tv Discussion With Rep. Maria Elvria Salazar on Women in the GOP CSPAN January 4, 2022 3:53am-4:24am EST
hosted by politico. >> hello, everyone. i'm a congressional reporter at politico, focused on covering the house, and more specifically, house republicans. you may also know my name from previously writing the newsletter. forever final conversation of the day, i want to introduce congresswoman maria elvira salazar. congressman salazar took office in 2020, when the gop added more than a dozen more women to its ranks.
for that, she worked as an award winning broadcast journalist, whose career highlights include interviewing venezuela's nicolas maduro, cuban dictator fidel castro. i'm talking to congresswoman salazar on shaping the republican women's agenda. with president biden in the white house and democrats in control of congress, you've heard a lot about how democrats say their policy agenda will benefit women. we want to hear from congresswoman salazar, what is the republican party answer to that? and what are the policies gop leaders are putting forward to help women move forward? and is there room for bipartisanship on this issue? and how are women in congress planning to bolster their ranks, adding to the record gains in 2020? as a reminder, you can tweet us @politicolive. with that, we recommend --
recognize congresswoman salazar. rep. salazar: wonderful to be with you on television. just standing on the hallways, waiting for congress -- [crosstalk] i missed it. [laughter] olivia: well, thanks for joining us and let's kick off the conversation. i want to ask you, you came in during this historic year, the year of the republican women. and you served a full year in congress. i want to ask, have you noticed a change in policy, messaging, and improvement because there are more republican women elected in 2020? rep. salazar: well, i have seen many things because, as you said, this is the first time i hold an elected official position. i was in television for so many years and being in congress is a very big change.
what i see is that we need to be more efficient. we need to work more for the people. i come from the private sector and i have noted that the public sector doesn't serve the constituency, or the constituents as efficiently or effectively as it should. and that's one of the reasons why i came to congress, in order to help the american agenda, or to help this country work better for not only for people who live in district number 27, but for every other american. i'm sure we're going to be talking about that a little bit more. olivia: absolutely. i know that this is your first year in congress and you just mentioned that. but i'm curious if you noticed, when you came in, if you noticed having more women in congress this year had maybe changed the party at all from when you came
in and to this point now. rep. salazar: i don't have a point of reference. i know that the republican is pretty inclusive, as i'm sure you've heard me saying, i am a brown girl from the hood with an accent, daughter of refugees. i was able to win one of the most difficult races in the country. the gop helped me. and i felt welcomed, just as i have felt welcomed all my life in this country. maybe i do have some points of reference from what i have lived, and those countries that i covered. central america, latin america, where women and the political actors are not treated as nicely and as respectfully as i have felt being treated in the gop. so maybe i do have points of reference that other people in this conversation don't have. and for that reason, i'm saying that we're still in the vest
seat of power -- best seat of power in the world, which is congress, the best political party, which wants to represent america and all its diversity. and i think the gop is doing ready well with it. and we're including more people of color, more ethnic commerce people, -- congresspeople, or ethnic backgrounds are included in the rosters of the gop. olivia: you just sort of touched on it, but do you think that the party will have continued success in and electing women and minorities to fill what has historically been a party that is white and male? rep. salazar: listen, this party represents the interests of the american people. and i believe that, as we progress and as we see that women and people of color and minorities care about the
economy. and that for me is the bottom line, whether you are asian american or brown or african-american or white american, it doesn't matter. what you want to do is that you want to represent, that you want to have a good economy, and that's what i think we are. right now, it's becoming the party of the middle class. and who is the middle class? anyone that wants to live the american dream, from the browns, the blacks, the whites, anyone wants to live the american dream. and i think that the gop is the best platform to do that. and i think i'm a very good example. as i said, i'm a brown girl from the hood, and my constituents in my district elected me because of the american dream and desire to acquire it. olivia: thank you. i'm curious, you came in at sort of a weird politically toxic
time. january 6 happened. tensions between the two parties were at an all-time low. had you been able to come in your time here, been able to make house democratic women, as well? and are you seeing room with -- for bipartisanship with them on issues? rep. salazar: you know, i have reached out to cori bush. i reached out to aoc. i reached out to ilhan omar. because i believe that they were elected and they are rep spectacle member -- respectable members of congress. i'm not sure they want to get to know me very well. and i'm going to try again, specifically cori bush. she's an important member of the black caucus and i want to talk to her and ask her to please help me with the cubans that are being massacred in havana. they have george floyd, which i understand.
we have to fight for the rights of the american -- african americans in this country. i would like to fight for the afro-cuban women on the streets of havana. human rights are human rights across the board. and i haven't had much victory, much success. i'm still waiting. i do believe that the american system, it embraces everyone, from cori bush to maria salazar. i believe it. i'm not sure they do. but i believe it because we are all products of the american exceptionality. and we're all serving in the most important body of democracy, the seat of power for the world. olivia: that's interesting that you bring them up. i know when you were coming in, there was the progressive squad, and they're both members of that group.
you came in talking about i think the freedom force, supposed to be the republicans counterweight, it seems. why do you think this was important and has this come together? rep. salazar: because the fact that i don't believe in democratic socialism ideas that they are embracing does not mean that we could find common ground in one area, which is to defend the afro-cuban's and the african-american rights. one thing has nothing to do with the other. we may not agree with the embargo against the island of cuba, which we could agree every cuban deserves human rights. so i'm always trying to look for areas where we can work together. and i reached out to hakeem jeffries, and i went to see him, and i want to see cori bush, and ice saw her -- i saw her, and i want to talk to aoc because i believe we can work together.
it depends on them wanting to work with us. like i said, i have no points of reference because i can just got here. but this bipartisanship that president biden promised is not playing out, not out there. and i could say that i'm one of the most bipartisan members in congress because, you know, i represent one third democrats, one third republicans, and one third independence, so i represent everyone. and i'm very conjures of who vote -- conscious of who voted for me. and some of those people would like to embrace some of the ideas that the democrats have. so i've been reaching out to them. i cosponsor and make different legislations with some members of the democratic party. so hey, we're all americans, the best system in the world. so let's enjoy it. olivia: now i want to pivot, and more broadly ask you about how the gop is appealing to women voters. you know, we saw earlier this
month, virginia with glenn youngkin unseating terry mcauliffe for the governors mansion and ending what was a failure by the gop to win statewide in more than a decade. but what has been particularly interesting about this election, according to exit polls, was that white women swung by double digits away from democrats to youngkin, and a message from republicans on education, from covid closures, the critical race theory played a key role. what do you think happened here? was this just good timing? was it momentum? rep. salazar: common sense, olivia. it's common sense, which is the least common of all senses. it's common sense. women have common sense, whether they are latinos, whether they are african-americans, after -- white americans, even if they are merchants. -- martians. women care about their kids.
women care that their children know how to read, write, do math, and have a better education that they did. that's what i want for my kid. women care to buy them better clothing and not pay so much at the gas station. so it's simple. i think we're more rational. light? because -- why? because we give birth. when you give birth, everything is hooked -- put aside and you just think about them. did you eat? do you have money? what do you do? who's that boy? women are mothers. i think the virginian lady proved it. don't mess with my kids in school. i need better prices so i can keep the money i have my pocket to buy better products, whether it's food or clothing or entertainment for my children. that's it. it has nothing to do with parties. it has to do with common sense.
olivia: thank you. you told me in february, "it's time for us to be sending the right message to the largest majority in the country. if ronald reagan had not sent the right message to the browns." research suggest -- sorry? rep. salazar: you got it, olivia. you remember well. olivia: there was a right shift more than latino men. i'm curious, does the gop have a good message or outreach to the latino community, minority women? and how do you think this can approve -- improve? rep. salazar: i'm glad you are giving me this platform because as you know, i'm going to be presenting an immigration reform law that wants to give dignity to the browns in this country. everyone does that, that has been here for more than five years.
i'm going to give you some of the details later on, but i think i should say that the gop in this country should give dignity to those people who have been here for some time and have contributed to the american economy and have not committed a crime. the problem with the democratic party is that, or the latinos, they have been waiting for the dems to fulfill their promise. and the problem is that since ronald reagan in 1986, the dems have been promising a lot of stuff to my community and they have not delivered. so that's why i, as a good brown girl from the hood -- and i am very, very proud of being a brown girl from the hood who made it to congress -- that i am here to defend and to speak for those people who were my viewers, and some of them turned into my voters. the brown community in this
country is the largest minority in the country, 20% of the population, 50 million people. we want dignity. and unfortunately, the democratic party has played political football with us since reagan. i was at that press conference where he promised in the first 100 days of his presidency, he was going to give immigration reform law. and you know what happened? use that political capital into obamacare. and that's fine. he's the president. he can use that political capital into anything he wants. but you know what? don't lie to us. now in 2020, president biden said the same thing. within the one -- first 100 days of my presidency, i'm going to give my immigration reform law. and he has abandoned us, as well. for what? for childcare care, for elderly care, for vision care. and that's fine. he's the president. he can do that. but do not lie to us.
so i'm tired because i know the community very well. i speak the language perfectly. i cater to them for spanish television. from california to new york, what they are thinking. and it's time to vote for those who give us a solution, not those who want to play with us and use us as political chips in order to exchange us from one thing for another. and that is what happening with the dems. so i assure you it is going to bring some solutions. and something else that i will tell you one icu on the floor, what happened -- when i see you on the floor, what happens, coyotes, drug dealers, you know where they are going to wind up at? our barrios, our neighborhood. they're going to wind up where
my maid is, my gardener. so you see, my maid and my gardener's are not very happy with what's happening at the border, but has anyone asked them? no. and i don't like it. and it's time to stop that aggression against the brown community in this country. olivia: i know you talked about democrats, but republicans have also tried and failed to fix immigration system. if i understand correctly, from the framework that you rolled out, a lot of republicans are basically further away from the plan, at least the talking points of the plan that you presented. i'm wondering how you plan to get your own party on board on this issue. rep. salazar: my party is on board. my party is on board. now i want to see what the dems are going to do. because this is going to be a gop proposal. this is a legislation that is
going to be proposed by a brown girl from the gop from the city of miami. and i am going to invite speaker pelosi and the leadership in the democratic party to embrace my bill because there's always dignity. and you know how i know we want dignity? because i asked them. because like i said, that was my audience, so i know exactly what they're thinking. most browns in the united states watch either univision or telemundo or estrella, the most important networks in this country. they have millions and millions of viewers. and i worked for them, for all of them. so what i'm saying is that the gop understands that we need to take care of those people who are here. let me just point something out to you. nancy pelosi, under president trump, she had this proposal that she could give 1.8 million dreamers and tbs and their
parents some type of legality. and it's changed for border security. we're not against border security. we don't want the criminals and the coyotes and the child sex traffickers coming in. but then madame speaker said no. so she cared so much about our dreamers and our docket children, why did she say no -- daca children, why did she say no? because in the end, they don't care. but you know what? i do, in my party will, too. olivia: i want to pivot to another policy question for you. it's one that has been getting a lot of attention recently, the national key family leave program, for women trying to juggle careers and families. republicans haven't seemed to fully appraised the idea -- embraced the idea, but city 2% of republican women -- 62% of republican women believe it
should be included. do you think that republicans should -- rep. salazar: i don't have any problems if it's a standalone belt. my problem -- standalone bill. my problem is to get dollars into the economy. when you're talking about paid leave, you're not just talking about one line or three lines. what else is there? i don't want to help on one end and harm you in 10 other points. so if it's a standalone bill, absolutely. but you know the problem right now, for virginians and the rest of the women in the united states is how much do they have to pay for gas, for clothing, for food, and for shoes for their kids? and that's going up. and this reconciliation, whatever you want to call it, is going to just give a lot more money, to this economy going to
fuel inflation, which is actually the opposite. and then on top of that, most of my constituents do not have, they're not millionaires. very upset with this provision, next to the family paid leave is this tax break, just for millionaires. don't like that. why do i have to give the money to the millionaires at the expense of the middle class? so you see, when you talk about one portion of the bill, you've got to talk about the 2800 pages at the same time. that's what i'm saying. dems do not have the monopoly on compassion. we are compassionate, too. but we are compassionate across the board. and a good economy is the best thing we can do for our lower and middle class americans. olivia: congresswoman, do you think that house republicans are setting a good example of how they can make room for women in
leadership? rep. salazar: well, i'm a good example. they supported me. they have treated me with utmost respect. and if not, you know, i will tell you -- because being a politician is not my career. my career was being on television, something that i'm doing right now, for 35 years, speaking in spanish and reporting the news, including washington. so i tell you as it is. in the gop, those white boys that you were talking to me about, they have been inclusive, respectful, loving, and they have said maria, you're one of the rock stars of the party. i don't need to be a rockstar anymore. thank you. i've done enough. i'm here to help the republican party, the united states, and district number 27. and the moment i feel that i'm not doing that, you know i'm going to do? go back home and enjoy my retirement. olivia: i want to ask the last
question for you, and i know you have to go so thank you for your time. rep. salazar: you're doing so great. [laughter] peter: -- olivia: thank you so much. less than an hour ago, republicans voted to censor over the video he posted, an anime video depicting violence against alexandria custer cortez and president biden. you, i believe, were someone who voted to strip marjorie taylor greene for remarks before she came to congress. would you have supported the vote today if he was napping stripped of his committee? -- not being stripped of his committee? rep. salazar: listen, this is all a farce. and why is that? because if this congressman put up that video, congressman goes are put up that video that i
hear going to my staffers, and then he brought it down and he apologized. if we'r goinge -- we're going to do that to him, then we have to talk about maxine waters on the others, who went on the streets and went on television and said we have to call and we have to stand and -- whatever she said, i don't remember. but i know that she inferred violence. so if it's good for the goose, it's good for the guest. the difference between goes are in marjorie taylor greene is that greene insulted, spewed anti-semitic comments against district when he seven, miami. i received a lot of calls telling me they were pretty
offended because marjorie taylor greene specifically said that the jewish committee had started the california wildfire and that they were responsible for this disaster in this state. i could not have accepted that. but goes are put up a cartoon, which i haven't seen. so what is madame speaker doing playing politics? the american people are not playing politics. they're trying to see how they pay their bills and pay for higher prices in food, and gas. so i think we should stop playing games in washington. and you know something, olivia? just to conclude this conversation, you know, i come from the private sector and i worked in the private sector for 35 years. if i did not produce ratings, i did not have a contract. i think most or many people here in congress should have that experience, going to the private sector, working for a couple
years, having to make a salary and deliver some goods. and if they come back here, they will behave. that's what i think should happen. we should pass a resolution that anyone who comes to congress has to have seven or nine years out in the private sector in any walk of life. and you'll see how things will be complete lead different. olivia: congresswoman salazar, it's been a pleasure having you enjoy -- having you join us. rep. salazar: you are a rockstar. you are one of the stars. olivia: thank you. it was great hearing you talk about immigration and what you think the party can do more to include more latinas and reach out to more women. with that, let's turn it over. rep. salazar: i'm living proof. i am living proof that they are behaving pretty well and they understand that america is diverse and they are inclusive. and i am the perfect example. otherwise i would be telling you otherwise. thank you for your time. olivia: thank you.
let's send it over now to elizabeth ralph for concluding remarks to close out the day. >> thank you so much, olivia. and that concludes today's programming, leading in the new world of work. inc. you once again -- thank you once again to our guests. thank you to our moderators. and thank you to everyone in the art is for joining us. it's been a great afternoon of conversation. we've talked about everything from paid leave to valuing family life, what life is really like in the white house. we'll also be back with another event next month. stay updated on that and follow originalism on women in power. please sign up for our newsletter atis meeting of
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