tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 4, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
law passed this year? >> i think i mentioned that you cannot reduce eligibility below what it was as of the date of the enactment of the obama health care bill. that limits the state's ability to change anything. it is an upward spiral in cost. >> they have been doing a lot of things that most of the cost is in the eligible population and in the long term care, which is very difficult to make savings. this whole issue of dual eligible is just a mess because states will not take certain actions because the savings go to medicare. there is no willingness to say here -- share it. this is an area where you could manage it and get a lot of savings.
the expansion, you are going to 60 million to 75 billion in medicaid. 30% are in poverty. that is a lot of additional cost. this date is even worse than the federal government. -- the state is even more sun the federal government. whether directly or indirectly, the doctors or the drug providers, the professors at the university, the state employees, politically, all of
communities have done ok. you talk about what is happening with the state pension plans. they favor older workers is much more than younger workers. as we move into this next decade, i wonder if there will be momentum. i am trying to decide how to provide payments to providers. really examine in depth whether our payment system -- we go beyond the pension system. whether we want to pay professors and universities to teach only three courses a year versus four. the question of how we pay providers is part of getting much better control. it is not something that we do well. >> of which part is the question?
>> to what extent, are there -- >> the reason i keep talking about public sector employees is because that is for the money goes. it is recognizing that if you are going to talk about the spending, what you are talking about is money to people. we have to figure out how we want to do that. the area i know best is education. there has been some movement to try to evaluate -- how do we judge whether somebody is doing a good or a bad job? should we compensate them differently than we probably do? these are long-term goals. we have systems in place that have been in place for a while. there is some discussion about whether we should switch how we
structure classrooms. in all areas, we are going to need how we fundamentally do this. understanding how we restructure each part of a state budget, i think is going to have to be step one. i am more optimistic than that can happen rather than see if we could actually help people in a recommended those trade-offs between whether we would rather have a college professor or an aide to an elementary schoolteacher. that is the level of conversation that we are not at yet. >> i have three questions here. can we take those three in a row? we are running at a time. -- running out of time. >> mark than half the states are
reimbursed for medicaid during the down her -- downturn. i did not know the number off the top of my head. that is one of the ways they say it. the whole basis of this is based upon a continued downturn in the economy. having tracked that for 30 years, 10% of gdp. we have all of this demand for cars that have not been sold for two or three years. we're going in population at 1% a year. are you being unfairly pessimistic about the economy? >> on fairly pessimistic?
>> i have a question about qeii and how that will impact -- should the cost of borrowing be made easier it federal fiscal and federal monetary policy is relaxed moving forward? >> question right up here. >> my name is marcie:. i am a retired activist. i am very interested and your statement that there is so much overlap in our community and that one of the things we should be doing is eliminating duplication of the same school
district, police, fire. called you go about doing that when people are so self-serving and want to be the mayor of their small town? >> let's take that one first and we will switch to the economy. >> that is a challenge. i did not mean to give you a good answer, but that is exactly the challenge -- they have to understand that the alternatives are very limited. they're going to have to change. they will have to give up some of the local sovereignty issues to get more efficiency in the government. they will have to give up something else.
until we have politicians who are willing to tell the public, you do not -- until we regain some bipartisanship and our governance system, we are in terrible trouble. >> are we on fairly pessimistic? can we change the fiscal and monetary policy to make things better? >> [inaudible] the economy is growing. that is in spite of a construction sector that has been down in the doldrums and remain so. i think that is one of the challenges of getting the economy to move more quickly. in response to an earlier point, the dollar has become more competitive and our labor
costs are more competitive. that is a big reason why manufacturing output has come back. it does not create many jobs directly, there are some indirect elements to it. my own view, as i said, is that housing sector is the thing that is really holding us back. in a very big way. i have some thoughts about how to do that, but it would take too long to explain. overall, i do think that over four-six year period, we will work our way out. >> [inaudible] >> on state budgets, i think we will come back to the same percent of gdp.
what government needs to provide changes, especially as health care becomes a larger part of that, i think it will be tough to figure out how we provide for the underserved. the growth and the public sector on a per-capita basis has been happening in part because there has not been as much technological change. the last couple of recessions, states have done pretty well because there were baubles that happened right after. >> i will go back to the 1980's. there was a lot of doom and gloom about how the economy
looked. we did grow at a fairly robust rate. employment grew very rapidly over the rest of that decade. back to my first point about being humble about our forecast, you raise the issue of state budget forecast. they have been notoriously bad. in 2000, they found surplices faster than they could spend a. partly because people do not know how to estimate capital gains. we do not know how to predict innovation. what new products are going to come on line? having been out there in our world, there is a int -- an incredible amount of entrepreneurialism. i have great faith that there is likely to be a lot of that out
there. there is reason to be optimistic. that is not going to be enough to drive the unemployment rates down to where they are going to be. >> i want to thank all of our panelists. there are a lot of tough choices for our governors. but the public and private sector have to think differently about how things are done. i guess that leaves us with more to be done, both in terms of doing it and those of us to are in research and policy making, it will be more for us to think about. thank you. [applause]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] execunet >> we take you live now to the chief palestinian negotiator at the woodrow wilson center. he discusses the current state of the negotiations and the u.s. involvement in the middle east peace process. he is introduced by baron david miller. he is a former state department negotiator. this is live coverage on c-span. >> we have distributed the bios of our speakers. i am sure you were all familiar with them. it is not necessary for me to introduce them again. i would like to remind you to please close your cell phones. no text messaging.
it interferes with the live web cast that we have. it is very important for us not to have antique interference with the live web cast. it is at the center and it is live and is picked up around the world. please be kind enough to turn off your cell phones for the duration of the meeting. i would like to give the floor to my colleague, karen and david miller. aron david miller. i also want to welcome the ambassador, saeb erakat.
he is the representative to the united states. thank you. >> thank you very much. let me welcome you to the woodrow wilson international center. it is a privilege for me to host. i have known him for more than 25 years. i consider him a close friend. our wives are friends and our daughters are friends. i have been to his home and he's been to mine. my world is to find more to what is probable. we still have our disagreements, i consider him a close friend.
is any better position to offer you and c-span a comprehensive assessment and review of the palestinian issue and prospects for the negotiations. he has seen it all. from the early days in madrid, where you and i were. i will never forget how upset secretary of state baker on that day. from madrid to the washington talks, where we negotiated against the backstop -- backdrop of secret negotiations are going on in oslo. to the oslo process, or he became prominently and permanently involved.
to the camp david sinnett july -- a senate july 2000. pretty grim prospects. he has been there through it all. it should be of no surprise to any of you that he remains a champion and an advocate of palestinian national interest. he is an articulator in the palestinian national narrative. that is his role. i respect that. at the same time, he is also aware of the fact that be is really palestinian problems -- it is a complex conflict in which both sides bear responsibility for the
perpetuation and both sides bear responsibility for the solution. that solution must be based, not on an imbalance of power, but on a balanced of interest. the format to date is very straightforward. i will ask him to in questions that i have been dreaming of since i left government in 2003. it encompasses the three areas. palestinians internal politics, negotiations, and his expectations and a view of the american role. specifically the last 20 months of the obama administration. once we finish with that, we will go to your questions. these are to be questions.
no comment in their entirety and certainly not speeches. let me began. since clarity and honesty have been your trademarks, no one would be disappointed in your responses to these questions. henry kissinger once said that israel has no foreign policy. it just how does it -- it just has domestic politics. how does it shape the palestinian position and the negotiations? >> sometimes -- we are just like
something. that will tell you something about the nature of the negotiations. we are different. we are not your normal conflict. we have people 11 going to synagogues same -- we have people who are going to synagogue and saying the same thing every saturday. there are people who go to churches every sunday and believe they are hearing and seeing it for the same time. deal with that. been a believe and a divine
power -- they believe and a divine power. the palestinian politics -- it is to people going through labor pains, going through a transition period -- transition. they do not feel like they have finished their transition yet. we have many internal complexities. hamas is the palestinian party. the defeated my party.
in 18 days, they were the speaker, the parliament, in five weeks, there were the government. i had been elected from the constituency in 2006. my party cost me to deliver a speech in response to the in tradition -- introduction to the government for a vote of confidence. you are my prime minister. you are my wife's prime minister. they honor their commitment to the previous agreement. it is a political transition, and faction split the role of the government.
you are the government for the palestinians. you are everyone. those traditions that we have all for our people, you should honor. unfortunately, democracy in palestine has failed. we won the election and we must change the charter. since we won the election, it must be canceled. the internal dynamics are so difficult. not because we chose this path. we make mistakes. people are watching us and they
want to score points with us and the fall what we do. so far, we have 26 parties. i am happy -- we are on the right track. it is difficult, it is painful, and will take a lot of time. but this transition is a must for us. >> you provided a good transition to my next question. not to be unkind, but you could look at the palestinian national movement today as a kind of palestinian hump the dump d. you have to political entities, two sets of security services, two different sets of funding streams, to different ideas about what constitutes the
future is palestinian. how did those divisions shape, constrained, the negotiation and the implementation of a punitive agreement with the israelis? did ministration seems to be subscribing to what i would call the kevin costner school of diplomacy. the main character hears voices that say, build it and they will come. is the logic that they will reach an agreement and the agreement will be so compelling that the divisions will heal because they will have no choice but to acquiesce?
in 2006, the one. -- they won. if i have an end game agreement with israel, who would prevail? if i do not have an endgame agreement, i will stop. >> this is a tough one. i think. change is hard. to expect a change in others it is understandable. particularly when you're the weakest party in the negotiation. if you had to identify one in perfection, weakness, flock, in the palestinian strategy these
many years, with respect to the israelis and the negotiating process, and there are many strengths, but no one is perfect. we know this. >> israel these are not perfect? shocking. >> what was the most significant shortcoming in the palestinian strategy? >> i have no army, no air force, no economy. if it is my word against an israeli, we cannot stand a chance. when we entered these
negotiations, many people were there, like jim bakker. he denied my existence as a palestinian. i am here. they insisted that we deny israel without defining the border. nations are no nations without borders. that is where the police give tickets. that is where you have language. american officials insisted that my ticket to negotiating -- at without defining the border. that has been the loophole in
says. settlements should not be -- what does this translate to me? he had already decided which part of my territory he will give back to israel. once he finishes this, he will say, come here, boy. this is what we have for you. they come with conditions. i am supposed to accept that. i will not negotiate jerusalem. you have to join the zionist movement. that is what it boils down to.
they recognize israel as a jewish state. after he puts all of this list of conditions, he tells me, come and negotiate. why? israel is still deciding where its border will be. the region is changing. iran, at ahmadinejad. the only way that this region -- >> we will get to mr. netanyahu in a minute. >> i will come to that later. >> i could identify a hundred mistakes that americans made during the course of -- >> americans and israelis did
not make mistakes. exclusively palestinians. >> i could identify thousands of mistakes that we made. everybody strategy involves changes. looking in the mirror, that is the place for that change, whether you are in israeli, palestinian, or american, has again. that is the real question. you may not want to answer it. but that is the real question that needs to be confronted. why did we do wrong? over the course of the last two decades. israel has to look and be a mirror to make an assessment of where their tactics and strategies ran off a highway. if they are prepared to do it, it is only logical to assume, even though you are the weakest part, your rights have been taken away. you need to do it as well. let's move on.
the peace process. a general question. how would you characterize the status of that process right now, november 4, 2010? what are the chances for resuming negotiations? resuming negotiations that actually could become serious and might be to an agreement. how would you characterize the current status? >> we have always been honest with each other. i did not waste a minute in my negotiations. i said earlier that we are different. we are not iraq. we're not somalia.
we are not better, we're different. what we fail to recognize when we signed the agreement is that the state of mind -- that is what life is all about. it is not a far distance. trying to that we're make? is it merely a to-state solution? do they trust us? did they recognize us? do we trust them? 17 years of negotiations. only 18 months of negotiations. we did not waste a single amendment.
this was a mandatory course for palestinians and israelis. today, in 1978, they wrote an article calling for dialogue, rather than violence. when i ran for election, i got 68% of the vote. a major change. 75% of palestinians do believe that the only solution is a two- state solution. that does not mean that they are not angry at me.
they know. >> the proverbial bottom line, where are we now? >> i am coming to it. [laughter] we are here. we finished the negotiations. i do not think that palestinian needs -- that palestine needs a negotiator anymore. it is time for a decision. it is time for an end game. we have turned every possible stone. we know what it takes. we know that -- were the swaps will take place. we know the solution to east jerusalem. and the capital of palestine. and what kind of body should govern the divided city. we know the solution to the refugee problem.
we know what kind of security we are going to have. the israelis must learn one thing. the concept of limitations in armaments. there is no such thing as limitations in people's dignity. when the israelis were like that -- realize that, we will have peace. >> ok. the road in the washington post recently that international law needs to be respected. -- you wrote in the washington post recently. if the israelis do not respect international law, what should the united states do about it? >> look, i will be fair.
i will be fair to president obama. and secretary clinton. these people have done a marvelous job. they have done everything in the book and they continued to do so. have no doubt, americans will not make decisions for us. americans may provide you with elements maximizing the benefits, the decisions are required for palestinians and israelis. you have a president and leadership in palestine that is willing to deliver.
do we have someone in israel who is willing to engage in decisions? that is the question. that is the question. if not this year, next year, 10 years time, it is a two-state solution. jews will not go back to christianity. close your eyes, walk me through the year 2015. -- 2050. you can do it. you have the choice. we are at a defining moment. it is time for decisions and not negotiations.
the americans know that. the israelis know that. and i think that mr. netanyahu has choices to make. >> that question is a good one. there are three possibilities with respect to the israeli prime minister. he is serious. he is not serious. or alternatively, there is a certain amount of conflict within itself about his own decision or commitment. >> there is a fourth option. you have a palestinian authority that was established in 1993. it has had a legal jurisdiction, economic jurisdiction. then he came into office and
that he can -- as much as he is weighing his options, we do not want to surprise him. the status quo will not be maintained. >> before we turn to the u.s. role, i have one history question for you. there is no rewind button, unfortunately. if you ask me what i would have changed in the last 20 years, to produce a different outcome, i would offer the following observation. it's like a change to things, -- if i could change to things, it would be that he was not assassinated, and that george h. w. bush would have defeated bill
clinton in november of 1992 and that jim baker would have continued as secretary of state. had those two things applied, it is my view that we would of had won agreement. my question to you is, today is the 15th anniversary of the assassination, had he lived -- >> i sat with him. to be fair, he was a gentlemen who was concerned with israeli security. he made me realize the difference between someone who is a tough negotiator and someone who does not negotiate. there is a big difference. someone who looks at the 9:00
news that evening. i do not know. i cannot answer this question. >> the next questions all involve the americans. you watched the united states for 30 years -- if you had to identify a consequential strength and weakness in our approach to arab-israeli negotiations, what would those be? >> number one, in the beginning of the 21st century, your country's borders are no longer with canada and mexico. your borders today are with turkey, iran, china, pakistan, and jordan. you have kids serving in iran and iraq and afghanistan.
you need to get them home. when you talk about -- it is the most cardinal american national interest. they are being brought home in coffins and wheelchairs' every day. the function of the roles in the nation and have changed. that is the truth. americans must know that since he died, we had 799 movements. we have a very good religion in islam. we're supposed to go to mosques
to worship god, not to use god. the minute we go to moscow to use god, we become like -- to mosques to use, we became like the churches in medieval times. peace between palestinians and israelis. it is a two-state solution. democracy in the arab world. anyone said to says that arabs are not for democracy, they are a racist. since 1683, the relations have not been defined. their work muslim soldiers in mid europe. ever since that time, you never
they come to israel and they see what the prime minister of israel can do or cannot do. the never asked me, ok? i asked the american administration, with a bigger picture in the middle east, with what is going on in iraq, lebanon, somalia, yemen, it is not a good picture. all right? should the policy from what is possible to what is needed. >> our greatest strength is our proximity to the region? the urgency that that carries. our greatest weakness is our proximity to the israelis? >> i am not saying that.
people in palestine ask me about the impact of the republicans. president clinton was the most pro-israeli president. it was president bush who first realized the to-state solution. you define your interests. i was 12 years old when they came to my hometown, jericho. i'm 55 now. you might might doctors. -- you not my daughters. -- met my daughters. i do not want my son to be a suicide bomber. i want the two-state solution.
that is what is in it for me. is that too much to ask? i could care less if someone in the congress was for israel or palestine. somebody here needs a wake-up call. somebody needs to get out of the box. you cannot do anything inside the box. i am suffocating. i will not continue in this box. >> that brings me to my second to last question. what is it -- remember, we have a track record. of doing effective diplomacy. there was a time when america actually did effective diplomacy. when our relationship with the israelis, however special it was, was not transported to one
that was exclusive. what is it that you want? >> it is time for the end game. >> what does that mean? does that mean additional pressure on israel? what does that mean exactly? >> we have the choice of -- people here tell me that -- i have a ph.d. in negotiations. americans tell me, why are you surprised? it is over. it is over. we know exactly what it takes. we know it.
without a fair agreement, nothing gets done. you cannot defeat these forces without an endgame agreement. let me ask you a question. i am observer of the u.n.. if i were to take an application, i need a number to apply for membership. i make this application. >> we would be to adapt. -- we would veto that. you can order them in any way
you want. we have invested and believe in the pragmatic value of negotiation. good, bad, naive, simple, nonetheless, it is a fundamental american conception. people have problems, they said down, they reconcile their differences. that would be essentially a fundamental but trail of america's commitment to negotiations. we would say to you, and you know the talking points, you open the door through this application process to a set of is really counterproposals and
measures which would reflect their own interests in response to yours. i am glad that i do not have to do this anymore. finally, there is the reality, a willful american president -- nixon, carter, every time -- will fall president to are smart and capable will trump domestic political interests and lobbyists every time. still, president function within
the arena of domestic policies. this one now particularly. with all the headaches that he faces, a jobless recovery, problems of a reduction of the deficit, new congressional math, all kinds of other things. he will choose his fights very carefully. if you were to tell me that president obama, fight for me on an end game. a fight for me on jerusalem, on security, on refugees. that i will fight for. but i am not go into fight for a comprehensive freedom zone. but i'm not going to defend your right to become a un member
then, if i don't see the authority after 8 years. if i cannot define my borders. that is not mean anything. and i am afraid you are pushing me to the point where we will very polite to tell mr. netanyahu, your second plan is to resume your occupation and a sure your power as the occupying force. we will never be an agent of the israeli occupation.
if he thinks that he can maintain the source of the authority, we will not agree with this. israel has 3000 fighting planes, nuclear weapons. number one is my option, two states, 67, swaps, whatever. today in the west bank and it in my home town of jericho, 86 kilometers. that is the difference. if they think that they should call my home town and the hebrew name, talk to me about it.
they cannot stop settlements, they don't want me to go to the security council, they don't want me to be recognized. they don't want a fair agreement. i am supposed to be in the box. i'm supposed to be a servant for this occupation. forget it. i did not miss an opportunity. >> i don't work for the administration and i have been gently critical of their policies.
i would not prejudge what is that day are or are not prepared to do. you had plenty of times -- time to go to the united nations should your predictions prove to be accurate. i would ask you my tent question in the interest of time. if we invite you back and lecturer at this time, will we be having the same conversation? in the interest of time, your responses were forthright and candid and i really appreciated it. let's go to the questions. can you please identify yourself? >> we went to get their.
when the blue plates could drive into the west in jerusalem. i don't think that sense netanyahu was elected by the extreme right wing, under the current circumstances, he will not be able to do a settlement freeze. as important as it is from the day after 67, settlements have been intentions about the land. every prepare this book tells the rest of the world that israel does not intend to give up the land. as a country and an existential issue, none of its leaders have
embraced the idea of giving up the land. you have an american president who has a lot of problems, staffing included. we will not go into that. maybe what you need to ask for this year that is in my mind absolutely doable considering what is already being kept in a safe is a mat. palestinians know where they will have their state. once there is a map that will be accepted by the entire world, then you can discuss how you can work out all of the other issues. >> during negotiations, they became very very serious in negotiations. what about a map?
this is the 1967 map with swaps of 1.9% of land. with formulas to deal with in jerusalem, security, water, refugees. mr. olmert shows to say that he does not recall being offered this. we came december 18th, 2008 to washington. we look at this map along with the mattress opposition. these people transferred and 11 page file. -- we look at this map along with the opposition. i am asking netanyahu to stop
settlements. he knows where the israeli borders are and we know with a palestinian borders are. there cannot be an agreement for me without jerusalem or without refugees. this is a package. they don't want to do this. they don't want to touch the issues. they don't want to stop settlements. they want to maintain the status quo. they want to keep this authority. this will not be maintained. this will not be maintained. i know president abbas.
he is the most decent and courageous person he could never encounter in your life. no palestinian can make such offers. netanyahu has made up his decision that they think that they can maintain the status quo. no, it will not be meant. >> it is great to see you. >> if i could bring the discussion back to the specifics of this round of negotiations. the palestinians have taken a lot of heat for wasting nine months of the first 10 months of the period of the moratorium. the respective of what you might think about whether the moratorium is serious and what was actually offered.
how old you defend against the charge that those nine months were wasted because the plo was not willing to come to the table and there's a corollary question, supposing we get a two-month extension of a moratorium, will the palestinians come back to the table? if you do come back to the table, what do you think you can do in two months that would be an accomplishment that would go beyond those two months? >> this chart shows the moratorium with our figures and israeli figures. when they reached a moratorium of 10 months, this was meant to
increase of almost 17%. they were constructing 3450 under the maritime -- moratorium. they have confessed they had made 100 violations in 12 months. we went through proximity talks. we offered our opposition. the israelis said, no. we cannot discuss anything without direct negotiations. we had that. now since september 26th, and
they introduced 312 housing units in east jerusalem. this is air up later. they want to get 6000 housing units which will give them a stand that he has until 2014. they might come to us and a few weeks say, i agree on the moratorium. i am losing my land to the settlement and i am losing my credibility. i cannot do anything about loosing my men. why should i lose my credibility? in the person in the west bank and jerusalem --
fivefold any time. if he knew business, the prime minister of israel, if he is genuine, he cannot stop the settlements for three months or he can stop on the border and then he can build in this country or on the borders or whatever it is. the intention here is not that he will take the blame. like when he says, the jewish state. i did not know that was the position in 1993. i do not know why they asked me. the embassy says that this is the biblical and historical whatever.
and he is looking for things, i told you so, to be blamed. wait a minute, you need to convince the central council. herehe is creating -- on the ground. he will understand very san that maintaining the status quo will not be sustained, maintained, and is not an option and then he will have to take the israelis to plan the. occupation and power in accordance with the geneva convention. they have responsibilities as occupying powers. how would urge mr. netanyahu the start studying them. >> yes, the second row. >> on your question about the
two state solution, in terms of being precise and getting some clarity, the u.s. and israel as well as the palestinians want a two-state solution. how you perceive that solution t? a palestinian state? one agreed to by the composition. the state to ensure the viability and progress of the palestinian minority in that state. can you elaborate on your rationale or feelings? netanyahu indicated that if you recognize us as a jewish state for purposes of ending -- and so forth.
if you can expand what you have against what is agreed upon by the majority of observers, nation states, that is where critical to a xenophobic power such as israel. what happens when they withdraw from areas of conflict. >> israel was going from areas. i went to mr. shah roan's office in 2005. -- i went to mr. sharon's office. i said, don't do it unilateralism. unilateralism doesn't pay.
we began changing our textbooks and we managed to have the palestinian textbooks. as far as the jewish state is concerned -- when israel was declared independent, and since the government has been informed and the jewish state has been proclaimed in palestine, -- has been requested by the provisional government. united states recognizes the provisional government as the defacto authority of the new jewish state.
i know that when israel applied for the u.n., they applied as the state of israel. i was asked to recognize the state of israel. now, they have a choice. there are countries that went to the security council and asked to change the name. i have exchanged letters of recognition with israel and that is done. september, 1993. as i told you, some people speak about refugees, some people's big about 1.5 million. that is true.
the state of israel was recognized by us, and if page. -- end of page. >> i have a quick question. looking back, on what do you think were the opportunities that the palestinians missed in your opinion? i was wondering whether he would agree with you. >> what were the missed opportunities? >> as critical as i has been at times about the realities that exist on the ground on both sides, i think that there's probably no precedent in modern history for a people negotiating
their way out of occupation and trying to create and build institutions at the same time. the conventional response to your question would be camp david, july, 2000. the orthodox ouopinion says that this is what happened. we never should have gone to any summit. >> as i respond to your point, people tell me why my answer is wrong the last leader to have the capacity and the authority and moral legitimacy to deliver a unified palestinian polity, one gun, one authority, one negotiating group, in my
judgment, missed an opportunity that because they refused to accept was put on the table. no leader could have never accepted that. after all, they negotiated on the same real estate where they had negotiated before. yasser arafat was thinking more about the fate of saddam. that was not a transgression. the transgression and missed opportunity in my judgment is that the transgression, i will not accept what the americans and the israelis want me to accept. i will offer you on each of the issues and alternative and they
come back position and had that happen in a way that was more authoritative and had we not been so frustrated by the palestinian refusal, maybe july, august, september with a determined american president who spoke last night at the middle east institute, who cared more about this issue then all of his predecessors, might have been able to create a framework for negotiation which could have preempted what transpired at the end of september. rather than plain good blame game, we might have found ourselves in a different situation.
you need to explain to the group why i am wrong. >> i came to see them before camp david. i told them don't do something and expect white smoke. they did not have anything in mind to make an agreement. i was warning them, asking us to prepare better. everything got out of there and these other words that i used. we went to camp david, we talked in camp david, and they said
that an offer was made that cannot be rejected. . half -- mr. barak, can you please show us the offer that was made to us at camp david? >> you know the answer to that. >> no, the oscar was made to me personally with president clinton and the white house. we were close to the peace more than anyone else in the history of this conflict. and then, you say that arafat was the last leader with legitimacy, i think that you are
wrong. what is going on now is not less legitimate than what arafat was doing. the second mistake that he made is when you say that we missed an opportunity. i remember on the 24th of july, 2000, i was asked by president clinton to come to his office. we reviewed in camp david. you know what, they asked me to draft a communique and i did. we had serious negotiations, we had made offers and counter offers.
i was asked by president clinton and other colleagues to -- then, all of a sudden, i hear president clinton and the posted -- the israeli leaders say that they had the offer and they said no. why did you say that? why did you say that? you know that in camp david, we did not have an offer. he told me, did not open your mouth, not a single question from you. that is a truce. i came here in january 2nd and they said, mr. president, i appreciate your offer and the
for five days, the israeli negotiators refused to open the door to his bedroom. i don't want to score points, i don't want to go more and more. the blame game will not serve anything. now, my offer, we have a president who is ready for the two states solution, the '67 lines, all agreements with what was offered. do we have a partner in this? >> thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] >> it this is the first in
>> turning now to some political news, greg walden of oregon has been picked to chair the house gop transition team. this will be a 22-member team comprised of members. they are to look at ways on how the house can operate more a efficiently. they will be looking at items that might involve rules changes that will apply to the house as well as internal conference rules. they will be meeting for the first time next monday and tuesday.
another race has been called in the midterm elections, the democratic illinois governor has narrowly defeated his republican challenger. in a race that is still contested, republicans in minnesota are banking on every count to give them a victory in the governor's race but history suggests of the odds are against them. the republican trellis a democrat by about 8700 votes in the unofficial results. unless a bigger lead is given later this month, the race will likely go to recount. in the 2008 senate and the count, the two sides spent months and millions of dollars contesting the vote and in the end less than 800 votes shifted and democrat al franken took the seat. >> changes need to occur in congress and this will only happen if people of our country
get involved in the system and make the changes that are necessary. "whether it was john boehner on any members roundtable in 1990, you can learn more about history of the speaker of the house for his own words in over 800 appearances. >> at today's white house briefing, the press secretary to questions on the midterm elections. they also discussed the extension of the bush tax cuts and the president's trip to asia as well as health care.
>> ms. mcconnell has given another statement in which he said that his goal is to keep the president from having a second term. >> guaba the message of tuesday's election was that the american people would like both political parties to work together. there will be time for another political campaign that we just finished one. candidates were not elected to have more fighting in washington or to fight the battles of the past two years. what the president has said today in inviting senator mcconnell and other leaders to the white house on november 18th
is to sit down and listen to each other and work together and find common ground. i think that that is what the election was about and that is what the president is intending to do. >> you get the impression that the republicans walked away with the message that you got? >> many candidates ran against washington and typically did not portray washington as a place for people listen and work together. given those dynamics and those images, what they're looking for is what those campaigns work out, working together. yesterday, the president signaled yesterday and again today his intention to work with
republicans on extending tax cuts, our first party obviously being the middle-class. to work with republicans on things like education policy, improving our schools, and on energy independence. i hope that senator mcconnell comes to the white house with that in mind and a couple of weeks. >> the president is open to a possible compromise in extended the upper income tax cuts. >> i'm not doing any negotiating here but we are certainly open to a compromise to move this issue forward. our biggest concern that if this congress is not act by the end of the year, taxes for middle- class families will go up. we should not let that happen.
we have the power to change that and the power is been coming together and working on a planned. the president is confident that we can do this. >> is the white house hopeful that the actions that the fed to today will be helpful? >> we are not supposed to comment. one of the things that election told a -- told us is that people are concerned about the pace of these economic recovery. you will see that as the focus of the president's trip abroad and broadening our market and our ability to sell in india, south korea, and asia. that is what we will be focused upon.
>> there are countries that you will be meeting at the g-20 and -- i don't want. taxes will be one of the major parties during the lame duck session. what other parties would you list? >> i think the president listed this and this is very important, getting ratified a new reduction in our nuclear arsenal with russia by approving the start treaty. again, this is a place where bipartisan traditions have always held. the very first treaty passed 93- 6. there was a strong bipartisan vote out of the committee on
this and that is what people from sam nunn on the democratic side to senator lugar on the republican, henry kissinger, george shultz, believed that reducing our nuclear arsenal was a good thing. i think that there are some other pieces of legislation that are close, things like child nutrition which is a huge party. no doubt, we want to get our budget director confirmed. our fiscal situation is something that the fiscal commission and congress will spend a lot of time on. it makes sense to have a budget director. >> do you think that this election could have any affect
on the viability of the start agreement? i wanted to follow up with the story that the president's trip is costing 100 -- $1 million a day. >> i will not go into how much it costs to protect the president. the costs are comparable to when president bush and when president clinton traveled. the same report that you're referring to said that there was 34 warships off the coast and i and stand that the department of defense has said that that is simply not true. when it comes to the start treaty, i do not think that the election should change the bipartisan history of arms
reductions. the last president to call for a world without nuclear weapons before president obama did that in 2009 was ronald reagan. this is an issue of that has the majority of support while across the political spectrum and party lines. that would be a good message to send both the american people and the world, that we can work together on issues of mutual interest and concern. the president mentioned that interactions at reducing our nuclear weapons and stockpiles and russia's nuclear stockpiles is sending a powerful message
around the world as we seek to hold iran responsible for the commitment that they have made and i think that that is an important message to carry through. >> you have suggested the message is that the american people want the parties to work together. >> in both parties in the exit poll were not held and tremendously high regard. i think washington is not held in high regard and i think that people disapproved of the way congress works. i think that if you were to look at how to fix that, it is working to get there. i think that that is what most people took. >> the majority of the american people think that the american-
the president's policies will do harm -- think that the president's policies will toand to hon. they don't like what this administration is doing and therefore manure republican said that they were elected to stop the have a case to make. >> let's take the issue of health care, which is what senator mcconnell's speech was on. most of the people that cited health care as an issue for voting supported the democratic party. almost evenly split was improving or keeping what we have verses repealed. i think that we are in the midst -- we have seen independence. in the last three election
cycles, we have seen the electorate side with different political parties. they want washington to work for them. >> the republicans would be pressing repeatedly in his words to repeal the health care the bill. also the financial regulation reform, with the president to veto any efforts? >> i don't think it will come to that. for and let's take find out to reform. i does mentioned health care reform. -- let's talk about financial reform. i don't then there's anything that came out of tuesday that suggest that quebec to the health-care system that allows insurance companies to control whether or not the patients have
policies to cover when they are sick, no data suggest that that is what people want to see after tuesday. as it relates to finance reform, rules were put in place to change the behavior of wall street and to prevent what happened in september of 2008 and what led up to it never happening again. i think that those are common- sense policies that the american people strongly believed in. whether it is protecting consumers or insuring people are not hoodwinked into bad loans, making sure that trading things like derivatives are done in the light of day rather than not to is what people want. >> he suggested the republicans
will not be able to repeal the bill, they will at least try to starve the health-care bill by depriving it of funding. is that what the president vetoed? >> i don't think we will get to that. >> the president indicated an openness to the repeal of the 10-finite aspect of the health care law. are there other provisions that you think could go or be revised? >> i think the president looks forward to hearing what is on republicans' minds. this was something that many have talked about changing because the president said that the burdensome paperwork is not make a lot of sense.
i don't want to speak frankly for what aspects of that they would like to see changed. i think the president believes that it is dangerous to go back to a system where insurance companies made decisions rather than doctors and patients and some of the protections like family being able to keep someone up to the age of 26 or not getting coverage because of pre-existing conditions, this is important coverage that the american people did not want to see. >> -- >> i don't want to speak for what the republicans have in mind. many of the protections he has talked about are important.
>> you have spoken about the stories that are out there, are you surprised that there are these stories about lots of protections or more claims than usual? is there something that is different? >> whenever you move any president in a foreign country, you take certain precautions. this is the first drop on our trip and this is at a memorial for victims of a terrorist attack on november 26th, 2009 at the hotel we are saying that. obviously, the secret service takes the duty of protecting this and any president seriously. they do an amazing job and they will continue to do so. >> starting to make sense of
wine they have traveled overseas and there is stores as to why this is better than others. >> are you reopening health care? >> again, i think the president mentioned something specific yesterday and democrats and republicans would like to change that. >> nothing else? >> i don't know what their list is but i think that senator mcconnell said that we should listen to the american people. the exit poll we cited was evenly split.
i don't know what he heard that the others did not. >> that is a fair way to say this, evenly split. that means that half of the people who voted to not like it at all. >> we look forward to people bringing constructive ideas. >> there are a couple of things that stand out. there's clearly a democratic base problem. many did not show up. why do you think that is? >> i am not talked to some of the political focus on that.
i don't know what in those particular states, or among those different regions might have impacted it. obviously, we saw in some places democratic enthusiasm and turnout. this certainly varies from state to state. >> do you take that you have a policy problem or a communication problem. >> i think that we have an economic problem. we have 8 million people that lost their jobs. what the american people want both political parties to do is to stop the squabbling and start working together. that is what we took, that is what the president has offered republicans and democrats in coming to the white house and continuing that. that is what you will see over the next many months. >> will there be any discussions
between the speaker to be in the president soon? >> i think that the speaker is a pretty good golfer. he might take some money from the president. >> the president said yesterday that he thought that there was anything wrong with his policies. he blamed everything on the economy and it not his policies. >> most of the people said they voted based on the economy. i think that the pace of economic recovery is one that has frustrated he and the american people. >> there are many people who voted based in the economy and they believe that this is because of his policies. >> i don't think that there are
many economists that would. if you look at where we were when the president took the oath of office and the jobs report for that month and where we have been, obviously we are in a different direction. >> as the president spent any time studying the history around president clinton when he faced a similar situation? >> i know that he has read some things but i'm not sure exactly what. >> when the president says that he'd like to get to the people's business, which people is he
talking about? the people that elected roquelaure rubio or the people that reelected nancy pelosi and harry reid? >> what they have in common is that they are americans. >> that's about it. they have differences. >> the present spent a lot of time traveling around the country and he said -- we tend to put people in boxes and all of the kind of stuff on television and everyone disagrees on this and that. i think that i've been in a room with those leaders -- i've not been in a room with those leaders but if people listen long enough, they find things that they can agree on. is the solution that everyone brings to the meeting will be what we all walked out with? probably not. it will take some give-and-take
on each side. that is the way we are likely to make progress. i don't think that there is anything in this country that would have you believe that the message that people took away from this campaign was gridlock, more arguing, more bickering, more partisanship, more not working together. people ran against the way this town works. to go back to the way it has always operated would be the wrong message. >> on the republican side, it seems that they ran against compromise. they don't want gridlock either but they want you to surrender. >> wasn't that largely the
message that drove them the wrong way for office because that happened on the other side? that is in congruent and this might be a subtlety that was lost during the back-and-forth of the political campaign but you don't make progress in a divided government saying my way or the highway. and you will end up with a lot more of what drove people away from having faith in those parties and in their government. . .
ceos in for several years -- lunches, events -- and i think that we'll not only continue that, but talk a little bit and do a little bit about what the president talked about yesterday in terms of business. >> and what's the state of play on the free trade agreement with korea now that -- ahead of the president's trip? >> well, the president outlined the concerns that he had both during the campaign in 2008 and just recently with what he thinks has to be improved in an
agreement that he can support and he can be a party to. whether it's autos or whether it's other issues, we know that we've got to make some progress. and i think both sides are going to sit down and see if they can make some of that progress. and if we can make enough progress to where the president feels like, for instance, on autos, there's a better deal for our automakers and for our workers, then it will be something that we can support. if not, then we'll have to keep trying. >> how likely will it be that it is announced during the trip? >> i think that depends on the negotiations. i think that depends on the progress that's made in changing what the president felt was an agreement that was tilted against auto companies and autoworkers here in this country. >> beyond the meeting on the 18th, is there any sort of a plan to create some sort of structural bipartisan --
something going forward to address the new reality in washington? >> maybe i'm not following you. like what? >> there's this bipartisan meeting happening on the 18th. is there any plan to make a regular -- >> no, no -- >> right, right. is there any plan to make some sort of a regular white house bipartisan event, something going forward? >> i know we have -- again, we've talked here and i think the president is anxious to talk to leaders on both sides on the 18th about what they think is -- what do they think are the ways best going forward. i know the president is -- as you heard him say in the cabinet room, this is more -- this has to be and it will be more than just a photo op. we have -- obviously have substantive business to work through and issues that we have to make progress on. so i anticipate that this is the first of many. >> and you said there are no major staff shakeups to announce, but is there anything minor, either, in the office of legislative affairs, in the white house counsel's office, to deal with investigations, oversight that may be coming down the road, staffing up for -- >> none that i've heard of or
that i'm aware of. >> robert, just two questions. last year -- >> there are always just two, aren't there, lester? >> yes. last year, that influential democratic leader, james carville's new book was entitled, "40 more years: how the democrats will rule the next generation." have you and the president read this book, and if so, what was your reaction to it? >> i have not read the book and i don't know that the president has, either, so it's hard for me to comment on it. i haven't read it. >> ok. could you specify which trip president bush ever took which cost $200 million a day? >> lester, this trip doesn't cost $200 million a day, so -- >> that was what was reported all over the world. >> so let me get this straight, lester. >> another questioner asked about -- >> lester, you subscribe to the veracity of everything that you read in the press, right?
>> no, not everything, but several things. >> but just the things that you previously agreed on that you agree with? >> are you denying that it's -- >> we seem to be several steps down a slippery slope. >> are you denying that it's $200 million a day? >> for about the third time, yes. >> you're denying -- how much is it, then? >> i'm not going to get into what it costs to protect the president. but the same report, lester -- if you don't believe me, which i can understand -- surely you would -- >> i'd like to believe you. i enjoy you very much. >> well, i appreciate that, lester. >> should we leave you two guys alone? >> with a slurpee and a twisty straw. can i -- again, lester, i think the same report said there were 34 warships. >> yes. >> the pentagon said that's not true. >> oh. >> "oh." >> they didn't say how many there were, though. >> may i just follow, robert? >> but nobody has denied the
$200 million except you. >> all right. we said -- we now seem to have come almost full circle on a circular argument, haven't we? >> thank you. >> if i had read it somewhere else that it was a different cost, would it be true? >> follow? >> you just said you believed everything that you -- >> no, this came from a number of different sources, robert. >> you've talked to them? >> no, i've read them. >> oh. so, again, if you'd read that the cost was different other places, how would you reconcile those differences? i'll just have two questions on that tomorrow. >> thank you very much. >> peter. >> we do the questions here, robert. >> it's a good thing, right? >> sometimes. actually, i don't have one. lester got my question. >> lester had your question? now that -- that's news. can i just say -- in the spirit of completely bipartisan
cooperation and in the spirit of -- >> i read his paper. >> and you believe, consequently, everything that's in it. >> no, no, no, i won't say that. >> lester, i don't -- i think he's -- you seem to have some -- i thought a minute ago -- can i see the transcript of that? i thought you said that -- >> you have to be selective. >> so the selectivity is based on what? >> on what seems to be accurate. >> what seems to be accurate. >> and what seems to be inaccurate. >> i see. and how does one determine that? >> by using your judgment. >> it's interesting. >> robert, can i blow a whistle here? because i do have a question. >> i don't know, i got to tell you, i thought the last -- i thought this was fairly fascinating, but -- >> i'm sure yours are much better than mine, but i do want
to come back to tax cuts because you were making a distinction this morning between temporary and permanent tax cuts. i gather the president is still adamantly opposed to permanently extending the upper- income tax cuts, which republicans campaigned on. >> the president believes, and i think there's common agreement on extending permanently the middle-class tax cuts. and as i said earlier, i think it's important to understand what happens if we don't act by the end of the year -- those tax rates will go back up. i think there's common ground to be found in how to move forward. the president does not believe and i think would not accept permanently extending the upper-end tax cuts, which we know the cost of that is borrowing $700 billion over 10 years. but that having been said, i think there's something that can be come to between that.
>> but when he said he was ready to negotiate, the one thing -- part of it that he's not ready to negotiate on is a permanent upper-income tax cut. >> yes, ma'am. >> robert, michael steele yesterday asked for a meeting with president obama, and will the white house grant it in the air of consensus? and he says that also that he's for consensus but the president governs from the left and he needs from the far left. >> i'm sorry -- >> the president is governing from the far left and he needs to come to the center for there to be a consensus. what say you on those questions? >> well, look, i think consensus is, again, not going to be 100 percent of what anybody wants. so i guess the question for mr. steele would be, does he believe consensus then is 100 percent of what he wants? >> well, will the president grant mr. steele a meeting? >> i'd have to -- i have not heard from scheduling that
there's a pending request. >> if you do get a question from -- >> i'm not going to speak for scheduling on that. i mean, i assume that the arguments that the chairman of the republican party is going to make would be brought up by those that are in the republican leadership in the house and the senate. >> so it would be a redundant meeting if he were to come -- if he were to ask -- so you would say no -- >> again, i just think the viewpoints that -- i assume his -- well, most of his statements are in line with what the leaders have said. obviously there have been some diversions on some issues. >> thanks, robert. the president was criticized during the health care debate for investing too much time in bipartisan outreach, in effect, for waiting for the republicans to come along when in fact their cooperation never was forthcoming. is there a period now where the president might see if republicans are willing to meet him halfway, and if they don't, he may decide that that time is
not well spent and bipartisan cooperation is just not going to happen in this new reconfigured congress? >> well, peter, as i said this morning, i think we now have -- and i think let's be honest, republicans now control and have the responsibility for governing half of congress. so there are certainly responsibilities that are going to go along with something like that, and i don't -- i think the president is eager to sit down, eager to listen and eager to work together. i have not heard him or others discuss what happens if. again, i think we're -- the message we took from this election was working together. >> going into the g20, does the president have a message for emerging markets of these fast- growing economies like brazil who are worried that the actions of this country are going to create bubbles in their
own? >> well, look, what we have talked about at each of the g20s is the need to find strategies for balanced growth. and the president has discussed throughout this the fear that what we have seen that's driven economic growth in the past, the sort of bubble-and-bust economies that may, in the short term, drive demand but find the consequences of that demand on the back end detrimental, that we certainly can't continue to also do that on a worldwide basis. we can't -- the american consumer can't drive worldwide demand, which is part of the reason we have to open up other markets around the world, and emerging markets, for the sale of our goods.
and, look, i think secretary geithner at the g20 finance ministers meeting talked about and got the cooperation of those throughout the world in seeking a path toward that balanced growth in the future. yes, sir. >> robert, back on the mcconnell speech for a moment. he said, "i don't want the president to fail. i want him to change." you can decide what degree of wanting to compromise that is, but do you really believe he doesn't want the president to fail? >> well, look, i'm going to let he and his spokespeople speak for him. again, i don't -- i do not think that the american people two days after a contentious election are -- believe that the next election should start the next day. i think there's a period of time in which we'll have for that election, but that we have a period of time that we need to work together to address
those problems. i hope that -- >> but he's also been reported as saying he wants president obama to be a one-term president, and that's the goal. >> i think he said that was the single most important job he had. i think the single most important job that the american people and the president want to work on are creating jobs and strengthening our economy. yes, sir. >> thanks, robert. a question on -- or actually a couple of questions. a couple weeks ago, there was the indian farmers settlement. the president still has an outstanding request for $1.25 billion to settle with what the justice department says are 66,000 african american farmers discriminated against by the usda between '81 and '96. beyond compensation, first question, would there be like accountability on that? i mean, will the administration insist that some of those usda employees who did practice discrimination be fired or disciplined? >> i would point you over to
usda in terms of what was listed inside of that settlement related to things like that. >> ok. but i mean, will there be a accountability aspect to -- >> again, i've not read the judgment of the settlement, and i would point you over to them. >> second question would be, where do think requests for $1.25 billion stands now with the new congress? >> i know that it was outstanding in the last congress. i don't know if it will be in -- and i don't have an update on whether it would be in spending bills that would be done by the end of the year. i don't know the answer to that. >> since democrats control the senate now, would it possibly go through? because republicans were the holdup in the senate. >> i don't have an update on the settlement. >> but i mean, do you think -- i mean, do you think, though, the climate is more conducive for it to come through? the white house and the president have said that he
wants it to go through congress. >> and he does. and april, again, i just don't -- i don't have a legislative update on this. john. >> how quickly would you expect the president to name a new director of the national economic council? and should the american people anticipate that there will be any changes in the president's cabinet between now and early next year? >> look, i know that obviously there are and have been organizational meetings that have gone on through here that the chief of staff is -- a process that he's overseeing. we are i think in the preliminary stages of selecting a new nec director, so i don't anticipate that in the next couple weeks we'll have any announcements on that. and i know of nothing in terms of the cabinet. again, i think there's a natural cycle of people coming into the administration pledging to stay for two years, and returning back to the pursuits or --
either new pursuits that they had or -- that they have or what brought them -- what they were doing before they came here. yes, sir. >> yes, we know that the currency issue would be the -- it's high on the agenda for the president's trip to asia. and will the white house push harder on the issue, because -- in response to the result of the midterm elections? >> well, look, it was a concern of this administration. it's been a bipartisan concern of capitol hill even before this election. i don't think that that concern certainly in any way is lessened. the president and the secretary have said that china has to take steps and that we will evaluate and watch what they do. and i have no doubt that this will be a topic that is talked about at the g20, at the apec
meetings, and directly with the chinese. bill. >> and also -- sorry -- and reuters has a report saying that nsc senior director jeff bader said the u.s. and its allies are seeking to rebalance to the -- seeking to rebalance the -- >> let me check in on that. my sense is it's not in -- i don't second-guess jeff on what he says, but -- >> which jeff are you talking about? >> did you write the story? >> no. >> either mason or bader, "comma" jeff. let me check on what the report is you're talking about. bill. >> robert, still trying to understand this possible middle ground here on health care reform. i hear you say the president wants to change the 1099 thing, and then open to other ideas they may come up with. but yesterday again --
>> let me be clear, bill. i think i said that -- look, i don't think the president is going to prejudge what republicans want to talk to him about. that's what getting together and talking about things are. i think the president obviously is a big supporter of his health care plan. >> ok, i didn't mean to misstate what you said. but we do hear from john boehner and mitch mcconnell, we heard it very clearly: "repeal, repeal, repeal." that's all they talk about. so it's kind of a non-starter, isn't it, when that's where they start? >> i don't think that's what the american people said out of this election that they wanted to see. >> but where's the middle ground if they're just all for repeal? i mean, where do you -- >> well, again, i don't want to get ahead of what some of these meetings and discussions might be about. i think both sides would agree that this provision that is overly burdensome paperwork- wise for business is -- makes sense to change.
i think we -- there was an effort to try to do that before the election that got held up. so, look, the president, i think, thinks that first and foremost our focus should be on the economy. i think tax cuts is certainly important on his list because of what happens at the end of the year if we don't act. sam. >> just, i'm hoping -- sort of in that same vein -- but i'm hoping you can clarify what you said to jake. you said -- jake asked you if you anticipate the president would veto attempts at repeal. you said you don't think it will come to that. what do you envision will stop it from coming to that? >> well, i just don't think it's going to make its way through both houses. >> let me also ask just on a different topic. you all are going out of the country for 10 days. most of the people here are leaving. i know bill is staying. republicans obviously won't stop talking while you all are gone. do you have a plan in place to sort of deal with what they're saying while you're gone? >> well, not a how-to-stop- republicans-talking plan. no, i don't -- i can confirm
that we don't have one of those. but, look, you know -- >> have you looked for one? >> it's on one of those warships that les has. no, look, we're -- the president, i think, has -- will on several occasions on the trip meet with the traveling press, and we -- my sense is you'll likely ask about what's going on both over there and back here. that's expected and that's part of it. >> robert, yesterday at this press conference the president seemed to acknowledge, at least in the short term, we're not likely to see a bill that would impose a price on carbon emissions. and i'm just wondering, how does he explain that to other world leaders who are looking to the u.s. for action on global warming? >> well, i think what the president has said and what you've -- there are certainly bipartisan proposals that would reduce the amount of greenhouse
gases but not necessarily have to be done through what is commonly referred to as a cap- and-trade system. you could, for instance, as many states have done throughout the country, have a renewable energy standard that said a certain amount of your power will be generated using renewable sources, which obviously would cut down, by definition, on greenhouse gases. i think there's -- i think that in this case there's more than one way to skin a cat. i think there's -- the president has -- and i mentioned this this morning -- the president has made some -- you know, changed our -- changed a policy that had been -- that had not seen a loan guarantee on
behalf of a construction of a nuclear plant in three decades. we entered into one of those just late last year. again, that's -- generating power that way is by definition going to reduce greenhouse gases. so i think there -- people are still concerned both about climate change as well as our ever-growing dependence on foreign oil. but there's more than one way to fix that. one of the ways that we've worked on is working with car companies to increase fuel efficiency standards, not just on cars and make that happen actually faster than the legislation requires, but also for the first time on trucks. again, it's not a legislative thing. it's working with business to
bring about change in energy. >> thanks, robert. >> ken. >> robert, i'd like to follow up on the question that sam asked. do you believe that the era of not attacking the president when he leaves our shores is over? do you feel that, given this climate, that there will be -- >> don't think sam is going to attack the president when he leaves -- >> no, no, do you believe that there's -- >> easy, man. >> just kidding. >> that would be again. do you believe that the republicans will honor that -- i don't even know if it still exists -- protocol or gentleman's agreement where when a president leaves our shores, partisan attacks are limited, shall we say? >> look, certainly that's been what, in previous times, has been what most in washington followed. i think the president, again, goes overseas on this trip on
behalf of not one political party but on behalf of a country to improve our relationship with a very important region of the world, a fast-growing economic place where, again, at the very beginning of the trip i think you'll see working with american businesses and ceos to open up markets and create jobs here in this country. that's the focus of the president's trip. i'll leave what the republicans do and say about that -- >> what do you think is going to happen? >> i stopped guessing a long time ago. thanks, guys. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
>> now a discussion on tuesday's election results and what it means for the future of gop, with freedomworks chairman dick armey. he joined us on "washington journal" for 40 minutes. host: we are back with dick armey of freedomworks, part of the tea party movement. "our latest tea party candidates let down republicans at the final hurdle." "tuesday night was in some respects a failure. never s the house of representatives changed hands without the senate following suit, and the tea party movement should take the on's share of the blade.
the republicans fell at leas four seats short of taking the senate. there were responsible for the book cost of at least three senate seatshat were essentially there for the taking. guest: i got a kick out of that story. what i found interesting is the financial times placed right above that story two perfectly ideal establishment candidates in california, very well-known successful businesswoman, funding their own campaigns. they lost, too. writedn't they "outrageously well-founded moderates led down in calirnia." nobody lives everything they put up to the fact of the matter is, 55 elected members of the house of
representatives and 12 new part of the tea party contract with america. marco rubio -- it would probably be me, becse i do not think charlie crist could have beaten me. the fact of the matter is, these folks got out there to change america, take it back, make the govement conform to their commitment and requirement for constitutionally limited small government. they define this election and i put that down as one of the more amusing stories i have read about the campaign. host: a republican of south carolina says candidates matter, and it depends on what type of
ndidate you run in each state. for carly fiorina, it was more of an uphill battle for her. republicans could have taken more seats away from democrats but he says it was a good night for republicans, but it could have been a better one. we left some on the table. guest: if i were lindsey gramm and i was concerned about the loss of the seed in delaware, -- if i were lindsey graham, i would have said with all of your standing and all of your credentials and your $3 million, why did you lose to this woman who is hardly known? the fact of the matter is, they had their best course from their stable in the race. they backed their horse and the horse lost. if somebody let down the republican party in delaware, it was their favorite son nominee,
not the woman who won the primary fair and square, became their nominee, and found that they turned their back on. host: wednesday graham goes on to say that we do not have a snowball's chance to win the white house. if you think delaware was a wake-up call for republicans, then we have a shot in the long term. guest: i think delaware was a wake-up call for the republican party. if you're goingo have an open primary, then have an open primy. those of you who think of yourself as the in crowd within the republican party that got your hands on the letters within the republican party, had a favore-so candidate like charlie crist, who was endorsed by everybody, including lindsey graham. if you have that favorite son, that favored daughter, that
person, then you bring your horse across the line. but if your horse loses to somebody ee, somebody that you are saying -- they whined for months. my party -- my problem with the tea party backed candidates, if they lose, they will not turn around and the support of our nomie. in every instance where a republican primary candidate lost the race and then tned and supported the democrats or refused to support the republicans or ran as a third party -- in every instance, it was the establishment party's favorite candidate. so if anybody let down the republican party, it was those people who said,, we have a right to have an open primary and we will see it through to the general elections only if our pet project is the winner. but if somebody comes and upsets our favorite in the
primary, we are walking away and washing our hands of them. host: does that apply in the general election of alaska? guest:ne thing i will give senator be some rakowski -- when she decided that having lost party's primary for h party's nomination, and therefore i will run as a write-in candidate, she sought it through. but what wednesday -- but what lindsay graham would say is we need republicans in the final analysis. fine, then stand behind your party's nominee. they did not do it in nevada, and they did not do it in delaware. murkowski put her own fate in her own hands, in respect of of
the republican party of alaska. she won as a write-in party candidate. host: so should minority leader mitch mcconnell and presumably the next bigr of the house, john boehner, a compromise with democrats? guest: i think what you need to do is understand -- first of all, do not get into the trap we got into in 1994 and 1995. this is not the question of dueling mandates. the democrats have said the american people gave us a mandate and we are going to do what they wanted if they do not like it, they can take it yway. now, if the republicans say we got a mandate and we are going to do what we want, they will run into the same prlem. what they got is a new set of directives from the voting people of america. your group of hired hands, we appreciate that you have this great opportunity. we welcome the opportunity to call you the honorable mr.
congressman and be deferential to you, but the fact of the matter is this nation needs a serious public policy reset, and from big government control and dominationnd spending into financial oblivion to fiscal restraint, responsibility, and governmental respect for the will and the right of constituencies to be free. host: how the republicans can fill their pledge. he said specifically i believe we can make changes like slowing the growth of benefits for the wealthiest earners and index the eligibility age to longevity. these ideas represent a viable alternative to the uustainable status quo, and they can be delivered while making no other changes for those aged 55 and
older who currently receive social security and medicare. do you support that idea? guest: what i like about paul ryan is that he is secretive figure and i am very excited about him being the budget chairman. here is what bothers me. every american citizen today, if i have a new grandbaby, that poor little child gets a social security number before she leaves the hospita as soon as she gets a job, the government forces her to take some portion of her earnings and put it into the most badly mismanaged savings retirement program in the history of the world. what paul ryan seems to be saying in thisrticle is that he joins the chorus of voices that says having forced everybody in voluntarily to go into the government program, they can be subject to the wednesy of politicians. and if indeed we politicians cannot meet our obligations, let us be free to choose who among
you will sacrifice your life savings and not get a return on that. host: so it sounds like you do not support that. guest: it does not sound very responsible to me. at if your private retirement program said to you, we appreciate you put your money with us all these years but we are not going to give you your annuity. the government would sue them. i will give paul ryan a better option. why doesn't he say to every young working man and woman in america, you are free to choose to forsake your social security benefits. you be free to choose. it is a much better thing. if i choose to not subscribeo a government program, then i and exercising my liberty. if in fact the government says we were hahappy to take your money for all your working years, and because you were prudent enough to do something yourself in your retirement
years, we are saying to you, you don't get any of your money back. host: that sounds like fundamental difference with paul ryan. guest: is a very big difference with paul ryan. who will be in charge of my life savings, the or politicians? host: should they oppose paul ryan as budget chairman? guest: no, they should not oppose paul ryan. he is one of the bghtest people -- host: but you disagree with him. guest: we are not in agreement on everything. he has a right to be wrong about some things. he is right about most this. in the end, what you're saying realistically, we must come to terms with the fact that some people will get their retirement benefits and some will not. you are saying i put myself now on the side of big government, and let somebody in washington decide that this guy at 409
hemingway street gets his benefits and the guy at 408 does not. paul ryan knows this. every american young person -- yourself, if giv the choice to drop out of social security tomorrow, you would do it that quick because you know by the time you're 65, they will have taken your life savings all your life and give you nothing back. host: let's move on. do the tea party candidates deserve to have a spokesman within the leadership ranks? michelle bachman wants to be the -- should somebody like rand paul getty leadership position in the senate? guest: you go before t members of your caucus and present your case. i did it eight times and i did successfully eight times.
it was not always easy. let those people in that body, in accordance with the rules of the body, select from those who compete. in the case of michelle bachman, i believe she wants to run in opposition to jeb hensley. he has been one of the most reliable opponents to big government, unnecessary spending programs -- tarp, stimulus, a baing regulation. he understood the issues and has spoken with them with great -- spoken on them with great thoroughness in the house. none could ever say that he is not a small government conservative. let them make their case in front of their colleues about which of the two of us will serve the functions of this office with the greater degree of efficiency and fairness. nobody is entitled to a
leadership post. it is an honor and privilege and the duty extended to you by the discretionary choice of your colleague. host: dick armey is are desperate rick on the democratic line in california, you're up first. caller: i went up to see the only president in the last 70 years to balance the budget and pay down the national debt, in your tea party were there with all kinds of signs, yelling all kinds of horrible things about him. so is this really about a balanced budget and national debt? why are they complaining about clinton. it has nothi to do with national debt. it has everything to do with the democrats being in the white house, and they are still mad at clinton. sorry about that socialist comment, randy. guest: i do not know what it is you are referring t in the political discourse -- and remember, all political
discourse is just one step shy of brain death, in respect of of what partisan discourse it comes from. i was there. the one thing i will always admire it and appreciate about president clinton is when we worked on budget matters, for all the eight years i worked with the president and during his entire presidency, he personally sat at the table and worked through the negotiations with the members from the house and the senate and the white house. we negotiated our way to a balanced budget. now, when the negotiations closed, we h theresident saying i and i alone got you to a balanced budget, or his advocates said that. the republicans set by and i alone got you to a balanced budget. the fact of the matter was it was rigorous, detailed, long- term strenuous negotiations over a long period of time
between the leaders of both parties and the leaders of both the legislative branch and the executive branch, the office of management and budget, secretary, treasury, citing these meetings. there were substantive discussions that took place over a long period of time, and we got to a balanced budget. we are very pleased about that. but i am no more willing to concede that it was presint clinton who got us there all by himself than he would be willing to concede that it was dick armey that got us there all by himself. we did it together. i bet you a dollar up against a dougut that president clinton would say the same peri. host: in january, they will have to vote on whether or not to continue running the government orhut down the government. they have to raise the debt ceiling or the government shuts
down. you remember in 1994 what happened. do you recommend that the tea party candidates stick to principles and do not shut the government down? guest: first of all, raising the debt ceiling is unpopular for everybody. host: do you have to do it? guest: it has to be done. i understand that for there is not a person alive that does not understand it. but the fact is, it is a regrettable thing. you're sitting there saying, especially the new members, had you been more fiscally responsible in the past 10 years, five years, four years, three years, last year, we would not be here today facing the need to do desperate and i resent that i have to vote to raise the -- to do this. and i resent that i have to vote to raise the deb ceiling. i understand this has to be done, b if in fact you are going to get me to vote for it, let me have you tell me, just as you would do with your
irresponsible son or daughter if they ran their college bills up through the roof, y are not going to do it again. you will show some restraintn the future. you will have some sense of trade off between this government program and the obligations you already have in place that you just cannot add another program because you think it would look pretty walking when you cannot afford the programs you already have got out there. how about a little discipline? host: on the republican line in thornton, colorado. caller: mr. armey, thank you so much for being available here. this is a different question of where you left off, but out here in the republin desert of metro denver, we have had a tea party candidate at t governor's level where there was a divisive party, and now we ha a democratic governor. what do you suggest be our
remedy for off-year elections in not gatring dust in gathering not just the conservative perspective -- ingathering not just the conservative perspective, but -- guest: this is the problem that you have always. you had in colorado the same situation. you basically had three candidates on the ballot, two of whom split their ballot, leading to one person that neither one of them agreed with. in florida you had a situation where charlie crist said i'm going to run as an independent, and as an independent he looked more like a democrat than he did a republican. in the end in florida, marco rubio did. in the final analysis, if you are the candidate and if you are, in respect about the circumstances, i think you take a look at marco rubio he said it
is not fair that the lord god almighty dealt me hand, i have to win my race in respect of who else is in that race. that means i may have to double up on my efforts. i may have to consolidate my efforts. the fact of the matter is, given the nature of politics, as joe miller is discovering in alaska right now -- if there is another horse in the race, it's not like the only person i have to do is out run the baird -- no, i have to outrun the bear and you too. host: kevin, in new jersey. teacup jt a commentary from a 37-year-old -- caller: just a commentary from a 37-year-old hospital worker, an independent democrat. the whole team party movemen and the republican party, they are trying to separate themselves from the neocon-
cheney crowd. to the average pern my age, i think i am a pretty well educated knowledgeable person. the way it i reviewed, -- the way it is viewed, they look like religious nuts. i work in a critical care unit and i know the problems of health care top to bottom. i work where people are ventilated on life-support and everything like that. what i see a lot of the republican party doing is really kind of putting religion out there and all this stuff. it is really, really negative, and it turns my crowd of ticket. -- it turns my crowd off to it. guest: understand something. this grass roots movement known as the tea party movement holds no allegiance or very much
affection to either political party. they are just as bitterly disappointed in the republicans as they are the democrats. and they have been severely criticized by the evangelicals and america. i happen to be an evangelical. they have stayed so focused on economic isss -- finance, budgets, taxes, and so forth -- and did not address a lot of the social issues. so all of a sudden, in all the best characterization's of these fine people that you have seen in the popular press, this is the last one that i would he thought that somebody would have gotten, that you say they look like a bunch of religious not. there really is interesting to me. that is very curious. it shows me something about the degree to which real, ordinary folks just like your neighbors,
and i bet you a nickel that somebody in the church yugo, the hospital you wor or somebody in your family is active in the movement. and you go, joe and grace, they are not nuts. they are part of that. i assure you that they are not a bunch of religious nuts. they are probably about as normal as you are, and they are focused on economic issues of jobs, taxes, spending. their biggest concern in the world is the potential insolvency of america before the world. host: what's next for the tea party movement? specifically when it comes for the 2012 presidenal election? guest: first you have to understand that this party is not about politics in the religious observances.
these folks are more concerned with policy. they really believe they can work with their newfound champions on the kindness to help them pass good legislation .hrough the congress coul they are interested in assisting the movement of good legislation. now, it is true that they understand the power of their involvemt in the electoral process to the advancement of their ideas, and they are looking at theandidates, principally at the white house level, and at the senate level, because they are acutely aware of the fact that we have another one/third to look at in the next election cycle they will have some of their favorite senate projects. let me remind you, the first people who fell to the tea
pay movement were republicans in primaries, not democrats and the general. host: is that what happens in 2012? are tea partyers looking at olympia snowe in maine? guest: you will have to talk to the folks in maine. if i were olympia snowe, and i said, gee, i am out next time -- up nextime, i need to look at what would be a very important faction of votes with in my state and see what i can do to address this. host: is it a warning to people like olympia snowe? guest: again, understand, these parts have advocacy in the heart -- these folks at at a to see in their heart and mind. they love america, the love of the constitution. it is eer genius.
you swore an oath to protect the constitution. we are saying to keep your oath. it has to do with it will be exercised restraint in spending, will you have some sense of discretion in spending here and there, will you respect my personal liberty? host: let's hear from our republic, ron in new york. caller: mr. armey, i would like to tell someone that -- i am part of the tea party, and i think we ought to get rid of the department of the environmental agency. i am a truck driver and i've been a truck driver for 50 years and i have seen gary, indiana, a full as soon as they moved in, -- fold as soon as they moved in. environmental advocacy is
killing our labor force. why don't they get rid of those people and let those people go and do their job? i can see safety and see some environmentalists -- it has gone wacko. they are stting down all of our factories -- host: ok, we got your point. guest: one of the things i've been saying for years, and i used to say it as a professor to students, most of life's great lessons were taught to you by little bromides given to you by your mother andrandmother. you can have too much of a good thing. that is sort of what we have from epa. maybe we have too much epa discretion across the country. they have taken a little bit of -- a little bit of kwledge goes a long way. i cannot think of anybody in
america that has taken more abuse than congressman joe barton from texas, who has consistently insisted that the environmental protection agency used good science, and they treat him like some kind ohate monger who despises the environment. to avoid the dilemma at your mama talked about, a little bit of knowledge being a harmful thing, if we spend so much of taxpayer money on environmental interest, would it be a bicycle that we have the best science possible? -- wouldn't it be advisable that we of the best science possible? why is it bad for joe barton to insist that the epa usegood science? and this and our rental -- this
environmental fantasy movement is so afraid of truth. just be smart about doing what is necessary and maybe we will not be losing jobs. host: democratic line, bill from washington state. caller: this is just a quick side bar. you were mentiong the constitution, and i thought was kind of a point, because putting the constitution -- congress is supposed to make war, and they have not done that since december 8, 1941. how do you feel about the blue dog democrats that went down? democratic't the party and republican party have their conservative wings and liberal wings? host: mr. armey. guest: the blue dog democrats
have been in a dilemma for a long time. they are sort of a square peg in a round hole. usually square pegs in round holes get whittled down. but the blue dog problems came first and foremost in the fact that they are so aggressively rejected within the democrat party. there is very little tolerance for people who don't buy into the assertively progressive party line of the democrat party. i would say that my friend cheet texas -- your problems began with neglect by democrats, who never liked you much anyway. and the republican party basically -- voters look at them and say, look, chet edwards is a democrat attending to be a republican. why don't we just vote for the
guy who is really running as a republican? nobody is entitled to a seat in congress. you get in the race, is open competition, and you get thousands of people who you don't know who make a selection based on how they perceive your credentials and performance. chet maybe could have overcome the prejudices and neglect of his own party and the appearance of a misfit with the voterat large in the waco area. he carried it off and got away with that bag for a number of years. host: sarah palin has a video with her take on what the election meant. >> across the country, everyday americans are standing uand they are speaking out, and based on what i have seen, there is more than enough reason to in america.h
we're going to get back to the time tesd truth that made this country great. they have enabled us to weather tough times before, and they will see us through the challenges we face today. i am confident and i am hopeful, because this is our movement. this is our moment. this is our morning in america. [applause] we are going to stand up and we are going to speak out, and it may take some grenades going -- some renegades going rogue to get us there, it may take pokes shaking it up to get there. [applaus we have got to do this together. host: mr. armey, your reaction? guest: it is amusing, because
i'm fascinated. i have never met sarah palin myself, but i am fascinated by the appeal she has to this movement. i personally think the reason is, first of all, this is an authentic movement that has, frankly, gotten very little respect. as an attack, assault, -- it has been attacked, assault, mocked might just about every big shot in america, on both sides of the aisle. but they are so aware of their authenticity, their sincerity, and it hurts a little bit -- i am really who i am and i wish you could have the decency to portray me as i am, instead of this caricature if you keep puttinon tv. theydentify with sarah palin and her authenticity. did you see the play on words about "we made some of us have to go rogue."
it was not the democrats saying she was going rogue that day for that brand. it was the republicans. a bunch of smart alec young political operatives thought they had the right to tell this candidate, being the candidate for vice-president -- these young yale graduates have the right to tell them what to say, and damned if she did not go rogue and say whathe had to say. i'm smart enough to be my own person and say wi