tv Vice President Biden Speaks About 2016 Presidential Election CSPAN December 12, 2016 3:03am-4:11am EST
the clinton campaign thinks the fbi director cost her the election, and that was -- she was never indicted, but the mere fact that an enforcement person says not something new about her emails 10 down -- 10 days out some a lot of people think that is the reason she lost. that is more of a first amendment issues. mr. pildes: these critiques are about any system for enforcing any campaign law. this is not a criticism that is specific to public financing. it applies to whatever relations you have. mr. keating: that is my point. there should be a lot fewer of these revelations in the first place, but nevertheless, that is part of designing these systems
in a first amendment way, and most of the people who have proposed the type of systems want a very strong figure making the enforcement decisions. but how do you ensure that person is not going to tilt it in some way? it a very difficult problem to solve. mr. pildes: we will see what happens. this kind of reform always takes place first at the state level. it has always been the history of most kinds of reforms of the political process. it are more and more states who are moving to public financing system. we will see what record of experience we have with that so far. but the enforcement problems you are raising have not been an issue at the state level -- mr. keating: look that happened in wisconsin. in wisconsin we had a campaign finance law that a prosecutor had this john doe process he conducted predawn raids on essentially every important
conservative group and activist in the state, shut down the entire critique from the conservative side. mr. pildes: that is not a public financing system. that is an ordinary system that we had in the federal system and in most states. mr. keating: what happened in the new york race. a lot of people that de blasio won because of the enforcement process. >> you will have more enforcement which leads to the problem. the think that have put in public financing have an overwhelmingly blue tint to them. while we are looking for solutions to the party problem. mr. pildes: i do not think that is true with arizona. mr. ginsberg: no, it is not working, it is getting peeled back, and that was the by and large of the comments. the chances of what commands --
what amounts to the food stands for politicians on the federal level is like slim and mill. if you want a solution for strengthening parties can you need to look beyond the notion that government handouts are going to help your favorite politician who we have been all saying are not held in particularly high regard by the public anyway. mr. pildes: and that is why we will not get bipartisan support for public financing at the federal level. mr. boucher: on a contentious note, i need to say our time has expired. i think we have done a terrific job. very informative. let's give them a round of applause. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> follow the transition of government on c-span as president-elect donald trump selects his cabinet and republicans and democrats repair for the next congress. we will take you to key events as they happen without interruption.
watch live on c-span, watch on-demand at c-span.org, or listen on our free c-span radio app. >> we have a special webpage at c-span.org to help you follow the supreme court. select-span.org and supreme court near the right-hand top of the page. once on the page you will see four of the most recent oral arguments heard by the court this term. click on the view all link to see all the oral arguments covered by c-span. in addition, you can find recent appearances by many of the supreme court justices or watch justices in their own words, including one-on-one interviews in the past few months with justices kagan, thomas, and ginsburg. there is also a calendar for this term, a list of all current justices with links to quickly see all their appearances on c-span, and many other supreme court videos available on demand. follow the supreme court at c-span.org.
wasice president joe biden keynote speaker at the new york university school of law forum on the u.s. political system. he spoke about the importance of governing and listening to all constituents' concerns. this is about an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of the united states, joe biden, and former white house counsel and nyu law professor bob bauer. [applause] mr. bauer: when i was 20 years old in 1972 i interned at the committee, senatorial and first heard the name joe biden as a longshot candidate for the senate. the staff was skeptical that he could win, and while the
executive director was confident he would, he did. he was elected six times to the united states senate and the vice presidency of the united states in 2008 and 2012. but he won over that period of time the biggest selection of them all -- the admiration, the gratitude, in the affection of all americans, and it is truly bipartisan, as anyone who observed the tribute yesterday well knows. it's with that but i introduce to you the vice president of the united states, joe biden. [applause] thank youdent biden: all very, very much. thank you all very much. i want to make it clear -- the main reason i'm here is bob bauer told me to be. i'm delighted to be here, bob is a great friend, and his advice is only exceeded in its wisdom by his wife, who has been
advising me for a long time as well. i think bob is one of the great legal minds, as well. a man who every piece of legal advice he has given me, i am is consistent with what i decided when i got elected as a 29-year-old kid. i remember sitting with my legal advisors, and then sitting with -- i have the dubious distinction, when i filed my campaign finance disclosure as vice president -- the lead paragraph in "the washington saying no man has ever assumed the office of the vice president with fewer assets than joe biden [laughter] . [laughter] vice president biden: i assume they were talking financial and not intellectual. i would say to the guys who helped me with my tax return, make sure you keep me at least two feet behind the foul line.
bob has kept me behind the foul line. i trust his judgment implicitly. when he asked me to join you all here today, i was really happy to say yes, and i wish i could tend the whole day. i've am addressing some of the most interesting immersion issues of modern-day politics. from the role of big money, which i find corrupting in our political system, eye of the first person to introduce legislation is a-year-old kid to publicly financed elections. if you want a change overnight, instantaneously, the electoral process in america and the way we handle issues have public financing. i guarantee you, it would change overnight. i remember seeking the nomination in 2008, and i was in new york at a very hi-end fundraiser event, which was rare.
andere up in the east 80's, the elite of the democratic party new york were there. , mr.ellow asked me, "well chairman, do you talk to ordinary people?" and i said, "do you think i would be here with you if i didn't need your money?" i have been a great fundraiser, it helped me a lot. senator kaufman just about collapsed at the time. the point is, i hope you spent in some of the students focus on the role of money in the electoral process. you're also going to be talking about how the nature of, in my generation, the medium is the message. the medium has changed drastically in terms of how we communicate and how we absorb news and how we seek news.
and i don't think i know the baby-boom generation had caught up with him, and i don't think the millennials have either. there's no editorial filter that exists at all. that is both good and bad. it's going to determine an awful lot about how news is absorbed. we sell select these days. we watch what we agree with. folks who are conservative republicans, i doubt they watch much cnn or msnbc. liberal democrats don't watch a lot of fox news except for self-defense,. i'm serious, think about it. ourk about how cabined consumption of news is. think about how the fact that, selection.go --
it's been ugly, it has been devices, it has been coarse, it has been dispiriting. more about what personality than it was ideas, in my view. as the vice president of the united states i have traveled over one million, 200 miles. traveling to meet with virtually every major head of state in the world. i have been doing this a long time. i have met every single one. i think every major head of state in the last 35 years. not because i'm important, but that was the job i had at the moment. i find myself embarrassed by the nature of the way in which this campaign was conducted.
so much for the shining city on the hill. -- i knowct is that there is a sense in the country that maybe things are worse off than they really are, there's a sense that the country, that our institutions aren't working, and maybe we can never get them to work. for a lot of folks, it feels as if we are more divided than we have ever been in our history. and the election brought out the worst in the political system. but you know, i think this is a time to bring a little perspective, and the only thing i can do having hung around as long as i have is try to bring perspective to the moment. i had a chance to reflect on a number of these issues when i was asked by my only political hero -- i mean this without exception -- robert kennedy. he was the only person i
mineas a hero of when i was in college and law school. i have the great honor of receiving the ripple of hope award from madeleine kennedy and robert kennedy at the robert kennedy human rights center dinner on tuesday night. there were two other awardees more deserving of me, but one of them made a very compelling speech about how everything is broken, and he is so worried, and things have never been like this. a brilliant guy, for real. a serious, serious speech. askedwas prepared to and to talk about how robert kennedy owby his daughter, carrie, h his life influenced my career. at every stage of my career. i was prepared and i started off
with what it was prepared to talk about when i first became acquainted with him. it was as a high school senior, a junior, when president kennedy got elected, appointed attorney general. i was prepared to go through my -- i followed him when he was in the administration, and ran for president, etc. i started to think about it. know, things were a hell of a lot worse than they are now. the nation was a hell of a lot more divided than we are now. when i was 22, 1963, a sophomore in college, i was sitting on the steps of holly hall on a warm november day, and we heard our generational hero, john kennedy, has been assassinated.
it was stunning, absolutely stunning. he was the guy they convinced my generation almost overnight that politics was noble. that we could fundamentally change the trajectory of the nation. that there wasn't much we couldn't do. what i graduated, the vietnam war was raging. there were serious, serious divisions. family members did not speak to one another. your best friends split on the issue. canada,iding to head to others deciding that this was a most of usvor, and thinking it didn't make sense but we were ready to go, because that's what we were supposed to do. last year law school, 1968, january of that year, after being told the war is coming to
an end, a tet offensive occurred. there was a sudden, great comedian -- wry, outlandish, lenny bruce. he kept talking about the previous two years, the light at the end of the tunnel. he said there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is a freight train. and it was a freight train. a train that ran over a man who dropped to being president his old life, but -- his whole life, but concluded after the tet offensive, on may 31, that he was not going to run for reelection. lyndon johnson. it's something no one had ever known -- no one thought that was within the possibility. that he would walk away from power. 4, i had just gone to my physical for my draft, and i was
waiting in the airport in syracuse, new york for a package to come from home. sitting in the parking lot of hancock airport, i heard dr. king had been assassinated. i got engaged in public life because of dr. king. my state was segregated by law. my state was a border state. my state still had mrs. murphy's rule on housing -- you could not discriminate against anyone seeking a room unless you had four or fewer rooms in your house. it wasn't until 1968 when we elected the first black state senator. that's how i got involved when i was in high school, in college, in law school. he was assassinated. my city was one of those cities,
partially burned to the ground. my hometown that i was going to go home to in june, in wilmington, delaware, was the only city in america since reconstruction occupied by the military for seven months. corner, withvery bayonets. i graduated. and shortly after i started across the stage to accept my my only political hero was murdered after being named a putative nominee for the democratic party. imagine. those of you who are in school, imagine if when the last primary that determined barack be the president, had he been assassinated. imagine.
imagine what would have happened. august, the democratic with 10,000 protesters clashing in the streets for the whole world to see with 20,000 policeman and national guard. it was chaos. it was chaos. the 1970's, things continue to break. defender, public after having gotten a job with the most prestigious law firm in the state, the oldest law firm, after six months of being there, i realized i couldn't do it. and to the chagrin of my parents and everyone who knew me, i walked across -- those of you who have done federal cases in delaware -- i walked across rodney square from the federal
courthouse after just having won. i sat second chair with the senior partner, a major case for oil.struction company, i walked across the square and into the basement of the building that was catty corner. i asked for a job as a public defender. i'll never forget what the guy who ran it -- he looked at me and said, don't you work for prickly? do you know what you're doing? i knew what i was doing. i knew what i was doing. 4, 1970, peaceful protesters were gunned down by the national guard. four students killed, nine wounded. it was an antiwar protest. as the old saying goes, you think you have a tough now.
imagine. imagine that now. 1972, i was a punitive nominee for the democratic party at 29 years old. george wallace running for president, shot and nearly killed, permanently incapacitated in laurel, maryland. as a lot of my colleagues said i used to stutter badly, and i worked very, very hard to overcome my stuttering. i had an uncle who was a student of irish badly, and i worked ve, very hard to overcome my poetry, a bachelor who stayed with us often on for long periods of time, a salesman for eastern pennsylvania, from scranton. you would come down and stay with us, working the seventh district of his first company. always had a book of poetry,
yates, that would sit on my dresser, and we were typical middle-class, three-bedroom house, four kids, a relative always living with us. always. it was a great way to be raised, by the way. looking back on it, it was harder my parents, but it was great for us. it was nice to stand in front of the mirror with a flashlight, at bunks.n the two sets of mirrornd in front of the when they were asleep and i would take out that book of yates's poetry, and i would read it, and i would try to watch my face to make sure i didn't contort my face, because when stutter, andn you i notice a lot of you you are smiling --
i had a cleft palate, and you wouldn't smile. it's an incredibly debilitating thing. it's hard to walk up to a pretty girl and ask will you go to the p-p-prom with me. people think you are not smart. forolleagues in the senate, 36 years i served, they would kid me for serving irish poetry, just because i read it so much. poems, i thyates's remember thinking, as i was married at this time, yates's poem "the second coming," he said, "things fall apart. the center cannot hold. near anarchy is loosed upon the world. loosed, and tide is
everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned. the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." argue that this best described my generation and our country, when i was coming up. my whole generation was basically told, don't trust anybody over 30, and it wasn't a joke. dropout. possible them hold. would we thought it was all about to spiral out of control. but we made it through that year, those years, and that wholewe thought it was all abouo era.l out of
america was divided, but it didn't come apart. they didn't come apart. i thought then, as i think now, i believe we can change things. and i wouldeved, argue i was proven correct, that we could change things, and in a matter for five years, we did. era. we ended that damn war. we brought everybody home. theave voice, finally, to film of the civil rights movement. movement came into full and clear view, no longer viewed as the province of radicals like me and women's organizations. we made a hell of a lot of progress. paraphrase march, to history, inc of
this country in particular, is always toward progress. we made a lot of progress. i might add, ending on january 18, my standing on the platform station,lmington train the same place i used to go as a public defender to my clients who had been arrested by the national guard. i remember standing on that platform with over 25,000 people down below industry, waiting for a black man to take a 28 minute ride from philadelphia to pick an irish catholic kid up from a middle-class neighborhood. betake 129 mile ride to
sworn in as vice president of the united states of america. i was standing with my two boys and my daughter, overlooking the third straight years, there almost 40 almost to the day, because that is when i joined the public defender's office in mid-january. , do not tell me there is not progress in america. do not tell me a cousin at the time -- do not tell me because at the time, i wondered, would we ever, ever, ever be able to live together. so, folks, you know, one of the reasons i liked robert candidate was how he also -- he always quoted george bernard shaw. used see things --
that then, i believe it now. served longer than all but 13 people in an american history which is frightening. i cannot be that old. but i really mean it. know, i believe in the resiliency of the american people. basice fundamental, instincts of average americans. who are capable of doing extraordinary things. my dad used to say that there are two basic principles that all americans agree with. my father was a well read, high school educated man. his great regret was he never went to college. he says there are two things everyone agrees with, joe we. that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity no matter who they are. and he would say -- and by the
way, it is simply good manners. it was not complicated. most wealthy people believe that, poor people believe that. they don't always do that. the vast majority of ordinary americans know that. the one thinghat americans agree on is there of torrents the abuse of power. torrents -- abhor rence of the abuse of power. i know the debate now going on in my party. and outside the party. after everymal loss, there is a recalculation. why did we lose? what should we do differently? fact thatnding the hillary got 2.5 million more votes than the other team.
we talk about this as if there is a chasm, that is still wide. as ifdescribed in terms there is a fault line down the middle of the country and a split. we are now a bicoastal party, we are told. a bicoastal nation. -- theted, the phone's folks on the coast are more interested in progressive issues, immigration, climate change, lgbt right then they are in the plight of those left behind in the middle class. all of the white women. living in the suburbs. and, you know, my career, i have a in found there has been
-- an inconsistency with the ofcerns and difficulties working americans and being progressive. say this only for those of you who do not know my career but elected to the senate seven times. served only six times i had to leave to become vice president. rated betweenn three and seven as the most progressive senator in the entire time that i served. i did not have to be in a position where my position on lgbt evolved. it you vault when i was 17 years old. civil compare my role in rights, civil liberties, women's issues to anybody. to anyone that i served with in all of those years. characterized in
this town and other places as "middle-class joe." in, for most audiences washington that is not meant as a compliment. that is usually meant that he is not that sophisticated. nut i am pretty dam sophisticated about what made this country what it is and that is the middle class. the middle class has held the social fabric of this country together when in other countries, it has frayed. the middle class is an aspirational notion. it is pretty straightforward. through the campaign, i spent a lot of time in union halls in ohio, pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin. events in this
last campaign. 50 uniquely hillary. hillary.ly the party that always included hillary. and i talked about how we needed to change the culture in protecting women from violence. -- union guys would cheer this idea that all these blue-collar guys are a bunch of racists and sexist is simply not true. it is simply not true. in youngstown, ohio at an automobile plant. absolutely packed house. i started talking about equal pay for women and a resounding cheer went up. you know why? some of the sophisticated people in washington do not get it. if their wives don't get paid well, their standard of living
decreases. it is not complicated. it is not complicated. passion to endmy violence against women on college campuses. all of those guys have daughters. they cheered. idea that somehow what was the base of the democratic compatible longer with democratic principles, i reject. and i might point out all of those places where our candidate got beat, 90-10, 80-20. barack and i almost one or -- close.s we got 40% of those votes in the red areas of the counties that you see.
much up for it all being about racism. me, when i think about the challenges in front of us, i think about the people i grew up within my neighborhood. most of all, the american people are full of great and determination, a sense of fairness, equity, and balance. there is no "quit" in an american people. they get up and move forward. and i am really proud of what barack and i did for the economy. more than 15 million new jobs after losing almost 800,000 jobs the day we were sworn in, that month. ,ost unemployment rates rescuing the auto industry. globalizationhat and digitization and the use of robots and the depth of the recession, there are still
people that got left behind. my dad used to say -- joey, i do not expect the government to solve my problem but i do expect it to understand my problem. the highest rate of suicide is white women -- white men between the ages of 40 and 55. the greatest use of opioids is not in black neighborhoods or barrios, it is the white men. the only cadre of people in america where the life expectancy has gone down in the last 100 years falls in the same category. intelligent people would ask themselves why. why -- what the hell happened? say that ever
since he had to move from scranton where there was no work and leave us with our grand pop. it was no hardship. we had a great family. everything was fine. i remember when he told me he was going down, that it was only 157 miles away and that he would try to come home most weekends and when he got set he would bring us down. he really believed that it would be ok. there was a basic organ back them. , that if youagreed contribute to the well-being of the enterprise in which you were, you got to share in the profits. that does not happen now. for a whole range of reasons. some of them in tended, some unintended, a whole range of reasons. i know i got in trouble at the convention when i spoke and i
talked about why i thought hillary would make such a great president but i did say that we were not paying enough attention to these people. we are not showing enough respect to these people. not anzation is unalloyed asset to everyone as much as those of us in washington think. and quite frankly, even those with middle-class backgrounds, is not elite in america the social elite, it is the elite lawyers, elite doctors, , ceos.ublic officials and it is meritorious. it is black, white, women, days, straight.
-- gays, straight. but there is not a lot of connection to the old neighborhood you grew up in. --et i can tell you students i can pick any of the four neighborhoods you live in. we tend to congregate with people of like backgrounds. that is normal. and that is a good thing. not a bad thing. but not a lot of people from my old neighborhood. the middle class and met when it does well. the wealthy does very well. the poor has a way up. there is hope.
said and got some criticism from my own staff they thought i was indirectly criticizing the campaign but i was not because she agrees with me. when i said that we are not showing enough respect to a segment of the population that is scared to death. not just because of the effects of the middle class and its sense of loss of wealth. how many people do you know, i know a lot, and never missed a mortgage payment but the long-term effect of the cockamamie mortgages -- the only equity they had in their home evaporated. we lost $17 trillion worth of household wealth. we gained back 34. it was not because the top 1% are bad guys but they got about 80% of it. why?
they did not lose their homes. they did not get knocked out of the market. they could stay in. the day the discussion we were inaugurated, would the market fall below 6000? remember that? all of those little investors are in their with their pension funds and their iras. now it is over 19,000. but guess what? they are not in there anymore. one of the things that bothered me the most was and i remember i was going into cleveland. i was in the plane flying with my staff. and i could not understand why i was getting so upset about the election. this was a month out. and i don't know if you have ever had one of these up into
the -- up in these yourself about what is bothering you. and i realized what it was. elections are supposed to be about referenda on ideas, the direction of the country. so that when a president is elected, they can say -- this is what i told you i am going to do. the majority of you agree with me and this is what i'm going to try to do. than make america great again and "forward together" what do you know about the last election? -- you areg the most among the most educated people i could talk to. and i am not being solicitous. i wonder how many of you can tell me what hillary's plan was for free education. i wonder how many can tell me how we planned to change the
text structure to make it more equitable. i wonder if you can tell me what the position of either candidate was on the south china sea and how to engage china. and i could go on. and i would challenge you to tell me the detail. even if you were on the campaign. sasser.ds me of jim a great guy from tennessee. the way he would always run. when there was a spending program people would ask him how he was going to pay for it -- waste, fraud, and abuse. why wasn't there more discussion? hillary clinton in my view is the single most qualified candidate we have had, period. period.
she did have all of these ideas. some of which is here today, you did not cover it. it was not your fault. when a guy talks about grabbing a woman's private parts, when a guy says some of the incredibly outrageous things that were said, it sucks up all of the oxygen in the air. i was told there was something this,don't hold me to there were 44 more times -- 44 more stories about hillary's emails than any other single issue she talked about. it is not the fault of the press. it was just a reality. ande was little discussion it was a very close election. 120,000 votes, a different
outcome. so any number of things could be attributed to why my team lost and their team won. fbi toe director of the not showing up enough and paying enough attention to people. but the one thing i think is wasty clear is that there not much of a discussion of the issues, even in the debates. so, the reason i bothered to tell you that and i apologize for going on but it means so much to me and i think to the i really think that i am still optimistic for this country because we are better positioned than any thetry in the world to own
21st century by a long shot. and now, we will have a chance to have a debate. because, there will be specific individuals and proposals put forward to the congress even though the other team controls both houses and the debate will have to be covered. know, i guess it was pt barnum who said -- there is no such thing as bad publicity. i am not sure who said that. and donald trump said that. it turns out he is pretty damn smart in knowing how to deal with the press. you would think that some of the things that he said would ipso asto declare him inappropriate for the candidacy. the debate about was there
something in and email versus something in his background that disqualified him. so, i think if you listened to the election that just happened, you might think the world is ending. that we are saying where we need to be. we are a long way from that but i am telling you that now i think there will be a real debate. a real discussion. because those issues and proposals will come forward to eliminate or initiate. fundamental changes are going to be debated. they will be coverage. the public will hear them. will hear them. and i feel confident about our ideas. i will give you one example. desire on theing
part of the republican party to eliminate obamacare. [laughter] -- man all of a sudden, as they say in southern delaware, they have had an altar call. they have seen the lord. now, what are they going to do? repeal of obamacare, make it permanent but not take effect until the next election. think about it. think about it. just repealt bad, it. have at it right now. repeal it, wholesale. watch county hospitals go under. take 20 million people off health care. -- mye press covering mother just died because she lost her coverage. of kidshose millions who are on your policies up to
age 26 because they cannot afford insurance on their own, thrown off. all of a sudden, insurance companies going back to charging women more than men for the same coverage. all of a sudden, pre-existing conditions. oh, they matter? i don't get coverage? , i welcome the debate. i can hardly wait. -- i am not being a wise guy. i can hardly wait to engage this debate. and you are going to see the american people begin to refocus again because there will be a focus. it will not solve all of the problems. we will not have the answer for globalization in the next six months or a year. we will not figure out how to deal with --.
i was a keynote speaker at doubles -- davos last year. over 88 heads of state. they gave me an easy topic. to thesked me to speak "fourth industrial revolution -- "fourththere industrial revolution: will there be a middle-class." two vastly oversimplified in the interest of time, i would say we are probably about where we were in the industrial revolution in england when the luddites were wandering the midland and smashing the machinery. not a joke. all of society was turned upside down in that revolution.
part notce of society completely turned upside down. but it is fractious, afraid, uncertain. and waiting to figure out how will this benefit me. went to, i told you i receive the award at the robert kennedy foundation. in the medicare, the affordable care act, the infrastructure of how to pay for it, college --cation, retraining in jobs we were going to have to discuss and people were listening to. robert kennedy was talking about some versions of those things back when he was running.
and one of the things he always argued about, was that we do not listen enough. we do not listen to the other person's perspective. it is understandable, human nature. used to talk, he about it. and i remember when he went to south africa. governmentth african , who said i am not going to give you any police protection, you will have no coverage and ethel went with him. and he went and he met with the pro-apartheid parishioners and the anti-apartheid activist. he dined with the government officials, the afrikaner government who defended the indefensible anti-sat with students who were risking their very lives to change the system and here is what he said -- i
come not simply to criticize but to engage in a dialogue. to see of together we can elevate reason of the prejudice and myth. he did that same thing the next year in the middle of the deadly battle full civil rights in greenville, mississippi. in york. and a year after, in the fight for economic rights in kentucky coal country. he went to see the segregation of poverty that was ripping apart our country. and he always listened. even those who fundamentally disagreed with him. individual conversations, large crowds, across mountains, rough mountains. schoolhouses. inner cities. his purpose for all of those trips he made were to list -- was to listen and to let people know he was listening. even if they did not vote for him or like him, he listened. their pain and he
understood their perspective. so i think the most important thing we have to start doing, in and out of government, is to listen to one another again. the simple truth is, we do not listen very much anymore. i will conclude by saying -- i am always asked what is the biggest change since you entered the senate as a kid. when i entered the senate, i saw how divided we were. the segregationists were still in the democratic caucus. james from mississippi. mccallum, meanest as ob i ever served with. harry byrd from virginia. i can go down the list. they are all still there. they are all still there. but you know what? while, it ishere a amazing how when even the "bad
guys" listened -- by the time strom thurmond left the senate, he had the largest african-american staff in the senate including teddy kennedy. he voted for the extension of the civil rights act. on his deathbed, at the age of 100, i've got a call asking me to do his eulogy. i ran for the senate because i was against everything he stood for. honest in the eulogy also. i did not paint a rosy picture. but he changed. a long time in coming. a long time in coming. man who was most bitter of all of the people i got elected with. he ended up saying awful things
about african-americans. i mean, just flat racist things. and he said two years before he all over if he did it again, he would go to africa to be a missionary because he was wrong. chris. and i were the only two people to show up to his funeral in north carolina. baptistx church, a big box church. in a side room, is reception room where all of the senators went in to meet the family as a walkout before the service started. i will never forget. helms to really bright and beautiful daughters and a son who was 50 some years old with steel braces up to his hips and on both arms who they had adopted in that same condition when he was 14 years old. and they walked out. i stepped back and he walked up
to me. -- joe, we put your sign on our lawn or president. you and barack obama. we voted for you. i don't expect epiff if is to occur and some of this takes a long long time. and i'm not trying to paint them into being saints. they did some terrible things, in my view. and i voted against them constantly. ut if you listen, if you listen to the other guy's perspective, it's amazing what happens. it takes patience. but it's hard. we don't listen much any more.
you know, i learned a lesson from senator mike mansfield when i was a kid. said i got elected when i was 29, november 7. i didn't become eligible to be sworn in until november 20th. and december 18 my wife was christmas shopping and was broad sided killed my wife, daughter, and my two boys were badly injured. i decided i wasn't going to the senate. we had a democratic governor, they could appoint a successer. a group of people including mike mansfield and hubert humphrey and fritz holland and ted stevens came to me and said, you've got to come be sworn in just be there for six months and help us organize. we had 58 democratic snarlingts for me to organize. but i used to have to report to the office of the majority
leader every tuesday at 3:00 and i got an assignment. i honestly thought every senator got assignments from the majority leader. like i said, i'm the first senator i ever knew. and one day when i was walking in from my meeting i walked on the floor and jesse helms was ipping in to ted kennedy and bob dole. on the precurser for the america's with disabilities act saying we have no obligation, we have no requirement. it's wrong to mandate businesses have curb can you tell us and elevators et cetera. i thought it was heartless. and i walked in, i sat down. i didn't realize until about then is the reason he was seeing me was to take my pulse to see how i was doing, how i was handling going home every day. he said, what's the the matter, joe? and i went on and i ripped in
to jesse helms. i said he has no social redeeming value and i went on and on. he doesn't care about -- he looked at me and said joe, i found something interesting here. everybody gets sent to the congress because the public finds something admirable about them. i found it's better use of your time to try to find out what that is than go after people and question their motive. then he said, joe, what would you say if i told you that three years earlier sitting in a room in their living room in raleigh reading the observer, there was an advertisement for a young man, i think 14 at the time, in braces up to his hips saying all i want for christmas is someone to love me. what would you say if i told you if jesse and d.o.d. helms went down and adopted that young man as their own child? i said i would feel foolish. he said, joe, it's never, never
wrong to question another man or woman's judgment. and go to war over it. but it's never appropriate to question their motive. because as obvious as it appears, you don't know. and once you question motive you can never get to go. we do too much of that now. so we should not remain silent one instant when this administration goes after the progressive values we should care about. we should not back away one sin tilla from the arguments and the merits all the things we care about. but we should listen and we should realize the american people are a lot better than they're goifen credit for right now. and lets go back to speak to the people, as they used to
say, that brung us to the dance. one of those working class people, black and white, are the ones that brought us to the dance. thanks for listening. sorry for being so serious but i think it's a serious time. but i am optimistic. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2016]
i want to go ahead and call the military personnel subcommittee to house armed services to order. i want to welcome everyone to the subcommittee's hearing on the california national guard bonus repayments issue. we are here today to hear from the california national guard, the national guard bureau, and the office of the secretary of defense on an issue that we must get right. in fairness to not only the california guardsmen that this affected, but for all service members going forward. compensation, whether it is a bonus for a service agreement, or regular pay, is an obligation to our service members and their families that they should not have to worry about. i find it unacceptable that we would place the additional burden of years of concern about the legitimacy of a bonus payment, or a student loan repayment, on those who volunteer to serve. the armed services committee has taken action in the 2017 national defense authorization act to address this issue. and (a) subcommittee is taking every opportunity to thoroughly review and discuss the way
forward so that we can prevent such a widespread problem or abuse in the future. our purpose today is to gain an understanding from those involved on why this happened and what we can do to prevent it, going forward. before i introduce our panel, let me offer the congresswoman davis an opportunity to make any open remarks. thank you, mr. chairman. and i would also like to welcome our witnesses today. i actually regret that we have to have this hearing to discuss a major pay issue that impacts 17,000 soldiers in one state, my home state of california. were it not for the l.a. times article in october, congress would not know the extent of this 12-year old issue, nor would we issue -- nor would the issue have been elevated to the department of defense. our understanding after this was first brought to our attention in 2010 was that a process was in place to adjudicate the issue. but six years on, we are still trying to fix it. numerous investigations, audits, and briefings have informed us of how we got to
this point. my focus today is to ensure that, through the legislation just passed by the house last week as part of the 2017 ndaa, an update from the (jud) that we guarantee that those who should keep their bonuses do so, and that the systems and controls are in place to prevent an incident of this magnitude from happening again. while it is important that we perform oversight (of) the process moving forward, it's also critically important that we do not forget the service members and their families that have been deeply affected by this. once these families have encountered financial hardships, we know it can be truly difficult to recover. even if we return their bonus, we have already upended their lives by creating unnecessary emotional stress and financial instability. our military families, as we all know, have a tough enough time without