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tv   Washington Journal Angie Drobnic Holan Discusses Obama Presidency  CSPAN  January 17, 2017 9:03am-9:33am EST

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have another source for political research. >> if i need any political advice or information on issues, i can go to a nonpartisan site that will tell me everything i need to know. 150 studentsely had an opportunity to go on the bus and learn information they can use while in the classroom and at home. until next time, i am egg save your williams. >> on the road with the c-span bus. >> "washington journal" continues. a discussion of campaign promises made by then candidate barack obama with angie holan of polar the fact here at she is their editor. -- of politifact. guest: we publish fact checker reports about whether politics is true or not, and we also do campaign promise tracking. for the past eight years, we
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have been tracking roughly 500 of president barack obama's campaign promises from 2008 and 2012. host: you say 257 promises fall ofo the kept category, areas copper mise, 147, and promises broke, 129 promises. guest: it is interesting. progressde complete are some progress on about three quarters. so we saw a lot of things done that he said he would get done, and about one-quarter were broken. some of the broken promises would be to close guantánamo. he said he would do it but do not move quickly enough when he had a democratic congress. when the republicans took control, they put up a roadblock. we rate of the promises based on outcomes, so if he does not get it done, it is a promise broken. another promise broken was end the war in afghanistan by 2014,
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a 2012 promise. the conflict in afghanistan is still substantially ongoing. a promise broken. then he said he would cut health care premiums. this is from 2008 at he said his health care plan would reduce premiums for families by about $2500 or the best he can say is that he slowed down the growth, but premiums did not drop the way he said they would. host: this is wrapped up in some the called the obameter. guest: we call the project the obameter. it is a database online, a politifact website. as things happened around the promises, we would rate them. sometimes we would rate them in the works were stalled. days away from completion, we kept, all the promises broken, or compromised. the: we talked about
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promises and the ability to keep them or not. guest: he promised to make a national healthcare exchange. we rated this one compromised, because the health care marketplaces are actually state-based. but interestingly, many of the states said we cannot do this, or we will not do it, the federal government needs to do it. so we had debate on that promise . we ultimately went with compromised. host: to ask our guest about fore promises, 202-748-8000 democrats. 202-748-8001 for republicans. .or independents, 202-748-8002 is there a category where most of the promises were kept? does it break down that evenly? over archingare dynamics to it when he needed congress to get things done, he ran into roadblocks.
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he did not get cap and trade programs to deal with climate change. some legislation on that actually passed during the democratic congress, but they cannot get it all the way through. when republicans came in, they stopped that. we saw him taking a lot of executive action, and the promises he could keep their executive action, he largely kept. he got a lot done with the stimulus. i know that seems like a long time ago now, the recovery act of 2009. he funded a lot of his priorities for education, infrastructure, for clean energy through that stimulus bill. so he got a lot done. host: meaning all the money originally in the stimulus reached its intended goals and purpose? guest: it helped him keep some of his promises. he had promises to invest in clean energy and renewables, and
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there was money in the stimulus to do that. host: again, the numbers will be on your screen if you want to talk to our guest. melvin from fort lauderdale, florida, live, democrat. go ahead. caller: yes, one of the main things that i see as ironic is the fact that no trump is talking about all this major infrastructure programming he like to do, and it looks congress is trying to work with him to get that done. however, obama tried to push for that for his whole eight years of office. with respect to the programming, we always wonder why you change your programming from not having on when obama has been in office, but now that trump is in office, you're going back to that particular type of programming with pros and cons.
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-- before, youo allow people to put whatever kind of negative stuff they wanted to put out without correcting it. the overall communication between people, and a lot of this hatred is going on because people spewed whatever they wanted to do and told lies. host: i have to stop you there because i want to keep to the topic of the nature of our program. taking athe last hour pro and con look at the president's accomplishments. guest: he asked about infrastructure. i would say obama's major accomplishments on infrastructure were from the stimulus. there were a number of major transportation projects completed from the stimulus. wasle have said nothing done from the stimulus, but that is not true. there were a number of very specific projects that got done. the other thing is that we have
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seen, during the campaign, both candidates clinton and trump made promises about infrastructure. they want to do more, so we will be tracking whether donald trump gets his infrastructure promises kept. host: bob in boston, massachusetts, independent line. barack obama,8, after he was nominated for president, at the democratic convention, we first heard the term antiwar kennedy. while he was running for president, he never mentioned anything about the antiwar. i just want to know why nobody and confronted him on that stating the facts. he never mentioned he was an antiwar candidate. guest: that is a great question. we wrote a very long story for
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our obameter project about obama's record in iraq and afghanistan. i understand what you are saying about him running as an antiwar candidate. he was very much against the war in iraq, saying it was the wrong war and he was going to put a finish to what george w. bush started. he was very critical of george w. bush here he also promised to vigorously pursue the war in afghanistan, and one of his promises kept was eventually osama bin shooting of laden, the death of osama bin laden on his watch. overall, he has gotten some promises kept he seems to have worked hard. to reduce the u.s. presence in iraq, but some people blame that for now the rise of isis. afghanistan is still a complicated situation. so he has kind of a mixed record
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there on what was promised and how things came about. for: 202-748-8000 democrats. republicans, 202-748-8001. .ndependents, 202-748-8002 do you consider it a promise broken if the president tries and fails? consider it a promise broken. we had a long debate about that. we cannot read intentions. politicians all the time say they try really hard at sometimes they really do, and sometimes they do not. it is really hard to tell. we felt like we wanted to give our readers a clear picture of what the outcomes were. host: how does this president track as far as the promises or compromised as far as previous presidents? inst: we started our site 2007, but we have tractor the
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governors. rick scott of florida and scott walker of wisconsin are two the winners that we have tracked particularly closely. what we see is most politicians try to keep their promises. it is interesting. i think sometimes when we're cynical, we think that they make promises and forget about them once in office. we do not find that to be the case here we find they usually try to keep the promises here they either run into legislative opposition or their promises were not realistic in the first place. for instance, rick scott made promises to drug test welfare in florida -- welfare recipients and florida, but the court said it is not constitutional. there is no other reason besides the person is on welfare. you cannot drug test them. you have to have a reason or suspicion. host: how do you collect all the promises? guest: with barack obama, we collected them with a lot of his
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position papers he made public and also statements he made in speeches.d president obama was fairly new to the national stage back then, and the democrats were particularly interested in his policy positions, so he put out a lot of promises. what we found, honestly, as we were tracking his 500 thomas is, was that some were much more important than others here it would donald trump, we made a decision to focus on his 100 most important promises. so we are tracking fewer promises for donald trump, but we think it will be a more robust collection of promises that really matter. host: will it be called the trumpometer? isst: the trumpometer debuting today. it has its promises, and we have written a report on the most notable promises, the landscape for these promises, whether he needs congress to get them done or not, and what the experts say. host: you will be tracking
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things like if he builds a wall or keeps terrorists on cars coming in and out of things. guest: that is right. build the wall, big promises on trade, infrastructure, promises to repeal obamacare. interestingly with trump, sometimes his promises same to be something of moving targets ear to on the campaign trail, he would modify his promises if you went along we will be watching that carefully as we tried to figure out what exactly was the promise. sometimes it seems like this should be a straightforward process, but there is a lot of complexity to it. host: it is all available at politifact.com. a call from texas, republican line. caller: this might be hard for her to answer, but one of the things he ran on was the most transparent presidential government in the history of united states. i find that quite false i find that quite false to look forward to your opinion. guest: that is another great
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question. he did run on transparency. some of those promises were k very much notept. -- were not kept. one that comes to mind, and appropriate for the show, he said he would negotiate the c-span.are law live on that did not have it. actually, congress negotiated the health care law behind closed doors. said he would ban lobbyists from his administration, and they started but thenthis ban started making many exceptions. that was a promise that was not dkept. campaignthe candidates on a lot of transparency, and then they get into office and see why it is hard, and they backtrack. host: steve is in pueblo,
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colorado, independent line. caller: i was commenting on the transparency and uniting the parties and reaching across the other side of the aisle. i did not see any of that within our government during his administration. as far as transparency goes, in handing money to iran behind people's back in the american people's knowledge was extremely nontransparent. that is all i have to say. guest: the bipartisanship promise, he promised to bring republicans and, credits together for -- and democrats together for an agenda, and that was a promise broken. we wrote a report on this promise. clearly, he did not keep it. i do not know anybody who would make an argument that he did. returned to political scientists and asked them, was the sending he could have done better on? we got a different -- we got a
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lot of different responses. some said that he tried and republicans would not work with him. others say he could have done more. the most interesting answers, i thought, were political scientists who said the partisanship right now is so acute that there is nothing that one president can do to make this better. bigger historical forces at work. the public is polarized. elected officials are polarized. and to think that one person, even the president, can come in and fix this is not realistic. host: health care is one thing. sequestration. i guess it depends on the situation at hand. guest: this is what is interesting about donald trump at he is coming and as a republican president and is expecting positions that i think his own party will have problems with. i think over the weekend he gave an interview where he said he wanted everyone to have health insurance.
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his positions on trade are often at odds with republican leadership. trump'sching to see if up the political calculus. it will be interesting to see if he gets things past with republicans and democrats. host: a call on the democrat line. go ahead. caller: yeah, i was kind of wondering -- your guest blames obama for not getting anything done but look what he inherited. he came out and did the best he could with what he said, but they would not work with him one way or another on no projects. if they would have worked with him, where would we have been today? -- they put us in a big jam.
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if he would not have, just to suppose mccain would have come into office at that time. where do you think we would have been today? thank you. guest: i hear your point, sir, and i think a lot of democrats agree with you on that. we are not trying to put any blame on president obama or pat him on the back either. our goal is to look back at what was said during the campaign and then say, did this come true or not? i should say that we are nonpartisan, independent journalists, and we worked very hard not to take sides and to be fair and evenhanded. so the goal with the promise tracking projects is to give people information so they know what has happened, and it comes from independent journalists who do not take sides with either party. host: if you are on twitter said it is unfair for you to judge president obama on the 500
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promises and then president-elect trump on the 100 he has made so far. guest: ok. we may add a few. we're inviting readers to look at the trumpometer list and see if there are promises that we have not included that they would like to we will certainly add them. with the obama promises, we were tracking promises that we felt like some readers just really were not that interested in. we want to put our reporting firepower where it matters most. that is part of the reason we're only tracking 100. it is not to make obama look better than trump or anything like that. it is to give a better report for our readers. host: let's hear from jeff in california. caller: hi, my name is jeff. i really do not want to talk about politics and opinions. i have something more important.
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it is becoming so difficult to achieve compromise. it is a road to develop self egos. as some point in time, most of you stop learning about yourself and decide you know something that is true, and you spend the remainder of your lives trying to prove to the world you are right and others are wrong. jeff, i want to keep to the topic as far as competent promises are concerned. go ahead on that front. wrong, ok, right versus republican versus democrat's, best president -- host: lee from indiana, democrat's line. what he couldkept keep. republicans were not work with him. talk about transparency, it is a big jump. jump up, he will not even show
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his tax return. not even showns his tax returns. he has broken promises. friday, a man going in and mr. trump will not show his tax returns, making excuses that we know are not true. my goodness. we need to tell america he is just not the right man. obama did what he could do with republicans closing the door on everything he tried to do. er said to look at what he inherited. guest: the tax issue is interesting. one of trump's campaign promises is to release the tax returns when they are audited, so we will see if that happens before he leaves office.
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we have done fact checking around the tax returns. show the people do care about whether the tax returns are released. the public would like to see what her in these tax returns, and they would like to understand if he has conflicts of interest are not. cap upset he filed financial , and that is not accurate or the tax returns candidates traditionally release have a lot more detailed information than just financial disclosures. host: next call from alabama. the mccracken's line. caller: -- democrat's line. caller: thanks for taking my call. on this working with republicans boehnerbama and john were trying to make this big deal, he got 98% of what he asked for. if that was not compromise,
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trying to work with republicans, i do not know what was. guest: i think this is one of the key debates of obama's presidency, who would not compromise with who. republicans on capitol hill say they found obama difficult to deal with. democrats say they do not find him particularly involved in what congress was doing. of the ways, this is one key issues of the obama legacy that we are going to be looking at. it is awfully hard to tell from the outside who is really trying to negotiate in good faith or not. sometimes as time goes on these issues become more clear. int: republican line, ron woodland hills, california. caller: good morning, and thanks for c-span. i had a couple issues. i can understand where a lot of the democrats are voting against trump.
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i actually a very against obama. a voted for him at first, but he really turned me around. aat i want to get that is program and energy would be interesting, if they would keep track of the murders and , keep trackchicago of that and make that very public. every time we have a day in chicago where they do not kill somebody or shoot somebody, give them high praise. i think that is more important. thank you for taking my call. guest: thanks for the idea. host: mandatory minimum sentences, how did the president rate? guest: we gave him a promise reforming mandatory minimum sentences, something he campaigned on, reducing the disparity between sentencing for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. there was a disparity there.
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obama urged congress to try and reduce these, and that has been one of the success stories. is up next, james on our republican line. caller: hey, yes, i just wanted to say one thing, may 2 things concerning obama. i am a black man but did not vote for obama. one of the things i did not like is the fact that he said america would never be the same again. another thing he said after the second term, he said america would never be able to fight to pot wars again -- to fight two wars again. to me, i cannot use the word, but it was really sad that a person would want to tear america down, bring it to its knees. black people are already suffering and he knows that, but ing suffering
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anymore. i do not understand why any black person would have voted for obama in the first place. guest: yeah, i would like to look at those quotes and see what kind of context they were and. one thing we found about obama is he has given a lot of speeches and addresses him and sometimes his critics do not mention the context. i'm not saying that is what you are doing, but i am saying anybody says obama says this, my first move is to go to my computer and find the transcript, read the whole speech. sometimes context does make a difference. g from cedar rapids, iowa, republican line. caller: good morning. i really like what politifact is doing, not taking sides, just being a objective with the facts, hopefully. gee, we could be working together as fellow americans seeking the best decisions for the american people. and that call about four calls
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ago, i wish you would not have cut him off. i really wanted to hear what he had to say. host: william is next from florida, democrat. caller: hey, i just want to say that i think obama was fantastic. did not lose any kids are have any kids murdered over there. host: so as far as the official tally, this will be wrapped up on inauguration day, i assume? guest: that is right. we're watching to see if there is any more action. the hour is getting short for the obama presidency. sometimes they take executive action at the last minute. most pardons, the last minute for presidents. we are looking at what is happening with guantanamo bay
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this week. the way they have been trying to deal with that has been to send prisoners to other countries. we will see if any more of those happen. believe, it all comes to an end. trum rt tracking the pometer. donald trump has said he will be taking quick action in his agenda. host: those can be found at the website will affect.com -- politifact.com. guest: thank you for having me. host: our final half-hour, open phones. you can reach us by calling (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. independents. for of theverage inauguration starts at 7:00 in
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the morning. you can follow that at c-span.org. we will be right back. scheduled to be a more intimate service than the one on january 21 at the national cathedral. circle willt's invite friends and family members to attend that service. we will have some members of our congregation in attendance. the church will not be filled. it will be a much smaller service than the one on the 21st. what happens is it is a really great morning prayer service. the president's committee is working on choosing scripture readings. they are choosing who will be the speaker that day, and we put a framework of a service, which
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we have used with president bush and president obama. it is similar to what the services were like. sense ofs your own history on this january 20, the day that represents the peaceful transfer of power? >> you stated it. it is one of the great events in history, the transfer of peaceful power from one president to the next. that needs to be celebrated regardless of who is elected in any cycle. for me it is a very exciting time. . love being here i love being part of it. it is a thrill and just a great moment, i think, and part of the american tradition. >> the president-elect, the first lady, his family, they enter this church, you greet them, have you thought about what you want to say? >> my greeting will be very brief. the secret service will usher him and quickly

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