tv Matter of Fact ABC November 29, 2015 10:30am-11:00am EST
>> today on "matter of fact." he' s one of only 20 americans to serve as mayor, governor and senator. senator kaine: but i' ll say, fernando, the biggest disappointment in my first three years in the senate, was passing that immigration reform bill. >> and now, tim kaine could be your next vice president. plus, how do you feel about the country' s future? it' s a matter of race. >> i think the tensions have gotten worse as of late. >> the roots of america' s growing racial unrest. and, a nation disconnected. >> nobody' s entering the military because of love of nation. with terror on the doorstep, why are we less supportive of our
fernando: i' m fernando espuelas. welcome to "matter of fact." a war against isis, border security, and controls on immigration, you' ll be hearing even more about those issues as we get closer to the election, democratic senator tim kaine from virginia has been on the front line for each of these issues. senator kaine, welcome to the program. senator kaine: fernando, good to be with you again fernando: thank you, sir. if you could, in this incredible time that we' re living after the paris attacks, how should people be thinking? what' s your advice to americans? senator kaine: wow, you know, first i think my primary feeling when it all happens is feeling back for our young people. i have a niece who lives in paris this semester and i just started to think about of our young people who' ve grown up with this as kind of a norm. for me this still seems like a dramatic aberration, but my children all are post 9/11 kids. so it' s been war, it' s been terrorist incidents, it' s been this shootings at community colleges, and i started to think
about what it is for 20 somethings to believe this is the norm. i think we' re being tested, but we shouldn' t become something different than what our values suggest we should be. fernando: but there' s something that is very near and dear to you that is changing our values at least on a constitutional level, which is that we don' t have a declaration of war. we' re at war illegally by some -- senator kaine: yeah, i would, certainly that' s the case. in this battle against isil. last week' s bombing in paris, bombing in beirut, taking down an airliner with passengers on it, this is 16 month war that the president began in august 2008. we' re not supposed to be at war without a vote in congress. i think the legal rationale, relying upon the authorization in 2001. 380 of the members of congress weren' t even here when that was passed. it was passed specifically to go after the perpetrators of 9/11. and everybody knows isil didn' t form until after, there' s no argument that isil perpetrated this crime.
this seriously. fernando: but what' s the problem? it' s very difficult for american citizens to imagine that congress in general or specific, certainly a majority, are they afraid it as a declaration of war? senator kaine: yeah. it is funny fernando. ,85% or 90% of members of congress believe we should taking some military action against isil. and there' s some important details and differences, but we believe that we should. but members of congress are afraid to vote. we' re not supposed to be at war without a vote in congress but the vote on the iraq war had all these negative consequences. i see in congress what folks frankly want to do. criticize the president' s strategy, but not vote to authorize what he' s doing? not vote to stop what he' s doing, not vote to refine or revise what he' s doing, so sen. flake and i, to show that bi-partisanship was possible, we introduced a resolution in june. and now you see 35 house members, bi-partisan, petitioning the new speaker, paul ryan, come on. it' s time that after 16 months, congress finally do it'
-- its job. fernando: broadening this up of course, the refugees now have become, at least in the bag of what' s happened in paris. it seems that most of the perpetrators were belgian or french. but here in the u.s. as you know , recently, president obama was dealt a blow on his immigration executive actions, and there' s a context there for refugees as well. political refugees coming to the us from central america in particular. what is the practical effect, aside from the court saying that the president can not move forward, how will this be resolved? senator kaine: i do think we will get to immigration reform, but i' ll say fernando, the biggest disappointment in my first three years in the senate, was passing that immigration reform bill in june of 2013, knowing that the house wouldn' t just pass exactly what we said but they haven' t passed their own version. they haven' t passed a bill out of committee. all they' ve done is stand around and say that they don' t like
what the president is doing. if you don' t like executive action, i' ve got a solution for you. pass legislation. the house would pass something different from the senate, then we get into a conference and it will be tough discussion but we can find a compromise. fernando: now senator, immigration is often a very emotional issue on both sides. but in fact it' s really, when s most basic, it' it' economy, it' s our demographics with downward curve in terms of our population. if it were not for immigration. the chamber of commerce is allied with the immigration activists, you have -- senator kaine: you have all the technology industry, agriculture. can i give you a virginia story? so when i was born in 1958, about one out of a hundred virginians was born in another country. and we were bottom of 15 per capita income. now we' re top 10 per capita income. and one out of nine virginians, those born in another country, we' ve rocketed from back of the pack to front of the pack with our immigration profile dramatically changing.
ideas, the energies of a growing new american community has not been just a coincidence it' s helped virginia rocket to the front of the pack economically. immigration reform will add to the gdp, the congressional budget office says this, so as we' re grappling with, we want economic growth to be stronger than it is, why wouldn' t we do this? it just makes so much sense. fernando: it seems like a very basic stimuli that can actually help the future of the country, but ultimately because it is an emotional debate, it' s about ideologies as opposed to facts and figures, how do you win that debate with perhaps, perhaps not with extremes but with reasonable people on both sides of the aisle? senator kaine: the interesting thing, fernando, is that the reasonable people off capitol hill, they get it. immigration reform has the support of the american public strongly. strongly. and as soon as congress just listens to the public, we' re going to do immigration reform.
and the new american activist groups and the chamber of commerce and the technology end -- industry and ag, and churches all around the table saying this will be good for us, we will win this battle. it' s just painful that it is taking as long, and then you have people caught up in a limbo, where they think maybe they think something will happen but they' re still worried, and and then people get protection 680,000 under daca announcement from the president, then there' s a lawsuit, then there' s a 5th circuit ruling, it' s a 2--1 ruling so there' s some uncertainty about what will happen. you know there are a lot of people living with a lot of fear and uncertainty right now. and congress can solve it immediately by doing legislation and that' s what we should do. , >> next, going to battle with fewer troops and less support. >> it' s a really complicated issue. >> does our military have the support at home to win the challenges abroad? and, a house divided, over how to ease racial tension across the country. >> i don' t feel like it was as bad as it is now.
of an election. it's called a rigged economy, and this is how it works. most new wealth flows to the top 1%. it's a system held in place by corrupt politics where wall street banks and billionaires buy elections. my campaign is powered by over a million small contributions, people like you who want to fight back. the truth is you can't change a corrupt system by taking its money. i'm bernie sanders. i approve this message.
fernando: men and women, honored for their service protecting freedom. but give it some thought beyond those holidays, when was the last time you thanked a veteran? is it possible that we' re at a point where people are less aware of veterans and their sacrifices? >> i learned the word respect from my men and the navy seals. fernando: for these world war two veterans, it' s all about respect, honor and sacrifice. but many veterans and their families feel there is a sharp divide between people in the military and civilians. they believe americans are thinking less about them, and about the idea of serving. >> the world has left the word respect. they' ve lost that word. >> it' s a really complicated issue. fernando: brian wagner is a navy reservist who works with the
based in washington, d.c. brian: it used to be set in world war ii the nation went to , war, when the military went to war. and then there' s been a lot of lamenting over the past 5 years or so that when the military went to war, the nation went shopping. there is less engagement between veterans and civilians, according to wagner. fernando some of it is : generational. some of it is simple numbers. only 1% of americans have served. there are fewer service members these days. and in recent years, the government has cut recruiting levels. brian that may change, we' re : seeing a call for increased resources. fernando: those resources necessary to battle isis and growing terrorism threats. but how do you engage the younger generations with military experience? >> i just think there' s not enough talk about it home, not enough talk about it in school, until it' s veterans day, then it becomes the focus of conversation fernando: robin harper is in the army reserve. robin i talk to young people all : the time who have questions about it. t enter because of love of nation, they enter because of
the financial bonuses that come with it. fernando: maybe the motivation has changed. but so has the battleground. brian when you talk force of the : future, you need people who are extraoridnarily savvy with computers and networks. fernando: wagner sees change as an opportunity to attract younger people for service, and to get everyone talking about the importance of the military and the unique perspective that veterans can offer. brian having these : conversations, closing that divide no matter how broad it may be, is so important for the future fernando and remember, it' s not : just about putting out a flag once a year. we have to think about veterans all the time. connect with me about veterans or any topic on the show. use twitter, facebook or watch the show on matteroffact.tv. >> next on "matter of fact," do you know who this man is? he' g.k. butterfield, chairman of the congressional black caucus.
fernando: the gripping images of racial unrest in this country are eerily reminiscent of the 1960' s. and so are the battles that are being fought. recently the university of missouri president stepped down amid several racially-centered controversies on campus. in april, all eyes turned to riots in baltimore. and last august,the nation was transfixed by the violence and protests in ferguson. but why are these events happening? and why are they happening now? >> racism means, we got to fight back. fernando: protests at the university of missouri. clashes with the klan at the south carolina state house. unrest in the streets the ferguson. >> it gets to a point where the tension just builds up, then you kind of let go of the tension. fernando: there is a heightened uneasiness spanning the country,
from neighborhoods in baltimore, to the hallowed halls of new england' s ivy league. the issue will not be ignored, and it' s not going away. professor fauntroy: i think people are much more on the look out for things, they have some i get that, but much of it is also very real. fernando: michael fauntroy is a professor of political science at howard university. professor fauntroy: some of the tensions you see are generationally-based, there are differences in how people see the world and differences in how they react to what they see. fernando: while ferguson and the riots in baltimore were ignited by deaths at the hands of police, the issues go much deeper. professor fauntroy: there are opportunity gaps, people are tense about that, economic tension, and just the general public discourse leads itself to more hostility now than it did even a decade ago. fernando: a recent cnn-kaiser family foundation poll found 49% of americans said racism is a big problem in our society.
other points in the last 20 s more access to information with the internet and social media. fernando social media is taking : what used to be local realities, and making them viral. the reactions, coming faster and going wider. the information, not always as objective. professor fauntroy: we need to be driven by accurate and properly contextualized information, and if that' s the case, it' s good. if that' s not the case, it' s bad. whatever happens, those citizens that are most engaged and translate that engagement into action on election day, are most likely to get what they need on -- or what it is that they want. fernando: for many people, civil rights and political rights go hand in hand. one place where some insist there is racial bias is the voting booth. we brought the claims to congressman g.k. butterfield, chair of the congressional black caucus. rep. butterfield: there is no right that is more precious and more fundmental in the united states than the right to vote,
and sadly there are so many people in this country who want to diminish or even eliminate the right to vote for certain groups of people in our country. fernando: and sir,you grew up in the segregated south. do these kind of legal techniques to block voting remind you of jim crow or is that going too far? rep. butterfield: well fernando, i have followed voting rights for african-americans all the way back to the fifteenth amendment in 1870, and down through the years of devices that have been implemented to dilute or eliminate the african american vote. remember the literacy test in 1900, the poll tax, the all-white primary, the anti single shot laws, multi-member election districts, you can name it, there have been dozens of techniques being used, down through the years to african-american -- disenfranchise african-american voters. and why do they want to disenfranchise african american?. it' s very simple. it' s political. because it is well known
african-americans embrace the democratic party and its fernando: mr. chairman you , called voter id laws a scheme. do you give no credence to the claim of their supporters that there is voter fraud out there that needs to be controlled? rep. butterfield: voters have been voting for years with out any fraudulent activity, in my state of north carolina there is de minimis voter fraud, so voter id is a nothing but a pretext to diminishing the effectiveness of the african-american vote. fernando: now, recently the obama administration filed a lawsuit against texas based on their redistricting which they claim to disenfranchised hispanic voters. do you think in general the obama administration has been aggressive enough in safeguarding the franchise of african-americans and other minorities? rep. butterfield: the department of justice has been aggressive and i' ve called on the current attorney general loretta lynch, as i did the former attorney general mr. holder, to become ever more aggressive in schemes. the republicans have figured out
if they manipulate the lines and gerrymander the district in extreme ways then democrats can be disenfranchised, and if democrats are marginalized in these congressional elections then republicans maintain complete control of both the house and the senate. the method for this is to pack black voters into minority districts to create the surrounding districts with more republicans and more conservative spirit there is a very sophisticated conspiracy going on in this country to place the republican party in complete control of the government and to do it on a b permanentas -- permanent basis. fernando: now mr chairman, conspiracy is a big word, obviously. who are you referring to? who is behind this conspiracy? rep. butterfield: well, i use the word conspiracy very carefully. i' m a former judge and so i know the definition of conspiracy and i use the word purposefully. let me tell you there are right , wing groups in this country who want the power. they want to fully control the federal government because they
want to reduce the tax burden on rich families in this country. they want to reduce spending and put the burden of funding discretionary programs at the state and local level. they want to downsize the federal government as we know it. fernando: recently, congressman butterfield publicly expressed nation' s highest civilian award, the presidential medal of freedom, will be given posthumously to shirley chisholm, one of the founding members of the congressional black caucus. chisholm was the first african american woman elected to congress and the first major-party african american woman to run for president. >> exploring what will matter next in the presidential campaign.
but what else will have an impact on the candidates and who rises to the top? for one, there is always unexpected chaos. remember the 2008 financial crisis that crashed the economy? that had serious impact on the outcome of the election. and as a politician, your every move makes news. which can work for you or against you. just think about howard dean, he was flying high in the polls in 2008, on the way to becoming his party' s next nominee. until this -- howard dean: the and we' re gonna go -- [screams] fernando: that scream was scrutinzed in the media and it was the end of him. and don' t underestimate international events which change the narrative here at home. especially actions by major powers like russia or china. that' s what makes elections, especially for the highest office, so unpredictable. we'
fernando: are you paying attention to the way some candidates are talking about our country? they can only explain why they' re running for office by painting false, at times even apocalyptic depictions of america in decline, weak and helpless. gov. huckabee: i do not want to walk my five grandkids through the charred remains of a once great country called america. senator cruz: america is in crisis now. i believe in america. mr. trump: and, as i say, my expression is, let' s make america great again. fernando: sadly, this approach is used by candidates without a positive vision. without ideas to build america. is our country really in bad shape? as a matter of fact, america is strong, the biggest, most powerful economy, the greatest military power since rome. so next time you hear a candidate talk down america, ask yourself, does this person have a positive vision for our country?