tv 2018 Miami Book Fair Sunday CSPAN November 18, 2018 2:28pm-5:46pm EST
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this almost feel like a rock concert. the speaker of nbc news and msnbc. his work has been in the new york times and most of the spin red and blue, and origins of political tribalism is his first book. please join me in welcoming, steve kornack. [applause] >> not a problem, please have a seat! [applause] he will be joined by a nonfiction book critic of the "washington post", he is also served as post-economic editor, national security editor and outlook editor. he received a 2015 national book critic circle citation for excellence in reviewing. please join me in welcoming carlos lozada.
[applause] >> thank you. that was my district doing the screaming for me. [laughter] i like the strategy here. it is a pleasure to be here with steve kornack. this tells us whatever we don't like about politics today we can blame in the 1990s production questions about the book and politics and then we have time for audience q&a. i want to start clarifying some basic themes and terms, almost what is called the red and the blue. any start taking us back to election night 2000 when we see the big map, right? lots of red in the middle, lots
of bread in the south, lots of blue. new mexico kind of doing its thing. and of course, florida. you people up for grabs. so, what did red and blue mean then versus what does it mean now to live or be part of red america versus blue america today? >> i mean, literally at the start of election 2000 when people are turning on their television and they see the early states he called, they see florida get called for gourley on the think you'll be the next president. red and blue means nothing to anybody. they were just colors. and they were randomly assigned colors. 1984 for instance, abc began election night coverage and they said, we have a map tonight. we decided we are going to make the reagan states red because reagan and red start with the
same letter. [laughter] that was the level of thought that went into these things. you just as likely to see a map that democrats be assigned red and the republicans be assigned blue. it just so happened that they said sync up with the same colors pizza every station had the same color. they had colluded. >> is that a lot of internal discussions and the different arguments and there had been claims that this was the wrong color scheme and you can make a case where -- had really been a lot of thought into it. it just so happened they were on that. and as you say, we get what we had seen at that point in a generation. the close presidential election. and so there was suspense, and it was suspended for 36 days for the recount in the country was left in the recount to stare at the map every day. and it was somewhere around then david letterman and his cbs late night show, he said i have a solution to this whole recount down to florida. when we just let al gore be the president of the blue states and george w. bush the red
states and so, what it's become i think in 20 years since, physically, or 18 years since election of 2000, they have become not just for the parties but also for the culture. that is when you start using the term, tribalism. i think the difference between red america, blumer-- blue amer. this is what one things that taxes were agriculture. it is a cultural separation. between the two parties.and there's a distinct, almost red america culture and blue america culture. and that is something that is new to the politics now i think. >> when we look back on the 90s. it is easy to think about as this kind of easy period. you have this complacency like there is a show about nothing, bill clinton is like playing the saxophone on arsenio hall and especially the end of
history. so they kind of triumph over everything. and so, your book feels kind of countercultural almost in a sense. because few this was a period that sort of laid out this big division. why do we miss remember the 1990s so badly? >> because i think the political stuff that i read about here, was -- i do want to say it was beneath the surface because it was there. if you are paying attention to politics back then, this was right in your face every day. but it was not as prominent as it is now. these are sort of the seeds in the ground, the roots i think taking hold. but what you saw, in the 1990s was just a series of political wars. and is based on this collision of newt gingrich and bill clinton. bill clinton getting elected president in 1992. first democrat in a dozen years to win a presidential race.
it was supposed be impossible. this was the conventional wisdom in the 90s. impossible for a democrat to get elected president. they called in electoral lock of the presidency. they talked about picking the electoral ballots in 92.bill clinton becomes president. what he meets though is a republican party that was different. bill clinton comes to washington in january 1993, republicans of the minority party in the house and in the senate.but what's different is they been changed by newt gingrich. who has been working sort of starting on the back benches and working his way up. he has been changing the way republicans thing on capitol hill about congressional strategy. and the newt gingrich strategic vision is that you nationalize politics, do not come from is because compromise and gives the other side credit and tells people there's no differences between the parties and you look for vivid, dramatic, high-profile demonstrations of, this is the difference between a democrat and republican. he used to say democrats, want people to think of democrats of the party of the welfare state. republicans as the party of the opportunity society. that is a conscious he wanted
everyone seeing in every action that bill clinton took in every action republicans in congress took. it meant at the beginning of really a political warfare throughout the decade. it culminated i think in the election of 2000. >> newt gingrich is really the keep the origin story of tribalism that you talk about in the book. and it's not just about position, as you say, to clinton and the democrats. but also revolutionary for republicans to operate that way. where did that come from? how did this guy that like you know, losses first to attempt to become member of congress, how did he revolutionize that style of politics? >> i would say when everything of newt gingrich, i know he is a somewhat controversial figure. the story of his rising congress, it's an amazing story. he gets there on his third try. in 1978. he's a history professor at west georgia college, gets elected to the house on his third try in 1978. when he gets to washington the republican party in houses joining has been the minority party of that point for 1/4
century. it is not even close. send election with the democrats are going to get control of the house now. they needed 23 seats on election day this year. it was totally within reach for them. one of the last two years whether they got there or not it was doable for them. at least it was plausible. for the republicans of the 1970s and 1980s, even 90s, the idea of them being a majority party in the house one day seem completely unfathomable. that's what newt gingrich, they were well short pier they were 100 seats a minority. and he came to the republican party in january 1979 and said, i'm going to beat you to the majority. and they thought he was nuts. and what newt gingrich sensed was, the country at the start of the 70s had just reelected richard nixon. in 49 states per 61 percent of the votes. he said, the country is capable giving nixon 61 percent, the company is capable giving mcgovern no states except massachusetts. if given the same choice between a republican,
pre-watergate. a republican like richard nixon and the silent majority, the idea in a democrat like george mcgovern, the country will do nothing but vote republican. so the newt gingrich vision is to make people see in every race in the backyard, every race in the backyard every race on the ballot that kind of choice to see the democrat as george mcgovern. as a part of cultural liberalism. as a party of you know, being an expansive government. a party wanted to raise taxes, that sort of thing. that was a radical concept because it was political diversity in congress at that point. there were liberal republicans, conservative democrats, liberal democrats. there was no logical cohesion, he did not have -- the entire sauce was pretty much conservative democratic at that point. they were in alliance with liberal machines from the north. union democrats from the north and you know, charlie wrangle was in the same party as people that were white supremacists. they share the same party. in washington.
so gingrich, he believed in sorting it out to find the republicans and the conservative party and defined in the democrats essentially as a party of george mcgovern style liberal. that was the goal. >> i am seeing c-span here remind me of a book i loved, how gingrich used c-span in congress to nationalize his message. how did he do that? >> yes, january 1979 when newt gingrich comes to congress, coincides with television cameras, to congress for the first time. so cable-television was just kind of you know coming a thing in the late 70s. it explodes in the 1980s and everyone's household. so part of this was brian lamb created c-span got the cable industry as this good will gesture to the country to say, you know what? with the cable package you get this channel, where you get to watch the government every day. you have a camera in the house
and you can watch all of the proceedings. and they convinced at that time it was tip o'neill, democratic speaker of the house to sign off. put the camera that most members of congress thought nothing of it. who watches channel? it's boring. and newt gingrich recognized the camera had benefit because they could connect into a whole new audience that he could otherwise not reach. as a freshman member of congress he was not going to get on cbs or nbc or abc. he was not going to be on the front page of the new york times. but he can go and talk on the floor of the house to anybody, c-span might stop and listen pre-found that there is a obscure provision maybe not obscure but not utilized. on any given day, any member can claim the floor for as much time they want for any reason they want. special orders they called it. so gingrich and a band of half a dozen allies began claiming the special orders. typically, members would use these to read a message of congratulations to a local little league game or retiring
school superintendent. an empty chamber, they were essentially, gingrich and his allies began producing what you would now recognize as a cable news show. on the floor of the house. and anyone flipping through c-span at 11:00 at night might find it. and they were railing against democrats. the democrat machine as the newt gingrich would call it. i guess liberalism.big defining themes here that he wanted to define politics. and he built a grassroots following. and that was the source of his power. a big source of his power and rise in the house. >> with that of course, today you have the use of social media. to communicate with the big national audience. like that. it's become almost a truism right? that silos and news media and the use of social media are forces behind the tribalism of the era. how important a factor to see that shifting to today for a second? is it cause or effect?
>> yeah, i mean -- i think there is a certain level of, it is always there. the question of what gets the filters that exist in media. and that era that gingrich sort of came to washington in late 1970s, back then it was the big three. abc, cbs, nbc. those are the major sources of television news. no cnn, no msnbc, no fox news channel. and the daily newspaper. i think what that meant was, he created on the surface a lot more consensus and politics. because there is this limited number of elite gatekeepers. they tended to know each other, they tended to know the players in the game and the terms of the rules of conduct. there also recognized and understood by people. but he did not mean that there weren't other forces out there. but back then, may find it in a john birch society newsletter. somebody might run off a couple hundred copies of that and send it through the mail. that kind of thing. he began to change and think again, you connect his rise to
c-span and cable news and then so that is the big change of the innovation of the 80s and 90s. then innovation really the last decade or so is social media. and i view it as a cause and effect because it is this self-perpetuating thing where it brings things to the surface that have never been part of the debate before really in a prominent way. but it also in the process reveals that there was a bigger audience for it then was always there we just did not realize. >> your other big -- there several characters but it is sort of newt gingrich, is one of the overriding forces in the book. the other is bill clinton. and you know, he and newt gingrich have faced off in all these famous moments over the size of government and the budget and the government shutdown. and you know getting a good seat on air force one and all of these things. what is clinton's role in the
origins of tribalism? >> yeah, i mean first of all, bill clinton had to be able to win. his democrats had to be able to win a presidential election to set up the type of class we are talking about. bill clinton did the thing that you say was, thought to be impossible for democrats. democrats were just losing presidential elections prior to 1992.they were getting blown out in ways we cannot even conceive of today. ronald reagan won 49 states in 1984. michael dukakis did better in 1988 he only lost 40. [jimmy carter lost 44 in 1980. mcgovern 49 and 72. think about that. elections these days where it is a given at the start of every election democrats win 20 states and republicans will win 20 states and they will scramble over this vanishing number of swing states in the middle. the e start with 45 percent and it's a question of who can excite the base the most. this was not what politics was like that. you needed a democrat who could
win a majority and bill clinton could do that. the first thing was that he could win. >> i think it is -- >> the most interesting thing about his rise, get into this a little in the book. we think the democratic party and he wanted to go back to the middle he did in the general election run as a centrist. but to get the democratic nomination, bill clinton put himself in a position. only bill clinton could do this. we got to rally the old liberal guard of the party and be the last hope of liberals to stave off the conservative takeover represented by a man named paul tsongas. i think it is the biggest break bill clinton caught on his way to the white house. and not doing with someone like mary, did not run his opponent because he said i want to be the best friend while she ever had. bill clinton had been preparing to run for president knowing
that he was going to be tagged and the liberal guard of the parties you want anything to do with. in the cluster folks spend a ton of time heading into the 92 campaign. how do we pull this off? how do you work for the middle and a democratic primary? and when cuomo decides not to run, tsongas emerges as the chief rival he doesn't have to run the middle. paul tsongas will to give voice to walter p paul tsongas is a start to social security, medicare, got to run all the -- but he never had to convince the democratic electorate. he never had to get them to opt that he just had to get them -- >> or other figures or want to talk about. for so many people, the rise of donald trump and american politics today, he is like completely unique. this kind of you know
unexpected bolt of lightning. you find some real precursors to donald trump in the 90s basically in the protectionism of ross perot and then type of cultural worrier of pat buchanan. what is the through line with these two figures toward donald trump today? >> yeah. this is an amazing part of the book. in terms of the research of going back and finding this and re-creating it and seeing that essentially at the end of the 1990s, donald trump, man president of the united states right now, pretty much ran for president. never announce his candidacy but he did everything else. pretty much ran for president and his platform was saving the country from what we would now call trump ism.
the buchanan message was make america great again, nafta, reviving american manufacturing, giving the american worker a good deal again building a wall along the southern border and stopping the rapid change of american and western culture that immigration represented by having a five-year moratorium on all immigration. this was the buchanan platform in the 1990s. buchanan ran in the 92 republican primaries. he was taken against george h. w. bush the people didn't read much into it. he ran and 96. he won the new hampshire primary. a brief moment and 96 the republican party had the same reckoning in 2016. the republican leaders had to say, there's a bigger market for this in our party that we ever realize. but they were able to shut it 796. they were able to nominate bob dole. and 99 buchanan was gearing up to run again. here's another twist. he declared the republican
process rigged. he said his leaving the republican party and going to run for the nomination of what was then the reform party which ross perot had created in 1992 in his independent bid. the reform party was there, it had ballot access, automatic pool of money if you ran federal matching funds. it used to be a lot of money back there appears to buchanan steps forward to run. then in september 99, donald trump stepped forward and says, this guy buchanan, he is a racist. this guy buchanan, this is what donald trump is saying in public. on meet the press. he said this guy buchanan, can you believe david duke is out there say nice things about him and he will not denounce them. this is donald trump taking a trip to the museum of tolerance goes on a tour and says, i really wish pat buchanan would come here. he might learn something. this was the trump campaign this was the thing, he was getting nowhere. in early 2000 donald trump
running for president or is this a publicity stunt? he has a backing appeared happened was to get the reform party nomination you really need to organize. this is going to be awarded by delegates of the national convention. buchanan was cleaning donald trump clock when he came to this. he was going to get the nomination. in a february 2000 you can go back, this is an amazing feat of history to go back to look at. donald trump is decides to end the campaign by writing an op-ed for the new york times. in the op-ed he talks about all of the people that pat buchanan has attracted to the reform party. it includes david duke, a woman named lenore and a few others. and donald trump says, in the op-ed, i'm simply not comfortable being associated politically with these people. and can have no place in the reform party. he said the very end, i did enjoy the experience and maybe someday i will run for president. that is how he entered the op-ed. >> and the meet the press appearance he referred to the buchanan supporters as wackos. which is what years later, tom mccain would say i believe,
about wacko doodles -- >> yes, sorry. the terminology appeared very technical. and so that was one of the amazing moments. and because donald trump is not huge character he rears his had one small and is a different donald trump. tribalism is not just about what politicians say or do but this is them in some way the impact and may be failure of the parties. so what was the role of parties and party leadership in enabling the rise of these tribal forces? especially today, the people who were on the stage a moment ago, you know we are talking about the transformation of the republican party. and so is there something in the sauce of the party? something that enables this
sort of tribal behavior to rear its head? >> i think it is this paradox, basically where the parties simultaneously have never been weaker and never been stronger. and i mean the weakness of the republican party just in terms of its power to determine outcomes in its own primary election. it was never more clear than in 2015. donald trump did not get his first endorsement from a member of congress until he started winning primaries. the old logic, the old sort of assumption for our presidential nominations were determined, there was this political science concept about the invisible primary peer basically was about candidates going around and collecting endorsements from influencers. no elected officials, party leaders, folks had influence of primary voters. that was how nominations ultimately were won. donald trump is not getting those kinds of endorsements in 2015 and 2016. the republican establishment
such as was was trying to stop it. it was powerless so in that sense the republican party establishment -- in the democratic party establishment. bernie sanders comes into the democratic primaries, not even democrat! and get 7 million votes. against you know, a candidate with the entire democratic establish rally around. and that since i think there weaker they both have the potential being overtaken by forces they do not necessarily want to be overtaken by. but stronger in that i think the sense of identity that people now invest in i am part of blue america. i am part of red america. the cultural aspect i think is stronger, deeper, more personal than it ever was before.and so people, and i think this is something so with republicans 2016. when donald trump got the nomination, he got 45 percent of the combined vote in a republican primary. 45 percent republicans that were not in voting primaries
actually voted for donald trump. but on election day almost 90 percent republicans went out and voted for donald trump in the fall. that is with the tribalism i think asserted itself where it was ultimately, we do not want blue america taking over the country.we don't want hitler taking over the country.and so ultimately the republican party was there with donald trump top to bottom. >> they used to be this thing called conservative democrats and liberal republicans. but we reach a point where the political scientists attract the things and attitudes in congress and such have found that there is no longer any point of overlap between the most liberal republicans in the most conservative democrats. and the diagram, there is no middle, there is nothing there. having wallowed in the origins of this separation of this tribalism, do you imagine -- i will ask you for solutions but to imagine that center somehow being repopulated? >> it is hard to see -- and
that's where i think it intersects. i think the thing that newt gingrich got right, just in terms of understanding where american politics was going was understanding how much the media atmosphere was changing. how the number of platforms was exploding. this was even in the 80s and then the 90s when he was thinking this way. and how that was going to open up doors to nationalize these processes. and i think now, if you look where we are in 2018 going forward, our media is structured in a way, especially social media, to throw the basic differences in your face every day. every second of every day. and i think in that atmosphere, it is hard for me to conceive of someone getting traction in one of these parties primaries by trying to run as the you know, sort of the centrist.
you know what bill clinton did come out of the people he ever had to do but the idea of selling either one of the party bases right now, on moderation. i think i sense among democrats accept it in a sense of like hey, southwest pennsylvania district me to run a more moderate candidate. you have that level but nationally, i am skeptical that there will appeal to the base and it will not be the most persuasive thing. certainly on the republican side is just been proven with donald trump. >> one of the stories i think out of the recent midterm was newt gingrich old district. the sixth district in georgia. was won by a democrat. >> yet, although it did not move. democrats in georgia nearly tried to take out newt gingrich with a redrawing of the map. they moved the district to the suburbs of atlanta. because with his base he did good with urban voters with cultural stuff that they moved him into the suburbs of atlanta
and almost took him out in 1992. and it was sort of a democrat running on a gun safety platform. correct? >> yes. >> coming back to more in the moment, one of the big flashpoint in the midterms was the confirmation hearings with judge brett kavanaugh. and you have all these moments are kind of embodied political tribalism and that seemed like a moment that when we look back on, when you write the book about this era, your sql, i just imagine when i'm not committing him to -- i think people will be looking at that, that moment is very significant in sort of, where you stood on brett kavanaugh, on doctor ford, seemed to hit so much on a set of other political assumptions and identity of red
or blue. when you think about those hearings anything about the gender and sexual politics in the 90s with bill clinton as well. what are conclusions or lessons that you draw we look at the two euros? -- the two eras. >> mario cuomo ran and 92. and he almost did, i think he might have beaten bill clinton in the democratic primaries and i think in a way that might have finished off bill clinton's political career. and people are going broke betting on bill clinton to lose. but here is why i say that because number one bill clinton ran in 92, gennifer flowers
scandal emerge pretty early on and 92. the assumption back then with that would finish him off because it finished off gary hart four years earlier peers or gary hart show you cannot survive an affair now here comes bill clinton the same thing. he managed to survive that. mario cuomo was not in the race beat if mario cuomo got the race then he was already 30 points ahead of bill clinton. he would got all the endorsements that would immediately come to before any scandal erupts with bill clinton. money. all of the money would have come to cuomo. he would have been the big front runner right away. then the jennifer flowers scandal -- and if you really remember, the gennifer flowers scandal included taped conversations in which bill clinton disparages mario cuomo as a mob boss. mafioso.and mario cuomo in real time in january 1992, accused will consider bigotry. from those tapes.
some just imagining bill clinton running 30 points behind mario, being hit with the gennifer flowers scandal and then having the tape emerge. i do think mario cuomo might have finished him off right then. if that had happened and you had a cuomo presence in the 90s i think you would've had a lot of the turmoil allowed political turmoil in you would not have had i don't believe, the sexual politics. in a talk about red and blue being a culturally, a cultural divide around that. the reaction to how people process the monica lewinsky scandal in 1998. i was a big sort of -- informed the map that emerged in 2000. in 2016, when donald trump got hit with the access hollywood tape. two days later there was that debate. and what was his response? how is he going to handle this? he shows up with bill clinton's accusers. and the message is always, hate america, view this as a trouble thing. this is the blue america tried to take me out and remember who will america protected. that was essentially the message he was delivering. what if that had never happened in this country? what if he never had a
president who tested that rule? that bill clinton tested when he endured through the gennifer flowers scandal in 92. because it did not stop. two years later when he was president, he had accusations of sexual -- and they have monica lewinsky. and i think we are still processing appeared in some ways reprocessing that 20 years later and the whole episode. in rethinking how it was treated at the time. but i think you left a major mark on the politics and the more i read of history, just big picture history, this history, european history, global history you realize in societies that where there is division, they will latch onto the one side, one side will side of justice for a long time. many have not forgotten the clinton wars in 1990. and blue america has not either. try to imagine the 1990s without the clintons.
>> last 25 years. >> it is sort of mind blowing! because so much of the -- there are so many not in love with donald trump couldn't support hillary clinton. but with that kind of counterfactual, i think that we can start taking questions from the audience. there's a microphone here in the center for whoever wants to start us off. >> so -- is this on? i'm a big fan of yours. and my question is, the country has gone through periods of time where it's been very polarized and less polarized. we are obviously in a very polarized time in which you have in your book. how do you see it may be
getting out of this polarization and coming back together? do you see any hope for that? or what do you see the crystal ball for the next 5 to 10 years? >> my crystal ball is not held up well the last few years. but yeah, is one of those -- if i had the answer to the you know, how could this all work out? in a better way kind of question, i would probably do something besides write a book. i could probably solve a lot of problems of the world. it is one of the things that as i was researching the book, as i was writing it, i wanted to have that chapter that i can and/or note i could ended on that looks forward and says, here is the better place i think it could end up going or here is how we can potentially get there. and i just don't have a good answer to it. except that i do think there is an argument to be made if you want to take a hopeful note. the way i look at it was, human nature in a way got us into
this storable-- this tribe trib. i think we really tapped into that innate human tribalism. but maybe is an aspect of human nature that also gets sick of this. and looks for something better. and maybe in some way, 20 years from now, we look back and we look at this. of politics as a ugly but ultimately, necessary bridge to something better. >> thank you. [applause] >> hi, thank you so much. i'm a big fan. coming from msnbc this may be an odd question but i'm wondering if you can adjust we think fox news effect is on tribalism.
>> well, fox -- the origin story of fox which is created 1996, cable news is created in 1980 with cnn. the first time he had 20 for-- hour cable news. they basically took this model and applied that to cable news. they get traction and become established. the fox news origin story was seeing cnn, cnn had tapped into -- there was a market out there for cable news but also seeing the success of rush limbaugh. and rush limbaugh obviously, become conservative radio host, his big break came in 1988. in 1988 his show went national. national and syndicated in almost overnight he had 10, 15, 20 million listeners a week.
and rush limbaugh was working with newt gingrich kind of in tandem. he was in washington and rush was putting on the radio. and then they did a t.v. show. then the producer in the early 1990s, was roger ailes. roger ailes took thistalk radio phenomenon , brought it to television. he had a nightly syndicated rush limbaugh show. i think is half an hour in the 1990s. and how this model of cnn that had been created in 1980. i think roger ailes put all of those things together and said you know what? there's a huge market out there. a huge market people who are interested in political news. were interested in political current events. and they are hostile to cnn, nbc, abc. all of sort of the mainstream broadcast outlets. so there is a market there for a cable news channel that
serves that audience. and that was roger ailes in 1996 who created the fox news channel with the slogan, fair and balanced. and he was telling that audience that was very into politics and current events, had a very low opinion of the mainstream media, we are different. and that was a start of it. msnbc was also created in 1996. although the msnbc of that era, he probably would not recognize today. it took i was a decade before msnbc started to find the identity that you would now associate with msnbc. >> thank you for your talk. i've been thinking about this political shift from a cultural perspective. deeply. it seems to me that in this country for long. of time you talk about the sexual politics. and also candidates religion or those deeply personal things did not seem as important even
200 years ago in this country. in some so how we come to a point where these things about a person that they cannot change, their ethnicity, their -- well, you could change religion but these are deeply personal that were not part of the political narrative initially in the country. it has seemed to taken over. and i will leave it to to talk about that, the previous centuries as opposed to the last 50 years that we heard about in this talk and i would like to know whether you going to that in your book. or where we are going with the technology go advancements in the future. because it seems like the key point that i got from your talk and what i found as well is the republicans kind of hijacking television and taking politics
to tv. in a way that had never done before. and that was a key shift. what do you see with technological advances in the future? >> in using television and exploding media landscape to nationalize politics, newt gingrich i think was the one who saw the opportunity and they are and who did more to move our politics in that direction. but i am also pretty convinced it was inevitable process. it was going to eventually happen. somebody was going to figure that out. i think it was newt gingrich so i think that is the origin but i think we are not a place that was newt gingrich and also 70s fast-forward 40 years from today and i think we are now in a place where both parties have created their own, both sides, blue and red america have created their own media ecosystems. and again, that is why i think, who plays the role in this
anymore? i think is that question. and that is why when i was saying, is there room for something in the middle there, that is why start to get skeptical because i think you have these almost self reinforcing blue america media ecosystems, self reinforcing red america ecosystems and the increasing distance between them. so that is the, that is where i see it right now. and syc going the next few years. and again, just with this not very well thought out hope that we all kind of come up with a better way. >> hi. my question is more to do with your work then your book. you go into pulling details on msnbc. everyone wants to know was going on with the polls but due to the nature in which peoples conduct polls you can call someone and have the answer them and ask them what their
opinion is. it is increasingly under representing young people and people of color needed to pick up the phone i don't have a phone and overrepresented older people and white people. considering what happened in 2016 people got upset with posters and the results as someone who explains polls, how will you arty think people should start taking these specialized results and generalizing them for the entire public? >> i mean look, the best piece of advice was always taken with a grain of salt. actually, i will speak up for the polls here though. i think they were pretty good this year and on think they were that bad in 2016. with actually missed in 2016 to me, the story was not the national poll. because our final nbc national poll in 2016 and hillary clinton running for poinsettia donald trump. she won the national popular vote by almost 3 points. so our national poll, i think was about right.and that's
most were at the end. what was mr. 2016, was that surge of support that donald trump got really in rural areas, urban areas from i think older white voters. in states like wisconsin, michigan, places like that. we were looking in the fall of 2016. i knew what the path the victory would be for him if he was going to get it. and it was going to be the rust belt. we were looking every time there was a wisconsin poll out there. is this going to be the one that has him within a point or two points ahead or something like that? never got that. down six in the polling the right until the end. so that was the mess. in the way that was explained to me, was that this division among white voters and social class division is the red /blue america among college educated and non-educated. there were differences through the years in 2016 they just exploded. and so suddenly it matters very much not just if you're getting the right share of white voters
in your pole but i get the right share of noncollege white and college white in the polls because if you're getting too many college white, you get into many of what would be coming blue america suburbanites who did not like donald trump and you were not getting enough noncollege white you are not getting what donald trump had in the rural areas. i think that's where the mess was. to be honest, i do not swear by the polls because the clichc is the only one that counts on election day but in terms of using them so much, every campaign the country is using them. the national parties are using them. making use of critical decisions about their resources, where they focus their attention and don't focus their attention. what kinds of messages they use and what kind of policies they pursue.they using polls for all of that. my view is just let's have or less of the public see as much of it as they can. because the parties are seeing it too. >> you just mentioned the rust
belt. i'm thinking, i think the democratic primary to start on november 7 2018. will someone like bernie be able to end the rust belt in a general election? and how do the moderates -- how would someone whenwin the gener -- [laughter] >> there is, right there. i mean -- yeah, he said it began on november 7. actual first announce candidacy was one year earlier because a congressman from maryland, john delaney has actually been running for when you now. running as an iowa, there's a story about him the other day. his name recognition in iowa is over 50 percent. i don't know if he has in his
own congressional district. but it's amazing. it's already underway. i assume this is, this democratic field emerges it will compete with the republican field. in the age of donald trump we live with the, if he can do it then why can't so-and-so do it? it is tough for me to say but, imagine the rust belt. joe biden runs, i think that is essentially the campaign message. the volts across three states, you lost him with hillary you will lose them-- you win with m. it's more complicated. someone -- it is interesting we having this conversation which is before abraham lincoln but i don't know if we want to put o'rourke and abraham lincoln the same --
>> you just did! [laughter] >> i did. and i immediately doubted it! but we look at what happened in texas. you lost in texas, he got close. for o'rourke it was a suburbs. dallas, austin, houston. huge, huge interest. huge, huge turnout. it was not enough to offset the sort of republican of texas but awfully close. and you start looking at a candidate at that maybe it is o'rourke or someone is to have a similar effect. but the idea to me then becomes well, other opportunities for democrats besides a 77,000 votes across three rust belt states? are there opportunities in georgia, texas? certainly there clearly opportunities in arizona where they just won the senate race. so we always have the tendency to use the electoral map from the last election as a reference point for the next one. but watching his performance in texas a particular status and growth areas in my field hit in
2020. and you might look at this year's election results and say the democrats did win michigan, they did win pennsylvania pretty easily. and they did get tammy baldwin reelected in wisconsin. we look at some of those, debbie stabenow and michigan won by six points. for race that did not get -- you she has won bigger before. did not get a lot of attention. did not have a republican opponent lighting the world on fire. it told me that there is still enough give there for democrats to win in michigan. but a lot of the trump area, not all but a lot is consolidated into the sort of republican, anti-blue america. michigan might be a tough left for democrats in 2020 with trump again. they may look to arizona and georgia in those places have a more potential because of the suburbs. >> please, join me in thanking steve kornacki and carlos.
steve kornacki will be in the book signing to the right of the elevator area. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> about 15 or 20 minutes, you will hear from ben rhodes, dan pfeiffer and bill press talking about their recent books. john kerry is coming up later as is julian castro but in the
meantime from the campus of miami-dade college, chris stirewalt is joining us. he is the political editor for fox news and author of this book. every man a king, a short colorful history of american populace. you write in this book that andrew jackson was probably our first celebrity president in your view. why do you say that? >> well, the battle of new orleans was a pretty big deal. and also, the ability to reproduce color print in large numbers made it possible for poor people and ordinary people to have art in their home. as it happens, jackson who really also had probably the first real kitchen cabinet campaign team in the real sense, they knew that topping out those lithographs and you saw them in your history books. jackson and a hat on the back of a stallion, standing in
front of the battle scene in new orleans. that went out in thousands and tens of thousands of american homes and hung over the mantelpiece. if you were a scott irish-american, if you were part of the farmer mechanic class, andrew jackson was a perfect hero for you. and he was, that battle was an event for these folks politically.a really big deal. >> was he a populist? >> yeah! >> what do you mean by that? >> populism i don't they belong to any party. it doesn't belong to any ideology. and it is not an ideology itself. populism is a belief or maybe a method that says, there's a group of people who have been victimized or aggrieved. they have a grievance they feel is legitimate. they believe the grievance has been inflicted on them by people in power by elites. now they're going to take the power back. and that is populism. you can have this on the left with bernie sanders, you can have it on the right with donald trump. populism is about grievance and
people who think they've gotten a raw deal. there is an intersection between -- because the road so you think you might be getting may not be true at all. there is that and conspiracy theorizing in all of that stuff. but in its purest sense, when andrew jackson was saying, and he is a purely populist. his father was an immigrant who died penniless. probably a squatter. his mother essentially had to work as a servant for her own sister. he was an orphan at 15 or so. he had no means, he had no access. but he was part of the vanguard of the largest unforced migration of human beings to that point in history. the scott irish probably 1/4 million scots irish come to the united states. this is a new immigrant class despised by the elite, they return the favor. but as they move west, their political power grows, jackson then gets to be their leader. he gets to do that. is a perfect populist insurgency. >> -- is on the cover, how is
he a populist? and what was the social turbulence going on at the time that helped him along? >> he is populace not just because he was crazy. but he became more populist as he got crazier. was about was a progressive and was definitely an elite. and as he starts out, he is an accidental president. he takes office, but of course, teddy roosevelt being the cockiness person has ever lived essentially, treat it like a mandate and immediately takes this mckinley conservatism, rips up and turns it into his new mandate.and he has ideas about everything. he has a plan for how the shipment should you calisthenics, he's got a plan of every single part of the government he wants to touch everything that is a progressive not a populist yet. what happens for him, he leaves william howard taft and the republican congress very explicit instructions about
what they are supposed to do when he goes and testicle ever- are supposed to do when he goes to kill every rhinoceros in africa. then he comes back and launches his run for another full term as president in the republican primary, taft digs in his heels and the republican primaries of 1912 are amazing to study and see. if you think there is violence in american politics today, we are talking about they had to hide barbed wire at the republican convention in chicago because they're pretty certain that there would be a mob attack. when you listen to, when you read what roosevelt was saying to his supporters, thousands of them in the streets outside of his hotel in chicago, who talk about the battle of armageddon. there had been violence and state conventions across the country. the national guard had been deployed. that was definitely a moment
that we might recognize today. >> chris stirewalt, teddy roosevelt history is a little sterilized from what you're reporting. >> oh yeah! we have mount rushmore teddy was up here by the end of his life he is sort of gone back. but when he did in that election, the only paved the way for woodrow wilson because they divided the republicans against themselves but also, was barack obama shows, to deliver his speech for his second term mandate about the things that he wanted to do on the progressive front. because that was where roosevelt had done his square deal. if you go back and read what teddy roosevelt was offering his square deal, it was very liberal! super -- it was universal healthcare, all of these things and he was doing as a populist. he was no longer doing this as, one of his ideas for example is that you should be allowed to overturn judicial decisions by
plebiscite. she could have a vote. if we don't like the judge's decision, we can referendum on the judicial ruling and overturn that. that doesn't sound very republican. >> all right, bring us up to today. is donald trump a populist? >> oh, 100 percent. 110 percent! >> walk us through what he is 150 percent populist. >> outside about the two donald trump 's. when we meet in 2000 when he runs for the reform party. is a populist, he said that he had to run against pat buchanan because pat buchanan was a nazi who hated blacks, hated jews and was going to run to save that party of ross perot. we are going to focus on trade, on what they called the jobs going south of nafta. that was going to be donald trump focus. that was back when he was pro-choice, social issues were
a distraction. with the focus on the separate pat buchanan is crazy, we don't want to talk about him. then we see donald trump again when he reemerges in the political world, it is coming after obama for allegedly forging his birth certificate. and what he learned along the way his assent that pat buchanan learned from george wallace. which is, on the right, social issues cut harder than economic ones. and on the right -- so, this is i think manifesting itself in the world right now what's going on with populism. social issues, cultural populism is the promise of the right and economic populism is that province on the left substantially. bernie sanders and donald trump are both populist. bernie sanders is a liberal populist who thinks we need medicare for all, we need to do these things because the problems are income inequality
and economic in nature. donald trump says, our problems are cultural in nature. we have too many immigrants. people don't say merry christmas anymore. we have all of these problems. and they are all cultural problems. george wallace, what he found out after leaving alabama, the most interesting chapter in this in a lot of ways is talking about wallace. going to wisconsin in 1964. he had been in wisconsin to give a speech and he found all these people who were digging him. he was a very controversial figure in 1964. he already stood in the door at the university of alabama to prevent integration. it was a stunt and he knew it was not going to work but it made him a national figure. he was shocked when he went to wisconsin. he found all of these people interested in his message. excuse me. when he goes back and runs in 1964, he figured something out. cultural issues transcend economic issues. they transcend a lot of things. people are concerned about
change, people upset about the direction of the country, that is powerful stuff. >> before we go to the next event here, want to make sure that we mentioned two populist. when you mentioned which is ross perot. but when i heard or hear the word populism, i think immediately of huey long of louisiana. >> well, i mean he we long, i should have paid for the privilege of writing about him. hewey long is cruel, corrupt and awful. but in his white double-breasted suit, shaking up a gin fizz behind the hotel and the new yorker. colorful, crooked and i would say this about populism. there were plenty of people that knew that hewey long was a crook. and voted for him anyway. or supported him anyway. because they believe that he was a crook on their side. they did not think he was a
good guy. he thought he was there bad guy. and that was a powerful thing. and you're dealing with grievance and grievance is where you at, is a powerful thing. you do not need a good -- and think donald trump would agree you don't need a good guy. >> and the new book that just came out. every man a king. , a short colorful history of american populists. thank you for being here. >> people love this. >> and why miami? >> because you get a whole category of viewers and fans here. just going on talking to everyone is very cool. >> think you were talking to us. >> thank you. >> now we continue, next up, ben rhodes, dan pfeiffer from the obama administration and journalist, bill press talking about their books.
after this you hear from julian castro and john kerry still in our live coverage. booktv continues now. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon! please take your seats. my name is pascal, dean of the honors college here in miami-dade college. it is an honor to welcome you to the 35th annual miami book fair. [applause] we would first like to thank our premier sponsors, -- closer
to home we would like to thank our friends of the miami fair. if you are here please wait to be acknowledged for your support. thank you. at this time, i would like to ask you to please silence your cell phone. also, to note that the session will be 45 minutes long with 15 minutes of q&a at the end of the session. the authors will be available in the signing area to the right of the elevator. it is now my distinct pleasure to introduce today's panelists for you. first, we have been rhodes, from 2000 to 2017 served as deputy national security adviser to president obama. overseeing the administration national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. prior to joining the obama administration, from 2007 to 2008, he was a senior speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the obama campaign. please join me in welcoming,
ben rhodes. [applause] i would also like to introduce dan pfeiffer, cohost of pod safe america. one of barack obama' longest-serving advisors. he was one house per director of q&a cases from obama from 2009 to 2013. senior advisor to the president from 2013 to 2015. he is the author of yes, we still can. politics in the age of obama, twitter and trump. please join me in welcoming dan pfeiffer. [applause] and finally, we have bill press. most of the bill press showed simulcast on free-speech tv. he is a former cohost of msnbc buchanan and press and cnn crossfire and the spin room. he is the author of several
books including, the obama hate machine and trump must go. the top 100 reasons to dump trump and one to keep them feel less welcome, bill press. [applause] >> great, i will just give a few opening comments about my book and then i think you guys will do that. then we will take questions. i think you see sequentially the titles of our books become the temperature goes up a little bit. [laughter] but i think we all are in some agreement about some of the things. my book, i started at the end of the obama presidency. after the election and president obama, look at what else is trying to make sense of what happened. and then we were driving at the
conclusion of the final trip and he turns to me and says, what if we were wrong? and i did not quite know what he meant. i been wrong about a lot of things. but he said no, i mean, what if we were wrong? what if we pushed too far? what if, basically getting at, what if i was 15 or 20 years too early he said? and i realize he is raising much more profound question. about the direction of the country. and i use that to frame the book and i will come back to it. why did i write this? i wrote this because when i went to work for the obama campaign about the same time that dan did, i was 29 years old and i was relatively anonymous. and so i had this vantage point over the course of a decade of essentially coming-of-age in this world in the white house. and i thought that i could let my experience be an entry point for a reader to see what it's
like to be in these jobs. how they change you personally. how our perspective on american politics could show a bit of what happens and how things ended up the way they did. in addition to what president obama was trying to do. and i started and 10 years ago it seemed almost impossibly long time ago. i will tell the story because dan is here. the very first major speech i wrote for president obama, was in the summer of 2007. he called for going into pakistan to get osama bin laden. he called for engaging in direct diplomacy with iran. he thought there's going to be major peace to lower his foreign-policy would be as president and actually was a impression in that regard. however he was attacked by all of his opponents. for saying he was going to pakistan over objections and saying he was engaging in diplomacy with iran. i moved out to chicago and i was living in a pullout couch of a friend might be my girlfriend at the time, my wife
wasn't speaking to me because she -- i wake up to what a lot of people wake up to which is a lot of email chains about something in the news. what happened is, essentially, the speech had written cause an international incident. the pakistani president had declared opposition to barack obama, people were burning american flags in the streets. i get an email from the deputy communications director, dan pfeiffer, who had never met. to the senior leadership of the campaign, saying, this might be the worst thing that happened to us yet. and dan is a fairly sedate guy. so that was hyperbolic for him. i remember being terrified that i caused this huge problem. but then i remember when i went to work that day, the focus was on how to make our argument about what we believe?
not how to correct this? not hardly walk back our positions? the direction we got from then senator obama was, i think these things are right. i don't know why we would do that. i don't think not talking to iran has succeeded in stopping the nuclear program. we should do this let's have this fight, let's have this argument. and then i remember in the debate, and the democratic debate a few weeks later he kind of double down on all of these positions and said, i'm not going to be lectured on experience are people who supported the biggest mistake of our lifetime. and i realize that there was something unique about obama. he was truly authentic. in taking positions he thought were right and fighting for them which seems novel. but in american politics, it's actually a good recipe. and that shaped and colored my experience coming in. to the white house. i had some close calls along the way. i describe writing the speech he gave in berlin. in front of 250,000 germans which is ultimately one of the most risky things we did.
we wanted to show he could occupy this iconic role of the american presidency. in the whole speech culminated in the german phrase we found. that meant, we are a community of states. a german woman had ran out into the street during the berlin airlift when they were dropping food and candy to children and declare this. we are a community safe. when you are me or john we which are looking for new things. yes we can and this seemed like another way of saying that german. the idea was him saying this in german and it would be our moment. three hours before the speech, i got a call in the interpreter who is translating german to tell me that that word was the theme of one of hitler's first speeches. so i had to go up to the suite of my boss the democratic
nominee for president and tell them that that part of the speech that he really loved, was actually echoing hitler. he said, obama echoes hitler is not exactly what we are going for here. but it was one of those interesting moments where, it could have gone either way. i don't know if i was going to get fired what was going to happen. he paused for a second like give me a moment. and he descended into laughter. and said, you better get working on the new ending. and i tell a story because i think the two-story is that person genuine and authentic and also the person that was down-to-earth and accessible and could laugh at the absurdity of the sentence and the position we were in.i think that is probably dan's experience too. that i had the unique vantage point of being there for all of the years. and that would take me about a year to recount. what i will say is that in writing the book, i was able to
relive some extraordinary highs. an externally positive things that took place. i focused on national security so the night that we took out bin laden and to walk with obama down the colonnade as we were listening to that and have him tell me, remember what we wrote and how much we forgot about it? it turned out okay. the many years of painstaking diplomacy to try to deal with the iran issue and to try and get a nuclear agreement in place, personally and here miami, and that leading the secret negotiations of cuba. something i never would have envisioned at the beginning. spending two years to meet the representative of the cuban government found myself in the vatican, walking into the office of the secretary of state of the vatican. who looked at me and said, you guys are really normalizing relationships with cuba.he didn't quite believe and i said yes. because he knew he was hosting
this meeting, he did not know why. because the vatican doesn't do any business over email. which actually looks like a really smart policy in retrospect. but when i went in there and said yes, we are normalizing relations and establishing embassies and a bunch of things. he looked at me and said, who are you? does john kerry know about this? and it was an opportunity that was given to me by president obama because he thought the policy should change and we can make the world essentially a better place. and we did not get everything right at home or abroad.but that feeling that we are moving in the right direction and we were trying to do the right thing. to avoid war, to promote and fight climate change. to avoid the spread and provide healthcare to more americans and promote a more inclusive u.s. citizenship in our country. the broader project -- i think at the same time in the book i wrestle with how obviously the
backlash was brewing the entire decade. our campaign was forwarded emails by peoples racist uncles that we would have to debunk. that became sarah palin as a vice presidential candidate for the republicans. that became an apology to obama that became -- benghazi, all of these different forces that were meant to paint obama as the other. as also the main stream work pin americans against each other. i tried to wrestle in the book candidly with the issue of race. which obama was much more forthcoming about in private than public. dan and i used after prepping for a lot of conferences and i described to get in the mindset, we would walk them through. we would say, you want to ask some of the opposition is about race. what are you going to say? he would say, i will say yes, next question. any obvious he was not going to say that but, to him this was
part of the pond, white noise, part of the backdrop of the obama presidency. a bit of a toxic brew developing that was like an organism taking over the republican party. before our eyes.first the tea party and then ultimately through the politics of donald trump not the least likely republican nominee, but the most likely republican nominee the moment he came down the escalator of the trump tower. in the book i tried to trace these two threads. the positive direction that i thought we were moving in, the negativity that was bring underneath, and then caught in the middle and becoming a husband and a father. and i will just close by saying, returning to that question, what if we were wrong? what he was really getting at was progressives as i am in president obama is, tend to often think that progress as we define it, is inevitable. we are moving in a direction of
greater lucidity, more rights for americans, more inclusive economy at home. more global cooperation abroad. and what we are seeing today is these things are not inevitable. incredibly contested and you have to fight for them and work for them. in dan's book, which is a good segue, get into how to do that and there was no one smarter about it than dan. i'll just that president obama also used to say to me, i used to get a lot of grief from the republicans because i had a background in fiction writing. never before as a -- but he said one thing, he said storytelling, the ability to tell a really good story about america, is our entire job. and what he meant is not the speeches but the everything that we did.
how we had ourselves in office, carried ourselves abroad, the policies were pursued and things he said. had to add up to one story about america and who we are. that is a good way to think about our policy. we see today there are two stories about america. there are always two stories. the declaration of independence took place at a time when it was slavery. there's always been a story of moving a progressive direction and the other story. and how they're clashing and where we lead for the future you can answer my question, what if we were wrong? i don't think we were. i think the future of america will look more like the direction of barack obama was pursuing then the world we're living in today. but only if we -- [applause] thank you. i think that all kinds of things on our side including as americans her history, our demography. but to get there, we did not plan this but we have to listen to dan. i will leave it to him to tell us. [applause]
>> i'm very excited to share this with bentonite because he's been my friend for 10 years, one of the smartest people i work with and i can finally defend myself against this attack about panicking about the speech. i would just say in my defense, i woke up that morning to a piece on good morning america. the said obama -- that is sub optimal to say the least. so finally, the truth comes out. i think the best way to explain my book, yes we still can come is a sort of tell the story about how i decided to -- when i was leaving the white house and went to the normal chuckle procedure for any senior white house aide. i tend my badge, my blackberry because we had blackberries back then. and put on my stuff in a box and walked out the front gate. what happens in the white house someone from the publishing greet you at the gate and says
are you going to write a tell-all book? and honestly i'm not because people like the current white house and my boss and also the skeletons of the obama white house, the closets were filled with fewer skeletons. i was not interested in writing a book it had a front row seat history and i've been struck by all of the books that have been written about the obama white house when i worked in the white house. by people on the outside where there was like bob woodward and others. these books were all true -ish. they were a fun house mirror of what we went through. so the only people who i think can tell the true story with all obvious prices on our sleeves of the people that were in the room. were actually there for. i just couldn't figure out what sort i would supper will be my take on what happened. my friend david axelrod wrote a
book that read about two campaigns in the white house. then there was about the economy. -- i said, what would my story be? it wasn't until despite being bugged by a literary agent for a year and half those able to come up with the book i would write until the morning after donald trump was elected. and i like to say woke up that morning but i didn't actually sleep that night. eventually, i went home and the hotel ousting inn in dc, tried to drown my sorrows by being too depressed to drown my sorrows. and then i was wondering what happened. also positive hilary was going to win. i told everyone that listen to the previous podcast don't
worry, don't wet the bed, hillary will be fine. and she was in and we lost. and what did i get wrong and how, what did i miss and what have you missed about the country in the country that elected barack obama in the first african-american, decent person who also elect donald trump a few years later? how is that possible? and as i'm lying in bed and hit me. i don't know if you seen the movie, the usual suspects. but at the end when the cop looks at the bulletin board it all makes sense that he was the bad guy. the thing that made me most frustrated that made our job so much hard and made the ability to get the popular agenda through so difficult was the
same that enabled on a trip to an end. that was a story want to tell. how politics changed. during the obama presidency. how the republican party became radicalized. how facebook and twitter changed how people communicate. how the media felt the change. how a country can believe in conspiracy theories and be promulgated across the internet. how all lessons change politics. how they affected the obama administration. how they made it harder for barack obama to get things done. or made things bumpier and more troubling. i wanted to tell the story. not just to relive the worst parts of my job. because it didn't seem fun for me to write. but with the hopes of possibly learning lessons. to extract some things. look at the things we did right. the things we did wrong. in extract some lessons that can be applied to the future battles. against these very forces. against not just donald trump but the very idea of trump
-ism. i tell ideas how obama dealt with the conspiracy how a bomb was forced to go to the briefing room and the war has and hold up his birth certificate and say, i am an american citizen. and how it is that even after he did that, the strong republicans still believed that barack obama was born in kenya. i talked about how twitter change the very way and how we talk about politics and the media and politics. and i do all those things in an effort to try to bring out, like a to do list for democrats. it battle plan and how we defeat trump-ism going forward put out that this was a worthwhile undertaking for a book because i thought there were stories, that the stores have not been told necessarily about the different perspective for the more historical books that were written about.but also, because we are at a moment of crisis in american
democracy. and my belief is, and then and many others, is that the only way we will get out of the crisis is for democrats to take power again. we have an uphill road to do that. i think, actually think i made all of the chaos and panic and everything that we see about washington today, we actually understate the threat that exists to american democracy. we have been, ben and i have been in those rooms. when all the decisions presidents make me know how to get to the point. and i can tell you from someone who has seen it firsthand, it is actually worse than you think it is. right? and it is more dangerous than you think it is. so that puts additional pressure on democrats. i wanted to write this book also because i think a lot of democrats and people in politics walk around thinking well, donald trump is up in two years. we will probably beat them. and everything will be back to normal again. and that is not true. donald trump is a symptom, not
a disease. trump-ism, there is like the force of trump-ism which is this racial victimization with nostalgia powered by propaganda and billionaires with bottomless pockets. is what propelled trump, he did not create it. but it will be there after he's gone. and so we are in a -- as democrats we are in a long-term struggle against this very dangerous force in american politics. and then this is same reason that we have our podcast. which is to have an opportunity to tell all of the stories through my story. through how i end up in politics. it was like to make politics a career choice. to dedicate my life and make all the sacrifices that come with you know we are in campaigns, moving around all the time. sacrifices from your family and friends. but i wanted to tell that story that it can be this worthwhile endeavor. it is a fulfilling career
because we need young people to believe in politics. we them to get involved in politics. that is not just the idea that we need them to vote. like we need to get the millennials to vote, the democrats will win. that is true but we deftly need our best and brightest young people to think politics is a good career. what are the best and the brightest to come to washington instead of going to wall street and then looking for a hedge fund to try and figure how to make them ultra-wealthy are to go to silicon valley and use all of their technical skills and big brains to figure how to get people to look more instagram posts. we need them to bring those abilities to solve america's problems. my hope in writing the book was telling my story as a because i young person, i am older than ben. but someone that got involved in politics. and to encourage them. >> that is what, that is the book i wrote. a book that is about a bomb is battles against trump-ism.
what we can do about and where we go from here. the morning after election i woke up and i sat at my desk and i started pounding -- eight email my literary agent who had been ignoring for a while. i said hey, i got an idea. for what to write. he responded with questions about how we lost florida. which i choose not to engage in.i sat down and i pounded out an outline. i lost my mind for three hours and i just wrote the outline for the book. and i said it to him -- i sent it to him and he send it back to me in a time that was pretty quick and said, hey, i will look at this but you need a title. i was like that's what you get paid the big bucks. and i said what am i going to call this thing? in the middle of may election, i was like staring down the barrel of the trump presidency. i wanted to not think this was the end.
whatever. everything that we stood for. and so, i call that yes, we still can. and i picked that title because even now, two years later, i am still hopeful. but as a conditional hope. i'm not telling anyone about things are going to be fine because i don't know that the rp but i know as a party if we do the right things over the next few years, we can make it so that years from now when we look back on this period the trump era will be an aberration. it will be a very -- [applause] it will be a very damaging speedbump on the path to america that looks like the one barack obama talked about. thoughtful, inclusive. that was my hope in this book. thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon.
great to see let me just start off with a couple of quick comments. i have to tell you how exciting it is to be at this miami book fair. look -- [applause] as a voracious reader, book collector and an author, defined thousands of people here, hundreds of people in this room, who love books, who read books and to buy books! thank you! great! [applause] and i also have to say how honored i am to share the platform with ben rhodes and dan pfeiffer. two of the smartest and most decent people that ever worked in the white house. i was sitting there thinking, remember the day when we could be proud of the people who worked in the white house? [applause] and remember the day when the people who worked in the white house could be proud of the president that they work for! [laughter] [applause]
quickly, i'm here about two books actually. two books out this year.one of them is a person that you will read and a person you will learn to love. me! [laughter] it is my memoir, it is called bill press from the left, a life in the crossfire. all about my days on cnn with pat buchanan and bob novak. there were five of them.i was the only one on the left. i beat them every single night. [laughter] and about my political career starting with some really great people that i got to know and work with. starting with jean mccarthy in 1968. then i was jerry brown's policy director in california. went off to do some media, came back to washington. was honored to be able to be part of the press corps through the eight years of the obama administration. and the first briefing room. and then all the way to my
helping senator bernie sanders get organized and launches campaign for president in 2016. ... [applause] i call it the top 100 reasons to dump trump and maybe one to keep him. you know i consider this like the companion to bob woodward's book. fear, and bob wood ward painted the disarray in the white house. what i tried to do in this book was really lay out the reasons why trump has done so much damage to the united states in just 20 months, damage i think will take us decades to repair from. woodward and that anonymous
op-ed, if you remember in the "new york times" all show the same thing. a white house in total chaos, and a president unfit to governor. i believe the happiest person on the planet or used to be on the planet today, the happiest american ever today is willered fill more. -- millard fill more. because on every list of the worst presidents, fillmore was always at the bottom. well now he's number 44. and number 45 is no. 44. so obviously trump has to go. the question is quickly, how, when and why? how -- that's above my pay grade. there are various responsibilities. he could be face criminal indictments. he could be impeached or run out of office or forced to retire
because donald trump, jr. is indicted, who knows. but clearly, i would say this. we got off to a good start on tuesday, november 6. [applause] sadly, not good enough here in florida, but when you look across the board at almost 40 seats in the house, when you look at 7 governorships, when you look at 7 state legislature chambers flip. when you look at 372 legislative seats flip from red to blue, we're talking about let's say it. it was a blue wave and i'll give you one good example. in california. former democrat chair of california, of course was the heartland orange county was john wayne country. i know every one of those districts. there's 7 congressional districts in orange county
california, today they are all represented by democrats. [applause] in fact, there are 53 congressional seats in california, 45 of them are now democratic, 8 are republican i consider that a good start. so, how he goes i don't know. when he goes we really don't know. all i have to say is the sooner the better. my own feeling is 20 months is too long. we can't stand another 2 years. i don't think we can stand another 6 months. but i just wanted to get the ball rolling, and thomas jefferson who said i can't live without books also wrote the declaration of independence where he told us that we have certain inalienable rights that our leaders governor at our consent only and that any time
they go too far or infringe on our liberties, we not only have a right but we have a duty to stand up and replace them. jefferson said the first thing we have to do right from the deck lrgdz of independence, this phrase, let's the facts be submitted to a candid world. and that's why i tried to do in this back to lay out the facts, what's wrong with the presidency of donald trump. what damage he's done to america. with then and with me we're policy nerds. we start by looking at the policy differences between an obama a and a bush, or obama and clinton. we do that with donald trump. but first and with donald trump you have to start with donald trump the person. when you start with that you have to come to the conclusion he is a totally obnoxes human being. which is why i start in the book
with a personal reasons for donald trump. the first reason number one, he's a pathological liar. number two, if i can get there, it's a long because i list a lot of the lies, but three he's woefully ignorant. he said an overgrown toddler. he's a racist, he's a sexist, he's a sexual predator t goes on and on and on. and i also talk about the policy differences. very damaging. very dangerous, pulling out of the paris climate accord, trashing the iran nuclear deal, on o and on. here's the problem with the book. it was obsolete the moment it was published. because there are more than a hundred reasons. show of hands you could all have your own reasons. and i just jotted down this morning just in the last ten days if i could, adding reasons
to this book. one of our allies committed cold-blooded murder of a journalist, donald trump has done nothing about it. he flew to paris was afraid to go out in the rain to honor our american dead at the american cemetery. he came back to washington, on veterans day, and refused to go to arlington national cemetery the first president in modern history to do so. he told an african reporter to sit down and shut up. he told another african american reporter that she asked a racist question. he accused another one of asking a stupid question. this is piles on and on. he yanked the press pass
of jim acosta for asking a tough question. he blaimentd the california fires on the firefighters for not clearing enough wood from the forest when these were not forest fires in california, and a two weeks he expressed not one
word of sympathy for any of the victims who lost lives or family members or their property. he named matt whittaker named him attorney general, and then turned around and said i don't even know him. he sent 15,000 troops to the border against an enemy invasion that doesn't exist. he accused george soros of paying for the caravan and i really love this one. he accused the people of florida coming to vote and getting in their car and changing their shirt and putting on a different hat and going in and voting again. anybody
here -- [laughter] anybody here want to fess up to that? [laughter] unbelievable. but the worst thing i believe is and i think dan and ben would agree with this. i'm someone who promotes --
always respected the office of the presidency. republican or democrat because that person was our leader and was someone we all looked up to that person and we told our kids to look up to the president of the united states. you can't look up to donald trump. you can't look up to a person who calls women dogz, and calls african american baseball players sons of -- he's not someone we can look up to we are better than that and we deserve better than that. i honestly believe -- [applause] final word. i honk believe donald trump is the worst public official since the roman emperor. culeagueula since he pointed his horse a counsel of rome. but the people of rome were lucky at least they got the
whole horse. thank you. [applause] >> it's hard to follow that -- i'm going to defact o moderator, there's a mic, as bill said you know the drill. why don't we start with this gentleman and we'll try to take as many questions we have with the time we have. >> i'm a florida voter and i didn't change my identity. [laughter] anyhow my question for the three of you is given the recent "new york times" revelation and the front line documentary about facebook, how should we handle what are your thoughts on handling the problems with social media and getting that under control? thank you. [applause] >> bill: i think we have an interesting perspective on this.
i describe in the book becoming aware of the scale of the russian interference in 2016. i felt like i understood it better because i had worked on russian disinformation campaigns in other parts of the world. essentially what happens after the invasion of ukraine in 2014. as russia figures r figured out. if they created enough of the propaganda, fake news, and flooded social media feeds in the target location, they could bend the narrative in those countries. so in europe that was happening in ukraine or i remember speaking to the person that said there will be a social media story about a syrian refugee about raping a american woman. they found out it never happened. by the time they figured it out and figured it out it was from a social media account in russia
they couldn't turn it off. you come into the united states, and the russians found they didn't have to invent new lines of argument. and they would say bright bart seems to be spending a lot of time about hillary clinton's health, so we're going to make up stories about her dying or having a disease. 50% of people get their news from facebook. they have no way of knowing if it's from a real source. what was so frustrating to me is we had a very deliberate and long conversation with facebook and other social media company about terrorism and isis propaganda and how to identify where certain things came from. the scale of the problem was too big and their approach has been to downplay what the problem is and to avoid dealing with it. and that is completely irresponsible. because if they are going to be
a platform on which half of americans can get their news, then they have a responsibility to the public discourse. they have a responsibility to their users to let people know where information is coming from and whether or not it's verifiable. i think congress needs to take a hard along at what additional regulation needs to be in place. if companies have this size of a platform how they're regulated and what their requirements are. beyond this, and not with this administration, there needs to be a real dialogue, tomorrow it could be china, if we have open platforms they can be manipulated. i look at this and realize that russia has essentially found the weak spot in our democracy. they have found that they can follow the poison of the right, maybe with the direction and the collusion of trump officials, and oftentimes on their own. they can plow information on
these platforms and thus far, facebook's reaction has been to avoid doing something that has to shift now to doing something so that people know where they're getting their news from and whether or not they can trust it. i'll add two quick points to that. the first is theoretically stopping russia or china or iran from interfering in our elections is a mostly solvable problem. technology, ai oo should be able to fix that. the problem is much greater than that relating to facebook and all social media platforms. they're business model accen chutes the worst parts of american politics. this idea is i am very skeptical that facebook is going to clean up its mess. asking them to ask their problems is like asking the nfl to solve a concussion problem. a business is a business. a new democratic congress and
administration needs to look at how we regulate the social media companies. how do we deal with the fact that two companies control 95% of the digital advertising. we would never will you that and we need to look carefully at this. the way facebook is set up benefits republicans. republican conservative politics is fueled by outrage. it is why bright bart content is some of the most seen in the country. and democrats we're not going to get facebook to fix their algorithm but we have to get ways to get our content and message to go viral without becoming a paler shade of trump's orange. i think about the way to do that is going to require tools, ideas, and new messages. you think about the kinds of content they see on your facebook page, one is something
that misses you off. some terrible bright bart headline, but the other one are the ones that inspire you. the things that hit an emotional chord, whether it's some dog who found his way home, or the videos we see of military parents surprising their kid at school, or at a basketball game. that also goes viral. so that's the arena democrats have to plan. how can we have messages to hit that chord. i don't know if you saw the video of beta o'rourke, that video was seen 50 million times within less than two weeks, and not that we can all do that all the time but that is a model for how you get a democrat can get a hopeful message out in this environment. >> one quick point, echo what
dan and been have said. to this day despite all we know despite robert molecular has indicted 20 russians with evidence, name, rank, serial number donald trump has yet to acknowledge that rishens have tried to undermine our democracy in 2016. i meant we have that kind of leadership from the white house nothing is going to happen. >> first i'm going to make sure i don't switch my hat -- i'm going to go on basic this question is kind of a hypothetical but based on assumptions that are pretty fairly correct. there's going to be a lot of investigation of trump. he's going to be weakened. he may bye be impeached in the house he won't get kicked out of office because of of the senate. going into 2020 you had rick wilson and max bued ontalking
about the ideal candidate who can win, and i'd like to define a hypothetical to beat you to beat trump, 2020 candidate, and tell me who the person in the public eye, doesn't have to be a politician who closest meets that if you can do that. >> that is a hell of a question. this is where it's hard to be the guy that goes first. i -- here's what i would say. first of all we know there's going to be like 25 people on the stage, a wide open race, and let me start by saying that's a good thing. we need to figure out what we're for and what the best message is. and to get out of that kind of field you have to have a message that resonates with people. that withstands good and bad days on the campaign trail. second, i will say the risk of
betraying some biases, if you look at when democrats win, it's usually when someone can data themselves as a reformer, as an outsider, as a changer. barack obama, bill clinton, jimmy carter have all fashioned themselves that way. when i nominate the inside establishment person, jon carry, hillary clinton, walter mondale it's harder for them to build a movement. so i do think my personal bias is towards somebody who can cast themselves as an outsider, as a changemaker as a reformer. i think that is to the benefit of mobilizing the type of movement that barack obama built in 2008. trump is very good against running against people he can callous as part of a corrupt establishment. we saw that already. the second point is we need somebody who can fit that bill, and the third point is you need someone who is compelling
enough, inspiring enough that they can shape and control their own narrative about who they are. because donald trump is going to try to turn anyone he runs against into a cartoon character. you need someone with authenticity, they cannot be cast as someone they are not because they are so clearly comfortable in their own skip and they have their own vision and it's immediately pattern to people. you need somebody that can create the moments of inspiration that dan speaks of. what does that lead for people? i think it should be wide open, i'd like to see who has the message at this moment. i think in the last cycle no democratic candidate did that. beta o'rourke in texas, he got people to vote who didn't, he got votes if he runs he should get a careful look. a lot of other people as well. the washington candidates are
good and they'll get their turn in the spotlight but i'd like to see how some of to these outsiders hold up on the campaign trail. we're going to have a couple mayors and governors going. people like cumalharass -- i would look at that crop if there's three lanes, essentially the establishing people and bernie and elizabeth warren run. they're running in the progressive end. who in this third category of people may come out of nowhere and build a movement that can overwhelm trump. that's what i'll be looking at for the first few months. >> i think it is a fool's error to -- the consensus of all the smart people in the washington elite crowd was that the only way democrats could win in 2008 was to nominate a moderate democrat from a red state who
imeu how to win over republicans. and then two years later -- what we know now is going to seem foolish next week let alone 14 months when people cast their first votes in the primary. as i think about a candidate, all the things i think we agree with. a the democratic party is currently engaged in its biannual but eternally stupid debate of should we be progressives who turn the base out, or should we be moderated to reach out to senseerous voters. the reason that debate stupid is until we abolish the electoral college, you have to get massive turnout between new voters and periodic voters and you have to
win over independence. that is how barack obama won. and the democrats in the red districts won, and the difference -- there were some turnout differences the main reason barack obama won florida, and hillary lost it, he won independence she lost it. the best way to do that is with a progressive message. you can be progressive and win over voters as long as you do it in a way that is an inclusive progressivism. populace in orientation but acknowledges some although voters in rural areas, people who voted for obama, but we are open to their point of view. if you can do that in a non-cond sending way, you can win. we have the model because before this electoral disaster we did one two electoral landslides
with barack obama, who was able to put together the coalition. the next candidate as well. >> first of all, i want to say i'm first looking for some republican with enough balls to run against donald trump in the a primary. [applause] i doubt we'll find that person but i think jeff flake will flake -- again. [laughter] secondly, i agree that i think governors do best. just by my rule was until we got through the midterms i was not going to talk about 2020. i don't have that excuse anymore but i'm sorry the governors i believe are the strongest candidates, they come from outside washington. they have executive experience, as ben said somebody who can speak to the heart lieutenant and represent the issues to
middle-class americans, who democrats always used to speak to and failed in 2016. someone with authenticity, bernie sanders brought the authenticity in 2016. and somebody i heard maximum boopght say somebody who is good on television. because donald trump is. on my show thursday morning we went through and went through a list of all potential democratic candidates, celebrities, outsiders, and came with a list of 29. i like all 29. but i'll be honest with you, today i don't see a definitely front runner that kwr79 to get behind so i'm waiting to see if how things shake out, in a word, i would probably say i would love to see a younger bernie
sanders. even a female younger bernie sanders. [applause] >> you write about this in your book dan, you talk about how difficult politics is, my first job out of college was on the 14 gubernatorial, i've never been on a winning campaign. i feel it's getting harder and harder. you all grew up on the idealism of the west wing, i grew up when everyone in college was watching house of cartdz. ben i looked at your speeches, dan i looked at the ways you approach media in different wise, and got the president's message in other ways that no communication department had. what advice do you have for me to keep the faith and keep going
but also what tools do you think i should be using in the next two years topologist to polish , and nonlike you said, november to san francisco, i feel like i was fans of both of you before it was cool, but now it's cool that everyone else is fans. >> that is a very weird thing to hear, but thank you. first you would note that i also worked on a lot of losing campaigns before being on a winning one. that's the lot of being a democrat. you lose a lot of campaigns. james carville famously worked on 40 campaigns before he won his first one and the second one was bill clinton. you have to keep at it, and the best this is probably how you ended up in this situation but the best advice i try to give everyone is whenever you're choosing where to work for in a campaign or politics chooz the
person you want to win not the person you think is going to win. once again for someone you are passionate for, the people who work for beta o'rourke, they feel so much better even though he lost, because they felt they were part of something special. so just keep doing it and know to yourself that every campaign even a losing one, particularly in a key state like this sets up the next one. the voters who registered, the doors you knock, the list you cleaned up. the message you got out there you slowly moved. it's not as fast as we'd like but it's progress in the right direction. we talked a lot about the issues in the where you say have the issues we were not going to solve while obama was president because politics is slow, republicans are intransient, but we thought we could begin to move the country around them. there are people who organized
and i would say keep doing what you're doing, i know it's hard and we are lucky to have someone that will continually get up and work for the next campaign. >> i talk about that in my book from the left, i've been involved in more losing campaigns than winning campaigns. bernie sanders for president, hillary clinton for president, and i have learned as much if not more from those losing campaigns a than i did from the winning campaigns. you learn a lot each time and you build each time. and georgia is stronger today because of stacey abrahams. [applause] florida is stronger today because of andy gill nor, and bill nelson, you have to remember it's a long game not the short game, and then after losing so many times, god it
feels good to within one. >> i am 2-0 on campaigns. kidding. i worked on losing city council races in brooklyn. this is the story that i was going to tell, dan and i were early in that cycle in 2008. i was working for mark warner. now that those people decided to run for president. i always wanted to work for barack obama. warner stepped out when obama dipped his toe in the waters. there's no better advice in politics than if you care about the person you work for, it makes everything worth it. you will be ten times better at your job. the reason to go into this line of work is you get to be passionate about what you're doing, and if you care about the person or cause you're working
on you will be good on it. the good thing about campaigns is you can learn a little of everything. i went in as a speech writer, i've never talked to press in my life. but suddenly someone has to do a bit of everything. running fax sheets, talking to the press, running position papers, debate press. it's a great way to learn a little bit of everything and become a utility player and find out in that work what you're good at. i should say there's nothing better than going out and going on book tour, i'm sure dan gets this, meeting people like you is the single most rewarding thing since i left the white house, because it tells me there are people out there that will pick up the work and carry it forward. and if they don't we're going to get terrible outcomes in the united states. but if you guys are setting the
pace, it make me very hopeful about the future. [applause] >> question from mr. rodes, during the long afternoon and night that the american consulate in benghazi was besieged, what did your team do, what overt actions did your team do to try to rescue the american ambassador before he died? >> i told this story in great detail in my book because i thought it was important to do so. part of what people have to understand is how chaotic circumstances are. i think there's a if you looked at the conspiracy theories that emerged at benghazi, for instance, there was a supposition that we could convene in a room and immediately deploy an army to immediately deal with the event
that was take place. the reality of that day as we lived it, it's the anniversary of september 11th, and there is a violent protests that begins in egypt at our embassy in cairo. so i'm in a bunch of meetings throughout the die where we're seeing scary images in cairo. people scaling the wall of our compounds, of our embassy compounds, waving black flags, looting, rioting and trying to break into the embassy where we had a lot of people. that's playing itself out during the day. then, that afternoon, we hear there's something happening in benghazi. and already there's a bit of a asymmetry because in cairo you have international news media, we have a huge embassy we can see what's happening in realtime. benghazi is fairly off the grid. we have a very small diplomatic
post in intelligence post in benghazi. there's not a national media presence so you can't see this happening. all we have are the reports we're getting from the people a who are there which immediately go dark, and in a really chilling moment i knew the ambassador, chris stevens. i had met with him before he had gone out. and one of the ways we could get information from him. we hear this initial report that there is an attack, then we hear nothing and then there's a phone call from chris stevens cell phone from a hospital in benghazi. then it turns out the call is from someone else saying he's gravely wounded, probably not going to make it. so we're dealing with this situation where we have little information coming in other than this is under attack. so what do you do? president obama was coincidentally meeting with the secretary of defense and the
chairman of joint chiefs of staff when he learned of this, and he said find out what other resources we can get to defend our people in libya. we find out where are the military responses from libya. and what can we move from outside of libya, so from europe into tripoley and this is taking place over the night. the reality is there was not a military capacity to essentially deploy forces from europe right to benghazi. what we had to do is deploy forces from tripoli to benghazi, four americans are killed, and it's a hovering event. it's one of the worst days i've had in the white house. but i woke up thinking this is one of the worst things i'm
going to be involved in. the country we had intervened in has been thrown off course. even the next day we p incomplete information. it takes a long time to find out what happened in a place so far away. what i then trace in the book is my deep regret at how this issue overmany years became more and more toxic in our politics. because again the theories that would come out were clearly intended and this gets into dan's conspiracy theories. barack obama was sitting in the situation room monitoring this all and choosing not to do something. or that we could have deployed military resources. the premise of all these things is that somehow, you take a step back. the premise was somehow we could have saved americans and chose not to. and that is -- that's beyond
offensive, and beyond anything that if you know barack obama he'd move heaven and earth to help americans who are in harm's way. it was something so ugly about the fact that that was the basic presumption of what had happened. and what i also saw over the years is that the conspiracy theory would move. sometimes it was about how we talked about what happened after the event, and we could litigate that until the end of time. all i can tell you is we gave people information when we had it. but i thought it was useful in the back to trace whrawpped whad to been gaza in politics. it does show you where things led. this became more and more toxic, the word benghazi didn't know what it was other than an accusation. the investigation led to hillary clinton's email server. what that has to do with benghazi a i have no idea.
i had the experience of getting death threats because i was a player in this drama. i describe the appearance of knowing there was a whole system out there i didn't know about. because i had a white house twitter account. and a few days i'd get a few people tweeting me, and then one day thousands of them tweeting me. and i knew some story had posted about me one day i was a muslim brotherhood and then another day a jewish conspiracy. it was my first interaction of the media ecosystem which is ginning up anger, and to end i think it's important for us to understand how that got manipulated for political purposes. it's also important can't we get back to a place in our politics where the tragedy is that four americans were killed, and the
thing that needs to be corrected is that we need better security at facilities, and not see any event dhaps around the world as a cods to launch a conspiracy theory to demean the motivationals of people who are serving in government. that's who we should be in america. [applause] >> hello. just want to ask about venezuela, miami, and how should democrats what should be the policy message that trump has talked about invading venezuela -- how can we be progressives and do the right thing but also deal with humanitarian crisis happening. >> i'll try to take a stab at this. there's the policy issue of the deterurating situation in venezuela. first i have to say there's a lot more the united states should be doing to solve the
humanitarian crisis that is taking place. that includes support venezuelaens should have the ability to come here. there should be protected status for them to come to this country, that is something democrats should get behind. secondly, we're not spending -- i was in columbia, there are a million venezuelaens in columbia, we should be providing support to countries like this who are hosting the people. that is how we would be dealing with it in office. that's how we deal with the refugee crisis in the middle east. why wouldn't we dealing with that in our neighborhood? we should support the vens people who are outside of venezuela. i think the democratic party can do a lot more to raise the human issue immigration and foreign assistance which is two things the trump administration is not going to do. they give a lot of lip service
to supporting venezuela people but they're not doing it. on the policy front i think the military invasion language is not helpful. i do think what is needed is a truly full-court constant diplomatic issue to try to revolve the issue. i'd like to see a dedicated person at a senior level appointed to do nothing else but going to south america and try to shuttle between the parties and the office meetings opposition of empvenezuela. and see what a transition in venezuela could look like. how do we break the cycle of collapse that's taking place to get to some type of transitional government that can begin to allow the international community to put assistance into the country, bosma dur o won't support accept. that's a negotiation supported with the country's in the region
as well. i do think this is an issue that has become more and more prominent in the next two years and i think it's incumbent upon democrats to come forward with their own ideas and issues here otherwise if it's just a rhetorical thing about who can say more bad things about madero, that's not constructivive. i agree, this is a regime that's been terrible for the people, the wegz question is how are we going to help the venezuela people and i hope democrats are able to focus on those issues. [applause] >> just a quick post script on that. again, maybe reason 101 is this is another place where donald trump is evidenced his profound ignorance of latin america and what's going on there. the history of the united states in latin america which is a history of invasion and of staging coo's against elected
leaders and assass ninety aassag leaders, when it was given to him in the oval office his response was to invade venezuela. >> let's take your questions back to back. sir, last question. >> in our two-party system where our politics tends to split itself evenly with a given poll the parties r parties attend to apply to the fringe or those who which didn't vote in the consecutive election. for republicans it was the kkk, last election.
in florida the lesson of 2016 seems to be lost on us where 1% of the vote here that went to third parties that were green parties or to the left of the democrat party, voted for that and we lost the election because of that. the same thing happened with gill hospital, so 1.5 percent of the vote went to four left-leaning parties. so what do you think went wrong or what can we do to reel those people in who would have given gilham a win with more votes than he lost by? >> that is a very hard question and i've been thinking about that for a long time. my first campaign was al gore's run for presidency. i spent 37 today during the recount and none of that would have mattered had raffle nadir taken enough of the vote to hand the white house to george w. bush.
i think i think instead of trying to think about -- there was a theory if we could convince these people who voted for jill stein to vote for democrats, then everything would be fine. in my mind it's a fool's errand. instead of having a message that is centered around the 1.5 persons of floridians that voted for left leaning parties. we need a message as appealing as possible, and we need to turn out as many voters as possible. in close elections that number can creep up to the delta between winning and losing. but that is why we have to register more voters and have voters who vote for democrats. because in florida and everywhere else in this country there are significantly more people who if they voted would
vote for democrats than republicans. they just don't vote forgiven for whatever reason. for our strategy should be about solving that problem as opposed to trying to get a one person i, if you get to the door and you can make the argument about why hillary clinton would have appointed a supreme court justice that would have overturned citizens unite said. but i think we need to increase turnout while still winning independence. i think that is a viable application to win this state. and we've seen it in 2008-2012. >> i have to say i try to get along with everybody, but i cannot kirsten gillibrand without saying you cost amfranken his seat in the united
states senate. i saw ralph nadir and i can't look at him without saying al gore would be president of the united states without -- but at the same time i agree with dan. i'm not for shutting down other voices or creation of other parties if they're successful to do it. i think we have to make sure our message is stronger, mere r more appealing we work harder, one of the things we have going against us is rick scott talks about voter fraud, let's talk about voter suppression in georgia and florida. [applause] i think that has to be a top priority for the democrats in congress all these efforts on the part of state after state after state to either get rid of early voting or shorten early voting or shut down polling places as we saw in george or disenfranchise people, so just as a final note on to that
point. i want to salute the people of florida for letting 1.4 felons having the right to vote. [applause] and i have no evidence to support this but i will state categorically that had that been the case before november 6th, andy gilham would be the governor of flor. so good work. >> that is the perfect note to end today's conversation. thank you for a wonderful panel. (applause)
>> and you have been listening to ben rodes, bill pfeiffer and dan press talking about their books live from the miami book fair. a couple more hours of coverage ahead. full schedule available at booktv.org. but here's what the coming up next. we'll talk to anna clark, she is the author of a book called the poisoning city about flint water. also ju, lia narcotics cast row, about his newest book. john kerry will also be speaking, coming up live on book tv's coverage of the 30th annual miami book fair. well anna clark, there are stories that come over our transom, and they burn brightly,
and then they go away. the flint, water story is one of those. remind us, how did it all begin? >> well in some ways it began just a few years ago. in others ways it began decades ago. the short story is that the city of flint, michigan, it had been getting its water from the great lakes through detroit for more than 50 years. in april of 2014 it switched its water source. the new swatter source was not treated properly, and that resulted in a number of water problems including the corrosion of the infrastructure, the pipes that the water passed through that were typically made of lead. this led to the entire city being exposed to lead through its water source, there was also a two-year outbreak of legionnaire's disease, which killed people. a type of pneumonia, it went on
despite the fact the community was registering their countries with the water from the very beginning. they were dismissed and belittled for more than a year and a half before there was any response. >> why did april 2014 happen, why the switch? >> well the city at that time did not have the control of its local government. the city was broken up that the state appointed an emergency manager to have the authority over decision-making. that included this water switch. it was pitched as a way for the city to save money. and this really registered for a lot of people in the community because the people of flint were paying some of the most expensive water bills in the entire nation. >> the detroit supplied water? >> yes, and it was very expensive, so people thought -- i think a lot of people thought if this happened their bills
would go down they would not go up, that did not prove to be the case. that switch was thought to be a way for the city to regain its self sufficiency, more local control over natural resources, to save money as a community for the long-term. >> and anna clark was that a emergency administrator state decision to make the switch, or a city decision? >> it was made by the emergency manager. >> appointed by the governor. >> he did conveep the city council for the vote. he thought it would be good to get the city council on record for this. the city council also voted for a switch in their water source but that vote did not include using the flint river. which is what is catalyzed this crisis. >> >> peter: so intense was it the
state's fault at that point. there has been question whether it was the city or state who caused this and everybody's suffered politically. >> that question is being contested in courtrooms right now. but the state had the bulk of the responsibility here. the local government for whatever vote may might have made did not have the power of their vote. both the political authority through the emergency manager, the oversoipght responsibility of our department of environmental quality and our health and human services department, these are -- they had the bulk of the responsibility for the water crisis. >> peter: where is flint getting its water these days? >> they are back on detroit's water system. they are getting it from lake here on, one of the beautiful great lakes. the problem that the pipes were so corroded that switching back
to the new water didn't solve it. those pipes need to be replaced. >> peter: who's paying for that? >> the state after a class action settlement. >> peter: would you drink out of a tap there today. >> i drink lead certified filtered water. or bottled water. a lot of people in the community until all those pipes are replaced, i feel uncomfortable about trutsing the tap water. >> peter: what's the economic status of flint today. >> it's struggling and been struggling for decades. it lost more than half of its population. the birthplace of general motors doesn't have the same kind of jobs or living wages and it has been -- i meant say systematically disinvested in by public and private entities for a long time now. and this was a crisis even
before the water crisis and with the legacy of this water crisis on one hand it creates more challenges, like how do you draw investment to the city, how do you help people stay in business, but on the other hand it does create opportunities too, because flint in this spotlight has an opportunity to show what's wonderful about it, and why it's a community worth fighting for. >> peter: the name of your book is the poison city. has this situation poisoned the entire city? >> yes, everybody in the city was exposed to toxic water for a long time. and i think that shook people up around the country and around the globe. it should make us uncomfortable. that should not be acceptable in any way for any community, and i also in the book tried to show how the city was i would say poisoned through the urban policies of the past 50 years that set the city up to fail.
i'm interested in what makes the city vulnerable in the first place. >> peter: you mentioned this was years in the making, what were some of those urban policies you critique in the poison city? >> to start with segregation. segregation was the law, for a very long time. and flint was limb the most segregated city in the north and the most segregated city nationwide. the boundaries were rigidly kept, and as people were coming to the city for well-paying general mothers job, it became an increasingly tense situation. what i try to do in the book is show how our legacy of infrastructure and equality dates back to the days when we literally decided that some neighborhoods were going to be worth less, not worth investment, not worth the same level of public services or lending or any of that because
of people's race and ethnicity. even when we have gotten the fair housing laws and a number of other civil rights laws the pattern is still with us plainly, and is -- with when we don't reckon with that we end up with life -- or life or death stakes like we saw with the water crietsz. >> peter: so there's seg ruigation, what else. >> i would say like the disinvestment of the city in favor of its outskirts communities, the suburbers. and this is a pattern nationwide with the rise of building up suburbs, building up highways, shopping malls, the urban policy incentivized the growth of outskirt communities, explicitly at the expense of core cities. we supported there was a federal policy that was supporting the decentralizing, a lot of major companies like general motors.
it was kind of a cold war era thing. thought to make us less individual. vulnerable. more recent years we saw a revenue sharing. which is the money that states give to local communities so that they can pay for public services. it's a portion of sales taxes in michigan, we have cut that by 5. by far the most in the nation over a number of years. that was critical money for a city like flint to be able to pay for public services and without it, and especially in the wake of the recession it was wrought to the point of emergency. and it was when the state decided its own appointed administrator should have the power. >> peter: who's in charge of flint today? >> well it does have the power of the local government again. it has a mayor and city council. >> peter: did gm and its legacy
in flint play a rel in your view of this water crisis. >> yes, and in a muflt-faceted ways. we saw the definition that can come when a community or whole region is so dependent on a one single company like this, and you know decades of changes in that industry, causes a lot of problem for the folks who depended upon it. but ym is still a major source of jobs in the community, and gm is -- one of the more interesting storiesist engine plant in flint in october 2015 said the new change to water said it was so bad it was corroding its parts. they said they couldn't do it or work anymore, they needed to switch to a suburb water source which was getting its water from
detroit. this should have been a red flag but the community of flint was told even though the water isn't good enough for gm's machinery, it's good enough for you to drink. >> anna clark, when that switch was made, did somebody make money by getting a contract to make the switch or to -- >> not enough people ask about that. i think the narrative about flint is that theset switched its water source to save money. i do think it's worth asking more and better questions about how this switch happened. because, the numbers don't add up. it's not rational, i don't think, that to build an entirely new water system that provides you water from the same source you're already getting it would make anything cheaper. there is a new water agency that is open now, that flint helped
finance through $80 million in bonds. that money that flint provided got this new water system in operation. there were a number of contracts, i think it's worth paying attention to it. >> peter: here's the book, it's called "the poison city" flint's water and the american urban tragedy. michigan-based journalist anna clark is the author. thank you for being on book tv. back to live coverage of the miami book fair coming up next. julian cast row, talking about his book, jon kerry, former secretary of state, every day is extra is the name of his book. . . .
>> good afternoon. please take your seats. my name is pascal, the college fair minded college i am delighted to welcome you to the session. i would like to thank our premier sponsors. the knight foundation, royal caribbean, oh l north america, the bachelor foundation and -- also i would like to acknowledge all of the friends of the miami book fair. would you please raise your hand and big knowledge? thank you for all of your support. [applause] we also want to recognize the hundreds of volunteers who have
given their time this week. please let's give them a round of applause. [applause] as you know, we try to have these sessions uninterrupted. if you have not already, please silence your cell phones. also, we will reserve 15 minutes at the end of the session for q&a. at this time, i have the distinct pleasure of welcoming enrique acevedo one of the top latinos in american newsrooms by the huffington post. in a global media leader. co-anchor of the award-winning late-night addition and contributor to npr here and now. please join me in welcoming enrique acevedo to the stage. [applause] at this time i would like to
introduce ralph -- will introduce the honorable julian castro. ralph is a shareholder of the global firm of greenberg tuareg. he advises clients of real estate, finance, banking and working on general business transactions. please join me in welcoming ralph to the stage. [applause] >> thank you. good afternoon. great to be here. just real quick, on the way here on npr, i heard the headline that has been in the news lately but i was not, i do not quite grasp that today. it is the 90th birthday of mickey mouse. [laughter] and this is the 90th birthday of the first screening of a mickey mouse cartoon on television. in case you are confused of the
exact day because i have seen a lot of courage. well, i read a book this weekend. which is in and of itself kind of a miracle. if you ask my friends, they would be amazed. both our next speaker and i, are lawyers, we do an awful lot of reading. but it is extremely mundane and tedious. it was a great pleasure to read something that was inspiring and insightful and something recreational. i had the opportunity to do that and it is so exciting for me to be here to introduce the speaker. especially after spending some downtime this weekend. the book i read, was about a star.
a star that rose on the southwest border of the united states. the mexican border of the united states. and this star represents a new american paradigm. it is a paradigm that frankly, we have been celebrating in miami for the 35 years i have been here. and we are use to it. we love all of the integration. we love the immigration. we love mixing with peoples from so many different cultures. and people thrive and this city thrives because of that immigration. but that is not so and so many different other parts of this country. and this star that i'm going to introduce to you, had to fight a gauntlet and get through
barriers and just dig down deep into his god-given talents to make it all happen. just like his twin brother. i am a first generation american. i was born to european parents. i grew up with modest beings and but my path was easy because i was more of the prototypical old generation u.s. immigrant. but being born to mexican immigrant parents, meant you had a tremendous fight in front of you. and the gentleman i am going to deduce you to, julian castro, is just a tremendous inspiration.
he and his brother fought like the dickens. they both went to stanford. they both went to harvard law school. they are incredible. julian was the youngest mayor of san antonio. texas. which is now an extremely vibrant and dynamic city. not always so. but now, it is completely and amazingly on the map. he then became, he was selected, handpicked by barack obama to be the secretary of housing and urban development. and i am humbled to have the opportunity to introduce him and to have read his book and be in his presence. let's all give a very warm,
miami welcome to our speaker, secretary julian castro. thank you! [cheering] [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon! first of all, welcome. i know there is different ways to pronounce your name but julian is probably the one that you like. and just to get this out of the way, you said you going to annecy running for president after and before the end of the year. november 18 is like a pretty good day to do that. anything that you want to tell us today?
>> well, as much as i would love to have great news to think we should probably do that in my home state of texas. i will save that for another day. you can see that in the electoral map moving forward. >> another batch of this before. my colleagues and you had a conversation about this in the past but the name of the book, the idea of waking up from the american dream, what does that mean and what do you choose that title for the book? >> thank you very much for moderating today. and all of the organizers of the book fair. the title of the book is an unlikely journey waking up from my american dream. people have asked, what do you mean by that? and what i mean by that is that you know, this is my family's story in the united states starting with my grandmother
came to mexico when she was seven with her younger sister because their parents had died in 1922. and she ends up being brought over through eagle pass, texas. lived on the west side of san antonio, navy eight made it out of element to school. she worked as a maid and a cook and a babysitter. she was a single parent to my mother who was only child. and then my mother, raise my brother and me as a single parent after the age of eight. but my mother also became the first when her family to graduate from high school. and then go on to college. and that my brother and i went to the public schools of san antonio on the city westside and got to go to college and law school and become professionals. and the waking up of my american dream part, refers to the part that we realize as a family that was not enough for us to just pursue the american dream. we had to also do something to
try and improve the community around us. and also the country. so my grandmother, when she got to texas in 1922, she came at a time when you can still see signs of storefronts that said, no mexicans or dogs allowed. so the opportunities for hispanics and women of course, were very limited. my mother, my grandmother was not very political. my mother was the exact opposite. she was a hell raiser. you know, she was part of the old chicano movement, the mexican-american movement of the 60s and 70s. she really in our family and and that movement she ran for office in 1971 for city council. they did not have single-member districts that a lot of cities back then. so none of this that she ran on, the committee was the
slate. all of them lost. but 30 years later, i was elected to the san antonio city council. at the age of 26. and that happened because you know, folks like my mother in people of all different backgrounds and different places pushed the country to get better. and so, there were single-member districts by then. voting rights act and some folks remember it was extended in 1975. for hispanics. things change and they were willing to consider folks of different backgrounds when they voted. so it was a process of waking up to understand their need to do something to move the country forward and that is what i see in this generation of young people today. whether it is the parkland student activists, that have organized these voter
registration rallies in march for our lives. [applause] but also these young dreamers, you know the dreamer activists who were responsible for daca and that would not have happened to the obama administration except for their effort. so that is what i meant by it. i think there is a place for this generation like we did in previous generations did. to wake up and to realize that you need to push to make the country better. >> and we stand on the shoulders of those that came before us. and move things forward. i wanted to ask you about the state of the american dreamer. where do you see it realized today and ask you this this morning, i flew in from tijuana. i was there covering the arrival of the caravan. the migrant caravan. and i see it, we can talk about immigration but, their journey and what they're risking and what they're going through. i see that as a powerful homage to the american dream.
that they're willing to risk everything just to have their version of the american dream. where else do you see that realizing in our country right now? >> i think there's a lot of people realizing their american dream but it's getting harder and harder. because think about, francis, how much college costs today. i was having this conversation a couple of days ago because i was tell the story of how you know joaquin i found out we got into stanford and then a couple of weeks later, we got the bill for how much it will cost and i write about that in the book and at the time, -- >> is that why you cried all over? >> exactly! that's will be quite happy when the flight. it is between 27,020 $8000 per year per person. i mean now it's so much more. it is ridiculous. and so, what it means is that more people, are left behind. of course, there are a lot more
universities and colleges that do not cost that much but the cost in general has skyrocketed. and so of course, the american dream is still possible.and it is happening for people but i think more and more people are getting left behind again. and that is why we need to make the kind of investments in college that is either free or a lot more affordable so people can achieve you know, get the skills that they need. [applause] >> you bring up the caravan. put aside for second the political manipulation that was involved with donald trump and what he did right before the midterms. and the fact that he has not mentioned that on twitter since the midterms. my brother, joaquin has a wonderful and when he speaks i wish i had taken. you know i may steal it from him one day. when he says you know, that the thing we should worry about as a country is not the day when so many people want to come to the country.
it is a day when nobody wants to come to this country. [applause] because -- [applause] i'm sure all of us in the room can think of a few countries in the world where people probably do not want to go. right? and you know, the dream that they have is a dream of able to provide for the family. in a dream of safety. basic safety in their lives. and to be able to make a better life which is the same dream the generations of people from all over the world with different skin colors in languages and backgrounds have had. there is something beautiful in that. i don't think that we should scapegoat or demonize these folks.the united states is big enough and strong enough to deal with the asylum claims or other issues that come up. we still can do that in a way that is reasonable and in a way that is compassionate but effective and not scaring
people. dividing people. [applause] >> how important -- i will speak louder. can you hear me? how important has your background been for you, it's played a role in who you were, when he went to stanford. how you related to others. and throughout your political career. and when you gave that incredible inspiring speech, it was the first latino ever to give a keynote speech at a democratic national convention in 2012. if you have not seen i encourage you to go online. how important has your background been in terms of providing a different -- >> hello? [laughter] >> is not a presentation if he's in the audience. we want a microphone. >> anyway, the importance of
your background, can you explain julian castro without explaining that today? the role that you play throughout your life and your political career? and how much you become a presidential candidate? >> i think for any of us -- >> it is something much more than that. precedent for any of us there much different things. we are many different things. including our ethnic background. and so, i grew up in san antonio texas. it has the highest percentage of mexican americans of any big city in the united states. 63 percent latino and about 90 percent of that is probably mexican-american. it's much more interesting in south florida where we have cute puerto ricans and cubans and venezuelans in the whole thing. >> one mexican. [laughter] >> there you go! they found the one mexican to interview me.
i grew up also with a mother that was from mexico and would speak spanish and i heard both of those things and spoke some spanish and people always say my brother not act like we speak no spanish. we've speak some spanish. we grew up watching the telenovelas and eating the food tas that are birthday parties. in my high school was probably 80 or 85 percent mexican-american. i had sort of a shelter experience there. it was part and parcel and is, of who i am. an important part of that. not to mention that my mother had been part of the chicano movement which was further mexican-american civil rights. at the same time, i think one of the lessons that my
generation learned, is that if you're going to be in public service they need to represent everybody. that you are charged with representing. and so, i think that your ethnic identity gives you something special and something that is part of me that i value and i am happy, you know passing on to my children. and at the same time as a public official, it is part of who i am but it does not limit who i am. i think it gives me a sensitivity to certain issues of perspective. that can make me you know, i think more understanding sometimes.and hopefully more effective because of it.but it also has a role in the larger scheme of your public service and joaquin and i have tried to balance.lesson was a bout that, but my brother and i are very aware that not that
many latinos have had the kind of opportunity and public service that we have. they have not had that many cabinet members that have been latino. and all in all they have not been that many congressman or congresswoman and especially at a young age. and so, we feel a very strong responsibility to people that are looking at us, young people especially. to do a good job and to try and make them proud. i lost a close mayors race the talk about in the book when i was 30 years old. and the thing that always stuck in my head, was the number of parents who would come up to me during the race and it was not to shake my hand. i mean they would shake my hand but it was to introduce the kids. you know, to basically tell their little boy her little girl look, you know, this person looks like you, you can do this too. all of us need that in different ways. and so, it plays an important role but --
>> so people know i am one of those dads that asked you for something for their kids. i asked him to sign the book for my 15 month old. i'm hoping that when he learns how to read. [laughter] he will be inspired by your story also. so just quickly, so that you love -- you lost the race when you're 30. was that the toughest experience that you have had as a politician? or the fact that you are conceited in that short list to be ready-made for hillary clinton and when asked that, i also would like to ask you if you think she would have won florida and maybe arizona and maybe lost the presidential race because she did not choose
as a running mate? >> i would not necessarily say that. there is no way that you can judge that but -- i think actually the hardest experience i've had in politics, which i read about in the book, is losing the race, it was obviously something really special about losing in politics, right? because you do in such an open and public way. it's like anything that you feel that you feel bad and certain things you feel like there are certain things i think hurt more if you fail francis, at a marriage or you failing your relationship with your parents or with your children. and have a falling out. it can hurt more. but failing politically so public. there's kind of a different element to it. but the hardest experience came very early on. after law school, i went back to san antonio and i was practicing one of the big firms. and started working. got elected to the city council and i was working.
and arrange to deal with them or i would have to work as many hours and they would not pay me as much. because the city council at that time in san antonio only paid $20 per meeting. andy had three meetings a month. the most that you can make in one year was $1040. they were ancient charters since 1951 that made no sense because the city already had more than a million people. they had this project for a client of the firm that wanted to develop in an aquifer appeared and i want to vote against it because i couldn't do that because they were client of the firm it became huge deal and my constituents want me to vote against it. i was going to have to stay out of it. you know, as a conflict of interest. but i wanted to vote against it. so one day i walked in to the firm and i just quit. i quit my job. i was 27! [laughter]
a good thing too, right? but had bought a house in a car in everything you do right? when you are a lawyer and then my house almost went to foreclosure. did go to foreclosure! i barely saved it. but i had a lot -- i was able to pick things up. that for me was the most challenging moment. because it was my livelihood. and it would've been easy to keep taking the money and i was not sure what was on the other side. because it did take a while to put things back together professionally.and eventually my brother and i had our own little law from the did well. >> on to talk about the context of what we have seen from not only the #me too movement but
also after the present was inaugurated, this incredible movement from the opposition called it the resistance. they were out in the streets in d.c. and across the country just that after the president was inaugurated. and somehow they transform that into political presentation. we have the largest amount of women in congress right now. ever in history. [applause] >> by all means! and there i found an interesting relation to your life story. because your mom was an activist. she then tried evolving to more of a political career. you guys certainly did that. but when women are at the forefront of the national agenda, she was there that only talking about chicano issues but we talk about the chicano movement, women -- talk little bit about that and the positions in this moment. >> i think first, a with my
mother and my grandmother. with her mother was dead set on making sure that joaquin and i were very respectful of women. and that is how she raised us. so like all of us, to watch and hear some of these things that had happened up there, whether it is in hollywood or really -- him in the things that docket covered as much. the stuff that happens in workplaces all the time. that is not in the news and happens constantly. and then having a mother that was very active in women's empowerment issues. also just may public policy and political standpoint, has given me a very deep respect for the advancements that still need to be made. you know my mom, she still only will have a red purse to symbolize women's payee quality. she will only carry a red purse. in her office at city hall, she's to work in the personnel department when we were kids. she had this little, it was like a cartoon placard that
said, god is coming back. and boy, is cheapest -- boy, is she pissed!and i have a daughter and i'm extremely proud to see the progress we are making in the country because what needs to happen is they need to not just be policies and companies or laws that are improved, but really attitude changes that happen. and how men treat women. like i said, on an everyday level. and i think that the "me too" movement has a breakthrough in holding people accountable for their actions. and you cannot have progress unless you're the kind of accountability. and then you top that off with this midterm that we saw. with unprecedented numbers of women who won and i know some of you all saw the pictures of
the incoming class. the gop versus the -- i will get a little political and upper the republican class versus the democratic class. there is one that looks like america. right? but almost half of the incoming -- >> where you live in america. >> you know almost half i think of the incoming class of democrats are female. which is fantastic. and i think in 2008, when hillary did not prevail as president she said that there were 18 million >> in the glass ceiling. and she became the first female nominee of a major american political party in 2016. won the election and the popular vote by 2.8 million more votes. [applause] ...
latinos are 17% of the population on it us. and with this new class of latinos to congress, we are around 8-9% of congress. legal representation is very low in terms of general population. it seems you follow this very traditional path to politics. of course where you come from and your life story is not traditional, but ivy league, educated, top of the class, you went local government, then part of obama's cabinet asker -- secretary. but you don't seem to be a
traditional politician, when we heard the speak in 2012 it wasn't a normal speech. i think that's important from what we saw in the 2017 election, and how president trump disrupted what a candidate should be or could be. are you concerned about that. do you consider yourself a traditional politician in that traditional definition of what a politician should be, what a politician should look like. >> i think these days what people are looking for folks that are authentic. you need untraditional honest with votes right, because people have not gotten enough of that. [applause] traditional sanity a and reasonableness. because what happened is that we threw the baby out with the both water here. when you want folks in office when it comes to the serious business of the country, take it seriously, and also show proper respect for things that you know not visiting our troops, not
going to arlington national cemetery on veterans day. so i think it's a combination of those. i think we want people to get into politics that don't just do the same old thing and don't use euphemisms and are blunt with folks, but at the same time when it comes to governorring, take the role seriously, and that's what's missing right now. that's the part that concerns me immediately. i am glad to see the fact that people are demanding something different and demanding authenticity. in the last couple of days -- has gotten a lot of attention for going to washington and shaking things up and using our instagram feed to peel back the curtain on whawlz what happens when you become a member of congress and letting everybody into that. i see all of that as fundamentally positive, and i
think that you're going to see more of that in the years to come. >> i don't have a microphone, i'm going to encourage you to ask a question -- if you can say your name and i understand -- you can be concise and clear with your question. >> guest: steve, thanks. one of the horrors trump has done is to end temporary protected status for many nationalities, haitionens, nicaraguans, salve dorrens, etc. what do you think the chances are either during the lame-duck session now or next congress of getting a legislative solution to protect these vulnerable populations? >> thanks for asking about that.
i know people, others who have benefited from tps a lot of people have been affected by that in their families. i would be lying to you if i said i was overly optimistic about that. let's take a quick walk through history. the last time we had favorable election for democrats in 2012, one of the responses of the other partly was to become more reasonable and try and forge a compromise on immigration. there was immigration reform legislation. it got votes in the subsequent if it would have been taken up in the house it would have been voted through but the speaker of the house didn't let it get to vote. perhaps there will be the possibility if there's a strong push from the democrats, some kind of legislation again, i'm not overly optimistic about that but i do think the chances of
that have just improved because of the results of the midterm. >> just quickly -- let me ask a little bit about that on immigration and what democrats have done in congress in terms of getting comprehensive immigration reform done. it seems that both parties agree on the idea of border security and have been feeding this narrative that has been dangerously mid leading. many democrats voted for a border wall. we already have 700 miles of border wall. we have 21,000 -- at the border, that was approved by democrats. the number was increased to 42,000, which was the largest security presence the u.s. would have anywhere in the world, including north and south korea. so, what should democrats do about immigration, and in terms of getting things done and results that they haven't done
yet? >> well i think you're going to have another strong push. i believe if nothing gets done between now and 2020 you're going to have a democratic president in 2021 with a democrat senate. because next time republicans have to defend 20 seats and democrats have to protect 12. the problem was last time it was so out of balance. so what do we have to do? the blueprint is still there. i agree with you that at a time where when the number of crossings was near a 40-year low,erse we were still constructing fence or wall. at the same time, is there going to have to be compromise with the other side to get it done? of course. so it will come down to what does that compromise look like. i believe the number one priority for the democrats should be how do we humanely
address the 10 or symillion people who are here who are undocumented and the folks who have not committed a serious crime so they can get on an earned path to citizenship. i think for the obama administration that administration got better on the issue of immigration over time. i think a large part of that was the advocacy of the large dreamer activists, they kept pushing and pushing. and that the administration at the end was not the administration in the beginning. the problem was, we went from that then, where now there were moving in the right direction i think to suddenly where back pass and a worst place. democrats have to pick back up where we were and i'll give you a small example of using for instance, they had started a program to use leg monitors to monitor families instead of incarcerating them, essentially, and that program showed a lot of
promise. i think it had over 99% success rate of people coming back, and checking in, so that folks knew where they were in the country. we can address this in smarter ways when we pick it up next time with people who are willing to compromise in a reasonable way, my concern is that i don't think you're going to be able to make much progress when the president stakes his claim on building a wall, and that's his entire political career basically. >> guest: my name is brian, thank you for coming. i have a comment or question. i'm a first generation latino, i would love to see you run for president in 2020. i think it would mean a lot to the latino community. as secretary of hud, what do you think were you biggest policy achievements, and based on your experience what's the best way to make thur that we have affordable housing for
low-income folks. >> that's a long question but let me try to answer it briefly. i'd say for policy accomplishments, number one was we have a regulation called affirmatively furthering for housing, which is a long phrase which means we passed a ground-breaking rule following up on the 1968 housing act to hold communities accountable to make sure there was equal housing if they got federal tax pair dollars through hud, and secondly, and the kind of project that i was most partial to, was something called connect home. essentially, the vast majority of people living in public housing, these families can wides, don't have access to the internet at home. and so we struck up a partnership with housing authorities, non-profits and with internet service providers to either for free, or a very
discounted rate offer internet at home for folks living in public o housing. it was called connect-home and it hooked up many thousands of families to close that home or gap to make it possible for folks to apply for jobs and be able to provide for families and move up to where they want to go. and the last thing in terms of affordable housing, a lot-at the federal level we need to invest more both in terms of using the low income tax credit and traditional ways like home dollars, cbdg dollars which have been on the decline relative to where they were, and the national housing trust fund that is aimed at extremely low income individuals, and at the state level, states i think have a role to play in making an investment, and at the local level local communities have to be smart about development and laud-use code so that you can
protect the environment, and make sure that neighborhoods are able to preserve the character but also don't unduly burden housing. you need to make it possible for affordable housing to exist in communities. and that's often a lot harder said than done in different communities. >> thank you. >> guest: well i just want to say i have a lot of empathy with you and admiration. even though i'm welsh and you're american we have a lot of things in common. my first name is william. i have a twin brother just like you. we both went to college together but unlike you we are immigrants ourselves to the united states. i just -- i noticed we have done a lot of work including my brother and myself to improve
various practices in america such as safety practices and engineering such as improved heat recovery for a more efficient industry. and all of these changes have had an impact not just in united states but throughout the world. that is, a best practice is always global, nearly always global. i spent a lot of my time traveling the world, introducing american technologies into other countries, europe, the far east, asia. so, i'm concerned about what's happened over the last two years. we seem to be becoming more isolationist, and -- what my concern mostly with is how can we communicate with the 40% of
people in america who support our president, that being isolationist is not a good idea. i know it's easy in miami but what about the rest of the country? >> thank you for your question and for the work you've done. it's a great question. number one i think that part of the first part of the challenge is that folks who run for office if you're running for president or senate, governor, or congress, in those areas, or even local offices to have an agenda for improving everybody's life. all the stitchkens including small towns and rural areas. i think some of this reaction is from a reaction of being left behind. so the more that everyone whether republican or democrat, focus on the needs of rural and small town communities in addition to of course urban communities i think the better off we're going to be. i believe that doing that
relieves some of the pressure and the perception that it's all about the issue of how "global" we are in our approach. i believe we can do both of those things. that we can benefit american workers and invest in the infrastructure, the housing, the educational opportunities, the job opportunities, of small town america but then also recognize that we are dealing in a global economy. miami is a perfect example of that. miami has become a very international city. we're not going to go back on that. it's unrealistic to go back on that. so i think having agenda that makes investment throughout those places and then also telling the story of how we benefit as a country, from our relationships around the world. and i think if we continue down the path that we're on, then
china is going to eat our lunch in a few years. not only that, these issues that we're facing with this caravan and others, this country has never put the kind of creative or imagination or effort or resources into forging the kind of alliances in latin america and mexico that we could. down the road at least. in a positive way. [applause] and we saw in post world war ii our relationships with europe and nato and different alliances that helped give birth to that kept our world safer and more prosper us over the years. we can do the same thing in latin america and make sure we can benefit in the united states and also that folks who are not safe right now can be safe in their home country. who do not have economic opportunity can hav