tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 14, 2015 9:19am-11:01am EDT
with our future leaders and what we think are going to be required of them. we've increased our investment in cyber both in the force and in the modernization techniques in. we're developing new readiness models that will help us deploy forces when needed on time. and we must increase our efficiency and ability to deploy quickly. we've increased and published a new total force policy that uses the entire force in a way that we can sustain over the long period of time. so these are just a few of the things that are working now. and with that i'll open it up for questions. lita. >> thank you for doing this and i think we all appreciate the amount of time you've spent both here at the podium and at smaller gatherings. roun tables and all. and we certainly hope that your successor and you've encouraged
your successor to do the same. there are two women who appear to be completing the ranger course. beeve been told they've gotten through the hardest parts. i'm wonder if you can take a step back and look at that as you view your career and whether or not this should inform the army's deoigs on whether or not the open the infantry to women. your name may not be on the recommend additions that go to the secretary. >> i would say that first off, as we continue to move forward as a military, the most important thing for us -- i always talk about talent management. you have to pick the best people who can perform to the standards that we've established in our army. and the women in ranger school
are another example of if they can meet the standard, they should be able to go. and i think that's how we want to operate as we move forward. if you can meet the standards that we've established, then you should be able to perform. and i think that's where we're headed. we've not made any final decisions on infantry or army yet but i think those are coming sortly. we've really connected some significant analysis. incredible studies over the last few years. we've integrated women in and it's about whether they can meet the standard or not. and if they can, we would lean to the fact of letting them serve. i don't know how it's going to come out because you never know. there's several days left yet in ranger school. but the feedback i've gotten with these women is how incredibly prepare they are, the effort that they've put forward has been significant.
they've impressed all that they've come in contact with. they are clearly motivated and frankly that's what we want out of our soldiers. this has been a great effort. we'll run another course in november that will be integrated. that's where we're headed right now. then we'll make a decision after that about whether we make it permanently open to women. >> yen, given the fact that you've done, you know, as many hard tours in iraq as anybody has and you look at it now, one, could you reflect a little bit on your perspective of what happened in iraq and how it came to this point and the solutions that you see out there, because everybody has their own list of solutions. do you think, sir, a no-fly zone would make any sense and do you think it is time to put u.s. troops, soldiers on the ground with iraqi forces, even
potentially with syrian rebel forces, truce troops on the ground to help them further train on the ground. is it even feasible? >> so i would say this. first, as i look at iraq, and i've said this before. it's frustrating what's happened inside of iraq. i believe a couple of years ago, 2011, we had it in a place heading in the right direction. violence was down, economy was growing, the politics were okay. and we turned it other to them by the agreement that we had made back in 2008, that they would take full control of this in 2011 and we would leave. as it turned out, they weren't prepared to handle it. and i think it's more politically than i guess else. the political factions weren't able to work together. based on that people became
frustrated. when people become frustrated, they tend to turn to violence if there's no other way to get their point. that allowed a group like isil to exploit the fish sures that were occurring inside of iraq. that's kind of how we got to where we are. same thing happened at syria. two countries right next to each other had the same problem and you gave them a significant piece of ground that enabled them to build their capabilities. i believe -- so first off, i absolutely believe that the region has to solve this problem. the u.s. cannot solve this problem for the region. they've got to get involved and be part of the solution. i truly believe that. i've said before, we could probably go in there with a certain amount of american forces and probably defeat isil. the problem is we would be right back where we are today six months later. for me it's about changing the dynamics, the political
dynamics, the economic dynamics and it has to be done by those in the region. it's important for us to support that. it's important for us to support that by training and try to develop capability and capacity. i believe that if we find in the next several months that we're not making the progress that we have, we should absolutely consider embedding some soldiers with them and see if they could make a difference. that doesn't mean it would be fighting, but i may be embedding them and moving with them. that's an option that we should submit to the president when the time is right. >> when you say that, do you mean both in iraq and syria? >> originally i would say iraq. i swrould to look a little harder whether we do it in syria. my comment is mainly iraq. >> i know generals normally don't comment on politics, but you're about to go. what can they do to you.
so very bluntli bluntly when yo donald trump say we should mo in with our troops and take the oil and bomb the iraqi oil fields and take the oil away from the iraq iraqis, does that have military authority? >> here's the thing i learned. there's limit to military power. we can have on outcome. the problem we've had, do we achieve sustainable outcome. and the problem we've had is we've had outcomes but they've only been short term outcomes because we haven't properly looked at the political and economic side of this. it's got to be all three that come together and if you don't do that, it's not going to solve the problem. that's what i continue to look at. so i think for me, if you ask me -- if you said to me, if we didn't -- right now isil is a
direct threat and it's imminent and they're getting ready to have an attack on the united states that's going to be devastating, that's a different issue. that's a different issue. then maybe we have to look at putting troops on the ground. but that's not where we are today. what we want to do is try to stop a -- we have to stop a long term group that's potentially attempting to be a long term influence in the middle east. that is clearly promoting extremism. and frankly suppressing the populations in the middle east. in order to resolve that, you need the countries in the middle east and those surrounding the middle east to be involved. >> do you disagree with donald trump? >> i do. right now i do. >> i want to try the iraq question again. there's a rolling debate on who lost iraq.
the debate -- narrative goes something like brilliant surge succeeded, obama abandoned iraq setting the stage for a sectarianism to return and the rise of isil. >> i don't think it's black and white. i think it's gray. i remind everybody that us leaving at the end of 2011 was negotiated in 2008 by the bush administration. and that was always the plan. we promised them that we would respect their sovereignty. so i think based on that that was always our plan. now you can argue whether we could have adjusted a little bit and could we have had a better outcome. i'm not going to get involved in that argument. it's not black and white. what i would say is having military on the ground allowed
us to be honest brokers between some of these groups. and i think maybe as we all look back, leaving some soldiers on the ground might have helped a little bit and prevented where we are right now. >> given sustainable archives, judged against that, was the iraq invasion a mistake in retrospect? >> tony, i don't like going back there. it's like monday morning quarterbacking. here's what i would say. all i know is saddam hussein was an incredibly ruthless person suppressing his population. we went in there, there were in nuclear weapons. here's what i will tell you. i talked to all -- i've said this for years. i talked to all of the iraqi generals. they'll tell you there were nuclear weapons. you know, they believe they were. so the bottom line is they absolutely believed there were nuclear weapons on the ground. so to say we shouldn't have went in there u no because we know there wasn't any or we didn't
find any is a little bit of hindsight. and we don't know where we would be right now if saddam hussein was still in power. he was moving to terrorism. you don't know what he might have done in terms of being part of the problem with terrorism. it's very difficult to say was it worthwhile. the bottom line, the decision was made, we did the and now we have to deal with it and make it come out the best way we can. >> general, given your experience in iraq, and you talk earlier about the growing conflict between shia and sunni and the increased influence now of iran inside iraq, even militarily, do you see any possibility that there can be any reconciliation in iraq between the shia and sunni ever? >> i think it's very difficult every day. there might be some alternative solutions that come of this sometime in the future where,
you know, iraq might not look like it did in the past. but we have to wait to e so how that plays out. we have to deal with isil first and then we have to decide what it will look like afterwards. >> are you talking about the possibility of partitioning? >> i think that's for the region and politicians to kind of figure out, diplomat to figure out how we want to work this. it's something that could happen. might be the only solution but i'm not ready to do that. >> for the second time now isis claims to have hacked into u.s. military computer systems and retrieved vital personal, even some classified information. what do you know about that? and you mentioned cyber defenses earlier. are we inadequately protected against an attack even by somebody like isis? >> i would tell you -- i don't want to downplay the incident but this is the second or third time they've claimed that.
the first two times, whatever lists they got were not taken by any cyberattack. they were kind of lists that were really off the side. and right now so far -- i've not seen the list myself. but what i believe is this is no different than the other two times. but i take it seriously because it's clear what they're trying to do. and so it's important for us to make sure that our force understands what they're trying to do, even though i believe they have not been successful in what they're claiming. jennifer. >> sir, do you think that isis is winning right now? and do you think that the u.s. betrayed the sunni tribes that rose up in anbar province? >> i think isil has been blunted somewhat. they have not made any progress since we started air strikes. i think we've gained back some territory, mostly by the great work of the kurds, some work by the iraqi security forces.
i think right now we're kind of at a stalemate frankly. the kurds continue to make progress. i think it's important that we continue to support them. the reason it's that way is we are continuing to retrain the iraqi security force to build up the capabilities so they can conduct operational again. probably getting ready to see one in the next few days. although it's not goon as well we would would like for it to, it's important to continue to train the syrian forces. as a military strategy you want to have our enemy respond to several different fronts. in my opinion we want to try to develop capability so they have iraqi security forces from the south, kurds from the north and we have syrian rebels helping in syria pushing on the west. that's still something we have to work at. obviously we have a lot of work to do a better job in how they're working with syrian rebels. but we have to stay focused on that and try to continue to do
that. >> thank you very much, general. two part question. one, what is the future of afghanistan now because talibans and al qaedas are still in afghanistan and pakistan and still waiting for the interyashl community to leave, and the u.s. and nato, the future might not be bright or darker. and second part, how much are you worried between china and pakistan because china is -- pakistan is doing what china is telling them and china is expanding in the region. >> with the taliban, they claim a lot of things, first off. and so i think that, listen, there's violence inside of afghanistan. it's less than what it was. the afghan security forces are doing a good job of going after
that. the pakistanis have done good work here. it's interesting to watch what the future of the taliban is going to be. i think swre to watch that carefully. things are still on a path where i think it can be successful. i think we have to continue to support the afghan security forces, we have to continue to support die lag between afghanistan an pakistan. listen, pakistan has a right to deal with a lot of countries. we have a good relationship with pakistan. i have a good relationship with the general and we talk regularly. he talks regularly to general campbell in afghanistan. do they talk china probably. that's their right to do that. we have to continue to work with them to solve this difficult problem. and i think afghanistan, pakistan, the united states and other countries have to work together to solve this problem. it's in our interest to do that.
>> are there other countries that you might ask for, including india -- >> i think we have to judge the environment. and if we think it's the right thing to do, we certainly would have that conversation. >> you mentioned at the beginning that there was a decrease in resources. what can other areas of government to, lawmakers do to support the military? >> in the whole four years i was chief of staff of the army, we've been in a deadlock where we're in a deadlock -- we're worried about the debt, which we should be. and in my opinion we've held the military hostage because of the arguments we're having over the rest of the government. i guess the point i'm trying to make, it's coming to a point now where i think we should be careful. because i think we're in a point
of potentially degrading ourselves where it's going to be really difficult for us to meet ore requirements. whether it like it or not, we're a world leader and we have to lead in many places around the world. and we have to have the capability of to do that. and i worry in the years ahead if we don't solve this problem, we won't have the capability to do that. >> couple of questions sir. can you confirm or deny that u.s. and turkey have agreed on safe zone in northwest syria? >> i have not been involved with that so i cannot. i cannot discuss that. >> okay. can you update us on how many iraqis including kurds and sunnis have been trained by the u.s. >> as of this morning, about 16,000 have been trained this year, since the beginning of the year. >> and also according to fox news on my right, in northern
iraq, came too close to the u.s. where the kirds have been trained. how close -- >> i don't know exactly how close, but obviously we've had conversations about this to make sure it doesn't happen. yeah. go ahead. >> there are casualty reports from a camp in syria as a result of the coalition forces air strike. can you update me. >> i didn't hear what you say. >> air strike reports in at a camp in syria. >> i'm not aware of that. i can't answer your question. >> thanks, general. what do you think is the top military threat to the u.s.? some leaders have said russia. just wanted to know if you agree with this and also if the iran deal goes through and it has billions in assets, do you think
that it will spend more money on supporting terrorism in the region and other malign activities in. >> i would say that russia has -- i believe russia is the most dangerous because of a couple of things. they are more mature than some other of our potentialed a very varies and i think they have some stated intents that concern me in terms of how the cold war ended. and so for me, i'm concerned. and they have shown some significant capability in ukraine to do operations that are fairly sophisticated. and so for me i think we should pay a lot of attention to that. what was the second question again? >> on iran and -- >> yeah. so first, i support anything that reduces the proliferation of nuclear weapons. that supports the
nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. excuse me. and so i support that part of it. as i've said before, we can't be naive and we must understand that iran is conducting operations, several different countries, whether it be yemen, syria, whether it be iraq, and we must be aware of that and assume that some of the money they get, if the sanctions are left, will be used to continue some of this activity. we have to be aware of that and watch it very, very closely. >> thank you, general. mayor acquisition programs during your tenure have not been terribly successful but as you said you've been in budget deadlock the entire time. what are you saying to your successor? how do you feel passing the modernization of the army toward and what are the priorities -- >> i would tell you because of the new army operating concept,
for the fist time we absolutely have a good understanding of what we need. for us it's about protection, situational awareness. we're looking at developing mobile protective fire for our light units, medium units and haef vi units, pass information quickly and we have programs in place to do that but we have to continue to push on those programs. and i think those are the ones for me that are the most important. and we also have to consider -- continue to workman on man capability, autonomous capability. all of those things are important to us as we move to the future. >> thank you, sir. in your view, what went wrong with the syria train and equip program. and should the u.s. and military continue to fund the program? >> i think a couple of things. i think the training went fine. i think it's how you employ the forces. and i think we have to -- we learned some lessons from that
and figure out how best we can employ them to ensure their survivability in the region. centcom is working hard to make sure that we do that much better than we did the first time. >> what would be some of the lessons learned? >> i think it's about you know how you use them, where you use them, what kind of -- can we provide some protection. i think those are all of the kind of things that we have to take a look at as we go forward. >> sir, going back to the withdrawal from iraq, could you talk about why leaving troops in iraq could have made a difference? what it is that they would have been able to do that could have changed the situation -- >> sure. what i said, what i always kind of -- you know, so one of the things that i believe happened is the iraqi security forces became significantly politicized. and what happened is leaders were taken out, leaders -- had to do with not who was loyal to
iraq but who was loyal to the leaders inside of iraq and that caused problems. you no longer had an army that had representation from many different parts of iraq, you had it from certain parts of iraq. i think if we were there, we probably could have prevented things like that from happening. and i think we could have reassured some of the other groups that they would continue to be able to participate, not only in the military but in the government as well. >> do you think that's a lesson that could be applied to afghanistan? >> absolutely i believe it is. i don't mean top -- you know, the reason -- everybody always says why can't we do what we did in germany, korea and japan. everybody tells me that all the time. because we kept people there for very long periods of time. we're still in europe 70 years later. we're still in japan 70 years
later. we're much smaller and it's a much different relationship. but that's how you help to establish long standing institutions. i'm not trying to compare germany or japan or korea to the middle east. it's a different environment. don't get me wrong. but what i would say is having us there helps to establish an institution that is capable of being more sustainable and lasting for a much longer time. >> can i just follow-up on that? >> sure. >> was there a way around the legal -- the issue over whether or not there were legal protections -- >> i mean the bottom line is, you would had to have had the iraqi parliament approve that. and that was the problem. so i don't know if we could have convinced them to do that or not. i will say we had the same problem initially when we initially hammered out the
agreement in '08 as well. so i don't know. i don't know the answer to that question. that frankly is it. could we convince them it with us in their best interest and our breast interest to stay longer. >> would you have stayed without -- >> no. >> was it the right decision -- >> no. what happen is you put your soldiers and marines at risk of being arrested. we're in violation of international law. we were there under a u.n. mandate and then have agreement with iraq that ended in 2011. we would have been there illegally. >> the way you framed that, you make it found like there was never a serious robust effort to convince the iraqi parliament. >> i hesitate to say that because frankly i was not there during that time. i'm told there was an effort to do that.
i can't tell you if there was a robust effort. i simply wasn't there at the time. if i was there i would give you an honest answer but i simply was not there at that time. >> back on syria, how do you see the future of syria? do you believe that any political solution could take place without having the syrian president part of it? i also have a follow-up? >> i don't know. you know, my assessment would be it's going to be difficult to have a syria that looked like syria the way it did before. i think it's probably forever changed in some way. i think one of the things we have to work through with our partners in the region is what will it look like. we have to think about that. i don't think any of us have a solution right now for that. and whether that includes the current leadership to still be in place or not, i don't know.
but that's something we have to think about. >> when you say partner in the region, do you mean iran is part of those partners? >> i would just -- i don't know. we have to see. i think the best solution would be where you get everybody to agree to it. i think you would want everybody to be agreed with that. whether that comes up with the right solution or not, that's probably -- yeah. >> general, you called the war against isis a stalemate and u.s. intelligence agencies estimate that isis is the same strength, 20,000 or 30,000 fielthers as it was at the beginning of the war. don't you think it's time to change the strategy? >> they might be at the same strength, but i will tell you based on what i've seen. we've significantly reduced the leaders that were in there. that makes a difference. because now you've got second, third, fourth stringers coming in. the problem we is they're still able to recruit to stay at 20,000 and 30,000. that's concerning. they're not as capable as they were a year ago or 18 months
ago. but they're still able to recruit and get people to come in and fight. there's got to be other solutions. there's an information campaign that high ear successful at to recruit people to come in there. that he's what we have to do with our partners is have a more moderate voice that doesn't make this look like it's a great cause. that's part of what we have to work through as well. yeah, jim. >> you mentioned ukraine. concerns in of further advances of russian forces. as you leave, talk about whether the strategy is work in iraq. do you have any evidence that the strategy, the administration policy in terms of deterring russia is working there? and i'm curious as you look at next stages, you talk about russia as the pry pir threat. how concerned are you that
russia will try the same strategy with bordering agencies? >> my comment is russia is constantly acitizening the action of nato to any of their actions. what i worry about is miscalculation. that they perceive maybe that nato right not be as concerned and they make a mistake and miscalculate and do something that would violate article 5 of or nato agreement. that's something that greatly concerns me. i would say that what we have to do is continue to -- we have to continue to refocus nato in our inop rablt with our nato partners. we have a long way to go. we have to continue to increase our ability to move quickly there. i think that we can do that by positions equipment, we can do that by helping to increase
inner op rablt between the nato forces to have an understanding of what the nato capabilities are available. and i think we have to keep working. a true deterrent is where people are worried if level of response. i think we have to continue to improve what that level of response might look like so we can deter any further action. >> so you're saying there's a long way to go, that deterrent is not there at this point. >> i think we have to turn it there. i think we're doing a good job with that. i think what we have to do over the next several years is continue to increase that so the risk goes up for anybody who might consider conducting operations in eastern europe. >> sir, can i follow up on that, please? you talked about russia and the threat it poses, yet your army has not been preparing for conventional warfare in the way it used to because of the war against isis in iraq and afghanistan. is this army prepared for a conventional confrontation with russia given that it hasn't been doing that kind of preparation? >> well, we started in '14. so in the last 18 months we have
really started to train for what we call a hybrid warfare, which is actually the warfare i consider russia is, in fact, conducting. we are doing about ten brigade rotations at our training center this year. we did about eight last year. that was specifically focused on this. so we have. we are in the process of increasing our capabilities to do this. and your point is a good one. i mean, we came off of ten years of doing counterinsurgency operations. and what we've had to do is very different. that goes back to my worry about dollars. because what we need is we need the dollars in order for us to continue to train and build capability. we've been doing that for a year and a half now. but all the sudden sequestration comes back in, in '16, that will be an impact. that's one of the concerns i have. we have been there. we're not where we need to be. i think i've said we got about 33% of our brigades right now who can -- about 33% who can
operate at that level. and we need to -- my goal is we should have about 60%. that's what we're working towards. so we're hoping by next couple years. i don't want to give a date. >> and one of the exercises, the nato exercises in terms of the limits of what areas need to be improved in terms of military r readiness? >> the last time we were doing this in europe, i remind everybody that our job was to protect western europe. so one of the things we've learned is the logistical challenges we have in eastern europe. for example, eastern europe has a different gauge railroad than western europe does. so moving supplies is more difficult. so learning great lessons like that. you know, our ability to sustain ourselves over time, our interoperability and the capabilities that nato now has and now we have to better integrate those is another lesson. we're using our readiness center that we have to do that. we have a large exercise going on there right now with our
partners to continue to work this problem. we'll do two more. i'll get you too. >> do you have any updates or details about the helicopter crash that occurred in okinawa? >> no, still waiting to find out what happened. i don't know yet exactly what happened. i was briefed on it this morning. the briefing was we had a helicopter crash, and we're not quite sure what happened yet. we have investigators there taking a look at it. >> can you speak to the type of training that was taking place? >> well, i mean, it's training of special operations forces with several different nations. >> sorry, there are two japanese self-defense force personnel on that? >> again, i do not have -- i do not want to comment because i do not have the facts. there's been some conflicting reports, so i'm not going to comment on that. >> and -- >> do you want a couple more? >> sorry. i just wanted to ask about the -- if there was a concern that would have an impact on the
greater strategy or the security of the relationship between the u.s. and japan, especially given the opposition to -- >> well, i'm not going to overreact to one incident, okay. so i think, listen, it's important that we work with our allies. it's important we work with our japanese allies, and we have to continue to do that. i'm not going to predict what the issue will be with inside japanese politics. but i think it's important as allies we work together. as i said when i started this, there are risks in the work that we do every single day. and unfortunately, we understand that going in. we obviously want to prevent any of those risks, but sometimes, unfortunately, we have accidents. >> a few weeks ago, general hodges told reporters about a plan currently the united states is helping train ukrainian, the equivalent to the international guard. he said that would be completed in november, and there's a plan out there to train military forces of ukraine. at the time, he said it had not
been approved yet. do you have an update for us on that? >> i would just say that we do have a plan developed to do that. we have not yet made a decision on whether we will move forward with that. >> also, you had said that the deadlock was holding the military hostage. if you had extra money to use, where would that money go in your budget? >> it'd go directly to readiness and modernization. and the other piece is it also is about end strength. it's about keeping end strength no lower than 450,000 in our active component. we want to keep that end strength and invest in readiness and modernization. i'm going to take one more question. barbara, i'm going to let you ask it, which i'll probably regret. so go ahead. >> i don't think you will. what i want to ask you about is i don't want you to walk away without us asking you about a decade of remarkable survivability of america's war
wounded and veterans. this is something we all know that you know an awful lot about. so as you finish up your service, what concerns do you have that over the long haul -- because, again, it's a long-term issue, doesn't go away -- that america's war wounded of the last 14, 15 years really over the decades ahead will get the care they need and that there will be the money there for them to get the care they need, the other side of the equation from the act of duty. >> yeah, so first off, i would tell you i do worry about that. i'm encouraged, though, by what i'm seeing. but again, as you mentioned, we're in the beginning of this. we have soldier -- and it's not only about the soldiers but the caregivers as well and the sacrifice their caregivers make in assuring these soldiers are able to live a long, viable life and the sacrifice they have to make. we have to make sure we provide
them the resources necessary. there's a couple things. i think first, as a military, we have to be cognizant of that and do everything we can. we need a strong veterans affairs. i continue to support them. we also have to ease the restrictions that we have on using those organizations, private organizations, that are out there helping our soldiers. we're much better than we were five years ago at this, where we're able to combine private enterprise who's trying to help our wounded warriors with formal department of defense programs, veterans affairs programs, so we can combine those resources to make sure we're taking care of these young men and women long term. we're getting better. we've had some relaxation of those restrictions we've had, but we have to continue to watch it. i worry about long-term pts. i think that's a long-term problem. i think we have to continue to invest in that. i think these centers that have been donated to us not only at walter reid but at satellite
sites plays an important role in that. i worry about our senior leaders, that we have -- you know, we were talking yesterday in my office. so in 2003, someone who's a captain is now a colonel or brigadier general. they have probably had six or seven deployments over that period of time. we tend not to talk about our leaders. we have ncos who were probably sergeants or privates back then and are now majors who have had six, seven, eight deployments. they're doing well, but we have to make sure we have programs in place to take care of them as well as they continue to lead our great soldiers. so things like that we can't forget. we have one of the most important things for me, we also cannot forget those families whose sons or daughters or husbands or wives gave their lives over these last 10 or 12 years.
we have to remain connected to them. as i go around, i have meetings with our families all the time, and all -- they love staying connected to the army, to the units their children or sons or daughters or husbands were in. and for me, that's incredibly important that we do that. because we should never forget the sacrifice that they made and the sacrifice their families continue to make because their dad or mom is no longer here. that's something that i will live with for the rest of my life, is thinking about that and the sacrifices that they made. and the reason for me, it's hard, is not because, listen, we all understand why we do this and the risks associated, but i had the opportunity firsthand to stand side by side by these young men and women who they really cared about what they were doing. they showed incredible selflessness and courage in what they did. for me, we should be so proud of them and their sacrifice. it's important that we remember that, and we do that by taking care of their families, their children as we go forward.
so thank you very much. i've enjoyed it very much. god bless all of you. thank you. today on c-span3 between 1:00 and 8:00 p.m., after "washington journal," programs on future technologies, including google vice president, also known as a co-founder of the internet. the development of next-generation lithium ion battery technology, and the emerging industry of online medical care, also known as telemedicine or telehealth. c-span is in des moines for the iowa state fair and road to the white house coverage of presidential candidates. our live coverage is on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org as the candidates walk the
fairgrounds and speak at "the des moines register's" candidate soap box. here's the schedule. this morning at 10:30 eastern, republican jeb bush. starting at noon on saturday, republican rick santorum at noon followed by democrats lincoln chaffee at 12:30 and senator bernie sanders at 3:00. on sunday afternoon, republicans ben carson at 5:00 and george pataki at 5:30. c-span's campaign 2016, taking you on the road to the white house. former iowa democratic senator tom har kin and his wife ruth are endorsing hillary clinton for president. in his "des moines register" op-ed, he writes, quote, we all know iowans have a sincere responsibility in nominating our next president. this year that responsibility is as important as it's ever been. as democrats, he writes, we're fortunate to have candidates that are all fine individuals, but we need a fighter who has a
record of getting things done and the vision for the future that will build on the progress we've made. for my wife ruth and i, that candidate is hillary clinton. that's from former senator tom harkin. the former secretary of state is due at the iowa state fair tomorrow, but it's not clear if she will be speaking. republican presidential candidate donald trump will be in new hampshire tonight, and we'll cover live a town hall he's holding at 7:10 p.m. eastern time in hampton. good morning. it's friday, august 14th, 2015. on today's three-hour "washington journal," we'll discuss health care spending in the united states. today's 80th anniversary of the signing of the social security act into law. we'll also take a look at the state of the foster care system in america. we begin this morning with the increased speculation about a
potential joe biden presidential campaign in 2016 with reports that the vice president is calling close political supporters this week to discuss the possibility of joining the democratic presidential primary contest. we're opening our phones for our first 45 minutes today to hear your thoughts on that topic. we're asking just democrats and independents to weigh in on this topic this morning. the line for democrats for just this first 45 minutes, indepen 202-748-8001. you can also catch up with us on social media. a very good friday morning to you. much of the speculation about a potential joe biden run this week came in the wake of a story yesterday on the front page of "the wall street journal." biden is sounding out allies on '16 wbid is the headline. that appeared on the front page. since that story came out,
several other stories, "the hill" noting it's crunch time for joe biden. in the fix column in "the washington post," bernie sanders should be rooting like crazy for joe biden presidential run, the headline there. and from "the new york times," biden vacations but keeps grappling with a 2016 bid. we want to hear your thoughts this morning. joining us on the phone now is one of the reporters who worked on that "wall street journal" story, colleen mccain nelson. appreciate your time in joining us this morning on "the washington journal." >> thanks for having me. >> so talk about the headline in "the wall street journal" that joe biden is sounding out his allies. which allies in particular are we hearing about? >> well, it's interesting. he's vacationing this week in south carolina. we all assumed that he would be talking with his family and weighing this decision, but he's
actually doing more than that. he's been reaching out to political allies, people who have backed his previous presidential campaigns, people he has built relationships with over the years in the white house, and he is talking to them about just kind of the logistical challenge he would face if he launched a campaign at this late date. so it's a shift in what we've seen in the past. previously people were coming to joe biden and urging him to run, and he was kind of just listening and taking that in, but now we see him proactively seeking people out and asking them questions and taking kind of a deeper look at the possibility of doing this. >> you mentioned this late date. what is the timeline here? there are presidential primary debates for the democratic party coming up this fall. what kind of timeline is he looking at? >> well, he all along had said he would make a decision by late summer. then the timeline started to shift a little bit,
understandably, with the death of his son beau in may. at that point, a lot of people assumed that he wouldn't even consider making a bid, but eventually it became apparent that this was still on the table. so the signals have been that he likely would announce a decision in september, which at that point you're less than five months away from the iowa caucuses. even though he would come into the race with a lot of built-in advantages as the sitting vice president, he hasn't been secretly building a campaign organization, so he would have a lot of catching up to do in simply bringing together advi r advisors and getting donors. hillary clinton certainly has not only a huge head start but already has wrapped up a lot of key people and gotten commitments and endorsements from them. >> you mentioned hillary clinton. how much has her issues with her personal e-mail server and the investigation surrounding that played into the chatter this week about a joe biden nomination? >> well, that's a really good point. that's kind of the backdrop to
all of this. the controversies that have been dogging the clinton campaign certainly have been fueling speculation about joe biden's candidacy. in talking with democrats, you hear a lot of them say what if there's more to come on hillary clinton? what if it gets worse? we might need a plan b. so even though a lot of democrats will argue that the e-mail issue is a partisan issue or that the clinton foundation donations are not of great consequence, they think she could probably survive the storm that we're seeing right now, but they worry whether there's another shoe to drop. and if there is, they'd like to have an alternative. >> and does joe biden have a natural base within the party? what is going to be sort of the divvying up process of democrats if he does jump in? >> well, i certainly think he would make more of a dent in hillary clinton's support than in bernie sanders' support.
he's not as far to the left as bernie sanders is. bernie sanders has kind of staked out his own spot in this race. so joe biden isn't likely to peel off a lot of those folks, but he would be competing with hillary clinton for the same voter voters. he also has his own constitue sy in that he would appeal to a lot of catholics, a lot of blue-collar workers. you know, certain states where he has a constituency. south carolina is a state where he has built up a lot of relationships over the years and has strong support and they have an early nominating contest. so there are a few states along the way where he could do particularly well. >> and before we let you go, what's been the response from particularly the hillary clinton camp to some of these stories this week? >> well, so far hillary clinton has had very little to say about any of her democratic
challengers or would-be democratic challengers. she's really focused on talking about the republicans and what's wrong with the republican candidates. but i was with hillary clinton in new hampshire earlier this week. she was asked about the prospect of a joe biden candidacy. she noted he's a friend. they both served in the senate together. she attended beau biden's funeral earlier this summer, but she said -- she offered very little on this subject and said we need to let him be with his family and make his decision and she said i will respect whatever decision he makes. >> colleen mccain nelson helping to reignite some of the chatter around a potential joe biden presidency with her story on the front page of the "wall street journal." biden is sounding out allies on '16 bid. appreciate your time this morning. >> thank you so much. >> and we're asking our viewers to weigh in, just our democratic and independent viewers this morning. the line for democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8001.
we'll get to the line for democrats with james. good morning, james. >> caller: good morning. >> your thoughts on a potential joe biden candidacy. >> caller: well, i love hillary. don't get me wrong. i've been a clinton supporter for years. and i don't know, i'm just concerned about these e-mails. it's just going to drip like water, but the drip is going to get bigger and bigger. and the republicans are just going to drive us in the ground. like i said, i love hillary to death, but i think we'd be better if joe biden would go ahead and jump in. i hope he jumps in sooner than later. i hope he'll make a decision at least by the end of the month. >> and james, what do you like about joe biden? is it his style, is it certain things that he's done as vice president? >> caller: well, i like the character. he's got good character.
he's never had baggage like the clintons. he's just a good man. he's smart. and there's nothing he can't deal with. to me, he don't even need a secretary of state if he's president. he could do president and secretary of state. >> hey, james, let me bounce this tweet off you from monte, who's watching and writes, the nation needs an injection of new blood from untraditional nonstatus quo politicians. do you think that's the problem a joe biden candidacy would have? >> caller: no, i don't think so. he's different from most. he's very trustworthy. people trust him. i never heard anybody say anything bad. the people i know never said nothing bad about joe biden. people just love joe biden. he's himself. you know, joe biden, when he says something, people listen.
even though it might not come out right, but still it don't hang around his neck like a rope. the clintons, it seems like when they say something, it just sticks with them. the media is all over them. >> that's james in virginia this morning. we're getting your thoughts. the headline "the hill" newspaper from their story, crunch time for joe biden. let's go to our line for independents. alice is waiting this morning in owings, maryland. >> caller: good morning. i thank you so much. i think joe biden needs to relax with his family, continue to grieve, spend time with his grandchildren, and be a supportive person to a new uprising candidate. and i think someone just stole my thunder from either twitter
or facebook, you just read. we've had enough of clintons. we've had enough of bushes. we've had enough of biden. it doesn't mean they're all wrong, but just support somebody new. support new ideas. >> and who's a new candidate in your mind, alice? >> caller: i don't have one yet. the person i would support hasn't said she would run. >> and who might that person be? >> caller: that person would be the senator from massachusetts, elizabeth warren. >> alice in owings, maryland. elizabeth warren also the subject of a gallup poll alongside joe biden that measured democrats' desire for an additional candidate in the 2016 field. 36% of democrats saying that elizabeth warren should jump in.
49% saying that she shouldn't jump in. when it comes to joe biden, 45% of democrats said that, yes, the vice president should run for the presidency in 2016. 47%, no. most democrats say they would consider voting for biden, but few are certain about it. some of the results from that gallup poll that came out this week. back to our line for democrats. virginia is in huntsville, alabama. virginia, good morning. >> caller: good morning. thanks for c-span. i've been listening to you for years. i like joe biden, but this is hillary's time. hillary has a love for our country that started years and years ago. there's something wrong with our country that they just don't think a woman is capable of being the president. why would they want to bring in joe biden just because his son passed and his son told him to run for president? i do know and do believe that
hillary clinton has been taken advantage of. all the democrats are well aware that we were prepared that they are going to go after hillary. there's something concerning the news media with the clintons that they actually hate the clintons. our country thrived under bill clinton. they did everything they could to him. they even impeached him. but our economy thrived. and i want to tell you this. donald trump will take a vice president just to get the women's votes. >> virginia, on that question, on the primary, do you think it helps hillary if joe biden jumps into the primary race and she beats him? does it make her a stronger candidate, give her more of a challenge in the primary to sort of prepare her for a general
election? >> caller: it's very possible. i like joe -- vice president joe biden. i really do, but to be president, it's just something different about it. hillary to me has a fight. she really has fought throughout the years for what she believed in, and she hasn't got in the mode of really being a candidate for president as she did the last election. i'm sorry, yes, with president obama in the first election. i just would like to see her be more forward in telling the things she's going to do for this country like she did before. she has got to make a stance and make it strong.
fiorina is really speaking out. the way she talks about hillary, calls her a liar, trying to annihilate her character. it's just not right the way they're treating hillary, as much as she has done for our country. >> that's virginia in huntsville, alabama, this morning. along with virginia's endorsement, hillary clinton picked up an endorsement from those who are familiar with congress. former senator tom harkin, important voice in iowa, put out his endorsement of hillary clinton yesterday. he wrote as part of that endorsement, it was over a year ago that i said that though i was retiring from the senate, i would not be retiring from the fight for social and economic justice. that's why today i am proud to endorse my longtime friend and colleague hillary clinton in her candidacy for president of the united states. we're getting your thoughts, though, this morning on the potential presidential candidacy of vice president joe biden. david's up next in jackson,
mississippi. david, good morning. you're on our line for independents. >> caller: yeah, i think there are two joe bidens. the real joe biden and then this joe biden's big mouth over which he has no control. i mean, he's gotten away with it. he's embarrassed obama several times. as vice president, he's gotten away with it. i don't think we should have -- ever have a president who lets his mouth run away from him. besides, you know, he's been in the establishment for his entire career. i think as the caller suggested, he should just retire and enjoy his grandchildren. >> david, what's an example of an incident where he's embarrassed the obama administration? what do you think comes up from what you're talking about here, if he does run for the presidency? >> caller: well, he endorsed gay marriage well ahead of obama, and obama was forced to jump in
to watch up. that's just one example. i mean, there are many. >> do you think that hurts him in a democratic primary? >> caller: oh, i don't think it would hurt him in a democratic primary, but who knows what he'll say as president. he doesn't know what he's going to say. therein lies the problem, i think. as a caller said yesterday and a caller said earlier, he's been in the establishment for too long. i think america wants a change. and i think he should just retire. >> that's david in jackson, mississippi. edwin on twitter says, i think he should run if he wants to, but i'm not sure he can win the nomination. he has a history of wrong turns. cnn also writing a story fin th past 24 hours. they note amid the swirl of uncertainty, there appears at least one truth. the vice president's supporters are ardently hoping he'll run, even though they appear to be
hearing little from the man himself. one person familiar with biden's calls this morning down played their significance, noting the vice president makes calls all the time. that's a story on cnn if you want to read more. sheila is up next on our democrat line. we're talking to just the democrats and independents our first 45 minutes this morning. good morning, sheila. >> caller: yes, hello? >> yes, sheila. go ahead. >> caller: i had written -- well, i had called the white house comment line here quite a long time ago and urged vice president biden to run. and then when his son died, i had sent him a condolence letter. a couple of weeks ago, him and jill sent me a letter back.
they are such kind people. and i want him to run. i would vote for him. >> sheila, what do you think is his strength if he runs? what do you like about him? >> caller: i like everything. i like the fact that he's out there. i mean, yeah, he says some silly things and, yes, he's for gay marriage. i don't have any problem with gay people at all. i know gay people. and i'm sorry the president didn't come up with it first, but anyhow, that's my comment. >> that's sheila in carrollton, georgia, this morning. jan writes on our twitter page, what about feel the bernie? why isn't bernie plan b? the fix column in "the washington post" noting that bernie sanders should be rooting like crazy for joe biden to run
for president. that's what chris cillizza writes. consider that biden and clinton occupy lots and lots of the same space within the democratic party. sanders is unlike both of them. he's totally anti-establishment. sanders' problem in this race is that the establishment lane isn't divided up nearly enough for the senator from vermont to have a chance of running in the outsider lane. let's go to peter waiting next in tacoma park, maryland, on our line for independents. peter, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i just wanted to say that if it were joe biden circa 1988 when he ran, when he was really electrifying, then it might be worth considering. but i think 2015 joe biden is an endearing fellow but pretty gaffe prone, and if by some chance he did win the nomination, the republicans would have an easy time with him. so that's -- those are my two
cents. >> peter in tacoma park, maryland, this morning. the white house also getting questions about joe biden's plans when it comes to the 2016 nomination. here was a recent white house press conference where spokesman eric schultz was asked if the president talked about a potential run. >> i have not spoken to the president about his conversations with the vice president. as you know, the best political decision he's ever made in his career has been to ask joe biden to run as his vice president. so he could not be more impressed and appreciative of the vice president's service than he is. >> and joe biden, of course, on vacation this week but stories noting that he's reaching out to political allies. he's expected to appear in chattanooga tomorrow at a memorial service for those killed in that shooting in chattanooga last month. that's his next public
appearance that is on his calendar. we're talking about a potential vice president biden run for president. delano is in missouri. >> caller: hi. thank you very much. the lady that called in prior said how the economy was so great under bill clinton. this has spread all over the world how great it was. let me read up. he signed off on glass steigel. he signed off on nafta. $18 trillion in debt. my take is the economy did well because of bill gates, silicon valley, the new transfer from '99 to 2000 on the computers. my agency, we went to all new computers across the united states. bill was sitting there taking credit with monica over all these things, and mrs. clinton's
office was right next to his. thank you very much for c-span. >> all right. let's go to rafik waiting in humble, texas. line for independents. good morning. >> caller: good morning. with all due respect to joe biden, nonetheless the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and each time expecting different results. this will be the case as long as we continue to vote for these establishment candidates, and that includes hillary clinton. my choice is for senator bernie sanders because he is definitely a nonestablishment candidate. >> all right. that's rafik in humble, texas. joe writes on twitter, we need change. no one running is an iota's
difference but for trump and bernie. no difference in policies. let's go to dee in st. louis, missouri. line for democrats. dee, good morning. >> caller: hi, can you hear me? >> yes, dee. go ahead. >> caller: okay. i would love to see joe biden run. i have always liked joe biden. i find him to be a very genuine politician, as genuine as they can be in politics anyway. primarily i want to see joe biden run for the same reason i'd like to see elizabeth warren run. we need more diversity of voices because the democratic party isn't just one idea, and it offends me that this second time hillary has run there's been this air of coronation of her
being the first woman president of the united states. and i'm not saying we don't need a woman president of the united states, but we've got a lot of very capable female political leaders who just need to step up and stop trying -- it's a competition. it's not a coronation. make your case, be a grown-up, stop trying to be polite about this. this is the future of our nation. so yes, joe biden, run. put your ideas out there. bernie sanders, run. put your ideas out there. elizabeth warren, run. put your ideas out there. nancy pelosi for freaking sake -- i'm sorry, for heaven's sake. run, put your ideas out there. >> dee, let me ask you, some of the callers before brought up they think joe biden might be a bit too gaffe prone, that previous gaffes might come back
to haunt him in a presidential campaign. what do you make of that? >> caller: you know what, here's the thing. the media runs on gaffes because they are great -- they make great sound bites. but i don't know a single person on this planet who hasn't put their foot in their mouth at one time or another. and when you do it on tv, it's more noticeable. but we've gotten to this point -- and to a certain extent, it is this level of political correctness when you know what somebody's trying to say, but because they didn't say it the right way at that specific moment, it gets three days' worth of news and four months' worth of apologies and ends up in somebody's file to come back and attack them again. when you know what somebody is trying to say, let them elaborate on what they're saying rather than just jumping on them. >> that's dee in st. louis, missouri.
we've been talking a lot about vice president biden. as we said, he's on vacation this week. he did appear last month at the center for american progress. he addressed an audience of young people about ways that they could translate their interest in politics into positive change. here's a bit from that address. >> there's even more reason now to be idealistic and optimistic and tenacious and passionate in principle than any time. think of it this way, folks, and i'll get out of your hair. if you're ever going to be involved in public affairs in whatever form, this is the time to do it. because things are changing. they're changing. they're going to change no matter what you do. the question is how they change. there's very few periods in american history. i call them inflection points.
i remember my physics professor defining what an inflection point was. he gave us a metaphor. he said it's like driving down the highway, 60 miles an hour, both hands on the wheel, and you abruptly turn it ten degrees to the right or left. you can never get back on the path you were on. that's what's happened. not because of barack obama and joe biden or anyone else. because these are moments of great change. >> that was joe biden speaking last month. we're asking our viewers, just our democratic and independent viewers, to weigh in this morning about a potential presidential run. we've got about 15 minutes left in this segment if you want to call in. conservative columnist happy to talk about a potential joe biden presidential campaign and mixing it up in the primary, charles krouthammer noting if clinton falls, joe biden fills the vacuum. possibly even john kerry is what
he says. in "the wall street journal" this morning, when mrs. clinton handed over her private e-mail server to the justice department, democrats sniffed fu vulnerability and took a wider look around. they see another part of the electorate that's fine with old blood so long it is any type but clinton blood. joe biden, who isn't even in the race, is doing as well in general election matchups against republicans as mrs. clinton. two conservative come numb ilumk about a president joe biden run. maxine is up next. new baltimore, michigan. >> caller: good morning, and thank you for taking my call. in respect to joe biden, i think he's a very good person. my concern with his running for president is the loss of his son and his grieving process. mind you, his son just passed
away in june. this is august. that is a major decision. any grief counselor will tell you, you don't make any major decisions for at least three years. he no doubt would be president if he ran. and i'm just concerned about the pressure that he would be under. that's just too much for one person to overcome, and that's my opinion. being a person that has already lost a child, it's not easy to get over. and that's my concern with joe biden, his grieving process hasn't completed yet. i wouldn't want to see him do harm to himself or the country. and that's all i've got to say. thank you. >> maxine, thanks for the call from new baltimore, michigan, this morning. michael on twitter asks, what about o'malley and webb? some of the other democratic contenders who have already jumped in the race.
speaking of martin o'malley, he has a story about him in today's "washington post." o'mall o'malley's message in iowa, it's still early. jimmy is up next. san antonio, texas. line for democrats. jimmy, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i support joe biden. in fact, i'm a democrat having donated to dnc for a couple years. i'm on a fixed budget, and i'm saving up my money to donate to vice president biden should he jump in. i support him wholeheartedly. if he didn't jump in, i do not think there will be a viable
debate. so him or senator sanders would be my choice. thank you. >> jimmy in san antonio, texas, this morning. maria is up next. bridgeport, connecticut, on that line for independents. good morning, maria. >> caller: good morning. >> go ahead. >> caller: i think we need more independent people coming up to the poll. no more people with more money. no more people with this in their hands like this. we going to do for the people. we going to do for the children. we going to do this and that. no, we need more independent people that don't have nothing to do with politicians here, in other countries, in china, in afghanistan. none of that. because people in america need help too. we need help, so much help. it is no joke. kids are dying in the streets. yeah, uh-huh. kids are hungry in america, yes,
yes. but people talking about other countries. help other countries. help other countries. but in america, we need help, help, okay? that's my opinion. okay, because i'm independent so i don't even know what i'm going to do in 2016, but that's my opinion. thank you and god bless. god bless america. >> maria in bridgeport, connecticut. as the country waits and the political world speculates on a potential joe biden presidency, the 2016 campaign continuing this week in iowa, where democratic and republican candidates have been mounting the official soap box at the iowa state fair to make their pitches to iowa fair goers. here's a bit of one of those candidates, mike huckabee, republican presidential primary candidate. >> but i think a lot of tiemes, you and i, we hear a lot of politicians talk. you hear a lot of people come to
your state. this time 17 republicans are coming to iowa to ask for your vote and support in the caucuses. there will be a handful of democrats who will come as well. hillary probably is not going to come. she'll e-mail in her appearances. you see, i know the clintons pretty well. i was born in hope, arkansas, the same town bill clinton was born in. people wonder sometimes, how in the world is it possible that so many politicians would come from one small town? the answer is i don't know, but here's what i do know. that for the republicans who are deciding how to vote, who to vote for, a lot of the questions are, is there anybody on our side that has a good opportunity to take on the clinton political machine? folks, i'm the only one who's ever done it because every election i ever ran in arkansas, every time, i didn't just run against an opponent, i ran
against the entire political apparatus that the clintons had built over a 25-year period. >> and c-span is continuing our live coverage of candidate speeches at the iowa state fair. former florida governor jeb bush heads to the soap box today at 10:30. you can watch it live on c-span and c-span.org. two other campaign-related events to tell you about. florida republican senator marco rubio will be giving a speech before the foreign policy initiative in new york. we'll be taping that event, but you can go to c-span.org for scheduling updates of when we'll air it. of course, donald trump is holding a live town hall meeting tonight in new hampshire. c-span will have live coverage beginning at 7:10 p.m. on c-span and again on c-span.org. about ten minutes left in this segment of "the washington journal." want to get your thoughts about a president joe biden 2016 presidential campaign. joe is in bronx, new york. line for democrats. joe, good morning. >> caller: good morning.
how you doing today? >> i'm good, joe. go ahead. >> caller: i'm joe, and usually when i call, i said i'm joe that comes from the bronx, new york, not joe the plumber. now, i want to give two reasons why i don't believe the natural born -- which is joe biden, will not run. one, i don't think he will want to go down in history like john mccain. like john mccain was the one who run to prevent the first black man from becoming president. that will go down in history. joe will not want to go down in history to say he's going to prevent the first woman from becoming president. that's one. number two, i believe he's going to listen to his best friend, his best confidant, which is the president. that probably will tell him, joe, it is not a good idea at this time.
that's my two -- that's really my two reasons why i believe he's not going to run. and i know people that will call after me, they'll say -- they will comment on what i say and then probably you, the media will say, well, joe from the bronx said this and that probably will become news, and i would like to hear that. thank you very much. >> daniel is in elizabethville, pennsylvania. line for independents. daniel, good morning. >> caller: hello? >> hi, daniel. you're on "the washington journal." >> caller: hi. thank you so much for taking my call. i'm not real enthusiastic about joe biden. actually, i'm not enthusiastic at all. i just -- i just think he's been there much, much too long. as far as hillary clinton goes,
everybody must remember her ducking sniper fire in bosnia. in all actuality, she received flowers on the tarmac and not sniper's bullets. you know, people embellish, but she was saying this story to a bunch of older women with round shoulders. you know, like working stiff people that were attending a st. patrick's day celebration. i mean, her aides, herself, how did she actually see these irish-americans? the fighters, the mighters, and irish dynamiters. it's so stereotypical. and by the way, who would spend $5 million to marry their daughter off into a family of swindlers? thank you -- >> all right. that's daniel in elizabethville, pennsylvania. back to the subject of joe
biden. bjs writes on twitter, unless joe biden comes out nasty against hillary clinton, which he won't and can't do, his run would be a yawn like his previous run. same as hillary rodham clinton. irish eyes writes, i love joe, but he can't outfund raise the clinton machine. he doesn't have the buzz that bernie does, and it's getting late to build a team. want to hear from just democrats and independents this morning. milton is in philadelphia, pennsylvania. go ahead, milton. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i would love for joe biden to run. you know, i work my tail off for both president obama when he ran for president and his re-election. i like the clintons. with joe, you don't know wh-- hn iraq. he voted against the war. he was right that the only way to put iraq back together is to have three autonomous regions.
he was right on foreign policy. i hope and pray he gets in. and i believe if he gets in, he's going to be our next president. thank you. >> that's milton in philadelphia this morning. one rumor that was going around the internet that was quickly squash last night, the story in politico, al gore is not planning to run against hillary, according to his advisors after some reports about those who know gore saying that he might get into the race. a statement from betsy mcmanus, gore's spokeswoman, there's no truth to it, he's laser focused on solving the climate crisis. and one other story to tell you about this morning. happenings today in cuba. the america flag will fly over havana today. the american flag is going to be raised at a ceremony at the u.s. embassy that was recently reopened in havana. u.s. secretary of state john kerry will oversee the event, which follows a similar flag raising ceremony outside the cuban embassy in washington,
d.c., last month. to help raise the flag, american officials are bringing back three of the u.s. marines who lowered it 54 years ago when the u.s. cut off ties with cuba at the peak of the cold war. that story in "usa today" this morning. c-span will have live coverage of that ceremony to mark the opening of the u.s. embassy. coverage begins at 9:30. you can check that out over on c-span2 or head over there after our program ends at 10:00 this morning. one editorial in today's "washington post" about the same subject. the editorial board writing that cuban dissidents should have been invited to the u.s. flag raising ceremony in havana. the editorial board noting that mr. obama could have dead nated an engagement policy that made room for human rights and its courageous advocates, as he once promised he would do. instead, he's bestowed all legitimacy on a government that can claim none of its own right that rules for force and not the consent of the government. you can read that editorial in
today's "washington post." let's go back to the phones. ken has been waiting in catskill, new york, on our line for independents. what do you think about a president 2016 joe biden presidential bid? >> caller: good morning. well, i hope he does not run. i think he's probably a wonderful human being. however, if he is elected, we will not go anywhere. we need someone like bernie who's actually talking about the economics of this country. delaware is a state which is basically an offshore bank. people don't even talk about this for some reason. they're too polite to mention that that state is famous for its financial shenanigans. if you want to open a company, you go to delaware because they'll work it out for you. and that's the gist. i just hope that joe does not run. thank you. >> and merv is waiting in los angeles, california, line for
democrats. good morning. >> caller: mr. biden has the leadership to drive the vision that it country needs. i invite everyone to visit the website the case for biden for president. this is one man who has the integrity and will also -- he's a super hawk -- will stand up our military again for all the devastating harm that mr. obama has caused to it. >> merv mentioning one website. there's also a draft biden website that is getting a lot of attention these days. let's go to reetha in iowa this morning. >> caller: good morning. no, i don't think joe biden should run. i'm supporting hillary. i'm a black 80-year-old lady, and i want to see a woman president before i leave this earth. and i think she would make a good president. >> let me ask you, do you think
it makes hillary clinton stronger if joe biden does run and she beats him in the primary? >> caller: no, i don't think -- i think he should just go and retire and rest. you know, he's had a good life. so just enjoy himself. >> that's reetha in iowa this morning. let's get in michael in tucson, arizona. michael, good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> go ahead, michael. >> caller: i don't think joe biden should run. you had a caller talking about the joe biden who voted against the iraq war. no, he did not. he voted for iraq war. that was in 2003 right here on this very station, c-span2. i'm sportding hillary. and i don't see -- i don't see that -- he shouldn't even get in the race anyway. this e-mail server and all that other stuff, that's just a bunch of fiction, made-up talking points because the republicans don't have nothing to run on. they don't have nothing to talk about. they don't have no policies. we'll see them in 2016.
go, hillary, and kick them republicans' behind. >> that's michael in tucson, arizona, this morning. that's all the calls we're taking in this first segment of "the washington journal." one other story to note for you. president obama's summer reading list, his vacation reading list came out yesterday. "time" magazine has a story on it along with several other sites. among the books that the president has been reading on his vacation this month, "all that is" by james saltzer, "all the light we cannot see," "the sixth extinction," and "washington: a life." just some of the books the president has been reading. if you want to read more about that, check out the store in "time" magazine. next up, we'll be joined by margo sanger-katz and her piece on whether health insurance really does cut costings. later, it's the 80th anniversary of social security. cnbc's sharon epperson will look at the procespects for the syst and what consumers need to do in
order to manage their retirement benefits. we'll be right back. this weekend on the c-span networks, politics, books, and american history. on c-span, live from the iowa state fair, presidential candidates speak at "the des moines register's" candidate soap box. beginning saturday at noon, we'll hear from republican rick santorum and democrats lincoln chaffee and bernie sanders. sunday, republican candidates ben carson at 5:00 followed by george pataki. on c-span2 saturday night at 10:00 eastern, missouri senator claire mccaskill on her life and political career. sunday morning at 10:30, dinesh talks about his most recent book
and campaign finance laws. on american history tv on c-span3, sunday morning, with many presidential candidates visiting the airz state fair, we'll learn about the fair's history and its tradition as a stop on the road to the white house as we look back at the 2008 presidential race. and saturday evening at 6:00 on the civil war, historian -- we will have a with the senate in its august break r we'll feature book tv programming weeknights in primetime on c-span2 starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and for the weekends, here are a few book tv special programs. saturday, august 22nd, we're live from jackson, mississippi, for the inaugural mississippi book festival. beginning at 11:30 a.m. eastern with discussions on harper lee,
civil rights, and the civil war. on saturday, september 5th, we're live from our nation's capital for the 15th annual national book festival. followed on sunday with our live in-depth program with former se and senior fellow at the american enterprise institute, lynn cheney. book tv on c-span 2. television for serious readers. >> "washington journal" continues. >> we're joined by margo sanger katz from the "new york times." she joins us to discuss health care spending under the affordable care act. one selling point under the law is that its preventive care requirements could save money as well as lives. on the cost side, has that proven to be true? >> it's actually quite a lot of medical research that looked at the cost of preventing health care problems. it's sort of an unfortunate truth that most of the time, doing preventive health care can
be good for people's health, can lengthen their lives, make them happier and healthier but usually ends up costing more money than it saves. i think this is one of these kind of persistent selling points for the law that have turned out not really to be very realistic. >> are there certain kinds of preventive care that do save money and other kinds that just don't? >> there's a whole research, a whole body of research that looks at this question. so there are a few kinds of prevention that seem to be really cost effective. one example of that is childhood vaccines. they save a lot of money, they cost almost nothing and prevent a lot of diseases that lead to a lot of disability and sickness. low dose aspirin for people at risk of heart attacks, that's a very low cost intervention that seems to pay off. contraception is another one. providing women with information about contraception, that seems to be a really good health care intervention because pregnancy and childbirth are just so expensive for the health care system when women don't want to have -- be pregnant. there are some examples of preventive health care services
that save money and i think there's hope in medicine that as we get better at prevention, we can target prevention to the people who really need it and do it at low cost. then it will pay off. but right now i think we have to think about prevention as a good investment in people's health but not a good investment in our future health care system. >> so insured people end up spending more on health care than uninsured people who just use hospitals in emergencies? >> yeah. >> do we know about how much that is? or what the difference is? >> so there was a recent study, really interesting in study in oregon where essentially what they did is they wanted to expand their medicaid program which is a health insurance program for low income people, but they didn't have enough money to expand it to everyone who would want to sign up. so what they did is they actually created this really interesting experiment where they said okay, if you want medicaid and you meet certain income qualifications, sign up and we will have a random lottery to decide who gets health insurance. in some ways it's kind of unfair because a lot of people who were otherwise eligible didn't get it. but what happened is because they randomly assigned people to
either get insurance or not get insurance, they could over time compare what happened to those two groups of people who were otherwise very similar. what they found is people they gave health insurance to, they had certain benefits that they got from having the health insurance but it was very clear that they spent more money on health care and they used the emergency room actually more than people who remained uninsured. >> if you want to talk to margo sanger katz, about health care spending in the united states, the phone lines are open for the next 45 minutes. as viewers are calling in, i want to talk about overall health care spending. it ticked up in 2014 for the first time in several years after being at historic lows. what were the reasons for health care spending ticking up? >> an interesting thing is we actually don't know. it's kind of amazing, we're halfway through 2015 and we don't really know what happened with health care spending in
2014. but these government actuaries who look at all this data and make their estimates, they sort of made an estimate for what they thought happened in 2014. essentially what they found is it did tick up. so the last few years it's been record slow, in the history of measuring health care spending we have never experienced years with this slow growth. now it's come up a little bit. so it looks like 2014, there was more spending than there has been over the last few years, but not very much spending growth relative to what we have seen historically. the actuaries pointed to three main things that really explained that. one is the population is getting older, the baby boomers are retiring and as people get older they tend to have more health care problems. that was like an obvious and expected change. a second thing that they found is that more people were getting insurance because of obamacare and as we just discussed, when you get people insurance, they tend to go to the doctor and hospital more and use more health care services. a third thing that they found is that prescription drugs have been getting a little bit more
expensive, particularly there are new drugs for this condition called hepatitis c which is a chronic liver disease. those are really expensive drugs and it turned out a lot of people in the united states have this disease, so that has been a factor as well. >> so a chart showing national health care expenditures changed from previous years is here. it's from "wall street journal." you can see it tracking in percentages as compared to the previous years from the 1990s. here's the most recent years when health care spending was at historic lows and then it ticked up to about 5.5% in 2014. >> that's the estimate, yeah. >> in those years where it was at historic lows, weren't there millions of people entering the health care system through the affordable care act as well? >> not really. the affordable care act passed congress in 2010 but most of the people who got new insurance really didn't get it until last year. if you remember the health care.gov launch last year, there were a lot of stories about difficulties with that but that allowed people to sign up for private insurance who couldn't get it before and the expansion
of state medicaid programs for low income people so that more low income people could get insurance through the government. that also didn't really happen until last year. so there are some people who got new coverage between 2010 and 2014 and those were mostly young adults who were able to stay on their parents' policies after they became adults. >> we are talking about health care spending in this country. if you have questions or comments, feel free to call in. lines for republicans, democrats and independents. we will start on that line for republicans. chris is waiting in corp us christie, texas. good morning. >> caller: so i have a medical background and i was kind of listening here. i think the biggest problem is a lot of people don't understand the fact the emergency room isn't an express lane but it's a complete lack of understanding what a primary physician is to
them. [ inaudible ] now it's if i take care of that same person i actually get to get taken care of faster because they already know everything that's going on with me and is treated better. that's a disconnect across the population. >> so chris, your concern is how people are using the system that's in place? >> caller: yeah. of course insurance costs went up. of course medical costs are going up. i have dealt with it for years. but a lot of it's due to misunderstanding of the system. because if they don't understand that emergency room is for emergencies only, not [ inaudible ] then of course the expenses of the emergency room are going to go up. >> i think that's a very reasonable point. i don't mean to say that just because some preventive health care is not cost-saving that it's not a good idea to do or that there aren't less expensive ways a health care system could work. i think one really good example of that is that if people have primary care doctors, especially
people who have chronic illnesses and those primary care doctors can help them manage those illnesses, first of all that's probably going to make them healthier and happier but also, i think it is going to cost the health system less money than if they wait until they have a really catastrophic problem and are trying to get care in a hospital where things are much more expensive and their problem is much worse and will require much more substantial intervention. the reason why prevention doesn't pay overall is not for the individual person who gets really sick, that they wouldn't have cost less because they have regular care. it tends to be because a lot of the prevention measures that we do, we do them to a lot of really healthy people to try to prevent them from getting an illness and only some of them if they were untreated would have gone on to have that expensive problem. i definitely agree, i think most health economists and doctors would agree it's always better for people to have a primary care physician who can take care of them, who knows their health history, who can help them manage whatever health problems they have than for people to wait until they have some really catastrophic problem and seek
care in the most expensive setting where the people don't know them well and they may not get all the care that they need. >> maybe it would be helpful to define what goes into this very general term of health care spending in the united states, what goes into those numbers that are calculated that picked up 5.5% in 2014. edwin christian says the health insurance companies raised deductibles and co-pays so you end up spending more out of pocket than before. whose spending are we talking about when we talk about these terms? >> these terms, it's called the national health expenditure report. basically that means everything, everything that is spent on health care. so that includes what your insurance company pays, what ann insured person might pay out of pocket, what the government pays for people that the government insures and also what you pay yourself. so costs for prescription drugs, for doctors' offices, for medical equipment like canes and wheelchairs and oxygen tanks, everything you think of as being a health care expense is countd
in that broad category. they are trying to track what's happening overall in health care spending but there are lots of other studies that look at these different things people are paying for health care and it is certainly true that health insurance, especially over the last ten years, the amount that individual people are being expected to pay before their insurance kicks in, has really been increasing at a very rapid rate. i think it is causing a tlot of financial strain for american familiie families. >> huntsville, alabama, mark is on. >> caller: good morning. my question is i'm not sure if your guest knows or not. what i did was i dropped my health care at work because i was in the military, '76 to '79, and i never joined the v.a. and i finally did. they are telling me why are you paying for health insurance, you join