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tv   Reagan Rising  CSPAN  July 1, 2017 4:15pm-5:03pm EDT

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>> on "after words" temple university professor examines gender identity in an interview with sarah ellis. and at 11:00, henry ol'son at the ethics and pock policy center look ted policy of presidents franklin roosevelt ronald reagan. that happens tonight on booktv. >> good afternoon. welcome to the gaithersburg book festival. i'm julian. a resident and a member of the democratic central committee representing district 16 which income pats the city of rockville and gaithersburg is
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pleased to bring you this event. when you see our volunteers, please take time to say thanks. like to get right to this event here but first. please silence all your devices. 'll wait. i'll wait. go ahead. silence all devices. thank you. and if you're on social media today, and we hope you are, please use the hash tag gbf, gathersburg book festival. your feedback is valuable to us, so there will be surveys available here at our tent and on our web site. by submitting a survey you'll be entered interest a drawing to win a $100 visa gift card. so i encourage each onor thank you to enter the survey. at the end of this presentation, mr. shirley will be signing books and copies are on sale in
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this tent and around the grounds here. so take advantage of having the awe authorized such as mr. shirley here. a quick word about buying books. this is a free event but it does -- i emphasize -- does help the book festival if you buy a book. the more books we sell the more publishers will want to sipped the authors here to singh with us. purchasing booked from tower partner, politic and prose -- yay -- help support one of the world's great independent book store, benefits our local economy and supports local jobs. if enjoy the problem, please buy some books. so let me introduce this steamed panel we have here. tackling the familiar or that which we believe to be familiar, is a challenge for even the most seasoned authors. the task is even more daunting when the familiar is an icon and a hero to many. done well the best books illume a subject which we're really familiar with -- let me say that
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again. done well, the best books illuminate a subject with which we're familiar. the good ones transcends genre and speak to the soul. note it reagan biographer craig shirley is the author. author of six books and chart member of in the new york stay conservative party he comes by this love of reagan and conservativeism homily. it places a glimpse into a celebrated personality. reagan rising chronicles the journey of a man after having suffered a devastating defeat in 1976 back becomes a leader of a any conservatism, achieving an improbable presidency. trump's presidency is the perfect backdrop to study reagan township. republican party struggling, "reagan rising" offers development of a philosophy that
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is the touchstone for conservatives. reaganys optimistic and unifying philosophy inspires today. as a special aside in reef reshave searching what i say mr. charli paid a significant role as having the sport of lacrosse named as the sport of maryland. so join me in welcoming mr. craig shirley. [applause] >> interviewing mr. shirley today will be juan williams, man who almost needs no introduction but we'll introduce him anyway. an emmy award winner and texas news contributeyear since 1997, sell ited brow author, has be a prolick chronicler of the civil rights experience, and selected tiedled include eyes on the
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prize, and thurgood marshall, an american revolutionary. a ton more but for the sake of time i trunk indicated truncated to those two. as a treasurer of the democratic party i'm pleased to announce the democrats are a three to one majority over registered republicans in our county, so, juan, welcome to friendly territory. [applause] >> if you ever need a respite from fox news, we welcome you here with open arms. gaithersburg, join me in welcoming juan williams. >> thank you. great pleasure to be here with craig shirley who i have known since the reagan white house. that's when -- early '80s. did not know about lacrosse. that is fabulous. but i wanted to start with a very basic question for the people who have been so kind to come into our tent here at the gaithersburg book festival and
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ask why did you write this book? because you have written extensively about reagan before. >> first, thank you. first of all, i guess if you're from the territory i'm behind enemy lines. >> not quite. >> i'm retired from all that anyway. but i did think that for making us wait, we ought to rename this tv show the four. i wrote this because it's an important part of american history and an important part of reagan history, because never been explored before. like winston churchill, martin gilbert was -- >> pull this forward. >> i have a big mouth. martin gilbert, who is winston churchill's most famous biographer wrote a dozen books of churchill, and one of his bikes was called "the wilderness
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years "when churchill was cast assad be the conservatives in england, and embarked on a new career of writing and doing radio commentary and lecturing, and mirrors reagan because reagan in '76 had been cast aside by his party. and churchill was warning about the rising threat of adolph hitler and naziism thing most people england were pooh-poohing. reagan spend his wilderness years warning about the rising threat of the soviet union so a lot of parallels between churchill's wilderness years and reagan's wilderness years. there are many many issues that it's serendipitous and also
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because the force end them to fore, issues like prop 4 in california, the panama canal treaty. that helped produce his election in 1980. doug brinkley, who terrific historian and who edited the reagan diaries said the realm of reagan scholarship is just beginning to open up and i think every time i start to sit down to think about ronald reagan i think bat new aspect of his life and his career and his times that has been either underreported or haven't been covered at all. >> so let get to put you in friendly territory behind these lines and talk about the elephant, pun intended, in the room, which is donald trump. when i -- no. no. >> don't want to do it. >> no.
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no. no. i mean no is the answer to his question. >> i see. you have seen into the crystal ball. >> yes. >> but here's the question. people say, well, gosh, how would you compare -- >> i want. >> -- reagan to trump and then they say, what has come of republican -- >> let me turn it around. >> -- conservatism from reagan to trump. >> you covered the reagan white house for how many years. >> four. >> ask the reagan campaign, maybe four. >> yeah. >> let me ask you, is there anything about donald trump that reminds you remotely of ronald reagan? >> no. and so this is -- [laughter] >> okay. >> you saw into the crystal ball. >> i did. >> but i must tell you so many people in the republican party really hold ronald reagan up as an inspiration. >> with good reason. >> apartment of the party and conservatism, but then they'll
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say they are now with trump. >> but that's just a matter of practicality. you can be with reagan but you can also be in the modern age and say, i'm for trump because he wasn't hillary, i'm for trump for whatever reason, taken on the bureaucracy but comparing the two individuals there is no -- my wife is looking at me -- >> are you -- >> i've been guilty for 35 years. >> i know. >> reagan was an intellectual, reagan was thoughtful. reagan was an american conservative. reagan was kind. he was gentle, thoughtful. even in this diaries he wouldn't swear. hi wouldn't write -- he would rite d-dash dash dash instead of writing "damn.
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"that's how genteel he was. there was a story when he was president, one of the first or second female secret service agents and he kennedy standing aside for the secret service agent to go first, and he said, my mother told me, ladies always go first, and the head of the treasury department had to sit him down and say, mr. president, she is not a woman. she is an agent, a professional, and you have to allow her to do her job. but reagan was very reluctant and i can't imagine everybody saying anything like that about donald trump. reagan was a populist, an american conservative. he was committed to his principles but also flexible. he was kind, he was thoughtful. not always thoughtful but more so than most men. and don't opportunity to me for
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evidence of reaganies importance to american history. john patrick digins, the official historian of the american left in the 20th 20th century, wrote booked about the labor movement, about the civil rights movement, about the environmental movement. his last book -- actually he had been in berkley in the '60s and done bat ofle with then governor reagan of the free speech movement andrides in berkeley. rhetorical battle, not physical battle. his last book its called "ronald reagan fate, freedom and me making of history" and in this book this, liberal historian, rates ronald reagan as one of the four greatest presidents, comparing to george washington, lincoln and roosevelt because he saved many, many people. >> craig, when we think about
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reagan and the republican party, conservatism, i think i go back to barry goldwater to '674, -- '64. to reagans where famous speech. for the sake of the audience, explain to us how he comes to being? one of the great distinctions between reagan and trump is that reagan has a strong political history before he challenges the party establishment. >> that's right. well, he has already had a lot of executive experience as head of the screen actors guild. a couple years ago, reagan negotiated the residuals which became important to a lot of old retired actors and actresses our of work who are still getting stipendses and residuals from the work they had done in tv and movies years ago.
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because the studios would pay the -- the previous system was the studios would pay the actors and actresses one time to appear in a tv show or movie and then they could rebroadcast it and pocket all the royalties women immunity. reagan negotiated residuals so their images and voice some their acting wasn't sold without compensation to them. reagan did that. i was having lunch with fred barnes and he was in one of those washington movies, little role, think it was "dave" and was telling me about the movie had been rebroadcast in hungary or something like that, and he got a residual check for $12.98. and i said, you know why you got that check? he said no. i said because ronald reagan gauched that with the studios. so, any point is that the had very good executive skills and very good negotiating skills,
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long before he even ran for governor. but of course, his movie career had faded. he liked hollywood. he loved hollywood. but by 1962-'63. pretty much over with. the only made one movie after that called "the killers" and hated the movie so much he never saw it. he did 57 movies and it's the only time where he is depicted as a bad guy and slaps angie dickenson in the movie and hated that. he would never see the movie. but he was kind of -- he himself was in the wilderness several times, including after '63, and he is kind of like a professional host in southern california, interviewing -- introducing political candidates and various things, and he started to develop a speech
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which became known "the speech. "for local candidates but mostly goldwater. ... my parents were members of it, went to the goldwater convention. walter brennan kissed my mother. anybody remember walter brennan? excellent. >> it is odd to think of walter brennan kissing your mom. kind >> anybody is developing the speech and finally a group of wealthy southern california business men go to reagan and his brother reagan and they say
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to reagan do you want to put the picture up? they put up the money it was an enormous hit for the goldwater campaign. of course he loses in a historic landscape but david broeter wrote for the washington post, the once ray of sunlight was reagan's speech. and goldwater's defeat is devastating to the republican party. the republicans are in the minority in the house and the senate and they have very few statehouses and very few governorships. in many ways the republican party is functionally dead. it doesn't have a cohere policy. the same group says we want you to run for the senate and he said no, i don't want to run for
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congress and they said what about governor? that piqued his interest. he started going around with local business and civic groups and other organized groups and getting feedback and the feedback from the people was good so that is when he decided to run for the governor of california. now he is broken from hollywood. you can go on youtube and watch the speech. there is a landslide win. now, we are in the nixon era. here comes ronald reagan to challenge the party at a moment when the party is shaking and
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things are not clear but they want gerald ford. he is the establishment candidate. in this book, it takes us through some of these difficult shows for a man who is poplar and says in keeping with the real conservative ideology of the time but finds the party is somewhere else. >> the party is somewhat in the wilderness. the republican party from 1932 until the late '70s doesn't have a philosophy. the democrats do. they are the party of hope and future. roosevelt runs for president and kennedy says we need to get the country moving again. the democratic party from '32 until '76 and beyond is the party of hope, optimism and the future and the republican party
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is the green eye shade, eager spinach, balance the budget party. their message is basically me too-ism. we can manage government better than the democrats. we will just do it better. that was their pitch. it wasn't very inspirational obviously which is why they are the minority until '68 and even beyond. reagan comes forward and the early leaders of the conservative movement have a cohe cohereant picture. we are reaching an era and from
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'32 to the '60s most americans believed that government is working and government is working for them. it didn't solve the great depression but good effort and people appreciated it. it did defeat the empire of japan, nazi germany, built the interstate highway system, built roads, bridges and public education. at one point we had the finest education system in the world. but by the '60s, government is starting to fail. government doesn't save john kennedy, president kennedy. government doesn't save martin luther king, jr. government doesn't save senator robert kennedy. in the '70s, government can't win the vietnam war, stop high interest rates, stop gas prices. carter runs in '76 and was an
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outsider and was not wed to the idea of big government. he is the reformer. he is going to clean up washington ask go after the corruption. he is going to cut taxes. they don't believe it is working anymore. carter attacks it from somewhat from the left and reagan is on the right. reagan comes to the convention, loses the nomination to gerald ford by 69 delegate votes out of 2269 cast in kansas city. the mississippi delegation, the ohio delegation, the new york delegation, reagan is convinced that ford has not stolen the
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nomination but not won entirely legitimately and we are getting into the weeds. this wets reagan's appetite to run again even though he is 65 years old. a lot of people said you have been around the track twice, gave it your best shot, but now it is time to step aside and let new flesh blood run for the nomination and reagan is like no, we are running. you didn't mention ford in much detail here but tell me what is his view of gerald ford? is ford simply the establishment? >> ford and reagan don't much like each other. ms. reagan andmoking gun, what
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you talking about?
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anyway, nixon is revealed ordering the cia to halt the fbi investigation into watergate and that is the end of richard nixon. gerald ford ascends to the presidency but gerald ford has no republicans made a psychic investment in gerald ford, nobody outside of one congressional district has voted to for gerald ford. he has his hold on the republican party very tenuous and he wants to run for 76 but he confuses nixon's appeal with nixon's policies. he was barely conservative but not as conservative as reagan. [train horn] >> he pursues nixon's policies, continues détente, his fiscal
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policies, to the bench. this creates an opening for conservative challenger 76 and some looked at it but re >> the reality is carter beat ford by an extremely slight difference. carter carries ohio in 1976 by 6,000 votes out of over 3 million cast. he carried -- the headquarters are in ohio so there is a lot of suspicion the teamsters but they wouldn't do that. >> no. >> let me quickly say the fact that ford came so close would seem to indicate there is a shift but reagan now it is definitely in his limits in the
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book to persist. he immediately creates citizens for the public to help candidates run for office. up. right now we're so happy to welcome a new northwest arthur, will claim here as long as we can, rachel pearson. [applause] >> thank you so much tonya can you hear me? thanks so much for coming out. were excited to share the book with you and hear your questions if you have any. this is a book that i wrote primarily based on experiences i had a medical school. is working in texas where i cared for folks and marginalized communities. a free clinic some border clinics and county hospitals in central texas. this was eye-opening and life-changing. i'm excited to share with you tonight. one thing to know is that it deals with a really heavy things. so at the same time it has stories about our family, stories about our friends. i'm gonna start off with a section that i think is funny. this is based in west texas in a time townwide to my family medicine rotation. a little town called for davis. in the story i was riding into town with the dr. who takes care patients in that town. we pulled in a little strip of the town with 1000 inhabitants. the mcdonald observatory. the clinic is on one end of the town. the dr. said hi to everybody and to me. he is a rancher in his 60s with strong arms. i think i told myself -- picking up a hay bale. yes, he did the wife said, down there. i understand i said. this is been better for me and in my surgery rotation a helped repair hernias. he told me the whole story. how he picked up the hay bill and felt the sudden pain in the groin area and it didn't go away. pull republica
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party and one of the big issues as many of us remember is the panama canal treaty. he developed the initiative in '76. the panama canal was considered one of the seven wonders of the world. my grandfather was so furious -- grandmother -- that carter was going to give away the canal to panama. she grew up with the canal. this is a great example of american exceptionalism. we succeeded where the french failed and it is important psych psychically to my grandmother and millions of others that the
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idea carter is turning control over to panama is infuriating. america just lost to vietnam. we are loosing to the soviets. america's day is over. it comes at a terrible time and reagan, of course, is campaigning against first gerald ford and then jimmy carter. reagan is starting in north carolina in '76 he is saying we built it, it is ours, we will keep it and his audience goes crazy over this. he keeps it up as an issue even as carter becomes president he still continues the ford policy of transferring control of the panama canal zone. carter goes on national television to make the case to the america people on why it is important to give up control of
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the panama canal and singles out the criticism of reagan. the president of the united states singles out one person out of 240 million. singles out reagan who is just a private citizen. so the next day, cbs news calls reagan and says would you like a half hour of national broadcast time to respond to the president of the united states and it would never happen today. reagan jumps at the chance and goes on and gives a half hour speech responding to the president of the united states attacking him over the panama canal treaty. >> host: let's shift to his fight at the republican establishment embodied in george hw bush. >> the party is split and has been split since the '50s.
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in the '50s it was eisenhower and taft. taft represented the conservative outsiders and then nixon, goldwater and rock feller and then nixon and then rockefeller but there is always a split inside the republican party between the conservative outsiders and the more moderate insiders and this happens in 1980 and reagan represents the conservative out sider and push represents the more modern insiders and this is the fight over the nomination and future of the party boils down to these two individuals. >> tell us about it. >> it was a seasaw battle for a while. reagan is kind of coast. reagan is at his worse when
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someone is not challenging him. he is a competitor. reagan needs to be challenged otherwise he doesn't rise to the occasion. he doesn't take the george bush challenge seriously and ends up loosing the ohio caucuses in january of 1980 which was a stunning upset in the political world. it was enormous. reagan had been a radio broadcaster in iowa all through the '30s. he is a local hero and george bush is from new england or texas. he has less ties to new england than he does any prep school. or iowa, i mean, than any prep school in new england. he beats reagan. and that night, nbc goes on national television and said we
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just witnessed the political funeral of reagan. five weeks later he scores an enormous comeback in the new hampshire primary. we remember the debate. i am paying for this microphone, mr. green, even though his name wasn't green. that starts the beginning of his comeback against bush. he goes to detroit and the party is still divided so he needs to pick bush to unify the party as he has. nixon picks lodge and agnew to unify the party. that was ticket splitting in the '40s, '50s '60s and into the '70s. that unifies the party but it goes through 30 state conventions. the primary is not just reagan's
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for the asking. he has to fight the street fight of his life to beat george bush to get the nomination. >> and that fight is the source of the vodoo economics >> that is right. it was developed as an issue in '78 and he is doing radio commentaries about it. he became the center of the campaign and bush can't match it. he came up with his own tax plan but it was focused more on business rather than the individual and reagan was more focused on the individual rather than the business. bush unwisely goes out and starts attacking a very poplar plan of reagan's that reagan is storing politically well with and calls it voodoo economics and reagan was so furious over
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that. it was a big sticking point why he didn't want to push bush as hus running mate in detroit in 1980. >> we want to invite questions from the audience. please have your questions prepared. but i want to come back to this because we started, craig, by talking about trump-reagan. you know, reagan actually gets a tax reform plan done. two of them. he is able to do business with democrats. with tip o'neal and people on the hill. he has success moving things forward despite intense criticism from democrats and fellow republicans. >> and the washington establishment. >> that is what i am trying to get at. so here comes trump -- >> i didn't know if you were going to mention the "washington
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post" or not. >> craig likes to secure definitely. you get a situation now where people say here is another populist outsider challenger specifically to the republican establishment but you say the analogy doesn't hold water. i am thinking in your book is it a result of the fact one guy could get something done in washington and the other could not? >> i think there were a lot more conservative democrats in 1981 than there were today. a lot more liberal republicans than there are in washington and the republican party today. ultimately, politics is personal. you have been writing about it for a long time and you see it. politics is about the personal. reagan was able to work with democrats. in '86, ross cow ski deserves
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credit for geographic -- for getting this passed. i think also look at reagan's speeches, commentaries and q&a. he didn't come to washington declare war on the media. he had attacked the burr burr ocries but realized he needed the democrats to get programs through and needed the media to be open to theed i -- i tease you about the "washington post" but the editorial was supportive. they said reagan brought a new intellectual revolution to american politics and that is
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something to be thankful for. and reagan put that into practice. i think it was personal, philosophical and we are at the end of jimmy carter and carter i will defend and say he is a good man. came to washington with the best of intentions. but jimmy carter failed as president because he didn't ultimately understand washington. but we had the recession and so democrats knew they needed to do something so they were willing to take a chance on reagan-nomics. >> get back to trump. >> let me answer this diplomatically. >> there were a lot of people who thought reagan was going to be president in the '80s.
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historians were not rating him high. they are going back and looking at the reagan presidency and he is rated, i think the lost poll of american historians had him 13 but he has been going up over the last 30-40 years. i don't have the newspapers of eight years or four years from now to tell you about donald trump. i can tell you reagan approached the presidency differently, reagan was a different man, reagan had different style. there is no comparison except both were out siders and both were stretched through the political system. that is the only thing i would say compare the two men. >> when people inside the republican party say trump is the inheritor no is the answer again. >> no, trump is not the inheritor to the extent that any republican is the inheritor of the previous republican base of
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support inside the party. he is the inheritor but the inheritor of the bush's too. of hw and w as far as the coalition they put together the win the nomination. >> i don't think trump would say he was comfortable being described as an inheritor of george w. >> i am sure there is a lot of things trump is not comfortable with. >> but it is obvious, you know? there are certain types of republican primary voters that issues may change, they may change somewhat their philosophy but essential the republican primary voters voted for richard nixon in the republican primary 1960 is similar to the republican primary voter who voted for donald trump in 2016. >> you mean the silent majority concept? >> yes, exactly. silent majority was coined by
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richard nixon and reintroduced by donald trump. >> you think when you look at people like paul ryan, when you look at people like mitch mcconnell, are they the true in heritors of the reagan's legacy? or is it someone else? >> i don't know if there is one one inheritor. i saw mike pence give his speech today at what college? grove city college. he was terrific. it was a reagan-esque each. i think somebody is going to write a column or op-et or piece contrasting his speech with trump's at the coast guard attack. it is nicely written. if you haven't seen it, i would urge you to take a look at it. it was a peach for all americans
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>> i get you didn't think much of mr. trump's speech at the coast guard academy? >> he used first person pronouns like he was eating breakfast. >> let's go to the audience. we have a question here. hang on, i think there is a microphone coming for you. >> would you say ted cruz is the political force? >> freedom, individuality and future. he was a romantic and believed in life and quoted emerson,
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payne and so much of the enlightenment is about this. reagan, by the time he is an adult, he has a fully formed flus aef. anybody who articulates that or understands that is the ere to the reagan philosophy whether it is ted cruz, mike pence, or mcconnell. anybody who tries to enhance individual rights, privileges and privacy. >> we have a question in the back. >> many republicans join liberals in questioning the war on drugs and its aftermath and human toll it has taken. if reagan was alive and mentally well today, do you think he would have some of the same reservations? >> that is a good question and a
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tough one. reagan was in many ways a libertarianian and did an interview with reason magazine in which he said libertarianism was the fundamental base of conservativeness. but i am sure he would have divided -- yet, i think we should control the distribution and use of drugs, hallucinogenics but it could be done by states and localities. we cannot do it by the federal government >> i think this is a powerful question given what we are seeing from the attorney general, jeff sessions, who wants to go back to the war on drugs, but you see many republicans, including some republicans that might surprise you, who say we have too many people incarcerated in the
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country. it is cheaper to send them to college than jail. i am just wondering when you hear this question you think again this is departure from ronald reagan's attitude and willingness to work with others. >> i think there is a lot of departures. reagan was for a small border and said they are important for national security and identity. but i think the issue came up about walls and he kaputed in the republican primary in 1980. >> stay on this one. he said build a big wall but have a big door in the middle of it. >> fine. everything that reagan does in his presidency has to be judged in the shadow of the cold war. when he proposed the north
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american free trade agreement it was to build a solid, free market system in the west to repel soviet advances and violence among those. we wanted a strong west ern hemisphe hemisphere to fend off those. >> we don't have time for another question. craig's surely's book, reagan rising,
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>> booktv is on twitter and facebook. we want to hear from you. tweet us. s sisters first but we have been so lucky in our lives which meant we always have a partner in everything we are doing so whether it was growing up in texas because they're there was someone with us to make it more magical we had someone that was


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