tv Sen. Amy Klobuchar at AIPAC Conference CSPAN March 5, 2018 4:50pm-5:08pm EST
rights. watch landmark cases live tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span, c-span.org, or listen with the free c-span radio act, and for background while you watch, companion book. it's available for 8.95 plus shipping arn ping and handling. for an additional resource there's a link on our resource for the national institution centers interactive institution. we'll be taking you to aipac when that gets under way. we'll show you some of the people who spoke earlier today at that conference. >> please welcome award winning journalist and best selling author claire shipman. [ applause ] >> this week we'll hear from
congressional leaders and officials from both sides of the aisle on the hot button issues facing america in the middle east. our next guest is one such leader. an analysis ranked her first among all 100 senators and sponsoring or co-sponsoring bills that were enacted into law in the last congress. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome from the great state of minnesota senator amy klobuchar. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you. it's great to be here with this intimate discussion with you with just a few thousands of our friends. >> you have been a consistent
supporter of the u.s.-israel relationship. talk about why that issue is so important to you. >> a lot of it has to do with home. i know we have some great minnesota aipac people here. we're excited about that. this is the democracy, a beacon of democracy in what's really tough, if not a tough neighborhood. if they're not jewish they see the important of that relationship. the fact that four of the five members of the gold medal winning u.s. curling team were
from our state. i would like to bring that up. their daughter was doing the homework at the kitchen table. if it wasn't for the alert system, she would have been dead. hearing their story reminded me of the work i did as prosecutor and when we would be in these high crime neighborhoods on how people would be terrified every single day of what was going to happen to them next. no country should have to live like that. [ applause ]
we were meeting with the prime minister and he was noting to me that he had a lot of relatives in minnesota and he had been there and he said when i got back to our state, i could tell them that i had met with the israeli prime minister of minnesota. that was kind of amusing but he said it to me when i was sitting next to the senator from new york. >> that's nice. you probably know as well as anybody given the current hyper partisan political environment how hard it is to find issues on which democrats and republicans can work together. is it possible that this issue can remain a bipartisan issue and especially in congress? >> i think it can. a lot depends on the jewish community in america. i believe that you can find common ground while still standing your ground.
that's been really a hallmark of all i have worked in congress and we have seen this in congress with support for israel whether it's iron dome, whether it's david, the iran sanctions in the 98-2 vote out of the united states senate or whether it is the memorandum of understanding in the $38 billion, largest amount ever put into israel's security. at the same time things have come very polarized and so the way i would suggest and your leaders know this and you know this better than anyone to try to do everything. your republican reach out to democrats. if you're a democrat, reach out to republicans. getting youth involved and seizing on some of those issues that israel and this community has long stood up for whether
it's a taking on climate change. whether it's immigration reform. whether it is standing up for refugees. these are issues that the jewish community has been uniquely active on. i think those are issues that areappealing to young people. so many of them don't know that history. that's why i appreciate how aipac has reached out in that way. the last thing i say about this is it's just as you do, it's finding friends that maybe you didn't know were friends before. with senator mccain and senator graham. we spent, not this last new year's eve but the one before that. we were in the baltics,
something you've covered and ukraine. john mccain has always stood up for me. he always says senator klobuchar is the lead democrat. she will go first. first he went to mccain and gave him a machine gun. >> no discrimination. nothing at all. just reminded me again, john mccain has been through everything but he still sees this morning of not just going with party but reaching out and thinking of country.
>> thank you. >> i imagine him to be a great traveling buddy. >> he is a lot of fun. i'll say that. it continues to look for big cuts in international foreign spending. how do you think congress will deal with the request for security, assistance to israel but overall foreign aids. how do you talk about the issue of maintaining spending on foreign affairs to your constituents at home. >> this is really timely question because we have the budget right before us coming up. i thoroughly believe that congress will stand up. put the money in the budget that was promised out of the memorandum of understanding to fully fund our commitment to aid to israel. that's the first part. the second thing is the foreign aid in general.
i so appreciate the jewish community standing up for foreign aid in the bleakest time. i think part of that is no one better than the jewish community can make the case for refugees since israel was a haven for refugees since the beginning. secondly, as we look at how when we have many people that would like to cut off nearly all of foreign aid, how we make that argument. first is national security. i think it was secretary mattis that said the more you cut the statement department, the more ammunition i have to buy. there's a clear relationship between a strong military and strong foreign aid. he and i decided to make the point at home by doing an event at the american refugee committee. those kinds of arguments done on a bipartisan basis for the last
economics. george bush got this in africa. all the work he did to reduce aids. bill clinton got this. >> very interesting. we have just about a minute left. on the issue of security, last month iranian forces sent a drone into israel that led to the downing of an israeli f-16. i think that highlighted the real and growing threat that israel faces on its northern border. how can the u.s. and israel work together to confront the iranian threat this syria and ensure that israel gets the support it needs to deal with the threats? >> i think this was a real wake up call for washington and that is that we must stand tall and we must be firm on this.
i ran has been building up their military presence in syria and in lebanon. we're talking right on israel's northern border. the first is what i've been talking about, the importance of aid and keeping our aid strong for israel. i'd say the second is being very firm on the sanctions against iran and enforcing them to a t and enforcing that agreement. this is everything from the primary sanctions to the secondary sanctions about making sure we go after companies that are doing business through hezbollah and other terrorist groups and making this major priority in our foreign policy or it's just going to get worse and worse. the last thing i would say is just the importance of taking on anti-semitism across the world. we're going to have trouble getting allies against iran.
the hundred senators joined together to push back at the u.n. for the anti-semitism that we have seen there. that means security money but also means a culture of reaching out to people and making sure that people stand tall for israel. i'd end with one story to remeenremind you of this importance of reaching out. that's the add that most went viral in our twin cities during the super bowl. sadly they didn't make it to the super bowl. it was a video of an interfaith event where one of our most popular rabbis threw a football
and he caught it and ran in for a touch down. it was the kind of reaching out in a good way. reaching out at the same time standing our ground for israel and finding common ground where we can. that's what i thithank aipac fo doing. keep up the good work and thanks for having me. >> let's give her another round of applause. thank you for your time this morning. [ applause ] plooez welcoease welcome ba
shipman. >> now we're hear from another leader from the other side of the aisle. our next guest took office in 2015 after one term in the house and it distinguished service in the u.s. army. as an outspoken critic
of iran's aggression throughout the middle east. he joins us to discuss the critical issues facing america and israel. welcome arkansas senator tom cotton. >> thank you for that warm welcome. i feel like i have an oscar to present. >> as a member of congress
you've been a consistent and vocal supporter of the u.s.-israel relationship. why is this issue important to you. where does your passion for israel and this relationship come from? >> personally where it comes from for me is everything i know about a modern nation of israel and connection to the united states. it goes back so deeply
in our history. the pilgrims call america a new zion. america has been open to the jewish people in way you can be fully american and fully jewish. my personal travels to israel, more deeply though where it comes not just for me but for the united states as a whole is from our people. administration's president, secretaries of state. somewhere more supportive in that alliance than others.
congress is the source in washington of the continued bedrock relationship between the united states and israel. [ applause ] don't clap too much for congress. the reason for that is because the people who send us here are the true foundation of that relationship. it's the relationship between the american people and the israeli people that make it a unique relationship with any nation that we have in the world. that's why you continue to see overwhelming majorities of both the house and the senate supporting u.s. israel relationship. >> you served our country in the u.s. army for nearly five year including two combat tours. we want to thank you for your service. how did that experience help shape your view of america's role in the world and how did
that experience give you some sense of understand iing the abt what israel might be facing? >> some people ask did your time in the army shape your world for you? it's close but it's opposite. i joined the army because of my role. it was reenforced in a couple different ways. first at a general level. we live in a dangerous, chaotic world. it always has been that.
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