tv Eric Holder Arnold Schwarzenegger Discuss Redistricting CSPAN March 26, 2019 5:47pm-6:51pm EDT
the west. but also the wonderful people we have all over the country, in every corner. i visit every state in the union and i always find wonderful people to visit with. >> what great question, what it means to be an american. ame assuming there's been a lot of answers to that. but for me, it's pride. it's pride and it's also opportunity. i'm very new to the area where i'm at right now. and moved from another area from another state. and i have now more opportunity to do what i want to do and i would only have these opportunities in america. so i'm very proud to be an american citizen. i have traveled the world. and i consider myself a proud american. >> voices from the road. on c-span. >> next, former california governor arnold schwarzenegger, and former attorney general, he eric holder, talk about their efforts to end political gerrymandering.
they attended supreme court arguments earlier in the day and called on the high court to rule against gerrymandering. this is an hour. [applause] >> all right. let me get this out of your way. we did that on purpose. good afternoon, everybody. thank you for being patient. welcome to the national press club. the place where news happens. i think some's going to happen today. i'm alison fitzgerald could he jack and i'm the 112th president of the national press club and a correspondent with national public radio. i'd just like to take a moment to remind you all to pull out your cell phones and look at the ringer and then turn it off. then put your phone away again. so that we don't have interruptions. there's a lot of cameras here.
so, here is the headline for you . republicans and democrats agree. ok, so they don't agree onchinge. but they don't agree on much. but some meg members of both parties, including our guests today, do agree that partisan gerrymandering, the practice of drawing political boundaries to benefit members of particular political parties, has to go. that's what brought former governor arnold schwarzenegger, a republican, and former attorney general, eric holder, a democrat, here to the national press club today. governor schwarzenegger, who mr. d the incubator, and holder are here as the supreme court across towners can whether to end the practice of partisan jerry 3457bd mandering, a -- gerrymandering, a practice that is said to be discriminatory. however the court comes down on this issue, it will have consequences for the 2020 election. the justices heard oral
arguments this morning in cases where republicans of north carolina and democrats in maryland are said to have draunt lines of congressional districts to benefit incumbents and disadvantaged minorities in the process. our two guests today say that is fundamentally unfair. and they are not alone. the republican governor of maryland, larry hogan, says gerrymandering stifles real political debate and deprives citizens of meaningful choices. former president barack obama says gerrymandering allows politicians to, quote, pick their voters, and not the other way around. so, we're going to get into all these issues around gerrymandering with our guests today. please give a warm national press club welcome to eric holder and arnold schwarzenegger. [applause] now, if you have questions there cards like this around the room. in the meantime, gentlemen, would you like to say a few
words about what brought you here today? mr. schwarzenegger: i'm here because i wanted to listen to the supreme court of the united states, the arguments, which was two cases, one was the maryland case, where the republicans have 35% of the votes and only got 12.5% of the repation -- representation. so obviously heavily gerrymandered. in north carolina, the other way around. the democrats had 47% of the vote, but only got 23% of the representations. heavily again gerrymandered. both of those cases, which is heard at the supreme court, i just wanted to listen to it. there was a rally out in front. and talked about how terrible gerrymandering is. the press scrum now after the supreme court hearing. then i was so kindly invited to come here and to sit here with attorney general eric holder and we have really never met. so this was a great occasion to
meet and to team up. i'm so excited that eric is also into the same thing as i am, which is, let's get rid of gerrymandering and let's really have true representation. i feel ronald reagan has put it very eloquently. in the 1980's when he said, it is anti-democratic, it is un-american. to gerrymandering. this is a national scandal. i think that scandal has been going on and on and of course the technology's become so sophisticated that now it's really extreme. we see this extreme left and right, i think in washington, that's why nothing is getting done. i want to terminate this problem, obviously. that's why i'm here. [laughter] [applause] alison: ok. mr. holder: i'm here, i don't have the ability to say something cool like that. [laughter] i'm here to end the practice of gerrymandering. we formed the national
democratic redistricting committee in january of 2017. all with an aim to make our democracy more fair. and to have representatives who more reflect the desires of the people who put them in office. i think that president obama's exactly correct. we have a system now in too many places where politicians are picking their voters as opposed to citizens choosing who their representatives are going to be. i've been going around the country trying to -- a multiprong strategy at doing away with this problem of gerrymandering. one of the things i know that governor schwarzenegger and i agree on is that this idea of independent commissions, to select -- to actually draw the line, is actually one of the better ways in which it can be done. there's a very successful system that they have in california, in arizona as well, five states, that a choice was put before the voters in five states just last year and in every state, the citizens decided that that's
something that they wanted to do. at the ndrc, we're also supporting candidates who will stand for fair redistricting. and we've also filed lawsuits against those states that have engaged in partisan gerrymandering. one of the things i want to really make clear, i'm head of the national democratic redistricting committee. but the ndrc is not an organization that has been put together to gerrymander for democrats. what we're trying to do is to make sure that the system is fair. let's make this a battle of ideology between conservatives, republicans, progressives and democrats, and make that the deciding factor as to who serves in our state legislature, who serves in our congress, as opposed to who has the ability to draw lines the best. i think the point that the governor made is a really important one, about the increase of our technological capabilities, where districts can be drawn in such a way that you can draw a line down the
street or, as we saw in north carolina, you can split a college campus in such a way so that if you're in one dorm, you're in one district, all with the aim of promoting the interests of one party and not promoting the interests of our democracy. so i'm glad to have governor schwarzenegger as a partner in this issue. i can say that i'm a lot more familiar with him than i suspect he is with me. i'm a big fan of his movies and i'm going to go total fan on him when we leave. i'm going to get a picture with him. [laughter] allison: i'm going to do that. -- too. if the supreme court rules the way you gentlemen would like it to, what would capitol hill look like? what would change? what do you envision? mr. holder: it's interesting. there have been studies that show that although there was a blue wave, for instance, that happened in 2018, democrats took over the house, i've seen some pretty reputable studies that
show that but for gerrymandering, democrats would in gotten another 16 seats congress. if the supreme court, were to rule in the way in which i hope that they will, we would have more fair elections in a far greater number of states and some state legislatures would look fundamentally different. north carolina would look different. wisconsin would look different. that seat in maryland would look different. the congressional representation from maryland would look different. the country would look different. the legislative body, both at the state level and at the congressional level, would more reflect the desires of the people. i think that's what people -- that's what we need to focus on. mr. schwarzenegger: when it comes to this particular subject of fair representation and
redistricting reform, i don't care if it's a blue wave or a red wave. i don't give a damn. about that. because there are a lot of issues that are truly people's issues. and not political issues. not the politicians and the political parties will make it their issue. so there's something to fight over. but in reality, they're not. so when, for instance, in california, when i fought for fair redistricting and to get to -- gerrymandering, and we tried several times tooling to the ballot box and have the people vote on, that it was voted down several times. obviously buzzes of -- because it was not a hip thick. people didn't understand -- thing. people didn't understand it. it was nothing other than. that we just had to communicate it better. eventually we won. we won not only the redistricting reform and an
independent commission, but also open prime ears. so that has had a tremendous impact on -- primaries. so that has had a tremendous impact on california. and the republicans are very angry. first, it was the democrats and the republicans that were very angry. nancy pelosi spent $4 million against us to redistricting reform. and she was -- was telling everyone, don't go there, this is just a power grab of snitsle. he just wants to do for the republicans and stuff like that. that was the opinion. but then when it was all done, and we had now an independent commission, and common cause, of course, was very helpful in throwing the initiative and all that, kathy, thank you very much for being here, common cause. so they drew the district lines and so what happens was the first election after it passed was 2012. what happened, four republicans
lost their seats. and four democrats gained seats. the following election, in 2014, one republican lost their seat, and then one democrat gained the seat. and then 2016 it was even. and in 2018 seven more republicans lost their seats. and seven more democrats gained seats. so you can imagine now. but to me, i don't care. i never, ever thought about this, oh, my god, what did i do to the republican party? because what is more important to me is what is happened to california. and california, we have seen that the legislative approval rating has gone up from 20%, sometimes below 20%, to 50%. why? because now both of the parties are working together. the democrats will always be democrats, republicans will always be republicans and that's the why that's designed.
that we have two different opinions and they get together and across the aisle an get things done together. because we all know only when both of the parties work together we can get really great results. so, the democrats are talking about business issues. and devoting more than 90% to the chamber of commerce in california. never heard of it before. when i was governor, i wish i had democrats like that around, but that was not the case. and now just to show you, the democrats, eight of them have voted for the environmental protection, which is to extend and reduce greenhouse gases and go all out to 2040. now the governor brown has eight republicans voted for it which he couldn't pass it. i only know one republican
voting for environmental reforms but now governor brown has eight. and now they are talking about immigration reform and all other issues that are much more in the center. this is what i care about. and more successful. we have become a model for the rest of the nation. other states were interested. ohio did it. governor kasich is a good friend of mine and gave me information and ohio went through it and has an initiative and it passed and very, very successful reform there. and then michigan, and utah and colorado has decided to follow. in the way you put it on the ballot, people immediately vote for it because it is a no-brainer because it is not acceptable and going to add one more thing here.
and that is it's not just about those to say one party or the other, but the politicians, democrats and republicans, they are very tricky. because they draw the district lines not just to favor their party but to lock themselves in into safe seats. state seats. and why? because no one can challenge them. if you are in a democratic district, you have to be way to the left in order to get a leg up. and if you are in a republican district, you have to be way to the right to get elected. if you don't stay there. if you stay to the left or to the right, you don't get challenge. that means there is no competition, job security. and when there's no competition, there is no action. this is why when you look at
washington here, it doesn't matter three decades talking about immigration reform. republicans were in power and didn't get it done. democrats are in power, didn't get in done. so it doesn't matter. they don't have to get it done, because they get re-elected. congress' approval rating is elow 20% and 98% get re-elected. one thing getting done. i was an immigrant and i promised myself and i hope i wouldn't be involved in reform, this is the number one country in the world and do everything i can to keep it the number one country in the world. allison: you mentioned number
one approval rating. [applause] mr. schwarzenegger: i want to int out, and the press wider shoulders than arnold. this is rush. [applause] mr. schwarzenegger: yeah, right here. and he is the white house chef. he cooks over at the white house. he has an extraordinary body, but really involved in after-school programs. so he is going around to schools and inspiring kids to stay in school and do their homework and not get in the streets and get involved in gangs. this man is the real deal. i love this guy. and i thank you very much for being here today. [applause]
mr. holding: two of the largest human beings i have ever seen. what do you think about me? mr. schwarzenegger: he does 2,222 pushups a day. why that number? because the 22 represents the amount of people committing suicide of veterans, suicide, a day. that's why you are doing the number, 2,222 pushups. i mean that's insane. he eats like a cow. [laughter] mr. schwarzenegger: i never seen nyone eat so much.
mr. holder: position of elected representatives. gerry mannedering, if you are dissatisfied with your congressman or legislator, you don't have the capacity to go out there and get rid of the person. one of the things that i think governor schwarzenegger said focuses owe issues matters. people in this country are all in favor of back grouped checks
before people have the ability to buy a weapon. and yet, we have seen state after state and certainly in our congress people who represent the wishes of the people, congressmen, state legislators, who have not voted for that. and there has been no electoral consequences because they are in gerrymandering seats. it pushes people to the extremes. you are more worried about a primary than a general election and the thing you guard against is a primary and therefore, the republican party to the right and democratic party, you go to the left knowing that you are not going to be facing any serious opponent in a general election. and citizens who are concerned about a vote that somebody has taken in congress or in a state legislature, don't have the ability to bring about change.
and it cheapens our votes. allison: governor schwarzenegger, you mentioned the california citizens commission and at that moment, is it the gold standard for redistricting reform? why go with a citizens algorithm? ersus an mr. schwarzenegger: i tell you we were very lucky in california and very fortunate and i think it shows to you the great job that common cause has done, because the way they selected complex. ,, it was so but kind of bullet-proof. people signed up for it and became part of the commission and then there was an
independent auditing panel and ad to be 60, 20 from the democrats, 20 from the republicans and 20 from the independents and the majority and minority leaders take two of each away and narrow it down to eight. and those eight had to fix the rest of the six. so it's five democrats and five republicans and four independents. and the decisions that are made and the way they drew the districts has been so well done that i recommend, of course, for someone that wants the redistricting reform to model as close as possible. ohio didn't go in that direction. ut they did a really great job and michigan didn't go in that direction but went close in that direction. as long as we go and get the
power away from the politicians and give it to ordinary folks that have different interest to the people rather than politicians. we can do it state-to-state. i think california has shown the way of how much we have improved the way things get done in california that other states -- and we are getting like -- i've a specific commission. only thing i would say that the attorney general has, but we are going through the schwarzenegger institute at u.s.c. and working closely with common cause and league of women voters and other interest groups like that that want to have fair representation. and we are working together. and i have been kind of like going around the country and put the spotlight on this issue and using my star power nor
something good like that because i think this is where the action is and i think it will bring politicians closer together and get more done in this country if we eliminate gerrymandering. mr. holder: each state is different and you don't have to have the same system in every state to have an effective, more representative government. but we always hold out california as the gold standard. i talk about california and arizona as having good systems that other states might think about in terms of replicating them. michigan has gone a different way. missouri will be different. utah is different, ohio is a little different. it is trying to eliminate gerry man deering. allison: have you asked the supreme court to intervene?
mr. holder: it is incumbent upon the supreme court to look at our democracy and see the reality of what is happening and to say that there are limits. the supreme court said there are gerrymandering. the supreme court said there are no limits when it comes to partisan gerrymandering and i would direct this to chief justice roberts who is an institution nist, do you want to be the head of a court that is responsible for citizens united or shelby county and have a court that there are no limits when it comes to partisan gerrymandering. that sweep of cases has had a negative impact and add this to, added a negative impact on the state of our democracy. at some point you have to say,
democrats, republicans can go too far, you can pervert our democracy and yet at some point it becomes unconstitutional. mr. schwarzenegger: listening to the arguments, it was clear that there were some justice some reluctant to have the court get involved. that the court gets involved because they feel like if the court does get involved, they run into the danger of being considered political. if they make a decision that could favor one party or the other, then they will say, obviously, this court is stacked, conservatives and that's why they help the republicans or the court is liberal and help the democrats. they are worried about that. but i don't think, and this is my opinion, i'm not a lawyer like that, i think that that should not be a major concern,
because what should be the most important concern is how do we make this a fair election process. this is what this is all about. to be fair and to go and -- i mean just right off the top, to me, if you have a rule raiser, you can only have a difference of 5%. now when you have like in north carolina, 47% go to the democrats and only get 23% of the votes, you say no. can only have a 5% difference. so there is a way of coming up with some laws. how do we rewrite the law. how do we write the law that dictates to everybody that is unconstitutional. and the second worry that i talk about is that would mean he then when you pass the law, this would always go to judges and
judges would make decisions all over the united states when this is the politicianso job. and the ones who don't want to make changes, they will say this is self-heal. what an insane statement to make. i mean after 200 years of gerry man deering. i looked at them and i can tell you it doesn't happen. to me, the important thing it's like an accident. the first more important thing is stop the pleading. i think the united states supreme court should stop the bleed and stop the mad necessary and we hope the supreme court does get involved. mr. holder: the court in the past has looked into questions of elections and really come up
with prescriptive things and had to decide one person-one vote case and come up with formulas and the decisions there did not generate huge amounts of litigation over time. people get used to what the rules are and act accordingly. may mean that the court will have to deal with a few more cases but i don't think the court will be seem as politicized because it is making decisions that protect our democracy. i think the justices took an obligation to protect our democracy, to interpret our constitution in an exropet way and i don't think they should shrink from that responsibility. mr. schwarzenegger: i just do not accept the word it can't be done or no, it won't be done. i believe what president mandela
mr. holder: there is no question that those two things are connected. and with the gerry man deering nd how it -- gerrymandering. and one of the chief ways it occurs is people who are perceived to be democrats or the other way. packing people into districts and packing them into other istricts such that you put african-americans in one district assuming they are democrats decreasing the ability of african-americans to have an influence outside that one district, having any impact on the state itself. it is something where you have seen -- i'll get partisan. republicans have perverted the use of the voting rights act and
put together where communities of interest have the ability to express themselves and have used that act to pack districts full of african-americans which ultimately allows for the election of an african-american congressman but decreases the influence that african-americans can have. mr. schwarzenegger: in california, that's not the problem that we have. it didn't matter if it was a republican or democratic district or african-american district or asian-american district, it was all screwed up. it all had to be fixed. with our rezriketting commission, they did. nothing is every perfect. and as i said earlier, we have the open primaries that also
help put democrats and republicans to come closer together. and i think this is a very important issue to elect more moderates than the extremes. when extremes come here to washington, extreme right and extreme left, it's hard when they are so far apart, this rubber band doesn't stretch far enough to rip. when they are closer together, it is easier for them to get together and reach across the aisle. this is where america is. america in germ is much more in the center than the extremes. this is why i think it's important in order to get things done, we have to elect people that are much more in the center and not the extreme right or extreme left. it's fine when you have them in the congress. but i think for them to bring closer together and get things
done because ultimately, it's black issue, sue, republican issue or democrat issue, it's an american issue. we want to fix the different illnesses that we have in this country and we have plenty and we can fix it with fixing problems. we just need the votes and go to work and get things done. mr. holder: we are concerned about the polarization of this nation. one of the chief causes is gerrymandering where people are concerned about a primary. you go further to the right, further to the left, that leads to less cooperation between republicans and democrats, if you cooperate, that is a sign of weakness and makes you more susceptible to a primary challenges. this polarization leads to
inaction and leads to people looking at their legislative body and having low opinions of them because nothing gets done. if you do away with gerrymandering and general elections that matter, congressmen, people in state legislatures, will be listening to the people and coming up with things that are more of the center than of the extremes. you'll get more done. and it will be one of the ways in which we break this fever of polarization that has gripped this nation. mr. schwarzenegger: general attorney germ holder just said is absolutely correct. if you go from the far left to the center and maybe make a deal with the republicans, you get immediately challenged and taken out in the next election. and so this is exactly why i got involved in the first place. when i became governor, i didn't
have the foggiest idea about the district lines and redistricting because i didn't come from the political arena. but i had one clear intention that i wanted to make the state better. i was talking about education reform and i saw the democrats sitting with me and said governor, this is a great idea, but i can can't go there. i said why can't you go there? as i go back to my district, i'm out. i would like to help you, governor, but i would like to keep my job. i said i understand that. i had an idea about the environmental issues. and talked about this, guys, we have so many causes in california, you have to go and change the cafe standards, the emissions standards. should get 35 miles a gallon.
maybe make a commitment to reduce the greenhouse gases, what about that? and talked to the leaders and i said this will be the greatest thing and kids with asthma in the central valley. but, you know, i don't think i an go there. don't count on my vote. i would lose my job in two seconds. so that's -- i got together with my team and like i said, from me in the beginning, i didn't know the ins and outs. this is crazy. they can go there and vote for it. this is why there is a problem. o that's how i got into this whole gerrymandering and supporting it and it was
interesting that both of the parties hated it and then i got involved. i mean think about this. visualize, the governors -- the legislative leaders and they are having a big argument and cursing at each other and all kinds of things instead of spitting at each other, the chairs are flying back and getting back and storming out of the room. nd talking about this issue. so i was liked shock at the kind of behavior. and then two hours later, i get a phone call from both of those guys, both of those leaders. hi, governor, how are you, we are sitting here at the bar, you should join us.
come on over here. i said, wait a minute. you were spitting at each other 12 hours ago. they said, we fight over things. but one thing we have in common and that is you should not get involved with this redistricting reform. [laughter] mr. schwarzenegger: i said what? >> this is an important election d you started endorsing this redistricting reform. this is bad for our party, and really bad for us democrats. but my friend can tell you what it does for the other republicans and the other guyer chimes in, it's bad for the republicans. he said we get along when it comes to this issue. when they hung up, i realized that they wanted to do something that was good for the politicians. didn't matter when it was for
democrats and republicans. i was so inspired that i'm going to go all out and do everything i can to pass redistricting reform. the following year, we won, because i remember the press kept saying to me, and the people have said no over and over. and i said no. 700. nch press, and 500-pound bench press and tried it again and again and i said i will never give up. and eventually we did win. but that is the conversation when the democrats and republicans did go to bed together and it got really dangerous and said yes, this is a terrible idea and don't get involved. i'm very fortunate that i had so many people that helped us that
raised the money to go out and communicate well and get it done. mr. holder: the point that the governor makes is very important. there have been instances where republicans have tried to gerry mappeder and democrats, some democrats have gone along with them, that would help them with regard to making sure their seats are safe and they will cut deals. ap what is in the best interest. it would preserve their seats and make their seats safe. allison: this good or bad for the power of the party? i mean, if you -- gerrymandering versus the individual politician. is the democratic party or republican national committee with you or against you? mr. holder: the democratic national committee is with us.
i can't say that every democrat is with us. there will be some democrats, 80% in democratic districts that might have that number of democratic voters will go down to 50%, 48%. from my perspective, that's a good thing. we don't need to have all these supermajority republican or democratic districts. based on where people live and all of that. have a district in virginia only contiguous when the river is at high tide? really? they had one in pennsylvania that was called donald duck kicking goofy. only connected by the foot of donald duck hitting goofy. these things are drawn in such a ay that you are preserving the
safety of a seat or maybe of a particular person at the expense of the people. you know, the strength of the parties ought to be based on the ideas that are parties have. make this a battle of ideas and ideologies as opposed who has the best line-drawing skills. allison: we have some young people in the room who are asking questions, first, what do you think role millenials will play? s this a generational issue? mr. holder: i think young folks up here, gerrymandering is not a game. i want one of those t-shirts. millenials don't exercise the power they have or exercise the power they have. and gerrymandering can be among them. largest at millenials,
voting block in the country that don't vote to the same degree that baby boomers do. and if millenials did vote for candidates who stood for anti-gerrymandering, you would have an ability to do a way with a lot of it. there are some places that you simply can't change without bringing lawsuits and we have certainly done that. but if you get huge, huge numbers of people and have townouts that are well above that which we normally get, you have at least that possibility of changing things. young people ought to be involved in this issue, especially if you understand that gerry mappedering has an impact and it is wonky, but if you understand that it has everything to do with issues
this with young people care about, reproductive choice, sane gun laws, health care, voter suppression, criminal justice reform, all of these things are directly tied to gerrymandering and we have special interests that prevent the people from geting the things they want. people understand if you care about those issues, you ought to care about the foundation that present vents those things from getting to a place where they get to and that issue is gerrymandering. mr. schwarzenegger: why should they be concerned with all the issues that you mentioned. they are t to add doing things now that will affect, you, young kids, more than it will affect us. think about the debt.
debthey go to $22 trillion after both parties promised they are going to reduce the debt. and now it is at record high. february numbers came out at $244 billion in february alone $580 ey expect it to be billion. o that means that it is around $400 million per household that they owe. so you guys are going to pay it off. that is dangerous. and think about it. so this is why young kids should get involved in politics, especially in fair representation and in redistricting reform really heavily, because you want congress to make decisions that gives you a rosey future.
america basically gives you any way a great future because it is the greatest country in the world. i traveled all over the world and no one came up to me and said arnold can you help me get to china or i want to live in the middle east or can you help me live in australia, it's all about can you help me to live in america. it's all about the number one country in the world. you have to keep it. and the way it's going with the kind of debt we have, you guys are going to pay for it. and attorney general will support this 100%, i know he does, is environmental issues. so think about that. the way we are going and not even talking about global
climate change, which is hard for people to understand because it is complex. i'm talking about what is happening today, today, right 9 , we have 7 million to million people die a year. that number will go up. but this is going up because of fossil fuels. it is very important for you to get involved to fight and to get rid of fossil fuels, because fossil fuels will kill us and will create global climate change. it's an issue i didn't know much be when i became governor but when i listened to scientists, so that's why i'm a crusader to
stop this madness of using fossil fuels and switch over to renewables and electric cars or hydrogen cars. but this depoft doesn't do anything about it. you don't see them talking about it or see them going out and handing research and development ney and saying, we will have electric cars. they are all stuck in their ideological corners. so those are issues that will affect our future generations. this is what i'm concerned about and i'm fighting for those issues. mr. holder: i think people don't understand. if you have a gutsy governor like that. he took unpopular stands when it came to things like the environment,, if you have a gutsy governor who are willing
to lead. you have gerrymandered legislatures and the gofert it out there. and the environment is something that ought to be a primary concern to young people. if you look at the projections into the will deaths that happen on a year-by-year basis, the earth we leave is something i got from the generation before. and we will have to come up with a whole range of things to deal with, rising sea levels, with the debt. you've got these people in the various government positions, i think it is one of the first ones was arnold schwarzenegger and can't do anything unless he has a legislature to pass the laws that he proposes. gerry mannedered are not going
[speaking foreign language] on gerry mappedering. and people think of other things around it. and there are dial ocean to get off that subject, because i think washington knows that there is a rumbling around the country and want to have action hen it comes to getting rid of gerrymandering. lowering the age, all these different issues in order to get the attention away from this issue. this is really the issue and i'm going to stay with that issue. mr. holder: we ought to do away with the electoral college. we have a system now that was -- it's a defect in our democracy. we have had in the last five elections two presidents who were -- did not win the popular
vote. the presidency is the one office in this country that represents all of the people. you have a district representative, your congressman. a person -- two people who represent your state and vote for them in a direct way, you ought to have a direct election of the president of the united states. if we did that, you would have republicans who would be campaigning in california. the republican would campaign in new york, democrat would campaign in texas. that means that some swing states wouldn't get as much attention as they do now, but i think the vast majority of people would get a great deal more attention than they deserve. i don't want to take away from the focus on the problem of gerrymandering. that is what i devoted most of my post-government life towards, eliminating this problem of
gerrymandering. allison: we have time, before we get to the last question, i just want to inform you of the events upcoming at the national press club. e have the kalb reports with cookie roberts. on april 23, which is my irthday, i get to speak at a headliners' luncheon with larry kudlow. and april 26, we have another headliner luncheon with the founder of panera bread and on may 2, we have night out, which is national press club campaign to help raise money for the location and hopefully contest cue of austin who is a journalist and photographer and
georgetown hoyer who was captured and remains missing. come to the national press club. and for you gentlemen, i'll have to get the second one, because the governor knocked it over. the highly coveted national ess club mug, i give this to attorney general holder and to you, governor schwarzenegger. for my last question, i think we all heard quietly, that the chef can bench press. so my question today, what can you bench press? [laughter] mr. schwarzenegger: for my shoulder injury, i haven't bench pressed.
i do my weight training and go to gold's gym and use more weights and from one machine to the other and recommend this for everybody. this is something that i feel very passionate about. a lot of things passionate about. environment, training, fitness and development. for the last 50 years, i have been on this fitness crusade and the importance of exercising. and there is a gym in every tel and military and capitol hill and white house. they have workout rooms. and it has been very successful and i have seen a lot of people doing it and i know you are working out regularly and keeping in good shape. and the obama works out every day and he is in good shape.
we get off and leave, i want to reiterate again that this subject that we are talking about, both of us sitting here today is not because it is a drk not a democratic or republican sue, both parties have gerrymandered. it is the politicians and not the party. we want to take this the power giving it away from the politicians and create coherence. and i'm going to go to states with the cases to maryland and to north carolina and i invite you to come with me and share ideas. bipartisan issue. american issue.
the people's issue. and i want to leave you with. we need to work together and be successful in that, people power. mr. holder: i have never bench pressed and i have no idea what my capabilities are and my skinny little arms. i have no basis for comparison. 700 pounds, that's well beyond my capacity. what i will say is this, our democracy dem is at stake. our democracy is at stake. and the kind of nation we want to have and the democratic system we want to have will be decided by all of us. we have the capacity to make change and perfect the system. that is the greatest system that man has ever known. but it is not as good as it can be. we have to look for these defects and strive to make them
better. gerry mappedering is a prime problem that this nation has left go far too long and reared its ugly head and it is dividing us as a nation and causing us an inability to deal with very son sequential things, education, climate, a whole range of issues that we simply can't address because we don't have the systems in place. the change is possible. we have a limited amount of time. redistricting will occur in 2021. but we have a sufficient amount of timeful people will have the guts to stand up and say i'm not for a particular party, i'm for a better system, as i have tried to do. the nccc is not for gerrymandering for democrats but
having a morer system. we could have a better america. that's what i think we owe that next generation. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org
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