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tv   QA with Bill Press  CSPAN  August 26, 2016 7:01pm-8:01pm EDT

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>> when did you first think about writing buyers remorse? >> i cannot give you the date but it was while i was sitting in the white house briefing room , and maybe for the 15th or 20th time i was so frustrated by hearing president obama, the man i voted for for twice. i'm glad i did, but announcing measures or making arguments or making moves that i thought betrayed the promise that he had made to the progressives and doing what i think be trained
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the progressives. then i thought he said i more than one occasion, hold me accountable. so i think it is fair as we near the end of his presidency to hold him accountable. >> how long would that been? >> about a year and a half. >> that is a long story. i measure that sure that we have time for that story. during that time bernie and i never talked about barack obama or any other disappointment and brock obama. i'm not sure where you're going but i wanted to make that clear. the reason i did is because i was a member of the white house press corps, i had a standing white house pass, went to the briefings every day. i needed them for my own program
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and i could ask questions. so i thought i could expand that opportunity by getting a press press credential at the united states capital. i applied for a press at the united states capital and i was told i had to appear before the full senate reporters accreditation committee. there were were questions about whether or not i qualified and i was told because i gave my opinion, first i was turned down because i gave my opinion on my show. i'm a talk show host, of course i give my opinion. i pointed out that there are others in the press corps already who, i thought should be disqualified. so give me a hearing in front of the full accreditation committee the vote was 12 - 1 against me. al jazeera voted against me, fox news of voted against me. i had
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one vote and it was from c-span, i am proud to say. >> c-span: is that right? >> guest: that's right. at that point somebody told me they had heard, they suggest, forget now what was, that i should apply for an interim position. so i called michael briggs, senator sanders press secretary now his campaign secretary, and i said i might want to talk to him about that. we talked, he suggested it to the senator, i went over and met with the senator and he hired me as his intern. so i had more access, it was a way of getting back at the senate credentialing committee and the reporters there. i had more access than they did with my intern pass. >> so so are you still in intern? >> guest: no, i did it for year. >> c-span: how well do you know
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bernie sanders when you're in intern? >> guest: i did not at all. i had had lunch with him once, this is another long story. i'm a radio talkshow host, and we have had a lot of trouble with stations dropping progressive radio, not enough stations in the station running progressive are willing to take on progressive radio as part of the program. we thought the fcc, the federal communications commission ought to put pressures on stations to have a variety variety of voices and a variety of opinions. so there is just a couple of senators are willing to take that on. byron dorgan from north dakota was one, bernie sanders was another. so i met him with another group of radio talkshow host and that was the only way i knew him. then i got a call from his office saying that the senator wanted to have lunch with me.
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so i came over. that was the only time, the first time i saw him one-on-one and we went to lunch in the senate dining room which was also very funny because it was the first time senator sanders had ever been in the senate dining room. he is is not part of the crowd, right. so he went over to the senate and the subway and the senate office building and we went up to whatever floor was and we got off the elevator and pretty said to me do you know where the dining room's? and we had to stop and ask a police officer with a dining room was. we walked in walked in the dining room and the maître d' in charge of the senate dining room did not recognize senator sanders. he had never seen him before. >> c-span: the reason i ask you this, you know there's a controversy over the fact that on the back of the book this is
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all about progressives do not like barack obama. they make the case that while long off dirt take it out of office the united states must keep rattling the people who elected him or her on the have a progressive causes. that is the only way real change happens, read this book. and i think i have seen you watching television and and does that mean he doesn't like barack obama. so why did he endorse your book? >> guest: the question was asked of the press and it was asked on this week at the george stephanopoulos, it was asked by anderson cooper in a cnn town hall and, first of all he said the blurb does not endorse the
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book. the blurb really repeats a point that he makes an every campaign speech which is twofold. one, we need a political revolution, and that's his race. a political revolution means that the progressives have to really keep the pressure on the next president whom we hope will be a democrat and a progressive, bernie or hillary, to really be true to the progressive agenda follow-through is not copyrighted away. and that the president he says here has a duty, to rally the progressives to keep the pressure on him. which is again why i think the timing of this book is very important. i think we are on the cusp of a progressive revolution. i consider both bernie and
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hillary both progressives. one of them is going to be the next president, i believe. now is a good time to take stock and say how would this guy do that we thought was a real progressive. how would you do and what can we learn from that experience as we move to the next administration. and maybe get a better delivery. >> c-span: you call president obama in your book, hamlet like. >> guest: yes. i like meaning. a hard time making a decision on some issues. taking may be too much time. it is a both a blessing and a curse i think. marie dowd headed good phrase and we went from george w. bush to barack obama we went from mindless certainty to mindful uncertainty. so maybe somewhere in between is where you want to be. for for example, when syria used chemical weapons and president obama had said, we are not going
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to intervene and we are not going to use military forces, we are not going to send in troops, whatever. unless he uses chemical weapons, that is the red line. he said it and later, i was there. and when they did, then it was just a guinea, or should, or should we do this or not. to be or not to be. i think it diminished the power of his decision when he finally - mac and then doing it because he made the still the russians. it was the same thing with the president was deciding whether or not to send more troops to the so-called surge back into iraq toward the end of the conflict. i was sitting every day in the briefing room and it went from
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were going to do, were not going to do it, were going to spend this money or maybe this many. it was just egg and he of making a decision. this is why use the phrase hammer like. >> c-span: do you endorse bernie sanders? >> guest: yes. nothing against. >> c-span: bernie sanders is saying we are going to pay for all of your college education and all of that. where we are going to get money for this is we're going to tax the rich. tax the 1%. >> c-span: he doesn't say that x. >> guest: he doesn't say that exclusively. >> c-span: nobody talked about the fact that the minute he is the president of the united states and proposes that tax that it has to go to kevin brady's committee, the ways and means committee and the house of representatives. he is a conservative republican a conservative republican from texas who has a tremendous amount of power to move that are not move that. why why would you expect bernie sanders to be able to move that went barack obama could not move it in the same
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world? >> guest: i think that has to deal with the revolution. i think that's what bernie's same. if american people really want to change and i think they do, i think bernie sanders and donald trump are both tapped into something very, very real. that the political establishment and the media establishment missed. i know the latest talking point of the clinton campaign is old burning is just angry and you don't get anywhere by being angry. i think he is not so much angry is determined. but the american people are angry. they are angry that they have been left out and left behind in the system is rigged against them. it them. it has been that way for like 40 some years and nobody has done anything about it. what burning is saying is that he recognizes it, he's a realist. he's been in the house for 16 years in the senate for 17, he recognizes the difficulties in if that is his agenda and he can
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rally the american people to turn out and elect people who will go along with him or to put pressure on the others to say that we have to write to this ship. we have to get it done. bernie is also honest about with the middle class to pay for universal healthcare. >> c-span: how many years have you in washington? >> guest: since 1996. >> c-span: how many years have you have your daily talkshow? >> guest: ten years. >> c-span: working people listen to it? >> guest: people can listen to it on any progressive talk radio country in station in the country if they're lucky enough to have them. there may be 50 total left in the entire country. they can listen to it online, bill press we stream the show very everyday. with podcast they can tune in, it is live is
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6 - 9:00 a.m. that is east coast time. but people on the west coast if they're not up that early they can catch it later by going to the bill press show that, and the they can pick up part of the show, one interview they want to listen to or the entire three hours. the by the, in the archives they can go back, you can go back as long as we have been podcasting. at at least a couple of years and listen to july 13, 2015 if you wanted to, for wanted to, for whatever reason. >> c-span: you are older than bernie sanders. >> guest: by one year. >> guest: i would u.s. that? >> guest: why would you ask that >> c-span: why do you get up at 4:00 a.m. to do is exam show, why do do you stay up late at night to do all it late show a
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man like you should be retired, what is the motivation? >> guest: i love it. i think think i have the best job in the world and that ever since high school and i talk about that in the book, ever since been on the high school debate team i have loved debating the issues and studying the issues. i love writing about them are talking them on the radio or tv. my entire media media career was started in 1980 and it has been as a commentator. never worked as a reporter anchor, did not want to work as an anchor. i auditioned once as an anchor and i realize just by the addition that i did not want that job. i did not want to report the news, want want to talk about what it meant.
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so i get to give my opinions and i get paid for it. so i enjoyed. when i stop having fun and stop enjoying it i will stop doing it. >> c-span: so you write it column in the hill or give speeches around the country,. >> guest: on cnn's newest and oldest contributor. >> c-span: let me go to some video. this is a way for you to talk about what you think about barack obama in this book. we are going to go way back to august 1, 2007. here is the president. >> i will provide intelligence and law-enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorist without undermining our constitution and our freedom. that means no more illegal wiretapping of american citizens. no more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. no more track and citizens who
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do nothing more than protest a misguided war. no more ignore the law when it is inconvenient. >> c-span: he was running kind of then, with how long he looks, no gray hair. just amazing. >> guest: no gray hair and just he just looks older today. i guess we all do. my reaction is a promise may, promise broken. the national security national security area is one area where progressives have the highest hopes and have their hopes dashed the most. almost everything the president mentioned there he either failed to do or did just the opposite. the fact is, on these issues there is like no difference between george w. bush, dick cheney, and brock obama. we expected, that we expected, that was one area, and he promised there is that this was one area he would stop these practices to the nsa with spying on
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americans, with going after whistleblowers are going after journalists and protecting a privacy. he did not do it. as i mentioned in the book, he was, as a senator one of the most outspoken critics of the nsa. he he and senator ron wyden from oregon were the two who introduce legislation, gave saying that we can have people spine, the first time senator ron wyden went to see his culligan buddy he was stunned to find out that the president, now is president barack obama was on the exact opposite side. basically saying we have to let the nsa do their thing. it is the old needle in the haystack theory which i think is bogus. the haystack get so big that you will never find the needle. president obama has allowed the nsa to expand their
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eavesdropping on u.s. citizens. every single phone call may, domestic and foreign. foreign. allow them to spy also on our e-mails. still massing all this data and storing all of this data. somewhere either either phone companies have to the government has a. so it is on and on. maybe we'll talk about this too, but in terms of journalists, this administration went after the new york times, went after fox news, when after associated press. actually tapped the phones of associated press reporters who were doing nothing then doing their job. susan page from usa today, a very, very well respected journalist here in washington, said this is the most dangerous administration, ever. >> c-span: here is march 4,
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2008, still running for president. >> we are going to have the doctors, the nurses, the members of congress, the patient advocates, and also have the insurance and drug companies at the table but they will not be able to buy every chair. i want input will make compromises. for going to do these negotiations on c-span so the american people will be able to watch these negotiations. openness, transparency, you will hold me accountable, will hold congress accountable, that is how we are going to get health care reform passed. >> guest: hold me accountable, i just did come in the book. >> c-span: what took so long? >> guest: i think it just because it took time. i didn't deliberately say i would wait until your number eight.
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i talk in the book about that promise. these negotiations are going to be held on c-span, they were not. they're held behind closed doors. there are many cases that in fact the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies did buy every chair at the table. obama care is his signature legislative achievement. it is one of the good things that he has done, it just doesn't go far enough. what really ends up is, again as close to universal healthcare as we have ever had, but there are still 30 million americans who do not have health insurance. according to this office of management and budget may never have health insurance under this plan. the pharmaceutical companies, we still cannot negotiate with them for medicare, to get lower cost of drugs. we. we still cannot import drugs from canada legally. the insurance companies, this is their big payday.
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every single american is required to buy insurance from a private insurance company. there is no other product, they don't have to buy a car. they don't have to buy house. they don't have to buy socks or underwear. you have to buy health insurance. >> c-span: let me quote from your book. talking your book. talking about a man named billy close and. who was a democratic congressman and became a republican in congressman and then headed up big pharma. the same ad barack obama had once personally said was the up enemy of everything that was wrong with washington, he did what? >> guest: he cut a deal with billy toes and. that if they did some advertising on behalf or in the post of obama care that they would let them off the hook for the price of drugs. so this is basically a pack that
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he made. >> c-span: here is a short, 142nd clip. >> guest: can i just say one other thing about obama care before you move on. the other thing is the president i think recognize there was a real problem with this and that it was making us to dependent on private insurance companies. so he came up with an idea called the public plan option which is basically medicare for everybody. he went around the country, convinced me and americans that this was a way that we're going to have a public plan option so you don't have to buy private insurance. you can grow in medicare at any age. that would provide competition to the private insurance companies and lower costs. it was necessary for both competition and lower costs. in the suddenly suddenly he dropped the public plan. never brought it to a vote, was not part of the bill. why? >> c-span: would you agree bernie sanders was elected president he would not be do this is the either? >> guest: i don't agree with
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that. bernie sanders would have at least fought for and so what of lyndon johnson and fdr, barack obama did not. there are too many cases where he did not fight and lose, you you understand that, he wasn't even willing to fight. >> c-span: i was starting to save 142nd clip, steve krause on 60 minutes. >> there are number of different things that you could do early pertaining to executive orders. one of them them is to shut down one tunnel moped. >> i've said repeatedly that i intend to close guantánamo and i will follow through on that. >> c-span: you said he had the power to do that all along. >> guest: actually few remember, that was his first executive order. i don't know if it was an executive order but it was his first -- he said and announced that it was going to be close in january 2009.
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he said guantánamo would be closed within one year, january 2010. he was ten. he wasn't able to do it. did not do it. now, so then then the plan became we will hold on until we could get the population down below 100 and at that point from a monetary point of view, congress even a conservative congress with say this is not worth the spending money to keep the people there. the finally allow citizens to be brought here to the united states. he has not done that yet. the white house says he can do it because the authorization for guantánamo originally says that they can keep the prisoners there as long as hostilities remain. who decides as long as hostilities remain? they say the white house does. so the white the white house will be able to say hostilities against al qaeda so therefore we can close. if
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that power exist today he's had it since 2008 and he's eight he's never used it. in too many cases he was not willing to make the fighter use. i come back to the hamlet -like. reluctant to take full advantage as of the power the presidency. >> c-span: in july 2008 he talked to the national council in which he made this commitment. >> i don't know about you but i think it is time for a president who will not walk away from something as important as comprehensive reform just because it becomes politically up on popular. that's the commitment i'm making too. i marched with you in the streets of chicago. i. i thought for you in the senate. i will make it a top priority in my first year as president of the united states of america.
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>> c-span: immigration, did he do it? reform, he is so good at that platform. >> guest: you can see why he got such strong support. he did not. i have a did not. i have a chapter on this and it's one area that is still where he is not delivered. for the first four years, nothing on immigration reform. nothing. the latino community expected a lot more. it was all obama care. nothing about immigration reform. finally in the fifth year he came up with a plan, was unable to get anywhere. came came up couple of executive orders which are now being challenged. he missed the opportunity the first two years really went democrats had control of congress. they could've gotten immigration reform. >> c-span: either he walked away for it was not a priority of his. >> guest: not only that, he not only fail to deliver deliver a
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competence of immigration reform, but he has now got the title from the latino community, deep order in chief. as we sit here, the department of homeland security is rounding up people, breaking into their homes, breaking up families, and deporting people. he has deported more people in the last couple of years them george bush did in eight years. it is promising comprehensive immigration reform but not delivering. and having this roundup of people who are here and the family members were here and leaving some here and sending others back. as a latino community they're very outraged. >> c-span: did it ever concern you that there are all of these illegals in the united states that we are paying for and that they have broken the law to get here. why is it that so-called
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progressives feel that they ought to stay here and they are to eventually become citizens and so-called conservatives want them out? >> c-span: . .
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where ronald reagan ended up on this issue and at that time it was 1980, i forget exactly what year during his eight years he put forth 5 million people here illegally and ronald reagan said these are people that families and they came here illegally but the fact is they have jobs and they are paying taxes and they have homes and they are in our schools and summer serving in the military so present reagan's a waiter sector with realize they are here and we are not going to be rid of them and we shouldn't. he called it amnesty. for him it was 5 million for president obama was 11 million. the argument is the same. they are building a better american than a path to citizenship. c-span: you point out in your
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book the last three presidential elections the republicans are getting less and less percentage of the vote in the hispanic community and the hispanic community is so upset with barack obama why did they vote almost overwhelmingly for him last time? >> the best thing the saving grace for barack obama and democrats on this issue is republicans are worse. democrats have made ignoring them in terms of making it a priority. president obama is doing this round up and deportation but then you had mitt romney -- the republicans basically have declared war on the immigrant community. look at donald trump, look at ted cruz and even mitt romney who talked about self deportation to the extent is as you were called after the 2012 election in the republican national committee's own study,
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analysis of what weren't wrong in 2012 and that famous autopsy report that unless the republican party reached out to the latino community, took the lead in comprehension -- comprehensive immigration or form they could never win the white white house and at here we are four years later and what are they doing? the same old great. c-span: i want to take a short break from the obama clips and then show you i think it's four or five talkshow hosts in the united states. >> guest: you have to watch out for those talkshow hosts. c-span: these are all conservatives. you add up the amount of money that these four or five people make, it's extraordinary. they are very popular. they have the highest rating in the country and since the beginning of the obama administration to have publicly never said a good word about this president from the very beginning. i want you to listen to this and i know you wrote a book about
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this kind of thing but i want you to tell me what you are hearing here. >> mr. president if you actually believe that local warming is the biggest problem we face with terror all around the world and 18 trillion-dollar debt, nine of which is yours, no real allies left to trust us riots in our streets, riots in our university campuses, race relations worse than i've seen since the 1960s and a distrust of our fellow americans unlike anything i have ever seen, you sir mark -- sir are either delusional or you are the dumbest on the planet. a wreckage number -- a record number because of obama's policies. millions of americans have lost their homes because of obama's policies. millions of americans have lost their savings because of obama's policies. millions of americans are losing their pensions because of obama's policies. millions of americans don't know
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yet but they are going to lose their health care thanks to obama salah sees. >> when is the last guy this talk about entrepreneurship free enterprise and individual will and free will and self-interest? government, government, more government. power, power, more power. >> the southern border where he visited to see first-hand how bad the crisis really is. we are being invaded by illegals not just coming from central america but from rogue states that are hell-bent on destroying our way of life, yemen, syria afghanistan and pakistan. mr. president is time for you to stand up. it's time for you to lead. >> obama has declared war on america's traditional values and dominant culture and need i spell it out for you? do i need to spell it out for you in plain english? irony dead. we are in a civil war. not a shooting war but we are in a civil war. this radical hooligan and air
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colder and the women surrounding them these hooligans who seize power have declared a war on america. c-span: they all have very high ratings. why? >> guest: to your first question, what do i hear? lies and. i think disgusting disrespect for the president of the united states. you won't find it anywhere in the book that i wrote about george w. bush in 2004. c-span: the white house sitting here right now say this book may not have live senate but it's twisted and turned everything against the president just like they did did. guess did. guess collecting data of a hard time making that case. i am the author of the book so certainly there is bias but there are 60,000 pages of notes
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to back up every statement. the white house is not happy with the title of the book, nobody has challenged one fact that is in this book. i lay it out and they give president obama credit for every good thing he has done. do you see any credit in that videotaped? none. rush limbaugh is saying millions of americans have lost their homes. no, they haven't. millions of americans have lost their pensions. no, they haven't. they're 18 million people who could never afford health insurance before who have it today thanks to president obama. this is pure propaganda. what is frightening about it is the point of my book toxic talk is there are millions of americans who believe these jokers just like millions of americans believe i'll trump that he is going to build the wall and mexico is going to pay for it.
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they are very successful. you got the top four in the country and their people that that's their soul source of information. c-span: i want to go back to this book. this president and his folks would say we have been up against for six years or five years, we have been up against a republican congress and its set up to say we want to make it one time president and any time he wants to propose something they put up their hands and say no way. do you give up after that? he speaks all the time and he talks about this all the time. >> guest: no you don't give up. that's certainly a fact. there's no doubt about it that for the last six years he has had a congress that is dead set against getting anything done so a couple of points.
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one, why didn't he do more. have better control over the congress and two why didn't he do more to keep democrats in control of congress? members of congress that i've talked to really feel that he let them down because he wasn't out on the campaign trail. he wasn't backing them up and didn't have their backs and three, you know the president's job is to get things done working with congress. one of the problems the president has had is he hasn't reached out to congress. he hasn't made friends with most of the members of congress. most of them say they don't have any relationship with him at all. he doesn't play golf with members of congress. he doesn't invite them like that clinton used it to the white house for movies or dinners or receptions or stuff like that so there is no reservoir of goodwill even among democrats. jackie speier said that when the president was trying to get the
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immigration bill passed. certainly not even among democrats and circling not among republicans. bill clinton, it can be done. bill clinton got more done with the same thing, he lost control of congress. he got more done when republicans were in the control of congress than he did when democrats were in control the congress as he worked with him and even newt gingrich was speaker and bill clinton got things done. lbj and the civil rights bill. there were democrats against him but he didn't give up. he broke their arms and got it done. c-span: would you vote for bill clinton again or did you vote for him twice? >> guest: i did, yes and he is another one who led us down i would say on several issues. "don't ask don't tell," bill clinton, defense of marriage act, though clinton, the repeal of glass-steagall, bill clinton, the welfare reform, bill clinton , forbade bills,.
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c-span: what do you think of mrs. clinton? >> guest: i like mrs. clinton. i think she's much more liberal than bill clinton. i think she's much more cautious than an may be more willing to compromise than bernie sanders. not as far left as i am as bernie sanders and i think she'd be willing to take the country as far bernie sanders, as far as bernie sanders would take it. c-span: by the way what you call yourself a progressive and not a liberal? >> guest: you know i am a liberal. c-span: but why does that happen? >> guest: in a sense don't ask me. i have always said i'm a liberal and i'm very proud of being a liberal. the use of the word progressive, why fight it but i'm a liberal.
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i think progressives are people who are just afraid of the term because republicans have made such a deal of it. but i'm not afraid of it. c-span: let's go back to july 17, 2009, another issue. president obama's talking about opportunities not just for african-americans but all americans. >> that's why mike administrations is working so hard not only to create safe jobs in the short term, not only to extend unemployment insurance and help for people who have lost their health care in this crisis, not just to stem the immediate economic wreckage but to lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity that will put opportunity within the reach of not just african-americans but all americans. all americans. of every race, of every creed, from every region of the country
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we want everybody to participate in the american dream. that's what the naacp is all about. >> guest: i quote that speech in the book and i'm not the right one to sit here and talk about where president obama has disappointed the african-american community. but those that i have talked i reflect in the book where there was the hope on the part of many leaders that he would directly be willing to directly address those problems affecting the african-american community like unemployment among young black men particularly, the life sentence that so many young black men serving long prison sentences for minor nonviolent drug offenses and i remembered the briefings, ryan from irving
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radio would raise these issues and the answer always was which they found very frustrating that the president whenever he talks about those issues it was always, but i'm not just doing this for african-americans, but all americans, all americans. which is hard to argue with them less you are an african-american who does not have the attention for a long time and they finally get the first african-american president and he lumps them in with everybody else. i would say it's certainly not the area where president obama has most disappointed people but i was surprised to talk to african-american city then we feel let down by their first president. >> here on december 16, 2012 is the president talking about newtown. >> since i've been president
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this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings. the fourth time we have hugged survivors, the fourth time we have console the families of victims. we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. and to and then we must change. >> guest: i think the most moving speech that president obama has given as president are three, in tucson when gabby giffords was shot, this speech in newtown where the little angels lost their lives mowed down in their the first grade classrooms and in charleston south carolina at mother in manual church. it's no more for me in port
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issue to easy access of guns in this country and 30,000 people killed every her bike and violence. and i know that president obama feels that way too and yet here we are at the end of his presidency and nothing has been done. again in the first two years, the first four years nothing about gun violence and i will just give you one example. i kept as a reporter at the white house i would raise the issue within robert gibbs and jay carney. what is the president doing about the ban on assault weapons? he supports renewing the ban on assault weapons. who is was he talking to in congress? he supports, he will sign it. he isn't doing anything to work and get it done. c-span: what makes you think that he could get anything done if the nra is very powerful and the republicans don't want to move on it. just get the nra is not as powerful as people say it is.
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c-span: a million guns in the country. that's a lot of power. >> guest: again one of the things the president never did is never went around said we are going to get this done. coming back to the bernie sanders rallying the american people. doris kearns goodwin whom i know you know well in her latest book the bully pulpit and franklin roosevelt used it to go out and get the people and really get people not just to exercise to get them to act and demand action. the president never did that. it was always if congress passes that i will sign it. that to me is not leadership on this issue and i think it's sad and air colder has said the one regret he had is when he left office and had not done anything about gun violence. i'm sure when president obama leaves office he will say the same thing but eight years wasted, eight years without the commonsense measures that he has
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proposed none of them being enacted. c-span: let me ask you more about bernie sanders. when was the first time he knew he was even thinking about running for the presidency? >> guest: i had heard buzz, rumors around washington that he might be thinking about it and so i went to see him in his office and i said hey he told me he was thinking about it. only, and this was 2014, you know that in the sense that two things. he had realized that the only way people will seriously, take you seriously or take your issues seriously, the issues that he cares about income inequality is if you run for president and a senator can yap
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and gives speeches that a presidential candidate people listen. number two, he thought the issues should be that he talks about, should be front and center in this 2016 presidential primary and somebody had to do it and if somebody else did a fine but if nobody else did it he was thinking that he might do it. of course the other person at the time everybody thought would be a lizabeth warren. if elizabeth warren had run i'm. confident in saying bernie sanders would never have run. reichert did he ask your opinion on whether he should run? >> guest: not at that time. right to did he later? when? how? >> guest: at the first meeting i suggested i said if you are really serious what you want to do is get a group of people
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together who have been involved in presidential campaigns and before that i said if you do this my fear is you are going to be another ross perot or another row of nader and take those away and and help barak -- elect a republican. he said i would never do anything to help a republican when the white house. if you are really serious about this get your people together and just let them know what you are thinking about and get their opinion and get some real solid advice on if this is realistic or not and worth pursuing. and so he said to me, it's a good idea. would you organize it? c-span: and? >> guest: i did. c-span: what happened then? >> guest: kicked it around the white house and at that time people were saying this is worth pursuing and it looked like one
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of the chief advisers laid out what he thought could be a plan, the realistic chances on how much money they might be able to raise and how much it would take and then they would have to start. just very preliminary and there was a group of 10 or 12 political strategists who gave good advice and everybody sort of said mrs., not crazy. it's obviously real uphill battle. you are going to be up against the biggest political machine in the country and one of the best and most experienced people in the country, hillary clinton and who knows who else so it's a way way long shot but is not crazy. c-span: how long ago was that? >> guest: it was probably in i would have to say maybe april of 2014.
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c-span: and he announced when? >> he didn't announce until maybe april, it have to go back to 2015. c-span: how much more of that did you pursue? did you start to get interested in did he ask you at any point, why don't you come and work for me? >> guest: and no. he called me at one point and said, i may be often i would have to check if i had my cell phone i could look at the photos and tell you but at one point he called me and he said i learned a lot that was good and do you think we could have another meeting like that. we did, again at my house. it was chicken cacciatore. they thought i would tell you that before you asked. she has her own web site carol so we have a second meeting at
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our house and at that time much more by that time things have moved along meaning it was pretty clear it was at that warren wasn't going to run at that time and the came down to okay if you want to run you have to run as a democrat. the first meeting everybody said that. you have to run as a democrat. don't even think about running as an independent. brown is a democrat otherwise you won't have any supported all of the second time it was more like okay, this is not crazy but you probably have to do this. c-span: i suspect he wouldn't tell me -- >> guest: in november as i believe 2014. right there i suspect you wouldn't tell me who else was at the dinner done off the record. i want to ask you where their people at that dinner that now support hillary clinton? >> guest: i don't know. not that i know of but i don't know. c-span: with there were times
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where you were involved in the process that you worried it would interfere with your talkshow responsibilities? >> guest: no because first of all as a talkshow host by certainly endorse barack obama and by the way in 2008 i endorsed hillary clinton but i was really doing a favor for her friend come getting people together and giving them an opportunity to make his case. and by the way again the rules were just come and listen, no commitment. by coming you are not signing onto the bernie sanders campaign. c-span: was he there by the for both of those? >> guest: oh yeah. c-span: by the way you are one of the few talk shows in the united states that union support. guess who i'm proud of that. c-span: i'm not being critical. are you the only talkshow host? >> guest: i know that a lot of them support my show because i
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am a lifelong union later and i've been close to the union leadership. across-the-board for the most part to support their issues. some unions are against the keystone pipeline and some are obviously for it. i am making an man so i just reached out to some unions asking for their support in helping sponsor the show and have been very lucky and grateful for the support. c-span: i don't want to let you go until i ask you about the time when you were on current tv. you had your morning show on current tv which was run mostly by al gore. what was your reaction when al lors group sold that to al-jazeera from the country of qatar? >> guest: number one i felt the rugged been pulled out from under us because we have been told by the former ice president
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that this was a serious effort to build the television market in this country and we were in it for the long-haul and then i find out from a call from a friend of mine who said what's up with al-jazeera we had never been told it was in the works, never and i don't begrudge the vice president for making a lot of money, god bless america but i sort of felt betrayed that his interest was nothing wrong with that, he saw an opportunity to make a lot of money and he did to sell them company make a lot of money. he did and did not pursue this doubling of this progressive network. c-span: how much of the anger and the united states is built around the fact that he sold out to an oil country? >> guest: i don't think. c-span: it didn't make you mad?
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he is building this liberal progressive network in the ends ends up cashing out at $500 million from an oil country? >> guest: no maybe should have let that bothered me more that finally there's a statement that comes out from al gore that we are selling to al-jazeera but they are just like us. we have the same goals, the same interest and nothing is going to change. we are going to pursue the same agenda which i said vs. no, this was going to be like our tv. this is a state-owned operation and you know it's not going to be. not that they didn't put out a good newscast that don't kid me. c-span: what was your reaction when you heard that they were shutting down? >> guest: i wasn't surprised. c-span: why not? >> guest: they were just and it was crazy as a business decision.
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they are to haven't al-jazeera english channel which was very good which was covering the united states so this was just trying to separate the american audience to think that they could get people to watch in the other thing was great quickly and that i don't know how much time we have is one of them told me at this time, there is a transition period but we stayed on until al-jazeera was ready to come and during that time i met with a couple of the al-jazeera people and one of them told me that the problem american television people like c-span or "cnn" or "msnbc" is that they were only appealing, we were only appealing to 1% of the american people. al-jazeera will up appeal to 99% of the american people at which point i bit my tongue and i really wanted to say you are to change her name because americans are not going to tune in. c-span: a quick question comes you attend almost all of the white house press briefings. he were known as the liberal
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progressive. has the president ever giving an interview? >> guest: no. c-span: have you asked? >> guest: no. c-span: why not? >> guest: because i recognized i inquired about maybe the possibility and i was discouraged from asking and he gives very few interviews and so i just decided i was not going to waste my time trying to do the impossible. i have the access they need and i can ask a question at a press briefing. i'm satisfied with that for my needs so i didn't pursue that. c-span: the name of the book is "buyer's remorse" and the subtitle how obama and the democrats let progressives down. our guest has been bill press. >> guest: thank you, brian.
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next on booktv in prime-time, "in depth" with author sub war and then "after words". the author of many books including the old: too close to call in his most recent, american heiress area. >> host: jeffrey toobin welcome to "in depth" the author of seven books and countingks including her most recent book "american heiress". i want to begin where you and the book.


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