tv Call-in with Craig Shirley Citizen Newt CSPAN May 13, 2018 5:46am-6:16am EDT
thank you all very much both here in the room and it c-span. [applause] remember, the authors are signing at the patent. credit will join them in about half an hour. on the and we have been live all we can. we have several more hours of the best coming up and we are pleased joining us now is one of the authors speaking at the last panel and this is craig surely, his two most recent books are about newt gingrich and ronald reagan. craig surely, is her anything about the republican party their conversation they're having about it self when reagan was president for george w. bush wa.
>> guest: it was more intellectual than. it was great debates in the 1970s and the 1980s about what american conservatives search for and what the republican party stood for. he seemed to be more personality driven today and less about what is our policy on taxation and vis-à-vis the soviet union -- to support the mx muscle? abortion was only beginning to coalesce with the consistent republican or conservative position on it so the debates of the 70s and 80s were great intellectual debates which ironically came 200 years after the great debate of the founding of this country was set to remain a british colonies or do we reject the elitism of london and strike out as a new independent nation. >> host: is it donald trump's party today?
>> guest: that is a great question. the republican party in the conservative movement remains distinct and apart from each other. even when reagan was president the conservative movement sometimes broke with reagan over tax policy in soviet policy and missile policy and things like that. i would say the republican party, yes, because their public party is the party of whoever the nominee is and adopts positions of whoever the nominee is in the public party was richard nixon's party and it was george bush's party and donald trump or dwight eisenhower's party so the party is donald trump's party today. i say conserve the moment is i wouldn't say yes, sir no. it's up for grabs right now is whether or not conservatism is going to follow tropism all the way down or not. >> (202)748-8204 and
(202)748-8201 if you want to call anticipate in our conversation with craig shirley. >> guest: you don't register by parties in virginia so i'm a independent. >> host: do you consider yourself a reagan republican. >> guest: yes one is reaganism still alive? >> guest: i think so. reagan's evolving philosophy is american conservatism at its roots in the enlightenment and the belief in the rights and dignity and freedom of the individual and that is where reagan and the conservatives ended up in the 70s so by 1980 the organizing philosophy of conservative movement and later the pumpkin party was freedom where is the organizing philosophy was justice and oftentimes these conflict with each other. one man sense of justice complete with another man since freedom and this is what the debate is really about more or less going back to the time of washington and the framers in the founders is that what is just and what is free.
these are the great debates. i believe reaganism, yes, it is still alive in the conservative movement and less so in the republican party. it is open to question whether or not because the public and party was very much abraham lincoln party and very much ronald reagan's party and it's open to question whether it will become donald trump's party. >> host: what's your take on this industry of republicans criticizing donald trump? >> guest: i think it is healthy and vital. the discourse is healthy for both parties and both parties need to have these internal debates to see what they stand for. this is the beauty of the platforms which have been taken over by the consultants now. it used to be the week before the convention was platform week and the convention delegates were selected for foreign, domestic policy and these were housewives, ministers, religious leaders, military leaders, small
businessmen and normal people from all walks of life would get together and they would take testimony from captains of industry and ambassadors and cabinet secretaries and then they would write everyday americans would write these very wonderful dedicated complicated platforms that became the basis for the party in that election year. there was also debate going on and inside the democrat party where we stand on tax policy and the same thing where do we stand on henry kissinger and where we stand on the health safety records and with our position vis-à-vis the soviets -- there's been more debate on the republican side then remains today and more debate on the inside the democrat party has been more unified since 1932 in the republican party has been more divided many times since 1932. >> host: let's hear what our callers have to say.
we'll begin with gail in harbor springs, michigan. gail you are on book tv. >> caller: hello, craig. i first want to say you are my kind of republican. you are attitude is one of openness. you don't appear smug and self-righteous and i am a trump supporter and i'm proud to say that and yes, they can question our president and talk about his politics but i do believe that one day he will come as a great president for the united states. i have watched him since the late '80s and i just find them to be a bright light. i appreciate you taking my call and thank you again. maybe one day you will write a book on presidential.
thank you. >> guest: thank you for that. i've been considering writing a book on the 2016 election. it's a very, very important election and there's a dialect [inaudible] from jefferson to jackson to lincoln to teddy roosevelt, to bring glenn roosevelt to donald trump. in each case the american people rose up against the elite and in the case of jefferson was against the sedition acts and just in case it was bankamerica in lincoln's case it was slavery. today was a case it was [inaudible] and in reagan's case it was against the washington and i believe trump understood the way and the power has been drifting from the people and localities to big government and corporate america last 50 or 60 years. i think part of the frustration on the part of trump voters is
that they feel their powers of slipping away to big corporations and big governments and they have less opportunity to determine their own destiny so this in trump understood this and tapped into it. that makes his election very, very important in the context of american history. >> with you from michael in fayette, alabama. good afternoon, michael. >> caller: i want to thank the panel for mentioning first of all politeness versus today's harshness in political discourse and i want to beg on both of you at c-span2 have an early morning washington journal episode or a book tv episode or something, anything, about nonpolitical rudeness and use of bathroom and sex slang to ordinary --
>> host: thank you for that, do you question. >> caller: my question is this. i love how craig shirley in the others mentioned that you don't have to be a conservative to check the conservative box on everything they believe and as a born-again christian political liberal as i guess you could call them peace and justice. based i want to ask what millions of our black sisters church nominations, sisters and brothers, a catholic sisters and brothers in our jewish sisters and brothers are wondering how did there has been conservatism and liberalism insanity ever since the protestant reformation but how is it that. >> host: michael, i have to apologize but get your question. >> caller: electronic broadcasting and have so. >> host: let's talk about the question right.
>> guest: sure, the christian right is it came to prominence in the 1976 campaign and jimmy carter he got something in the order of 60% of the evangelical vote in 1976 and of course you remember carter campaigned as a born-again christian and campaigned from the pulpit and he talked about the government will of love and peace for the american people. in 1976 he did a national telethon there were hosted by the reverend robinson and by 1980 they began to move to the right and reagan was making open appeals to judeo-christian values and they were disappointed in carter for a lot of reasons, soviet policy, economic policy and they pretty much had been on the right more or less although bill clinton is surprisingly did well when president george bush but it is
not monolithic. per se although it tends to be more conservative and more republican but it illustrates that there born-again liberals out there. >> host: next call is terry right here in tucson. terry, your to be. >> caller: glad you are here in tucson. i enjoyed your participation. i'm struck by your response to an audience question about freedom versus justice and i thought it was a bit simplistic in the sense that most women that i know of who are what we call pro-choice would argue that it's a freedom and matter, it is my sense is that general conservative are for freedom except when it goes against what they believe in and can you elaborate on your response to that person?
>> guest: for get an answer from craig shirley what is your view upon trump? >> host: i guess he is gone. sorry about that. >> guest: the color is a valid point. these are much more completed than they appear. i only use the concepts of freedom and justice to illustrate the difference between the two great competing political philosophies in america today. there are pro-life democrats and pro- abortion republicans and we've seen it over the parties many, many years. nothing is simple in this world and nothing is complete in this world and nothing is pure in this world. there are many, many complexities but i just did it to make a rhetorical point. >> host: craig shirley, one of the narratives in washington is that both of the parties have moved to the left or the right. >> guest: no doubt about it.
the time and i do this for 41964 there was more conservative democrats and more liberal republicans and they were talk to each other and they could compromise on things but since 64 goldwater's denomination they picked equally conservative bill muller and governs nomination and 72 with shriver is at the two parties had been moving steadily further and further apart so there is less room to negotiate and less room to compromise. there's occasionally when you get a democrat like bill clinton elected can negotiate with someone more right or center but traditionally the democratic party since 64 has nominated more liberal nominees with republicans have more nominated conservative nominees. it represents an honest choice to the american voter. >> host: next call is tony in
winter, california. tony is not answering or responding. we are not hearing him. we will move to georgia. were going to try robert in stone mountain outside of atlanta. robert you are on the tv. please go ahead. and does anybody else -- i'm not hearing anything. i apologize something is happening there with the phones and i'm not sure what it is. craig shirley's two most recent books, citizen new, the making of reagan conservatism and reagan rising: the decisive year 76-80. what was ronald reagan doing in those years when he lost the first presidential nomination. >> guest: he never stopped campaigning. it is interesting is that he gave the last speech in the kansas city convention in 1976 and he just lost the nomination to gerald ford against a scanned 70 delegate votes out of 287
cast and was supposed to be bitter and angry and deep down he was but he gives a remarkable off-the-cuff speech live on national television for 17000 cheering republicans gives this masterful address and a woman in the crowd explains to reagan supporter says and she's a board supporter and she says we nominated the wrong man. reagan is out on the hustle that paul campaigning for republican candidates in the fall of 26. every place he goes cabdrivers, maids, police officers, airport attendance and every place he goes people are saying you have to run one more time. do it one more time. i'm convinced that the reaction to his impromptu speech kansas city and the subsequent outpouring that people urged him to run is what held him to run
in 1980 because he was 65 years old in 1976. it was considered four years ago a pretty old man and the a lot of political obituaries written about him after he lost the nomination and that he would be told by 1980 but the outpouring i am convinced convinced him to run warmer time. >> host: nancy, redondo beach, california. go ahead with your question from craig shirley. >> caller: yes, actually, he mentions big corporations and big government and is your opinion that corporations are taking advantage of the average worker because that is how i feel. i noticed you brought it up and i was wondering what your opinion was. thank you. >> guest: that is my opinion and i have to think it's a fact. we look at the behavior of wall street and the big banks in the recent meltdown of the whole housing crisis and mortgage rates and all these other things is that i don't think there is
any doubt -- at least in a way it doesn't matter if it's real or perceived to be real but people like yourself and myself and others perceive it to be real and in fact, it is real. i think it is real. i think whether it's healthcare or people to proceed with healthcare or wall street people frustration with so many segments of the private sector economy which is all consolidated in grown and big in walmart putting small-town companies out of business is that there is a sense of frustration on the american people that these big corporations are running their life. >> host: craig shirley, did you support in the primary in 2016? >> guest: my farm worker scott walker and then later for john kasich. >> host: shirley bannister. >> guest: and that is yes. it's a conservative marketing firm where we work with think tanks in publishing houses in candidates and individuals and things like that. it helps advance whatever mission or cause for philosophy
they want. >> host: went from scott walker to governor casey. why did he not catch fire? >> guest: that's a good question. he's very intelligent man, very capable and successful governor. i think quite honestly in part he had all these consultants around him and sometimes that consultant, you know, an old boss of mine once told me never forget the first three letters of the word consultant. [laughter] con. they were getting in the way of him making effective message. i think most of it was hesitancy on the part of the campaign and plus, once dropped stepped into the room he just looked up all the oxygen. people like ted cruz and jeb bush who in other times they were viable candidates but they could be elected nominees they were pushed by the wayside by this colossus who stepped into
the party and seized the nomination. >> host: to see that early on? >> guest: no, i didn't. my wife did. they say that he will peak at 7% and i was the one of those who said yeah, hope he gets 70% will peak at 90% and i would say this and my wife would say i don't think so but i think there's something going on out there and he understands what's going on. my wife is more politically [inaudible] that i am. >> host: jim in mooresville, pennsylvania but hello, jim. you are on with craig shirley. >> caller: today gentleman. mr. surely, it's a pleasure to talk to you. you're a conservative voice. , died in the wall liberal democrat just to give you perspective from where my question is coming from. i am interested in newt gingrich's role in the impeachment of president clinton and whether you could give some
historical background on that and even your opinion. thank you. >> guest: yet, excellent question. i talked to newton about this extensively interviewed him every sunday morning for several years, well, we would meet in the cafeteria when his wife was in the choir at the basilica and i would interview him for an hour or two every morning. i asked him about this. >> host: this is your book, citizen new? yes, and he said it was the biggest mistake of his life that they pursued that the clinton stepped into this mess and that the republicans pursued him because they had already enacted lot of compromise legislation to the betterment both president clinton and newt gingrich believed the betterment of the american people watched the contract of was enacted and signed into law in the forms of congress and a balanced budget were achieved and what their form was achieved and there were things that were done because
they were able to compromise. when clinton stepped into the monica lewinsky mess and when the puppy is pursued him relentlessly it drove clinton to the left back to his base because he needed their support to survive impeachment and the right became dominated by the conservative forces that wanted to pursue in between. all these things and all these forms that they wanted to enact all got pushed by the wayside because impeachment dominated the last two years of the clinton presidency. >> host: craig shirley, two most recent books are citizen new to the making of a reagan conservatism, reagan rising: the decisive years. he has also written about world war ii and several other books on ronald reagan. go to pcb .org and type