tv 1984 Archival Presidental Debate CSPAN October 7, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EDT
you bought back? >>morley sater on his career. tonight at it o'clock on c- span's "q &a." >> in 1984, walter mondale made history when he chose a woman on the bus presidential ticket. it took place in philadelphia and was moderated -- >> good evening. good evening from the civic center in pennsylvania. i am the president of the league of women voters.
our panelists for tonight's debates are john , jack white, norma quarls, robert boyd from night rider newpapers . >> thank you. a few words about the order of our format tenant. the order of questioning was determined by a -- she elected to speak last. vice president bush will get the first question. the debate will be built upon a series of questions from the four reporters on the panel. a reporter will ask a candid it
a question, a follow up question, and the same to the other candidate. the debate will be divided into two parts. the first one on domestic affairs, the second on foreign affairs. the manner of address was decided by the candidates. it will be vice president bush, congresswoman ferarro. >> john adams, the first president once said "today i am nothing, tomorrow i may be everything." with that in mind, i would like to ask the following question. four years ago you ran against mr. reagan for the nomination. you disagree with them on issues like the equal rights amendment, abortion, and you labeled his policies as voodoo. now you apparently agree with them on every issue. if he should be called upon to assume the presidency, would you follow mr. reagan's policies down the line or would you go
back to some of your own ideas? >> i do nothing there is a big difference between my ideas and president reagan. i believe firmly in his leadership. he has really turned the country around. we agree on the economic program. but we came into office, inflation was 21 -- 12.5%. interest rates wiping out every single american or 21.5% if you can believe it. there was despair. the leadership of the country tell people there was a malaise out there. this president turned it around and i have been with them every step of the way. of course, i would continue those programs because it has brought america back. people are going back to work. why mr. mondale cannot understand there is a new enthusiasm at enter this country that america is back, there is a strong leadership, i do not
know. he has one answer. raise everybody's taxes. he set up their in san francisco, i will raise your taxes. he has had a lot of experience in that, and he will do it. i remember a statement of lyndon johnson when he was looking around why his party people were not supporting him. he said, hey, they painted their tails white and ran with the antelope. there are a lot of democratic whitetails running with the antelope. not one single democrat has introduced the mondale tax bill into the congress. of course i support the president's economic program and i support him on everything else. i am not sure because of the concept of the vice presidency that if i did not, i would go do what mr. mondale did with jimmy carter, a job away from it. i cannot do that to mr. reagan now, next year, or any other time. i have to much trust in him.
i have too much friendship with them. i would feel uncomfortable during that. >> some republicans the criticized saying he disagreed with the decision to impose a grain embargo. have you ever disagree with any decision of the reagan administration? where in your judgment as loyalty and and principal begin? >> i owe my president judgment and loyalty. you cannot have the president of the united states looking over his shoulder wondering whether the vice president will be supporting him. she has quite a few differences with vice president mondale. i understood it when she changed her position. she voted to extend the grain embargo. he now says he was against it. if they win, she will have to
accommodate some views. she will give him the same kind of loyalty that i am giving president reagan. one, we are not far apart on anything. i can walk into the oval office any time and give them my judgment. he might agree, and he might not. he also knows i will not be talking to it to the press and try to make myself look good to complicate problems for the president of the united states. >> your opponent has served in the house of representatives. he has been ambassador to china, director of the central intelligence agency and now he has been vice president. how you stack up against experience like that? >> let me first say i was not born at the age of 43 when i entered congress. i had a life as well. i was a teacher. there is not only what is on your paper reza may -- paper resume them to qualify to run
for or hold office, it is how you approach problems and what your values are. if one has taken a look at my career they see eye approach problems at the -- analytically and i am able to access fax with reference to a problem. i can make hard decisions. i am intrigued when i hear vice president bush talked about his support of the president's economic program and how everything is going beautifully. i, too, recalls when vice president bush was running against president reagan and he called the program to do economics and it was and it is he. we are facing massive deficits. this administration has chosen to ignore it. the president has failed to put forth a plan to deal with the deficits. if everything believes that everything is coming up roses, perhaps the vice-presidential join me as i traveled around the
country and speak to people. people in pennsylvania are not happy with what is happening to the economy. people in youngstown, ohio have stores boarded up because the economy is not doing well. it is not only the old industries, it is also the new ones. and the san jose, calif. they are complaining because they cannot export their high-tech quality to japan and other countries. people in the northwest are complaining about what is happening to the timber industry and the agricultural industry. things are not as great as the administration wants you to believe in their television commercials. my feeling quite frankly is that i have enough experience to see the problems, address them, and make the tough decisions with reference to the problem. >> despite the historic aspects of your candidacy, how do you account for the fact that the
majority of women favor the reagan-bus ticket? >> i did not. let me say, i am not a believer in polls. let me say further, what we are talking about our problems that are facing the entire nation. they're not just problems facing women. the issues again for the campaign are the war-peace issues, the problem with deficits. we are facing $120 billion trade deficit a center of this country. we're facing problems with the environment. i think what we will be doing over the next several weeks -- i am absolutely delighted the league is sponsoring the debates and we are able to now speak to the american public and address the issues and i was such as this. i think you will see a change. >> you have one minute to rebuttal. >> i was glad to get the vote of
confidence from misses economic judgment. the other day she was a plant and she said to the workers, why are so many of the voting for the reagan-bush ticket? there was a long silence. she said, we delivered. that is the problem. i am not blaming her accept for the liberal voting record and enter the house. they deliver 21 and a half -- 21.5% interest rate. they delivered what they called malaise. they delivered interest rates off the chart. they delivered take home pay that was shrinking. we have delivered optimism. 6 million people are going back to work. 300,000 jobs a month of being created. that is why there was a deathly silence. they deliver the wrong thing. ronald reagan is delivering
leadership. >> one minute rebuttal. >> i think what i will have to do is start correcting the vice president's statistics. there are 6 million more people with jobs. that is supposed to happen at enter a growing economy. with all the problems of the prior administration, they created 10 million jobs. the housing rights for middle- class americans was 14.5%. that was under the prior administration with all the prior problems was 10.6%. if you look at the people living in poverty, 6 million people. 500,000 people are not of disability rolls. you can walk there around and say things are great. that is what we have been hearing on commercials for the past couple of months. i will become a one woman truth squad, and we will start tonight. >> i would like to ask her about
civil rights. you have in the past been a supporter of to russian tax credits and also the constitutional amendment to ban a blessing. both of these are opposed not only by your running mate but just about every education in the country. now that you are mr. mondale's running mate, had to change your position on either of those? >> both mondale and i agree on the same goal, that is not discrimination. i just did not agree on the same direction he does on how to achieve it. i do not find any problem with that. that is something that has been handled by the court and not by him or congress. but we both support nondiscrimination and have seen and integration of neighborhoods as the goals we have set forth. i represented a district in queens that is 70% catholic. let me say as well i have been a supporter of public schools,
education. that is something we feel very strongly about for the future of the country. this administration over the past several years has gutted the educational programs available to our young people. it has attempted to knock out pell grants, which is money to young individuals who are poor and cannot afford to go to college. it is reduced by 25% the amount of money going into college education and by a third going into secondary and primary schools. mondale and i feel strongly if you educate your children, that is an effort and the way you build up and make a strong gray america. with reference to civil rights, you have to go beyond that. if you look of my record in the congress, we both have extremely strong civil rights records. this administration does not.
on the bob jones case, they came in on the side of discrimination against women, the handicapped, and the elderly. in the congress we just passed overwhelmingly the civil rights bill of 1984. the senate killed it in the last week or two in congress. there is a real difference between how the mondale administration will address of our rights and the failure of this administration, particularly in that area. >> what steps do you think government can take to expand representation of minorities and women in the workforce, colleges, and universities? >> i do not support the use of quotas, we feel very strongly about affirmative action to correct inequities. we believe steps should be taken. that is both through government
and small business administration. we have supported minorities and women's business. that is a positive thing. we do not feel you are in any way hurting anyone else by reaching out with affirmative action to help those who have been disenfranchised. if you have a growing economy, if you create the jobs, if you allow for small business the opportunity with lower interest rates to reach out and grow, there will be more than enough states for everybody. >> like president bush, many critics of your administration say it is the most harmful to minorities in recent memory. have you, inadvertently, perhaps, encouraged that view by supporting tuition tax credits, the busing opposition, the original opposition to the voting rights act and so forth? >> no. i think our record on civil
rights is a good record. it was the longest extension by president reagan. but we have some problems in attracting the black vote, and i think our record deserves better. we have done more for black colleges than any previous administration. we favor enterprise zones to give -- and it was blocked by tip o'neal and they blocked a new idea to bring jobs into the black communities across this country. and because it is not an old-fashioned hand-outfederal handout, it was blocked. i would like to see that tried. we brought more civil rights cases in the justice department than the previous administration by far. we believe in trying something new to help these black teenaged kids.
the minimum wage differential. it says, look, hire these guys. yes, they are willing to work for slightly less than the minimum wage. give them a training job in the private sector. we threw that out, that didn't train people for jobs that existed, simply ran them on the government payroll, and we put in something called the job training partnership act. wonderful new legislation that's helping blacks more and more. we think of civil rights as something like crime in your neighborhood. for example, when crime figures are going in the right direction, that's good, that's a civil right. similarly we think of it in terms of quality of life. and that means interest rates. you know, it is funny. mr. mondale talks about real interest rates. the real interest rate is what you pay when you try to buy a tv set or try to buy a car or do whatever it is. the real interest rates are where we left off 21.5%. inflation.
is it a civil right to have that going off the charts so you are busting every american family, those who can afford did the least? we have a good record. we have it on civil rights legislation. minority set-asides, more help for black colleges, and we have it in terms of offering people opportunity and hope instead of despair. >> along those lines, sir, many recent studies have indicated that the poor and minorities have not really shared in the new prosperity generated by the current economic recovery. was it right for your administration to pursue economic policies that required those at the bottom of the economic ladder to wait for prosperity to trickle down from people who are much better off than they? >> mr. white, it is not trickling down. i am not suggest thrg is no poverty. i am saying the way to work out of poverty is through real opportunity. in the meantime, the needy are getting more help. human resource spending is way,
way up. aide for dependent children is up. immunization programs are up. almost every place you can point, contrary to mr. mondale -- i have to be careful. contrary to how he goes around just saying everything bad. if somebody sees a silver lining he finds a big black cloud out there. shine on harvest moon. there's a lot going on, a lot of opportunity. >> congresswoman ferraro. >> he did not support the civil rights voting act when he was in the congress and the senate. it was passed despite his opposition. he did sign it when he was required to do so. the civil rights cases they enforced, they enforce them is because under the law they are required to do that. i am delighted to see that the
administration is following the law. [applause] >> excuse me, this will be out of my time, not yours, knowing and cherishing the people of this city and knowing their restraint and different dense -- diffidence, i bee seach -- i beseach you, try to hold your applause, please. >> i have to comment on the comment the vice president made. if you take af d.c. , food stamps, go down the line on poor people's programs, those are the programs that suffered considerably under a different administration, first budget cuts, and those are the ones in the second part of their terms, we were able to restore some of those terribly unfair cuts to the poor people of this country. >> vice president bush. >> maybe we can have experts go to the books. they will do it anyway.
spending for foods food stamps is way, way up under the reagan administration. af d.c. is up under the reagan administration. and i am not going to be found wrong on that. i am sure on my facts. we are trying to help, and i think we are doing a reasonable job. we are not going to rest until every single american that wants a job gets a job, and until this prosperity and this recovery is benefiting many americans benefits all americans. >> vice president bush, one of the most emotional issues in this campaign has been the question of the separation of church and state. what are your views on the separation of church and state, specifically with regard to abortion? do you believe it was right for the archbishop of philadelphia to have a letter read in 305 churches urging catholics to fight abortion with their votes? >> i do believe in pluralism, i
do believe in separation of church and state. i don't consider abortion a religious issue, i consider it a moral issue. i believe the archbishop has every right to do anything he wants in that direction just as i never call to jesse jackson from taking his message to the black pull pits across this country, just as i never suggested that the anti-nuclear movements be stopped, many of those are led by priests. suddenly because an evangelist feels strongly on an issue people say it is merging of church and state. we favor, and i speak strongly of the president, we favor separation of church and state. we favor pluralism. well, somebody says, you ought to restore prayer in schools. you don't think it is right to prohibit a kid for praying in schools. for years kids were allowed to pray in school. we don't think that's a merger of church and state to have a
nonmandatory voluntary, nongovernment-ordered prayer. yet, some are accusing of -- us of injecting religion into plicts. i have no problem what the archbishop does. i have no problem with the evangelists do or what the priests on the left do. it didn't bother me that during the vietnam war democratic and republican governments were led by priests encouraging people to break the law in the adage of the civil disobedience thing. so our position, separation of church and state, pluralism, so no little kid with a minority religion of some sort will feel offended or left out or feel uncomfortable. but yes, prayer in schools, a voluntary basis. worked for many, many years until the supreme court ruled differently. and i'm glad we got this question. i think there has been too much said about religion and politics. we don't believe in
denominationally 6 moving in. it wasn't our side that raised the question about our president, whether he was a good christian or not. [applause] so that's our position. separation of church and state, pluralism, respect for all. >> vice president bush, four years ago you would have allowed federal financing for abortions in cases of rain and incest as well as when a mother's life was threatened. does your position now agree with that of president reagan who in sunday's debate came very close to saying that abortion is murder? >> you know, there has been. i have to make a confession. an evolution in my position. there has been 15 million abortions since 1973. i don't take that lightly. there has been a million and a half this year. the president and i do favor a human rights amendment.
i favor one that would have an exception for incest and rain, and he doesn't. we thought it was only for the life of the mother. i agree with him on that. yes my position has evolved. i would like to see the american who faced with 15 million abortions isn't rethinking his or her decision. i will say i support the president's decision and comfortably from a moral standpoint. >> so you believe it is akin to murder? >> i support the president's position. >> fine. congresswoman, what are your views with respect to the separation of commoich and state and do you believe it was right for the archbishop of philadelphia have those letters read and urge the voters to fight abortion with their votes? >> let me say first of all, i believe very, very much in separation of church and state. if you go back to the 1600's and people came here, the reason they came here to this country
was to escape religious persecution. that's the same reason why people are coming here today in the 1940's to escape naziism and now to escape communism so they can come here and practice their religion. our country is founded on the principle that our government should be neutral as far as religion is concerned. what's happened over the past several years, and quite frankly i'm not going to let you lay on me the intrusion on state in politics and politics into religion, but my comment is in reference to the vice president as question. it happened when the reverend jerry falwell became involved in the campaign. what happened over the past four years has been i think a real fudging of that line with the separation of church and state. the actions of the archbishop, let me say to you, i feel that they have not only a right, but a responsibility to speak up. you know, i feel they have the
responsibility to do so. i have no problem with it, no more than i did with the priest who marched in vietnam nor did i when martin luther king marched at the time of the civil rights marches. i have no problem with them speaking up. i think they have an obligation, as well as a right. what i do have a problem with is when the president of the united states gets up in dallas and addresses a group of people and says who anyone who doesn't support his position of prayer in schools are intolerant of religion. there are numerous religious groups this do not support that. are they intolerant of religion? i also object that the reverend falwell would take two of our supreme court justices. i would say that is more than a fudging of the line, it is a total intrusion, and i think it is a violation of our
constitution. [applause] >> congresswoman ferraro, i am a devout catholic. do you feel you -- congresswoman ferraro, as a devout catholic, do you feel you are being treated unfairly? >> i did not come to my position on abortion easily. i am a devout catholic. i sat next to lamont senior, currently a bishop. i spoke to him about my personal feelings that i would 6 -- i would not support -- that's my religious view. i will accept the teaching of the church. but i cannot impose my religious views on someone else. i take an oath to represent all the people in my district, not only the catholics. if there comes a time when i cannot practice my religion and
do my job properly, i will resign my job. >> vice president bush, your rebuttal? >> i respect that statement. i really and truly do. we have a difference on the moral question here on abortion. i notice that mr. mondale keeps talking in the debate, and now it has come up here about mr. falwell. i don't know where this canard could have come from about mr. falwell picking the supreme court justices. ronald reagan has made one superb, outstanding, the only one he has made appointment to the supreme court, and that was sandra o'connor. mr. falwell opposed that. i hope this lays to rest this slander against the president. we want justices that will interpret the constitution, not legislate. >> congresswoman ferraro, your