tv New Member Interview with Representative Mike Johnson CSPAN July 20, 2017 3:57am-4:10am EDT
looting occurred, fire started, and it was not just black folks. >> join us for an american history tv special on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 detroit riots. live, sunday, starting at noon eastern on c-span3. congressman mike johnson represents louisiana's fourth just are in the northwest part of the state. as part of our freshmen profile interview series, we talked to him about his political career and what he hopes to a publishing washington. this is 10 minutes. we are talking with representative mike johnson of louisiana, the fourth district. things for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> my background is in for 20utional law,
years, i did litigation in courts, public interest law firms so i did religious liberty litigation. served in the legislature for short-term, little under two years. was elected to a full term but never got a chance to serve it out because the seat became open when the predecessor ran for the u.s. senate, and we jumped in and it turned out well. we round up with the largest winning percentage in my district. we are really blessed and privileged to be here. >> tell us what made you decide to get into this race? what was the ultimate deciding factor? rep. johnson: i am the father of four children under the age of my wife and i have invested all 16. of our adult lives in trying to make a better opportunity for them, as all parents do. i come from the state of louisiana. in relative terms, it is a poor state or one of the less , well-off, let's say that, least well-off. there is a lot of concerned in my district. i represent 15 parishes or counties in louisiana. there is a lot of cultural differences along that big area
, geographic area but their , concerns are the same. that is the common concerns about the jobs and the economy. we need more opportunity for economic mobility. create opportunities for everyone. the american dream should be within our grasp. but it has not been in recent years. national security and the threat of terrorism and all these things are universal concerns. we look at that and i felt we had something to offer. out there,ourselves and the people sent us here to do that good work. >> what is the difference between serving as a state representative and what you experience your serving in washington, d.c.? rep. johnson: there is a lot of similarities. to be honest, people are surprised to year this back home when i say it, but it is the level of congeniality that you find amongst the colleagues here. it is not just within the various conferences, but even across the aisle.
in our freshman class, it has been a great experience. there was 55 of us that came in together, and we have all just worked really well together. we have developed some friendships. there is a common sense of unity over overarching purposes. at our freshman retreat, we talked about how we talked about how he wanted to change the tone in i just did a document called washington and raise the level of civility. i just did a document called"the commitment to civility." 53 out of 55 find onto that. we made a contract with one another that we would raise the level of the corm around here decorum around here. >> that national day of stability, how does it play out? maybe leadership what was the , reaction? rep. johnson: everyone has gotten behind it. we are in a different era now. after the shooting a few weeks back from a -- steve scalise is from louisiana. you saw even in national media,
there has been a lot of discussion about the general lamentation that people have that the level of discourse is ultimately leading to violence now, and a large majority of the american people now, three fourths of the american people believe that is true. there is a recognition that we need to change that. it has been really gratifying and encouraging to see people from different parties different , political ideas and persuasions agreeing on the idea that we need to do this better. that is what the founders envisioned and intended. that level of statesmanship that we used to regard and respect in this country i think we can get , back to that. it will do a great service to everyone. >> ultimately even aside from , unity that you want to pursue, you want to make an impact as an individual. as a freshman, how do you go about doing that? rep. johnson: you put your head down and you get your work done. , we recognize we have serious challenges in this country. we are the most free and
most prosperous, most successful nation in the history of the planet yet we have these , tremendous challenges. those who are willing to roll up their sleeves, put in the work. i was in this last night working until 12:45 last night. i got up at 5:30 this morning. that is what it requires to do the job right, do it well. those were willing to do that can make an impact. we are seeing that. >> how do you keep yourself centered? rep. johnson: you keep perspective and you remember why you came here and who you represent. that is a motivating factor to know that these tremendous challenges we are facing, we are offering real solutions and doing it on behalf of the people who don't always have a voice. we are your voice. when i go home, i do town halls. we did the recess and many meetings around the district. to be in front of the people that we represent and to remember, these are real struggles that we are having on the ground-level back home. we have an opportunity -- an
historic opportunity -- to fix some of those things. that is what keeps you going. that is the fuel. it doesn't feel like hard work sometimes, even though it is, because we know there is a tremendous impact that can be made, and that is what keeps you going. >> since you have been here, who have you looked at as a role model? who have he reached out to get the -- who have you reached out to? rep. johnson: we are blessed in the republican congress. those in leadership are very accessible. one of the best things i do, i live in my office. in the morning, we all meet up in the gym, that is where the showers are in the real action takes place, because there is no staff, no media. it is just members. you can approach leadership or anyone there and talk about policy, ideas. it is a great thing. it is bipartisan, too. you get to form your relationships with folks. that has been great. there have been so many people
who i think get great pleasure in helping to mentor. this morning, i had a breakfast with doug collins, who is a senior member from georgia. he is one in particular who has been really great about reaching out and trying to help us learn the ropes. it has made us all more effective. we are really grateful for that. >> did mr. scalise offer any advice to you? rep. johnson: of course. we have been friends a long time. he has always been one of my great advisors. he is very generous. i am not unique, because so many people have said that about the whip and that is just who he is as a person. >> what is the greatest piece of advice he has ever given you? rep. johnson: he said be careful about the early alliances you make. you need to assess the whole scope and the whole situation before you get marginalized or labeled.
that has been some key advice , you know. you want to be regarded as one who is levelheaded and someone who will evaluate everything on its merits and not just stake out a position in a corner. we have been very deliberate about doing that. i think that is what the voters back home expect. >> you mentioned your family. tell us about them. rep. johnson: i have been way to my -- i have been married to my wife, kelly, for 19 years now. we have had four children. i'm blessed that my family is really into this. they see it as a calling. as i do. so families have to be pretty , long-suffering in a role like this, but they are. god has been gracious to us to cover our bases. i am a blessed man. >> is it difficult to keep connection with them on a day-to-day? rep. johnson: it is hard to miss
baseball games and practices. we use facetime. technology is great. i see my children every night before they go to bed, talk to them, catch up with their day. it makes a difference. it is great to get home and open the front door and have the "daddy."old run up and it allows you to keep perspective and remember why we are doing all of this. i'm doing this job for them. all of our children and grandchildren so they have the , same opportunity, the same country that we have all , appreciated and enjoyed. i think my kids understand that. they are really into what text we are doing. >> as far as committees, what do you serve on? what do you hope to bring to them? rep. johnson: that is a great committee because it has such broad jurisdiction. so many things affecting our country. everything from criminal law to maintaining our civil rights, constitutional rights.
everything from border security, immigration, criminal justice system. lots of authority there. i am grateful to be there. i am on the importance of committees, dealing with hot button issues. it is really important for our state of louisiana. i was really grateful to get a vice chairmanship of the oversight committee. we were doing important work there. positions for our state. the po boy how is gumbo market? of. johnson: there is a lot of things that masquerade as cajun food. we do washington, d.c. mardi gras and draw thousands of people who come to sample the real stuff, so we got a taste of louisiana here on the hill. >> thanks for your time. rep. johnson: thanks for your time. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, every dayday -- live
with news and policy issues that impact you. south carolina republican congressman mark sanford discusses his call for civility on capitol hill. and california democratic congressman jimmy panetta talks about the newly created democratic caucus national security task force. be sure to watch c-span's at 7:00on journal, live a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. >> sunday night on afterwards, at chirac incident report on how smear tactics are used to influence public opinion in her book "the smear." she is interviewed by washington post media critic eric wimple. >> you hammer the washington post, who you feel has not properly reported on this
incident as opposed to saying donald trump, why are you smearing john mccain? >> this was the washington post wrote about. number two, i am not here to cheer on or defend john mccain are donald trump. i think people mistake when you criticize media behavior for how it treats donald trump. it does not mean i support him or i am cheering him on. separatese are things. it is read often as you must be supporting him or you do not y because you said this. it is what ics fair, accurate media coverage about the candidate. i have spoken out frequently about that including washington post coverage. >> watch afterwards on book tv. >> the presidential advisory commission on election integrity held its first meeting with vice president mike pence chairing the et