and on about trade. ms. long: i wonder what he would have to say about how his friend hillary clinton, his nominee, says she wants to see basically open borders and a global, open free-trade hemisphere. ms. benjamin: on fast-track power, just quickly. would you vote in favor of giving that negotiation power to either candidate? neither candidate? thank you for much. mr. louis: we have to take a short break, but we have more questions. the senate debate continues in 60 seconds. ♪
♪ mr. louis: welcome back to our time warner cable new york senate debate between senator charles schumer and wendy long. let's get right back to the questions. mr. schumer, throughout your career in commerce, you have been a champion of wall street and the new york economy. this election season in particular has seen voters in both parties expressing largenced anger towards financial institutions because of growing income inequality and a perceived attitude of protection from government for companies deemed too big to
fail. are you too close to wall street to help main street, and how is your advocacy for large financial institutions helping new yorkers were not connected to the industry? sen. schumer: first, i think i am very mindful of the fact that wall street creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. most of them are middle-class people, and poor people -- poorer people. the woman who gets on a bus and the queen and works as a secretary. i oppose wall street whenever they oppose the interest of the middle class. i have done it over and over again. i was one of the main architects of the dodd frank bill. i thought it was really important to rein them in after their excesses. even back in 2000, against what bill clinton and larry summers wanted, i proposed that derivatives be traded publicly. if we had done that, we may have avoided the problem of what happened.
the main proponents of the consumer protection financial board. sometimes our banks do horrible things with payday loans, they're taking our servicemen and veterans pay hundreds of percent interest. i always oppose wall street when they are wrong. i do not needlessly attacked them in terms of name-calling. when i does when they are wrong, i go after them. there are plenty of people on wall street and not to happy with chuck schumer. he has learned from he has learned from the master about the public and private positions. if you take a look at his donor leadinging the period up to the 2008 financial crisis, you will see quite a list of the famous too big to fails -- merrill lynch, lehman brothers, .ear stearns, citigroup you look at his disclosures, they are all the ones who filled up his coffers. i don't think they were that unhappy with what he was doing. in fact, he was loosening
regulations, pressing regulators of all kinds to give them the way that they wanted. fails,re the two big to including going to the credit rating agencies and pressing aaa ratings to these collateralized debt securities that were full of these junk subprime mortgages that brought on the system. i think, actually, a good nickname would be the senator from the big short. sen. schumer: bottom line is very simple. i proposed over and over again. i have supported and will support in the senate getting rid of carried interest, because many people get away with it. the irony, is my upon it is against. frank. in other words, it is what you do, not what you say. dodd frank is one of the tougher regulations we have. it has required large capital requirements for the banks. they hate it. they say it cuts down on their profitability. then when they make a big
mistake, with the capital cushion, guess who pays? the management and the shareholders, not the public. actions speak louder than words. i have opposed wall street's time and time again. i do not support come as i think my opponent does, no regulation on the big institutions. i support. frank. she does not. ms. long: first of all, that is not true at all. something there very quickly about the carried interest rule that really surprised me. thate known for so long you have descended the carried interest rule for all your big friends in the hedge funds and private equity firms so that they basically end up effectively paying the same tax rate as their secretaries. abusive loophole in the tax code, and it is for your friends. they are the biggest ones who have given you your $27 million. you have been for protecting that carried interest rule, is
that not correct? sen. schumer: that is certainly not correct, and you should learn your facts. i have voted to get rid of it four times. i have put it on the floor in my most recent proposal to help the college interest rates. i have been against it over and over again. ien it was first proposed, said don't just do it for financial institutions in new , for do it for real estate venture capital. that would have been fairer. when congress just did it for financial institutions, i still voted for that and supported that area -- supported that. mr. louis: we will leave that for the fact checkers. quickly ms. long, on dodd frank. ms. long: the dodd frank he likes is the one that guarantees too big to fail. it allows enormous risks in the biggest banks, and promises to transfer that risk to the taxpayers.
that is what he likes, and that is what his big donors like. what i think is a much better bill, and what i propose, is the brown bitter bill which is pending in the senate. for those really really big institutions, $500 billion in , they need to increase their capital equity requirements so they can cover themselves. that prevents them -- they don't like that, because they would rather have more leverage -- and what the practical effect of that might be is to force them to downsize, which i think would be a good thing. it would be their decision. they can be responsible for themselves and not be on the hook for the taxpayers, or they can comply with increasing their capital requirements. sen. schumer: i have for capital requirements for all bank, not those that choose to have it. ms. long: you have punished the smaller and community banks, like first niagara. a wonderful, 150-year-old institution in buffalo.
it has been through the depression, two world wars, a great new york bank. sen. schumer: mismanaged. ms. long: could not keep up with , with all of. frank the regulators and all the requirements that you love to put on the big banks. it had a choice -- either it was going to have to grow, or it would have to sell us to banks. it chose to die. that was bad for new york. sen. schumer: she does not know the facts. there are much larger and stronger capital requirements on the big banks. the 50 largest banks have much tougher requirements than the community banks. should the community banks have some? absolutely. when community banks of these people, absolutely we should go after them. the thrust of dodd frank is that the largest institutions that things to fail, about
everyone who is studied this issue except for the hard right that does not believe in regulations, thinks that dodd frank is a good thing to rein in the banks. ms. benjamin: this goes to you ms. long. the supreme court did start its new session this month with one vacancy. the senate still has not voted on president obama's latest nominee, merrick garland. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell says he does not want to take up any nominees in the presidential election year. are you worried about the precedent this sets? what is your standard honor what -- on whether or not a nominee is confirmed? ms. long: what the constitution says is that the president shall nominate, and then with the advice and consent of the senate shall appoint. those are the two steps. the president has done his duty. he has nominated. consent the advice and of the senate for a person to ascend to the supreme court. there are no further
restrictions or directions on how the senate does that. in the case of merrick garland, i personally think the senate has done it efficiently. they knew they were not going to approve him, so they said why go through this charade of holding hearings. it is a waste of time and a waste of money. it just doesn't make any sense, since they're not going to approve him. that is a perfectly constitutional and proper way for them to discharge their duty. do you have a standard or litmus test for a candidate if he or she does in fact get before the senate for a confirmation hearing? ms. long: if there is a nominee who has a long judicial record, as merrick garland does, and one is able to judge on that record, and see something that is quite alarming -- and there are several things in the case of merrick garland. what alarms people as he had judged an important case that wants to the supreme court and
clarify the second amendment right in this country. everyone could be that quite easily that merrick garland twod vote to overturn those pro-second amendment cases that had only recently made their way to the supreme court, underscoring the guarantee that each one of us as americans has the right to keep and bear arms. that was just way too high-stakes to allow to go forward for those who saw that in his record. findschumer: let me say i it really very bad -- sally say -- that there -- shall we say -- that there has been no vote on merrick dollar and for all these -- merrick garland for all these months. this is unprecedented. look at the last four justices of the supreme court -- two were barely able debt fairly liberal, nominated by obama. the other two were conservatives, nominated by george bush. many democrats voted for them
and put them on the. leadership in the senate has done something unprecedented, which is saying they will not even hold a hearing. they will not even give the american people the chance to see up -- to see merrick garland's views. you may disagree with it, but so be it. that has been because they do not once to fill the bench. that is violating the whole principle of the way america works. we have never had this before, and i hope we won't have again. i hope that in the new congress, democrats and republicans will work together to at least ensure there is a hearing, and then let the chips fall where they may. ms. long: my ears are ringing. the difference in standard that you articulate when you are standing over here versus when you're standing over there. you have held up all kinds of nominees. you have articulated a standard for george bush's nominees,
saying if it is within the last year of the bush administration, they can't come forward. you filibuster them. you have done everything you can in every possible procedural posture to stop the nominees. sen. schumer: name one previous supreme court justice who did not get a vote in this amount of time. name one. you can't, because there isn't one. justice isn't even getting a hearing. this is wasting the time of getting a hearing. once you move forward with a hearing -- what about miguel estrada? sen. schumer: he had a hearing and a vote. ms. long: how long did that take? ms. benjamin: i think we will move on to the next topic. mr. louis: mr. schumer, if you are elevated to become senate majority leader, and hillary clinton is elected president, it wel be the first time that have seen a senate majority leader and a president from the same state. sen. schumer: not shabby for new york, right? mr. louis: not bad.
be working with someone you worked side-by-side with in the senate for eight years. some say that you would function as a rubberstamp for a clinton white house. how would you show your independence from clinton as the senate's democratic leader? and when, if ever did you disagree with clinton when you served together in washington? sen. schumer: i will work closely with, hopefully, president clinton. we tend to agree on many many issues. the worst that can happen in my judgment and next congress -- no matter who was the president and who controls the house and senate -- is another four more years of gridlock. the american people are frustrated. middle-class incomes have to get higher, it has to be easier to get to the middle class. gridlock does nobody any good. the majority leader, i've already talked to many of my republican colleagues. i want to work with them to get things done. i don't just want bills on the floor of the senate, we vote yes they vote no.
then they put bills on the senate, we both know they vote yes. when i disagree with secretary clinton, i will. she and i disagree greatly for .nstance on the iran agreement i thought that was a very bad idea. she thought it was a good idea. that didn't stop me. i got lots of briefings, and i came to the right conclusion. hopefully president clinton is wrong, i will disagree with her. mr. louis: in your senate years, where their issues of magnitude where you differed with her? sen. schumer: i'm sure there are issues we disagreed, but i cannot think of one of major magnitude where we disagreed. iranong: i think the agreement is one of major magnitude, and i'm glad you brought it up. i thought your behavior concerning that was very peculiar. you agonized over it, you read it, and then you said you finally came to this conclusion that it was a bad deal. were right about that.
but then, suddenly, you just went out of character big -- character. because what you usually do when you come to an intelligent conclusion -- sen. schumer: thank you. it happened sometime, you know? ms. long: you stand at a podium like this and let all your brilliance shine forth and tell people what is wrong with the deal. because you're so influential and so powerful, you want to persuade your colleagues to do the right thing. it is puzzling to a lot of us when you didn't want to do that, given that so much is at stake, and that the iran deal was such a bad deal. but then it continued as we went down to the next few months. billion going to iran. we had exchange of money for hostages. we had pallets loaded with swiss euros and francs and 11 i. government our trying to bring ironic back into the community of banking nations -- iran back into the community
of banking nations. all these things are happening, and i don't hear a people from you about any of that. i am just wondering why. sen. schumer: on the first issue, what i did -- and you're exactly right, i studied it so carefully -- i found on the most important issues, you are going to make somebody angry. that is just how american politics is. i spent a lot of time studying classified briefings, learning all kinds of things about it, and came to the conclusion that it was not a good deal. what i did one wednesday night, i sat at my desk, took out my nice little blue marking pen -- which i like very much -- and wrote on a yellow pad why i thought it was wrong. the next day, most conservative institutions praised it. some call it the most articulate reasoning against it as possible. and then, many of my colleagues would come up and ask me about my view, and i would tell them. persuade a lot of them.
the president persuaded more of them. that was not for lack of trying. i heard people asking why didn't twist arms and force people to vote for it, using my clout. that is not how the senate works for me. it was a decision of conscious. had an really -- i opportunity to tell people my reasoning. it was a decision of conscious for them to. ms. benjamin: we are going to have to take a brief break for timing purposes. in the meantime, we have shipped billions, and hundreds of billions of dollars back to iran, that has gone rights to what our state department labels the main state-sponsored terrorism, rights to the revolutionary guard. sen. schumer: we are in fact putting in for -- putting on the floor of the senate a bill for strong sanctions when we get back. ms. benjamin: we will cause to
take a short break. when we return, the senate will have the opportunity to ask one another questions. you have to stay with us in order to find out. [applause] ♪ ♪ ms. benjamin: we are back. we're live from the historic memorial at union college in schenectady with our exclusive time warner cable u.s. senate debate. each candidate gets to ask the other a question. senator schumer, you are up first. sen. schumer: mrs. long, throughout your career, you have stood for -- there are too much regulations of corporations.
someone say it is not regulation, but protection for the environment, for consumers, for workers. i would like to ask you, particularly since you are supporting donald trump who has a more libertarian view than you have expressed in the past, your view on regulations. the present put into regulation something to stop the cold burning plants from sending all their noxious stuff over to us. as you know, many of our lakes and other places in the adirondacks are dead because of that. i am for it, i don't know what you think. second, i would ask about the consumer protection board. it protects consumers when banks take advantage of them very i was one of the offers of this -- authors of this. the banks were cap a, but it was the right thing to do. what do you think of that? in unions.lieve i believe they are a way to
bring the middle class up. we have government regulations that protect workers when they try to organize a union heard what do you think of that? ms. long: i will go in reverse order. i actually believe in unions. i think the history of unions is something that is part of america and unimportant part of america. i think workers do need an equal bargaining power. i like that they are a private entity, instead of a government entity. that appeals to me very much. what bothers me is when i see the union bosses abuse their membership. when the members aren't really benefiting from what they are doing, the bosses are doing something that benefits them. that bothers me, and i think that is something we need to look at. going back to the cpf be -- cpfb. as you wrote it, it was ruled unconstitutional. i hope that will be fixed. we can't have agencies like this that are just re-floating in our government -- free floating in
our government. our founders were careful to set up a government with three branches, and the accountability of those three vantage -- particularly the executive. it is concerning to me that we have so many independent or free-floating executive branch agencies that are really unanswerable to anyone. what that means is they are not accountable to the people. there is no way for the people to have any recourse if they don't like what that agent he is doing. i hope that is going to be fixed. sen. schumer: it is functioning now. it was a little piece that had to be changed, but it is punching right now. ms. long: i do see a role for that. with respect to the coal -- i have not studied the levels of this, but i don't think we should be putting coal miners out of work. i think it is a put -- i think it is an important part of our energy resources. take a cost-benefit analysis. we have to see where works out that we can get clean air and
fill out a coworkers doesn't go miners work. senator, you are far richer than all my small donors are whot people, and the ones really a $10, $20 checks, i am the bernie sanders of campaign contributions -- small donors. they rightly sweet notes of encouragement, they sunday prayers, thus they send me prayers. that probably more to me than your $27 million means to you. there is a sense among the people that these people gave you the $28 million did not give it just because you will just -- just because they love you. expect something in return. do you think that is true? say that quarterly, you could disclose the actions
for giving -- forgetting all that money? sen. schumer: time and time again, i have opposed special interests, whether the financial, drugs -- i'm one of the leading proponents of generic drugs. the pharmaceutical industry does not like it, but it has made cheaper for billions and billions of dollars in the pockets of average folks. in sandy, when the insurance industry tried to take it vantage of the poor homeowners, i went after them and stopped it. i do the right thing. it is regardless of who contributes and who doesn't. somebody who contributes and that is angry with me, so be it. the best way to get all this money out of politics -- which i would like -- is to support the supreme court that will repeal
citizens united, the worst decision in 100 years. just a handful of people can put hundreds of millions of dollars into our system, undisclosed. would you help me oppose citizens united and get this disclosure you talk about? i have no problem with disclosure. i disclosed pretty much everything. i am hardly known as a resort, guarded person. you know, i am from brooklyn. , if it went,ed many of the things you once -- would you help us get it repealed? either legislatively or by the supreme court? sen. schumer: if you -- ms. long: if you believe anything he just said, i think he told us that bridge between brooklyn and lower manhattan. i'm asking that you disclose quarterly what you have done for the people who give to you, like
the $10,000 from mylan, when you keep about the epipen. all those big donations you get from hospitals and purchasing associations and year after year, you will not get rid of this anti-kickback rule. they get huge kickbacks, driving price spikes in generic drugs. huge sort of just so that we have to buy saline solutions from europe. it is crazy what these hospital cartels do. ms. benjamin: for timing purposes, we will have to take a break. but if you want to respond. senator schumer: judge my actions. --n at me then did there bad when at the end did there -- epipen did there bad these, i opposed them. i have said repeatedly to get the regulators to come down on epipen.
that means far more to families who need these then when you are talking about in terms of contributions. one more thing, my daughter has allergies. peanuts and shellfish. s to carry around several of these, and for $600 apiece families cannot afford this. take a final will break. we had one more round of questions and closing statements from the candidates still to come. [applause] ♪ ms. benjamin: welcome back once again to our debate between
charles schumer and wendy long. we have had spirited back-and-forth. we may try to move it along. senator, this question to you. in 2014, you said it was a mistake for democrats to pursue health care reform so early. you said it would have been smart to pursue something that meant more to a broader swap of the middle class. we have learned that premiums will go up quite a bit in some states. besiderty stands obamacare. do you believe you're yes vote was a mistake? what changes do you believe need to be made? i do notchumer: believe it was a mistake. in the old days, the insurance companies could say we will not ensure you. no more. what about college students who
get out of college and get a job, but they don't give you health care. now the insurance company is required to cover you up to age 26. for women, it is to be ok for insurance companies to discriminate against women and charge then much higher premiums than men who have the same relative health. all that is good. to throw out obamacare is a mistake. there are problems, absolutely. billt a provision in the that allowed insurance regulators to limit high costs. we should toughen that up. one of the reasons drug costs are so high is drugs that cost a fortune. i want to be very involved in generics. we should have a public option. we should let there be a public group that competes in the exchanges. obamacare only covers about a present of new york's -- 8% of
new york's people. for the rest, let there be a public option. one final point, i did not tell the president not to do obamacare. i said let's start off with more bipartisan support. education reform and immigration reform to bring the parties together. that is the kind of leadership i would bring to the senate. senator schumer: ms. long: answer one little thing? ms. benjamin: go for it. ms. long: you don't mind if george soros spends billions and billions, but you want to shut down conservatives spending money. senator schumer: i want to shut down everybody spending money. get them out of the system. unions, corporations, everybody. ms. long: what do you think the founders they said freedom of speech.
anator schumer: this is fundamental disagreement. i am a believer in the first amendment. but no amendment is absolute. put ans no right to advertisement on tv because you are a billionaire. that is a clear limitation when the whole business of government is being poisoned by a handful of people, putting in a whole ton of money, the first amendment is not absolute. it is not absolute when we have libel laws. it is not absolute against child pornography. this was the most ridiculous decision that just about every legal scholar thought was off the deep end. ms. benjamin: we had three minutes left. do you have anything to say about health care? ms. long: obamacare is an
unmitigated disaster. people come up to me with tears in her eyes saying they cannot afford these premiums. this is insane. we know how to visit. it is not how you said to fix it. you lie about how costs are going to go down. .hey have gone up we have another huge premium increase coming up. it is a disaster and it is killing the middle class. mr. louis: a quick question on immigration. keep your responses short. theschumer, do you support resettlement of syrian refugees to new york? hillary clinton has said she would like to see as many as 65,000 somewhere in the united states. should refugees the screen based based onscreened region of origin? they should be: screened on the basis of
possibility of causing terrorism. they go through a lengthy process. if i were isis and wanted to infiltrate a terrorist into the united states, i would use the visa waiver program. if you are a citizen of france or belgium or a friendly country, you come in no questions asked. the refugee issue is not a problem. terrorism is a source i have gone over left and right. the new york post called me knowledgeable and very good. line is i came up with the loan will provision. lf provision. i want to fight terrorism, refugees are not the problem. we will probably soon see what we have already seen in europe. all of our military leaders have
said we do not possess the means to adequately screen these refugees who are coming in because they do not have the documentation. it is not that we do not have the ability to do it, it is garbage in, garbage out. that is what is happening in europe. i'm afraid that is coming here. in addition to that, we have an actual genocide of christians going on in the middle east. no one has been able to explain to me why when we know that we can screen them with 100% certainty and that they do not pose any danger to us, why are we not admitting the christians? i don't know if the senator can answer that question. we can find places for these refugees that would be much more hospitable to them and much safer for us. ms. benjamin: we are out of time. if we did what: donald trump did, no refugees -- ms. benjamin: senator, it is
time for closing statements. this is been a: nice, lively, and fun debate. thank you very much. wellspring isy the middle class. that is what i have bought for in my whole career. the middle class and people trying to get there. as i came from a middle-class background, my dad was an exterminator, my parents worked so hard to give their kids a better life. all i want is for every new yorker to have that opportunity. that is why i have worked so hard to create jobs in new york and fight for jobs in every corner of the state. i am from brooklyn. sometimes i see that beautiful lady in the harbor with the torch. the torch symbolizes to most americans the american dream. american, the average
what does this dream means you? they will put it simple. it means if i work hard, i will do better 10 years from now that i am today. if you elect me, citizens of new york, i will work every day to make that george burn brighter. he says this at the end of every debate and most other speeches he makes. he says he is fighting for the middle class. at the end of his last bit, he said with a middle class, the best is yet to come. that was six years ago. we're still waiting. the problem is it has not happened. he invented an imaginary middle-class family. if you have to talk to a real middle-class family, they would tell you they are not doing so well. wages have been stagnant for a decade. we have had record low economic growth. new york has lost jobs and
people. it has lost congressional districts just to prove it. people are struggling with obamacare. the middle class is not doing well. the college debt, the fact they cannot find jobs, it is not going well. termafter year, term after -- mr. louis: that is going to do it. they're going to take us right off the air. thank you for joining us. that includes our debate against our candidates. we thank senator schumer and ms. long for participating. [applause] >> this has been a presentation of time warner cable news. a special thanks to union college. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> c-span brings you more
debates from key u.s. senate races. rand paul and jim gray debate for the kentucky senate seat. live coverage on c-span of the louisiana senate debate between a field of candidates, republican congressman, several democrats, republican representative john fleming, republican reps in the and david duke. and kelly ayotte and maggie hassan debate for the new york -- new hampshire senate seat. watched the debates from house, senate, and governor races on c-span and c-span.org and listen on the c-span radio app. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in the election, in the presidential election, eight days until election day. hillary clinton focusing on ohio. a rally coming up in about half
an hour. she will be joined by arizona congresswoman debbie giffords and her husband mark kelly. we will have that coming up on c-span. on election day, november 8, the nation decides our next president and which party controls the house and senate. stay with c-span for coverage of the presidential race, including campaign stops with hillary clinton, donald trump, and their surrogates. follow key house and senate races. c-span, where history unfolds daily. with just a little over one week to go until the elections, newsmakers is glad to post steven law. he hosts american crossroads and the nonprofit called one nation, all of which aim to keep the republican majority in the senate. thank you for being with us.
we should tell folks that in former parts of your career you --e chief with much mcconnell. you bring that experience to our discussion this morning. let me introduce our guests. susan is with and washington examiner. thank you for being with us this week. as we start out, you gave an interview last week talking about the prospects for keeping the majority. you acknowledge a tough road ahead. you said you would go out with guns blazing. with more money attached to particularly tight races, and a few more days, do you feel differently? >> we have a lot of challenges we're pushing through. those challenges have been with us in the last six months. if you look at that top 11
competitive senate races, republicans own 10 of them. it is like defending our goal at the one yard line for the last six months. a continues to be that way. in addition, we have a ticket that is not totally unified in the way we tivoli go into -- typically going to presidential election years. in many of these races that we're coming down to the end, they are top states. they are states that president obama want and hillary clinton is likely to win. our candidates will have to outperform the top of the ticket. >> these are the ones that are closest, missouri, nevada, ohio, pennsylvania. are you focusing on any of those? >> we are focused on florida. we are finishing our work there. the focus is going to be very heavily there. i would simply say that just a couple of hours ago we heard the
senate majority pac is looking at wisconsin. they are worried about that race tightening. we also have to look at that race as well and addition to everything else. >> speaking of tightening, to what do you attribute the last-minute shifts we see in the polls right now? we are seeing shifting in hampshire where kelly ayotte has fallen behind. missouri where roy blunt is tied with his democratic challenger even though he is in a red state. this somakes interesting and challenging is there is no one-size-fits-all way to look at these races. some of the variations are being caused by unique circumstances and those races. kelly ayotte took a tumble with republican voters when she publicly announced she would no longer support donald trump after earlier technology and as a role model. -- acknowledging him as a role model.
i don't know where exactly we are in the polls. for roy blunt, his race is getting across pleasure -- pressure by the presidential and gubernatorial races. those are dominated by outsiders. senator blanche has been a great -- blunt has been a great senator. he has been painted as an insider. i think that has hurt him. >> how would you measure the impact of donald trump on these down ballot races? you have him having an impact on individual races such as kelly ayotte and some other races as well where the candidate has revoked their endorsement, maybe in nevada. what is the impact than of donald trump? ago, democrats predicting a blowout. we have seen a marginal impact.
in all of our pulling up to now, the republican candidate position on donald trump whether they are for him or somewhere in the middle, there is a relatively negligible impact on how voters feel. roughly one quarter of hillary clinton voters do not like her. they're just voting against donald trump. if a republican takes a position where they are marginally opposed to donald trump, they could align themselves with diehard republicans who are opposing donald trump, and they may i got some democrats or voting only for hillary clinton because she is not donald trump. the publicansk will retain the majority? >> i do not want to predict how it will turn out. the two things that concern the are the breadth of the battlefield. of the 11 competitive seats, we
untenable. a significant challenge that we have -- in typical presidential years, whether you love your candidate or not, there is a tremendous amount of across-the-board unity. the voter turnout is handled by this group, and everything is working essentially seamlessly. we do not have that this time. we have a lot of division in the ticket. it may not matter how voters view individual candidates. machinery to make sure we get out the vote are less set down than they typically are. that concerns me. immigrants that they were going to win florida, ohio, and arizona. doesn't that all but completely -- those have been all but completely taken off the table. states thate safe hillary clinton is likely to win, all of our candidates are
currently running against donald trump, somewhat narrowly. we will see whether they will outperform him and him to hold those states -- and not to hold those -- enough to hold those seats. >> you mentioned florida. there has been some reporting lately about democratic dissension about the decision to abandon their candidate there, patrick murphy. it sounds like the senate majority pac is dipping their tell back in. if democrats, with $5 million to put behind murphy, with a get senator rubio more of a contest? >> they would get him a contest certainly. the problem patrick murphy has is similar to the primary.
he is not that well known. he does not have enough resources to fully prosecute the case against marco rubio. was he found was that he could drive up marco rubio's negatives, but he could not make himself viable. if we look at our pulling and most public pulling shows the ise things patrick murphy somewhat well-known. and he has even favorable and unfavorable ratings. that gets very hard to push out in the last week of elections. it was a tough choice for the democrats to cut their losses, but probably from their vantage point, it was the right choice. they would have to spend $5 million-$10 million to even make it competitive, and even then, marco rubio would win. ms. ferrechio: can you ask -- explain your last-minute expenditures? rather than having a slowdown in this final week or two, you are revving things up and putting more money into races almost
unexpectedly. can you talk about that decision and what was behind it? mr. law: absolutely. typically, this time of the election cycle is agonizingly slow because we have banked everything, we cut all the ads, now we just sit and look at the polls. the silver lining of this activities, we are able to thrust ourselves into the work that still needs to be done. but what we have seen for several weeks is democratic money coming in tens of millions of dollars into senate races. as far as we can tell, it is because groups, particularly unions, are under the view that hillary clinton may have won the presidential race, and it is time to focus on down ballot opportunities. that created a huge imbalance in the polls. we felt we have to find a way to overcome this, and we were able to. i was not sure we were going to be able to, but we were able to raise a significant amount of money within the space of six
days, and we were able to at least even out the disadvantage our candidate had. if you subtract out the $25 million that we have put in in the last two weeks, we will have spent from labor day to election day a total of $85 million in senate races, on top of the $25 million at the end. it is not like we were doing this at the last minute. we were able to expand, do more digital advertising, so we were able to do more at the end. but it was necessary because of this title wave spending on the democratic side. >> how did you raise $25 million in six days? mr. law: we were on the phone a lot. [laughter] that is the short answer. the longer answer is, in particular, leader mcconnell at the beginning of the cycle recognized there needed to be a corollary to what harry reid successfully built in the senate majority pac, and what both republicans and democrats have
done with their respective governors association's. he encouraged us to make the senate majority fund -- the senate leadership fund, and build a corollary 501c4. over the course of the last couple of years, he and others, including myself, have worked hard to build a national donor network that is invested in saving the senate majority. i can't imagine how many miles he has logged, but he has worked to convince people this is important. we have gotten a lot of buy-in for that. that ended up being critical because a number of donors, particularly donors we have had in the past, have been discouraged about the presidential race. some of them have checked out. they just haven't been that involved. their ability to focus on something that is achievable, which is helping senate candidates doing something they feel has a measurable impact, enabled us to build the network.
in fairly short order, we can send out the alarm, and send the bat signal, and do everything we need to do. a lot of the donors responded generously. without the legwork, it would not have been possible to do it that fast. >> how do you sell that to the donors? if they think the top of the ballot is not someone i necessarily like, and he drags down lower ballot races, what do you say to donors about maybe the disconnect between who they favor as a nominee and the republican senate candidates you are asking them to help salvage? mr. law: sure. one thing is a number of donors had supported other candidates in the primary process. they started from a position of disappointment that whoever they
invested in did not end up being the nominee, but a lot of the donors also had a lot of buy-in to the senate majority. we helped get a number of people in who a lot of people think are the future of the republican party. people like tom cotton, joni ernst, and other people who are aspiring, sharp leaders who are conservative, but have a tremendous amount of appeal. convincing them to support the future of the party, and something that i think a lot of the donors gravitated to, at a time when they fell at the top of the ticket had not worked out the way they hoped. ms. ferrechio: can you talk about the way the different candidates have handled donald trump? we have seen everything from those that endorsed him early on and stuck with that. those that never backed him, those that endorsed and unendorsed, and then re-endorsed. which of those scenarios has been more successful in this
election? [laughter] mr. law: susan mentioned at the onset my long relationship with senator mcconnell. one thing i always admired is his ability to lock down in a position and stick with it. very often what happens is people stop asking you. if you will give the same answer today that you got six months ago, you get bored and move on to somebody else. i think one of the challenges some of the candidates have had is they feel the need to respond to every news cycle and everything that trump says. that has caught some of the candidates up. as i said earlier, polling indicates that where a candidate is on donald trump has a relatively negligible impact on voters. if they are marginally against him, they pick up hillary clinton voters who don't like her that much, but they may affect the republican side. i think where the candidates have gotten in the most trouble is where they have taken
multiple positions in short order that makes them look like they are trying to achieve a political advantage rather than operating on principle. i think that is the area of candidates have gotten themselves in trouble. at the end of the day, does it matter much? i think it may not matter that much in the end, but that is a risk. ms. werner: as you say, mcconnell has locked down his position on trump, he has endorsed him, but has kept quiet throughout much of the campaign. what do you see his role as, in the next congress, if it is a 50 -50 senate, which is possible? then you will have a tiebreaker for the white house. what do you see as his role in the minority? do you see him remaining as the republican leader, or maybe moving on? a lot of people are wondering what the future holds for the majority leader. mr. law: i haven't talked to him about that, but my expectation is that his unique tips of
-- gifts of leadership will be all the more necessary, regardless of where we end up, whether donald trump happens to win the white house or hillary clinton is president, or whether we are at 50 or 49. one of the things that has stood out in this particular election is that senator mcconnell has worked probably harder than any republican leader in history to make sure that there was an outside effort that was funded, and aggressively focused on making sure we get everything we could to defend the majority. i think that will matter a lot. additionally, he's a tremendous leader for figuring your way through adverse circumstances. if we are in a situation where the wind is not at our back, that will be something where people want his leadership. the last thing i will say the other thing you can't forget , post this election, is two years from now, there will be another election, where it will be the absolute inverse.
many more democrats, versus just eight republicans. that's an opportunity to get the majority back, and having a four-time consiglio ringleader like senator mcconnell would be an asset. ms. ferrechio: say donald trump does not win on november 9. say republicans are in the minority, or even the majority. it doesn't matter, there is talk of maybe anger or backlash against leaders, either for not endorsing him or not supporting him enough, not getting behind him, not helping prop up the top of the ticket. what do you foresee in terms of potential backlash post donald trump at the gop establishment, who he has along the way, has had a lot of criticism in terms of how they did or did not support him? mr. law: some of that is kind of hard to predict. one of thi