tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 3, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EST
>> good evening. i am an independent democrat and i am going to make a different prediction. i am a former u.s. senate candidate myself. i tried to run against kiersten gillibrand. what i wanted to say is i think the democrats are going to barely have a majority this time. to lose aey are going lot of seats. democrats pick up seats? ani cannot pick up individual race. my feeling is we are going to get a heavier number of republicans but not quite the
majority. i think it's going to be very close. quest you think jeanne shaheen is going to win reelection? >> i don't know about individual races. greg gorman sounded like a good problem solver. i don't know if he is bought and paid for like many people. sounded somewhat senile. his responses were not always coherent. right gorman was coherent. a lot of these guys prevail sometimes. in new somebody here york state running for governor.
i don't agree on everything with but he isparty, bought and paid for. it's very difficult to break in congress because you stand for something and are not bought and paid for. the money is huge. >> he was in the debate, and that is on our website. thanks for phoning from ithaca, new york. some of the airing debates in the most contested senate races. up next, we want to share with you from iowa the final debate that took lace in the iowa senate race. a poll came out over the weekend indicating the state senator republican candidate has a seven .oint lead other polls have the race is too close to call. to watch of the states
tomorrow evening to determine whether or not the democrats hold onto a slight majority in the senate or whether the republicans will win in a wave election. the polls will close tomorrow evening. now the final debate in the iowa senate race. >> know your local election headquarters presents the final senate debate. to sioux city, iowa. we go home to the final debate. the race will determine who fills the shoes of tom harkin. >> i am the chief political reporter in des moines. candidates, welcome to both of you. thank you for being here tonight. >> to our left is the .ongressman
they for being with us. >> this debate is not like the others you have watch. the candidates have taken part in more traditional style debates. theght we are throwing out election. >> there is talk and honest questions. for theust basic rules evening. each candidate will have one minute to answer the questions. the opponent will be given 45 seconds for rebuttal. 95 second closing statement. the audience has been asked to hold their applause until the end of the debate. >> we want to ask you to join us. you can tweet your opinions. tell us if you think the candidates are finding an artful way to avoid the question. #iowadebate to join
in the debate. congressman braley, you will have the first question. let's jump right in and start with your resume. you are 56 years old. you have in an congress for eight years. the voting records characterize you as a rank-and-file democrat. you have successfully authored and passed one bill during your time in congress. i guess the first question would be tell us what is on your resume that will ensure you are the one to fill senator harkin's shoes. >> i want to begin by honoring whomemory to the doctor died tragically this week. my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and his family. kci you andke morningside college for hosting us tonight.
i want to thank sinister -- senator ernst. and passed auced lot more than one bill. i have worked with republicans to pass legislation that has benefited iowa. there was a job-training bill that led community colleges train people for careers in the biofuels industry. i passed legislation by working with republican from georgia to help benefit one of the leading manufacturers and keep jobs in iowa. i passed legislation to help unemployed veterans and allow veterans to stay in their home. my record has been helping and serving the people of iowa. >> state senator ernst, let's take a look at your record. you are a lieutenant colonel in the national guard. the heat gets turned up when you
walk into washington. the stakes are higher. our senators are faced with national and international crises decisions every day. why should voters consider someone with your limited record? >> i want to extend heartfelt prayers to the doctor's. what a tragic incident. we have a number of really things going on around our world, not just domestically but also internationally. the way i describe myself as i am out traveling across iowa is that i am an average iowa and -- n who has had extraordinary opportunities.
i have served my state and my nation. we are facing a crisis in the middle east. i believe i am a credible candidate when it comes to dealing with those issues. i have found my boots on the ground, leading troops in iraq and kuwait and will always stand up for our service men and women. something we could have never anticipated when this campaign began is at the forefront of everyone's mind. about the ebola virus. it is spreading around the world . voters are very concerned. we would like to direct your attention to the monitors. seen question is, we have two ebola patients treated down the road in omaha, nebraska. what steps should the federal government be taking to protect me and my family? >> i know you have just returned from washington, where you spend time in an emergency meeting to discuss the country's response to ebola. what can you tell us about what
was discussed today? >> what happened is there was plain talk and honest questions to the heads of the agencies dealing with it. the center for disease control, the institute for health. i asked tough questions a demented answers on what we are doing to protect the safety and security of the american people. what i found is we need to do whatever is necessary. if that means putting travel bans on and it protects the american people, we need to do that. if it means beefing up travel restrictions, we need to do that, and if it means changing hospital protocols so patients in omaha and dallas and atlanta are being taken care of and we are solving the problem, we need to do that. it was important for me to be at the hearing because one of the leading companies developing is in ames, iowa.
they are developing a vaccine that is in clinical trials right now. rebuttal? >> this is a tragic disease sweeping through western africa, and we have seen it now on our mother to, and as a see families experiencing this, it is devastating. more,eve we need to do and unfortunately, our administration, including congressman braley, has been reactive rather than proactive. we have seen the threat from ebola for the past several months. i would encourage temporary travel bans, and additional screenings for travelers, continuing aid into those nations but also supporting those that are researching and coming up with cures and prevention. >> i have to respond to that
because one of the things senator ernst has made clear is she supported a radical plan to shut down the federal government, said she would have voted for it, and we learn today that dramatically cut the funding for the center for disease control and the national is the two don't help. it also dramatically cut foreign aid. you cannot say you support those things when the policies you are promoting would have made it more difficult to address this problem. that is why i pressed health and human services to get these contracts awarded so they can get the vaccine tested, get it in clinical trials in africa, which they are preparing to do, make this vaccine widely available so we can protect everyone -- people in the united states, people in west africa. that is what american innovation is all about. this is a huge tragedy, but we are seeing failed leadership
coming from president obama. we have seen the threat from ebola for the past several months. aly today do they call hearing to address lack of leadership within the departments. we should have moved this out. we should have been looking at travel bans much earlier than this before it ever came on american shores. >> that hearing was called by republican leadership and the house oversight and investigation committee. they were the ones that scheduled it. that's why i made the trip out involved, too be get some plain talk and honest questions. i released ay statement about ebola before the congressman did. he sits on this important committee. he could have been pushing for this a number of months ago. we have seen failed leadership from the administration. >> we are going to move to our next topic, which is an
important issue that needs to be discussed. when it comes to abortion and contraception you both have different points of view. we are hoping to get some clarity on your position to take we're going this slowly and go through several points, and then we'll have a chance for responses. the personhood amendment, meaning that a fertilized egg would be considered a person. here is the key line of that amendment. life ofienable right to any person at any stage of development shall be recognized and protected. this never passed, but the it did open the door to critics to ban allthat you want to abortions, certain types of contraception and you would be against in vitro fertilization. we know there is a lot here. we are going to give you a chance to be very clear on your position. we're going to go through each point one at a time.
do you believe life begins at conception? >> i do believe that, but i would like to respond to all of that. in supporting life, and i believe the united states and the state of iowa, we do support life. i want to believe that. i support life at conception, and i will always support life. issue, a very sensitive as you stated, so we do have to have civil discussions when it comes to this very issue. i will always support life. this is where we, as republicans and democrats, need to come together to find the areas we agree on when supporting life. we have donerea this as a past where democrats and republicans came together to ban partial-birth abortions.
reid, joe biden, they are democrats that supported that. congressman braley doesn't even ofee to that method preventing partial-birth abortion. >> should all abortions be banned, or are there exceptions? >> there would be certain exceptions, but it's something that has to be discussed. i support life. those things come together when there is consensus on what is legislation. right now there is not consensus, but i do believe in supporting life. >> you say there are exceptions. what would those be. but i support life, so going back to perhaps the life of the mother, i think that would be important. discussion needs to happen. >> let's go back to contraception. consider banning any specific form of contraception? >> no, as is where i have stood
up and said, i do support a acceptable,t to reliable, and safe contraception. the congressman has made many misstatements to that. byse have been rated false the washington post. he was given many pinocchios on this issue. i find it disconcerting that me, i am a woman, to be lectured on this issue of contraception is laughable. >> we're getting to the a moment.man in one question about in vitro fertilization. because the eggs will eventually be destroyed, do you think in vitro fertilization should be banned? >> i have a friend who has two beautiful daughters because of in vitro fertilization. i am glad she is blessed to be a mother. >> we are moving to a series of
questions for you. we would like to ask you to be ascific with your questions well. at what point during fetal development do you believe a woman should not have an abortion? >> i have always stated i oppose all late-term abortions that are not necessary to save the life or health of the mother. beby late-term, can you specific? >> it is a term that has a legal meaning because of existing law. when the rights of the mother and the rights of the child have significance in terms of deciding. >> to use overt -- support typeyers selecting the allowed? >> know, and she made a statement she supports the right to contraception, yet she supports a supreme court decision that allows employers to interfere with an individual
woman's health care decisions about contraception. she has voted to limit access to contraception, and she was to repeal the affordable care act, which would increase the cost for contraception for most iowa by $600 a year. >> do you support life? >> i do support life. >> experts looked at the amendment and concluded it is is ambiguous since abortion protected through roe versus wade. doesn't matter that mr. ernst ?upports life >> no, why else would the american college of obstetrics and gynecology, which takes care of pregnant mothers and babies, say the things in the personhood amendment would do all the things i have just said. it would outlaw all forms of abortion, including in the case
of rape and to the tech the life of the mother -- protect the life of the mother. it would interfere with in vitro fertilization. under her amendment she has said doctors should be prosecuted who perform illegal medical procedures. characterizing my position, especially when it comes to birth control, i will always support a woman's access to affordable, safe, and reliable birth control. i don't agree with the supreme court ruling, but that doesn't mean a woman can't get reliable, safe birth control. she can still go to her doctor and receive birth control. it is not outlawing birth control. a ploy to scare women. i will protect their access to birth control. let's make that clear. when it comes to deciding
whether there is life, you have said it is determined by law. there has to be consensus on these issues. consensus, is not there will not be a law. consequences,have and you cannot say you protect a woman's right to contraception and then vote against it on the senate floor. you cannot say you want to repeal the affordable care act, which provides free contraceptives services to women, and increase the cost by $600, and you cannot say you support that right and then say it is ok for employers to interfere with it. your words have consequences. they will raise the cost for contraception, and for someone and that will prohibit them from getting the services they need. >> we go back and forth. health head to another
care issue. let's talk about health care. actaffordable health care will soon be enrolling people. you have made it clear your mission is to repeal it. 20,000 adults under the age of asked. ..2 million cannot be those who have these amendments and come to rely on them and knowing how hard it is to get anything passed, can you explain theseey need to give up benefits now? >> every american deserves to have affordable, quality health obama care is not the answer, and i will tell you why.
obamacare is a job killer. we have seen that. it is a massive tax increase. $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years for the american people, and it takes our health care decisions out of our hands and places them in the hands of nameless, faceless bureaucrats in washington, d.c. i do not support obama care. the congressman voted for obama care and continues to defend it today. he promised us obamacare would lower health care costs. it has not. we heard last week health care costs are going up an average of 19%, so he was wrong. he said we could keep our policies and our doctors. he was wrong on that issue also. >> why is it a job killer? what is wrong because we're seeing is there are businesses right around the 50
employee mandate of being a big business, so what they are trying to do, they have evaluated the cost to their businesses, and they cannot oford to pay for these types plans under the affordable care act. they are lowering the number of full-time employees they have. they are not expanding their businesses. we have seen lots of jobs laid off over 100 employees, and they attributed it directly to obama care. >> what would you do to make sure that doesn't happen? >> i would repeal and replace obama care with patient centered health care that does address pre-existing conditions. you mentioned having children on the parents policies. we already have that in the state of iowa before obamacare was an act did. i believe we should allow insurance providers to sell over state lines tax credits to those who privately purchase
insurance, allowing small businesses to pool together their policies, just as we already allow large businesses make sure we would they address pre-existing conditions, and it must be affordable and work for iowa families. >> a quick rebuttal before we give you a chance to answer questions? like soundbites have consequences. when you say every american deserves affordable health care, there were 46 million americans who did not have access to affordable health care before the affordable care act became law. it is not perfect, but we need to fix it and improve it instead of voting 50 times to repeal it. that doesn't do anything to make it better. i voted to allow people to stay on policies for two years. i made it simpler for small businesses facing the heavy burden of paperwork, but we can go back to where we were. i had a two-year-old nephew
diagnosed with liver cancer. he is one of those children with a pre-existing condition who is affected by being unable to get coverage because of his pre-existing condition. no longer is the case. that is why the statistics you cited are important to iowans because it is making their lives better. >> give me a couple of quick will change.t you >> i gave you a couple of examples, but one of the biggest flaws was iowa doctors and iowa hospitals, was a flaw that penalizes great hospitals in iowa who do great work and get quality patient outcomes but don't get paid as much as doctors and hospitals in other parts of the country. that's why during the debate on the affordable care act i was their champion, to make sure they were getting fair pay and that we move to a system that rewards quality patient outcomes. that is were health care
reimbursement is heading. you pointed out 100,000 iowans now have coverage because i work for expand access to medicaid, and you talked about the enormous positive impact that has on iowans who have no insurance. >> under obama care, there are still 31 million americans that will not have health care. -- congresswoman has congressman has stated costs will not go up, but we are seeing heavy increase in costs because of the policy cancellation. you stated a few years back you would not change a thing about obama care, yet today you are saying, we do need to make some changes to the bill. you said you read every page of this bill. you highlighted it. either you didn't understand what was in the bill, or you were misleading iowans, and i don't know which one is worse.
>> i can't allow that to go unanswered, because it is not true. the reality is when you pass a huge change in how health care is delivered to millions of americans, there are bound to be some things you have to deal with along the way. at is what we have done. repealing the entire bill and taking health care away from millions of americans and adding ifts, premiums will go up you eliminate what is in place now. that is not a good thing. >> we are going to move on. heavye talked a lot about and important issues. we know you can talk about where you stand on the political landscape. >> only a fraction of those get a chance to ask questions face to face. i want to know one quality that makes you unique. what is it that sets you apart?
by fama bridgebuilder, not a bridge burner. i spent a lot of time getting to know the people i serve with, republicans and democrats. so ie them over for dinner get to know where they came from. i get to know about their is why i havethat had so much success to pass legislation that has been beneficial to iowans. when the national guard man was denied benefits and hardship pay by the pentagon, i have worked with republicans from minnesota to get their orders changed so they got paid the benefits they deserve. when i had a constituent who was denied a grant, i helped him get that said he could stay in his home. then i had him testify and introduce a bill so other veterans would have the same benefits because the program is going to expire. that is what iowans expect from
their senator. someone who can bring people together, not drive them apart. >> what unique thing is there that sets you apart. >> i would say i am a public servant. i have served in my state and my nation and many different capacities. with many different organizations at the community level. to myin committed hometown and my home community, but i have also serve my state and the iowa national guard. i don't do these things for personal gain. i do them because i believe in serving the public, whether it is a time of flood, whether it storms, makingr sure iowans are safe is important, but i have also served overseas during a time of
in kuwait and iraq. i believe that is important, but soundbites have important. i believe i have a responsibility to i would say that's burning bridges, congressman. >> we have a couple of questions here. i didn'tr ernst knows poke fun at senator grassley and she knows i talked to him that and apologized to him iowalbany parkgized to farmers because that's what iowaans do. if you're questioning my pure inrt, i have been an elder my church, taught sunday school and children and never seen a corporation sitting in youchurch p ew and yet believe that their interests outweighs those of women and
when it comes to contraception. thoset you say behind closed doors does matter to and maybe you did apologize to chuck grassley but a father is a farmer without law degree and i think he's done very well and i contribute to my mymunity, my state and nation and i am ready to serve the people of iowa. >> if you want to talk about behind closed doors, tell us about the meeting you had -- things to lighter talk about before we get heavy again. amanda? these are meant to be lighthearted because they're meant to help the voters you better. ms. ernst, who do you cheer for on saturdays? iowa or iowa state. am an iowa state cyclone as
long as they're not playing each other. >> senator braley? they play each other, i cheer for iowa state. mr. braley, say something that you admire about your opponent. admire something you about ms. ernst. fact thate the senator ernst has served our nation, our state and the iowa national guard. think it's a terrific attribute. war iier was a world combat veteran. >> same to you. braley is congressman a great father. >> let's move ahead. we've said something nice so maybe we turn the page and go the other direction a little bit. something uping b.t voters feel strongly b. the center for public integrity says $17.8 million has been spent on tv advertising only
october 1 and it will near $20 million or more before done.ection is you have to be living under a the commercials have been airing. through our viewers social media, many disgusted by negative advertising. from cedar rapids and he on your behavorial most.barrassed you we'll start with mr. braley. >> it wasn't run on my behalf but it was run earlier in the race that showed a bunch of people looking into this box and thought it was a horrible ad. i thought it was not an about theway to talk very real differences between us onlyis race and i'm the candidate in this race who has voted to try to limit the these outside groups, most of whom are funded
donors that the public doesn't know who's paying for the ads. when senator ernst and i put an up on television, we have to tellwho our donors are, how we spend the money. because of a supreme court decision which i think is one of threats to democracy there is, there is an unlimited outside groups to say whatever they want and distort our record and i think that's and i called during the last debate for senator ernst to in encouraging all these outside groups to take down the and make sure we know who the donors are behind ads. ms. ernst? >> thank you for that question. it has been a very, very negative campaign and it started the day after the primary in the day after i won the republican nomination, there was ad paid for by congressman braley's committee that compared chick. baby
i didn't appreciate that ad. to say ads run on my behalf, i really don't know because i don't watch television any longer. i don't pay attention to those been soause i've heavily outspent from the thesee with all of negative ads. my husband and daughter don't watch television anymore. very disheartening. when you have a failed record in tohington, d.c., you have tear down your opponent and that's what the democrats are trying to do. >> you don't watch tv these days? i don't watch tv. mentioned outside influence. the end of the commercials, not endorsed by the candidate. is it time to say endorsed by? to get secret money out of politics, period. that's what needs to happen so
a focus on the differences in issues between the candidates can tell, are very clear. just like you, my family and i don't watch tv anymore. how do you step up and make that happen? >> it's not what i will do, it's what i've already done. i'm thei'm the only one here tot votedg for senate who has to limit the influence of these outside groups. the disclose act to require transparency and paying forof donors these ads. >> what would you do, ms. ernst? i believe in political free speech and this is a way individuals are exercising political free speech, a first amendment right. it or whether we don't, and you don't, again, i'm outspent by outside interests in this race. i don't like it. in standing upe for our citizens' rights and have.s a right that they
>> senator ernst, you know you're not heavily outspent by outside interests and the big difference betweenous this issue that i'm willing to say to those outside interests, you take yourme clean and ads down. that's the difference between us in this case. outside groups are lying about my record. they're doing it to distract issues. real i'm here standing up for everyone in this room sick and will of these ads saying i work because the political free speech of secret donors is not more important than the political free speech of iowaans. that's why i will work for campaign finance reform that gives everyone's political voice the same clout. shouldn't be secret donors koch brothers who are spending money on tower
campaign. i am being mischaracterized in so many of the ads from the and yes, i have been about $2 million. that's a lot of money in iowa air time. it is really hard to combat that. 's andve earned pinocchio check, therei fact have been several issues, one is the birth control issue and the other is social security where i been mischaracterized on those issues. >> let's talk about social security. the social security trust fund under current conditions will 2033.t in the year neither of you has officially raising the retighter age. social security won't be solvent it continues. mr. ernst, you said you want to options for fixing the system without specifics but
have aley, you said you four-point plan that lacks details. have aley, we know you four-point plan. you said to grow the economy. that seems pretty vague. please name one fundamental support to keep the social security program solvent. this on saturday night. i think millionaires and billionaires should be paying of their earned income into social security as hard working iowans and the middle class and they're not plan wouldo my require them to do that and would dramatically increase the money in the social security trust fund and would increase benefits for seniors. but i also believe we need to wage, givee minimum pay raise and a put each year additional
the socialto security and medicare trust fund and we need to grow our economy do that iss we can by investing in our crumbling infrastructure. for every billion dollar we invest, it creates 25,000 new those workers will pay into social security's trust fund and those are concrete, things we can do to make social security solvent going forward. ms. ernst, you said you're open to options. one fundamental change you would support to keep the social security program solvent? i will always stand up and fight for social security and our iowa seniors, like my mom and dad. iowans that 600,000 security.cial sacred made those
bymises and we must stand those promises. this system will run out of money before i retire. we come to must not affect the benefits of those that are retired and those neither retirement. we must keep those promises. that i wouldon state we could do or one option statebe bringing in new and local workers that are not currently engaged in the social security system, bringing them in. however, the congressman has stated raising the minimum wage. would eliminate up to 20,000 jobs here in the state of iowa. 500,000 jobs nationwide. i don't see that that is a solution. you.ank >> president obama hoped that a high-powered air attack would help degrade and destroy isis, another important issue we want to get to. despite that, the islamic terror
move forwardes to and voters have renewed concerns. we'd like you to look at the monitor again. >> my name is adam, i live in theing, iowa, i served in united states army from 1996 to 2000. my question is, you both say you support the u.s. troops and agree we need to defeat isis and my question is how do you suppose we do that. do you both support putting troops in the middle east again? >> mr. braley, what do you say mr. velde tonight? >> first thing i say to adam is thank you for serving in the army. i know you're from senator harkin's home town of cumming, iowa. when i was in washington, d.c. today, i got an updated classified briefing on what's going on with isis. and some of the questions i asked were, what's the current the iraqingth of defense forces, because they degreatn significantly as a result of what's happening. the status of the new
government in iraq because it's absolutely critical to success against isis. i voted with my republican colleagues overwhelmingly to give the president limited moderate syrian rebels to coordinate with our on and i gotoing an update today on what our globe areund the willing to commit to combat this threat but isis must be that's why we need to be working to make sure they're eliminated because they need to be brought to justice or grave, period. >> ms. ernst? beisis does need to destroyed. they are extreme terrorists and we have seen this threat for of years nowmber as it has grown in strength. we commit to any military action -- and we are engaging in now -- i have several criteria i would need to evaluate. haveirst is do we
actionable intelligence which outlines the threat, and can we combating thatn threat. clearlys do we have a defined mission and will we put necessaryces forward to support that mission, and achieved thatve mission, do we have a withdrawal plan and will we care for our and their families upon their return. the congressman, i'm not sure issuehe stands on this because in june after mosul fell he voted for no combat funding in iraq yet today he's would support action. i want to follow up, what would be actionable intelligence for you? what would that be in terms we could grasp? >> it would be intelligence that threat to our national interests or safety as americans. could includeests
infrastructure, our allies in threatson, any of those that have been laid out and show ast we would be impacted americans. >> mr. braley? >> senator ernst knows the vote she's referring to had nothing to do with action against isis. 23fact, that's why republican members of the house thatd me in making sure before the president committed boots on the ground in iraq, he to come to congress and get authority to do that because the we can't continue to be the world's police force. lasttary gates in his address at west point said for any future defense secretary to advise an american president to a large-scale land war in the middle east, they ought to have their head examined. that's why i agree with senator criteria shethree says must be met to commit u.s. forces but you also have to make
case to the american people on why that investment of is necessaryblood and that hasn't been done yet. >> thank you. >> i believe that has done. think there is overwhelming support from the american people ofdealing with the threat isis. going back, this is again another issue that our president, the administration, and congressman braley, has been reactive rather than proactive. we know the president didn't ground following the closing of the iraqi against because -- even his senior military advisers, his own secretary of defense, leon panetta, advised that we keep troops on ground. and i know that the congressman voted to defund our men and women as they were serving in combat in iraq and afghanistan. >> senator ernst knows that last statement is not true because she knows that i voted to end a of u.s.ong commitment
ground troops in iraq, she knows minister, prime al-maliki, who refused to enter into a status of forces keep troops on the ground. are you saying tonight that you are prepared to commit u.s. the ground in iraq to deal with this threat and in syria? suggestingt you're president obama should have done? >> i am stating that i would criteria i have laid out before committing america's sons and daughters and that i haved you served in iraq. my boots were on that ground by isis.ow held so when we make these decisions, i take them very seriously. before i would commit our sons would sortrs, i through those criteria. we have to recognize that this is a threat that has been out there for years and we have an administration that has refused that this is a group that is killing innocent
christians, even americans. they need to deal with this threat. >> thank you. tore going to turn immigration issues. right now, the federal government and all government contractors must use the e-verify system when they hire an internet based system that identifies if the beson is legally eligible to hired and is more than 90% accurate but private businesses use it.mandated to by requiring all businesses to e-verify, you could potentially stop undocumented workers from being hired. would you support a bill that requires all businesses to use e-verify? >> you have to know what's it tocomeo cost businesses by and what seanss -- assistance you will provide to businesses that have difficulty providing that cost. know e verify can be very helpful and we shouldn't
encourage employers to hire ineligible to work in this country. challengest important is comprehensive immigration reform and i support the bill the senate passed that would strengthen our borders, add 20,000 new border patrol agents to the border to protect make us safer and provide a legal pathway to legal thezenship for those in country illegally by forcing them to admit they broke the a steep fine, go to the back of line, and make sure for're held accountable breaking the law. >> wouldn't e verify fix a lot of those problems you mentioned? it won't fix the problems of what we do about all of the thise who are here in country, and it won't solve the employersf all the struggling every day to deal with a work force that is changing. we see that happening here in
iowa. so we do need to promote respect for the rule of law and that's expanding e verify, because of its effectiveness, is a good idea. ernst, would you support a bill requiring all businesses to use e verify? a step inlieve that's the right direction but we need employers the cost to in making sure they're able to afford this system and providing the supports necessary to get that in place for private employers, but there is a greater issue with immigration. spent time overseas when i was at iowa state university, on an ag exchange, and when i was staying on that collective farm leadersoviet union, the of the collective all they wanted to do was talk about what american, what was it like to be free and experience the types of opportunities that we have in america. so i understand why families want to come to the united
and experience that american dream but we are a we areof immigrants and also a nation of laws so we need the existing laws but i believe we also need to secure the border. be done first. than an as more immigration issue but one of national security. >> i'm going to give you a brief question. ms. ernst, is there any scenario that you would support raising iowa voters? >> no, i believe that we can governmento make our more efficient without raising hard working iowaans. iowans like it see our keeping more tax dollars in own pocket so they can save for their children's pay theirucation and bills and buy a home. ire in the state of iowa,
implemented one of the largest tax cuts with the leadership of terry brandstat. the largest tax cut. iowans $4.4g billion over the next 10 years, of our economic plan which includes reducing job killing regulations and balancing the budget which we have done the past four years. raising you consider the tax on social security tax as an tax? >> it is an option that can be discussed out there but i think we have better options we can look at. >> mr. braley? >> senator ernst may think there are better options but you gave her the opportunity to explain them tonight and she didn't and the thing i will tell you is one of ournow biggest problems is we provide corporationss to that ship u.s. jobs overseas so i would eliminate those tax
would causend that the taxes for some of those corporations to go up and i most iowa voters can accept that reality. because they want a tax system fair for people in the working class. ernst has impressed support for a tax change to the way we currently tax people. she has impressed -- expressed 23% national sales tax that would dramatically increase the tax burden on families because it would be added to the existing 6% sales tax you pay you would be paying almost 40% on every dollar you spent on sales taxes and she's talked about that as an option to consider. i won't. >> he mentioned several points .here >> i do believe we need to lower iowansn hard working immediately which is something we have done with this tax cut have implemented here in
iowa, but then work over the reform our text system. i say scrap the i.r.s. let's start all over again. but we need a tax that is fairer, flatter and simpler. we do need to find an option. we need bipartisan support on make life better for hard working americans. we can't tax them to death and my opponent, congressman braley, that seems to be the answer for everything is higher taxes and more spending. that.'t keep doing >> senator ernst answered it."thing as "scrap scrap the i.r.s., get rid of it. get rid of the department of education, get rid of the epa, get rid of the clean water act. every solution she has is throwing darts at the board,
rid of programs that have had significant impacts and made a difference in lives of iowa? ns. to get the federal government out of the student loan business. privatizing them, interest skyrocket and students' lives would be worse off. to findthe solutions is problems, fix them, and make water,wans have clean clean air and the ability to get the education they deserve. no, would you raise the tax? >> i already said that i think who ship jobs overseas benefits get the tax they get right now and their taxes would go up. comes to taxing and spending, i would say the hisressman has made positions very clear. over the eight years he's served in congress, he's voted eight
times to raise our national debt .eiling the national debt has doubled in the time he's been in congress. is immoral. we are passing on a debt to our children and grandchildren. my daughter's share of the national debt is $50,000. we can't keep spending the way we are. i don't believe in a bloated bureaucracy. we need to return a lot of that power to the states because what's best. iowans are working for iowans. way is working. washington, d.c. is not. >> thank you both. hour, ibeen a quick guess we could say here for some parts. we've had a pretty good discussion. joining uste you around the table. thank you for the answers to our questions. find -- wind down this wantlong discussion, we the candidates to share their views.
yourraley, start with closing thoughts, please. >> congress isn't working right reason isrt of the gridlock andrtisan one of the reasons for that people who aren't willing to work together to get things done. i'm a bridge builder, not bridge and i have a proven record of working with republicans to improve the lives iowans. iowans have been blessed to have over the last 30 years, chuck grassley and tom harkin, who have been able to put differences aside to advance an agenda helpful to iowa. harkin'sllow in tom footsteps. i've worked with chuck grassley protecting the fuel act. as your next senator, i'm going
get up every morning thinking about what i can do to make your toes better and i'm going focus on economic policies that are going to strengthen the that's what because iowans have always depended upon agriculture, in education, in energy. on economy has been based hard-working iowans who get up every day and do what's the job done.et as your senator, i'm going to work hard to make sure your lives are better. i'm here tonight to ask for your help and ask for your vote. thank you. you.ank ms. ernst? >> thank you so much to our hosts this evening. been a pleasure to be here with you. thank you, congressman, very joining me on this stage. tonight i think you have seen very clear differences in this race. i am not a washington politician.
up on my family farm in southwest iowa. soldier,ther, i am a and i am an independent leader who cares very deeply about the nation that we are leaving our children and grandchildren. don't support congressman braley's policies, president obama's policies of higher taxes, more spending, obamacare, amnesty -- the list goes on and on. failedsman braley has a record in washington and because the mosthe is running negative campaign that iowans have ever seen. believe in the iowa way. i believe iowans know what's thanfor iowa more politicians in washington and if you trust me with your vote on november 4. i will fight hard for middle class families so they have better paying jobs. will work for the thousands of iowans who are facing higher
costs because of obama care and i will protect and medicare for our seniors because they have sacrificed so much that our can reach for the american dream and as your next willd states senator, i fight washington to change washington to make sure more thatcans can achieve american dream. >> thank you both for being with us tonight. political coverage does not stop after tonight's debate. online so goto be and siouxwadom forxlandmatters.com political coverage. at home andthose here who have watched this evening. here on the campus of morningside college in sioux city, iowa, thanks for joining us. good night. >> thank you.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] c-span,p next on newsmakers features stu the rothenberg amy waters.port and later, the alaska senate debate beg itch and republican challenger jim sullivan. >> the 2015 c-span student cam video competition is underway open to all middle and high school students to create a five to seven-minute documentary on
theme, the three branches and you, showing how a policy, or action by the legislative branch of the government has affected you or your community. there's 200 cash prizes for totalingand teachers $100,000. on newsmakers, amy theers, national editor for cook political report, and stu rothenberg. questioning,th the jean cummings, deputy managing politics,bloomberg thesteve dinan of "washington times." what will tuesday night look like? >> i wish i knew exactly the contours of the evening. there is some uncertainty in terms of turnout. democrats are counting on bringing people to the polls. who didn't appear in 2010. i am assuming the national dynamics are going to hold and help republicans.
the president is in difficult shape. at least that's what most polls show. the country feels like we are headed in the wrong direction. and there is general dissatisfaction and frustration. i think that will produce an election of change. and right now, the republicans are not in the white house, so they should be the beneficiaries. i think they will have a good night in both the house and senate. >> one of the headlines last friday is that this will be a a record bad night, for the president. how so, potentially? >> if you look at midterm elections going back 50 years or 60 years, the combination of the first midterm in this second obama midterm could produce losses not seen since the eisenhower-truman administration. we are talking about a two midterm sequence we have not seen for over 50 years. >> let me turn to jean cummings politics.rg >> one of the things i wonder, amy, is, given the headwinds
that stu just ran through, the democrats should be already gone we saw blanche lambert in the last round of midterms. everyone knew she was going to lose by labor day. and yet they are still within one point, two points, here and there, in the senate races in particular. why are they hanging around? >> that's a good question. in 2006, we saw the same thing where you had some republican incumbents. that was the wave election on the other side. they were the walking wounded. they were not going to come back. i think you have two things going on. the first is, regardless of how ultimatelyound game turns out for democrats, the fact is, they have been able to improve it from where it was in 2010. they have brought new people into the process. you are seeing some of that in the polls. that is why there is not a 10 or 15 point gap between the republican and democratic candidate. a lot of these folks are incumbents. it is still tough to be an when people are frustrated. finally, the alternative is not
something that voters are particularly interested in. you are talking about a republican party, if they do win control of the senate, will come with lower approval ratings than the president. when we have a change election, it is, we want this person that is going to do better at whatever this other party is not good at. in this case, the voters are saying -- >> at bloomberg politics, we had a democratic polling expert. he sees the same indicators you speak of. what he said was, they want to punish obama, but they don't want to reward the republicans. that is why the choice is so hard and why the voters are stuck. >> that is why, on election night, when they have to make that choice, that is why the margins may increase. one or two points may end up being five or six points. or if the ground game worked, then what should have been a five or six point race in favor of republicans will be tighter
because they brought in different voters. >> i would add one other thing. i think some democrats in difficult races are running good races. a terrificis running race. mark pryor was better positioned than blanch, and he saw what happened to her. and made sure it did not happen to him. he is a clear underdog, but he is running a good race. the democrats have done a nice job localizing a number of these contests. north carolina, certainly. kansas, georgia. so give the democrats some credit in the -- i don't think it's quite a you hurricane, but be as the potential to pretty strong republican storm. to steve dinan, editor for the "washington times." >> step back real quick on all three, the senate, democrats on the of defensive here. governorship is very mixed, but democrats may be slightly on the offensive there. house, not much going on at all.
what's the difference there? why the difference between one party on the offense at the statehouse level and the other party on offense in congress? >> that is a great question. i wish i had an answer i was totally confident of. first of all, i think there is a difference between the federal races and the state races. in terms of the contest between the house and senate, look at the partisan division, barack obama, going to washington, hill.l so democrats are on the defensive in both the u.s. house senate. in the house, republicans are kind of hitting up on their ceiling, so they do not have the upside potential. the governors races, the problem that many governors and incumbent governors have, the governors,incumbent has to do with the angst out there and the frustration. you have this strange situation of republican governors in kansas and alaska being in real
trouble, might not win re-election. but republicans might win in massachusetts, connecticut, and rhode island. maryland may be competitive. i think it reflects general dissatisfaction with government, the direction of the country, and people's sour mood. >> with the governors, it is personality-based as well. a lot of governors in trouble are not in trouble simply because of the economy. because of the angst. in some ways, you look at a place like florida or maine or pennsylvania, where the race is really about the personality of that candidate. that has put them in a difficult position they are in, much more so than the national environment. >> you look at what they have done in many cases. you had quinn in illinois, who raised taxes substantially, is in trouble. and brownback in kansas, who cut them substantially, is in trouble. his policiesinly,
have gotten him in trouble. rich stewo me it is a they're facing. >> which is true. but at the same time, it is about how you put those policies in place. this is where north carolina and example, another example where legislature has of thoser in both states. one party state. you saw north carolina moved to an ideological right agenda. an ideological left agenda. the governor of colorado is a democrat. is he seeing the effects of that, stepping over that boundary there? at the same time, there is also the way that those candidates relate to the public and personality and the way they decided to govern, in terms of their style. >> stu rothenberg, you maryland. in you live in maryland. i wonder if this feels a little like bob ehrlich, who won a
different race. different candidates. this has been one of those campaigns under the radar. polling shows it is much tighter than democrats expected. >> i feel like i lived in maryland, so i pay less attention to maryland. i am not sure who my state senator is. i guess maryland was not on my radar screen until very recently, until we had strong survey data showing that something was happening there. and i have been doing this all long time. i probably fell into the trap of being more dismissive than i should have of hogan and the republicans' opportunity. it is true. i spent more time focusing on races in kansas and colorado than i do in my own backyard. so i don't talk to people in my neighborhood. i don't talk to people in maryland about taxes. so this is a classic case that it was right on me and i did not notice it until i had to see survey information from other places.
i guess it is possible that the feeling toward lieutenant governor is pretty strong. governor o'malley is leaving office not popular at all. i guess there is an opportunity there. it is really uphill in maryland. for any republican. it takes a quirky set of circumstances for an upset. >> let me toss up a jump ball you.ither of these races that have come under radar recently. at the beginning of the year, there were three categories of races out there. there were the ones that we knew -- south dakota, montana, west virginia -- where republicans had good chances. there are the purple states where republicans had a chance of being competitive -- north carolina. that. then there are a bunch of states republicans wanted to put on the radar -- new hampshire, colorado, and virginia. and in two of those, they seem to have put them on the radar, new hampshire and colorado. virginia, there has been recent polling suggesting it might be
than we thought. but mike warner has done a pretty good job keeping them off the radar. what is the difference with those races? do --d scott brown >> can i add three other races? the races they wanted to put on the radar that were not on there -- oregon, michigan, and minnesota. >> right. so some of it is personality-based in terms of the quality of the candidates. and mark warner's ability, from being the governor and having the name i.d. he has and the persona that he does -- he started in a much stronger place, i think, than almost any other incumbents. well?ld shaheen apply, as >> it would have been shaheen if that state were not such a friendly retail state that gets a ton of attention. when you look at the first set of polls out of new hampshire, it looked like shaheen was all set. she has some of the same profiles as mark warner. governor, senator, everybody her.
you can spend the summer, as scott brown did, going to every single town in new hampshire, under the radar. we also thought new hampshire would be a place that would get so much national attention, but the national media looked at those polls and said, not that close. let's go to colorado and north carolina. so he was able to do all of that under the radar, and we woke up after labor day and said, this race is pretty close. loves to hampshire swing. every single election, if there's the slightest bit of a wave, it goes is. whatever the trend >> that first congressional district is a doozy. >> those congressional districts have gone back and forth every year. voters there, i think, are more inmed for that than virginia. >> in terms of the races the wanted -- the other three races republicans wanted to put on the oregon, michigan and minnesota, it has to do with how is. the blue
those are deeper blue states than new hampshire, north carolina, or virginia. i think partisanship is a significant factor. i believe candidate recruitment important, though. inky lin lam got a lot of in michigan. but most people i talked to found her of more limited appeal candidates. it has to do with the combination of candidates and partisan. virginia, i think that is so expensive. northern virginia has become such an important part of the vote, and it is hard to change the mix. i'm going to ask you about two dynamics. alison grimes asked repeatedly whether she voted for the president and did not answer the question. how damaging was that her campaign? >> don't know if we were already, it seems, moving in one that happened.e mitch mcconnell had been shaky from the beginning of the race.
he sort of solidified himself by the time these comments came to light. i don't think he has it in the bag and i don't think he had it either.ag then, but i think it reminded folks here -- it may have also reminded voters about what they about allisonn to grimes, why they weren't feeling out thefident in taking minority leader and replacing grimes. allison >> after the president said, i am not on the ballot, but my policies are, and you talked to democrats -- >> they did not really love that so much. there was not one democrat that said, i am so happy that he said that. the reality though, for so many of these senators, is that it is not really what the president said. it's actually the way that the senate has been run by their leader, harry reid, the votes have come up,
no amendments are allowed, means that there is no way for a democrat in the senate to distance themselves from the party.l any vote that comes up is one all the democrats would support. that meant that every single one of those senators has a 97% voting record. >> there is one really big aberration, and that is on gun control. it has been interesting to see how the nra, after several democrats stood by them at a really difficult time to do it, right after the shootings in sandy hook -- they withstood withering criticism from their liberal allies and colleagues in the senate. and now the nra is running ads for people who are running against them. there was a case where they did have a vote that differentiated themselves, and yet they cannot
use that to their advantage. why not? >> didn't the n.r.a. stay out of alaska? ofthey might have stayed out alaska but they're in other states. in arkansas and louisiana. that is a case where there was risk taken and no reward. >> right. >> it is party control and control of the senate. that seems to trump everything else. by the way, i want to disagree with you. you might be right, but i'm still going to disagree. i think the kentucky senate race is over. i think it has been over for a week or two. i think the arkansas senate will -- race has been over for a couple of weeks. i think there is an understandable inclination to keep these races in play so we can talk about them and do back and forth. >> steven dinan. >> i want you to keep going on
that list. what else is already out of play that we do not know? who else is already gone, who they may not know it yet? >> you want me to crawl out on givelist, you want me to you a saw? >> they will be playing this the day after the election. >> i would say kentucky is off the list. i think arkansas is off. louisiana is probably done. can mary landrieu win in the of events?uence i guess so but i can't imagine. i don't think alaska is quite off the table. we do not know who was going to vote up there. all the pollsters i talked to, republican and democrat, say it is hard to pull up there. -- poll up there. i don't think that is off the table. almost all the other races are. >> what about colorado? >> definitely on the table. we moved a race from toss-up to toss-up tilting republican. i think cory gardner does have a
two or three point advantage. but huge uncertainty as to what the mail vote means. state of michael bennett and guy cecil, they have a lot of experience in the state. i would not call it off the table. be gardener or udall right now, i'd be gardener. think the race is over. >> and georgia? >> i am still somewhat convinced it goes to a runoff. you have to get 50% of the vote, the top two vote getters go to a runoff. i would not be surprised if we see this kind of momentum that republicans are carrying make its way, through the weekend, through tuesday, pretty able to withstand it. >> both the republicans are already calling in lawyers. >> they should, because it is that close. close. that >> absolutely. >> which is really remarkable. why do you think that one is so close?
>> i love georgia because it's a going to be talking 2018, 2020.6, we saw it with virginia, north carolina a few years later, and now georgia. you are seeing states that were ine red, purplizing, and some cases turning blue. georgia is the next on the list. this is examination of demographics, a combination of a candidate in mercial drawn-out long process and a republican problematic. is you put all that together, even in a bad year for democrats. it goes to show you the demographic infrastructure that is going to be a benefit to democrats going forward. >> we talked about georgia and louisiana, the two places where there is the possibility of a runoff. hypothetical.ut a
let's say they both go on a runoff. is there a possibility president obama does this immigration executive order between now and other times? wouldn't that erase essentially chances for democrats to win those states if he were to do an executive order on immigration those runoffs?f >> i have also talked to democrats who say, why would the democratic president come out with the epa rules that he did, in the middle of a very tough midterm election, with so many democrats up in red states, kentucky especially, where issues like coal are going to dominate? so i do not think that necessarily goes into the thinking process. to -- they're going >> did he kick the can down the road initially as a purely political decision? >> on immigration, definitely. >> maybe he could kick it again. it's an interesting union topic. is >> the bottom line -- will we
know, election night, who has control of the u.s. senate? >> i will know, because i know who is going to win the runoffs. but will the public at large, will we know? >> yeah. what do you think? >> i feel like we will. >> probably. >> i feel like we will. what you come to find as you get into election night and you are watching the exit polls, the states and congressional districts -- not just the senate races. as you see it races start to break, these races usually all break one way. you see an outlier here and there, but most of the closest races break to one party or the other. >> when colorado is called? >> iowa. >> and don't you think we will know by north carolina? >> we could. if north carolina goes, or any goes --hose if north carolina goes, i think that is a very good indicator that colorado will go. >> and iowa would go, and all the others. >> even if it was 50-48, the
runoffs in louisiana and georgia that possible? 50 to 48 with runoffs in georgia --nd even if that was the case, landrieu would be 51. she would control a louisiana. that would be a terrible position. i think we'll have a good idea. >> i think she would take it, though. >> lord knows mary landrieu would not go down without a fight. >> house, senate, governor, democrat or republican, who has run the best campaign? campaign?d the worst >> it is easiest to do the worst campaign. the pat roberts campaign up until the last two or three weeks has been somewhat terrible. the purdue campaign, which is a big, in part, the candidate as as the campaign. i think stu is exactly right when you look at some of these bagich,ic races like
landrieu, pryor. kay hagan has done a fantastic job. that is somebody who at the beginning of this year, we would have put her at the top of the list, most likely to lose election night. she is a freshman, not very well known. it is a tough state. i think she has done quite well. pat roberts is the worst. >> pat roberts is the worst. i think the best are mark begich and cory gardner. cory gardener's run a terrific campaign. good ground game. great candidate. he is happy. he is upbeat. he smiles. he seems to enjoy himself around the country. are complaining and grumbling and everything's miserable. he is happy. refreshing. cummings, bloomberg politics? >> may i throw out my personal favorite? >> please. florida's governor. that is the worst campaign in america. >> it may be the worst race in
america. >> the candidate. >> what i love about that race is, both of them have such high unfavorables that no matter what happens in na, they would have someone they can't stand. >> yeah, that's what it basically comes down to. >> there is a lot of animosity, personal dislike, distrust. there has been recent stuff in the last few days. one has rick scott ahead in one. a miami herald poll. quinnipiac had charlie crist ahead narrowly. it's a very close race. a classic case of a jump poll. -- ball. they do not have "none of the above" in florida. >> i wanted pursue that, the none of the above. races, kansas,e they're essentially -- when we've had a republican and jumprat and an independent in, that became the "none of the above." in a lot of these races, democrats chances for keeping control of the senate may hinge on an independent in kansas, or
an independent turned democrat in florida. obviously, an independent was playing a role in maine until recently, and may still play a role. >> north carolina. >> talk about the independent, what you are seeing in terms of support for independent candidates in this election. is it more than we have seen, the same as we have seen? >> i think florida, north carolina, it is largely a reflection of a bunch of voters who are unhappy with the major candidates. but otherwise, congress's rating is terrible. low.resident's rating is the republican brand is horrendous. the democratic brand is only slightly better. broad-basedno third-party movement. i think it's very individual third-party --a elliott cutler, who's run before, is a third-party well.ate so he's doing but it's an unusual situation. i guess i don't see the angst
you might think there would be, given the numbers. >> one of my colleagues raised the question today -- there was a group, americans elect, that spent millions in the presidential cycle, getting their third-party on the ballots, trying to recruit candidates, millions of dollars invested in that, and it all sputtered out. he raises the question -- did they miss the cycle? if they had that much infrastructure and brought it to the senate races, could they in kansas -- ormond was on their board. could they have played harder with independents during this particular cycle? >> i will raise two points. the first is, we see the number of people who say they are independent continue to grow. most are not independent. if you break down -- something like 42%. numbers a fewese
months back. once you break them into people who lean one way or the other, the core of true independents is 10%. it is still a small percentage. we also assume independent means moderate. that has been sort of turned off by the partisanship of either party. in many cases, these people are either more conservative or more liberal than the democratic or republican party. they feel like the parties lost me because they are not conservative enough, not liberal enough. >> that was the case in maine. >> that is part of it. so i think that we assume -- we make some assumptions about independents that we have to be about. the second is that midterm thisions, we'll see it in election certainly, that it's not the kind of election that attracts independent swing voters because the goal is to
base, right?ut the you are really speaking to that core of voters. it is hard to get independents or not as engaged voters to turn out in a midterm year when there is not a president at the top of the ticket. be a lot of work as an independent to go and, against therunning system but you're running up against the fact that many interested.ot as >> people do not want to throw their vote away. unless you had an independent who is so well funded -- probably means personal money -- that he or she could run ads and gain visibility, the independent vote melts away throughout the election cycle. you need somebody like ross perot, who has incredible personal resources and can match the major party candidates in terms of visibility -- but that is very rare. you have quirky states, alaska,
maine, where there is a tradition of this, but mostly there is not. >> charlie cook predicting between 5-12 seats for the republicans. what kind of a night will it be for speaker boehner? >> the question is how many seats they gain. there is a possibility that if they picked up 12 or 13 seats, they would have a bigger majority than any time since back to the 1920's, i think. this is a high water mark. where democrats have been from the beginning is, they were playing defense in the same way democrats in the senate were playing defense. what seems to have happened in the last few weeks, i do not know if it is panic on the part of democrats, but concern in states we do not additionally -- traditionally being problematic for democrats -- new york, california, llinois. nevada. some of this is due to the fact there is so little attention at the top of the ticket.
jerry brown having an easy race in california. andrew cuomo does not have a major opponent up in new york. in those places where there is not the localization, you are going to see democrats losing in districts where they should be winning or would win in the presidential year. >> after the 2012 election, we were talking about hispanic voters and their importance to president obama's win. we have regularly talked about the gender gap and what that will do. what group of voters will we be talking about after tuesday? >> old white men maybe. midterm electorates tend to be older and whiter. i do not know. i think it is a great question. when people say, who is going to win, i say, tell me who votes. a laugh at me, these experts.
it is about turnout. i remember going back to the democratic senate campaign committee more than a year ago. here is how we are going to compete in arkansas. we are going to turn out african-americans. they had a strategy in alaska. congressional democrats, that is one thing. democrats understood from the beginning the big problem with the cycle. forget the president's problem. even without the president's problems, you have the midterm turnout problems. they made a major effort. if the democrats hold onto the senate and only lose two or hree house seats, and will be saying, wow, they got young voters to turn out, african-americans. like we never thought they would be again. 2012, 18-20-year-olds, how great the obama campaign was a second time. if they lose eight senate seats and 12 house seats, we will probably say the electorate was
older and whiter, and went strongly for the republicans. if the democrats do not hold their margin among women -- younger women may not turn out. -- may turn out. >> the one indicator we have to see how they are doing is early voting. how are they? >> can i complain about early voting for a second? >> sure. >> the problem with trying to analyze early voting is that i personally do not have the voter file in the states and do not have the data the campaigns have. i see the ballots but do not know anything about them. the question is, can democrats get those people who did not vote in 2010 out to vote? how many republicans versus how many democrats means nothing to me if they are voters who are oing to come out anyway. i need to know what
percentage. you talk to folks on the ground, you have access to this in a place like colorado, they will tell you, we feel pretty good but we are not at the place we need to be, in terms of getting those new voters or expanding that electorate. in iowa, i think you are seeing some of that same concern. do i think they will turn out some of those voters that did not turn out in 2010? yes. will it be enough? there we go. >> if you look at the polling numbers, the president at a 41% approval rating. why is he so unpopular? is there anything this white house could have done that could have changed the dynamics? >> so -- we have six years of an administration. the president made numerous decisions that were controversial that crossed his party lines. the other party did not. some decisions his party did
not like. scar tissue builds up after six years of the presidency. i happen to think his biggest problem is -- there are two things going on. one is, the perception has grown, and frankly it was not created by some outside force, that the president is detached and has not shown the leadership skills some people thought. the second thing is, the mood of the country is very sour. we have some pretty good economic news. it's not all good. but there is wage growth and the like. gdp numbers are up. unemployment numbers are down. there is some reason for optimism. the public does not seem to want to buy it. i think it is the drumbeat of bad news since the government shutdown. since then, we had the launch
of the health care website. we had putin in ukraine. we had beheadings, isis, ebola. i've joked saying that the next thing is a martian invasion. it is a drumbeat of bad news. i think it has weighed on the american public's psyche. if you feel miserable, you cannot even feel good about good news, because you are depressed about everything else. that is the essence of the problem. i do not doubt that some of his decisions and style maybe even contributed to that. but i think it is bigger than that. >> could the white house have done it differently? >> they knew what this map would be like from the beginning. they talked about, let's turnout latino voters, african-american voters. the struggle for democrats has been, they had to outperform the president even at his highest point in 2012. this really was a, can the
candidates themselves in these races outperform the president? and what does not help is the nationalization of the races. anytime the mood is as bleak as it is -- >> we would agree that if the president's job approval was up, these candidates would be in much better shape. how could he have gone from40 to 48? >> you know what? it is not just among the older white voters you are talking about. i heard about this this week. if you look across all the groups in the obama coalition -- younger voters, women, latinos, people making less than $75,000 a year, unmarried women -- his numbers have all dropped precipitously.
when your own base is not that excited about you, it is hard to turn them out, even if you have the best ground game in the history of the world. >> it seems to me that the nationalization of this midterm came very late. it started a little bit around isis, and then ebola pushed it over the edge. is that where you all see it? >> i think that stu is right. it started with the obamacare website, and that became the issue. that, i think, encouraged -- >> have they started backing off the obamacare issue? >> they have not. they have spent as much money on ads on obamacare now -- >> they think it is the single most important way they are getting voters out in the election. >> it is not an issue they will talk to among swing voters, because you are right. you have made up your mind on obamacare. everyone in this country has
made up their mind. they are using it in a targeted way to say, "got to keep you angry, base. come out and vote. >> distancing yourself from the president, how does that get the base to the polls? you cannot do it successfully anyway. >> the way i would respond to the question -- it is a very good question -- is this. i try to put myself in the place of the voter. this election was not nationalized in february, march, and april, but folks were not seriously thinking about the election. a pollster asks you a question, what is your opinion, you do not have an opinion. he process of making a decision does not kick in until later in the cycle. you have a general election. >> everyone is >> giving democrats credit in north carolina, for instance. four talking about education. everybody was giving them a lot
of credit about that. they are not talking education down there anymore. tillis was one of the first ones out to criticize the president on isis. he did not stop. ebola comes along and he ramps in that argument and that race is nationalized. maybe just isis. >> that's a good example. >> i think you bring up a good point. republicans needed some way to nationalize this, and so the obamacare message has run its course in the sense it was not going to move any more voters. it was just going to motivate. how are you going to move people on the fence, feeling kind of bleak? don't really know why. not feeling that confident. as these international affairs started to happen, that was a great vehicle. >> tillis was on a defensive early on. financially, republicans have not had the resources. the democrats introduced tillis
to the entire state in a way that they demonized him and hammered him over the legislature and abortion and voting rights. he was unable to get traction. you are exactly right. i think it is relatively recent that he has been able to say, this election is more than about the state legislature. >> steven knight, i want to ask you about another state we hear about democrats vowing to make a push, turn red to blue repeatedly -- texas, where they have wendy davis as the gubernatorial candidate. it does not seem like it is going to work out for her. the way the polling shows, abbott may be close to getting 50% of hispanic votes. is texas poised to go purple soon, or is this proof that texas is still red? >> a very good question. the focus on texas -- i would make the argument the focus should be on georgia, if i were a democrat, rather than on texas.
i think that is more primed to turn than texas. part of the reason is that point. hispanic voters there are much more open to voting for republicans than they are in some of these eastern seaboard and west coast states. they think the republican governors, whether it was george w. bush or rick perry, actually made an effort to court the hispanic vote as opposed to trying to push them away. there is that. abbott has done that as ell. that is the way you are successful as a republican in the state. you cannot deny the importance of the hispanic vote. white voters are simply much more conservative than they are in a place like virginia or north carolina, and increasingly in a place like georgia. it is even harder for democrats to go and get that coalition that you would get in a state like virginia. >> i would say states do move.
1980, delaware was a swing state. i do not think we consider it a swing state anymore. sometimes there can be a dramatic change over four years. west virginia changed quickly. alaska, louisiana, arkansas have done it quickly, but were slow to realign. there is a tendency for analysts to try to be ahead of every curve and point at georgia or texas to have realigned. david purdue would be six points ahead if he had run a bad campaign and screwed up on outsourcing. texas could realign, but not in the next six years. population trends are slow. people moving from state to state, it takes a while. those states will come, but not now. >> since we're talking about the future, i wanted to ask you guys about 2016 -- you mentioned earlier the way the senate has been run, leaving a lot of these folks with not much of a chance to distance
themselves. harry reid, what are his prospects for 2016? >> that is a good one. >> he is running. we assume he is going to run. >> harry reid? >> for re-election. >> thank you. [laughter] >> i was like, yeah, you know. >> let's assume he does run for reelection, what he has done in the past is cut everyone at the ass. no strong candidates can get in the race. any candidate who gets in the race cannot raise money. republicans have a good candidate who's well funded and will have another barn burner. i remember that one race was a squeaker. it is an evenly divided state.
>> the former congressman said a warm mammal would have beaten harry reid in 2010, and they got the one candidate who could not pull the race through. he is obviously very well unded. do you expect to see harry reid in the senate in 2017? >> i would not bet against it, because we will get a nasty hone call. >> whether it is tom steiger on the left or the koch brothers on the right, how influential as outside money been? >> i think it has set the table in a lot of these races. i think it came in and polarized these races earlier than ever. i do not know that it had the ability to swing a race one way or the other. i think the candidate still matter, and the campaigns they ran. it came in, took the state, and turned to the kind of state we would see in october, the red
to blue line up. that was way back in march. >> it is an interesting question. i am not sure how to answer it. in some ways, it is all about advertising money. these democratic senate seats that are going to be lost, in a sense, it was wasted. all the republican money that went into states that did not flip or come into play was wasted. the outside groups, they want to play. they have the right to play. they have plenty of incentives to play. some of it is to play so they can raise more money and play the next election and pay themselves to play. the money, when you look at it -- there is so much money out there, and it does not move the numbers. and yet it is kind of mutual assured destruction. as long as one side spends, the other has to spend, and it mostly cancels out. that will not stop the
spending. >> what one state do you think will set the table on election night, one state you are looking at that will tell you which way it is going? >> iowa would be that one state. where it goes, i think, will tell us. earlier in the night, it is north carolina or new hampshire. the republicans, i think that is a good night for republicans. >> new hampshire, i never expected scott brown to get this close. looks like he is pretty close. right now, we are expecting democrats to hold on to both house seats. carol shea-porter, it is not easy. if we see the senate race and one of the two new hampshire democratic members of congress, that would be a be indication it would be quite a good republican night. >> stu rothenberg, amy walter, and joining us, stephen dinan of the washington times, jeanne cummings of bloomberg news. thank you for being with s.
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>> good morning, everyone. and welcome to the voter i.d. panel. it's nice to see so many familiar faces in the audience from across the world and a number of places that we work. as i was preparing for this panel, i was going back and thinking about the countries where i worked previously and i think in most every single country there's been some sort of an i.d. requirement in order for people to vote. in some cases we've seen countries where there might have been just a voter i.d. required. in some places we've seen maybe there are three, four i.d.'s that are applicable and in some cases, like for instance when i was in kosovo, they had 64 different combinations of i.d. cards in order to be qualified to cast your ballot on election
day. so there's a broad range of solutions when it comes to the voter i.d. challenge. i think the debate that's currently ongoing here in the u.s. is very relevant to working in the international field. we have basically some arguing that a new, tighter voter i.d. law has led to voter suppression or marginalized people and we have others arguing that voter fraud is a reality in the u.s. system and therefore by having more stringent i.d. requirements we can curtail and contain the problem with the voter i.d. so in order to ask -- answer some of these questions, we have two eminent scholars with us and practitioners here with us today. to my far right, we have professor justin levitt. he's an expert in election law with a scholarship cited by the u.s. supreme court. he has testified before
committees of the u.s. senate, the u.s. civil rights commission, state legislative bodies and federal and state courts. he also presented before the mexican electoral tribunal. and he has served on several campaigns including the 2008 national voter protection council. and to my immediate right we have mr. hans. he's the manager of the election law reform initiative at the heritage foundation. he's an authority on a wide range of issues, including civic rights, civil justice, the first amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform. and as the manager of the think tank's election law reform initiative, he has studied and written on campaign finance restrictions, administration of elections, voter fraud and of course voter i.d. and he's very well represented on a number of the tv and radio outlets, including a prolific
author of a number of commentaries in the nationwide media. so thank you very much for accepting to be a part of this panel. the setup we're having here today in order to maximize the amount of exchange between the audience and the panelists, i've asked them kindly to restrict themselves to 10, maximum 15 minutes of introductory remarks stating their case and where they think the issues are when it comes to voter i.d. in the u.s. and then we will open up for questions and answers. so, with these few words, i'm handing over to mr. hans as agreed between the panelists that he would start first. the floor is yours. >> thank you very much. and welcome to the united states. we're glad to have you here. you got an introduce of me as a lawyer and a write br these topics but i want to you understand also that i come at
this from a practical standpoint. because i actually have been an election administrator down at the local level. i was on a county registration and election board in the state of georgia where we were responsible for voter registration and running the polls on election day in the largest county in the state. i recently left another county electoral board in the state of virginia, fairfax county, where i think many of you may be going to observe tomorrow. and fairfax county also is the largest county in the state of virginia. so i have a lot of practical experience in what it's like to register individuals to vote and running a polling place on election day and then counting the votes at the end of the day once all the ballots have been cast. now, you may be a little
confused by this whole debate about voter i.d. we are one of the only western democracies that does not uniformly require a photo i.d. when you go vote. now, part that have is because of the fact that we have, as i'm sure you've been briefed, a very decentralized election system. there is no federal agency at the national level that runs elections in this country, including federal elections. which we are about to have tomorrow. those were all run down at the local level, usually by county governments, in some states even by townships, town governments. currently we have about 31 states out of 50 that require some form of i.d. when you vote. about half of those states require a photo i.d.
now, in every state that requires a photo i.d., the law has also been tasked to provide a photo i.d. to anyone that doesn't already have one. opponents of this will say, well, there's no voter fraud in the united states and therefore we really don't need this kind of an honor system. well, two years ago i published a book with my co-author that which we go through case after case after case of voter fraud. in the last months we've had individuals indicted for voter fraud in this country in mississippi, where the fraud actually changed the results of a mayor's race, in connecticut where a state legislator was indicted on 19 counts of voter fraud, we had a case just recently in tennessee where a
woman was indicted for buying votes, which of course is illegal in this country. and just yesterday the associated press reported on a man in the state of new mexico who showed up to vote and was told that he had already voted. someone had shown up three days prior and had cast a ballot in his name. now, when they went back and checked, according to the story, the signature of the prior voter did not match the signature on file with the government. new mexico is one of the states that does not have an i.d. requirement. the u.s. supreme court, which as you know is the highest court in the united states, upheld requiring a photo i.d. in 2008. six years ago. and the justices said, when they upheld that opinion, that
unfortunately the u.s. has a long history of voter fraud that's been documented by historians and journalists. opponents will say to you that it's something that is unneeded and that also it is intended to suppress the vote of certain voters, particularly minority voters. two of the states with the strictest photo i.d. laws, these require a state-issued photo i.d. laws. .