tv Washington Journal CSPAN October 17, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT
in a came that even democrats have running against their party leadership, we want to find out from you about speaker nancy pelosi and senate leader harry reid. today we want to focus on congressional leaders. is this a referendum on their democratic leadership? a number of related stories on this very issue beginning with the cover story of the national journal which paints a very different picture of congress starting next year. the headline, a very different place. inside the national journal is this from charlie cook, the nonpartisan look. his prediction, the house
>> i'm jim marshall and i approve this message. >> georgia is a long way from san francisco. and jim marshall is a long way from nancy pelosi. jim marshall doesn't support nancy pelosi. he voted the same as republican leaders 65% of the time. he worked against the health care bill because we can't afford it. and jim marshall is endorsed by the nra, right to life, and the chamber of commerce. they wouldn't have anything to do with the nancy pelosi supporter. >> so the mid-term elections, a referendum on the speaker of the house and the senate leader? it looks like this, the education of a president, what president obama has done and hasn't, and what being president has done to him. and in the interview that was conducted in the oval office late last month, there is this quote from the president.
mid-term elections, a referendum on the speaker and democratic leader. peter baker will be joining us later. on to your phone calls. danny in west virginia. democrat's line. caller: good morning. it is certainly a referendum on speaker pelosi and reid. and i've always been surprised that the democrats, my democrats couldn't do better than those two as leaders. but more than that, it's a referendum on whether the
american people have the intellectual ability and awareness of the issues to be able to make intelligent choices. the if they put the republicans back in charge after the damage they've done to the stumplet and world economy, i think this country is finished. host: as a democrat, if not harry reid or nancy pelosi, who do you think should be running each of the chambers on the democratic side? caller: well, i liked russ feingold. i can't pick them off the top of my head. i'd have to put some serious thought into it. but leaders that are more able to stand up for what democrats believe. you know, they're equive kating with republicans. whenever there's any criticism, it seems like they run from the criticism and they don't stand up for what liberals believe in this country. thank you. host: thank you for the call. from our twitter page.
front page of "new york times" jean from illinois. good morning. caller: good morning. you know, if the people would quit their fighting like the politicians do, they can't make it without money. don't do it on honor any more. if we were to quit fighting like they do, we might not be destroyed. but the men upstairs are getting tired of fooling with our ignorance and he is going
to put an end to it before very long. we need to take a look at what we're doing to ourselves. we're totally destroying ourselves because of division. host: after the mid-term elections in 2006, george w. bush as president referred to the loss of republicans as a stumping. this morning, confronting a stumping at the polls, democrats cling to the hope that their landmark legislation passed during the rein will save the party. looking at the stimulus bill, health care, and financial regulation. that was then is the piece in congressional quarterly by bob benesen. next, paul, from white lake michigan. good morning. is this a referendum on the speaker and democratic leader? caller: in a way but i think it goes beyond that. i think it is also like the poster children for what's wrong with washington. not listening to the people of this country. and whether you're a democrat,
republican, or independent, i think that there's time for change right now. that these people have to go. they're simply not listening to the american people. host: and what do you want done in the next congress? caller: well, i want to see the deficit addressed and i want to see a lot of this crazy spending reigned in because it's just ruining our country it's ruining the country for our children. host: our this weekend's edition of the national journal, has a different place. it begins with a conversation between congressman david obey, the chair of the house of representatives and congressman jerry lewis and the ranking republican member.
that a is eanches point to the tone of washington. look how it's changed. one of the points, mourning the loss of committy and compromise has almost become a national past time. and there's a piece referring to the late speaker tip o'neal. but first let's go to charlotte , good morning. caller: i don't think it's a referendum on pelosi or reid
per se. i think the problem is the democrats didn't create their own naretive. they plet the republicans take their point of view and create the narrative. and the people who are not intellectually sophisticated enough to understand what was going on, they're able to drink the cool aid. as you see, most people don't read and rationalize and do critical thinking on the issue. if you had eight years of a problem that was created, it's not going to turn around in a year or two. so it would turn around in a short term, you've got to have great cooperation from both sides. the republicans get their narratives from karl rove in the sense where he just is said no and we'll destroy obama's credibility. in the same voice, what you're doing is destroying the country. i became an independent 13 years ago because i seen them both as the express train. but right now this country is in a great need of leadership and i think president obama is providing that.
however, the democrats have to show what they did and stand up and be men about the great accomplishments they've made throughout the year. what that will be beneficial to this country in the long term and they should push programs that will promote themselves in the short term. host: republican line from long beach, california. good morning. welcome. caller: good morning, sir. how are you doing? >> fine. thank you. caller: my comment is that we of this country, scute elected obama to do this job. he and nancy pelosi and harry reid, they've been in office too long. what the problem is that obama has surrounded himself around people that cannot create jobs. i mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to create a job. he could take one tablet from the bill clinton administration
is to reenact the feeta program. and george bush, i believe he did an excellent job. one thing he could do to stimulate the economy is to give every working family a $1,000 stimulus. if you're going to give it to the banks, why not give it to the american people. we are the ones who have been providing social security, tax funds, lower government. i mean, it's a no brainer that if you're going to spend doctors 50 -- $50 million to a foreign country but you've got people in america homeless, on food stamps, unemployment. you can't create jobs. to me he is asleep at the switch. i mean, our folks, nancy pelosi, she's asleep at the switch. harry reid. they've been in politics for too long. host: thanks, we'll be talking about the president's leadership later on in the program.
denise is joining us from pensacola, florida. good morning. caller: they'd like it to be i think our country's in great great trouble and i think a lot of it has got to do with our education. i have four children and, mother of four, grandchildren, and my grandchildren are not even taking civics any more, history. what do you expect from the country when you don't give them education. so the children don't even know what to expect from their government. they don't know about the people's house or the senate or the executive branch or the justice. they just don't know.
they're ill informed. and this tea bagger, tea party, which i wish you would continue to call it tea bagger tea party, they're just out of touch. out of touch. this is all the bush and cheney people is out of touch and we've got to take over. they don't have any ideas to get us out of this mess in this country other than to spend and send more jobs out of the country. host: thanks for the call. again, the conversation on line at twitter.com/c-span wj. or send us an e-mail. from the outlook section of the "washington post."
well, inside the "washington post" is a look at the 2010 elections and some of the races that they think could potentially be heading for a recount. they include the nevada senate race, the florida governor's race, the illinois senate race, the three-way race in alaska, the colorado senate race, and washington's third congressional district. we want to focus on the nevada senate race, the first and only debate that took place last thursday, which is available on our site for politics, as is all of our political programming, c-span.org/politics. and one of the latest ads from the national republican committee taking aim at democratic leader harry reid.
>> it took thousands of men to erect hoover damn but it only -- dam. barack obama and harry reid. they've dumped bailouts, takeovers, giving us a 1.5 trillion budget deficit, a $13 trl debt. when it comes to nevada's economy, obama and reid are a bust. the republican national committee is responsible for the content of this advertising. host: so back to your calls. this mid-term election, a referendum on reid and pelosi. jean joins us from warren, ohio. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i think it's certainly a referendum on pelosi, reid, and also obama. and just their policies. not to make it so personal as just their policies. i was raised in a democratic home. i'm 65 years old now.
and i became a conservative when reagan took office and i found myself a young mother with two children to raise. and the thing was, i learned, listening to his speeches, that i could be responsible, i could pick myself up and i could make choices that affected me and take care of things. and after these years, it's been good. my children are raised, they're doing well, and i just hate to see so much dependency. i hate to see such big government. and i'm proud of every republican who stands forth and have voted no. to say no to something that they feel is wrong for our country takes courage. it's not that you're an obstructionist. if you're obstructing something that you feel is wrong. thank you so much for taking my call. and i just pray that it's the policies that will be voting this coming election. host: and we'll be talking a lot about policies after this mid-term election once we get a better sense of what the makeup of the new congress will be and who the committee chairs will
be and the agenda both from the president and the congressional leaders. one senator seeking a third term in a very tough reelection bid, polls showing her down by double digits is senator blanche lincoln who faced a tough democratic challenge. this story from arkansas, foresaken by her party it's a look at her struggles to seek a third term. if the polls are correct, unlikely to be reelected in arkansas. from our twitter page this comment there. we're asking you about the mid-term elections. is this a referendum on the speaker of the house who is up for reelection in her district in san francisco and democratic leader harry reid seeking another term in nevada. next, stewart from maryland. good morning.
we'll go to chris next from seattle, washington. good morning to you. caller: good morning. i don't think this is a referendum on anyone. i think it's a systemic play by the republicans that have been going on for years to disassemble the government from the top down to get rid of every single new deal program that they can. and they have been working on this for many, many years and they continue, and they lie and they will say anything and do anything to get their agenda through. they will just -- they don't want this country to move forward. they want to go backward. and it's -- that's just the way it is. host: that's from the democrat's line in seattle, washington. now, stewart is on the line from wood vine, maryland. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. this election definitely is a
referendum on pelosi and reid. i think that the biggest factor here is that even the help that was put out there for bailout money and the money that's being sent down to the government contractors was a big mistake, and more should have been done to provide help for the private sector. more small businesses need money to expand their businesses. that was never part of what they were doing. everything was geared towards the government handouts. and i think it's time that more is done to produce jobs in america through manufacturing and through stop sending it overseas. and i think that this is definitely a referendum.
and i think there's going to be some big changes after this election. host: thanks for the call. by the way, we welcome our listeners joining us on c-span radio, we're heard coast to coast and streamed on line. from our twitter page, this comment from a viewer. there is a local editorial from the outlook section of the "washington post" that you might be interested in even outside of washington, d.c. adrian fenty, the outgoing mayor of washington, defeated, and the chancellor of the school district who announced last week that she is leeg after three years in office. the piece is called, we did our best. now it's up to you. a look at education and some of the changes and what's next for the incoming mayor of the
nation's capital. next, north carolina. independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. and i don't so much think it's a referendum. what i think it is, it's just like the last caller said, the republicans are toing the line and people are drinking the cool aid like he said. and when people say it's too much spending. i think i'd appreciate if you ask what spending they're referring to. all the spending was done by the republicans. the bank bailouts, very little money spent on the stimulus, and health care hasn't spent really a dime yet. and so when people say it's about the spending, maybe you should ask them what spending are they referring to.
that's it. host: below the fold, the "washington post," two stories. one by paul cane, the other by scott wilson. the forecast for the mid-terms, a congress in conflict. next is grace on the democrat's line from memphis. good morning. caller: thank you. i really don't believe this is a referendum on the pelosi and reid. i think it is a referendum on our thinking patterns. if you've got 540 talk radio station that talks continuously every day against what this administration has done and they can't see it, it's a referendum on our sanity, sir. thank you. host: thank you. joe from staten island, new
york. republican line. big debate in your state tomorrow. are you going to watch it? host: definitely. host: i live in new york, which is mostly democratic. you know, what strikes me funny is all the money that obama has spent creating jobs, when he was running for office he was complaining about all the money bush spent. bush's hands were tied for two years. all right? and then he's there two years and this country is going in the toilet. he spent, what, well they say the numbers are $14 trillion. he spent more money the first year than bush spent i think in eight. i mean, i'm married, i have
three children, and we could just make ends meet. it's disgusting. it's really disgusting. and i feel the democrats put us in this mess. and you blame everything on bush. host: thanks for the call. well, this is the lineup of the debate tomorrow in new york city, actually just outside of new york city, the two leading candidates that's from the new york daily news. and from the new york post,
again from the university in long island debate, guards on hand for the seven-way governor slug-fest. susan joining us from alabama. good morning. independent line. caller: good morning. steve, i've been watching you since your inception of cable news network, and you did something a few minutes ago when you first came on this subject of pelosi and reid. you showed an article in that magazine of pelosi and reid and obama.
and then you did a wide shot and then you began to read the article, like that article was going to -- before you showed the wide shot, of just pelosi and reid. and i think that's a bias. when bno was on that same picture. why did you do that? >> i'll pull up the pick tur. because we're talking about speaker pelosi and harry reid. i'm not sure where you're going with it. caller: show it and i'll let you know. before you read the article, they did a tight shot of reid, pelosi, and obama. i think obama was in there, if i remember straight. and then you began to read the article. and then you did a wide shot. and the republican leader was on there. so the story wasn't just about
reid and pelosi, that's the assumption you were making from your topic this morning. why did you do that? host: well, we're asking if this is a referendum on the democratic leadership. caller: but bonner was in the picture. host: i have a lot of papers. i promise we'll show it in a moment. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have been watching faithfully in the mornings before i go to work, and i just love this program. my comment, the referendum is just because it's in the papers and i totally think that because of the national media that's why it's become a revend dumb. i think, and i would like -- referendum. i would like to offer an opinion. if we would have more facts, especially from c-span, more facts preempting the discussion, then all the
talking points could be put aside and we could say, ok, this is actually a fact, this is not a fact. i think that's where i'm coming from. and i really totally appreciate c-span. 66, democrat, 17 grandchildren, six children, and what you do for the country is very important. thank you so much, steve. have a wonderful day. host: thank you for the call. i'm just trying to pull up. we get so many articles and magazines here. this is the picture, the caller referring to bonner. what we did is tightened here to show you the picture of speaker pelosi, the president, and harry reid. and maybe you meant congressman john boehner and republican leader mitch mcconnell. and we did read from the full article. but we did show a tight shot because we're focusing on speaker pelosi and harry reid. we'll go to jane next in san francisco, republican line. good morning to you.
caller: you're one of the best on this show, for years and years i've watched. and thank you. i just wanted to say that i think when obama came in he said it was going to be change. unfortunately, it's been change for the worse. we're just so indebt. they're printing money. the treasure and the fed, they don't know what to do. and the race for the banks is -- rates for the banks is 0% and obama keeps giving them money. he doesn't ask them to give loans to the people. pelosi seemed like she was intim dating the democrats. to this day, you don't see anyone wanting her, wanting obama to campaign for them. i think that at this point the country has to try republicans again because they promised that they would balance the budget and they did. when they came in, president
clinton and the democrat party were spending and spending, and then it was change when the republicans came in. now for four years we've had democrats and all they do is spend and they're changing our entire culture and not doing what we want. we want jobs. i mean, my children want jobs. everybody needs jobs. and we feel that we're going downhill as a country. and all we're asking is for someone to pay attention to the little guy, just the ordinary people, and stop all this politicing and i think the only ones that can do that right now are the republicans. thank you very much. host: jane, thank you. calling from san francisco where speaker pelosi represents congress. the sunlight foundation on its website keeping track of what who is spending and what indicating that outside spending in this congressional campaign, this mid term
election, has increased a staggering $78 million with a total right now of more than $200 million in this mid term election cycle. outside money is the subject of the "new york times" sunday magazine weekend review piece with a picture of a familiar face, former president richard nixon and "the return of secret donors skt. that's the perspective of the "new york times" weekend review section. that frot monty on our twitter page. the national committee is out with a new video looking at some of the tea party candidates. we showed you what the r.n.c. was doing earlier. here's on the d.n.c. website.
>> here sharon angle. she is a school teacher who wants to abolish the department of education. >> you can make more on unemployment than you can getting an honest job but doesn't pay as much. >> she wants to take the united states out of the u.n., phase out social security, and shut down the i.r.s. >> daniel webster. in addition to having one of those amazing names in politics, is also famous for his support of covenant marriage. >> the central party tea party council is throwing its support behind webster. >> do you think they were just overreaches and that business shouldn't be bothered with people with a basis in law to sue them for redress? >> i think a lot of things could be handled locally. >> that's from the dnc website. our focus is this mid-term election, a referendum on pelosi and reid. the national journal has a very different place, a look at the changes in congress and what to
expect in the next congress. ray joining us, independent line from pennsylvania. good morning. caller: good morning, steve. i want people to recall, i think it is a referendum and if it isn't it should be. you remember when president obama went into nevada and campaigned and vote for me for the change. and then right after he got elected he chastised these companies for going and spending money there, holding their conferences and so on and so forth. now you have 14% unemployment in nevada. that's the thanks you get in nevada. i want to bring up something else, though. they're always demagoguing the rich and these companies for shipping the businesses offshore. i brought it up to a friend of mine about michelle obama's trip to spain in which it was reported they spent $2.5 million even though most of oit wasn't taxpayers money. i told my friend, could not that money have been spent in america? and he said, you know, i never
looked at it like that. and i said, well, maybe you ought to. these people preach. the one you're showing right now, she made $9 million last year. she dem dogs the rich. jane harmon, she made $15 million. harry reid, how many millions did he make? and they're all doing the same thing. they're demagoguing those who are successful. yet how do they make their money? i think people better watch out for these country. these aren't democrats. these are socialists. host: i understand your point. we should point out that congresswoman harman, much of their money from their spouses. caller: regardless. they're demagoguing the rich. who are the rich? caller: host: thanks for the call. the education of a president. peter baker has this story, the cover story of the "new york times" sunday magazine.
from our twitter page kelly is up early in sacramento, california, democrat's line. a couple big raceses in your state as well including speck speaker pelosi. caller: good morning. this is to everybody, republicans and democrats. the past eight years we have given bush and his people, everything, to send our companies overseas, to tax the little people, the middle class, and that's me. we were not doing good the past ten years. we gave obama and pelosi and reid two years? that's what i don't understand. if you like the way things were going the past eight years, keep it that way. this is my hope. i hope pelosi and reid and obama walk out and give
everything to angle and to o'donnell and to minority speaker and see how they like their country then. it takes longer than two years to get our country back to where it used to be. host: thanks for the call. speaking of not walking out but not attending, this from the "washington post" today based on the appearance last week at the manhattan institute. the headline, alito may skip the state of the union. as you may remember, the president taking aim at members of the supreme court on their citizens united decision earlier this year. and from the new york daily news that this morning from
inside the new york daily news. bat to the twitter page. on the republican line. caller: good morning, and thank you for taking my call. i'm a faithful listener to your program. i watch you every sunday. woo host: we're glad to hear from you. caller: i'm an 80-year-old lady who came from cuba and loved this country as my own. i was a democrat just for a little bit. when i opened my eyes and see the socialist of the party since the very beginning. and i am petrified at this time
for this country because we need to change the course if we don't want to collapse. every time i hear to take from the rich and give to the poor, only -- the part that are saying that are very rich and taking money and making a lot of money. pelosi and reid are really socialists, and i am very concerned about this country when we can get rid of them. and i would like to see an awakening to this country to come back to the moral value that is this country used to have. it's not only politics but moral values that are in decay. every day i see terrible things happening to the modern values of this country. and when the country loses its values, the country is lost forever. host: thanks for calling.
2012 presidential politics is the subject of david broader's piece. and re joining us from richmond, virginia. good morning. welcome to the washington journal. independent line. caller: the lady who called from alabama reminded me that back in the 60's -- i'm old enough to remember when george wallace ran for president and he ran as both a democrat and a republican. host: in 1968. caller: he said there's not a dime's worth of difference between the parties. that's why her point about showing the picture that includes mcconnell and boehner is critical in that. the democrats and republicans are the problem, they're not the solution. that's why i wouldn't join either one of them with a gun
to my head. and my point is this, those of us who know american history, the lady from cuba she's calling in throwing around all these europeanisms, because she has to get out of cuba behind fide el castro. the simple fact of the matter is that the united states of america was a compromised country 150 years before the constitution. the way i live here in witched, virginia, i see the thing -- richmond virginia i see the thing on the wall every day about thomas jefferson. it states specifically that you don't have to pass any religious test to serve in office in america, yet and still you've got people throwing around the idea of whether obama is a muslim. he can't be. he smokes cigarettes, he eats pork, he drink alcohol. the point that i'm making is that the united states of america, in my lifetime, when i was in elementary school, there
was a saying that the sun never sets on the british empire. in my lifetime, i have seen the british empire collapse, i've seen the russian empire collapse, and now i'm seeing the american empire collapse. people have got to understand the nature of existence. empires rise, empires fall. host: thanks for the call. from a regular twitterer, some of the other headlines, the atlanta journal constitution, has the g.o.p. turning up the heat in a couple of key races. a look at the race in florida the banker and the salesman. redie fining poverty and the funding rush, front page of the
"l.a. times." and the denver post, local races and outside money also the story from that paper. and one oirtsdz headline. from the orange county register are where former alaska governors sara palin bringing the message of victory to orange county voters. claude is joining us from mips. good morning. welcome to the washington journal. caller: good morning. i appreciate you all. i think term limits would be the best penicillin we could get right now. we're suffering and i think there's too much power in washington. we need to weed them out every four years. host: thanks for the call. the cover story of the "new york times" sunday magazine, the education of a president. peter baker is going to be joining us in a couple minutes. but first a look at the topics and guest making up the sunday morning programs heard every sunday afternoon. with that, bobby jackson in the
c-span radio. caller: thank you. the topics on the sunday shows will focus on the mid-term elections. also, the administrations and the congressional agendas. the guests on nbc meet the press hosted by david gregory will include white house press secretary robert gibbs. and the colorado senate nominees, republican ken buck and the democratic incumbent michael bennett. on abc's this week, cristian will talk with the delaware nominees, chris coons and republican chris tine oh dobble. the gesm on fox news sunday hosted by chris wallace include missouri claire mccask and john cornyn. he chairs the republican senatorial committee. also carlie theernie. on face the nation, from cbs you'll hear bomb schafer with former democratic chair howard dean and south carolina republican senator lindsey graham. and on cnn's state on the union
>> this weekend, cnbc's maria bart romo on the weekend that changed wall street. an inside look at the crash of 2008. find the rest of this weekend's schedule including texas book festival at booktv.org. >> washington journal continues. host: peter baker of the "new york times." what does he do now? your interview with the president and the cover story in the "new york times" sunday magazine, the education of president obama. why this piece? why now? >> well, we're talking about these mid-term elections. everybody is assuming they're a referendum, at least a verdict on the first two years of president obama's time in office. we decided to take a serious look at what he has learned from these two years and what lessons he plight apdr -- might
apply to the next two years. we had a chance to talk to both president obama in the oval office as well as probably two dozen of his aides and advisers from how things look from the inside out, how they per seef what's going on, what do they decide has worked and hasn't worked. it was an interesting process. you got a lot more reflection than you might have expected in the weeks coming before an election when everybody is obviously on edge. >> you've been around him as a candidate, senator, and as president. what was his demeanor like when you sat down with him? ? guest: relaxed, unrushed. we were told we had 20 minutes. he was engaged in the subject. he gave ate lot of thought. he is a reflective person. he wrote his memoir at a very young age that most people think is the most introspective of memoirs. so he was willing to chew over some of these issues and we
ended up spending a full hour together talking about what had gone right and wrong and how he sees things going. host: we're going to share with you some excerpts. as always, we'll get to your phone calls. you can join the conversation on line or send us an e-mail. let's dig right into this. you say the president who mussled through congress perhaps the most ambitious domestic agenda finds himself villified by the right, cascaded by the left and abandoned by the middle guest: and he's aware of that. he's not going to admit it in the interview. he's going to maintain optimism about where the democrats are going to end up. but he has begun thinking about
what the aides call obama 2.0. what does he do with a less friendly congress? how much can he move through and think about using his executive power more, foreign policy obviously, and also implementation. the first two years he pushed through a lot of very big ambitious legislation, controversial. a lot of people don't like it. and these next two years are in part going to be about defending themselves against attacks from republicans in congress and in the courts. host: these are the president's words guest: and that's absolutely true. the rest test -- real test is not when the president is down
because every president does go through a period of political trouble, a period where they're challenged. the test, as we always tell our children, is when you get knocked down, can you get back up? what do you do to recover at that point? and he's thinking about history in that way. he's been reading presidential biographies. he's reading a book, the clinton tapes, about his secret conversations with president clinton. and he's looking at the examples i think of history to find out presidents -- how presidents have gone through moments like the one we're seeing right now and how do they recover. president clinton lost congress in 1994, came back to win reelection two years later. ronald reagan lost a couple dozens seats in the house. his poll numbers were also down. he came back to win reelection. so are those the examples that president obama can follow or does he have a different path where like for instance jimmy
carter perhaps or even george bush in his second term where the numbers just went down and he never could pull back up. host: this is what it looks like, the education of a president by peter baker. in your story you refer to the president's comments in milwaukee. let's watch. >> some powerful interests who have been dominating the agenda in washington for a long time are not always happy with me. they talk about me like a dog. that's not in my prepared remarks. it's just -- but it's true. host: harry truman said if you want a friend in washington, get a dog. did those comments surprise you? guest: a little bit. i think he's expressing his frustration on the trail. he said some thing that is sound perhaps defensive even or frustrated.
he said at a recent fund raiser, look, it takes time. it took time to free the slaves, it took time to give women the vote. which is comparison, equating what he is doing with some pretty big things in american history. but i think it must be tough to be a president given all of the things that come your way. and all of the knocks that come your way. he has at the moment not a lot of friends that he can rely on. he doesn't have a solid base of support at the moment that he would like to turn back to at the time of this. >> host: one of the pictures in your article, one of a series of a backyard townhall meetings, in richmond, virginia, in a home because of rain that particular day. but we've been seeing the president in these informal settings. we've been covering them. what's the message and the pr behind that? because there is pr behind
that. guest: i think they're trying to find a way to communicate that works better for him. there's the oval adf office address, things like that haven't worked as successfully as they would like. the big rallies of 2008, we see many of them but not many. they think these are more intimate and more human, and that might allow vote ers to connect with him and see him as somebody who understands what's going on in their lives and the troubles that they're experiencing with this down economy. you know, i think all these things are ways of trying to get across the message. but it's hard to imagine that they changed the dynamic in an environment like the one we have right now. host: and yet today's the first time we'll see the president and first lady together on the campus of ohio state university in columbus, a state that is at the polls are correct, likely to go republican for a governor and senate. guest: exactly. the president's on a big campaign swing across a number
of states. yesterday, friday in delaware, saturday massachusetts, today ohio. the rest of the week he's got five or six more states, all of which are obama states, by the way. he's only going to states where he won in 2008, in october, and that shows you he is trying to rally the base and not trying to expand his reach at this point, not bothering to go to places in the south or mountain west where he hasn't been as successful over time. host: i called this a lengthy piece. it's an interesting piece. how many words? guest: very quick 8,000 word reading. host: elly is joining us from new york. independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead, please. caller: yes. i'm very interested in the article. i haven't gotten to read it yet. but my comment is to peter. how many other political figures have you interviewed
over the past few years? have you ever super viewed another president? education of a president? there have ever been any other presidents that you did this kind of an article on? guest: thank you for the question. this is my third president i've covered. i've cord president clinton president bush. and it's interesting to see different presidents over time. what strikes me is the familiarity, actually, that these are very different men, of course, bill clinton, george bush, and barack obama and yet some things are universal. being in that office, being in that position i think regardless of ideology puts individual men and eventually women in a very familiar position. and in terms of their own personality, in terms of the way they run their white house, there's some interesting
parallels as well. i sort of see president obama in a way kind of a cross between president clinton and president bush in some ways. not ideologically but in the way they run things. president clinton was very engaged in the details of policy, loved really digging into the nitty-gritty of things and understanding what was going on, intellectually curious. president obama is pretty similar in that regard. he's less likely to leave a decision open as long as president clinton did. when he makes a decision, like president bush, he doesn't revisit it, he's done with it. he's going to move on. he's more disciplined in the same way that president bush was. and some of the things that they say, it's fascinating to see some of the same things come out of their mouth. host: from the piece as i read
this, i pount out that presidents clinton, bush, obama, coming to this town with little experience or washington, really friends in this town. host: and then the two presidents before the elder president bush were ronald reagan, and jimmy carter. both governors came from out of town. we seem to be electing people who are promising to change washington, five of the last six presidents basically ran on that platform. and i think each of them has a different degrees discovered that's easier said on the campaign trail than traps form. you want to make change, and you can, but at the same time you have to be able to be effective as president and therefore recognize the system is what it is and you have to work within it to some extent. host: next, new york city, good morning with peter baker. caller: good morning. i just wanted to ask i guess
you had touched on this before but my question is basically do you feel that obama is perhaps a very great speech giver but perhaps maybe he needs to work on communication skills, getting his message across about his programs? i just feel he's, he gets up on the podium and does a great job but when he communicates his programs, he is falling quite short. guest: two years in his presidency we're talking about that being a challenge for him. his capacity for taking a stadium of 08,000 people and rousing them to intpration and hope and so forth but in fact that's one form of communication, not the only fornl of communication. as our caller just said, i compare president obama to president clinton in that way. president obama is a speaker and president clinton is a talker. what i would -- the distinction i think president obama can in fact sort of captivate a moment
guest: recognizing that the more time he is in office, the less influence he may have. yesterday, he was talking about taking social security away from senior citizens. they will tell you today. we knew it wouldn't be popular. that's a measure of our virtue. they haven't managed to structure it or sell it. that may change. for the moment, it's not in the political selling point.
and the second thing, of course, is the public doesn't want to hear about what you have done. but what you will do. as the president is trying to make the case, what the others may do. host: our guest is peter baker. it's difficult to have discussions with people who think you're the evil incarnate. we will go to pat on the republican line. caller: me question is to peter, the fourth branch of the government is the press. since 2011, when fox took over, the media followed fox. what i'm challenging the
reporters, because that's where we get our information. i just want facts. i love this country more than my party. that's what it's about. what i'm challenging the reporters, do your job. report the facts and let us decide. thank you very much. guest: thank you, i think our job is to provide the facts and context and analysis. i understand some people probably, you know, follow fox or whatever or any other station. what the "times" tries to do is follow the news and the facts. host: you were in the oval office a month after the refurbishing looks like with new paint and wall paper.
in the body of the piece, you said. in politics, presence matters. he redecorates in a period that was unnecessary, next in a time of austerity. and one day, he showed up wearing one. you went on to talk about his appearances in church, at st. john's. guest: he thinks a lot of them are insulting to intelligence of the voters or the politicians. in the end, there are conventions that are probably not worth his name. in the end, you explain why you're not wearing a flag pin or
pray at home. it creates a distraction that's unnecessary. so in the end, he rebels and sort of succumbs in some ways of the rituals of the american politics. guest: another comment from mary. the president thinks he has fulfilled his promise, but did them in the gop way. enriching the corporations not the people guest: i think the common answer, he thinks he has gotten a lot done. they believe him to be in bed with wall street or whatever. it's fascinating how you can have such disparate views of the same person. you get, he's captive, of corporate interest, he caved in to them and the right. on the other side, you hear the talk of his being a socialist,
anti-business liberal. they seem irreconcilable. host: another picture of him and rahm emanuel. pete will stay on and not just serve as interim chief of staff. guest: i think how long he stays we'll see. pete rouse is a relectant chief of staff. he didn't want to move into rahm's office. he wanted to stay in his office. he has a bet with his fellow deputy white house staff, a number of weeks of staff, pete
rouse said he was going to move host: we will go back to the calls. good morning, randy. caller: hello. the last two callers said. i want the facts and you said it's inbelievable to get different people looking at the same person measured by the statistic and come out with different conclusions. i prefer to let someone else look at the facts for me. my question is speaking to the
last three presidents, did you get into that and each have a different perspective? >> that's an interesting question. you know, they have different perspectives, and yet, i being there's broad agreements from the presidents on nafta. president bush continued and agreed with it. . president obama agreed said it was something he would re-open. he sort of changed his mind or never really believed it. host: more on the president's interview. it's available on the website on the "new york times." >> there's a perverse crime that we're going to do the right
thing. even if short term was unpopular. anybody that occupied this office knows that success is measured with the interception of policy and politics. there are issues where we could have been more effective than we have been. guest: one, he's saying, i was so interested in getting the things right that i didn't pay enough attention to selling it. that's obviously a pretty, um, justifying kind of line. but the part that's interesting, the candidate of 2008, who in fact, was so good. as we have been talking this morning as communicating and bringing the country behind him. he lost connection with the people that brought him there. it's not enough to simply put a
policy in place if the public isn't behind it. if the country doesn't believe in what you're doing, you're not going to have the success you want. host: any reaction from the white house? guest: no. they haven't taken issue with anything. they grumble about pieces here and there. i think they're not happy with the timing in the sense it's coming before the election. they would rather talk about them after. they haven't reacted badly. host: you sit down with the president. you have all of his quotes. how do you get your head around this and get it into an 8000 word piece? guest: interesting question, i
had to throw out a lot of what i was writing and incorporate more of him. the think that would be of value is to hear his voice and perspective, and then give us some analysis and voices around it to put it in perspective. you know, it was a lot there. it was not an interview that was intended to make news per se or review each and every policy decision he made. it was to step out of his skin and be author obama and think about how he's changed, what he's learned, and what he would do differently. host: just the two of you in the room? guest: yes. >> host: from the twitter. why does the gop refuse to own
the part was legislation and they add in committee, falsely claiming "no input" guest: it's much more all or nothing. you don't want to muck up a clear message by saying, we're against it, but we like these four provisions we put in committee. i think people are trying to sharpen their most important points. host: i heard an article from this article, in 2008, tip o 'neil tried to create bipartisanship. today a speaker would be killed for that.
not literally, but politically. guest: in this day and age, you control the floor and only bring things you basically have in your pocket. look at what happened in the senate. any number of things didn't get to a floor vote like cap and trade. even though it's been passed in the house. so today, we don't so much as debate the issues on the floor. but bring them if we know which way it's going to do. host: next. ed from new york. caller: you are going back basically to three administrations. the question i have, the question asked of okay, he's not communicating and bill clinton was great going on the campaign
trail. if we look at one important piece of legislation by each president. obama being healthcare. bush the medicaid and clinton passed nafta, which nobody likes. i would think of anything of the education of obama pass what you know to be right versus what is popular. bush didn't communicate that the seniors were going to be on the hook for unfunded mandate. yet passed with the republican congress. obama passed this against the senate. they say filibuster today. is that rally your leaders. if you want to filibuster, filibuster the way the constitution says. guest: that's important.
filibuster is in the constitution. it's become a defining moment here in congress. it used to be the filibuster required a two-thirds vote. i think you may see more of that kind of confrontation in the second half the term. there maybe more students to make moments when we have confrontation between congress and the president, particularly if there's a republican majority. i have plenty of ink in my veto pin. presidents have used that to define themselves. in the past, president truman. the do nothing congress. he won elections in 1948 that
way. president clinton arguably, used the newt gingrich. host: referring to the first 2 years and what we will likely see in the next two years. alluding to republicans on capital hill. >> if i said the sky was blue, they would say no. if i said fish live in the sea, they would say no. they just think it's better to score political points before an election than to solve problems. they said no to help for small businesses even when they needed
it. that used to be their key constituency. they said no to middle class tax cuts. they said no. no to clean energy jobs. no to making college more affordable. no to reforming wall street. they're saying right now, no to cutting more taxes for small business owners and helping them get financing. you know, i heard somebody out here was yetting, yes we can. remember that was our slogan? they're slogan is no we can't. host: one viewer was listening
to that. guest: they look like obstructionist. he's trying to sell the country on the idea that republicans have nothing but political motivations. the flip said in looking at that though, they may have substanti substanti substanti substantive disagreements. you do stand up for what you believe in. what they believe in is not more government, you know, involvement and healthcare and large spending. they have to defend those ideas on the campaign trail. host: the president in ohio today, california and nevada.
the president campaigned on the promise governing all americans. shame on our public and the msm. guest: it's such a hard thing to do at the same time your expecting to be a political actor. how do you go out and campaign as he's doing and be president of all the the people at the same time? it's a real conflict in what we ask our presidents to do. host: the conclusion of your story has this. president obama will own it for another two years or six if we can find it toward. who is the protagonist really? at bottom, this support a mystery to most americans. guest: one person said. he's opaque even to us.
except for those in the inner circle, he's a closed book. there were spouses all over washington that knew if the phone rang at midnight, it would be the president he would ask their advice. president obama sticks tight with his people. rahm emanuel. host: too tight for an inner circle? >> not for me. he trusts them and it's important to have people you trust. host: more than people since jimmy carter. he comes across as an introvert. guest: yeah. people in the white house have noticed this. the definition of an introvert and extrovert.
introvert expends energy to be with other people. so when we has these big east room events. it takes a few moments to recharge his battery and get it going again. he doesn't enjoy that aspect. joe biden is there to really work a rope line and work an audience. >> the education of a president. fred is joining us from chicago, republican line. welcome to the "washington journal." caller: good morning. this is a couple comments i have with respect to mr. baker's comments. president clinton was only president because of ross peret.
he garnered 20 million votes. in 1996, i believe he garnered 20 million votes. without those votes, i don't think clinton would have been president. with respect to mr. obama, being born and raised in chicago. it it was the most left wing, the university of chicago area. he also, of course, comes from a town which is one of most corrupt. literally corrupt political towns in the united states. so that's the background of mr. obama. i will hang up and listen to your comments. guest: true, president clinton never won the popular vote in another elections as president
bush didn't in his first. i don't know myself how the pro-voters would have gone if he had not been in the race. he was a big factor in '92 and less in '96. that's a good question. are we going to have anybody else on the ballot. ralph nadar played an important role. would that alter the dynamic? i think it's a very open question. hos host:. you reflect on this, "this is an administration that feels shell shocked". the best days of obama presidente are behind them.
just a point above where clinton was and three points above where reagan was. >> right. right. i was struck in interviewing people around the white house and that inner circle how are feeling dejected, uncertain how to move forward. there was a great hope among them they could do a lot when they came in. in fact this would be the dawning of ae new era. certainly, everything is in front of you. now they learned they have gotten more cynical and no longer think it's perhaps possible for a president to be another abraham lincoln. everything conspires against it. host: are we do blame? i'm not talking about this
network, tv, media? guest: in in environment, it's 24/7 nonstop relentless environment of focusing on at times trivialities and distractions. we contribute to an environment it's hard to succeed. some think that's self justifying. if you're in trouble, the system doesn't work. that's a phrase they use. not on the level. we have had, each president in a modern era confront such different times connecting with the public and finding a way to succeed in their presidency. it doesn't raise an interesting question. james is joining us from smiley texas. independent line. caller: good morning. if you notice, i called in on
the president line. i'm truly an independent. host: we appreciate that. caller: i think the republicans are after your money and the democrats are after your freedom. obama, biggest mistake. one of the reasons that his approval ratings are so low is when he came in. he surrounded himself with a lot of marxists and then, when we put forth the healthcare bill, even though the american people were against it, he still put the program through. and then we saw, the american people, we saw how they did their business. the back room deals, telling us kick backs. we saw the dirtiness of politics
and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out his agenda was pure socialists. of course, you can't depend on the mainstream press like the "new york times" to give you an unbiassed, just the facts as was pointed out earlier. but we're in a new age of technology where we can see for ourselves what's going on. and we, the american people, we woke up. it was the change he promised that we don't like. what actually was. so, you know, i appreciate c-span, we can't get anything from the mainstream press. we can only get unbiassed from c-span host: james, thanks for the call. the entire body of cover story
is available on the "new york times." guest government i would tell james, i appreciate his comments. and thank you for calling in. i agree about c-span. i think we try to provide the facts and the information so the people can make their own judgment. there's a difference between our editorial page that might agree on one side or the other. host: back to your speaker. president obama has been surprised by all sorts of challenges, not just big ones like the economy and the wars, but a myriad of little ones that hindered his progress. obama trusted his judgment and seemed to impress people in his own party must have a basic
sense of integrity. guest: he was asked. sir, you have been in over a hundred days. what surprised you the most? the number of people that don't pay their taxes. i think he is, as every president, as to adjust to an era where you're no longer in a small will campaign. you have to run a big government. there are thing that come up that you don't expect to throw you off balance. rose, cleveland, ohio. host: rose, are you still with us? >> i'm going to put you down. we will come back to you. if you could mute your tv. we will go to charles in new mexico on the republican line.
charles, you with us? >> good morning peter. your paper prints the fact that he stipulates the republicans want to go back. well, since was socialism and marxism moving forward? they both have been tried and don't work. yet your paper sits there, by the way, your number one page is a democratic page. 18 is what you print about the republicans. but the thing that kills me, like cap and trade, you said it didn't make the floor for comments. well, the founding fathers made it so. things like that didn't make the floor. and if you want to go back, we can go back to socialism and marxism, both been tried and
they didn't work. host: charles, thanks for the guest: look. we have front page stories and we're not pushing a point of view on the page. we had a very nice profile of john boehner, the republican speaker to be if the republicans were to win the election. it was on the front page. recommend you go back and take a look. whether or not we move forward, i will let the readers and viewers decide. we try to provide the facts. if the president makes a statement, we quote them and try to provide as much context as we can. host:. the house flips and the senate
stays in republican control. guest: in the senate, the last time i looked at individual state by state polls. look like about 8, 7, 8, 9, seats that could switch. ten in order to take control. you are going to have a much closer senate. it may not be that different between a 51 seat democratic. host: is there one senate race you will be watching? guest: you know, i don't know. that's an interesting question host: i will go to a call from connecticut. caller: good morning.
you said there were many presidents that came in without experience. that's interesting. guest:. for john mccain, we know it would have been a little difference. he wouldn't have pursued the healthcare plan or the stimulus the size of what we see. if the economy were where it is today, if it was 9.6% unemployment, it would be different. we tend to vote for the party not in the white house.
hos host:. you see bill clinton campaigning for hillary in 2010-2011. presidency president clinton is back on the campaign trail. it's certainly interesting that he is now quite popular again. he is, you know, a figure that rebounded in american politics so many different times. after the tough 2008 cycle. he's back and enjoying the campaign trial. and hillary clinton. she's secretary of state now. some talk about her becoming secretary of defense. there's been talk about her going on the ticket and replacing joe biden for the 2011 ticket. that seems silly. i'm not sure how that changes the dynamic enough to justify a
change. and there's talk about whether she would run in 2016 to succeed either barack obama or challenge the person who beats him. host: so look, it might be regardless of what happens after the election, they, the republicans feel more responsible because they don't do as well as they anticipated. so the strategy of saying no and sitting on the side lines and throwing bombs didn't work for them or they did reasonably well where the american public will look for them and work with me in a serious way. guest: that might be optimistic. he's looking at what he will do and trying to set the stage for expectations. it might be he's right. there's a moment they can come together on things. there will be less ideological
decisions to be made. we maybe in a period of two years of tough confrontation if it's a republican house versus the democratic presidency. illinois is a good one. you have a pretty close race there. there's so many good races that are fascinating. colorado will is pretty tough. within a couple points. a senator facing a tea party-supported senator. and harry reid is the senate majority leader. if he goes down. that would be the second time one does in a decade. >> and senator is waiting in the rings. host: final question.
did you learn anything about the president you didn't know upon? guest: some of the small things were more interesting. i asked him does he prefer i pad or kindle? he says he had has an ipad for his assistant. i think on the bigger level, you know, he's, i think what you learn about him. he's thinking about all these issues we're talking about. what you see on the campaign trail is going to be the necessary political speech that you expect in the middle of the big election. behind the scenes, he's giving a lot of thought to what he's done what how does he want the presidency to turn out? how is he going to define it. fascinating chance to talk about. this is what it looks like.
inside. what does he do now? the author, peter baker. thank you for being here. >> we're going to take a short break and when we come back, we will look at pensions and facing real issues in the next couple years. later, we will check in with editorial writers from cincinnati. first, we look at the week's events from editorial cartoonists from around the country.
norcross can we want to focus on state pensions. good morning. thank for being with us. guest: thanks for having me. host: let's begin in washington and chicago. the next couple years will be a tell-all for these cities. guest: pension plans are in trouble. they are offered by boston. philadelphia, new york, they don't have enough assets to pay out. philadelphia running out of money by 2015 and chicago and boston by 2019. guest: that's right. what the cities have to figure out is how are they going to get a handle on what's owed to
people? host: how did we get to this point? guest: great question. there are a couple of factors. they have been using a high discount rate. they are underestimating the size of the liability. secondly, states and city governments haven't been setting enough money aside. in terms of state governments, certainly they have been expanding when the market was booming and not calculating for how much they were going to put the taxpayer on. host: it was expected from them. >> the way to valuable the liability is how risky that liability is. public sector benefits are
guaranteed for the worker. they should have been choosing a lower risk rate of return like the treasury yield. in order to make these benefit promises, instead. they have been choosing a rate of return based on what they think they will get. you are getting 8% of return. the down side is they are not getting those return. host: we talked about chicago and philadelphia and boston. he's a look at these three. cincinnati, st. paul, minnesota. philadelphia is the first to come through with this. new york city is another huge problem. this is starting to eclipse their budget. they have to dedicate more and more resources to paying these pensions that come at the expense of city services.
host: the final two maybe the most interesting. overall, taxpayers, paying billions of dollars. in chicago. that's $42,000 per taxpayer. in new york city, $39,000 per taxpayer. guest: huge number. they have to look at the plans, get an accurate picture and ask for some reductions. increasing the retirement age. gets workers to put more toward retirement if they want to preserve the same level of service without raising taxes to the extent they may have to. host: we will get to your phone calls soonsoon.
republican, democratic and independent lines. you can join the conversation online at twitter.com or send us an e-mail at c-span.org. guest: close these defined benefit plans. freeze the cost of lives adjustment. got workers to contribute more of their salaries to their pensions. raise the retirement age. these will stabilize these to some extent. without having to compromise services or race taxes to these levels. host: are their parallels with social security and the on-going debate with social security? guest: i think they are two
distinct problems. what the promise is. in a pension. you're guaranteeing a pay out. host: and a worker they may earn less in the private sector. guest: we have a mix of things going on here. they spike theirs to capture a better better. which is why that accounting is so crucial here. host: we're talking about 77 cities with combined 2 million participants. get to your phone calls. welcome. "washington journal." go ahead, willie. yes. go ahead, you're on the air. caller: yes, i want to know, why is it that my retirement for the
last couple years -- good morning. i have been retired since '99. they have given us the cost of living increase in the last 2 or 3 years. i mean, every year they -- the cost of living goes up. host: are you talking about social security or pension? caller: i worked for metro north, the railroad, i haven't been getting anything on this for the last two years. >> host: we will get a response. there's a defense.
the cost of living increase has not been given in two years. guest: the issue of social security system different. they are going by the cti. there hasn't been enough inflation to increase that. i can't speak to that specific plan. they are all different. the formulas are different. i couldn't comment specifically about that. host: let's say you retire from a city job at 65 and get a pension at a certain amount. does that increase over time or is it a set pension through your retirement years? guest: most include a cost of living adjustment. what's going on with a lot of these plans. they have made these formulas generous in the amount of
salaries being replaced. they promised an amount of benefit that's going to be difficult for the city to handle and pay out these obligations. that's why the cost of living be adjusted. so they get a good portion of what's promised. host: we are talking to eileen norcross about pensions. jennifer joining us, republican line from harrisburg, good morning. jennifer, you with us? caller: i work for a fortune 500 company. i am grandfathered into that pension plan. now, any new hire is not offerd that pension plan.
so why wouldn't the state just not offer anymore pension plans? guest: indeed this is being discussed right now. they are realizing what they are on the hook for. we will see states and local governments shift. alaska and michigan moved to that. the private sector moved away from the defined pension plan for the same reasons. the risk they were exposing themselves to was very great in terms of obligation. in this case, the risk is taken on, on behalf of the taxpayer. host: next call, mark on the independent line with eileen
norcross. caller: thank you. the overall programs, the pensions as well as salaries have to be adjusted. the city of boston, increases of 19, 25% for firefighters and police. a lot of them making over six figures. it's so out of whack with the private sector that it's criminal. it's really bankrupting the cities. and pensions, move them to 401 k plans. no one in the private sectors gets these benefits. why should we support an elite group of public servants? it's almost like something out of soviet union supporting a private, elite structure of bureaucra
bureaucrats. host: that's a good question. guest: again. alaska and michigan moved to a 401 k. that's being discussed. that indeed maybe the future. they are very expensive. the risk is being born by the taxpayer and the promises are being made by collective bargaining and they can pass those on to taxpayers without even doing the accounting right. without having a sense of what they're promising. host: but there's a promise involved. you can't move something to a 401 k. expecting that pension. guest: that's right. you have to have new-hires moving into a 401 k program. you're not going switch over
workers who have been in a defined benefit plan for most of their career. the object is to get a size of the liability and the worker that is have been in the system do get what they have been promised or at least a portion of it. host: next call. jerry from oklahoma city. democrats line. caller: morning. how are >> host: great. caller: the pew report studies people who were retiring. it's not just cities. it's generals. generals in this country make up millions of dollars when they retire. they live a long time. they retired a very early age. think about all these people that we pay pensions to. the senators and the house of
representatives. they are faa. i would like to make a comment and kind of straighten out three things that happened this morning. the pin that the president wears was given to him one morning when he was making a speech. a man whose leg was cut off rolled up and gave him the pin. the $13 trillion hasn't been this morning, somebody had an ad on that obama had put the government in the country into $13 trillion. that's not true. he did not do that. that's what we owe to begin with. the other thing is, this man said that obama gave the banks all this money and he didn't give us any. well the banks are paying back
the loans and we're going to are a lot of interest paid besides. those are things, i wish when these people say these things, look. let's talk about this and see if it's true. thank you very much. host: thank you. that is on an earlier topic and discussion points. let me go back to an earlier point and follow up with with twitter. victor, says social security is solvent at least 30 years. the myth is, it's in trouble so they can steal what they lie saying it doesn't exist. is that fair? guest: i'm not an expert on social security. but indeed, there are things to shore up social security. host: are cities trying to get
that for roads and bridges? guest: that's a good question. they have been masking that obligation. they have been underestimating the amount they need to set aside for these promises. so you have a few things going on there on a budgetary level. host: our next call is from eileen from -- brooklyn. >> for those. who us who have been retired, will we be cut? host: can you tell what you receive and how it's changed
caller: it's been quite nice. almost $3,000 a month. host: you also receive social security? guest: i cannot speak to whether your benefits will be cut. that is trying to to do as little harm as possible for people that are requiring these benefits. what has to happen is a change in the benefits for current workers who are acquiring these rights. you are retired. i imagine these will proceed in a way to do the least amount possibility. >> philadelphia, boston, the states with the biggest pensions. they will run out by the year 2015. five years from how.
rich is joining us from florida, good morning. welcome to the "washington journal" caller: >> yes. hello. how are you? >> i am with a law enforcement community in florida. i am at the highest paid position as far as a field officer with florida parole, and after 23 years, i'm at $48,000 a year. i consider that generous in terms of what my medical and retirement will get me. at retirement, i will probably get less than $2,000 a year from the state. that's not including social security. and what i have seen in the past is looking at this and looking in my, primarily my city and state governments. this is a small, small county and city. is that your -- what's happened, your pay, some of these areas, not all of them.
the pays have gone up dramatically. you have heads of recreation making thousands of dollars. i would like your guest to comment on that. primarily, i see a problem that is political. where these political organizations have lobbied for these very good contracts with some of these. all of us are not getting paid these enormous rates of pay. thank you very much. host: thank you, rich. guest: that's a great observation. you can look at pension plans where you see these. one workers managed to secure a great bests plan. i think these are issues that
reformers have to consider. certainly not everyone would be affected the say way by pension reform. there's been amount of movement in getting boosting and tacking. when employees will spike their final year's's to capture a higher benefit. they tried these in new jersey and new york to stop this else were. >> the "new york times" writing about this. if all other spending were shut down in chicago, chicago would have to dedicate eight years just to cover pension promises. guest: yeah, that again gets back to the issue of bad accounting. . .
defined pension fund to the 401(k)s, they are market-based. so do you think that we are basically funneling everyone into a higher risk free market type of a situation? because at one point we really did have what were considered safe harbor investments. and the plan administers would forego the 8 and 10%, they would go for those safer 3.5, 5, 6% returns. but what we had was long-term investments and in a much safer environment. and i just feel like everybody is being funneled into the free market. and i'm not quite sure that we don't need a safer pot of money for the long term. i'll hang up and i thank you very much. host: thank you. guest: that's a great comment and it gets to the core issue again, which is a discount
rate. what they've done with these defined benefit programs is they have improperly discounted the size of the liability by saying what can we get on the return when we inzrest the assets in the market? these defined benefit portfolios have shifted towards a, sort of equities based portfolio and they've been taking on the same kind of risks that you would have in a 401(k) mix. so that's one of the key issues here. if done it properly, which is discount those by a low rate risk of return they would have chosen a treasury yield and the invest yfplts would have followed from there. host: one of our viewers look those lines wondering are those in trouble because they got caught in the mortgage meltdown as well? guest: so did get into trouble. they invested in the peter
cooper village investment in real estate in new york city, which went bust. so you did have this move towards real estate investments to some degree in some of these plans. they took on some of that risk. host: next call, joe, republican line, good morning. caller: i had a couple of quick comments. number one, is the pension reform going to hit washington? probably not but just want to get your thoughts on that. number two, didn't the democratic congress and bill clinton raise the retirement age to 67 at some point? and number three, you mentioned that california, i'm not sure how you're familiar with their pension system but they have vape rised millions in the santa claire eata housing project. and it's unconscionable to think that those people can continue in the office knowing that we as the members are just duped into being led astray in
these investments. and the last point i want to make is at one point i heard the table saying in california they put aside enough money to pay pension for 24 months. you stopped collecting after 18 months. so i want to get your thoughts. host: thank you. guest: well, on the california issue it's true some of the investment strategies have taken on a lot of risk. they've invested in real estate and other risky ventures to capture that high rate of return, which is an inappropriate way to value the liability and to invest in this case. and as to your other questions, in terms of washington i don't know if you mean the federal government or what plan you're speaking to, social security. i can speak more to the pensions issue. host: let me go on those lines, because question from another viewer. guest: there's some reform going on right now with the
government accounting standards board which is the authority that sets the standard setting authority that sets the accounting rules. that states in local governments should follow. the rule they did put in place is part of the problem, in fact, in that they suggested that these liabilities be discounted at what the assets could return in the market. they're revising that rule now. they're reconsidering it. so we'll see what comes out of that process. host: another question. were these ever set up correctly? guest: in terms of? host: city pensions. guest: you know, i think that the philosophy behind a defined benefit program should work. if it's managed properly, if the discount rate issue is solved, it should work. but what's happened is they have misvalued those liabilities, they have underfunded them and overpromised. so it does get down to the accounting and the management. in theory it should work. host: you may not know these numbers. but if you work for chicago,
chig, philadelphia, new york city, and you retire, on average what do you take home in a pension? host: it depnds. serge we've seen the stories in new york where people are taking home six figure pensions. i don't know what the average is but there has been a rash of investigation into the practice of some workers taking home these very generous benefits. host: jason from new york. good morning. caller: i just have a comment. there was a police officer in florida who said he only made 48,000. but in his last year, if he adds overtime, that's what his pension is going to be. and already, with the benefits he makes over 100 or close to it. i was wondering, do you think that state pensions are actly fair to the taxpayers, or do you think that it's a good way of helping out people that work for the community?
guest: i think that these plans have definitely been abused and they've been abused by those who are supposed to be protecting them, which is the employer, the state government, the city governments, where the accounting has been wrong. they have been used by unions and politicians to make promises that were not projected. they didn't even project what they were promising to workers. and that risk is borne by the taxpayer you are right to note. so you have this unfortunate perfect storm where governments have taken on a lot of risk on behalf of the taxpayer with no real idea of how they're going to pay out those promises to those people who were expecting them. so i think this vehicle is not really an appropriate one for government. host: another comment from bob. robert joininging us from milwaukee. good morning. caller: good morning. i have two basic issues. first of all, there is an
individual who called from massachusetts who said that firefighters and law enforcement officers were an elite group. i am a retired california highway patrolman, and i retired under idr, which is industrial disability retirement. i earn $1,700 per month. i had to move to milwaukee from california in order to afford to live. that is issue number one. california also, our pension, i haven't received any annual raises at all, period, in the past seven years. so i really don't understand what you guys are talking about. but anyway, our pensions -- host: that's exactly what we're talking about. we're talking about these problems that the pensions are facing and how increases are not going up and cities and states cannot afford it. caller: that's one one hand.
but then you're saying that they should drop the pensions, lower the pensions on the other hand. and then you're saying that we should invest money into the stock market. that's what got us into the problems in the first place, the stock market. i mean, people under 401(k)s have lost money in the stock market. host: i think what we're trying to do is put down different options on the table, both short and long term. eye lean is a researcher from george mason university looking at the issue and trying to come up with some various solutions. is we're not here talking about one specific solution but just what options are on the table. caller: but you can't lump everything into one. guest: i think it's true you have to evaluate them on the case by case basis within the states, cities, within the plans themselves. and the public policy goal has got to be how to minimize the damage of what's been caused here by the interaction of bad accounting, promises that were made without any sense of the cost of what was being promised.
and the bill has come due. so there's going to have to be some mix of tradeoffs here between what's being paid out, the risk that's being put on taxpayers. host: here's this question h guest: it would depend on the fund. depends on the state or the city. you usually have a professional management board that is investing according to an investment strategy. host: next is sarah joining us from north carolina. caller: i'm about 15 miles from raleigh, maybe not quite that far. host: we're glad to hear from you. caller: good morning. i listen quite often and i too am concerned because i'm 78 years old. i don't have anybody but me. and i don't have how in the
world the federal government expects us to li on what they give us a month because i have to pay taxes, i have to pay bills, my health insurance went sky high. everything is going sky high. so how are we supposed to make it on what we get a month? my husband passed away, i got $2 more to put in my bank account. how can you live on that much money a month where the cost of living going up, up, up, up and everything? host: i know you're talking about social security which was in the news this past week. are you also getting any type of pension? caller: no, sir. i'm not getting anything but that. that's it. and i hate to -- people say go and get food stamps or something. but then, again, it hasn't come to that point. but my gas bill last year was $2,000. host: thank you for the phone call. let me go back to saying we're
mixing social security and pensions. but is it the same argument typically that if social security does not get a cost of living increase your pension would not as well? guest: again, that would depend on the individual plans in terms of how they structure, the cola, what percentage they're giving you. host: the last call is patricia from new york. with ile lean nor cross. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a question for ms. nor cross and with c-span in general. i notice since i've been listening to c-span we selectively talk about particular topics that's in isolation. and my question this morning is , if we are going to and hopefully not pull the rug out from people who have already retired, but if we're looking toward the younger people, i'm curious as to how our economic philosophy of this cainsian spend everything as a consumer
society and still expect these young people that are still working to save money towards their retirement if pensions are going to be somewhat reduced in the promises of former pensions from previous generations. host: thanks for the call. guest: i think it's important to undertake pension reform for that reason. and that younger workers are going to want to put more money towards their retirement. and indeed, switching to a define contribution universe where the employer makes that contribution and the employee makes a contribution to their own private savings, the benefit there is the employee can take that plan with them should they move jobs, it has more mobility, and indeed it does require a person to save money. host: our guest is eileen nor cross, we're looking at pensions in states around the country. you can also get more money by logging on to the university of
rochester and northwestern university. thanks for being with us. guest: thank you. host: coming up on "newsmakers" at the top of the hour, the head of the fdic will be with us. and the question is whether the era of failing banks is over. >> are we through the worst of it? >> i certainly, all the indicators are that yes we're turning the corner this year as we thought we would. there is repeat this year, we had 140 last year, it will be more but not a whole heck of a lost more. and our losses will be lower. the banks being closed now are smaller banks. so we think our losses will be lower. it's still a negative territory but it's improving by several billion dollars in the second quarter. so, yes, banks, we're working through those commercial real estate loans. banks are repairing their balance sheets. and they'll be in a stronger position to lend to the economy. so i think there are a lot of
uncertainties about the economy and but what our economists are seeing now is we think it will continue along. >> "newsmakers" airs every sunday at 10:00 eastern time and 6:00, 3:00 for those on the west coast. you can watch it in its entirety later today, and a note about our upcoming debate coverage. the kentucky senate debate is live tonight, 7:00 here on c-span radio and you can get all our information by logging on to our site for politics, c-span.org/politics. all of the debates we've covered thus far and many more coming up in the week ahead as well as the latest campaign ads. mid-term elections among the topics. bobby jackson and c-span radio with a preview. >> indeed, the elections will dominate the sunday shows today. also talking about the agenda for the obama administration and congress. on nbc's meet the press, the
guest will be white house press secretary as well as the colorado senate nominees, the democratic incumbent michael bennett and republican ken buck. on and the delaware senate nominees. on fox news sunday, the guests will be missouri democratic senator and texas republican john cornyn. he chairs the national republican senatorle committee. also, california republican candidate. on face the nation from cbs you'll hear bob schafer with former democratic chairman howard dean and south carolina senator lindsey graham. and on state of the union, candy crowlely will talk to guests including white house senior adviser and former republican presidential candidate gary bower. you can listen to all five of the sunday morning talk shows
>> with just over two weeks to g in this mid-term election we want to check in with ohio and pennsylvania. gentlemen, thanks for being with us. let's begin with the front page of the pittsburgh post gazzzet and a look at the governor's race in your state. what's happening there? >> well, the governor's race is close but not close enough for democratic candidate who is the
alleghany county executive, which is basically the third highest ranking politician in the state of pennsylvania. there's about, if you believe the latest polls, anywhere from 5 to 10 point gap between the two. so there's a lot of territory that dan will have to basically span in order to catch up with tom, who is the republican candidate for governor. host: there has been a pattern in pennsylvania politics when it comes to governor. eight years of a democrat, followed by eight years of a republican, followed by eight years of a democrat. so is this pattern to be expected in your state? guest: it seems to be holding on true to form. i don't understand why that is because the policies of the republicans and the democrats
are as dime metically opposed as you can get. it's not like you have -- well, i just don't understand why that happens but it does seem to be a law in the state of pennsylvania. host: and ray in cincinnati, from your vanityage point, one of the rematches, one of a number in the house races around the country. this is ohio's first congressional district. guest: yes. this one is considered very interesting nationwide because the district itself is sort of a microcosm of not only ohio and this area, but the nation as a whole. you've got urban, suburban, rural. there's an incredible mix and diversity in this district. two years ago, steve debrishouse, democrat, knocked off steve chabt who had been in the seat for 14 years. it's a very closely divided one as far as numbers of
republicans and democrats. and in a way it's sort of a bell weather district in a bell weather state. at this point, mr. chabt is leading comfortably in his bed to upset mr. debrishouse and this past week the democratic party pulled a half a million dollars in ads that were to be going to dreehouse. host: in the governor's race, one of a number of vulnerable democrats, iowa is another state where he is likely to lose if the polls are correct. what about the governor's race? guest: well, the latest poll this weekend shows the gap between casic who has been leading and strickland to be widening. now, according to the ohio poll done by the university of cincinnati, casic is up by 8 points compared to 4 points in some previous polls but we
expect this to close somewhat in the next couple of weeks because strickland obviously with his incumbency and the base of support that he has with the unions and other groups is expected to make a good run at casic during the next couple of weeks. host: the president and first lady in your state later today, and then in columbus for a rally at ohio state university. and yet looking at the senate race, based on real clear politics, this is the open seat. rob portman is by my clalclation anywhere from 18 to 20 points ahead. guest: right. that same ohio poll this weekend puts portman up 22 points and he's been up as much as 30, you know, beyond that with men, with male voters. and he -- lee fisher, the democrat, is losing. he's down about 12 points even
in his home area of cleveland, which is democratic stronghold. so it's a combination of many things. fisher's campaign has been troubled because he had a very tough and dwissive primary and he's never really quite recovered from that. he's had a lot of changeovers in staff in the campaign and just really hasn't seemed to get much traction here. one point -- go ahead. host: from your van tadge point with the president's time as a premium, is it wise for him to spend this sunday in ohio? guest: well, that's very interesting. i think from the standpoint of strickland's race it certainly might have some impact there. the other thing that you have to keep in mind here is that we have a whole slate of statewide offices, the constitutional offices, secretary of state, dautor, treasure and all that. and some of those may be questionable. the democrats hold all but one
of the statewide seats and are trying to hold on to them because we have redistricting coming up next year and they want to keep control of the the apportionment ward which is made up of some of these officials that will determine the districting in years to come. so there's more to play than just that one race. host: ray, and tony, joining us from -- our numbers are on the bottom of your screen. as we focus on the mid-term elections. and if you live in either pennsylvania or ohio, we'd especially like to hear from you telling us what's happening in your state and in your congressional district. you can join the conversation on line. tony, norman, let me ask you about some of the house races. first, pennsylvania's third congressional district. an incumbent democrat who looks
like she may lose. guest: you're talking about -- host: kathy dahlkemper. guest: to be honest, all of the democratic candidates look like they might be in trouble here. this is really one of the most unsettling years ever for democrats. and it really does follow the national mood, which is one of throw the bums out almost regardless. now, having said that, there are a couple races where democrats like they might pull it out. like mark crist and john murtha's old seat in the 12th but these -- but these races are very, very close. so it has everything to do with what the turnout will be on november 2en. host: let me look at some of
the financial information and the economic information. about 6500 homes in the state received at least one foreclosure filing in august of 2010 and banks repo sessing about 2300 properties in august of this year. so what does that tell you about the overall state of the economy? guest: believe it or not, pennsylvania is doing better than most states and doing better in terms of employment than the national and than the state average. so when it comes to home foreclosures and so forth, those are not good numbers but they aren't exactly horrible relative to the rest of the country. still, people are upset about these things. if you're losing your home, you're losing your home and the fact that your state is not arizona, let's say, is very little consolation.
host: and ray, you wrote a piece for the "new york times" describing ohio as a microcosm of the united states, urban and rural, college students and inner cities. you posed the question, what are ohioance looking for in this election? what's the answer? guest: well, the answer is, as diverse as ohioens are themselves. people, it's a very closely divided state, people are all over the map. if anything unites what ohioens are talking about, it's the issue of jobs. and, indeed, in the gubenatorle race and the senate race, jobs and job loss in ohio has been the major issue. about 4000,000 within the past couple of years since the recession. so candidates, all the candidates that have come in that we've been talking to will say, number one, that's what people are talk about. that's what they're concerned with. people who will come up with
them at campaign rallies and say, please, i need a job. so there's a lot of concern and there's alet of just personal problems out there that they're looking for these leaders to have some solution in. host: calls from ohio and pennsylvania. we're getting a lot of them. bob joining us from ohio on the democrat's line. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. you know, i have just a quick comment. with the republicans seem to be ahead here in ohio and i can't believe it given all the problems we've had with the republicans, with bush and with casky. they left a legacy of incomp tins here in ohio. i think the problem we have here is just a voting populous that really goes to the polls with the only information that
they have is sound bites. they don't investigate what has really gone on with the republican past. the fiscal policies of conservatives simply do not work. we have proof of that. it's part of political history. it's not an opinion. and yet, time and time again the people here that go and for whatever reason, you know, the republicans wave the cross and wave the flag, and people follow them right into the voting booth to their own demise. they vote against their own interest. host: i'm going to stop you there. thank you for the call. and i'm going to pear that, if we could, with tom who is joining us with the republican line from cincinnati. did you hear bob's comment? guest: yes, i did. and one of the reasons i call into ray is i've not heard along with the jobs issue, talk
about two specific issues in cincinnati. one is this new casino that's coming in. and then secondary several months there's an article about a terminal that was going to be built along the river which was going to provide much more sustainable jobs than say restaurant and service work at the casino. host: thanks for the call. we'll take the local issue second. but ray, did you want to respond to bob's comment about the g.o.p. legacy in your state? guest: well, honestly, the legacy of both parties in the state are mixed. you had periods of democratic dominance with scandals and obviously you had some during the republican mrs. i point out that -- administration. there's been a huge mess in high cogea -- high cogea county highly controlled by democrats and some ethical scandals going on there that have shaken up the place and may be one reason
why democrats aren't doing very well even in that area. so it's really a mixed bag. i think what's happening here particularly with the governor's race is that mr. strickland is obviously defending in a sense the status quo and casic is able to come in and offer some kind of a change, much as the democrats did two and four years ago. so in a way the tables have been turned and people are just looking to try something different, i think. host: and what about the casino issue? guest: the casino issue, that's been sort of a little bit on the back burner. lowellly in cincinnati it came up a little in the past couple of weeks when the city council voted to allocate i think half of the anticipated tax revenues from that toward a beefed-up port authority and then part of it also for the street car system, which will have a
ground-breaking here in a couple of months probably. but as far as a controversial issue, it's really sort of like a done deal and i don't think a lot of people are focusing on the casino itself right now. as for the barge terminal, yes that has been a an interesting issue locally because for some neighborhoods on the west side here it was a concern of upsetting the views of the river, which really are quite beautiful here. and opposing that to the development that might come out of this barge terminal. a lot of county and city officials who do feel that this barge terminal does have great potential to help the area. they're looking at alternative sites. and, again, this is something that's been off the front burner for some months here, but it will come back. host: i don't have the count
but since taking office, the pennsylvania has been in pennsylvania more than half a dozen times. more than any other state. does that surprise you? guest: no, it doesn't surprise me in the least. many of those trips were to help incumbent senator arlen specter first of all hold on to when he switched parties from republican to democrat, basically to gin up the folks to get behind arlen. that didn't work. and then he's been here several times -- it's a blue collar state. it's an industrial state that is very, very important to the scheme of things. i mean, there's ohio and then there's pennsylvania. they're the twin we mohotsdzes to determine who is going to become president and who is going to stay president.
so he's made many trips here because where else would he go? and so we've in many ways benefited from seeing him up close and hearing what he has to say about the various programs he's enacted. and, you know, if he can make a persuasive argument here, he can take it nationwide. host: republican pat tomby has been ahead in most of the polls if you look at the summary from real clear politics which takes all the leading polls in every major state and congressional race. but some recent polling showing that congressman sess tack has been narrowing the gap. how so? guest: he's been narrowing the gap. people were starting to pay attention to what the coming election, especially here in western pennsylvania. pat tomby is far more conservative than rick san torme who lost in a landslide
for his last senate torle bid. and pat tombie is a club of growth republican, you know, probably a hard right republican who is smart enough to be very low key. if he does win, it will be because he hasn't stepped on his tail or said anything controversial the way that rick san torium used to do regularly. and so, but it isn't because his ideas have won the argument. pat has not engaged in as many debates as with mr. sestak as you would think would be required for the office of senator from pennsylvania. the same thing with the gubenatorle, republican
gubenatorle candidate tom corbit. i mean, these republicans are very clever about keeping their distance from the media and ex pressing their ideas so that the average person would get an inkling of how conservative they really are. i mean, this is a conservative class of politician whose are running for office. and it's only starting to get through. host: and ray in neighboring kentucky, the senate race there's a debate that we will be carrying tonight 7:00 eastern time on c-span between rand paul, the republican candidate endorsed by the tea party and democratic jack conaway who is the state attorney general. this one taking place at the university of louisville. also co sponsored by whastv. our thanks for allowing them to carry this debate for our nationwide audience. the polling showing it closer than many expected.
why? guest: well, that's really hard to say. i think part of it is again reflecting what has happened in pennsylvania, that the conservative candidate here, rand paul, has kept away from the media. he's been very few appearances like that. and i think his opponent jack conaway has been able to capitalize on that and just basically bring up a lot of things about statements that rand paul has made in the past that are not going answered probably as much as you would think they would be. it is a very interesting race, and i think that a lot of the polling does show that paul is still somewhat ahead. so in a sense it may be his to lose. and i expect to see him take a more public stance in the next couple of weeks on a lot of things. he actually did come in this past week and talk to us, did
an endorsement interview with us as did mr. conaway. and we haven't announced our endorsement yet or ahead that endorsement, but we will within the coming week. and that should add a little bit to the mix, too. people don't realize that cincinnati, since we're on the border with kentucky along the river there, the cincinnati enquirer, is also the kentucky enquirer over the kentucky and we cover that northern kentucky area which does tend to be very conservative area. as well as the greater cincinnati area. host: do you want to give us an indication of who you're thinking of endorsing? guest: no. host: thought i would try. david joining us from cincinnati. gerning. we're join by ray, editorial writer and tony norman in pittsburgh at the post gazette. good morning, david. kiverageds thanks for having these gentlemen on this morning. good morning, ray. this question is for you. i read the piece this morning on the ohio first district congressional race, and enjoyed
it. and i attended the friday morning debate between the two candidates. my question is mainly about abortion. clearly jobs and the economy is far in front as the number one issue. but in this district it seems that that comes up a lot both of the candidates are catholic and dree house is kind of unique as being a pro-life democrat. so my two-part question is has dreehaust's position, his pro-life position been portrayed fairly? and how will this play out in the election? guest: we, -- well, he would be the first to say it hasn't been portrayed fairly at all. and to tell the truth, there have been some distortions on that, some misinformation on what happened with the health care bill, for example, and his role in that. but he's trying to walk a very fine line here. obviously his vote was a key one and his influence in the
more conservative democrats was very key in that health care debate. so it's -- you have two sides here on abortion that are very firm in their beliefs and it doesn't seem like that any rational discussion is going to really way anybody there. so it's a tough one. and it is an undercurrent in that race, definitely. host: mary is joining us from state college, pennsylvania. do they still refer to it as happy valley? caller: absolutely. good morning. i was calling about the mar sals shale natural gas in which the gas companies are coming in and they're basically wanting to put in i guess in order to do this racking process they pump in a lot of chemicals, many of which we know are cancer causing. and the republicans don't seem
to want to tax the gas companies for their. -- i'm so afraid about the water. i wonder if you can get the writer, director about the movie. it was a great movie. the writer actually lives in pennsylvania and they came to him wanting to pay him like $100,000 for his gas like rights. and he goes around and explores and researches about this. and the republicans don't seem to want to tax these gas companies. and there's so many fishermen and hunters in pennsylvania, it's such an important issue here. i'm so fearful to the water because i, mean, if there's one thing i care about anything it's really the water. they showed some families who the gas companies had to use reverse osmosis because their water was so like you can light the water on fire, it's so bad. and but the reverse osmosis
wouldn't even keep the chemicals out. it's really frightening and i hope you will be able to have that gentleman on. host: thanks for the call. the suggestion. and we'll get a response. guest: mars ella shale is probably the hottest issue. no pun intended. you literally can set your water on fire in places like demic, pa where hydraulic fracking has been used and abuse where water tables have been connam nated. and this documentary film that the caller was just referring to was probably been instrumental in igniting a national debate about the problems with hydraulic fracking, hydraulic, the whole process of extracting natural gas from the earth. and pennsylvania is called the
saudi arabia of natural gas in this country. and so this particular process has been used. and, unfortunately, abused in the environment really degraded where it's been using it at an unregulate fashion. sometimes even in a regulated fashion. the candidates have very interesting positions on this. when it comes to the taxing of the shale. tom cor bit, who has received the lion's share of contributions from the gas companies is understandably against the severance tax. he doesn't want to tax shale at all, which is odd, because of there's fracking all over the country, there's extracting of gas all over the country. pennsylvania would be the only state that would not tax the
removal of natural gas from the shale here. he has not given what i would consider an intellectually coherent answer for this. one can only surmise that maybe it has something to do with the campaign contributions that have come his way. so his opponent is of course trying to exploit this difference in their positions. it is an issue that on the eastern side of the state, philadelphia and the northern counties is really hot. it's just starting to catch on here in western pennsylvania. there's been some talk about drilling within the city limits. when this movie came out, it sort of radicalized a lot of people who hadn't thought about this issue. because the issue of gruned water really is fundament yl. and just because there is an
amazing amount of money being thrown around for mineral rights and drilling right and it creates a windful for so many people, that is no reason to just like hand over this resource to speculators and let the water be contaminated and let everyone go to he will for profits. host: some we endorsed joe sestak today for senate. and we have not made our gubenatorle endorsement just yet. host: and ray, what about in the cincinnati enquire, what endorsements thus far have you issued? guest: well, we did something a little bit unusual. pennsylvania -- ohio has early voting which started on september 28. so on the 26 we issued what we call our early picks or early
endorsements in these races with a big proviseo that we could change our opinion and change our endorsement at any one of these races. so we for governor endorsed john casic and for senate we endorsed rob portman. we had a mixed bag of democrats and republicans who we endorsed for the statewide offices. and we also had a couple of local congressional races. obviously, the dreehaustchabt one, and we have endorsed chabt in this one. host: do endorsements matter in modern american politics? guest: you know, well maybe both ray and i would be flattering ourselves by saying that they do. we certainly hope that they do. i mean, presidential candidates come into the office to meet with us. all of the candidates seem to be eager to get our emperimeter on their campaigns. if only to use as fodder in
their commercials. to say the cincinnati enquirer or the pittsburgh post gazzzet or the philadelphia enquirer endorse you really will move some people to at least take a second look at you if they needed to be persuaded one way or the other. host: ray, agree, disagree? guest: yes. i wouldn't overstate their importance but certainly the campaigns are very, very interested in it. and in some of the lower level or more local races, too, that's one of the few opportunities of the candidates to get the word about themselves out there and get their positions out there. so they're very much interested in having us interview them and do endorsements, certainly. and i think a lot of our readers, too, especially over the years they come to familiarize themselves with how the editorial page thinks or where it stands on things. and it does give a good guide.
sometimes it's a guide for them to just go out and vote the opposite from our endorsement. but that's ok. they know where we're coming from. host: we get this all the time. but tony is there a clear division between what you do on the editorial page and what's front page of the post? guest: well, i would say there's -- well, you know, yes. yes and no. typical editorial writer. right? on one hand. on the other hand. please don't ask me for an example. host: no. i'm going to don in scranton pennsylvania. on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i just want to talk about the economy and jobs. and as far as i see it, since president clinton did the nafta act, the economy with the jobs has gone south. and until somebody in the senate or house brings a bill up to bring it back and put a
high tearive on companies bringing stuff back into this country, the job situation is not going to change. you can say what you want but it's not. and that's my comment. host: second call on this ray, your comment? guest: well, there's so many complex reasons why jobs have gone south. the trade and tariffs and all that are such just one piece of it. and actually there's a good argument to be made that the reverse may be true. today we have a guest column by the c.e.o. of proctor and gamble, which is a huge company in cincinnati. obviously the biggest consumer products company in the world. bob mcdonald who is arguing specifically on trade with china. that it's a win-win for us and for them. and that very specifically, and their companies case, it has led to more jobs being available in cincinnati, in ohio than would joshtsdze wise be without that kind of trade. and there are a lot of
bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that have been sort of ling wishing the past couple of years that would remove the tariffs that are placed on u.s. goods going to other countries, such as south korea, cars and auto parts. host: the perspective on this sunday morning, two weeks and two days before the mid-term elections. ray, the editorial page writer from the cincinnati enquire and tony from the pittsburgh post gazette. our next call from philadelphia. independent line. good morning. caller: i think one of the problems that the democrats have is that the campaign finance law. first, it was more or less against the people and the unions. but you got the republicans buying radio stations, tv stations and they campaign 24/7, 365 days a year. what good republican do and how bad democrats do. and the democrats haven't found
out how to do the same thing. host: thanks for the call. pointing out something that's also going on on our twitter page is the changing dynamics of our industry where more and more people are getting their news from the internet and not buying newspapers, and of course talking about the influence of talk radio for the republicans and the influence of maybe, say, msnbc for the democrats. and you have fox news as well, of course. host: right. well, it's very interesting. you know, people really aren't tuning in even to a lot of those media. when you look at the relative ratings, of let's say fox news, against as rachel of msnbc has pointed out, against the fishing channel at that time, yeah, it's the ratings are impressive when you compare apples and apples. news programs against each
ofertsdze. but they really aren't impressive in the overall universe of things. and people just aren't tuning in to the news. unfortunately, we are not seen as relevant to their lives any more. maybe if we were -- i don't know how ray feels about this. maybe if there was more of an advocacy component and daily media, i think people might feel more invested. but that's a controversial position in journalism. host: ray, let me ask you. you have the potential of having the next speaker of the house from southern ohio with john boehner not too far from cincinnati. how does that change your job if in fact he becomes speaker? and what would that mean for your part of the state? guest: it's not going to change my job very much. it will be nice to have that kind of access because we've known john boehner for since he's been in there, 16, 18
years, whatever. don't forget also that mitch mcconnell in kentucky could conceiveably become majority leader there. so we would have within our readership area both of the leaders in congress, which is kind of interesting. it's a point of pride. i don't know what it's going to mean for people in his district specifically, but i think it could help as far as just our access and our coverage of what's going on in washington. certainly. host: and kge has this comment about fox news guest: i think it speaks for itself. you know, we in the media have a tendency to be very polite
about our breath rern. but i think it's an open secret that fox news is the media arm of the republican or can t conservative movement in america. let's not say republican party. let's just say conservative political movement in america. and so, you know, when you hear that the chairman founder c.e.o., whatever his title is, is contributing millions of dollars to the republican national committee or -- not the rnc but the various republican bagses, it's not a shock. host: ray, your response? guest: well, you might also say that msnbc is a media arm of the progressive movement. you know. and obviously there are people of wealth who are contributing
on both sides here. you could with fox just put it up to they've been smart and savvy enough to see where the audience is and where things are going. but, yeah, there is a lot of that. and i would certainly agree with tony that there's a little too much politeness within the media industry about what's going on among our breath rern here. host: this comment from twitter guest: well, that's one very interesting opinion. i think every newspaper is losing readers even newspapers that might endorse toomey. so i don't quite understand the logic of that. but if it makes someone think that they're clever to say that, that's fine. host: lance joining us from delaware. another senate race. caller: wilmington. host: oh.
guest: first-time caller. host: good to hair from you. guest: thank you. i have a question for ray and tony. that would be in the republicans had not changed one vote in congress over the past couple of years since obama was elected, and president obama still is trying to push through the legislation that he has pushed through from the very beginning until now, do you think at this point we'd be in the recession if the republicans were in the majority and had not changed a single vote of theirs, kept the same exact vote on all the issues and all the legislation that the republicans -- that the democrats and president obama had tried to push through? do you think we would be in recession -- depression at this time in history? host: do you mean if there hadn't been a stimulus? guest: if there hadn't been the stimulus, the health care package, if there hadn't been
deregulation on the mortgages and cret card companies. if there hadn't been support for small businesses. you know, every piece of legislation that president obama has pushed through to this point. host: thank you, lance. guest: you want to take that first, ray? you know what my answer is going to be. guest: well, i think part of the democrats' problem has been that they focus so much on that health care part of it for the better part of the year that there's at least a per seps that we didn't do the sort of thing that is needed to be done on the economic, broader economic front. i'm not sure, obviously a lot of the stimulus money hadn't even gotten to the projects that they were supposed to get to. so the effect of that hasn't been as great as people thought it was. would we still be in a recession? i have no idea.
obviously there are a lot of different measures that could have been taken that the republicans suggested that might have had a good effect, too. we just don't know because that's an alternative universe, evidently. host: we have about a minute left. i just want to wrap up with both of you. and tony, we'll begin with you. what's going to happen on election day? guest: well, i am still maybe foolishly poly anish here. i don't believe that there's going to be as much of a blood bath of democratic candidates as currently predicted. i think that a lot of folks who might be likely voters have not been reachable because they're not land-line folks, they are cell phone folks. and you can't conduct polls on cell phones. my kids, people that i know have not been conducted or polled. polled. and so i'm looking forward to