tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 29, 2015 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
i am quoting from page 367 -- as the authority is confirmed for the purpose of making laws for the state, it follows in the absence of an indication of a contrary intent that the exercise of the authority must be in accordance with the method the state has chosen as prescribed for legislated enactments. ginsberg: what he has addicted to his taking the legislature out of the picture entirely. waxman: yes, justice ginsburg. we concede that in neither case was the power at issue. that distinction was never made by the court until smiley. and smiley says, we find no suggestion in the federal constitutional provision of an attempt to endow the legislature
of the state with power to enact laws in any manner other than which -- in which the constitution -- breyer: i am quibbling in a sense about the case. but the case is not about the body. everybody agreed it was a legislature. but when the legislature acts in this instance, is it acting as an electoral body? is it acting as a ratifying body? is it acting as a dissenting body? or is it acting as a legislating body? and that is the answer they get in the form of legislation. here the question is about the body. waxman: that's right. the question is are the people by initiative part of the legislature that they hum's -- they themselves have chosen? in smiley, again discussing
hildenbrand, this is what the court said, and it was because it was the authority of the state to determine what should constitute its legislative process that the validity of the requirement of the state constitution in its application to congressional elections was sustained. scalia: legislative process there means what it takes the legislature to enact a law. once you assume legislative refers to legislature, your whole argument for smiley just disappears. >> the state of arizona, like the states of the near majority of the constitutions of the states of the near majority have defined the legislative power to include the people by initiative and again and like the court
quoted, it is not unusual for the same word to be used with different meaning. and i'm quoting here. for example, the meaning of the word legislature, used several times in the constitution differs in the way it is employed, depending on the character of the function that body in each interest it -- instance is calling upon citing smiley. waxman: you said the cort, is it a plurality? >> yates doesn't talk about this. it was the decision in yates. moi point is that this supreme court in the months following smythe -- my point is that this supreme court in the months following smiley i was not quoting from yates i'm quoting from atlantic cleaners and dyers
itself quoting from them. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. if it may please the court, let me start with the definition of legislature. we can point to our favorite quotes about legislature. the critical thing is not what the framers meant by "the legislature" when they were talking proudly about political theory. what matters is when they were talking about assigning particular authorities in the constitution to particular components of the state government. in that context, as a number of you pointed out there is no doubt every time they assigned an authority to the state legislature, they were assigning the authority to the representative body of the people. now that takes us to the smiley case and the definition of legislature in the smiley case is what this case hangs on, then
with all due respect to my friends on the other side, we win. smiley specifically talked about the body question. i am quoting from smiley, not yates or anything else. i am quoting from smiling. what it meant when adopted, it still means for purposes of interpretation. a legislature was then the representative body which made the laws of the people. breyer: that's true. smiley does not help him, i don't think, but it helps you less. but that is the question in the case. everybody assumes. nobody denies, it is those people making this law. the question is, are they legislating when they are doing it? nobody denies they were the legislative power. here we have a different question.
is this the legislative power received by referendum? the reason i say that smiley may help is it says be flexible about thatclement: it says be flexible with the power of the state legislature. don't think you've been given some new key that allows you to make laws without the prosofse the governor being involved at all. i find smiley to be helpful, because not only does it answer the body question, but the other side in smiley said, oh, we win this case because legislature means the lawmaking authority and the other section meant, it means the body and the court said, you are right, it means the body, but it is a lawmaking function subject to the gubernatorial veto. i think they would've been flabbergasted to find out that the legislature, which is defined as a representative body of the people, would be cut out completely. kagan: when it comes to this
particular provision -- and this provision as compared to the 17th amendment, which is the comparison and the contrast that hawks sets up -- when it comes to this provision, you need to show a lot of respect to the states own decisions about how legislative power ought to be exercised, and that seems to be the overriding principle of the three cases. clement: i think you have to show respect for the way the state legislature goes about lawmaking, but is completely different to cut the state legislature out of the process entirely. let me aver briefly to the 1911 act which of course was since repealed. i think the question shows that the actual statute on the books has nothing to do with this case but the irony of my friends on the other side relying on the legislative history of the 1911 act is the whole point of the
legislative history of 1911 is people in 1911 could read, the statute on the books then said it you will have the federal default rule kick in until the state legislature redistricts and they realized that means the state legislature and they better change that law if they want the referendum process to take place. it also cuts against them on the constitutional issue. it shows a fundamental difference between the legislature and the people. as the chief justice pointed out if there weren't, the framers could have stopped the election clause in each state. they wouldn't have had to sayy the legislatures thereof. kagan: you can turn that around and say what that provision shows is exactly what i just said. congress was on board to read you look at that clause, the elections clause, a lot of respect, a lot of deference had
to be given to the state's own decision. clement: i am happy giving deference to what the state legislature does. if that is constrained by the gubernatorial veto, overrode by referendum something has to sit in committee for 0 days, then the restrictions on the state legislature are fine but it has to be the state legislature. >> thank you, counsel. the case is submitted. >> on the next "washington journal," bob deans talks about the overturning of the e.p.a. rules. and then ilya somin a professor looks at a 10-year-old ruling that allows government to seize private property. and gary gallagher history professor at the university of virginia on how the memory of the civil war is affecting the current debate over the
confederate battle flag. you can join the conversation by phone or on facebook and twitter. up next, former president jimmy carter and first lady roslyn carter talk about politics. then mike huckabee speaks at the national sheriff's association annual conference in baltimore. and louisiana governor and g.o.p. presidential candidate bobby jindal answers questions from voters at a politics and eggs breakfast. >> like many of us, first families take vacation time and a good read can be a perfect companion for your journeys. what better book than one that
peers inside the life of every first lady in history. "first ladies: presidential historians on the lives of the 48 iconic american women." available through your favorite online book seller. >> former president jimmy carter and former first lady roslyn carter sat down for a wide ranging conversation including race relations, gun violence, mental health and the middle east. they were interviewed at the aspen institute for just over an hour.
>> when i told president carter we had an overflow crowd he, said they all came for rosalynn, so thank you for being here as well. the 39th president of the united states and mrs. carter. welcome back to aspen. >> i'll start with a quick story, because kathy and i are here because of president carter. you were -- after you won the noble prize -- nobel prize you were an honoree and she said, i bought tickets to that dinner.
and it was at that dinner they asked me to work at the aspen institute. president carter: if he's not doing a good job, it's my fault. believe it or not, president carter is now 90. this book is called "reflections at 90." mr. isakson: he said i went to russia last year pretty active life both of you have. mr. sigh sackson: -- mr. isaacson: i wanted to start by looking at some travels you've done recently in this wond everyful book, talking about your trip to the middle east that you just came back from. where did you go? president carter: a couple of months ago i went to russia, we bet meth with gorbachev -- we
met with gorbachev and met with putin for about three hours and i asked him questions and he responded. i might say he made a very good impression on us. he was pretty aware of all the difficult issues. he never turned to his foreign minister for any answer he gave the answers himself. he was relaxed he, had a good sense of humor, a surprise to all of us. mr. isaacson: he had a sense of humor? give us an example. president carter: he said the europeans need to lift the sanctions, he said i'm making changes in agriculture so they're imagining more field
, the former president of finland. former president of mexico and former president of brazil and so forth. that's our 11 members but also the chief negotiator for the united nations for about 20 years, he was one trying to bring peace to the area. so we meet every six weeks or so and decide where we can go. we don't have to accommodate voters so we can pick and choose. mr. isaacson: where did you go in the middle east on your last trip? president carter: we went to the middle east, we went to gaza,
they've had -- the carter center has had an office there. for several years. we still are working on bringing peace to israel. we are still working on that. we're trying to promote peace between israeli and palestinian factions. mr. isaacson: do you think netanyahu wants a two-state solution? president carter: no, i don't think he ever did. when he said he would accept a two-state solution, i didn't believe him and everything he's done indicate he is doesn't want two-state solution he, doesn't
want a palestinian state next to israel. i believe he wants to take over the entire west bank except for a few tiny spots he'll leave for others. mr. isaacson: you did the camp david accords, the last really major peace acard. what type of solution do you think is possible now? president carter: the camp david accords have two different factors. one was to bring peace between israel and egypt that peace agreement, now more than 34 years old, has never been violated, not a single word has been violated in it. there's still peace between israel and egypt. but the other half of the camp david accords and the one on which we worked hard was independence for the palestinians that part has not been honored. that's what has always haunted
my successes. i tried to bring peace to israel by working between the realis and palestinians. we have pretty much given up on that. he does not want a two-state solution. mr. isaacson: you also met with sing solomon on this trip. what do you think of america's alliance with the saudis especially when it comes to bombing yemen and what did you all talk about? or what did you find out about the bombing? president carter: in saudi arabia and qatar and other countries in that region i was able to meet with the new king there. we were supposed to meet with
the new crown prince and then the king. the crown prince we got through visits with him, instead of going to his office we were escorted to our car and i got a message that said he wanted to see us but the next day. we planned on that night the reason he couldn't meet with me is he was planning a very unfortunate decision to attack yemen. since then saudi arabia has been bombing yemen which i think is a serious mistake. but i met with him the next day to talk to him about the issues that i had on my schedule. mr. isaacson: mrs. carter, when you go to a place like saudi arabia, what is your role what do you see as your role for advocating for women in places like that.
mrs. carter: this time i didn't advocate for women. mr. sigh sackson: -- mr. isakson: but with you have before. mrs. carter: i didn't this time with the king. but the main thing i worked on was mental health issues. i have fellowships, mental health fellowships for journalists, teaching them how to report on mental health issues accurate and in depth. we have been doing this for 18 years now. i wanted to get journalists from al-jazeera because they cover that whole area and the stigma there is so bad they've shut people up and don't let anybody know they have an mentally ill person. but there's a good program in qatar and so i do talk to and
advocailt for women and care giving and those kinds of things but not with the king. i sat -- when i go with jimmy like that, i take notes. i get to go in to see the officials because i take notes. i write down everything he said. president carter: she also gives me instructions. mr. isaac son: i was reading the book, part of it, i'll ask mrs. carter about that you say the president writes in there when you came back from the navy and you were doing your business work and your agriculture work in georgia, you pretty much made all the decisions to the family but in 1962 when you decided to get into politics, it changed your relationship with mrs. carter and she became more of a partner in making decisions. is that right?
mrs. carter: i didn't want to come home from the nea. my mother was at home jimmy's mother was at home by then i had become very independent. so i became a total housewife for a few years, and i pouted for a about a year. then jimmy called me and asked me to come down. he was the employer, and no employees. when he sold seed and fertilizer and then we bought produce from the farmers and so he didn't have anybody to keep -- to stay at the office while he went to visit the farmers. i came down, it got to be a habit. the children, the school house was across the street, across the highway from our office, the children would come, they were
little boys, would come over in the afternoon after school. but i -- pretty soon after the first year or so, maybe not even that long, i knew more about the business and books than he did and i could say shut down the corn mill they're not making any money. but anyway, we just developed this really good partnership that has lasted for a long time. we will have been married 69 years. [cheers and applause] mrs. carter: in july. mr. isaacson: what's your secret? president carter: one secret i learned is you write a book together once. mrs. carter: that was the worst experience of my life. we have totally different writing styles. i'm a night person, he's a morn person, to start with.
and i like to work -- i like to write at night he, doesn't like for me to write at night. that's not much of the problem. the problem was trying to remember what we did in the past, there's no possible way. you can remember 95% and we would fight, we got so we couldn't mention it without me crying. and so he started writing more. and he said that it takes me a long time to write a chapter because i want it to be just right. he can write one in an afternoon and he wants to swap so he sees mine and i see his. and he said that i was like -- my chapter was like it was
handed down on m. sigh nye and carved in con -- sinai and carved in concrete, i didn't want him to change a word. and that was true. president carter: we just decided to give up on the book. we had got an small advance, we desaied to give the advance back and cancel the book. our editor came down on the plane and said, look you agree on about 95% of the book, this other 5% is what you don't agree with. let me resolve this for you. and we said ok. he said, these paragraphs, half the paragraphs are rosalynn's, she can write them, jimmy, you can't touch them. and jimmy, the other half are yours and rosalynn's -- and
rosalynn can't change them. so if you look at our book, some paragraphs have an r next to them and some have a j. that's why we're still married today. mr. isaacson: let me take you back to world affairs. your presidency is when the iranian revolution happened. let's go back there and then also what's happening with the u.s. and iran right new. right after the iranian revolution, you kept diplomatic relations, am i correct, with iran after the revolution? but that's why the hostages, that's who they were our diplomats. do you think the ayatollah wanted to have that with the united states, the original ayatollah? president carter: no, he didn't. i think he was surprised when the young students he called them captured our diplomats at
the u.s. embassy. we had over 70 diplomats. we had about the same amount of theirs in washington. after two or three days of the students occupying the embassy, the ayatollah aligned himself with the students. then and only then the ayatollah dared to take hostages. i never have believed that he was in favor of it. mr. isaacson: do you think we could and should work to have restored relations with iran? mr. carter: yeah, i do. the elders visited iran, we go wherever we want to. i hope and pray that the present negotiations on the nuclear issue will be successful. mr. isaacson: do you think if that happens it will bring us become to the period in the 1970's where the iranian people were our strongest allies in the region? mr. carter: i don't think strongest but tentative allies.
very cautious. one of the things that putin said the night we were with him, almost to change the subject, was he said, i've had two different sessions here in russia this year in january and april of this year, with representatives from syria to try to resolve the syria issue. and he said, what -- but it hasn't been very fruitful. what i think we should do is have the united states and russia sponsor a meeting with the top leaders in the region. saudi arabia, iran, and turkey. get those leaders together and we can decide together what to do about syria. and i said, that's a wonderful idea, have you talked to
president obama about it? he said, no i haven't. i said, do you want me to make this suggestion on your behalf? he said, please do. i sent obama an email and said he asked me to write to him. and you remember john kerry went to see putin to discuss that issue, and i don't know what happened since then. mr. sigh aye mr. carter: i think he is outstanding. i think he is one of the best secretaries of state we have ever had. i think he is outstanding. [applause] walter: what about president obama's successes or failures on the world stage? how would you assess that? president carter: on the world stage, i think they have been minimal.
he has done some good things domestically. on the world stage -- to be as objective about it as i can, i cannot think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship now than when he took over. if you look at russia, england china, egypt. i am not saying it is his fault. but we have not improved a relationship with individual countries, and i would say the united states influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower now than it was six or seven years ago. and let me add -- let me repeat -- i do not blame him for it because circumstances have evolved. but i think john kerry has been a very courageous and innovative and dynamic secretary of state. as a matter of fact, when president obama was inaugurated the second term, rose and i went to the inauguration and john kerry came to our hotel room and spent two hours before the inauguration ceremony and john
kerry outlined all of the things he planned to do as secretary of state. at that time, president obama had not even visited israel era -- visited. israel. that was one of the things he said he was going to ask, for obama to visit israel, which he did later on. he tried, i think, his best to bring about a peace agreement in the mideast and do other things that i need not mention. walter: to what extent though do you think it is partly obama's fault he has not been able to establish relationships with other countries? president carter: i think -- this may not be a good thing to say to a group of americans, but i think the historical trend is for the united states to relinquish its unquestioned domination of the world's politics and economy and cultural influence.
walter: is that a good or a bad thing? president carter: i think it can be a good thing, because i think the so-called bric countries -- china is rising russia's going to come back. brazil is include -- is increasing its influence. india is increasing its influence, compared to what it was 10 years ago. i cannot say i could blame president obama for it. i think it is an inevitability. i think the thing for president obama and the next president is to say how can the united states fit in? instead of promoting the elements of a superpower. what are the elements of a superpower? this may be preaching a little bit, but i think a superpower should not only be the top country as far as military power is concerned, which we are going to continue to be, but i think the american superpower goal should be to be a champion for the piece. [applause]
--for the peace. [applause] and to be the champion of human rights. and to be the champion of the environment. and to be the most generous nation on earth. those of the elements that i hope of eventually the united states will set as goals. we have been the most warlike country on her. -- on earth. we have been a laggard in addressing the problem of global warming. we are now violating about 10 of the 30 paragraphs in the universal declaration of human rights. so, you know, i think these are opportunities for the future. walter: the two of you came on this aspen trip that a lot of us took to the arctic. i want to turn to mrs. carter --
your views, how they changed on the environment, that trip to the arctic, and also may be just what it is like traveling with president carter? [laughter] mrs. carter: i travel with him all the time. we go -- we have been to 80 countries. 80 countries, the most isolated countries in the world. but that trip to the arctic was really special, i thought. we had on that ship, i think was -- what was it? national geographic? yeah, it was national geographic. and we had everybody on the trip had to be an expert on the environment. we heard the best people. jimmy's been working on environmental issues since he was governor of georgia, marshlands. so, i think he has taught me pretty well a long time ago that
we really needed to take care of the environment. walter: president carter, in this book, which i really do urge people to read, one of the things i didn't really quite know, although i did read "hour before daylight," about growing up in a tiny, unincorporated town. you were one of only two white families and the only white kids in that town. explain how your views on race were formed there, and then i would love to take you to this past week, where we had another great confrontation on race. pres. carter: well, you're right about this. there were about 55 african-american families and our family, and i was the only child of that age. and all of my playmates when i grew up were african-american, were black boys.
and we played baseball together and fought and wrestled and went fishing and hunting and worked in the field together, so that was my life. it was during a time of racial segregation, which lasted 100 years in this country, as you know, from the 1860's to the 1960's. and i was very unaware of the racial distinctions, because we treated each other equally. whoever was the best wrestler or caught the biggest fish or hit the baseball the best was the best for an hour or two. [laughter] i didn't realize at the time that the african-american kids had inferior skills -- schools. they had to go to their own schools, their own churches. black people were not permitted to vote. they were not permitted to serve on a jury, and so forth. but my opinion was distorted by
the fact that the richest and most influential and respected person in archery was a black person, and african methodist episcopal bishop. that was the same denomination as the church in charleston. he was in charge of the ame churches in five northern states. when bishop johnson came home to archery, it would be front page in the county paper that he would be visiting his home church on the weekend. he was rich. he had a black cadillac or a black packard. he had a driver. he was a chauffeur. when he got ready to talk to my father, the custom was the black people didn't come to the front door of a white family. he wanted to abide by the mores of the south but not admit he was inferior in any way. he would send his chauffeur down
to our house to make sure my father was at home, then he would go back and get bishop johnson and drive up in our front yard and blow the horn and my daddy would go out and talk to bishop johnson in the car. i look upon him as the most successful and admirable person in my life. but later, i began to see much more clearly about the distinctions. my mother was a registered nurse, and she was immune from criticism because of treating black people as equals. after my father got a little farther along, my mother quit nursing in the hospital. she nursed in an african-american home in archery. she was supposed to get paid $6 a day for 20-hour duty. so, my sisters and i very seldom saw my mother during those times because she would come home at night at 10:00 and she would wash her uniforms and take a
shower and write instructions for us for what to do the next day, and she would go back on duty at 2:00 in the morning. she was on duty 20 hours a day. she refused to admit in any way that african-americans were not at least equal to white people. and so that, those kind of experiences really shaped my life for the future, i would say. walter: what happened in charleston last week involved three of the most controversial issues we have -- race, guns and mental health. i want to get this is carter to address them in -- get mrs. carter to address the mental health issues. what was your reaction on how people reacted with regard to race and the guns issue? pres. carter: on the race issue, i think there is no doubt that south carolina is going to finally lower the confederate flag. [applause] georgia did about 10, 12 years
ago. and the governor that lowered the confederate battle flag was defeated in the next election by republicans who were in favor of keeping the flag and the republicans have been in power in the south in georgia ever since. i think that's one thing that will be accomplished. but i don't think the nra is going to relinquish any of its present, almost disgusting influence over state legislatures or congress. [applause] we will continue to have a plethora of guns quite unnecessarily in the united states. i don't think we are going to have any need for proof of past experience of whether you're qualified to get guns. i think the nra tends to prevail, which is adapted -- dastardly -- which is a dastardly thing to have happen. and a great affliction on this
country. i'm a hunter. i've got a number of guns. but i think that anybody who gets a gun ought to be fully qualified and give a background briefing. i don't believe that we ought to authorize the sale of submachine guns and armor piercing bullets and guns in churches and guns in schools and that sort of thing. i think it is absolutely ridiculous to do that. but the nra prevails. [applause] mrs. carter: i get very upset when people with mental illness are blamed for everything that happens like that. because only 4% of all violent crimes are committed by people with mental illnesses. and if you look at the statistics or if you look at their lives, most of them, you will find, have not had access to services. people knew that they needed services, but they didn't -- the one in washington, in the capital, how many times had he been in to try to get help and could not get it?
anyway, it just -- i hope the stigma is lifting a little bit now. i have a program at the carter center, a mental health program there. and we have mental health fellowships with journalists. and when they were sitting around 18 years ago, trying to decide what else we could do to overcome stigma, and somebody said, why don't we bring journalists in and let them know about mental illnesses so they can write accurately and in-depth, and my journalists have been doing that for a long time now, and i think it has made a little bit of difference. but i just -- i do also think that stigma is beginning to lift a little bit upward on mental health issues. i've worked with mental health issues for 44 1/2 years. i started with stigma. but now, we, with our journalists and our programs in california, our international
program on trying to overcome stigma -- now, a countries including australia, to european countries, and others, have a program like that, which makes me feel really good. [applause] i do think the time has come. young people now will go for help. people don't go for help because they don't want to be labeled mentally ill. hopefully, hopefully, hopefully that stigma is beginning to lift a little bit. walter: what can we do to have more access to mental health services, especially for young people, in addition to lifting the stigma? mrs. carter: well, the largest mental health facilities in our country are the prisons and jails. you can get money for prisons and jails. it's really difficult to get money for mental health services. mental health, ever since i
started working on it, has gotten what was left over after everything was funded. the parity law is changing that a little bit. i hope it's going to change it a lot. sometimes, it takes a little while for people to get access and services because of stigma. but the parity law is insurance for mental health illnesses the same as those for any other illnesses. and i, one of my greatest disappointments in my life, was passing a mental health systems act that the next president put on the shelf and did not implement. we had parity in insurance. we had integration of services meaning -- now we are working on having somebody with a mental professional in the office of a primary care professional. and that's really helping, too. the whole country is kind of
moving that way. parity -- once people begin accessing services, i think it's going to be a flood doing that. i had parity, i had integration of services. i had incentives for people to go into the mental health profession. all of that in my bill, what 30-some years ago. walter: this was during the presidency period? mrs. carter: yes. you did work in georgia, too, the governors commission, and in the white house, the president commit -- president's commission. now i have a test program in the country at the carter center. walter: thank you for what you do. [applause] one other program you are involved with is what i will call domestic caregiving, but i would rather you describe it. explain how that works. mrs. carter: when we came home from the white house, our local state university had a small mental health program.
by the time i thought i could do something because i was writing a book and doing lots of things, by the time i thought i could do something else, i already had a good mental health program at the carter center. so, we decided to work with those caring for people with mental illnesses, because i had seen so many people, when somebody in the family would develop a mental illness, they had no idea where to go or what to do. and there are lots of services out there in the community. before the first conference that we had, a program on burnout, we brought in people in the small community. everybody knows what's going on. we had people who were caring for the very elderly family members or handicapped children who wanted to come. we invited them in. we let the university students go and sit with the ones they were caring for.
it was the most emotional meeting i've ever been to. people crying. this was 1987. people crying, saying, this is the first time i've ever been with anybody who knew how i felt that was talking to each other and we knew we had hit a real problem. so, we began that program. it has grown and grown and grown. we started working with the national guard in georgia with veterans coming to. -- coming home. and michelle and jill have a program for veterans. i wrote michelle a letter and said, "you left something out because these veterans are coming home with mental and physical problems, and somebody has to take care of them." by then, i had seen so many
young wives, particularly, who had no idea what to do when someone came home with mental illness. johnson & johnson has helped me, too. we have done program for alzheimer's caregivers. this caregiving program for veterans, going into the home and working with the families -- people who work with veterans have a hard time getting a veteran -- we talk to the family. it's a lot easier to get in. there are a couple programs i'm proud of. walter: thank you for that. [applause]
i'm going to ask president carter about two more court -- countries and then we will open it up to questions. first, china. you went there for the first time, i read, in 1949, right? when it was before -- before it had become a communist nation. and you been almost -- you have been almost every year since then, is that right? what should we be doing with china? president carter: 1949? walter: are we handling it right? are we turning them into a competitor more than a cooperative alliance? pres. carter: i got interested in china because i did go there on a submarine. this was a time when the nationalist chinese were permitted by the communists to stay in a few seaports. that's the one we visited -- those are the ones we visited. a few weeks after i left china is when the people's republic of china was formed, on october 1 1949, which was my 25th
birthday. i'm 25 years older than the people's republic of china. i've been going back ever since. when i became president, one of the things i put at the top of my agenda was to normalize the relation with china. the president had been to china in 1972 and had the shanghai communique. he announced that there was only one china, but he did not say which one. we continued under him and president ford to recognize taiwan as the only china. i committed to normalize relations, which i did january 1, 1979. i've been going to china ever since i got out of the white house almost every year. i've seen tremendous change taking place in china. they still have some serious human rights problems, but they have made a great deal of progress compared to what it used to be when the communists first took over. first, there were no bibles permitted in china. there was no religion permitted
in china when i normalized relations. i wanted to let bibles back -- i wanted him to let bibles come back and freedom of religion come back, and that's now the law of china, with some restraint. china is now the fastest growing christian country in the world. they've made some progress. under xi jinping, whom i've met five times now -- i met him three times before he was leader. under xi jinping, he has become the most powerful chinese leader since deng xiaoping. i think he is very highly committed to a nationalistic point of view, that is, china has to be preeminent. you see the long-term trend taking place where china is becoming the leader in politics and the economy. i think what the united states needs to do is to make a very firm commitment to find some
areas in which china and the united states can cooperate with each other. the last two or three times i've met with xi jinping, i have urged him to form a partnership with the united states in dealing with global warming, because i think that, no matter what they decided, if the united states and china would agree on anything, that would help prevent climate deterioration -- on anything that would help prevent climate deterioration, the rest of the world would have to go along. without diplomatic or financial or military problems, if they could agree on that one thing, it would transform the world. i think it would be the basis for further improvement. i would say that particular issue and any others we can find on which we have particular agreement, to emphasize those instead of the differences which exist between us. walter: finally, in this book, you reminded me that you were in favor of normalizing relations with yuba, -- cuba if possible
when you were president. why did you not do so? what do you think of what's happening now? pres. carter: when i became president, i saw the cuban policy was unsustainable and erroneous. so, i lifted all travel restraints on american citizens. while i was president, any american could visit cuba if they wanted to. i worked with fidel castro on moving toward full diplomatic relations. we made very good progress the first 2 1/2 years. for instance, he released 3000 political prisoners he was holding and about 1000 of them were permitted to come to the united states. we established an intersection in havana. -- we established an embassy in havana.
the last time i was there a few years ago, there were 300 people working there. our ambassador -- they have almost the same number in washington. we got right up to the point of normalizing relations, but castro went back on his word to me. he sent a large number of people do ethiopia to fight alongside the communist dictator and the russians. he also continued to try to convince some latin american countries to adopt his policy. i wish i could have normalized diplomatic relations with china, and i would have if i could have. i think what president obama has announced doing is a very good move, and i hope he will go through with it. the constitution gives the president unilateral right to recognize any government he wants to. the congress has nothing to say about it. this is one thing the president can do by himself, one of the only things i can think of.
if he wanted to, he could say, "i recognize the cuban government." i hope before he goes out of office, he will be able to do that. walter: let me open it up. as i do, let me single out bonnie and tom mccloskey. this is the first of our mccloskey speaker series. thank you very much for doing that. >> what you make of edward snowden? pres. carter: first of all, i think edward snowden violated the law and the customs of keeping our secrets secret. but at the same time, i think that his overall impact on the united states has not been a disaster. and i think what he has revealed to the american people needed to be revealed.
and i believe that what we are now seeing in congress backing out from the unlimited intrusion into the internal affairs of every human being in america is coming to conclusion because congress has now seen what snowden said. i think what he has done has been beneficial to our country in the long run. i don't think he has betrayed anybody that works in security overseas, so far as i know, but he did violate the law. i think if he comes back home, he would be tried, and that's what he's not coming back. so, in balance, i think that what he's done has been helpful to our country instead of damaging to our country. [applause] walter: yes, sir. right there. >> thank you for speaking, president carter. i wanted you to maybe address the audience, the project you have going on to eliminate parasites in africa. i think that's one of the best
things going on right now. pres. carter: the carter center started out reloading piece. -- promoting peace. i was going to have a little camp david. i would negotiate peace agreements by going to their countries. we still do a lot of that. we go to north korea. i won't list all the countries we go to. the second thing we were going to do was to promote democracy and freedom by orchestrating and helping paln -- plan and then monitoring honest elections in the world. we just finished our 100 -- our 100th election, in guyana, last month. also, dealing with issues in health care that no one else wants to do. there are diseases that the world health organization calls neglected tropical diseases. we have five of them that even medical doctors in the united
states would not know about. these are the diseases we address. also at the carter center, we have the only international task force on disease eradication in the world. we bring in top leaders from the health field in general. we analyze constantly every human illness to see which ones might possibly be eliminated from a particular country or region or eradicated from the entire world. so, we are the ones who decide and recommend to the world health organization which diseases should be targeted for elimination. we are working now on getting warm -- on guinea worm, one of the most terrible diseases in history. it's in the bible. it's the fiery serpent that attacks in the old testament.
if you remember the symbol for the medical profession, the staff wrapped with a serpent that is a guinea worm. so, we undertook this about 35 years ago, to eliminate it -- eradicate it from the world. we found it in 20 countries in india and africa and 26,600 villages, we've been in every village that had guinea worm. we found 3.6 million cases. we told people -- top people -- we taught people what to do to do away with it. i just got a report yesterday that we have five cases of guinea worm left in the world. [applause] so, if we are lucky, we will soon have guinea worm completely eradicated. walter: congratulations. were there any women? ok.
i will get to you next. pres. carter: one thing i might say, this year, the carter center will treat 71 million people for these diseases that no longer exist in the developed world but afflict hundreds of millions of people in africa primarily. 71 million. [applause] mrs. carter: and most of it is by companies that give us the medicine. walter: i'm sorry, companies that? mrs. carter: give us the medicine. pres. carter: the companies -- walter: they give you free medicine to do it. it's great to have you all in aspen. it's terrific that the aspen institute was able to bring you. president carter, when he first ran in 1976, there was a well-known as the night -- a well-known aspenite who died a
few years ago. he was one of the first to say "this man has a chance to win the presidency." can you tell us a little bit about the collegiality with hunter thompson? pres. carter: when i was governor of georgia, senator ted kennedy came down to make the main speech at the university of georgia law school. and i was going to make a speech to the alumni in a separate meeting at lunchtime. when kennedy made his speech, i was almost -- it was all most exactly what i was going to say. i went in the back room and made some notes about the problems with our judicial system in this world, in this country. i made my speech, and hunter thompson was listening to my speech. he was filling up his iced tea glass with wild turkey. after my speech, he was profoundly affected by it -- [laughter] walter: the wild turkey or the speech? pres. carter: the speech. maybe both.
he finally got a copy of my speech from the university of georgia president. he lived near aspen. whenever anybody visited him at his home near aspen, he would make them listen to my speech as a ticket to come to his house for entertainment. [laughter] when we used to come out here to ski, hunter thompson always came and spent late at night with my sons and daughter. i generally went to bed at around 2:00 in the morning. he was a very close friend of mine. he pontificated. i remember one time when i was campaigning, by the way, he insisted to my press secretary that he would interview me. hunter thompson brought a bunch of stuff out of his room and built a fire in front of her hotel room. [laughter] so, he had his idiosyncrasies, but he and i were good friends.
[laughter] mrs. carter: and only time we had little white things flying all around was when he came. [laughter] walter: did he come visit you? what was it like to host dr. thompson? mrs. carter: it was interesting. [laughter] but he did always complain, what are all those little white things in my bedroom? walter: what were they? moths? hallucinations, i get it. [laughter] yes, ma'am. >> thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. my question is for the first lady, mrs. carter. first, i would like to thank you for your service to improve the lives of people around the world. i'm very heartfelt when i think of all the humanitarian efforts you've gone to.
i'm also intrigued by the research and outreach provided through the rosalynn carter institute. is there anything else you would like to share about the institute, the research, or maybe a specific family story that comes to mind that really touched you? mrs. carter: this is one of the most interesting things. when we decided to have a program -- a mental health program in a post-conflict country, and we decided on liberia, because we already had access to information, trying to help women know what was available to them, and access to justice -- we had people all over liberia anyway. we found out they had one psychiatrist in the country. that was all. no other mental health professionals. so, we organized a program to
help the country organize a mental health program and trained 144 -- our goal was 150. we saved 144 before the ebola crisis. but when the ebola crisis came along, we started working with -- we stopped the classes, and we started working with the families of those who died and the survivors. and we did that all over the country. all of the access to justice and access to information people. on may 9, ebola -- libera was declared -- liberia was declared ebola free by the world health organization. that's one of the things my program did. it seemed a miracle to me with a note mental health workers, then -- with no mental health workers, then to have 144 in the ebola crisis.
it was a miracle that we were there to do that. [applause] walter: the woman in the back. you've got it. shout. i'm trying to get our staffers physical fit by calling on people in the back for a change. >> thank you, rosalynn, mr. president. we would like to ask a favor from you. we just got married. my new husband -- my only husband. you are really nice and good example for us, how did get -- how to get together for such long years. that's why we thought, if it was possible, to ask you a favor to sign as a witness on our marriage license. walter: i would leave it up to the president and mrs. carter.
maybe we could see what could be handled. this will be -- we will try to make it quick and get one more afterwards. >> given what you said about america promoting human rights how does that or how should it affect america's alliance with saudi arabia? pres. carter: that's a very difficult question to answer. because i'm particularly interested, which we haven't mentioned this time, about the rights of women. i wrote about that, describing all the abuses of women in the world. the most horrible human rights of use on earth. -- the most horrific human rights abuse on earth. saudi arabia is one of the chief culprits in mistreating women. it's almost impossible for a woman in saudi arabia, even if
she graduates from college, to get a job and hold a job. women are not permitted to go on the sidewalks were into stores -- sidewalks or into stores shopping in saudi arabia unless accompanied by a husband or another man. she has to wear a veil. women are not promoted to vote -- women are not permitted to vote or to drive a not a mobile in saudi arabia -- drive an automobile in saudi arabia. i wish the united states was not supporting saudi arabia in their bombing of yemen, by the way. it is important to have saudi arabia supporting our policies within the arab world. it is no doubt that the king of saudi arabia, the protector of two holy places that all muslims worship, is a valuable ally. the united states has to swallow its commitment to human rights in order to have good relations with saudi arabia, because saudi arabia can help us in many ways concerning stability of the oil and dealing with other arab
countries. it's not a good answer, because there is no clear answer to it. but you cannot be absolutely pure in saying that human rights has to come above everything because there are some human rights abusers with whom we have to negotiate and deal. by the way, the carter center, we meet quite freely with human rights abusers and people who are basically outcasts in the international world, because they are the only ones who can end the human rights abuses or bring peace to an unnecessary war. so we meet with them in order to try to negotiate peace and to promote human rights. walter: it's a good question, and there is no simple answer. there is a young woman who everybody keeps pointing to. you get the last question. you have lots of fans. >> i have a question for president carter. i know you haven't spoken on this yet, but i know you left your church. can you please describe what led
you to do that? pres. carter: for 70 years, i was very active in the southern baptist convention. i was on international boards of directors and things of that kind. but in the year 2000, the southern baptist convention decided at their convention in florida to depart from what i consider the holy scriptures. and they ordained, for instance, that women had to be subservient to their husbands and inferior in the eyes of god. and they also decided that a woman could not be a deacon in the church or a pastor or priest in the church for a chaplain in the military forces. and in addition to that, they even went so far as to say that a woman who taught in the baptist seminaries couldn't teach a class if there was a boy among the students.
so, because of the obvious discrimination against women, we decided to withdraw our allegiance to the southern baptist convention. [applause] we still belong to a baptist church, merrin off the baptist church -- maranatha baptist church in plaines. i hope you will come and visit not all on the same sunday. [laughter] we have women deacons. rosa was the most famous woman back to -- woman baptist deacon in the world when she was a deacon. the chairman of our board of deacons is a woman out. we have had women pastors as well as men pastors. our baptist church demonstrates that women, without question should be equal in the eyes of god. [applause]
walter: that is a beautiful sentiment that ties in everything you've been doing for 90 years. -- i have one quick, little question, which is, you told me found a better fishing spot that you even told president putin about. pres. carter: the year before last -- last year in june, we went fishing in the pinoy river in russia, west of murmansk. we had already finished in the -- already fished in the eastern part. then we were closer to new york than we were to moscow. we had a wonderful visit there. when i got to fishing in the pinoy river in russia, i wrote president putin a letter and
told him he might enjoy going there to fish and also to continue to protect the stream and not let it be to spoilt -- be despoiled in any way. if you go to norway or to canada to fish for atlantic salmon, if you catch two a week, that's really good. during the five days we fished in russia, together, we caught 38 atlantic salmon. it's the best fishing of your life. go to russia and fish in the pinoy river. i hope that president putin will protect this river. it's when i asked him to do. mrs. carter: we fly fish and we catch and release and we press in the barb on the hook so it
won't hurt the fish. walter: i always feel that flyfishing is a sport for life. what you've done is been good stewards of the planet and good servants of humanity, for which we thank you very much, mrs. carter, president carter. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> brazilian president dilma rousseff is in washington with me -- for meetings with president obama. the two will hold a press conference at noon eastern with live coverage on c-span. >> up next, 2016 republican presidential candidate my cup of a -- mike huckabee talks about -- this is about an hour.
mr. huckabee: thank you again to all the first responders who are here. -- mr. thompson: i am jonathan thompson. today is a great honor for the association. we are taking ourselves in a new direction. with that goes so many obligations, so many opportunities that we, as an association in launch oarsman can and should -- in law enforcement, can and should take advantage of. today represents the first time ever presidential candidates have been invited to participate in your annual conference. all of the candidates for president of the united states received an invitation to participate in this event and talk to you, the men and women in uniform who do walk that line, to hear your questions, to talk with you about the issues
you face every single day. republican and democrat, they were all invited. ladies and gentlemen, i want you to take notice over the next couple of days as to who is here . i want you to take notice of the people that aren't here. and i want you to take notice of those that are here, that they are standing tell with you and they are renting -- they are answering your questions and they are talking to you. they are not talking at you. they are talking with you. our first candidate is former arkansas governor mike huckabee. governor huckabee has the distinction of being one of the longest standing governors in that state's history. he left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of state's road system, k through 16 education reform and a heralded and duplicated health
initiative that focus on the less expensive approach to prevention than the closely big government top-down approach of intervention. "governing magazine" named the governing as one of its public officials of the year in 2000 510 "time magazine" countered him as one of the five best governors in america. he has been honored by numerous organizations for his commitment to music education. he served as the chairman of the prestigious national governors association as well as the education commission of the states. may southern governors association and the interstate oil and gas commission. governor huckabee is also a new york times best-selling author former host of number one weekend show on fox news channel and a longtime radio personality. governor huckabee is an avid musician and a bass player.
his hobbies also include hunting and fishing. he was named one of the 25 most influential people for conservation by "outdoor life magazine" and was named the end of the year by an american sportfishing association. the former governor and his wife, janet, who is seated here with us today, have three grown children and five grandchildren. ladies and gentlemen, please stand and welcome governor mike huckabee. [applause] governor huckabee: thank you very much. i am kind of that all the republican candidates did not show up this week.
otherwise, your conference would have been extended by three more days considering how many they are and still growing. a lot of people have said, is it going to be difficult having that number of candidates and how in the world will we sort them out? i do have a solution to that. i don't know if it will go over with some of the others. for me, it is a very simple one. they all drop out and endorse me and then we move on. i think that would be a great idea. maybe we can encourage them to do that. it is an honor to be with you today and i appreciated the tribute that you have given today to the members of a baltimore police department, well-deserved. and i want to say that, one of the reasons i look forward to being with you is that you serve one of the most important parts of law enforcement in the country in that every single one of the 3000 plus sheriffs in america are elected by the people of their communities. so we always know that the motto
of law enforcement is to protect and to serve them for the sheriff's office, if you don't serve, they will send you home. and if you do serve, they will appreciate it by reelecting you. it is one of the important elements of our lump -- our law enforcement community because of that. we are living in some very challenging times, to say the least. i am afraid that my kids and even more significantly my five grandchildren are growing up in a very different kind of america than the one that i was so blessed to grow up in as a little kid down in south arkansas. a few years ago, as governor, it was always my duty sometime during october, when they have national reading week, to go to a public school and sit down and read a story to children and it would cause the press to come in and take photos and you whole
point was to encourage people to read. so i was scheduled to be at the georgia elementary school and spring arkansas on a saturday morning. i had been in the junior high science fair earlier that day. it had run a little late. by the time i got to georgia elementary, i was already if you meant behind. the principal met me at the door ringing her hands say we have to hurry the kids are down there and waiting for you. so we hurried down the hall to melanie keyes's first-grade class at the george elementary school. all the kids were sitting on the floor facing forward. why -- right in front of them was one of those little first-grade shares for me. -- chairs for me. they handed me the book that they wanted me to read. i looked at these kids and i thought, i just don't want to break into the story. i want to spend a moment or two getting to know them. these efforts graders. i said, before i read this
story, kids, would any of you like to say something or ask a question? being first-graders, every hand went up, everyone of them. i thought, boy, this is going to be easy. so i pointed doing to and another and i noticed right in front of me, dead center in front of me was a little girl and she just did not have her hand up. she had her hand up like this, making sure that i could see that her hand was waving vigorously in my face. i wondered how long could you keep this up? so i thought, ok, i will go to every other kid but her and see it she can handle this. sure enough, for the next several minutes, it did not matter who i talked to. she was waving their hand at me. i was going to run kid and another and they were saying things what they were going to halloween. i could not imagine what this logo was so enthusiastic about. i was hoping she would say
that's what this little girl was so enthusiastic about. i was hoping that she would say my mother thinks you are the best governor we ever had. finally, she is the last one standing and she still has it going. i said, yes, sweetheart, i know you want to ask something. so you go ahead. i later found out it was ashley. what was it you wanted to say to me? she looked up at me and she says governor, we are already late for lunch. [laughter] you see, i found out that wednesday was found on day at george elementary. the truth is the little girl did not care that the governor of her state came other way across arkansas to read to her class of all the schools in the state of arkansas. what matter was wednesday was corndog day and if we didn't hurry up and get through that story and get those kids to the cafeteria, she might miss her corndog or else it might be cold. needless to say, my staff give
me the business about that. they were calling me governor corndog for a while. until i reminded them that i would be calling them former members of the staff if they kept that up for that little girl, the only thing that mattered to her was getting to her corndog on time. and i tell you, i wish to god that little girl never had to worry about anything more important than her corndog. unfortunately, she is going up in a world in which there are far more things to say against her than her corndog. we sometimes have heard the expression "there is a new sheriff in town." i would say that america is going to be in real trouble unless we get some new leadership in town. there has got to be an
understanding that the direction this country is going is going to make it very difficult for little girls like ashley to grow up and not worry about things like: dogs. she is going to ask on dobbs. she is going to have to worry about whether or worry about things like corndogs. she is going to have to worry about whether or not foreigners will come into this country and attacker. there are some elements in our culture that want to put to the blame on the police officers which is about as smart as blaming the umpire when the pitcher beams the batter. they result of a lot of this anti-police sentiment across this country from elected officials, a starting with the attorney general, is we have seen a 24% increase of police officers killed and killings are
up by 56% of all officers killed by firearms just this year alone. it's never been more dangerous to be a cop. and i don't think the problem is that we have too many police officers or that they have too much power. the fundamental problem is that we have too many criminals and they have too much power and we have not given the respect to the law enforcement community and the individual officers that i know i was raised with as a kid. we're living at a time of rebellion of the lawless and lawbreakers. here in the city of baltimore, we saw what happens when a mayor and district attorney disparage the local police trying to keep the city safe. baltimore has the fifth highest
murder rate in u.s. cities of cities 100,000 and up in population. when the baltimore mob rioted, doing millions and millions of dollars of damage in this city, putting 144 vehicles on fire and injuring 114 police officers, it was not the police that we needed to worry about. it was the lack of a unified support at the highest levels of leadership for those who went out there and held the thin blue line against anarchy. [applause] governor huckabee: in the city of baltimore, one in 70 are likely to be a victim of violence and in west baltimore it's one in 48. to give you contrast, in fort worth, texas, it's more like 1 in 179. in new york, where a new mayor
decided that some of the policies of the previous mayors which had been very effective in dramatically reducing murders and violent crime, he thought their methods were too heavyhanded so he reversed them and shootings are up 20% in new york city from just a year ago. and in chicago, already this year there have been 209 murders 1,035 people have been shot so far, just through today. 77% of those homicide victims are african american. and over 18% of them are hispanic. i find it interesting that throughout most of america the cities with the highest crime rates are run by the most liberal mayors and governments
in the country and often have the strictest gun control. it would seem that somebody might put all this together and realize that the problem is not that we have police officers on the street and we have too many of them. the problem is that we have too many criminals on the street and the very people in leadership positions setting policy, instead of getting behind their police agencies, are standing in front of them and protecting the criminals instead of protecting the police officers, and, folks, we will never get the crime rate down in this country until we stop it. [applause] governor huckabee: my wife and i both have conceal carry permits and not because we don't trust the cops. thank you, that's the sound of
one hand clapping. i like that. it's a simple matter of reality. that if someone breaks into my house at 2:00 a.m. and wants to do injury to my family or to me i'm not going to stand there and be a helpless victim for the next 10 to 20 minutes waiting on law enforcement to come because they may be that far away. i'll still call 9-1-1, all right, but i'll be calling them to tell them where to come and pick up the carcass of the idiot who tried to break into my home at 2:00 a.m. [applause] governor huckabee: i want to speak to the reasons for the lawlessness of our country because i think there are many but i'm convinced the single most important reason is not because of policing methods for gosh sake. it's because of the breakdown of
the basic family unit which is the single most important unit of all government. we sometimes think if we can just replace the people in various levels of the government, that all would be fine. but the first form of government that all of us experience is the government in our own family. and i know what i'm about to say is not politically correct but then again, i don't have a habit of being all that politically correct. but the fact is, repeated studies have shown that children growing up in a dysfunctional or in a broken family environment are three times more likely to get into drugs, to get into juvenile delinquency and to get into crime. deviant behavior goes up dramatically when children do not have a home in which they are taught not only love but respect for authority. and if kids don't grow up
respecting the authority of mom and dad, it's very difficult for them to grow up and have the respect of their government, including their police officers. look, i grew up in a different time and i know that and some people think i'm a throwback. i don't really care what people might say about it. here's what i know, that i was raised that if i got in trouble at school, i was already in trouble at home. [applause] governor huckabee: if i got in trouble at school, my message to the principal wasn't, you're going to hear from my family's lawyer. it was, please, dear god, no matter what you do do anything to me you want to, just do not let my parents know i got in trouble. i was a little bit of afraid of the school. i was scared to death of my father. my father was old school. my dad was probably the most patriotic guy i ever knew. he laid on the stripes, i saw stars.
old-fashioned patriotism. my parents taught me, if the police officer says stop, you don't turn around and say "why?" and if you want to argue with a police officer, the time and place to do it is if you think you have a case and you take it to court but by golly, out on the street, he's boss and you're not. why don't we raise kids to understand that without a respect for the fundamentals of authority, our whole social contract breaks down and disintegrates? behavior is largely the result of the value system that we're raised with. a few years ago a prison warden had a great idea. he thought that it would be nice to offer all of the inmates in the prison an opportunity to send a mother's day card to
their mothers. he provided the cards and the postage and all the inmates had to do was go by, pick up the card already stamped, write in the card, address it to their mothers and it would be mailed to them. almost 100% of the inmates who had living mothers all got a mother's day card and they wrote the card, put it in the envelope and the warden was blown away with the success of it and the manner in which the inmates appreciated that opportunity so he thought, if it was this great for mother's day, we should do this next month for father's day so again, he put forward the same invitation and said, anybody would like to send a card to your father, come by and pick one up, we'll pay the postage. all you've got to do is write the card and address it. not one inmate picked up a card. not one. the tragedy is that we have not fully appreciated the impact of
kids growing up without parents who give them the most fundamental understanding of what makes a society work. in this city, in baltimore, only 16% of the teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 are raised in an in-tact family. i want to say it again. the problem in america with crime is not that we have too many police officers, it's that we have too few fathers who are raising their kids to respect authority and to understand how this country works when people are willing to do that which is right against that which is wrong. that's what our problem is. most of us were raised with a simple philosophy, probably drilled into it by our parents that said do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the golden rule. i know my mother certainly drilled it into me. as a governor for 10 1/2 years and before that as lieutenant
governor, one of the things i noticed about our state budget was that a lot of things we spent money for we spent money because there was a breakdown in the moral code of our citizens. i know there are a lot of people and i get beat up about this a lot of times -- don't talk about morality, let's talk about lower taxes and cutting government. but let me explain. that's a wonderful idea, but the fact is, the breakdown of the moral code of our society is the cause of a lot of the cost of our society. in every state in this country it costs more money to put a person in prison for one year than it does to put that same person in a four-year college or university and pay full tuition room and board, and buy their books and in most cases they'd havemoney -- have money left over for spending money, and yet
we incarcerate more people every year because it's the only way we can protect law-abiding citizens. the cost of juvenile justice is staggering. in my state 10 years ago, the cost of taking a juvenile into our system and making that juvenile a ward of the state was over $80,000 a year that would cost the taxpayers. when people say don't tell me about morality, let's talk money, i'm going to say to you if we don't get the morality of this country straightened out, we'll never get the money issue straightened out because the breakdown of the morality of our citizens is very, very costly. everything we do in government is the response of somebody messing up. we had 323 boards, agencies and commissions in the state and they weren't there because people needed more government. they were there because in every particular world we had to regulate something. if had 10 tow truck operators and one were good and there was
one bad apple, the nine good ones would say we need a law that protects against these predators. we need a board that will administer the law. and the next thing you know, we've appointed a board we have regulations, rules and fines because the overwhelming majority of good people have to protect themselves against the minority of the bad and this is true whether it's regulations of business, or whether it's a matter of creating laws against crime. i visited all of the prisons in my state over the course of 10 1/2 years and i'm happy to say i only visited them as a very brief guest. i never inhabited one, unlike one of my predecessors. we had a saying in arkansas the five most feared words of an arkansas politician are these
"will the defend please rise." but in visiting the prisons, one of the things i asked our prison director, i said, how many people are here because of drugs and alcohol? he said in the entire arkansas department of corrections, 88% of the inmates incarcerated were there for a drug or alcohol-related crime. they either committed a crime to get drunk or high or they were drunk or high when they committed a crime. as he reminded me, we don't really have a crime problem, we have a drug and alcohol problem. and so it is that the breakdown of our individual understanding of personal responsibility has a dramatic impact upon how much it costs us as taxpayers. mental health is a huge issue. there are a lot of people we are incarcerating that we should be treating but that's expensive. i would also tell you it's very
expensive to continue to have people who come in and out of the system who are very desperately mentally ill and instead of getting treatment for their mental illness, we simply warehouse them for a while and then we turn them back on the streets and then they turn around and get back into the system. that revolving door has proven to be very costly. we need to return to law and order in this nation, teach respect of the law and respect of those who enforce it. during my time as governor, i had to carry out more executions than any other governor in the history of the state. it was largely because, for a long time, all executions had been placed on hold. the supreme court, by the time i took office, a lot of those cases had built up and once the green light was given to go back to executing those who had been deemed worthy of the death
penalty, a lot of those cases fell toward me. i took every one of those cases very seriously. because i knew something that every decision that i made as a governor if it was wrong somebody could come back and fix it. but there was one decision that i was solely responsible for making that had irrevocable consequences because once you've carried out an execution you cannot unring that bell. and because of the gravity of it, i would take every case individually and i would get the entire case file for that inmate. i would read through every single page, which included the crime scene photos, the interrogation reports, the trial transcript, the appellate court transcript, every motion filed.
sometimes it could be several large file boxes filled with file folders and it sometimes would take weeks, if not months, to go through every single page of it using every spare moment i had to thoroughly read those case files. and the reason i did that because i understood that if there was an injustice in the process of of that individual, it was my somber duty to be his last line of defense. and it was also my solemn duty to carry out that execution that had been dutifully processed by a legislature which created a law, the police force which apprehended the criminal, a prosecutor when prosecuted him and a judicial branch which had already by now reviewed that case repeatedly and now it was my responsibility to make sure
that all that which had been done up to that point was carried out lawfully and appropriately. the night of an execution was the worst night of my life. for those who think that one can go through that process with a cavalier spirit, they're made of something different than me. i never flinched to do my duty and responsibility but it was never something that i ever came to enjoy or take lightly. and part of the reason was is because i knew that if i made that decision, it was irrevocable. i tell you that because every time i had to make the decision to carry out an execution and to take a human life that had been properly adjudicated as guilty of a heinous crime, i had weeks if not months, to work through that decision and be absolutely certain that i was right.
but when you and your colleagues in law enforcement step up to the window of a car at 2:00 a.m. and you have no idea who's in that car and what their intentions are, when you get out of your car on a city street and you approach someone and you stop them to ask them what they're doing, you don't have weeks. you don't have months. you have to make a decision within split seconds that i had weeks and months to prepare for. and for this country not to understand and appreciate the extraordinary challenge that we put men and women in uniform through in this country, shame on us for not telling people what you have to do and how little time you have to do it!
[applause] governor huckabee: i'm blessed to have glen -- grown up in this great land of america. i did not grow up blue blood but blue collar. i was born in the little town of hope arkansas, that you may have heard of before for other reasons. my dad was a firefighter. and on his days off he worked as a mechanic. it took two jobs and he barely could make enough money to pay the rent on the little orange brick red house we lived in on second street in hope. my dad never finished high school. his dad didn't, either, and his dad before him didn't. in fact, no male upstream from me had ever finished high school much less to go to college so i'm the first male in my entire family lineage to get out of
high school and to go to college. when i was 8 years old my dad said son, a governor of a state is going to come down here to our part of arkansas and he's going to dedicate a lake tomorrow. i'm going to take you down there to let you hear the governor make a talk because son, you may live your whole life and never see the governor in person. no one would have been able to convince him that one day his son would become the 44th governor of arkansas. folks, the american dream for me is not abstract, it's not something i've heard other people tell about, not something i've read about. it's something i have lived and i love this country because it's been so incredibly good to a kid like me. i feel like i owe something back. and one thing i believe that i
owe back is to try to make sure that this country once again stands behind those in uniform has a clear understanding of the respect of law and order, and that we would hold up those who hold up our laws rather than throw them under the proverbial bus. i had the privilege of being the 44th governor of arkansas. it is my hope and perhaps with your help i would be able to become the 45th president of the united states. thank you, and god bless you. appreciate the opportunity to be with you today. [applause]
>> governor, thank you. that was inspiring. we appreciate that. before i begin, i want to share with you a couple of insights. today, thanks to cisco corporation and verizon, there are probably several thousand sheriffs and deputies across this country that are watching this and we thank them so very much because they are such a huge part of what we're trying to do for the american people. but there's also something that's unique happening today and that is that c-span, that little entity, has covered this event live for a multitude of people across the country and i know that when you speak and they covered it, the nation's watching and the nation's
listening and we appreciate your support. thank you very much. governor huckabee: thank you. >> as you and i talked about a little bit earlier, as you pointed out, there are a number of folks in the audience and across the country with questions. we reached out to our members over the past several months and said what is it you would like to ask a candidate for president of the united states and questions cover an amazing landscape so i have in front of me a few questions and i have some sheriffs in the audience that i believe would like to ask you questions, as well. let me start. governor -- and this, just to repeat these aren't my questions because that would be unfair. i want our members to ask these questions. governor, our nation's infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks and disruptions to our electrical grid. as president, how would you equip local law enforcement agencies to deal with such threats?
easy question, right? a lot of moving parts. governor huckabee: i don't think most americans understand how much at risk we are for an attack on the electrical grid whether it's by a terrorist bomb whether it's by some electronic cyber crime where someone gets into the system that controls our grid and is able to hack into the system. the most ominous threat would come from an electromagnetic pulse which a lot of people haven't heard of but it's the thought of exploding some nuclear twice overhead of anelectriccal grid which would fry everything electronic. experts say if that were to happen, it would turn most americans into dead people within a year because everything goes into a screeching halt. we would go from being the land of the jetsons to the land of
the flintstones in a matter of hours and it's a reason why the thought of someone like iran getting a nuclear weapon ought to scare the daylights out of us. the other imminent threat is giving up a piece of the grid. and giving law enforcement the tools of intelligence, the single greatest asset we need have and also giving them the electronic tools, i don't think we do nearly the job we should be doing in terms of protecting against cyber attacks. we've seen just last week what happens when supposedly the chinese have now hacked into the personnel records of upwards of 20 million government employees. the one positive out of all of that, it is the only hope we have of maybe recovering lois lerner's emails from the i.r.s., get them from the chinese.
but it is a serious issue that we need to put first and foremost as a serious threat to the safety and security of our communities. >> i know that there are some sheriffs representing interesting states, maybe like iowa, might have interests there. some other states like florida. i see one of those sheriffs is about to take the stage and i'd like to ask him to take the next question. governor i see ted comacho former president of n.s.a. and a sheriff from iowa. you have a question for the governor. >> thank you very much. governor, thank you very much for being here. it's very important to all of us. you touched on mental health a minute ago in your speech and i appreciate that very much. one of the things happening across america is you know all the jails predominantly run by the office of sheriff and are
funded locally. one of the things we're seeing is those jails are becoming mental health institutes. we're starting to have to house more and more people who have mental illness and problems and that's very costly from a treatment standpoint and from a medical standpoint. when a person comes into a county jail, medicare, medicaid, all those benefits halt even though the person hasn't been adjudicated guilty yet, they're pretrial. what happens is they get back on the street and sadly it's difficult for them to get those support services back. if you become president, would you work to straighten that system out so the sheriffs can get help while they're in our jails and later those people can get the help they need when they get back out? governor huckabee: i assure you i would. as a governor, one of the biggest battles we fought was dealing with the complexities
itties of the medicare program. every governor i spoke with said they would take less dollars to be given flexibility of the medicaid program, including not cutting off the medical portion of medicaid for those adjudicated, especially those preadjudicated. that's been a huge problem. one way to make that change is to get congress to make medicaid a block grant program back to the states where the people who live in your state who might know more about what your needs are than some bureaucrat in washington who's never been to iowa, let you guys make that decision and it may not look the same in all 50 states. that's exactly the point. each state should say this is how we want to structure our medicaid program. i was chairman of the national governor's association. we had 49 of the first governors
in america sign on to a medicaid reform package to present to congress in which we went to congress and said we will take less money for more flexibility. you would think that would be a slam dunk and congress would jump all over that. 49 out of 50 governors. there was only one governor who didn't sign on, rod blagojevich and you know how he turned out. the rest of them, everybody was on board. i thought this would be easy, this will be a lay-up. you couldn't believe how tough it was and how much we had to fight through the senate finance committee and i'm sitting out there getting a lecture from jay rockefeller, ted kennedy and john kerry on why they didn't think it was a good idea because i didn't understand poverty and i'm thinking guys, i grew up in
poverty and i never thought i would get a lecture on what it's like to live in poverty by jay rockefeller and ted kennedy. this one other thing about mental health that has created a problem, in the 1970's, public policy shifted. we wanted to start mainstreaming. the novel idea to not institutionalize people because of mental health issues. but we have a lot of people on the streets who cannot function. there are some people we tried to mainstream we will never be able to mainstream. they are simply dysfunctional. they end up in jail because it is an easier place to warehouse them. we cannot put them