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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  May 22, 2011 1:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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versa. simply because of the border and the safe havens. we adopted, and i thought did a good job in consulting. with both the civilian and mill tear leadership in all three countries to include india. we put together the will wants of a long-term strategic partnership plan with all three countries. we emphasized in this partnership that there would be three main pillars to it. security, economic, and governance and rule of law pillars, particularly for afghanistan and pakistan. in each case, when we put these -- this offer on the table, it emphasized the long-term nature of the relationship. the fact that we believed that the region was strategically
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very important to us and to peace and stability in the world. and we developed a specific set of criteria that in order to make this plan work, they also would have to be able to meet and to show progress. in arriving at those long-term goals. for pakistan who was, from you are a viewpoint, a straightforward request of denouncing terrorism and to be able to show a willingness to move in due time and have means and capabilities against other safe havens and terrorist net works in their country. the -- we spent a lot of time trying to help the indian-pakistani relationship following the attack in mumbai.
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obviously, very concerned that another attack might happen. and if such an attack took place, particularly on indian soil, it would be very difficult to control the reaction of india. so the propensity for violence along the boarder was always something that we tried to mediate between both india and pakistan. and i think, with some modest success, as i said, pakistan, was reasonably comfortable in removing some of troops off the border to go to their west coast. in addictition to the prime
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minister's decision on the border was the donation of $25 million to help the victims of the terrible flood, a $10 billion catastrophe involving 7 million displaced people at a time when the economy could not stand additional pressure. in 2010, multiple efforts to build trust between the united states and pakistan, both public and private trips to and from the area. to build and develop the trust and confidence that is required. long-ferm strategic plan still being developed and on the table. we did receive some assistance from the pakistanis in terms of intelligence exchange that led to captures of some leaders of al qaeda. we have had a pretty impressive run of success in terms of being
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able to kill or capture a significant portion of al qaeda leadership, resulting in the most recent one, of course. involving osama bin laden. so -- but i would say 2000 year was still a year of testing, of building the relationship. the pakistanis' economic woes are well known. and they are being subjected to inflationary tendencies within their economy. and really just being short of funds in order to do what needs to be done. inside their country. they still have a big -- almost phobic relationship with india. we're working hard to overcome the mistrust that exists between
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both countries. as you pointed out, the impact of the osama bin laden operation is one that presents us, i think, with a -- with an opportunity to get past these feelings of mistrust now heightened on both sides. if we could use this as a pivot point to, again, try to bring about this reconciliation in terms of what's tremendously important for the security of the region. it would be worth taking, in my view, the long-term view. the strategic consequences of a failed state in pakistan, or a -- not being able to build the trust between both countries. and it will take two -- it will take both sides to work very hard on this and, as you pointed
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out correctly, i think it will take actionable, measurable demonstrative indications of goodwill. but it's so very important if we want to be successful in afghanistan, the road to that success have a lot to do with pakistan. and it is not a question of you know, who has the advantage? and who tends to gain the most from this relationship? we all lose if it doesn't work. and i think that -- hopefully, this moment, after all is laid out, all the facts are in, that we can, in fact, continue on the path of a strategic relationship that is so very important for the future of our operations in afghanistan. the stability of pakistan. and also, our global effort to
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make sure that terrorism is defeated once and for all. i think the disappearance of osama bin laden was a terrific message. it shows just how far we have come in terms of working with many countries around the world, sharing intelligence at a very rapid pace, building trust and confidence. we've defused many attacks. some publicly known. others not. as a result of this operation, pakistan deserves a share of the credit. the fight still goes on. against terrorism. but think that we can honestly say that the world is probably a little bit safer without osama bin laden. in terms of the 9/11 type of attacks that used to be able to generate. let's hope they don't have the capacity anymore.
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and that -- um -- a surge of international cooperation that has us at least tracking terrorist organizations wherever they appear. i'm honored to be here. i look forward to our discussion. >> thank you for being here today. thanks for that testimony. you commanded troops in the field and have been a chief -- adhooefd highest level of military leadership. and you have served as national security adviser to the president of the united states. you have seen -- the kind of struggles with the field commander view and the larger strategic view. i won't for you can put that together and help us work through a couple of things. first of all, you would agree, i
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assume, that has most of the reports are stating, that the military progress on the ground in afghanistan, is, in fact, real, it's measurable. and it's had an impact on some perceptions and on security. is that fair statement? >> i agree with that, mr. chairman. >> and would you agree, also, that the biggest single challenge to the security on the ground in afghanistan is the challenge that comes because of the attacks at personnel launched from the western part of pakistan? >> i -- i absolutely have come to the conclusion over the last several years that, as i said, in my opening remarks. trying to defeat the taliban or any other organization while
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they have safe havens across the border is extremely difficult. it costs more lives. more of our national treasure. it precludes us from being as successful as we otherwise might be. >> with respect to the effort on the ground in afghanistan, the challenge of reconciliation. and of trying to find people -- enough taliban who are real to come over and negotiate, would you share with the committee what your judgment is as to the greatest hurdles or impediments to us being able to do that? and how or what we might change or add to the equation, if anything, in order to try to facilitate that process? >> with regard to pakistan? >> anything. anything that weighs in on the
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reconciliation/peace process so we take advantage of this political space that's been created because of the mill tit success. >> i'm of the view that in all of these types of engagements, there are essentially three major components that have to be working simultaneously. the first one is the security component. but as time has shown us, this is not enough. but security, obviously, has to be secured to a certain level before you can do anything else. in addition to security, as people transition to a different type of government, that want more transparency of it. they want a democratic system. there has to be something ems. there has to be reforms to meet the people's expectations, for
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instance, governmental policies, rule of law, where corruption exists, it has to be attacked. you need a functional judicial system. you need an economic pillar that shows the people there is an alternative to the way they were living before. our -- the systems package started. and those three things working simultaneously, in some sort of harmony, that really turns the tide. wetoricalhistorically. world war ii, japan. where we have had a comprehensive pack thajt starts with security and has a follow-through that shows people what their lives are going to be like, that's the way to defeat
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extremist ideologies. the world continue to blame us and people like us for being the root of all problems. >> does that succumb -- i mean, does that really become a nation-building exercise? >> unfortunately, you have to -- you either have to go in and restore -- take care of the security challenges. and then very rapidly, or as rapidly as possible, transition that over to a government that can -- that can take charge of it. i think that's where we are today. in december of last year, at the nato summit in lisbon, the alliance agreed on 20 14rks which was president ckarzai's questi request to be in control of the security mission. i think we're moving toward
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that. it will be us and our allies that will figure out a way to reduce our forces and gradually turn it over to the afghans. >> without resolving pakistan piece? or is the peace essential? >> it's my personal view that the degree to which pakistan pivots and does more effective work along the border and toward the safe havens most concerning to us, we have an enhanced chance of greater degree of success by 2014 if they do that. the importance of pakistan figuring out the way that they have to, where they can do their share, with assistance that they need, that would be a defining
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moment and a turning moment in the outcome in afghanistan. >> you to believe they view that in their interests? what kind of afghanistan do they see? >> it's interesting, in -- that's a very hard question. because there isn't just one pakistani view. you talk to the military, you get certain answers. talk to the civilian leadership, you get certain answers. unfortunately, their concern with india has something to do with afghanistan. if you're looking into the little bits of their eyes, you're a little bit worried, perhaps, that you have india to their east, afghanistan to the west. and an indian presence in afghanistan, which just incites their fears for the long-term future. so they have -- they have really
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been very careful to not overcommit to doing anything in afghanistan, which is unfortunate, because if in fact it's the pakistanis really adopted the long-term strategic relationship i think was put on the table in '09 and reiterated in 2010, they would have a better economic future. their people would better off. they would get international aid they critically need. and, you know, from our standpoint, it seems illogical that they wouldn't seize on that moment. but logic doesn't always play a dominant role in that situation. >> thank you very much. >> general jones, you discussed a moment ago, the relationship with india.
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what is your judgment, as to why there has not been more effort on the party of pakistan or india. to forge ties that would lead to piece between the two opportunities? granted it's a given almost that the kashmir dispute is there. that, as you suggested, afghanistan is a ground in which both india and pakistan might play against each other, and therefore not be conceded very readily. you mentioned that because of the bid with india, a lot of the pakistani armed forces feel necessarily that that has to be the major influence. this is where their efforts and
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expenditures, the balance on the economy come. is this an area in which the united states could play any role in terms of encouragement of peace? going back and forth with israel and the palestinians. but india and pakistan is clearly a part of what we're talking about today, at h heart of the problem. >> senator, you put your finger exactly on one of the things that is the most vexing of issues. we have tried to play a role. not a direct role, but an incorrect role. in defusing tensions. encouraging foreign ministers to meet. i think prime minister singh deserves a lot of credit for taking a political risk in his
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own country to show a more reasonable side in terms of this issue by working to defuse tensions along the border. he showed great restraint after the mumbai attack. i think that this is one problem that the pakistanis will have to think very hard about as they decide how they want to play in this regional situation that they find themselves in the center of, on both sides. while that presents some unique challenges, it presents unique opportunities. it will take political counsel and military support of that political courage to recognize that there is a -- there is a better way here. with regard to india. but so far, they have been
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extremely reluctant. in some cases resistant to grasping that opportunity. as i mentioned also, india stepped up during the floods and donated some money, $25 million, would have done more if they had been properly thanked. and there's been a reciprocal gesture of goodwill. these are things that india, i'm sorry, that pakistan, in this very important time are going to have to come to grips with. unfortunately, almost simultaneo simultaneously. they need froops on the western side of the country in order to do what we would like them to do. their argument would be that most of the indian army is deployed in proximity of the indo-pakistan border. if they withdrew more forces,
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that would allow them to withdraw more forces. we've adopted a regional strategy that makes sense. it hasn't always yielded everything we wanted. you cannot deal with each country individually. it's a regional problem that needs regional solutions. i do think that other countries could help materially. china and russia have boarrders they should be concerned about. it may be worth while from a standpoint of financial aid to pakistan there might be a possibility to obtain some of that for their own internal reconstruction. >> in the same way that we have taken other diplomatic tacts
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tacks in the past, this may be important. putting together afghanistan and pakistan together. putting india and pakistan together foremost may be particularly important. you touched on the kerry-lugar-berman bill at one point. we began talking about this in terms of five years. and the pakistani president at the time alauded this, as did the leadership. finally the united states has got it. the long-term relationship. not five months or five weeks, in and out, back and forth. but very rapidly, as soon as we started to think about who would control the funds, who would determine the projects, this fell apart in a big way. and the pakistani press found all sorts of intrusions to
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sovereignty. as a result, almost nothing has gotten done. it's still out there. the possibility leaves for the united states, working with students, with health people, the people in the rule of law, with all sorts of situations. offers a lot of opportunities over a good number of years. which, as a country, we have said we want to be friends. it's matter of equality for the friendship to come into service. how are we going get over the bridge of that situation and get some boots on the ground in terms of the work with civilians? and with ordinary pakistani citizens that might come to have a different regard for the united states? >> senator, from our standpoint, it seems like an obvious -- an obviously -- good solution. of what should be done.
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but when questions of sovereignty kick in, and they feel -- they feel like they're being -- the terms are being dictated, that the what they're being asked to do is an affront to their national pride and so on and so forth, then you get illogical answers. and logic is something here that doesn't play a big role. the analogy was between the israelis and palestinians as well. here's a situation where everybody knows what needs to be done. both sides agree. nobody will take the first step. and i think, if we can, in fact, pivot on this moment, a very important moment around osama bin laden, and have an airing of what happened and didn't happen, and get beyond it and get back
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to the real strategic potential here, that -- and get the pakistanis to really understand what we're trying to do. which is trying to help them. perhaps working harder to understand how they view the world as well, then i think there's a good possibility that we could do it. but i will freely admit that it's a very difficult thing to -- it's a very difficult point to make in way that resonates. in that very fragile country that has a fragility of leadership that is so apparent. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much, senator lugar. i need to step down briefly to the finance committee. senator lugar will chair. >> thank you, very much, mr. chairman. let me thank you for your
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incredible help this weekend and your visit to islamabad and pakistan. we appreciate your leadership trying to calm things down. thank you. general jones, thank you for your service. appreciate it very much. after the bin laden mission, i think all of us, our initial response in regards to pakistan is, how can pakistan be so inept or so complicit? then we heard the response from pakistan that was some what encouraging for the first 24 hours. then there was an about face, very anti-u.s. rhetoric. i think the concern was did pakistan share our commitment to fight extremists? i think that was the main concern. we're going through an
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evaluation. whether they're our ally and friend or not. why are they fueling anti-american rhetoric. why are they accusing so much concern in that region? if they're not our ally and friend, should we be looking for alternative ways to deal with extremists in that region? sit worth the political and financial investment that america is currently putting in the pakistan. is this truly an ally or not? i would appreciate your candid view here, as to whether the united states -- obviously, we want to be strategic friends with as many countries around the world as we can be. if it's not to be, i think we need to look at alternatives. >> well, my personal view is
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that we should continue our efforts to find the magic here that will cause pakistan to pivot in what we think is a direction that is in their own self-interests, to start with. but also in the greater context of the stability in the region. a very, very important decision they need to make. and i don't know what the answer will be here in terms of the reaction. but inside of -- inside of afghanistan, i have always been puzzled at the -- at why it is that the popular opinion with regard to the united states was at such a low ebb. in not only pakistan but in other countries around the world, given the magnitude of our efforts. we need to figure out how it is that we can get the leadership,
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civilian and military, and the popular opinion, because what is emerging in pakistan is a press that is extremely critical and extreermly important in terms of forming public opinions. the strategic importance of the country won't change. that's a given. how we pivot from this very low point in terms of both countries relationships and how we rebuild the trust and confidence. and how pakistan sees where it wants to be 10 or 15 years from now is really the question. and most of their responses to our long-term plans have been pretty tactical responses. they're interested in what we're going to do tomorrow, the next day. a drone attack throws off the
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relationship if there's collateral damage. we're always living from day to day. it's difficult to get them engaged in what their country might look like ten or two years from now, as a result of the action they take today. this is a pivotal moment. very strategic and important. we should do everything we can to, try to, once again, persuade them to turn in the right direction. >> we spend a lot of taxpayer support in pakistan. we understand the strategic importance of that country. i guess, my question to you is that we have the ability to refocus that aid or to make it conditional upon certain commitments from pakistan. we clearly need to do something different in the respect of winning over more popular support within pakistan, which
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is an important element in our str strategies. do you have advice for us, perhaps to refocussing the aid? using it in a different way? or the conditionalities likely to be imposed on that aid, what we should be focusing on in order the pivot to a better position? >> well, i think that if we decide that -- that we want to be helpful to the pakistani military, and if in return for that help, the pakistani military will commit to a more effective and more longer-reaching effort against the safe havens and the security of the border, then there are some things that would be interesting to look at.
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the critical need of the pakistani military is mobility. it's not terribly sophisticated. it's helicopters, transportation, rapidly and otherwise. they need help in rebuilding their local enforcement capabilities. law enforcement capabilities. i used the example of the valley where two divisions are permanently tied down there because there is no way to transition to anything. i think we could be helpful, other countries could be helpful in providing the necessary mobility they need in order to go after things we think they should do. and i think that -- but it would take a commitment on their part that they're willing to do it. that commitment is just not been made. it's been -- they've opted for a -- playing both ends against
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the middle a little bit. and this is where we are. there are other levels assistance, basic assistance that the country needs in terms of economic packages that people have put on the table. there would be transform nif terms of the economy. they have to show on the other hand that they're willing to implement reforms against corruption. and to show that the rule of law is something they're willing to live by. the occasional stories about extrajudicial killings and the like jeopardize our relationship because of our own laws is just one example of a tortuous path that we have had to work around in order to have -- to keep the relationship at the current
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level, let alone progress at the level we would like to see it progress to. it is a difficult moment. but it's a moment of opportunity if cool heads preprevail, and i think, particularly, that the leadership takes longer-term views. >> i have my doubts at some of those expectations. thank you very much for your responses. >> yes, sir. >> thank you for the hearing, and general jones for your service. you look much more rested. i know you wake up, watch what we're doing, smile, and are able today the speak more freely. you mentioned about where the aid should go. but we didn't talk about the conditions upon which aid should know. flow. i think everybody looks at this as the opportunity to change the
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relationship because of the embarrassment this has caused within pakistan. i think you said if they're willing to help us rout out the extremists in other areas. what are the three conditions you faced on any future aid? i think most of us wiare wants call a time-out with aid. in that transaction, what are the three things that you would absolutely ensure were the case before we provided more aid to pakistan? >> i think the two main qualities that we hope to have achieved for pakistan in the last two years were on the table in the first one was that, pakistan, like other countries, should make a clear and definitive statement that as -- as part of their national policy, they reject the use of
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terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy. the second piece is for difficult. they should commit to making sure that in order to live up to that first statement that they're willing to do those things that are required in their own country to ensure that terrorist organizations are gradually rooted out. and unless and until they commit to doing those things, it's going to be difficult, i think, to get a significant -- get our taxpayers to understand the logic of continuing to support a country that doesn't seem to be able to get its act together on those particular very logical points. >> and you being one of those
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tax payers, would you agree that that ought to be the type of thing we should get out of tax plans as the condition of any future aid? >> i think it's fair that given what the enormous potential of the benefits that could accrue to pakistan and the people, and the country, not just from us but from other -- the international community as well. but that is their best -- that's the best road to the future. >> what is the best way to make that happen? where we have tangible evidence that they are going to begin in a more expeditious manner to rout out the organizations? >> it will take major kind of, think internal re-evaluation of how they have conducted business to get to that point. >> you would want to have that understanding before you see any
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more aid flow pakistan? i want to make sure i understand that. >> i think pakistan should really consider to make a pro-active statement as an intent of their national policy, and start demonstrating their willingness to actually live up to that policy. as a consequence of that, then i think the kind of assistance they need to get to with they can't poeblt possibly go would then flow that way. to me, it's no more complicated than that. though they will make it very complicated. >> i think it's pretty impactful that a former national security adviser would make that statement. we had witnesses a couple of weeks ago. i've been here four years. about every six months, the reason for being in afghanistan changes. it just keeps evolving. to suit the times, if you will.
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the late mr. holbrooke said the reason we're there is because of the strategic relations with pakistan. we had witnesses a few weeks ago that believe that pakistan does not want a stable afghanistan. they want a degraded afghanistan that doesn't have the ability on the rear side of india to cause much trouble. i won't for yder if you have an thoughts you might share in that regard? >> i think pakistan has pursued a policy that has been, for several years, difficult to understand from our viewpoint. the failure to move against terrorist organizations who effectively control the border. though they have rendered some assistance, the something that trix us as being illogical.
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there their viewpoint, concerns with the neighbor to the east, india, seeing the presence of india in afghanistan tributes to a philosophy of encircling. they're uncomfortable with that. i think we're at the point where in this relationship, we have to have a very serious pleati imee the minds to say, okay, how are we going to proceed from this point on? because we can't continue the way we're going. i think the successful raid on osama bin laden can pivot into a positive in the future, if we pivot the right way, or it can be a negative. that's really what this is all about right now. i'm hoping that at long last, pool cooler heads will prevail.
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and our colleagues in pakistan will see the future with a more strategic vision than what they have been showing. they understand the stakes. they understand that the potential -- the adverse potential of any kind of future attack from afghan -- i'm sorry, pakistani soil, india, the united states, elsewhere, will dramatically change the outlook for the future of pakistan. they have to understand that that's a very, very serious risky business that they're t playing, but not making that declaration and not showing the world that they're ready to move against the terrorist organizatio organizations. >> may i have one more question? we look at afghanistan and sort
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of the bipolar or just nonrational activity that takes place in pakistan. it's hard for me to ascertain exactly what our strategic relationship is. i mean this is a country we don't want to have in extremist hands because of the nuclear weapons they have. but other than that, it's hard for me to understand specifically today, in today's terms what our real strategic relationship is. and i'd love for you to maybe talk with us. i know that i'm using up other people's time. i know senator kerry's tired from a long trip, but i'd like to have a conversation with you about exactly what that strategic relationship is. because at present, seems to me that we have a country that acts in rogue ways from time to time. and we give them aid as a result. but as far as the things most pressing to us today strategically, they're not much of a part. >> be happy to do that, sir.
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>> if i can just say before i recognize senator webb, we should have a classified moment at some point in time in the near term. and i'll arrange that with everybody. suffice it to say that i think your question's obviously a very legitimate one. and it was at the center of the discussions that we had. and i will tell you everything was on the table with as much precision and as much depth as i've ever had it. and they did agree and there is agreement with respect to some very specific efforts, which i don't want to go into now. but it's important for every senator to know what it will be. and those will be the subject of executive branch. so specificity in the next few days and the subject of
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secretary clinton's visit subject to the outcome of those discussions, her visit at some point in the future to be determined by the -- so we're really honing in, i think, in a way that the committee members and senators are interested in having us do. but i found a distinct understanding of the importance of moving there. there'll be some responsibility for us to do some things to help empower that. i think we have to be recognizing it's not going to be a one-way street. >> welcome back. general jones, i monitored the opening statements and the first questions from my office. and i -- i won't belabor my appreciation for how well and how long you've served our country, but it's been a great pleasure to have served and worked with you for many years. and your ard vice and counsel is very valuable to us on this. if we're looking at the
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strategic implication in the region, quite frankly, i don't see how we can discuss the reality of this issue without addressing china's influence. not only in pakistan, but its national interest in this entire region. we can't examine clearly what our options are. and i don't think we can examine what the region is going to potentially look like without talking about china. and we all know those of us who have worked in these areas for a long time of pakistan's long-term relationship with china and the reasons behind it, the inception with the situations with india and shared concern about india many, many years ago. there are people, smart people who would assert that china actually enabled pakistan to become a nuclear power. and just as i was walking in here, bbc put a news break on
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indicating that the pakistani prime minister just landed in china and hailed china as pakistan's best friend. so looking at this from a strategic perspective, from an american strategic perspective, one of the concerns i've had about china -- chinese foreign policy for many years is that we really need china to become more overt in helping us solve problems around the world. whether it's iran or burma or north korea. and certainly here, they are going to be a big beneficiary of any stability we're able to bring about in the region. they're going to be a commercial beneficiary. and also, in terms of regional stability. so the real question is how do we -- how do we get china to be more involved in the solution of these kinds of problems rather
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than simply taking advantage of things one by one as they go wrong. >> senator, that's a great observation. and mirrors exactly with kind of my philosophy about where the world is going in the 21st century. we hopefully are emerging from once and for all from the bipolar world of the 20th is century and recognize the multipolarity of the world and with the rise of other economic powers in the world like india, china, and brazil, the european union as a whole and perhaps others, russia. it seems to me that there is a strong case to be made that for us to make the world a better and safer place and to solve problems like we have in pakistan and afghanistan whose borders are contiguous to china's and russia's, as well, they do have an interest in
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making sure this region is as stable as possible as we begin to transition our posture in afghanistan in particular. and i think that it's well worth the effort as our bilateral relations with china continue to hopefully improve. the relations with russia have improved dramatically. that the -- the application of a solution set that includes not just security and troops on the ground, but also the economic pillar and assistance in developing the instruments of governance and rule of law in these countries so that they can move into the 21st century themselves. there are all kinds of other ways to help with energy solutions and alike. this is, i think, the pattern for the 21st century. and if we are not able to create
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an environment where a country like china and brazil and india understand that with this great economic power that they're about to have or already have in some cases, there comes some great responsibilities in terms of making the world a better place. and that we don't have to do it alone is very worthwhile. >> i would agree. as you know, i've had many concerns about chinese expansionist activities, particularly south china sea areas, sovereignty issues. actually held hearings on those issues here in the subcommittee. but perhaps this is a situation where we could test the good will of a growing china in terms of using its influence to help pakistan direct its energies in a more positive way.
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>> well, if pakistan -- any part of pakistan thinking is a better relations with china make india mad, and that's therefore a good thing to do, then that's flawed thinking, i think, and we need to try to ensure that we can, you know, make sure that the relations don't get worse as a result of this kind of trip and this kind of rhetoric. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. i think that's the important point. and actually the prime minister told me he was heading off to china, and we had a discussion about it. and china figures very significantly into some of their strategic thinking, which is why senator corker left, but i would just say to senator corker that aid alone is not the only ball game, and we need to be cognizant of that. while it's an important part of it, they have strategic interest. and we're going to have to work
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those strategic interest with respect to india and afghanistan even as we deal with aid. >> thank you very much. general, in order to follow up on this conversation we're having right now about china, can you give us some indication of what china's expenditures in pakistan, how they compare to ours, the aid, both the civilian and the military. can you give us some kind of idea of comparability of the two countries? >> i don't have that figure, but i'll do my best to try to find out. i'm not sure we know that. >> do you have a general sense of that? >> i mean, our package totals about $4 billion give or take. >> right. >> but i don't -- i don't know what china's report is. >> and do you know for a fact whether they are or are not doing an aid package like we are? >> i think there is some aid.
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but i don't think that it's -- at least as of yet is, you know, there's a real competition between us on this. and i don't think it rises to our totals. >> thank you much. and i -- senator kerry just mentioned that it's not all about aid. and i agree with him on that. i have a real difficulty in explaining to people back home in idaho what we're doing spending billions of dollars in pakistan, particularly on civilian matters when they don't like us. i mean, every poll you see that comes out of there, they don't like us. and here they had this terrible tragedy with the floods, we went in, we were the first ones in, we sent the military in, saved their lives. and then after we spent hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding the bridges that were washed out, idahoans asked, why
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are we spending our kids' and grand kids' money and doing this in a country that doesn't really like us? and we don't seem to move the needle in them liking us. when we're borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar that we spend, it's a hard sell to the american people that we should borrow 40 cents, a lot of it from china and spend it in pakistan and then have the head of pakistan go to china. and as senator webb said stand up and say you're our best friend. it doesn't make sense. and i agree with -- i'll be interested to hear what senator kerry has to say about these items that are nonaid items. because frankly, i'm getting tired of it and i think americans are getting tired of it as far as shoving money in there to people who don't like us. >> senator, this is that moment where there's a lot of emotion on both sides.
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and it is hard to explain. and that's why i think what happens in the next few weeks in terms of this relationship is going to be extremely strategic in terms of consequences. but i really think more of the onous is on pakistan. their bilateral issues with us. how they present themselves to the world. is it going to be a state where they tolerate the existence of terrorist organizations on their soil as an instrument of their foreign policy. and if they reject that and c categorically say so and show they are doing some things to correct that image, then i think
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the good will of perhaps the international community and our good will might be a little bit easier to explain to your constituency in idaho. but there has to be a change in behavior here. we cannot -- we probably can't continue the way we are right now. >> thank you, general. thank you. >> thank you, senator. the one thing i'd say to you, senator. right now we have about 100,000 reasons for worrying about our relationship with pakistan and our young men and women in uniform in pakistan. that's why it's important right now, at least, in terms of objectives of not having an al qaeda. and launched attacks. so it's complicated. i can't wait until we have a classified session. i think it'd be important for us to have this conversation. senator? >> thank you, chairman kerry. and thank you for your hard work and your leadership on this issue and for convening this hearing today.
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i agree with what you've already spoken to eloquently, general, that this is a critical moment in our relationship with pakistan. like several of the other senators who have spoken, i'm hearing from my constituents at home, real frustration, real concern. based on my own trip in february with senator corker, it's clear the united states and pakistan share a common enemy, they have suffered significantly from extremism within pakistan. just this past friday, more than 80 frontier corps were killed and more than 100 people injured on the other hand. i'm deeply disturbed by what seems to be a state that plays a double game. that accepts significant multi-billion dollar aid from us, combats groups that target its own domestic concerns, but then clearly hedges against the u.s. mission in afghanistan is an uneven partner at best. and one of my favorite metaphors from our trip was the suggestion that they are both a fireman and arsonist in this regional
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ongoing. how can the civilian government of pakistan be a true partner to america with a parliament that just passed a resolution condemning the bin laden raid and threatening to take action against the u.s. if drone strikes continue, including cut off supply routes to afghanistan. you said success in afghanistan runs through the roads of pakistan. and i think you mean that quite literally tactically. >> well, it is -- it is a -- it is difficult to explain. the passions and the rhetoric that gets fired up in pakistan are directed at us very specifically. we do have strong dependence on our supply routes coming through pakistan, have been reduced somewhat. but it's about 50% of our
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logistics go through pakistan. we have -- we just have to get beyond this point. we have to -- and i think as i said, pakistan has to kind of declare itself a little bit more forcefully now as to where are you. where are you on this? and let's not play both ends against the middle. we have a common enemy. you have a future. you have needs that the international community led by the united states could help satisfy. there is a brighter way, and there is a better way to conduct your foreign policy. but we can't make you do it. if you're not going to do it, declare it, and we'll have to reconsider what our strategy is. and i'm quite sure my colleagues -- former colleagues at the national security council are working very hard on this right now. hopeful that we can find the
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common ground to go forward in a much more transactional way, but in a much more clear cut way towards our common goals. but i don't think we're -- i don't think we're there yet. senator kerry knows probably more than anyone else right now as a result of his trip as to what that potential is. but i'm quite sure that in his way and other ways we're delivering that message that says we can't go on like this. no question that the afghan struggle has been more difficult and longer and more costly in terms of the lives of our men and women in uniform and the depletion of our national treasure to support that effort because of the fact that the safe havens and generally the pakistani policy with regard to terror has been so ill-defined and unprecise. >> i agree with you that the declarations you suggest that
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could possibly be conditions for continuing with our strategic relationship would make good sense to me. >> declarations and evidence, i think, of will. >> what do you think are the prospects that might get concrete material on the ground in assistance in taking actions? and what could we be urging the chinese to do -- excuse me, the indians to do to deal with as you referenced the near phobic obsession with india. i also heard loud and clear a previous panel that testified that pakistanis are dead set against our succeeding in setting up a large and stable afghan national military and police force. our path forward towards 2014, strategic past forward currently relies on standing up and sustaining a significant afghan national force, which if the pakistanis are bent on
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preventing, they can significantly interfere with our capabilities to succeed that. back to your point on some level, the road to success in afghanistan runs right through pakistan. at the moment where my own constituents are enraged at the idea of a continued, sustained relationship, i have to remind them as nick kristoff recited this weekend in the "new york times." in the long-term, a stable pakistan is more credibly to the region and to the united states interest, like it or not, than a stable afghanistan. what could we do with india? >> i agree with you that the indian presence in afghanistan is modest. but from the way i've come to understand pakistan's view with regard to india. one, india would be too much in afghanistan. there's no way to satisfy that
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except to -- except to continue to be a good interlock hitter between india and pakistan. india has done quite a bit to relieve the fear that there might be an indian attack. i think prime minister singh has been visionary and taken political risk in india to do this. we've had some benefits in the sense that pakistan has been able to take some of the forces off the indian border and bring it over to the west. but i think that if we -- if we can -- the pakistanis can seize this moment and we can pivot in a new direction with more clarity, more precision, and more accountability, then something good might come of this. but it's going to be difficult
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because they have not shown despite public and private trips that many of you have made to pakistan, trips i've made on behalf of the president, and to deliver both public and private messages to try to get this -- to get beyond this -- this current and precise relationship that often times works against our own best interests. we just simply are at that moment where it's so important that we find the path -- >> thank you for your lifetime of service to our country. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i recently -- general, good morning, thank you for your service, as well. i just want an observation on someone i considered to be well-informed, or thursday of last week shared with me part of our frustration is how we view our relationship with pakistan. we view it in terms of an
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alliance, a traditional alliance. he encouraged me and i'm not sure i've adopted this yet. he encouraged me to view it as a contractual relationship. we've put forth a set of aid packages, and in return, they allow us to get some bad guys and not others. and allow us to transit in the country to supply our troops, et cetera. he encouraged me to view it more of as a transactional thing than an alliance. your impression on that view of the relationship? >> well, i think that's fair. if you were to have, i think, a discussion with the pakistani military, they would pivot into the direction of saying, look, you say we're strategically important. and this is the key to kind of the region and what you want to
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do in afghanistan. but in terms of the quantity of military aid that we've received, helicopters, and the instruments that they feel that they're in short supply of that we haven't done much. and so they take the numbers that we think are relatively significant, roughly $4 billion package, and they say well, for a strategic relationship, it's worth a lot more than that. and we need that kind of help. we cannot fight the insurgents if we don't have the means, the mobility to transport our troops and move our troops around. and we don't have it. you know, we provided them with helicopters, double digits, i think it was 28 or so, 30. but that's about it. and from their standpoint, given some of our support packages
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that we give to other countries around the world, they don't think that measures up to a strategic, you know, the strategic imperative that we attach to the relationship. so there may be a way to get through that. but it's a stumbling point. they obviously chafe at being held to certain conditions as for our financial aid. and they wrap themselves around the cloak of sovereignty. those are things we're just going to have to work through. but it's too important, i think, to not give it a real good shot. >> so in your perception of it and your well-informed perception of it, there's some credibility to the idea that, you know, there's a price for each level of assistance they give us. if we give them this much, they'll help us a little more.
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the way you would normally enter into some sort of contractual bargain. there's some credibility to that view of it? >> there might be. but one of the problems of dealing with pakistan is that there is the american people correctly want to know that money is going to the right end. and there's -- there were problems with making sure it doesn't get diverted to other means. for example, if we give them military aid and some of that military aid shows up on the indian/pakistan border, that excites india. and then we have to, you know, we have to figure out exactly how that happened because it was supposed to go to the western side of the country as opposed to the eastern side. but i think in the next few weeks -- what happens in the next few weeks or maybe a couple of months in terms of redefining the relationship and having a
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clear-eyed transactional discussion is what it is that we need to do to get this relationship back on track if we can. and why it's in pakistan's long-term benefit to do so. >> and just to be clear, i'm not suggesting that we give them more money in exchange for more help. i'm just trying to understand the relationship a little better. the other question i had, because if you've noticed and allowed the commentary here about the frustration, it's tough to explain to people some of this. and they want to know why are we spending so much money on a place that says these things about us and so forth? and on the other hand, the pragmatic realities of what's happening on the ground. is there any -- i think the answer's going to be no because nothing's simple around here. is there any simple way to understand why it is they help us with some things and not help us with others. is there any simple way to understand the decision making
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matrix of why one day they're our best friend on some issue and the next day it's like we have to fight them, as well. is there any simple way to understand that? or is it as complicated as everything else i found around here in the last 4 1/2 months? >> the answer is no, but the answer i heard coming from them on that question i've posed several times is that they will cite history as the example that they're fearful of. they're fearful of the fact that we will once again leave -- and their relations with india will be whatever they are, but they also have their afghan border in the taliban problem and a growing problem in their own country to have to deal with. so for whatever reason we have not made the case with them that we believe we are long-term strategic partners.
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in their calculus when we advance 2014 as a date for our transition in afghanistan, they click on to that and say, well this is the day -- that's when the united states is going to leave and now we're going to have to deal with everything ourselves. >> so just -- >> i think it's really that simple. it's to convince them that a long-term strategic partnership means what it is. and it goes beyond 2014 in the country next door. but whatever it is that we have to do to kind of get through to that -- almost psychological block for them to accept that is really the challenge. >> you're saying some of these debates we're having and rightly so in this country about what our role is -- how long we're going to be there. how committed we are to achieving whatever that goal may be that that debate, that concern about america's commitment to seeing that to some level of completion
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complicates the relationship with pakistan according to them. >> according to them, i don't believe they buy into the idea that by long-term strategic relationship we're interested in anything beyond 2014. >> my last question, it is your opinion that if the united states were to somehow able to convince them in the world that we are fully committed to the idea of a full, stable afghan government, it will take a significant amount of time and unfortunately it has taken lives and american treasure, that they could potentially improve our bargaining hand with regards to the pakistani relationship. >> well, i think so. the problem is that we've really exhausted vocabulary in the last few years to make that point. doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying. but i actually thought a couple of years ago that with this level of dialogue, much more comprehensive than just, you
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know, beans, bullets, and bandages for the military. but much more comprehensive and robust relationship that they would gravitate towards that. but so far, they have not -- they have not done so. >> thank you, senator rubio, senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general jones for your service and being here today. you know, i have a very deep concern about -- and have voiced this concern well before the bin laden incident in terms of what the pakistanis know or do not know and joined with senator corker the last time we made sure that we were actually getting the responses based on the significant commitments we are making with pakistan in
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assistance. and in just the last five years, the united states has dramatically increased security assistance. third largest country in terms of recipient after afghanistan after israel. and increased by 140% since 2007 to $2.7 billion in fy '10. so those numbers are pretty staggering. so my concern at a time when we are contemplating cutbacks to foreign assistance programs, scrutinizing every program to ensure effectiveness, isn't it c -- unless we are certain that it's meeting its commitment to locate, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist threats inside its borders? and i think the answer to that is probably yes, but then the
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question is, do you believe that the pakistani mil tear is committed? not just in word, but indeed as well as with its intelligence entities to see supporting extremist and terrorist groups in taking it to al qaeda and the taliban. >> yes, i think -- but it has shown itself to be a selective engagement. they almost waited too long a few years ago in waziristan. and had they not interfered or intervened the way they did, they could be having problems in islamabad. there's a lot of internal difficulties in that country political and otherwise that causes them to pick and choose their engagement, which
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frustrates us. it frustrates -- it frustrates us because it exacerbates their problems with india, our problems with afghanistan, and we like clarity, we like precision, and we like to know exactly where the -- where they are in relation to our common goals. you can have a discussion with them and they'll say of course we reject terrorism. we completely reject terrorism. well, then the next question is, what are you doing about it? and they say, well, we're doing the best we can within our limitations, means, and capabilities. and if you would help us more, we could do more. so i think those kinds of discussions will probably be much more pointed in the next few weeks. and as we try to sort out the future path of this relationship. and i hope that we can make the
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case that our initial offers two years ago are still viable. but it's going to take a demonstration on their part that they really are -- see things the same way we do and are willing to -- >> selective engagement makes me think of selective assistance. i don't buy into selective engagement. because then it's about picking and choosing as you think your interests, i.e., pakistani interests -- >> exactly, exactly. >> and unless we are in it together and in common cause together and agreed on the goals and the methods to achieve those goals, then i don't know that as a fiduciary to the u.s. taxpayer as well as our national security interest nearly $3 billion of assistance can be given on the basis of selective choices. >> correct. >> should we not have some sort
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of benchmark, general? something we can ultimately get a sense of that we are in concrete ways, you know, you meet this goal, so much of the faucet gets open. it seems to me then there are ways -- tangible ways -- >> unfortunately, it's not a precise science. we know what they're doing and what they're not doing in terms of combatting safe havens and moving against terrorist organizations. we've had a very, i think, generally productive relationship at certain levels against certain organizations and targets. the problem has been that there are certain things that they are willing to do and certain things
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they're not willing to do. but i think some clarity and a restated kind of mission statement, if you will, or an agreement between us what it is we are talking about is probably an order probably what the administration is working on right now to try to figure out how do we -- how do we get to that level of understanding and comprehension. in the shortest time possible. >> are we in a position to really press the pakistanis in a way that would pursue our national security interests when they are our supply route into afghanistan? >> we all have leverage points. this is certainly one if the pakistanis wanted to conclude that we can squeeze the united states in afghanistan by cutting off the supplier -- where 50% of our logistics still float.
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i would argue that that would be a very short-term maybe feel good tactic. but in the long-term, it would be to the great disadvantage of pakistan's national security. pakistan will benefit by having as stable a country in afghanistan as we can deliver. and it's in their interest it seems to me to do everything they can between now and then to demonstrate that they are, in fact, a capable ally willing to do those things they can do -- understand they can't do everything. but just an incremental demonstration that they are willing to do these things that will help us immeasurably will be very clear. and might, i think, generate more good will over here in different parts of the world. and we would then be more willing to do the other things
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they need in terms of turning their economy around and making better life for the pakistani people in the future. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, senator menendez, senator lee? >> thank you, senator lugar. at the outset, i'd like to say that i would appreciate the kind of briefing that senator kerry alluded to. i would appreciate hearing from him regarding his trip. i think it would be very helpful. thank you general jones both for your service to this country and your testimony here in front of this hearing. pakistan's influence on the fight against terrorism. the role in the region, nuclear weapons capabilities and various other factors make it an important and volatile factor in u.s. national security. i've gone on record to request that they provide us with additional witnesses and
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information as we hold the series of hearings on afghanistan and pakistan. i realized a few months ago you required as president obama's national security adviser. but i appreciate your deep insights into the situation in pakistan. i desperately want to believe that the pakistani government is genuine in its desire to be an ally of the united states. it seems that within that government we don't know what we don't know about pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism and fully engaging as our ally. it seems implausible that nobody knew anything about bin laden's presence within its borders. but with all of that in mind, pakistan is certainly among the world's leading recipients in usa. specifically by the end of 2010,
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fiscal year 2010, over the last decade, it had obtained $20.7 billion. and i want to be clear about how i calculate that number. that includes both overt assistance and military reimbursements between 2001 and the end of fiscal year 2010. i wanted to know. is that aid performance-based in any way? is it tied to any performance-based conditions? >> well, the package did have performance metrics in relation to the dispersements of moneys as senator lugar alluded to
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earlier. yes, there are some aspects of it that is performance based. >> in what ways do you think pakistan has used that aid to do things that have enhanced u.s. national security? >> well, we've had a steady working relationship and dialogue with both the civilian and military side of their government. we have benefitted from intelligence exchanges that has enabled them to make some arrests that -- people in their country that has enabled us to pull off some operational successes that were in our national interests. >> and those, i assume, were arrests and other operations that could not, would not have occurred without that aid? >> exactly.
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we have been able to form a military outpost in different parts of the border between afghanistan and pakistan where high technology surveillance and realtime intelligence can be derived with both afghans, pakistanis, and u.s. sitting side by side. that would -- that would be another illustration of productive use of our aid. and we have helped -- we have tried to help them with some of their logistical problems and supporting the army with some mobility assets that help them -- be able to move troops around. so those kind of things have been positive.
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>> let me ask you a hypothetical question. what would be the effect of temporarily withholding additional aid to pakistan. i'm not necessarily proposing this, but for purposes of our discussion, i'd like to know what the consequence would be. for example, could the administration put a 30 to 60-day hold while we sort out pakistan's commitment to u.s. national security interest. >> i'm not sure it would be -- i don't think anything positive would come as a result of that. it may happen, i suppose, as a consequence. i would think before we decide how to -- what to do in the immediate future rather than take a decision like that that would have, you know, pretty clear consequences in terms of bilateral, that it would be better to go through the process i think we're going to go
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through of trying to see where this relation is and where it is that needs to be adjusted in order to better communicate the long-term potential that exists here for the benefit for our benefit and for the benefit of pakistan. so i would -- i would counsel against what might be a very tempting thing to do. but it might have long-term consequences that we would then have to deal with. >> on a different note, chinese investment in pakistan is becoming a recurring theme in our discussions in this area. as you know, china is apparently planning to build two new civilian nuclear reactors in pakistan. does this kind of investment trouble you from a national security standpoint? >> i think the growing bilateral
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relationship we have with china and other countries can be put to good use in terms of helping countries like pakistan and other countries. and i believe it's a characteristic of our 21st century that we will have to do more along those lines of working with the more -- the wealthier nations to help the developing nations transition to better economies, better governments, more adherence to the rule of love. and the security package -- security assistance where that's required. i think that flows with the nature of the new world so to speak, the 20th century world. and so i think that if china
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continues through -- continues to demonstrate that it is more with us in these types of issues, then i think that's a good thing. >> thank you very much. thank you, chairman. >> senator lee, i might say to y you, this is a very important conversation, and i'm going to make the transcript of this hearing available to pakistani officials because i think they really need to understand even further. i just spent two days going through every single one of these very same questions and laying out the realities. it's not simple. 50% of the aid -- wrong word, 50% of the supplies that go to our efforts in afghanistan go
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through pakistan. that route belongs to them. general jones will confirm with me that the most significant debilitation of al qaeda has occurred really in the last two years. some of the things we've been permitted to do in the western part of the country at their sufferance, i might add. they've invaded swat valley, they've taken 5,000 casualties, more people lost in their military than ours and they've killed probably 1,000 al qaeda folks in that effort. so it's not -- are we getting them to do everything we wanted?
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no, it's not a perfect situation at all. and that's exactly the conversation we engaged in. but from their point of view, they've asked for some helicopters, some additional aid, additional capacity. they're under very tough imf constraints, which required them to raise prices, politics get complicated. so we have to look at this thing in its totality. should we expect more? absolutely. is it -- is it tolerable that some of these entities are sitting there on the ground and there's a fullness of measure of effort against them? no, it's not. that's exactly the conversation that we're engaged in now. and i expect the administration in the next days to be pressing the details of that, building on what we created as an outline in the last few days, and i think we can get somewhere.
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now, the proof is in the pudding. i made it very, very clear. this is no longer time for joint statements issued, and everybody goes about their way and four more weeks of delay, and we can't afford that. but they can't afford it either. and i think that's the understanding that everybody's arrived at. so let's -- i think the important thing here and i think general you would agree with me is to get deeply engaged in this current moment of dialogue with great precision, great intensity, and see where we come out. and then we have to make some judgments. but i think general you would agree with me. let's say that the relationship with pakistan goes to hell in a hand basket where there isn't any cooperation, we're not moving those goods, we have to find other ways of doing things, the united states of america
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will be able to protect its interests. i think you would agree we will do what we need to do to do that. but would there not be greater risks of increased terror as a base in that region and of greater volatility with respect to india? and the potential of ultimately even greater costs in the united states in terms of strategic interests that we then need to protect in other ways? >> absolutely. >> and it would be a lot more expensive for us. >> absolutely. >> i think we have to sort of come through this carefully. but i'm hopeful that in the next days, a lot of this can get appropriately adjudicated in the negotiating process. senator lugar, do you have any more things you want to go into? general, do you want to do any summary wrap-up? >> thank you, sir.
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>> sit easier to testify now that you're out? you didn't have to testify when you're in nsc. >> that's true. >> you were liberated from that executive privilege. >> it's true. it's a pleasure to be here, mr. chairman. >> well, we're very, very happy to welcome you back. i want to thank you personally for the work you're continuing to do and the many relationships that you have that benefit us enormously. and we're very, very grateful to you. thank you so much. senate adjourned. c-spa [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> the road to the white house coverage continues today when the former utah governor and former u.s. ambassador to china makes remarks at a meet and greet in franklin, new hampshire. we will have live coverage of the event beginning at 4:30 eastern here on c-span. it is also available on our website, live on c-span review, and later will be available on our video library. >> history is much more than politics and soldiers. it is also medicine, science, art, music, theater, poetry, ideas.
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we should not let things into categories. it is all part of the same thing. >> thomas edison, henry adams -- tonight on q&a, part one of two weeks with david mccullough on americans to make the greater journey to 19th century paris. >> no one succeeds in life by themselves. they must be willing to lean on others, listen to others, and love others. >> watch 2011 commencement speeches on c-span on memorial day weekend. search past speeches online at the peabody-award winning c-span library. you can watch and share every event we have covered from 1987
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through today. it is washington, your way. >> secretary to the geithner said on tuesday that if republicans insist on passage of their budget plan as a condition for improving -- approving an increase in the nation's borrowing limit, they will be responsible for the consequences. he called on lawmakers to work with the administration on a credible deficit-cutting plan acceptable to republicans and democrats. these remarks came during a speech at the harvard club of new york city. this is just over one hour. policy. >> good afternoon. i am the director of the johns center on the press, politics, and public paucity. -- a public policy. i welcome you to this special event. it is special not only because we have the secretary with us, but it is a memorial.
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he endowed the center as a memorial to his daughter. a superb journalist who died of cancer before her time. be d by something as a meaningful and dynamic as the life she had lived. i am proud to say that the center will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. walter was also a great citizen. he cared deeply about his country, and it was his lifelong custom to look over the horizon
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and seek solutions. he was especially attuned to its financial affairs and had strong views about how to safeguard the nation economically. were you with us today, the crisis of would have been at the top of this list of his concerns. the family joined with us inviting secretary of the treasury to address those concerns today. please join me in recognizing him and the members of the families who are present. [applause] i would be remiss if i did not publicly thank the staff of the center. the superb work in putting this together on ve short notice.
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[applause] for two years, three months,nd 22 days, tim geithner has been at the center of a fiscal maelstrom. if he did notave a thick skin when he started, and he now resembles a crocodile by now. before becoming secretary of the treasury, he was chief executive officer of the federal reserve bank of new york. as a journalt, he believed in correcting journalistic errors -- as a journalist, i would like to stress that we have never -- he is a graduate of dartmouth college and johns hopkins school of the dance international studies. he has studied japanese and chinese and lived both places.
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something that grows ever more important in navigating the world economy. how has he done his job so far? two years and five months ago, he was being lambasted by both the right and left for his fiscal rescue plan. yesterday, the headline said tim geithner emerges as obama's indispensable man. it is not to say? -- it is my pleasure and honor to welcome the secretary of the united states treasury, tim geithner. [applause] >> thank you. that was gracious. nice to see you. i admire so much what walter did. when my uncle was the director,
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i was studying at dartmouth college. my parents were still living overseas than. i remember sitting on the floor of this office for many hours, sometimes standing, waiting for him to give me a ride down. what a great cause you are engaged in, whi is trying to increase -- improved deep debate on policy questions of our time. i want to talk abo the question of how we deal with our fiscal challenges to explain why this is so important. what should be done? the politics and economics and a credible solution. i choose this subject because -- not because it is the only challenge that we face. with unemployment still around 9%, millions of americans still uncertain about their economic
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future, we face very a formidable economic cllenges, buour ability to deal with those challenges will be determined by our ability to restore fiscal stability. we spent the last decade piling on debt to pay for expensive tax cuts, a large prescription drug benefit, and the two wars. on top of that legacy, we had to clean up the worst financial crisis since the great depression. we face unsustainable a future deficits caused by the dramatic rise in the number of american civil turn 65 in the next decade. combined with the fact that we now live longer and the cost of medical treatment is so much more expensive. today, we have to find a way to return to living within our means. our fiscal problems are so pressing that they threaten to undermine the foundations of our future economic strength,
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our ability to protect our national security interest, and our capacity to sustain the commitments made by 13 president over 75 years to provide economic security to support -- economic security to the core and the elderly. our total federal debt burden will be almost as large athe entire output of the american economy within the next decade. we do not have the option of leaving this problem to another day, another congress, or another president. it is true that we were able to fund these deficits at very low interest rates. these rates are a reflection of confidence that we will act, not a justification for inaction. they are unusually low today because of the relative lack of all other investment
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alternatives in a world still recovering from crisis. there is no way of knowing how long the financial markets will give the american political system to get ahead of this problem. it makes no sense for uso wait until the force action upon us. as we salt in the 20081 confidence turns, it can turn with the brutal force and with a momentum that is very difficult to arrest. this is a threats wehould preempt. if we do not, the economic damage will be much greater. confidence is much more expensive to restore that is to keep. it's really are dead problems unaddressed, those that lend us the resources will eventually demand higher intere rates. higher borrowingosts for american household and
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businesses will discourage future private investment. a dollar we cannot spend on more productive investments, like education. for all these reasons, the choice we face is not whether to get our fiscal house in order, but how we do it. to provide some context, consider the following facts. in the united states of america today, 40% of children born each year are covered by medicaid. if you were born today in hard- pressed communities, like detroit, st. louis, or baltimore, you are more likely to die before your first
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birthday than if you were born in the tree line up for belarus. inducation, we're losing ground only about half the kids graduate from high school. over the next 25 years, the number of americans eligible for medicare will double. the number of working age americans will increase only by about 10%, putting new burdens on working americans. we still live in a dangerous world with a young men and women fighting and dying to protect our freedom. we spent $700 billion a year on national security and this is only about two-thirds of what we spent during the cold war. the effect of income tax rates for the wealthiest americans is at its lowest level in 60 years. the effect of tax rates before e bidder rich has declined
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much further. now it is arounabout 21%. we have some say -- we have some tough choices to make. to put us on a path, we have to bring these deficits down, gradually and dramatically. we need to cut our annual deficit to the point where the overall debt burden begins to fall as a share of the economy. this requires that we achieve and maintain what economists call primary surplus, which means that we cut what we spend on everything except interest payments to less than we raise in revenues. for the united states, this means a deficit below 3% of gdp. achieving this goal is the essential test of fiscal sustainability. we cannot do this too quickly,
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though. it has to be a multi-year process. it does not put at risk and economy coming out of crisis. with interest rates now very low, we cannot count on the federal reserve to be able to offset the contraction their effect on economic growth. if we put our deficit on a path to get them down below 3% of gdp, and we hold them there, whic performs that politicians, but to sustain to leave in place, the federal debt held by the public will peak in the range of about 70 or 80% of gdp and then start to fall. the economic and political question is not whether, butow to achieve. the debate we now confronted is how to cut these deficits while strengthening our ability to grow and compete in the future,
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protecting our national security interests, and preserving health care and retirement security for the elderly and those with disabilities. but we describe how the president proposes to do this. the president proposes to reduce spending across the government. the president has prosed cutting spending on government functions outside the national security, the social security, by more than one trillion dollars over the next 12 years. these cuts would bring non security discretionary spending to its lowest levels since eisenhower. this will require savings in mandatory programs that have a lot of political support, like agricultural subsidies. on top of this, the president proposes to cut $400 billion in secuties while making sure we preserve the essential capacity to meet our national security
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responsibilities. the president is putting cut on government spendin at the same time preserving the same -- to finance productive investments in things like education, infrastructure, clean energy, things that are critical. these investments in those areas, education, research and innovation, infrastructure, clean energy, they meet to keep tests. they have very high returns in terms of future economic growth and the private markets will not finance these investments at an adequate level without a catalyst of government. the president proposes to remake the corporate tax system so that it does a better job of promoting business investment in the united states. together, this list of reforms perplex the fundamental
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realities that the composition of spending cuts is consequential to whether deficit reduction hurts or helps beecher economic growth. -- helps future economic growth the president proposes substantial savings from medicare andedicaid. together, ese programs are responsible for about one-fifth of our budget and because of the aging of the population, at the increase in life expectancy, they are the main source, the main drivers of our long-term deficit. for medicaid, the president proposes at least $100 billion in savings over the next decade. he proposes for medicare, an additional $200 billion in savings over the next decade by harnessing the purchasing power of medicare to control spending. he would build on the fundamental reforms in the affordable care act.
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requiring the independent payment advisory board to target cost growth and medicare to dp. a very tough standard for controlling cost growth. while social security is not the cause of our current deficit, the president said that republicans and democrats should come together to make changes to the program now thatill put it on a solid footing into the future. the president proposes changes to the individual tax t that will reduce the deficit while moving toward a more fair and simple system. by restoring the tax rates on individuals earning more than to under $50,000 a year, to the level that prevailed during the clinton administration, returning the estate tax to 2009 rates and by scaling back tax expenditures, the plan would
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generate additional revenue without putting at risk future incentives for economic growth. the reforms in must adopt have to be grounded in realistic assumptions about the path of future policies, the impact of legislation, and economic changes. ither congress or the administration should be able to use on realistic assumptions about future growth or political corrector other forms of magical thinking to minimize the magnitude of the reforms that are necessary. these changes will be difficult, but in a balanced remarks like this, with the burden of adjustment shared broadly, and phased in over an appropriate period of time,he overall economic impact would manageable. to make this spring were credible, we need a mechanism that forces reform. the president has proposed that congress imposed on itself a debt cap that would lock in the
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necessary reductions and deficits over the next several years. as a fail-safe, it would requir all the cuts in spending if the targets are not met. this is very important. it is the fiscal policy equivalent of trying to take politics out of monetary policy. by making central banks indendent with a mandate to keep inflation low. we need a debt cap so that politicians cannot choose to live with unsustainable deficits. it reduces the legitimate area for political debate to how to achieve a sustainable fiscal position, not whether to achieve a sustainable fiscal position. you can tell from the debate in washington that there are big differences among republicans and democrats. the divisions are very
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substantial, most pronounced in three areas, how best to promote economic growth, how to reform the tax code, and how to protect health care. given these differences, we believe the most realistic approach is to design a framework that force is necessary political agreements on reforms. to do this, we are trying to negotiate a multi-year plan mark of dead cats and targets with a substantial down payment -- cut of a dent caps and targets but substantial down payment. this down payment has to be substantial relative to the total amount of deficit reduction we need over the next decade. all of the fiscal plans on the table shows that there is broad agreement on the ultimate goal and timeframe. the components of the down
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payment have to touch all parts of theederal budget. from defense to medicare and medicaid and they should be balanced by changes in revenue. it should include a mix of specific savings for mandatary programs and commitment to lower futu discretionary spending. the more specific the reforms, the more believable and credible will be the framework. these savings would be complemented by an overall cap on future debt and deficits. a strong enforcement mechanism to force action that would deliver the remaining savings. at the beginning of 2013, and every year after that, we will assess the magnitude of additional deficit reduction requiring necessary to bring down the debts over the following five years. congress would haveoughly nine
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months to enact legislation that would meet that target. if congress cannot agree, automatic cuts in spending would go into effect for theollong year. but put us on a path to a meeting that fiscal target. the size would depend significantly on the future of the bush tax cuts. but they will expire at the end of 2012. the president has proposed to extend the tax cuts to benefit the middle class. aladdin is tax cuts to eire -- allowed in that tax cut to expire would reduce the deficit by $1 trillion. taken together, our view is that this is a reasonable plan. it is a balance of short-term savings and long-term reforms that we do not just pushed all
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the tough decisions into the future it is an achievable plant and it needs -- and it meets the critical test. it is better than the alternatives. a few points on the alternative strategies. some have suggested that we set a global cap in spending as a share of the economy at a level that prevailed in the decade before the crisis. the dominant suggestion suggest the target of spending at either 20.6% of gdp or something like 18%. these targets have obvious appeal, but they have no practicavalue. we cannot talk or reverse the aging of the population. as the baby boom generation retires, the number of americans turning 65 will increase dramatically as a result, it to cap spending at historical
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levels, he would be forced to make exceptionally deep cuts in benefits to seniors and the poor. spending caps did not provide the government with a flexibility you ne to respond to future national security threats or future recessions. spending caps would not be sufficient to achieve this goal sustainability. spending measures alone would enable future congresses and presidents to try to live with higher deficits by cutting tax rates. we spend as much in special tax preferences in the tax code as they collect in federal income tax revenue. the house republicans have
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proposed a plan that has deep spending devotion -- reductions, it devotes savgs to keep tax rates low at exceptionally low levels for the wealthy, not just for the middle class. this approach will not pass the congress now or in the future. this aernative proposal would require deep cuts and benefits for the elderly and the poor. it will reduce government spending to what it was before the modern era more typical of a developing nation. the fundamental reality of our fiscal situation is that we will need to generate more revenue and we will need to reduce the rate of growth in spending on health care and retirement security. both are necessary, and eier alone can carry the full burden. the essential value in the house
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budget is to show that if you try to deliver fiscal stability, with no contribution from tax reform, you have to make dramati drastic cuts to these critical government functions. according to the congressional budget office, these cuts would by 2020 to raise costs for an average medicare beneficiary by $6,500 a year. it would eventually reduce the total amount the government spends interest in social security. americans can do better. at one to make it clear that it is the president's plan on this country as a condition for raising the debt limit. they will own the responsibility for the first default i american history. yes today we reachedhe debt limit.
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we were forced to deploy a series of extraordinary measures. they will give us until august 2 befo we can no longer be able to meet our obligations securely. as i have said before, congress needs to meet its responsibility to place a. it relates only to commitments we had in the past. it is whether we should pay our passed bills. rather than designing schemes. they are designed to allow us to make interest payments by breaking our commitments to seniors and veterans. we should be working together to narrow our differences on how t solve the causes of our future deficits. i want to say that if the fiscal
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agreement is not reached, the debt limit must be increased. it is not an option for congress to obey the basic responsibilities to protect creditworthiness. our responsibility is to seize this moment. when they agree that deficits matter. living within our means is not an option but a necessity. putting this office no longer possible. our objective is to build a bipartisan consensus. this will help restore confidence that washington is up to the many challenges we face. it still helps give businesses and investors what they need. it'll help preserve a strong economic foundation necessary for protecting our national security and give us the room we need to invest in the future.
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thank you. i will be happy to take your questions. [applause] >> you have outlined an ambitious and optimistic scenario. you have been able to craete ,-- create confidence in the financial situation and to perfect -- personally. this will have to be sold to a very difficult audience. are you going to be taking the lead in this effort?
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and i know this is somethi that you have stepped out forcefully and as an individual. but it is not just the debt ceiling. it is the economic future. this is something he will be taking a lead in? >> it is central to my role. this is the president's conviction. he has but the vice-president of the united states in charge of negotiating the solution. he has been leading the negotiations. i think they are the most talented team of people. they were the central architects of the best president we had.
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i will tell you why we are optimistic this was a massively complicated endeavor. this is not as hard as that. it feels politically more difficult. it is not nearly as hard as that. if you listen to what american people say, they are much more confident. they put it near the top. you seeepublicans and democrats to join and embrace this. this is the critical moment.
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i'm confident about the economy. we need to get ahead of this. we want to take this opportunity to do it. >> are thereny secretariesf the treasury stock we look to as models? that you admire for the job they do? quite so many of them. i will read you a quo since you asked me. >> this is not stage. i promise. >> this is about the debt limit. i am going to read you to
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paribas. "i should stress that defaulting on already outstanding, that'll hasot obligations greater effects when spending authority. such as when there a delay in action. a failure to pay what is already do will cause serious harm to our credit. it is not remotely similar to a glassman authority to encourage new obligations. i cannot over emphasize the damage that would be dumb. it is unprecedented. market chaos in interest rates in the uncertainty would produce
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a global economic and financial calamity. the chill generations have to pay dearly for the 200 year old trust. >> do you think the rhetoric is [unintelgible] isn't baloney? is it real? >> they made it clear that they will get this done.
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they will not take it too long. they will not play politics with it. the real challenge is how to build a political consensus on the way to bring gravity. it is a moment. it is making progress. our expectation is that we can get something serious done. we have decade of the ideological divide. we have a lot of overlap and objectives. -- in objectives. >> do you intend to continue at least as long as president obama -- >> family server long-term fiscal problem >> yes. -- can we serve our long-term fiscal problems? >> yes. we have a lot of challenges
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left. it has been a greatrivilege for me to work with that group of people. >> is that a yes or a maybe? >> that is an excellent and thoughtful question. i am figuring out a lot of these days. >> do you expect that the legacy of timothy geithner and secretary of the treasury? >> we will be debating for a long amount of time. >> the reality of it will be that when you announced your plan right after you became secretary of treasury you were hammered by practically everyone. that tune has changed dramatically. i think this is the way he presented it. >> i in the same person. >> i think that one of the questions has all along been is the obama administration able to make its case that is
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compelling but is not very effectively made? >> can we do better with that? >> i'm not a political person. i did not spend my money -- i can make any simple problem sound complicated. i'm not the right person to ask that question too. >> i aire so much the legacy of walter. a huge part of making economic decisions is being able to explain why the options we proposed are better tn the alternatives. my colleagues accuse me of
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saying that a plan to beat no plan. -- a plan beats no plan. the hardest thing to do is explain what the alternative does not work. it offers no promise and practice. the big challenge that i can say is to find a way to explain the choices we have to make so that people understand that you have to judge something by the alternative. what is clear is that it is easy to say to people that this is something we have to do. that is just the beginning. we have to invest in the diffulties.
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i think this is the challenge. >> one tng they have been criticized for is by bill it too willing to mpromise. do you have a sense of how far is too far? >> i tried to save this. i think there are things we cannot do. there things we will not sacrifice. " we cannot do -- what we cannot do is set up a dynamic. but wery to legislate a
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agenda. what is at stake is if you think out the challenges we face. there is unacceptable damage. it is our capacity to invest in our future and invest in things to make it stronger. it is not possible to offer people the choice. it is not irresponsible alternative. we have to defend the necessary functions. we have to make sure we preserve that. that is why you need a more balanced by more. >> >> i like to invite those of you that are here to address a question to the secretary.
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i would ask if you wanted to do that. identify yourself. >> hello. thank you very much. at is very interesting. youay you are not a political person. suming a deal is reached on midnight august 1, give me a copy. >> if you leave people with any doubt, and we have to act in a way that protect them from the possibility that we do not act that has the same basic dynamics. you cannot wait until then. >> what would you predicted the deal will look like?
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>> it to have a basic framework that locks in a declining one. it is across the core government. it is a trigger. >> the bill one to lead to much of the plan on the target. >> given the short term, they are talking of detailed spending. we are going through.
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>> i think they are pretty realistic. not all of them are realistic. at think the leadership is realistic. >> identify yourself. >> she supported your plan is part of the revenue. >> i did not say i was optimistic. he pretends he used the revenue, then you are forced to live with cuts that are
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completely unacceptable. that is why you are not optimistic. it is going to have to,. >> you did say that the republican leadership shows this. we will get this done. >> he was here recently. he made no bones about it. he said new revenue is up the table. how're you going to deal with it? >> it is a challenge. it is better for busess confidence. it is better for them to know the precise shape. it would give them a plan to adjust. we cannot do for resolution without a comprehensive approach. we are going to be able to do less of from. what you have to do is lock in as much as you can.
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you have to leave open where they are going to come from. they will come from a mix of defenscuts. the mix of that is that cannot be resolved right now. it has to be forced by careful design of a trigger. i think that is the realistic framework. you cannot put the ball on process limits. it has to the things that people can feel and see for it to be believable and credible. that is the difficult balance. you are going to need it. >> how concerned are you about the leadership with the imf? do you know him personally? whether your thoughts?
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>> she is not in the position to run it. >> they were formally put in place. a very capables person. >> you know him personally? >> i think it is important. there is a lot going on in the world. >> there have been other policy attempts to try to impose some kind of trigger? i would aue that the debt ceiling is one such tight policy.
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>> it hasever proved a valuable device? >> you are right to say they do not substitute political will. they undermined them in the past. in play here is a valuable role. just look at the pay-as-you-go rules. look at what happened when they were abandoned. if you do not have the money, and you have to find ways to spend more. you cannot cut taxes without finding a way to raise more revenue. it is a perfectly feasible discipline.
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>> it seems like there have been other attempts to tie themselves to the mess paren >> politicians always seemingly find a way to either and do it for -- >> that is the rest. >> thereby a bunch of temporary factors. they are very high. it is different. there is more recognition across the political spectrum. you cannot pull all the burden on their parents he had to do as much up front to make it
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believable. we are forced to figure out how it to stillrace th allow was to restore it to the fiscal position. th is y we are debating this. they can help constrain the loss of a virtue. >> hello. if the debt ceiling is not raised by august 2, what is the immediate consequence?
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>> i cannot prove on that. i've written carefully about what i think would be the likely nsequences. we are not going to experiment with it. we are not going to take that risk. you have to be kidding. coming out of this crisis? not a chance. >> bloomberg radio. nice to see you again. regarding corporate tax reform, what is going to be the basic driver for us? i have been speaking to someone at a big oil company. he is talking about energy policy. >> the central russian now
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should be to lower the rate. they make it possible by dialing-introducing range of tax expenditures that litters the corporate tax code. that is the sensible thing to do. it'll change the tax rates. it is the essential thing to do. why should we want to live with a tax code where every year people do not know what is good to be the tax preference for certain activities? why you want to live with a tax code that determines a key part of the economic steer business? it makes no sense? wergue that this is worth trying to do. we make it difficult to do. we do not like we are going to do.
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it is the sensible thing to do. we are going to be divided on some big political issues. we want to find things that they can do together that are not inherently partisan. we have to find ways that we can do that. this is one of them. >> is anything theyave like a flat tax? >> i do not think so. >> >> i have questions on corporate tax reform. are you going to seek out an agreement on corporate tax reform as part of the platform? >> not in this next two months. weird when she tried to get this process moving.
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realistically, -- we are going to try to get this process moving. realistically, i think this is going to dominate for the next couple of months we get through it. we have been doing a lot of work on how to figure out a sensible design. we would like to move forward. >> i think we would like to take a run at doing this. that means we have to start. we also need to get this fiscal stephanie better trajectory. -- fiscal stuff in a better trajectory. >> i want to talk about the administration. i get asked about this. i have no answer. during the primary season, barack obama took a lot of people from hillary clinton for saying that he admired the way ronald reagan managed to change the discourse.
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i think this was unfair. yet, he has not really tried to do that. he is not try to move the yard line down the field so that the debate on economicwould be conducted on democratic grounds. he has left itself vulnerable to republicans and conservative arguments. this is what he came into. i am wondering if there is a decision not to use the pulpit to try to move the discussion. >> i think i'm the wrong person to ask the question. >> you know where i am. i'm not a politician. >> if you look at what the presidt accomplish, there is
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in a normal political cross. in makes the most dramatic changes, they care about. it has been attempted and achieved by the time. >> i am driven not by what he astride to achieve -- she has tried to achieve but the magnitude of the reforms. just remember how the spiels. -- this feels. everything was at risk. he did not sit there and say let's have a debate about what to be interesting to do. there has some political cover. he chose to do the tough things.
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he betrayed enormous political coverage compared to one of his predecessors. that was the necessary and decisive thing to do. there is no progress of cause that would have been possible without the progress he has been putting out. we can have some capacity support things that democrats care about. i'm not giving him a political question. >> i know we discussed historical perspectives. since you live in the far east, i wanted to know if you have any models for adoption. if so, which ones?
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>> the cannot win elections on the claims that it could have been worse. it is very hard for most people to understand how perilous the moment was. even with the history of the great depression, that was incredible reality in that moment. even harder is why growth cannot be faster now. why does it look like we will be growing? that is because of course that this is a crisis born bill we are living beyond our means. people have taken on much more debt than they could then they can live.
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it takes people time to bring down this and bring down the balance sheet and work off the investment. this confines year along with the limits. it is a tragic fate. this confines you to a slow rate of growth. the disappointment people have today is just a tragic coequence about what caused this basic crisis. it'll take years for us to work through this. i still believe that the basic
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strategy we embrace will be judged as the most affected financial strategy in modern history. it compares favorable to any experience by developed or developing necountry. look at europe today relative to us and the consequences of developing and adopting a dramatically changing strategy. at the peak of is and ensure rescue, we had 2.8 trillion dollars of investment at risk in the system. we are likely to be well under $100 billion, a fraction of the gdp and a fraction of the cost.
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we are bringing private capital in as quickly as we could. recapitalize it much more aggressively and quickly. we do much more brutal restructuring. it is stronger than you have seen in many other economies. there are previous recoveries that were quicker. these are recoveries with a different kind of crisis. we do not have the option of trying to engineer something dramatically stronger than that basic path. that is a tragic consequence. >> this is behind. >> my question is about dodd/frank and if it will
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actually be implemented and h much crumbling is going on. >> we like to say that there are people even in this city who are working hard to slow it down and reduced the scope and power. the only tools they he are to start funding. if they choose to do that comment taking a slow things down a little bit. we are at the early stages of writing the rules in laying them out for comment. we have a long way to do. the core parof the reform will survive these forts. i think people will not put up with a system that is this
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vulnerable. >> there are bad public opinions about this. >> that cannot speak to those things specifically. have a long way to go to earn back the basic confidence of the american's parent it requires a sustained response. i think we should have a lot of confidence in the basic confidence of our capacity. there are going to want to see the reforms take hold. will provide bter transparency for consumers. i think this is something that will come with time.
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it'll take time for them to judge. >> we are seeing the instance where the dollar is rising. >> i am very careful not to comment on the markets beyond our carefultandard phrase. that is a good practice. we want to remind people that this is an important thing we want to preserve and protect. at the worst moments of the crisis, and people started to get worried, we saw peacepeople want money for this.
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we need to reserve it. it has the capacity to act. we want to act to bring back confidence over time. >> thank y v [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> c-span "road to the white house" coverage continues today when jon huntsman makes remarks in franklin, new hampshire. we will have live coverage of that event beginning at 4:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. it is also available at our website, on c-span radio, and later will be available in our video library. >> history, as you know, is much more than just politics and social issues.
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it is also medicine, science, and art, music, and theater and poetry and ideas. we should not allow things into categories. >> samuel morris, james finn or cooper, harry beachers though, henry adams, tonight on q&a. that is tonight at 8:00 on c- span. >> c-span is local content vehicles kick off the city store in tampa/st. petersburg. a look at the book industry with local booksellers. also american history events on c-span3.
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the hidden history of angola, settlement of about 750 former slaves and seminole indians who fought in the early 1800's. the tour kicks off next weekend. watch it on c-span2 and 3. >> next, a discussion on the canvas and issues of the 2012 presidential campaign. this is just over 45 minutes. host: our sunday morning roundtable, welcome to mark murphy and jonathan allen. thank you for being with us. guest: congratulations on surviving the apocalypse, [laughter] host: an e-mail from its daniels to his supporters -- he is not running. your reaction?
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caller: -- guest: he cited personal reasons. often when politicians cite often when politicians cite personal reasons, there is usually more to the story. for mitch daniels it was the biggest obstacle for him. his wife and daughters did not want the scrutiny. a few days -- a few days ago sarah palin said that she had a fire in the belly, but the fire in the belly was definitely lacking from its daniels on whether or not he had the stomach to want to run. running for president is not easy. it takes a tremendous amount of time. there are many big highs and lows in his decision was not surprising. host: coming the same week as donald trump announced he was not running for president. michele bodman -- michelle bachman, plus stops in new
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hampshire. guest: it would appear that the entire state of minnesota is running. they are taking advantage of mitch daniels not being in the race. people that might want to get in, contingents that were thought to be behind the daniels' campaign. he was a bush guy in washington, within the administration. there is an opportunity for a lot of folks. at the same time, i cannot imagine that we will not have a pretty good idea within the next few weeks. host: michelle obama, her first real campaign appearance at the hyatt hotel with democratic party activists. a fund raiser for 2012. here is what the first lady had to say about the upcoming race.
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>> the simple truth is that today, four years later, we are here because of all of you. i am not just talking about winning an election. i am talking about what we have been doing every day in the white house since that time to keep on fighting for the folks that we've met and the values that we share. talking about what barack has been doing to help us all for the future. the future. host: the headline from "the washington post," "frustrated with democrats." guest: this has been the complaint of organized labor, saying that senate leaders and congressional democrats have not backed organized labor in those pitched battles when it comes to collective bargaining in states
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in the midwest. one thing that is always on in the presidential year, the face of the dilemma of organized labor. do you want a democratic president or a republican president m. for the employee's service union, the question is usually backing the democratic candidate. where they will really be allocating resources is in the state's. certainly, when it comes to the president's reelection campaign he will not have to worry about where he is getting his money. host: this is from "the washington post." contributions to candidates. guest: the people that have to be worried are the members of congress seeking reelection of the democratic side, the campaign committees where they have republicans and
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challengers. the president will get plenty of cash and support. teh sciu will also be there this time. there is no question about that. really, it is those down ballot races where the democrats have to worry about where the unions are going. it happened in 1994. republicans said the state -- unions said that they would all- out and they did host: rochester, n.y., a special election. one of the headlines this past week is that they hate special elections in new york. what is going on in that race? guest: there are two things going on in that race. even though he is a former democrat, a lot of support is being drawn away from the
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republican candidate. and then there are the television advertisements that have been playing tell all of it about the paul ryan budget and whether or not medicare should be phased out. those stories are in play right now. whichever is the biggest, it is probably jack davis. the democratic candidate winning with 45% of the vote? hard to say that this was an overwhelming victory. certainly it is an indictment on the republicans. host: what do you say about this race? guest: it will be very close. jack davis, by the way, ran as a democrat repeatedly in upstate, new york. often i think that support for the third candidates really falls off at the end.
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of course, if [unintelligible] win this race, let's hope they do not go the way of eric mess ua. [laughter] host: what does that tell the republicans? guest: that they are able to hold on to reliably republican seat. this is the former seat of jack kemp, something they shall always be able to win. it does not tell us much about 2012, but it does tell us about the organization and infrastructure. even in 2010, when republicans certainly had a great year, they were not able to win some of these special elections and who can create a campaign quickly. and they might get some of their mojo back.
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host: if the democratic candidate wins, what does that tell the committee and the media following that? guest: i think the you will see republicans trying to make medicare the issue in every race. they say that their best hope lies the issue, fight it to a draw, but that is not the territory they would like to be fighting on. host: the editorial of "the weekly standard" wrote -- the democrats are looking to turn this into a political issue.
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guest: this will last to the guest: this will last to the next 20 or 25 years. it has a huge strain on the system. [inaudible] democrats say, we think medicare, there should be some scalpels taken to it. there should be some cuts. to be able to increase taxes or bring in extra revenue, so we can keep medicare as we know it, by making changes to deal with the democrat system of all of these baby boomers retiring. host: this has been a two million-dollar race in upstate new york. >> you have earned it. work your whole life for it.
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unfortunately, jack davis said social security benefits may have to be adjusted down. and he supports a budget that since medicare. instead of balancing the budget the right way, he wants tax breaks for corporations while cutting benefits for seniors. we just cannot afford jack davis or jane corwin. >> meet jack davis. he claims he had a hand in creating the democrat majority with nancy pelosi. >> she has done a great job for this country. >> great job? jack and kathy cannot fight for us. they come with strings attached. host: what is going on here?
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guest: folks are wanting to put two candidates as the negative. jack davis on one side. it is an interesting race. i am sure the new york voters are tired of hearing about it. it is a very republican district. district. host: those were congressional at. here are some for jane corwin. >> cafe is the one who says she will cut medicare and social security. and -- kathy is the one who says
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she will cut medicare and social security. >> im jane curtin. i will not cut medicare or social security. >> look for yourself. >> look for yourself. kathy hochul.caf >> i am kathy hochul and i approve this message. guest: this is all about medicare. in the first ad from jane corwin, she is trying to distance herself a little. corwin did say she supported
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the brien budget and medicare overhaul. the republicans quickly voted -- it happened so quickly and without four republicans decided to vote against it. it was almost as if a lot of republicans did not look at the political consequences they were taking. we are seeing it played out in these tv ads. we will not know quite how effective this is until the next elections. it may be more effective if republicans use it against democrats. it is a controversial issue that did not make it into law. members have to vote on it. host: we have a new set of phone
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numbers on this sunday morning. here they are. we still have the same e-mail address. address. you can visit us online at twitter. wolf as through congress this week. what are you keeping an eye -- walk us through congress this week. what are you keeping an eye on? guest: some items are somewhat controversial. there has been a deal between the speaker of the house and harry reid. whether members are ready to go along with that is another question. anything in terms of a motion on
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the deficit or the debt ceiling -- something from the gang of fiveng of five. of host: you're traveling overseas with the president. guest: they are big stories. washington, d.c. on wednesday. the daniels announcement late last night provides a lot of the backdrop. we have our field. we will see if michelle kaufman decides to get later in this week as well. we will follow a lot of political news.
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host: what about the impact it would have on mitt romney? guest: mike huckabee had a real chance to lock up a lot of voters in western iowa. his message resonates there. it was an opportunity for him. i think that is what is going on there. it is an opportunity for medtronic to connect with some of those people -- mitt romney to connect with some of those people. guest: it makes i will wide open. is michele bock when the favorite? one story not to ignore is that mitt romney could end up making
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a push. mike huckabee caught fire. it will be interesting to see if ms. romney tries to make a place in iowa. if he does and it goes on to win new hampshire -- he could do well. well. host: your reaction to one person's candidacy? guest: he will keep the conversation likely. he will push other republican candidates into debate and take positions that they may not want to take during the general election. at the end of the day, he will not be president of the united states. host: he spoke about foreign
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policy issues. here is john mccain from yesterday. >> -- cane from yesterday. >> -- cane from yesterday. -- herman cain form yesterday. -- from yesterday. >> do not mess with us. is that real clear? is that real clear? that is what i mean by real clear foreign policy. know who your friends are. host: the president will be talking about that today at the apec conference. guest: he is a talk radio host. republicans are after the fox news debate, they like herman cain.
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it is tailored to the constituency group of core conservatives. he is not a former member of congress or governor. he can be a vehicle for a lot of protests, especially if some republicans do not catch afire. he took some flak if whether the borders for any type of compromise on middle east peace should be debates on the 1967 borders. a tough problem for the president. almost 80% of jewish voters voted for president obama. he has a lot of circuits to keep his message and make the argument that he is trying to be a fair broker in this divisive development.
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[unintelligible] she was always a good fund raiser. penny his top fund-raiser is jewish. there is a lot of ability for him to go into the jewish community and get money. this issue pops up. the president will have to pull each person aside to reassure them on this. it will be interesting to see his reaction from apac. it makes up about 20% of the jewish community that did not vote for the president in the 2008 election. host: we will have live reaction at 10:30 eastern time here on c- span. let us go to the phone line. good morning. caller: i want to thank c-span
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for allowing me to speak. i listened to the lady in ohio saying republicans do not respect anybody. i am a registered republican. for a long time, i was told as a black man, you are supposed to go democrat. i live in detroit, buffalo, new york, not far from east cleveland, ohio, and gary indiana, east st. louis, all of these places have been made by democrats. these people have rain of these cities into the ground with high taxation. it is a crying shame that we have to think that in order to have a vibrant economy democrats have to lead the way.
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they have ruined these cities and states with a crest of taxation. black children are not being educated in these schools. host: who is your candidate? caller: i like herman cain. they may call him a puppet. give me a break. president obama is a puppet. host: when a viewer calls mitt romney a brilliant conservative. guest: he probably named all of the cities hardest hit by the
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economy right now. there is very little in the way of solutions coming forward as far as the unemployment problem is concerned. some people have stopped looking. it will be a top issue in the campaign. the low point for unemployment is 5%. now we are talking about maybe 11%. that will be a huge issue for any of the candidates, certainly president obama and anyone who wants to challenge him. host: herman cain with the shades sounding like he wants to pick a fight. guest: he is a bit more ideological. he tells the conservative exactly what they want to be
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able to hear. he will be a factor. it remains to be seen how big of one. one. the last time that there was someone who was not an elected to win the presidency was dwight eisenhower. those that end up becoming president are former governors. herman cain it does not have the political experience. he will try to use it as an asset. host: these bids have impacted the race. democrats line. to be: mr. kaine's seems getting some air play. -- cain seems to be getting some
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airplay. there is a big ally going on in this country. maybe you should direct heat -- lie going on in this country. maybe you should direct your attention to it. after not being able to reduce the democratic rules by jailing 2 million people, in many states, they are putting in these identification cards that are disenfranchising l.a., poor, students, those that do not pay bills. -- elderly, poor, students, those that do not pay bills. many are americans that do not have a voice in this government. they are being robbed of their voice for the next 40 years. i think you need to pursue this, unless it is only important to talk about the day after the
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2012 elections. guest: the more herman cain is out there, the more he will be asked questions. he will get attention based upon how he does in the polls. i think those questions are legitimate to ask. legitimate to ask. host: there has never been a president be elected since fdr when unemployment was over 8%. why would a 12 be an exception? guest: the economy is going to play a bigger role. the direction of the economy. if you look over the last two years and every month going
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into the president's reelection campaign, the economy was adding 200,000 new jobs. an unemployment rate that hit 10% is going down. it goes down to 8.5 by the end of this year. perhaps 8.1% by november 2012. the direction of the economy, that it continues to grow, it plays an important role. the president's approval vote -- rating is still 47%. it is more good economic news. it shows how president obama can have a re-election path, because the news gets better. host: was there one number that surprised you? guest: it was the economy. we look at the economic data
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that suggest that the economy is proving. the down, more than 12,000. the monthly job creation. it looks at the handling of the economy by the president. it goes to show how much of an impact gas prices are having right now. host: atlanta, good morning. caller: i think both parties -- i am an independent. [unintelligible] it is hurting the american people. i go to the political side quite frequently along with nbc. i wish you would do a better job of seeking and exposing the
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truth. both of you seem to have a liberal bent. that is especially tell the truth about what these politics are doing to the people of america. of america. host: to you want to respond? guest: it is a situation in terms of the democratic and republican parties where a lot of people are frustrated. i do not know i would call every one [unintelligible] there is frustration out there. there is frustration out there. the democrats won by a big majority.
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there is some frustration from the american public. they are trying to determine if the news they are getting is accurate. they wonder if the stories stand on their own. host: as journalists, we tried to be as fair as possible. sometimes we are seen as conservative, because we are owned by our parent company. sometimes we are liberal or more conservative. as journalists, we tried to be as fair as possible. we try to make sense of what is happening out there. one of our viewers talks about the tea party and the popularity of ron paul. guest: he was the godfather of the tea party movement. we missed it in the 2008
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election, where he was getting a lot of support. people were coming to his rallies. he finished fifth in the new hampshire primary. he was raising a lot of money. we saw how -- the beginning of the tea party. we do not know how it will play out. out. sometimes these movements often do not have lasting power. it will be interesting to see what kind of influences the tea party is having now. i do not have any idea as far as the election goes. every time you put ron paul in a headline [unintelligible]
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what was hard to see was the translation from that to what appeared to be a generated movement in the tea party. the organic tea party movement -- the progression of that was there to be seen. we did not want to miss it. host: we are looking at the newton gingrich fund-raising effort. here is the headline from the "washington post. well -- ." guest: his presidential rollout may have been the worst in american day politics. his campaign let us know through
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in e-mail that he is attracting 150 people through all of his stops this week. when you are talking about republicans who attended the iowa caucuses, 150 is a pretty good turnout. if they are coming out to see a train wreck or because he is a political personality, that is one thing. there is the potential for him to have better days. we have a long time to go especially with the campaign. host: his first political appearance, joe biden, on behalf of the president, this wednesday. some speculation with newt gingrich -- after the interview,
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do you know the impact of what he said would have on a republican? guest: he was endorsing an individual mandate on health care. he was talking about endorsing a type of mandate. i think we thought it would be the big story. when you look back -- he does not necessarily disagree with paul ryan, but it was the language he used. that angered so many conservatives. later on he said, it is a jump too far. had he stayed there, we would not have seen the blow back. it created a backlash.
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guest: the issue is that they do not mind if you distance yourself. newt gingrich held this position in 1995. what we see right now is it was not going to play particularly well. jane corwin is a victim of it. we will see what happens with the special election. there is no way the race would be close without the issue. be close without the issue. there is social security debate.
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so security is the one that blows up your campaign. this does not affect a lot of republican or independent voters. you have to message as well. and has to go beyond and medicare. we will have to see what happens, but do not expected this issue to go anywhere anytime soon. host: there is a piece that begins like this.
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capt. joins us from pennsylvania. -- kevin joins us from pennsylvania. caller: i have a question regarding the republican party. herman cain is like an insider to the federal reserve system. some are drafting to herman cain as a new figure to idolize. guest: some say he is a profit of politics. but for the mainstream, i do not think it will happen. host: louisiana, and democrats line. caller: i am a nurse and obama supporter.
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anybody that believes that you can and do away with medicaid has never worked in a hospital or nursing home. people do not have enough money to take care of this. some do not have families. there is a lot of waste. there are many things that can be changed. if you are a millionaire, why should you get medicare and social security? it does not make sense. some things are so simple. nurses, we see the waste every single day. there is not a lot you can do
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about it. guest: the issue of health care coming up in the primary. coming up in the primary. guest: people do not like their rights taken away. even if this will not impact people younger than 55 years old, some maybe 53 or 54 and say, -- it shows that republicans did better with seniors bant what they have done in a long time. if that seniors accord goes down, we see how the democrats can be able to hold onto the white house, make house gains.
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guest: they are trying to pay for the new obama health care plans. they are borrowing subsidies for insurers. it is important for republicans on the campaign trail. many analysts are saying, why would you win on that and then turn around and make yourself vulnerable. we spend so much money on and of life care on items that do not need to be done for people, that there has to be some sort of a solution. there are many solutions out there. the real question is who is paying for homwhom?
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if you eliminate at the upper end of the scale, they will organize politically against them. there are a pot -- if you were to test that only the wealthy were paying for, they would pull out of those programs. host: one person says he would host: one person says he would not have used military troops in libya. he said, we cannot afford it. here is a tweet. guest: we are seeing right now
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that he is making a presidential bid to make some critiques on foreign policy with the president. many hoped the libya situation would have been taking care of before. we will find out in the weeks and months ahead as to what is happening with muammar gaddafi and libya. it could end up being a bigot track on the president. it remains to be seen. the president and the white house have a lot of balls in the air that republicans will try to criticize him on. criticize him on. host: next caller from
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massachusetts. caller: it is frustrating here in america. [inaudible] it is almost like picking a football team. you have to vote and put someone in office that is going to tell the truth. bush and obama lie. we need to pray -- do not depend on politico or nbc. look for yourself. the only voice we can go for right now is ron paul. guest: there is something -- it
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does not give them the options they like. the president did not come to congress for permission to go to war in bolivia. he has asked for a revolution to be drafted. they are circulating it. they are circulating it. many wanted the president to go by the basic rules and feel that he has not done that. the question of will that affect people on the right and left and divide at different places -- we have to see how it plays out in
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the 2012 election. it is just like iraq and afghanistan. we are still there. host: what about the obama reaction? caller: there was a small bump in the polls. some showed him with a bigger bump into some with a smaller. the best way for us to look at the osama bin laden news is more in the long term. the moment really solidifies the commanders -- the presidents commander in chief credentials. the economy is better, and it will be harder for mr. romney and others to attack the president on national security. they cannot say that he is weak and will not go after
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terrorists. the president has had its own problems. there is a two front attack on the president and national security. the osama bin laden strengthens the president's national security hand. host: what does he need to do today? guest: put it away. get away from the question of paul ryan as fast as possible. i am sure he will be asked about that. he must find it the ability to move forward. host: a television producer says of this.
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guest: mitt romney is lacking some of the excitement. people are not fired up about him. people want to build with someone they are comfortable with seeing on their television set for the next quarter years. he does not able to do so in iowa and new hampshire in 2008. the more time he spent in those states, his poll numbers went down. whether he can connect with voters remains to be seen. he certainly looked the part. host: when it to you think congress will vote on the debt ceiling issue? guest: [unintelligible] i think they will back it up.
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i think they will back it up. we may see congress take action in august. [inaudible] host:jonathan allen covers politics for politico. >> we take you now to new hampshire where potential republican presidential candidate, john huntsman, will be in franklin, new hampshire today. this is about 20 miles north of concord, where there will be a house party for ambassador huntsman. you can see some of the folks outside there. this is one stop on his five-
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day, 11-city tour through new hampshire which started early hanover and will wrap up in durham. he recently served as president obama's ambassador to china. he is visiting new hampshire, the station -- the state will hold the first -- before he arrives, we will look at some of today's washington journal on the 2012 presidential campaign before we return to hampshire. family as07604 independents. mitch daniels, after much speculation, announcing that he will not run for president. he says that in the end he was able to resolve every consideration but one. the wishes of his family being most important. we want to get your reaction
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coming up in just a moment. the outlook section of "the washington post" as a piece, "is anyone ready for primetime"? this includes the announcement of newt gingrich and that donald trump is not running. trump is not running. host: that is his perspective on the 2012 race. first, a preview of what the president will be doing this
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week. the conference get underway -- gets underway at 10:30 eastern time. scott has this had lyme, -- headline -- ant: there's also a map with indication of where the president will be going. going on to london, the g-8 conference taking place in northern france and a stop in poland before returning to washington, d.c.. the question this morning, herman kane is in, mitch
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daniels is out. we will have live coverage of remarks from franklin, new hampshire. getting under way at 4:30, a typical new hampshire house party. we will have a chance to listen in on his consideration to run for a gop nomination. ron, ariz., good morning. caller: do you think that senator mccain will run for president again? host: i do not. caller: one more question. host: next we will go to eileen. caller: good morning. herman kane, i would say so. host: what about him? caller: yesterday but he was
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talking about? he was very down-to-earth. getting in to talking about realistic things. you know? about what is going on in the world? a lot of people are here that are not even supposed to be here and they need to go back to their own country, ok? there are a lot of immigrants here when of that, you know, they should not even be here. that is why there is no jobs out there. host: here is the front page this morning of "the new york times."
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host: next is john joining us from atlanta. good morning. caller: how are you? host: fine, thank you. caller: i actually lived in indiana for a short time. even though i voted for president obama, i did vote for mitch daniels because of the changes that he made in the state. one change that he made that i did not like was the high waves. i did not like that. i think it was an issue for him. i did not know about the issue with his wife.
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i am sort of concerned as to the hypocrisy of the family values ticket of the republican side. it is such a major concern right now. now. host: thank you for the call. you can join the conversation on twitter at host: steve is joining us from haymarket, virginia. good morning. steve? good morning. we will go next to loren in indianapolis. caller: i am thrilled.
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as the previous caller said, mitch daniels has done a lot of stuff. he has saved the state some money, but he has done a lot of stuff, a lot of cuts that he has not let out. it probably would come out if you ran for president. i did not know that about his wife either. eight years, nobody knew this about his wife. host: he spoke to the indiana gop. is available on our website, c- some of the headlines -- "the houston chronicle." host: from "the boston globe,"
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there is a preview to the president's trip to ireland. host: and look at just some of the coverage coming ahead of his trip to dublin. in louisiana, "agonizing wait." flooding in mississippi continues. newt gingrich is making waves above the fold of "the los angeles times." from "the advantage journal constitution," "new gingrich network boosted." good morning. caller: you never mentioned the bill that make daniels just signed that restricts abortion.
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not just abortion, but women's rights. you people put such an emphasis on who is running in the gop, but if you look at the people that are running, god help this country if these people ever got a elected. you and the establishment in washington keep promoting the republican's. just like when obama got bin laden. suddenly all that you heard from the gop was how torture worked. taking credit for what obama did. the news media and c-span went right along with this. . states like wisconsin, ohio, michigan, florida, i do not know how they ever became a republican. the only way that i could think that this happened is voter fraud.
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god help us if any of these republicans are nominated. host: thank you for the call. i would disagree with you on our approach to all of this. we provide a forum for people like you to weigh in and we are a reflection of what people are talking about in the news. mitch daniels, not running for president, it was the one network worry could watch herman kane live. thank you for your call and comment, but i would disagree with you on your premise. as always, we appreciate it. lou, good morning. caller: i have to disagree with the last caller. i believe this c-span is extremely fair and presents both sides of the issues. but here is my comment. the republican party hats to stop acting like a
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>> we are going to leave this conversation now to take you live to new hampshire were one of the potential republican presidential candidates, jon huntsman, is arriving at a house in franklin. this is live coverage on c-span. >> its a real pleasure. thank you for coming out. we are honored by your presence. my sister was a big fan of yours when she was in singapore. >> that was a long time ago. 20 years ago. what was she doing at the time? >> she was an executive at shearson lehman. >> if we have an opportunity, i would love to reconnect with her. >> of like for you to meet our mayor. >> thank you for wasting your perfectly good at sunday afternoon to be with us. >> as long as we are not carried away by black crowds -- by black clouds.
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>> great to see you. county commissioners carry quite a load. >> yes we do. >> i'm the former mayor. >> this is the senior leadership. great to see it. thank you very much for taking the time to be here. how are you? pleasure to see you. thank you for coming out. >> this is my daughter. >> how are you? good to see you. how are you? good to see you. how are you? >> nice to meet you. >> a pleasure.
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[crosstalk] >> there was a lot going on. a smaller and theater. once the wall fell in east germany, all of the money went in there was a lot less resources to go around. >> thank you for being here. >> she was a chairman of the school board.
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>> leaving it better than i found it. >> that's all you want to be able to say in life. thank you for your service in and area as important as education. thank you for your great service. >> this is an air force academy graduate. >> what year at the air force academy? >> [inaudible] tha>> it had a cockpit and one f
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the bunks behind the cockpit. i occupied one of those banks. they totally phased those out in favor of the c-17. thank you for your service. how are you. it's an honor. thank you for the reminder. >> i may state rep for franklin. >> that is part of the 400 + in new hampshire. how do you enjoy your service of our? >> i love it.
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>> it is a pleasure to be with you. thank you for taking our time. that would be great. going to borenot you for too long. that's my promise. do we have a microphone? by the end of the day, the voice is shot.
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>> and do you want me to say anything? >> sure. >> thank you for coming this afternoon. i know that a lot of people have indicated they would like to be here and the weather is a little bit of an issue. sunday afternoons are tough, but i am happy you are here and i know just about everybody here
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pretty well. as i indicated to the governor, and i don't want to speak for everybody, but i have heard the same thing -- we need to check the direction of our country is going. everyone is concerned we're going the wrong direction in so many different areas and different places. it all boils down to what kind of legacy we want to leave and is this what it's all about or can we do something better? the governor knows about leadership, the basic concept. thank you very much for coming to franklin today and we wish you the best. >> thank you very much. let me take this opportunity -- can you hear me now? thank you for your backyard,
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your hospitality, this majestic then you have. this is incredible. the u.s. naval academy class of 1969. thank you for your service. we have somebody here from west point and somebody from the air force academy. if we can all get along in the set of circumstances, can the nation get along? we are in franklin and we are reminded of daniel webster, a great senator. the only story about daniel webster that comes to mind that i think is truly relevant, who served in a distinguished way is that when william henry harrison was elected our ninth president of the united states in the early 1840's, he was preparing for an inaugural speech and he called deadly his good friend daniel webster. what ever number of words was, i heard it was a 3000, down to a more manageable number.
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he died at 31 days later. the weather was not so good. if we combined daniel webster and his presence here today, with his contribution and history, i guess that means although the weather is fabulous, you don't speak too long. i want to introduce my family here who is the finest human being i know. we have been married 28 years and we are here with two of our seven kids. raise your hand, elizabeth. i want to show you what good political work consists of here. she was not familiar with south new hampshire university was
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there as her dad gave the commencement speech and she was celebrating her birthday. as she was celebrating her 12th birthday, 12, right? they gave her this sweat shirt and she puts it on gratuitously as she begins to toward new hampshire to suggest she is a local. thank you. gracie is a wonderful girl who has had a most wonderful life. we hope in the future when we come back for a second or fourth engagement, we understand that is what it takes in new hampshire. we hope they get a better appreciation of this little girl and our entire family, some of the me might like. it is a great honor to be back after having served our nation last two years in beijing.
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if you want to get a sense of where this world is going and what the 21st century is going to look like, drop yourself in beijing for a couple of years. you get a sense of where china is going and the trajectory, economically, that china has taken and what the implications are for the united states. reflecting off of 10,000 miles away in beijing and looking here, while living in a country where everyone is excited and euphoric about economic growth, he cannot help but reflect on our own country when you see we are in a funk. people are down, they are depressed, they are disspirited, because they know we can be giving a lot more in this country. i am here to tell you that i believe the 2012 election cycle is going to be about two or three important things. i believe that it will be about 14 trillion dollars. i think every american knows that 14 trillion dollars and the
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trajectory our spending is on is going to have an overwhelmingly negative impact on the value of our dollar, which impacts every family in this country, and backs the quality of our life, the value of our goods, and the competitive position at in the world. people care about that. the on the 14 trillion dollars in debt, this nation has 52 trillion dollars in public or private debt which means every family, every business, every city, every state in our nation is dealing with the debt problem. that means we ought to be smart about how we move going forward. second, i think the discussion and in 2012 will be about the revenue side of the balance sheet. what do i mean by that? i have no doubt where we will be in terms of finding fixes on the spending side. congressman ryan has put forth a proposal that i think is a very good one. the debt commission came forward
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with some recommendations that were all very good. before long, we as a country are going to rally around some good, solid recommendations that will address spending. but on the other side of the balance sheet, we have to grow. we have to get our economic engines firing in this country. one thing to deal with the debt and the spending, it's another thing to look at the revenue side of the balance sheet. how we grow, how we build, how we launch an industrial revolution. i don't know any other way to put it. this nation has had industrial revolutions in the past. we had won after independence. we had one after the civil war in 1865 and beyond. everybody knows what i'm talking about when i refer to an industrial revolution -- it is creating the right environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship and making this country great. we have been there before and we can do it again, but it's all
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about whether our public and political will are there. i believe they are. in fact, i believe we have no choice other than to seriously consider an industrial revolution as we go forward. if we're going to take the and die -- the idea of an industrial revolution seriously, we have to have an environment that is conducive to growth. part of that is about reforming our tax code. it is going to be bell looking seriously at whether or not our corporate tax, which is the highest in all of the developed countries, is conducive to attracting capital and a world where capital flees wherever it perceives risk in the marketplace and will park itself somewhere that is welcoming to capital. i believe the income tax is going to need a good look at and review. regulatory reform is going to have to be part of anything we do that speaks to a new
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industrial revolution. if businesses today are not willing to deploy capital expenditures and invest in there tomorrow in the investment of plant property and equipment, they don't know what this country's going to look like, so why deploy the capital? then you have a problem. we have to look regulatory issues. 3, the lowest of low hanging fruit has to be the opportunity for an energy revolution. we have raw material domestically. we have sources of supply. the fact we are bringing in 60% of our oil from abroad is a crying shame. the fact we're not paying for and fought -- $4.50 dollars for a gallon, but when you add up what it cost to deploy troops in foreign land and in dangerous corners of the world, keeping the sea lanes open for the free flow of trade and commerce, transportation costs in bringing it here, it's not for dollars or
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$5 a gallon, its $13 a gallon and taxpayers are footing the bill. we have some opportunities ahead of the want to take the idea of an industrial revolution seriously. this country has produced in generations gone by. we all know we're capable of doing it and despite our competitive challenges on the other side of the world where we have lived the last couple of years, they are moving inexorably into the future. they are proud of that direction. yet for every reason, given who we are as a country and what we have done in the past and what we have before us, all of the raw material that would suggest we can retain our preeminence and retain our position as the greatest nation that ever was, is up to us. this election cycle will put before us the prospect of a lost decade of growth. you could have a lost decade if you want one. but it is up to us. or, do we want to unleash the economic magic this country has shown the world time and time
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again. we are in that phase where you kick the tires and have a lot of conversations. we will continue to do it for the next couple of weeks. sometime in june, we will sit down together as a family and we will digest all of the information we have received, including the experiences this weekend. this experience in new hampshire has been extraordinary. you were dropped right in the middle of somebody's neighborhood, right in the middle of somebody's living room, with the national press there, with neighbors like you to drop by, and you were totally exposed. you either sink or swim. it can be the most intimidating experience in the world or the most exhilarating american experience in the world. i am reminded through it all that we do it differently in
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this country. we do it in a transparent fashion. we get out and develop relationships that you earn the vote ultimately. that is what new hampshire is all about. i cannot help but reflect on being dropped right in the middle of this opening, democratic process and think about where we have been for the last two years where you don't show up in someone's living room, you don't and by the air national press and don't have these wide range discussions. this is uniquely american and it had it -- and it is what makes this country great. new hampshire's contribution is unique and extraordinary. our american democracy is an influence on 70 countries abroad and it has been a profoundly important. it -- influence on the countries abroad. i know you are cold and you probably want to go win. i want to shake a few more hands and have additional
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conversations. i would tell you i will tell you that i am tired of the divisiveness in this country. i am tired of all of us americans been divided, yelling and screaming and finger- pointing. we all want the same vein we all want a better tomorrow -- we all want the same thing. we all want a better tomorrow, a better country for the next generation than what we got. and the prospect of being waist deep in debt that we have no access -- exit strategies for, it is not something that should be acceptable to any of us. that should be compelling enough reason for all of us to come together around some common sense solutions. we will differ on the substance the issues on the 2012 election
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cycle, but let's do it with some respect. we all want what is best for our country. the world is watching how this democracy plays out. because as we go, so will go so many nations that want to be like us. and when we carry on our debate in a way that the civil, respectful, but gets us to where we want to be, that is taken note of. one side of the world is overjoyed at where they're going economically. and we look over here and we are of a bit down and dispirited. i say, those feelings are not american. that is not who we are. we are optimistic and hopeful people. we always think about a better tomorrow and we need to get busy building a better tomorrow.
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i hope this election cycle gets out the issues because we do not have a choice. this is a critical time in this nation's history. it is an inflection point that all of us are aware of. the issues need to be addressed not four years from now, not eight years from now, but in the next couple of years. it is critically important. i know the world you play. i respect the role you played. if we decide to make this journey, i'm feeling pretty good and confident about that. but we still have to sit down as a family and make that decision. i hope i have the honor of the shaking your hand several times and making friends the new hampshire way because that is earned. i get that part of it. tonight, we start and we thank
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you for taking your time. bill and pat, you are terrific for making your backyard available. thank you all so very much. i look forward to spending more time with you. thank you for spending time with us. [applause] >> we are like brothers. we fight [unintelligible] >> that would be you. no brawling on the back lawn. [laughter] >> thank you for talking about the issues. >> thank you.
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>> it is economical worker by many means. you know march -- much more than i do. >> right now, there is a big divide between military and civilian leadership. that is dangerous. it is not the way it should be. we have not had a military relationship with china in almost two years. that is an unhealthy and inaccurate we need to have -- that is an unhealthy exchange. we need to have a dialogue. in a time of need we can get together and coordinate and make the asia-pacific region better. that dialogue has not taken place for all kinds of
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complicated reasons. >> the military and civilian leadership code says. they had to. they depended on -- coexisted. they had to. they depended on from my perspective, we never really knew about whether that was a real and gulf or whether they were both in sync. we're getting conflicting messages. >> not exactly in sync today. there will have a major turnover next year in the congress. it will get new political leadership and they probably will get a lot more military leadership with the central military commission. with a new cast of characters it will be a different dynamic. it will be interesting to see how that plays out and what that will mean for u.s.-china relations. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> how is it to live in such a beautiful part of the country?
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>> perfect. >> that is the word i like. [laughter] >> what a treat. >> could i get a photograph? >> of course, of course. madam county commissioner, what a treat. thank you. >> retired air force. >> army nurse. >> no, wait. >> yes. the -- in no wano way. >> yes. >> when you met was she in the army? but she was an army nurse at fort dix. -- >> she was an army nurse at fort dix. >> that worked out all right. thanks for being here.
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>> [inaudible] >> that is the way it should be. hope to see you again. thanks for your service over the years. >> [inaudible] >> you have to introduce him.
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>> [unintelligible] >> absolutely right. >> welcome aboard. >> i'm going to take a walk down there. >> [unintelligible]
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>> johnson -- jon huntsman robin things cannot -- jon huntsman wrapping things up. if you do want to weigh in, the numbers are at the bottom of the screen now. for democrat our first call is going to come from hawthorne, new jersey, chris on the republicans line. what do you think of what you just saw? >> he seems like a very good candidate. i have been following the republican field.
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i was really impressed with donald trump. i wish he would have jumped into the race. some of the other candidates might have been good. john hunt and, unfortunately, he might be a bit too boring. >> next we are going to go to stewart florida. >> i am a geologist and this is the first republican i have listened to has not been so anti-barack obama. it is really sad, because i think a man like this, who obama chose to go to china because of his knowledge of the language will never get past this
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sentiment. he said to me, and that is, this country needs to be unified for our grandchildren. >> next we will hear from chris in concord new hampshire. what did you hear today? >> i was not impressed at all. it if you look at crowd size, it does not seem like he is attracting anybody. he is half an hour from where i am and i never heard he was going to be here.
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if it were ron paul, he is attracting a guy of 10,000 people easily. this guy had family there, for darfur furs, and some neighbors. ron paul thiis the guy to compee against obama. >> jon huntsman is actually pretty far away from deciding whether he is going to get into
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the race, as he mentioned herein franklin, new hampshire. he is going to think about it with his wife and children. we are taking your calls following ambassador huntsman posing meet and greet. -- ambassador huntsman's need and greed. we have jennifer on the republican line. >> my choice is mitt romney. i've watched him get beat up all day long on all of the talk shows about obama care. mitt romney went in to jon huntsman's district and save the olympics. he has proven himself as a leader.
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obama could not get the olympics to come here. i'm so sick of hearing about the obama care. cavan and trade, i do not think so. he does not see things like others see. maybe to run as an independent. " we're going to go to arizona, democrats line. >> i tried to be very open- minded. one of the things i'd like to
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see is what they would do different. you always hear them criticize obama. they never say what they would do different and i think that is what bothers me more with all of these people going around, especially those that have so little knowledge of things like what the prior caller mentioned and the people running on the republican ticket. like sarah palin, if you think she has a plan, you have not been studying her or watching her since she came onto the radar. >> if you missed any of the event in franklin, new hampshire, we saw jon huntsman laying out his plan for what he is calling a new industrial revolution. you can watch those comments
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again tonight. we will have them at 9:30 p.m. eastern. next on to kent, washington, jennifer on the independent line. are you there? we're going to go on now to north carolina, walt, the republicans line. what did you think of the ambassadors event today? >> president obama's ambassador is just that. he is in the wrong party. it was sad. there were no smiles or cheering. it reminded me of a gathering after a funeral. the other callers have a right. it is ron paul and herman cain. those are the two that we need to look at. >> wyda you like those candidates? >> because they have actual policy.
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we need somebody to take action. my vote will be whoever is strongest against amnesty and border security. >> on to philadelphia, britney on the democrats line. >> i have been listening to the other comments of the people talking and i will say i do agree with the caller that said he would not survive in the republican party. i am a democrat and i have been paying attention to the republican debates going on. none of the candidates really seemed very -- i have not been impressed with any of them. but jon huntsman seems really intelligent. i like that he knows a lot about
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china and he is very interested in industrializing america and creating a new industrial revolution. i think the smarter political move would be to wait until after the 2012 election and run as a democrat, as a moderate democrat. i would vote for him. i do not think that running as a republican right now with the way the party has been speaking about certain topics, i do not know that he would win. i think he should just wait. >> let's see what mike has to say in new york city. independent line. >> i spend more than 30 years working for "newsweek" and "time" and i have seen 200 of these informal hampshire and
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north carolina gatherings. and they are designed at this point not to seek votes, but to test the waters in terms of the generalized reaction that the presumed candidates might have and to see how much money he can raise. >> what is the effect as voters test the waters. >> it depends on who you are talking to. is evangelical christians, who will have a tough time voting for mormons -- for a mormon. and i do not think the ambassadors views on a great
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many social issues would meet the criteria demanded of too many republican candidates. >> we are going to leave it there. and we are taking your calls following ambassador huntsman posing meet and greet today. he was in franklin, new hampshire. one more call here. also, potential gop candidates tim pawlenty will be making announcements tomorrow. we will have coverage on the c- span networks. now want to bog in wilmington, n.c., on the republican line. >> just a plug for one of the candidates, i have been around a long time and i have seen a lot of them come and go, but the only man that i have seen in the public in 50 years that was a legitimate, transparent candidate for president is herman cain. i would not vote for mitt romney. i am a very conservative man, but i think he is artificial. i think he is after a legacy.
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i do not think he is genuine. i think herman cain is a genuine man. he definitely could get some of the correction out of our government. >> appreciated. we appreciate all of the calls from our viewers. we're going to take a look at some of the earlier "washington journal" and some thoughts from viewers about campaign 2012. pardon me, we are actually going to take a look at some of the flooding from the southern part of our country in mississippi. continues. host: joining us from shreveport, louisiana is the former commanding general of the first u.s. army, appointed to head up the joint task force on hurricane katrina. is also a member of the stevenson disaster institute. is the author of a new book ," survival." thank you for being with us. guest: good morning, cspan. host: let me begin with your own
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words about what is happening along the louisiana/mississippi border. you say the best defense is to go on offense. we continue to see flooding over the next week or 10 days. are we doing that? are we doing that? guest: absolutely. the system -- the flood control system along the mississippi river operated by the great corps of engineers is doing what it is supposed to do which is to release water to prevent the flooding like we had in 1927. after that flood, the flood act gave the court permission to work with the states to create a system to prevent major flooding of our major cities. and protect our farm land host: let me ask you about themz morgan'sa flood way. how does it work? guest: it was part of the design
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after the flood of 1927 to control the waters where the mississippi river, and the old river converge. the concept was to be able to relieve the pressure on the mississippi river at that point at the morganza spillway, it is open to rain and some of it is used for farming, to allow water to go toward the river basin and go out to morgan city for it would relieve the pressure on the mississippi river which flows through bat and rouge and toward new orleans. host: i had seen a couple of stories that the first time this had opened since 1973 and the amount of water being released can fill up the superdome in louisiana in under one minute. guest: absolutely, the flow of morganza ing out of morez
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could feed niagara falls. the system it's doing its job as designed by our engineers. host: we have one telephone line set aside for those of you who live anywhere from mississippi and louisiana up number 2 iowa or along the mississippi river which impact 31 states. 202-737-2579. let's look at some of the past floods this region of the country has seen over the years. you mentioned 1927, another one a decade letter in 1937, 1973 along the mississippi, and then two more recently and 1993, the upper mississippi river, and
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another one in 2008. how does what we see today compared to some of these past incidents that guest: after each one of these incidents, significant action and decisions were made to improve the levee system and put control measures that would allow the army corps to release water into the spillway is particularly down in louisiana. in 1927, the mississippi river was 80 miles wide in mississippi and louisiana. it was 60 miles wide in arkansas. progressively, as 1927 and in 1937, decisions were made to continually improve that system to help control the water and release it at certain times and operates as a system, not as an individual. host: explain what potentially could have happened to bachelor's and louisiana in the lower mouth of the mississippi river had this not taken place. guest: at morganza, which is
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near my home town, that perished problem would have fallen -- probably would have flooded. probably would have flooded. that leads into port allen and we could have lost much of what goes on at the deep water port in beverage -- in baton rouge and there is the second-largest oil refinery in the united states there. we have 13 refineries between baton rouge and new orleans. some of them represent some 15% of the refining capability in the nation. as we know, the city of new orleans which is a great port city where 42% of our exports for this nation is exported through the mouth of the mississippi river. host: what impact does this have for those relying on shipping as a business and for those of us expecting product to come in for
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the mississippi? guest: the port in baton rouge which is the deepest in the united states, it affects the out shipping of grain and other materials that we export to other nations to sell for which will. money to our barge traffic is disrupted and have a five-mile stretch around baton rouge that remains closed as a result of a grain barge we had the other day that tapped into the old bridge. as the water continues to crest and starts to recede, we should see river boat traffic going back to normal in the next three weeks, i would imagine. host: our guest is lieutenant general ross honore and you can join the conversation. we have a new set of numbers.
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for those impacted by the flooding along the mississippi river , a202-737-2579. before our first call, let's get some background on the mississippi river which includes 2,300 miles and feeds into the gulf of mexico and begins in minnesota and touches all or parts of 31 states. guest: and the whole system of controlling and dealing with that river, our predecessors made some wise decisions years ago to put one commander in charge. right now that is general walsh in vicksburg, menace -- miss a beat. he and his commission focus on working with the mississippi river and its tributaries. they do a great job. he has districts along the mississippi river.
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one is down in new orleans that deals with the spring flooding and hurricane season, they did s with theurge water that comes from the coast that has the capability to fled new orleans. that is one of the most demanding army corps engineer jobs in the nation. for that reason, we have general walsh who commands that and acts as the commissioner, the head of the commission for the mississippi river valley control system. host: this is the headline this morning from "the new york post." guest: i would say that is true. along with a lot of collaboration, inside the state of louisiana and mississippi, the states have stood up and
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both governors have been active as well as tennessee along with the national guard and state agencies. when you go around louisiana, you would think we are at war with this water. their national troops going up and down the levee 24-7. there are fish and wildlife people looking for wildlife that work run out of the spillway. we have the red cross who have set up canteen's to support those who are fighting this water and are prepared to set a shelter for people when needed. i flew over their last wednesday in a helicopter and that entire area is focused on one thing and that is defending itself against that water. it is a war against the water working with nature and we have been lucky in one regard. we have not gotten a lot of rain in south louisiana in recent weeks. that has helped us in one way and has not saturated the levees
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with rainwater. host: 0 kelli, fla., welcome to the conversation very. caller: i am originally from tennessee. i have been in florida for about a year and a half. i am very familiar with what the tennessee river, the mississippi river, and all the tributaries can do. i have been for memphis sunday times and in the mississippi out of its banks. first of all, i want to say my heart goes out to all the people in the areas that are having these problems, especially in tuscaloosa, alabama with the tornadoes and the kind of stuff it is now the mississippi.
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i have withstood any thing from hurricanes to floods repora wano say to the people in that part of a country that my heart goes out to you and thank you very much for spending your brown. that's all i have to set host: thank you for the call. will go next to karen from winter haven, florida. caller: nice to talk to. you you. i have been working on water issues for the last 10 years and one thing we have tried to stress is that when we have these rapid innovations of water that we try and find a way to store this water somehow. that is what the spillways to basically is spread the water out over the land because we need to hold as much water on the land as we can. host: thank you. guest: in the case we faced in
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florida with the availability of fresh which has gone on from some time between florida and alabama and georgia with the chattahoochee with is a great source of fresh water going into florida. as far as the mississippi river, i don't know of a program other than some areas in north louisiana or they plan to try to store watert. he aquafer is at risk. that is something we need to think about. i participated in two wars and both of them had something to do with oil. i think we need to take a serious look at fresh water supplies in this nation because i think the next war could be over water. it is not about the water we are losing out of the mississippi river but what we are doing to the water we have and what is
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going into that water in the mississippi river that is influencing what is going on in the gulf. that is another story. we need to pay close attention as to how we can clean the water in the united states and make sure the clean water act is being enforced host: these are some of the more remarkable pictures we have been sitting back and this is from "the washington post." this is the scene in vicksburg, mississippi. some high-priced farms are being protected by levees. power these holding up? guest: these levees are at a point where they are tested every hour. they were designed to control the river but we are writing history here. we have never seen this amount of water a press these levees for this long. thank god the army corps of
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engineers built them to strength. since then, as the flood has happened, in mississippi, you see a whole squadron and the italians of people working to protect their home and property. each year, our nation moves closer and closer to the water. remember, the name of the mississippi river is taken from the chippewa indians and it means the father of the water. s. if you live near the father of the water, you need to be prepared that the flooding could happen. when we build levees at any point in time, it could be overmatched by mother nature. host: our guest is lieutenant general ross honore who headed up the task force looking at hurricane katrina and is an author of a new book called,"
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survival." richmond, va., good morning. caller: thank you for having me on. my practical question is regarding the upper mississippi valley, mainly dealing with the mississippi delta. although the mississippi river did not come over the levee, the black water has always been an issue for those in the delta fropm the yazoo. many family members i have in the area never received any type of up to date and where never mentioned in the broadcast i have seen. i wonder how the levee is holding up regarding the backwater from that yazoo. guest: that is a good question. one of the problems we have with the mississippi river system is that when the river overflows,
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those tributaries back up and they back into low lying areas. many of those areas over time have been built in since 1927. that is something that local building codes and inside the cabin parishes that people and r to re-look at. i feel very sorry for those who have lost their homes, a couple of thousand mississippi have been evacuated as a result of this flooding. host: here's another question -- guest: that is the great thing about america abroad sometimes we get to do what we want to do
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where we want to do it. it goes back to the control measures that the levy boards working with the local parishes and officials and allow building to happen after we have had a flood. hopefully, in each state and county and paris, people will be able to reassess if they want to go back into the flood plain. we have not had a flood of this significance since 1993 and the flood of 1974. then there was the flood of 1937 so we have gone a long time without having this level of challenge. host: you are also a contributor to cnn. caller: good morning. i want to thank you for your service to our country. service to our country. we always see america being the first online to help different countries whether it is 80, japan, different countries with poverty and hunger and natural
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disasters, the sinns and that is a great thing it seems like when america has worked as an disasters and floods like we see, we never hear or at least the regular guys like us never hear about other countries stepping forward and donating the weather is bulldozers or aid or food or technicians and equipment to be hands-on in american help a country that helps everybody else. it is either not being reported or it is not happening and i fear is not happening. i want to speak to that issue. have you heard of many countries offering major contributions to america and if so, who are they and why do you think not? guest: in this particular case, while the threat is big, the corps of engineers are working with local officials and the national guard, we have this under control and our governors
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have been active and have the entire state involved. i think we have this under control. going back to katrina, the entire world put their arms out to help us. we had teams from mexico. we had water teams coming in from holland. we had teams coming in from germany with palms to help us pump out the orleans parish. we have the canadians send an aircraft and ships. there was a lot of outside support that was offered. we had the french sent in meals ready to eat. we had an enormous amount of support for t. much of it we did not need at the time, but it was most appreciative when it arrived. host: this is from john in north carolina --
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is that the case? guest: that is the case when we had a failure of the levee system, when we have a break in the levee, the levee system was designed to help keep the mississippi inside of its banks. every year, what would have happened is that there would have been a lot of flooding based on the amount of rainfall and snowpack up north. the levee system was designed to keep the river inside the banks. by and large, it has been successful. that has given us an opportunity to be able to form a rich delta land all these years as well as take advantage of the transportation system and the industrial base that was built along the mississippi river. there are some places that local and state leaders, it is up to
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them to make those decisions, whether people will rebuild and be able to go back andre- occupied. there has probably been too much systems put inside the spillway. that is stuff that has been built between the levee and the rebar. there are casinos in louisiana and mississippi and they are built on the river. the decision to put them there was based on a whole different set of matrix which is people did not want the casinos on land. they are a great economic impact to both of those states but as soon as the river goes up, most of those casinos closed and i think some 11,000 people are out of jobs right now because we put the casinos on the water as opposed to putting them on land. that is a local decision that people made. host: where talking to
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lieutenant general russell honore. he headed up the effort after hurricane katrina. ron paul says he opposes flood insurance and fema's role in all of this. >> i have opposed flood insurance ever since i have been in congress for 30 years. i have a coastal district. i don't supportfema. i get more compliant aboutfema than support. because of government levies and because of the flood and no natural result in taking care of this flood, they have a decision to make. should they fled innocent farmers? this would not happen in a
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society that did not expect the government to solve all our problems. to expect the government and people who are not benefiting to pay for me to live on the beach, that is not morally correct and it is not in the constitution. host: how would you respond to those comments? guest: that is a pretty inflammatory comments. i would expect the rep would take that up with his colleagues in the senate. the idea about what fema does is the execution of relieving the suffering of the people. in his observation that there are people getting assistance from fema that don't need it, that is something he and his team of leaders in washington should pick up. after katrina, we put about $140
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billion along the coast to try to make things right after we had the flooding of the city of new orleans and the destruction that happened along the mississippi coast. he may not like fema, but it is the organization and they have gone a long way to improve since katrina. it is not perfect but you don't like something, he needs to take that up between him and his colleagues who find that organization as opposed to saying that any assistance for poor people -- the stafford act was supposed to help those who could not help themselves after a disaster -- if he sees something else going on, i know that fema spent a lot of money in cyprus to make that place right after katrina. they are spending money and h along withud and other organizations in new orleans to build hospitals back and try to put the infrastructure back so that people can live and create commerce and live the american
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dream. i totally disagree with them. i don't know what article read that put him off on this tirade of those organizations, he needs to take up with his colleagues. here on the ground where the rubber meets the road and people are living in shelters and need food and water and need a place to stay, those organizations perform that function host: peers in other, and -- here is another comment. thomas joining us from iowa with his comments. good morning a caller: good morning. i'm curious as to why they built a wall of water along the mississippi above all iowa and all of a sudden, they are dumping it instead of closing these dams which were put in there to prevent floods. they are using them to create
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floods. they are dumping the mississippi river. why don't they close these dams and prevent the water from going down the river. they did the same thing when they flooded us out here in cedar rapids. i don't know who the hell they are but these people need to be taken off their jobs and put somebody in there to close the dam's off to stop the flooding. i will bet to a $10 bill that they had the downs closed and southern mississippi to create this flood because they want to steal the land or whatever. guest: i don't have facts to back that up. each levee system in each state and in the counties and the parish's have levee board members that are appointed or elected by the local officials that interact with the mississippi system that make
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decisions as to what should happen. that being said, a lot of them have been put in that create electrical power. those were local decisions that were made up forever. i don't have enough specific information to respond directly but i can tell you that the poor people that are being affected by this flood, they are the victims here. host: new york city, good morning. caller: i want to thank you for all the work you did in katrina. i saw you on a 60 minute special with the mayor of new orleans and the talked about how great you were there. i want to thank you for all the work you have done for this country. i have yet to see leaders in uniform that perform the way you have done. you perform admirably and a respect to a lot. i believe if you're out there helping in iraq and afghanistan or libya, you would do a great
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job with great leadership and great strength. thank you for your time, sir, and your service. guest: thank you. host: here are some tweaks -- are you interested in running for public self -- public office? guest: i probably would not win. my platform is too radical. host: what about running for host: what about running for governor or mayor? guest: i could not do that because my number one priority would be education. we have to do a better job in louisiana of supporting louisiana of supporting education and for more money into education. we have a program that gives some kids free college. i would discontinue that and eliminate about 1/3 of the parishes of louisiana. parishes of louisiana. .e are over-governed t with a platform like that, i won't win. host: gonzales, louisiana, go
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ahead. caller: good morning. caller: good morning. in general, he do you think fema will be as low as this as they were on katrina because there were very, very slow. ? fell lot has changed in fema and there is a new leader that has taken on leaning forward. we are also building the requirement that everyone in america knows you have to be prepared to be your own first responder for the concept of resiliency. a lot has changed at fema. after the tornadoes, there were there the day after and now in the flooding, they are totally embedded and supporting the states and what they need in
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terms of response and dealing with people. the artist's work is yet to come as we go into recovery. -- the hardest work is yet to come as we go into recovery. we will see what happens at the we will see what happens at the this flooding that fema is well positioned and had given every request and assistance the state have asked for in terms of responding based on what they can do. host: akron, ohio, good morning. caller: hello general, i have heard from members that work with you that you are an extraordinary leader. i hope you consider running for president because we need radical change. i have worked on katrina just after the hurricane down there. one of the interesting things i was told was that they were worried about the tornadoes that were bringing up a lot of the what re that would-impact the southern portion that to the hurricanes hit because the
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mississippi had originally been changed and they were worried about it re-affecting millions of people. i like to comment on that. given that our military is some of the most extraordinary and we have the largest military equipment, the c-5, if we are running a pipeline from alaska to the rest of the country for oil, why can't we do the same as far as picking up water from snow and using it out in the west and charging it so that the west, utah, arizona, and those states who typically do not have enough water can get water and we can also benefit from it? i believe the gentleman from iowa was correct. what i saw going down katrina, there were a record lot of really great people on the ground to the hard work. unfortunately, there were all
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lot of self is leadership that were affecting negatively the great work done by the people on the ground. your comments? ourt: i don't think -- problem is distribution of water and where our population has settled in the nation. to have enough fresh water to deal with that. i think there has been an outcry from people for years that we need to look at infrastructure because of our population continues to grow but we have a limited amount of water. much of the water we have is a dirty. it is agricultural run off. agriculture is the base of our economy. we need industrial run off. that being said, we have to figure out how we will clean the water that we are dirtying and have a distribution of water into those western states where
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we have a significant problem. the other thing we faces the threat a to thequafers. in each state, there is a disaster about to happen when it comes to water. i think we need a national conversation on it. we need to have some national leadership. if water is not on the next presidential election campaign, we have a problem because people are not listening. we can live with less of everything but we cannot live with less water. we'll have to figure out how we can manage it in this nation and how we can prevent international waters from breaking out because we cannot manage the water because the population continued to grow. we have a lead -- limited amount of clean water. but what we have we must clean. as far as katrina, we put in the floodgates in new orleans to prevent the surge water from getting into the city.
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i hope that helps address your question. we are not paying enough attention because to each generation, there is a requirement that we leave this good earth and this great nation ready for the next generation. right now, if we think the debt is the problem, look at how we are managing water and you will start scratching your head host: our last caller is join us from portland, ore., good morning. caller: i was wondering if you could elaborate on the system we have set up, the levee system. i like to imagine where and when and why it first began. what would be the -- what with the water be like if there were no dams. people just want to live and farm there? but the mississippi stretched out and did its thing?
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-- what if the mississippi stretched out and did its thing? guest: that is a great question. over the years, from the flood of 1912 forward, the center of our nation, much of our cities and small towns, when there were built, there were built along the river system. the river system was our first highway. this is how the nation developed. this is how we were able to take the bountiful grain from the midwest and the products that were produced and developed the country. we continue to develop as we expand west. as cities grow along the rivers, more and more, we expanded industrial capacity and port capacity inside the flood zone.
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then came the inclusion of housing and homes getting closer to the flood zone. by and large, the levee system was built so we did not have the flooding disaster occur every two or three years. in 1927, in arkansas, it was 60 miles wide and in louisiana and mississippi, you could've gone from jackson, mississippi to lafayette, louisiana in a boat. that stopped commerce, disrupted that stopped commerce, disrupted our economy, and the flood control act of 1928 said bystanders to keep the mississippi river within its banks. host: we will conclude on that note. the lieutenant genereral has a w bo


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