tv Retirement Interview w Senator Orrin Hatch CSPAN November 10, 2018 8:00pm-8:34pm EST
giving our speakers a very big hand. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> next, c-span's congressional exit interviews with utah and congress hatch senator who are both retiring at the end of the session. after that, a discussion on the impact of artificial intelligence on national security. withc-span's interview orrin hatch. he is retiring after 42 years in office. he talks about his childhood, his love of music and his friendship with the late senator ted kennedy. this is about 30 minutes. sen. hatch: a longest-serving republican senator in u.s. history.
42 years. what has kept you hear all of these years? sen. hatch: i am one of the people who has chaired many committees. the work that i do is really important. for instance, when i chaired the labor and human resource committee, there was hundreds of bills that covered everything from health care, the government to you name it. i felt like i was doing the lords work and everything i possibly could. process, helped to bridge the gap between democrats and republicans. the most notable was ted kennedy who came over to work for me party.ey became the and then the relationship blossomed into all kinds of important legislation. i worked with so many other democrats to do good work. to get it done they would have to come across and do it the right way. >> why do you call it the lords
work? sen. hatch: i do not i would be not for here if it was extra help. i believe this is the most important government in the world. the most important country in the world. this nation was brought about by our father in heaven and that we have an obligation to keep it going. -- i don't see how anybody can have doubt when you see the original pilgrims and people during the revolutions and so forth were able to develop this country. all after year after year, of the problems, civil war, and the other world wars that we have had, we have been able to not only survive but become the world leaders. the world leader. that just could not happen without higher help, it seems to me. >> why retiring now?
here 42ch: i have been years. i am 84 years of age. i can still do it all and i still work very, very hard. if i hadot of retired found somebody that would really be good in this position. i did chat with mitt romney and i think you would make an excellent senator and i believe he will be the next senator from utah. can he do what i do? probably not because i have been how long enough and i have chaired three major committees and the most viable committee in the congress right now, the finance committee. that takes seniority to get there and an awful lot of hard work. he will still be effective because of who he is and his reputation. and how hard i think he will work. think he given, but i has a really good chance of
becoming the next senator from utah. your 1970 six campaign, your first one. your campaign slogan was, what do you call a senator who has been in washington for 18 years? you call him home. who came up with that? sen. hatch: i think i did. it could have been some of our advisors. senator moss was a nice man but he was a total liberal. he was not acting in the best interest of utah, or really the country in my opinion. that is why i felt he needed to be called on. .> here you are 42 years later at the time, when you came up with that, how one to you think you might serve? sen. hatch: i did not think i would be her this long. if you are doing the work and you are really helping the country and you're making a difference, that is another thing. at that time i was very upset at senator moss because not only was he not doing the work, he
was doing it the wrong way. >> what were those first few , in 1977 your first few days as senator? sen. hatch: i had never held public office before. it was very interesting to me. i was a trial lawyer in pennsylvania and in utah. an attorney can have legal ethics and ability. nobody doubted that i knew what i was doing when it comes to the law. it was notay that being well represented. i do not think there is any question that, not only have a well represented utah, but i have worked my but offer these 42 years and would continue if it was not with the fact that i
think it is time to hang it up. the learning curve like in 1977 having never served in public office? sen. hatch: that is something that should keep you from public office. it was not difficult for me. i held the highest ratings. only about five -- 5% of attorneys have that. it was not tremendously hard for me to get going. as you can see, the first effective big issue was reform. the democrats -- we had 62 democrats and only 32 republicans. it.came the voice against we defeated it. it was not easy. it went on for years but it was not easy. , they not defeated that
would have taken over the whole country. i was raised in a union country. i was a skilled tradesmen and theed 10 years in construction trade unions. i was not against unions, but i was against having them control everything. this would have given them control over the country. were completely controlled by the unions, which supplied most of the money for them. >> did you ever think over these years about doing something else? sen. hatch: sure. thise to say that i felt is the thing that i have to do. i continued here until these recent years. i did not want to be a 90-year-old -- i don't think i ever will be. romney andg to mitt talking him into running help me to make this decision a lot easier. i do not want just anybody to
replace me. i want somebody, who although does not have the seniority, but they have the ability to represent utah and a good way. not just utah, our country as a whole. the senate seats are really important. there are only 100 of them. if it comes down to it, you are talking about eight or 10 people who really dominate the senate in many, many ways. what else did you think about doing over the years? sen. hatch: i always like sports. i always wished i could have gone into professional sports a lot more than i have. >> which ones? sen. hatch: basketball. i like all of them. i followed them very much. last night i was dreaming about my friend who is a great who everyan
professional team wanted. the celtics and los angeles lakers in particular. he became one of my best friends. he wanted to play for full asia in the olympics. he was one of the greatest people i have ever met in my life. he was not a religious man but becauseow came to byu of friends he had. he became all-american at byu. the bostonted by celtics and the los angeles lakers. they both wanted him but he went back to croatia and let the olympic team. they did win one time because the united states was not participating. we became really, really solid friends. he became deputy ambassador for croatia. what a great character he was.
he died a terrible death. croatiang to go back to and pay tribute to him again. i love the country. part of it is because none other than him. imagine you have met a lot of people over the year and have made some wonderful friendships. who would you say of the senators that you have served with today and in the past, who has been your good friends, republicans and democrats? sen. hatch: i have great friends on both sides. i think most senators wanted to work with me because they knew that they would get things past and they knew that i would not quit until i got it done. i came here to fight ted kennedy because i felt like he was off-the-wall liberal and detrimental to the country.
but -- but gradually we became friends. when i took over as chairman of the committee, when the republicans for the first time and i guess 40 years to control of the senate, we became very good friends. even though i disagreed with him on a lot of things, his sister used to talk to me and she loved me. the reason she did is she knew i had a good influence on ted. >> in what way? sen. hatch: ted was a playboy and a lot of ways. you could not help but like him. be aroundot of fun to and he was a leading liberal in the congress as a whole. he also wanted to be a great senator. i think i played a role in helping him to be a great senator. he played a role in helping me to be a great senator as well.
it was a wonderful relationship. we fought each other in knockdown battles. i have to say i won those battles. i think that meant something to him because he respected that. >> favorite story about ted kennedy? sen. hatch: there are so many, it is really hard to say. recall.ing to i was with him right before he died. i know that he had changed his whole life. andink i helped with that he knew it. he knew i was like a brother to him. disagreedh we vastly on politics. he would come along with me on a lot of things. of itld have to get some his way but he would come along. greatest democrat
senator that i knew. there were others who are great as well. i had good relations with on both sides. i think i had good relations because they knew that i worked my tail off all the time. they knew that i was honest, and the new that i believed in what i was doing. it is hard to get mad at someone who really believes what they are doing and works their tail off to get it done. i wound up with a lot of friends on both sides. what have you heard from your colleagues when you decided that you would retire? they were: i think happy that i might have a few years outside of here. hopefully happy years. ihave a lot who say they wish would not retire and that i would stay with it. andmber of them comes to me
says they love me and appreciate me. those kind of things are endearing as far as i am concerned. i have had both sides. more from the republican side, nevertheless, both sides. -- tryident trump tied to talk you out of it? he did.ch: i was the only senator outside of jeff sessions who supported the president in the early going and he knows that. he knows i have been loyal to him. he knows that i believe in some of the things he can do. he also has done a lot of things because of his relationship with me. it turned out to be very good for him. i think he is a much better president than people have been willing to give him credit for. he is a much better president than anybody thought he would be. hustles,o-getter, he he is strong, he is a lot of fun
to be around, he can take on the powers that be around here and hold his own. greatly think he is a asset to the united states of america. i think even a democrats know that. they don't want to admit it but they know it. i think they have appreciated the fact that he is a tough guy. and if we haveuy not had him we would have gone straight to socialism. i don't pick there is any question. >> you ran for president in 2000. sen. hatch: i don't know if i recall it a run. i did not have a chance. i wanted to get some of my ideas across and i did. those who iran against were listening. i got some very, very important points across. i knew i did not have a chance. >> what were you hoping to
accomplish? sen. hatch: to get people to change. to get people to become more dedicated to doing what is right in this government. i think i did get a lot of it done. i know that george w. bush paid a lot of attention to what i was saying. it really took a lot of my arguments. not that he did not have the ability to do it himself, he did. i really liked him. until this day, he was a great president. he will go down in history as one of the great ones. i think i played a role in that. how do you know that he was listening to your ideas. did he talk to you after you won? -- he won? sen. hatch: he appreciated what i was doing and appreciated some of the things that were important for his administration.
i was so impressed with him because he had the guts to do some of the things that a lot of republicans did not have the guts to do. i thought he was a great president. i think he will go down in history as it great president. the democrats made fun of him but even they are coming around now. very good time at a very trying and difficult circumstances. >> growing up in pittsburgh did you think you would be a senator and run for president? no, but i knew that i was special. i grew up in poverty. we did not have everything. i raised the chickens. i sold the aches and delivered the eggs. it did not look like i would the able to even go to college. i learned a skilled trade. i was good at it. they made pretty good money as well.
what turned it around for me as my mother knew that i had more to give. she was encouraging me to go into college. i got a scholarship that just came in the mail. it was for $25. i was so impressed with that that somebody thought i was worth something. but i decided to go. i had tot there and work my way through during the summertime. i had my special trade. .ut also i worked as a janitor when ted kennedy found out he said, you should have stuck with it. i will not tell you what i told him he should have stuck with. >> you should tell us. sen. hatch: i will not tell you. >> after you were in utah in college, then what sparked your interest in the law in law school? sen. hatch: i graduated from byu
. my first two years before i went on my two-year mission for the first of -- church of jesus christ for latter-day saints. average. be i did not take it that seriously. i enjoyed it that i did not take it that seriously. when i came back i thought i'd better straighten this out so i did. i was working in my trade at the summertime after i graduated. decided i thought it would go down with some of my byu friends that went to law school. that.not know how to do i knew i was not going to be able to do that. saturday i took the lsat. i took it without eight cram course. i passed it. i had the highest
honors, but i passed it not having taken a course. it was at the university of pittsburgh at the can of learning. thought, i there a school ando the law apply here. my friends were applying at george washington university at georgetown in places like that. they could afford it and i could not. i went up there and the door was locked to the register's office. work every day. i was married and had three children of the time. around and this law professor came rolling around the corner. he said, can i help you. i said, i wish you could. locked.strar's door is i said i would like to apply to
the law school. he said, where did you go to school and i said, victim young university. he said, are you a mormon? i said, yes sir. those mormons were the toughest competition i had the whole time i was in school. he said, why don't you apply for a scholarship here. he said, you and on a mission for the church, i said, yes, for two years. i said it was the greatest time of my life. i said, i do not do that will the first two years because i had a lot of fun. he said what is your gpa. i said 3.3, 3.4. he said i am on the scholarship committee, why don't you apply. so i went home and handwrote the application. it had to be the sloppiest, stu b us -- stupidest handwritten thing i ever saw.
probably was the reason i got a full honor scholarship. when i got there he was gone. he had moved on to another law school. i thought that was above and beyond a blessing to me. sayhat did your parents about that choice at that time and what influence today have on you? sen. hatch: my parents were very humble, neither of them went beyond eighth-grade. stronger was a really person and taught me his trade. i was pretty good at it. i was not as good as him. i was better than him in basic things but when it came to some of the more consequential things he was the best in the country. very, very humble, strong, good man.
my mother only went to eighth-grade but she was brilliant. she read every book she could get her hands on. me and shecouraging was a remarkable woman. everybody loved her. they were both mormons. he marriednot went her. my mom was a methodist but she knew enough that she wanted her kids to go to church. so they were pillars in this very small branch of the church in pittsburgh. we went every sunday. we picked up a few people on the way. we would have gotten in trouble today because we had all the kids in that one car and those two ladies as well. my dad and mother were so good to everybody. everybody loves them. they were really good to all the mormon missionaries who came through.
methodist,who was gradually joined the church and made sure he was active. then he became one of the leaders in pittsburgh at the time. everybody loved him because he was down-to-earth and one of the best people you could possibly know. he was a great father and he taught me history. i was good at it. >> what did your mother say to you when you were elected to the u.s. senate? sen. hatch: she was thrilled. she knew i was going to win. nobody thought i was going to win. i had just moved to utah six years before. she knew i was going to win and she believed in me. me and sory proud of was my dad. he would not say it, but i knew he was.
they lived in a humble home in utah. it was very humble. everybody loves them. the reason they did is because they were really good people. not very well educated, but worked their education at themselves and very, very good people. >> when you think back on your time here, what do you think your legacy will be? i think i have passed over 800 bills. most of them are very important bills. nobody has ever done that before. i am not bragging, i am just saying i worked my but off every day i have been here. that i waslegacy is able to bridge the gap between democrats and republicans.
to bring people like ted kennedy across. butjust ted candy everybody. i use ted kennedy because i know how liberal he was and what a partisan he was as well. come acrosshim to and not be as partisan. i know he loved me. i know he cared. and i cared for him, i really did. we would get into awful fights. we would be yelling and screaming at each other. maybe not yelling, but certainly fighting with each other. he did not want to do that with me anymore. i was with him when he had the stroke here in the senate and i went to the car with him and he knew that i loved him and cared for him. >> you wrote a song about him. sen. hatch:. the greatest catch of
his life. ,eddy lacked a lot of things but he was the leading democrat in the united states senate. a frolicking, fun-loving, interesting, but sometimes very partisan, mean guy. i got a kick out of all that. coming from pittsburgh where i had to go through difficulties of hatred, it was not hard for me. gradually we just grew to where we cared for each other. what is your device to your successor? is. hatch: i think it important that you be open to the ideas of the other side. but don't give into bad ideas and work your but off. -- youwork really hard have to have a lot of
intelligence to be a real leader around here. but we have brilliant people here. really brilliant people. i think they have the intelligence, it is the matter have the will? do they had the desire? do they have the bipartisanship desire? some of them do but there are very few who can do it ted kennedy and i would do. during these years you have kept up your hobby for music, your love for music trade you wrote a song about ted kennedy. you have written a lot of songs. where is your interest in music come from? when i was a kid my mother had me take piano for six months. i guess i can play basic music like popular music. grade started the seventh my mother had an old bylund.
she made sure that i started playing the violin. she went out of her way to see that i had lessons by some of the people she thought could violin.e violent -- i became the concert master for the high school orchestra. after i left high school i did not play it anymore. i did love the violin. one thing that my parents did, especially my mother, they would scrape together, they were poor, but they would scrape together $18 and $.75 every year for me to get season passes to the pittsburgh symphony orchestra. the time, probably one of the greatest free orchestras at the time. i would go every friday night during the season. sit in peanut heaven,
which is where the music was the greatest. i would watch the greatest artists worldwide almost every week during their season. i watched the greatest artists in the world. these are the greatest artists that ever played the pno and violent -- played the pno and -- piano and violin. when you leave. we'll you pursue your music career full-time? sen. hatch: you never know. that happened when a wonderful meician, who liked politically say, how about writing some music with me.
it was after a funeral that we both attended. i did not know that she saw me standing there as we came out of the chapel. music?d, i hear you like i said, i do. she had a real reputation. good artist in music. she said, how about writing some songs with me? i said, ok. i sat down that weekend and wrote 10 songs. the lyrics to 10 songs. that became her first out of him my god is love. we wrote seven or eight albums after that. my god is love is still probably my favorite some of the music went pretty far. it was beautiful. . she was very good. she was so much better than i. you,at is next for
senator? sen. hatch: i have a lot of interests that i am interested in. i would like to write more. not just in history, but music as well. i don't know if i would be able to do that. i think university of utah may give me some opportunities to teach. >> there will be a library in your name and a think tank in your name. that.atch: they say i think they would like to help me teach because i am a good teacher and i am an interesting teacher and i like to inspire people. listening, some of those things i would like to do. there are a lot of other things i would like to do. i have been a real supporter of
athletics all my life. played basketball throughout high school. college but iing was captain of the high school basketball team. i have always loved sports and , basketball, etc. i like watching them on tv. >> thank you for the conversation. sen. hatch: i hope it has been interesting. >> now, c-span's interview with u.s. representative who is retiring after serving 36 years in office. this is about 35 minutes. congressman levin, you arrived in washington in 1983 as a freshman member of the house of representatives. what do you remember about those first two months? rep. levin: i came to washington to become part of the agency for international development.