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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 30, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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death penalty information center director robert donovan about nebraska's decision to get rid of the death penalty. host: good morning to you. it is saturday, may 30. here are the headlines out of washington. longtime house speaker hastert is accused of using hash money. the united states is taking strides towards democratic relationships with cuba by taking office terrorist list. and, authority for the patriot act program will extend on sunday night lawmakers are
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deciding on whether to extend it. what is your opinion on the program. should lawmakers and the program or extended? if you think they should end it, (202) 748-8001 is what you should dial. if you think they should renew the program, (202) 748-8000. we are also on twitter at @cspanwj. we are also on facebook at or you can send us an e-mail at we will cover all the action live tomorrow beginning at 4:00 p.m. for now, we are joined by stephen of "u.s. news & world report ago why does the senate have to be in session on sunday? what will they be debating? guest: the senate will be in session because section 215 of the patriot act expires on
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monday. if they decide to extend it, it would most likely be under the u.s. freedom act. the other option would afford to be to let it expire altogether which seems to be the less likely of the two options. host: this has already passed the house and it seems a good is bipartisan support in the senate. what is the holdup? guest: there are various series. what has been floated by congressman in mosh that mitch mcconnell pass the surveillance act to get more leverage. after the freedom act failed by three votes, last weekend he brought up a cleaner renault which also failed. currently, it is unclear.
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it seems plausible to think there will be three more votes. other people have covered this. "national journal" broke down 10 possible vote switchers. it is also possible that more hawkish members will also now vote to continue provisions. host: what happens if the authorization for the program actually expires sunday at midnight? guest: officials say that the phone records collection will end on sunday if it is not reauthorized. it is unclear if the other two provisions will have an immediate effect. the phone record collection which is of course very controversial because it was exposed by whistleblower edward snowden, that will reportedly ended. host: is there a path forward for lawmakers?
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is there a compromise that looks viable? guest: the house will not be back in session until monday. there would be a momentary lap se, at least. host: you wrote a story recently in which you stated that even if the senate passes the freedom act, the nsa would not be able to purge its database of records. could you explain that check? guest: there are several lawmakers -- lawsuits. the orders mean that nsa cannot delete evidence that is related to lawsuits. in this case, being the phone records that are collected. officials confirmed last week that the phone database will not be purged. even if the program expires on 79, the phone records that have
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artie been collected and stored will remain in their possession. host: what does that mean for consumer privacy? guest: it is unclear. currently, the records are required to be in a non-searchable form. it is conceivable that courts would require the records that are currently being held for less than five years to be held in a similar form. host: is there any sense for what this means to mitch mcconnell going forward, if the program does lapse? guest: mitch mcconnell lost his gamble to renew the provisions without changes. it is unclear if it means anything larger than that. it is possible that he actually will support the freedom act coming up for a vote and passing. host: and you mention that the house will be back in session on monday. is there any possibility that new provisions or a new idea
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might be added to the current version of the freedom act? guest: i suppose it is possible. in the past, there has been similar drama in the lead up to deadlines. during the first round reauthorization debates, there were actually two short-term extensions. that is conceivable is the freedom act does not pass on sunday. it is also possible that reformers will attempt to strengthen the freedom act. there was a very popular amendment that passed by a veto majority in the house of representatives last year that would have banned the so-called backdoor sectors -- searches of internet. it is possible that an amendment like that would be sought by reformers, and quite possibly passed. host: is there any sort of national security consequence to
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the program not being authorized or lapsing? guest: there are three intelligence provisions that are set to expire. one of them is to target loan most terror suspects who are not affiliated with the terrorist organization. that one has never been used. that one is certain to not have any consequences for national security. the other one is wiretaps which allows officials to track people even if they need to change cell phones. and there is section 215 of the patriot act. that purportedly authorizes people collection of phone records. two panels have found that that is not essential to preventing terrorist attacks. although some officials say there will be consequences to o national security, review groups have said that quite it
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is not -- it is not quite such a dire situation. host: thank you for being here this morning. president obama addressed this issue yesterday in a speech. he talked about some of the potential risks that might occur if the program does lapse he urged the senate to come to some sort of compromise. [video clip] president obama: i thought this was week -- would be a good opportunity to remind everybody that at sunday midnight on sunday, a whole bunch of authorities that we used to prevent terrorist attacks in this country expire. fortunately, the house of representatives was able to the forward a piece of legislation -- the usa freedom act -- that received overwhelming bipartisan support. what it does is not only
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continue authorities that currently exist, and are not controversial, for example, the capacity of the fbi or other law enforcement agencies to use what is called a wiretap, when we think someone may be engaged in a terrorist act, but is switching cell phones, we can follow them. those authorities would be continued. what the usa freedom act also does is it reforms the bulk data collection program that has been a significant concern that i promised we could reform over 1.5 years ago. we now have democrats and republicans in both the house and senate who think this is the right way to go. we have our law enforcement and
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national security teams, and civil liberties proponents and advocates, who say this is the right way to go. the only thing standing in the way is a handful of senators who are resisting these reforms despite law enforcement saying let's go ahead and get this done. we only have a few days. authorities expire on sunday at midnight, and i do not want us in a situation in which for certain amount of time those authorities go away. heaven for bid, we have a problem where we could have prevented a terrorist attack. i have indicated to leader mcconnell and other senators, i
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expect them to take action and take actions swiftly. this is not an issue in which we have to choose between security and civil liberties. this is an issue in which we have struck the right balance . let's go ahead and get this done. host: that was president obama speaking on the deed for senate lawmakers to act regarding the nsa surveillance program. we want to know what you think. what is your message to the senate? you can call us at (202) 748-8000 if you believe the senate should end the nsa surveillance program. you can call us at (202) 748-8001 if you believe the program should be renewed. you can also find us on social media. we are on @cspanwj twitter @cspanwj,.
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or on facebook, from "politico" james clapper made this statement, we will no longer be able to get orders to effectively allow us to track terrorists and spies who switch communication devices, and that the will no longer be able to obtain certain kinds of business records that are important building blocks of national security investigations, we would lose entirely an opportunity -- important capability. "the new york times" editorial board wrote this earlier this week, barring a last-minute kocher rise -- compromise authorization for the program
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will lapse on sunday, and that would be perfectly fine. we will turn out to your calls. first up is richard from florida. he believes that the program should be ended, is that right richard? caller: yes. good morning. i think the question here is does the government work for the people? or, do the people -- are they subject and work for the government? when the government starts buying on its own citizens,
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there is definitely a problem with the government. this is what the not these -- na zis did in germany and the soviets did under stalin. all of these regimes, they started spying and controlling the people, rounding them up and throwing them in jail, and executing them. this seems like a minor thing in some way, but this is how it starts. host: richard, do you believe are of any way the program could be performed? -- reformed? caller: from what i'm hearing and what i see, it needs to be completely dissolved. we don't really need these programs. we have all this government nsa, all this information coming in. they have enough information to do their job. they don't need to spy on every person, listen to every phone call.
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they might not be listening, but they have a record of it. when somebody shows that they are not happy with what the government is doing, then they pull up their file and say look, five years ago, he said this. we need to dissolve it let the government legislation expire like it should. then, we can let congress and the people decide really what they want to do. host: we hear your thoughts. that is richard from florida. our next caller is john from new york, new york. john, you believe the program should be renewed. why is that? john, are you there? john, go ahead. all right, we will move on to george from mississippi.
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you also believe that the program should be renewed, correct? why is that? caller: i think the government has all the right to protect us surveilling the mass of people. i have nothing to hide, they can check everything on me. i feel no intrusion if they check iphone calls or whatever i do, as long as it is done for the purpose of preventing people from doing things that they should not do. host: do you believe the program should be extended as is? caller: yes. host: all right. on twitter, several lawmakers have waited recently. rand paul tweeted this, i'm not backing down from my fight to end nsa s both data
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collection, are you with me? meanwhile, senate democrats say that gop controlled senate, but and is a vote shows that chaos reigns. senator ted cruz says that congress should immediately pass usa freedom act. our next call is from frank in west virginia. you are saying that the program should be renewed, why is that? caller: i think we need the information. i don't know how much it is used . there is so much talk on both sides saying that we don't need it, and others that we do. i don't mind the intelligence community doing this. what i think we should do is have some real punishment for presidential administrations that abuse the knowledge. right now, we know that the irs has targeted tea party groups. we have been talking about that for years.
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nobody has been fired for doing it, and they are still doing it. if this kind of thing takes place with the information that they get from the nsa, i would be real worried about it. if we could keep doing it and punishing the people who using it -- are using it, i would be favor and keep it going. host: what kind of safeguards do you think should be in place? caller: real punishment. unpaid vacation. someone pled the fifth amendment illegally, and has not been punished at all. if she were in prison, where she needs to be, people would be less likely to abuse these things. host: that was frank from west virginia. next up is homage from richmond virginia -- mohammed from richmond, virginia. caller: i believe the program should be renewed.
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what do we have to hide? host: any other thoughts? caller: yes, i do. who is opposing the renewal of this program? what do they have to hide? if you don't have anything to hide, why are you scared? host: thank you so much, mohammed, for your comments. a gallup poll recently found the majority of americans disapprove of government surveillance programs. the poll found that 53% of adults nationally felt that the programs went too far, and only about one third of americans felt that the programs were worthwhile. about 10% of americans had no opinion. this broke down on party lines. 40% of democrats disapproved
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while 49% of approved. for republicans, the split was opposite, the majority believe that the program should be discontinued. our next caller is phoebe from pennsylvania. you believe the program should be ended. caller: the thing is i cannot understand how these people are calling again and saying that if you don't have anything to hide, then it is fine. everybody has some ink to hide let's be honest about it. i think we should get rid of all of these programs, and also the drones flying ahead. host: do you think there's any way to reform the program or rated in? all right, we will move on to joe from columbia, south carolina. you believe the program should be ended, why is that? caller: because i think it could
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be used as circumstance evidence just like one of the callers said earlier. if they take something of an want to use it for your civil disobedience -- i need to say this, those of us who woere part of the black movement in the 1960's and 1970's, and due to surveillance have been resurrected. i think that is one of the great reasons why it should be ended. those of us now who are in our late 50's and early 60's, who the government feels that we may
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have religious affiliations and so forth -- and i heard callers say, those with islamic names -- we are starting to hear how politicians want to pass surveillance on those who have an affiliation. listen, our government is going to protect the american people regardless. you can go to the court to get a war to do surveillance -- warrant to do surveillance. host: ok, that was joe. our next caller is tony from texas, who also thinks the program should be ended. why is that? caller: it needs to be ended because this is totally controlled by crooks and bad people. there is no responsibility of
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the welfare of the united states. it is all used in the wrong way to hurt people and take people's rights away. people say, if you don't have anything to hide, they don't need to worry about it. it is not about that. anything you want to do good for yourself, they want to take it away and use everything they can against you to keep you from bettering your life, so that they can put in their own pocket. they are all criminals. they should not be allowed to be in charge of this stuff. all of them use it in the wrong way. we need to clear out the government and have a whole new way. if you want to be a part of this government, you need to prove yourself. host: all right, that was tony in texas. said a rand paul a kentucky is one of those lawmakers who is leading the fight to end the program altogether. he was on the floor last week to filibuster the discussion of the
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nsa program. [video clip] senator paul: we should debate whether or not we will relinquish our rights or whether or not we will have a full and able debate on whether or not we can live within the constitution or whether or not we have to go around the constitution. the bulk collection of all americans phone records all the time is a direct violation of the fourth amendment. the second appeals court has ruled illegal. the president began this program by executive order. he should immediately ended through executive order. for over one year, he has said that the program is illegal, and yet he does nothing. he says, well, congress can get rid of the patriot act and the bulk collection. yet, he has the power to do it at his fingertips. he began this illegal program.
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the court has informed him that the program is illegal. he has every power to stop it, and yet the president does nothing. host: that was kentucky senator rand paul speaking about the need to end the nsa surveillance program. we will be covering the senate debate of this issue tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. on c-span two. right now we taking your phone calls. what do you think the senate should do? if you believe the program should be ended, you can call and let us know at (202) 748-8000. if you believe the program should be renewed, call us at (202) 748-8001. from danville, virginia, our next caller is solomon, who believes the program should be continued. caller: first, i have a question. i thought this program started under president bush. host: the print -- patriot program was started under president bush. caller: and the nsa spying
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program? host: i believe that was started under bush as well. caller: rand paul was wrong. i think they should be renewed with restrictions. i think they should be renewed for all the people who work in the federal government specifically the congress, supreme court, and even the president. and any other individuals who have say over the rights and money of the american people. i think we should be previous -- be privy to their phone records. even when they are out of the office, they have connections to the federal government. as well as corporations are businesses that do business with the government. i think the spying program should be specifically pinpointed to keep track of
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them. as the fbi said, this program has basically not guarded us the information that it was meant to get in order to protect us from a terrorist attack. i think they have been misappropriating money and resources by continuing to renew this program time after time. i think we should find out why they are renewing it and who is benefiting, and we should turn the tables on them and keep the nsa spying program strictly on the people who were misusing it against the american people. host: next up from trenton, new jersey fraser. you are saying that this program should be continued. caller: yes. good morning. the reason why i say this program should be renewed is because people do things without understanding. if we had the right to
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understand, i believe this program should be renewed. we do not know who is talking. if a terrorist is talking to someone to tell someone to attack us, what are we going to do? we cannot let other people tell us that it is not right because of politics. it is the right thing to do. host: next up is james from illinois, who also believes the program should be extended. go ahead. caller: hi, how are you? yes, they should not be doing this. i am a six generation american. hello? host: you are on the air. let me make it clear, you said
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they should not extended correct? caller: correct gradation reform it. these questions that you guys ask are totally -- host: i believe we have lost james. we will move on to karen from delaware. go ahead. what are your thoughts this morning? should the nsa extend this program? caller: yes, they should. people must be forgetting isis. i believe that they need to be monitored. i don't want another 9/11 attack in this country. it is only a matter of time until it happens. i do think we need to renew it. i have no problem with this. i'm what you call a conservative liberal or liberal conservative, but some things you have to do, and this is one of them. thank you. host: a few comments now from twitter. one is -- some of us have a far greater fear of boston type
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bombings than we do of the government collecting phone records. and, meanwhile, the question should be, who trusts the government? and finally, tj rights, just because i have nothing to hide does not mean you can stop all over my rights. a few headlines from this morning. a lot of news going on this weekend. this story about former house speaker dennis afterhaster -- payouts said to be linked to sexual abuse.
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host: meanwhile, a phone call to
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dennis hastert on "washington journal" has gunfire all. "the hill" reports -- there was an odd exchange between dennis has to and a phone call from someone in his home down. the call came in all he appeared on "washington journal" on november 13. the caller identified himself so as bruce, said hello, and hung up. meanwhile, we are talking about the nsa program. we want to know what you think. c-span will be covering the life coverage tomorrow starting at
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4:00 p.m. we will hear now from jason who believes the program should be done away with. is that right? caller: yes, ma'am, i think they should end the program. host: why is that ? caller: it is your life -- your right. host: right to privacy? caller: right. host: next up is anna from arizona. what do you think should be done? caller: i think it should be modified. i don't know everything that is in the nsa surveillance. my understanding is there is a part in the patriot act that allows law enforcement to hold a person for up to seven days without legal counsel.
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i had a friend that this happened to, and normally, we have the right to legal counsel within 48 hours of an arrest. this was a minor incident, and my friend did not have access to an attorney for one week. i don't know everything that is in it, but i think it should be modified. host: what do think about the collection of boat phone -- bi ulk phone records? do you think the government should be collecting phone records? caller: well, it did not just start with the nsa surveillance.
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you know, i am not worried about it. i'm not going to go out and do anything. there are people that need to be under surveillance. host: all right. just a reminder, some facts about the usa patriot act. here are some things that it does. it increases surveillance against terrorism related crimes, allows for roving wiretaps, give law enforcement more time to conduct investigations, and also, section 215 is the one that is a sticking point that gives easier access to business records including bulk collection of phone records. from global -- mobile, alabama, james is calling. you think the program should be
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ended. caller: yes. the nsa surveillance program -- the portion of the nsa surveillance program that covers the bulk data collection should be ended. a caller a few calls back asked you whether the page react started under bush, and they did. the nsa portion started under bush but the bulk data collection was started under president obama. he did do an executive action or order to allow them -- you know, they were collecting data on some phone calls, but then president obama allowed them to collect phone calls on everybody great every phone call that is being done in the united states. that is why the second court -- second district court judge said
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that it was never really in the act to allow bulk data collection. he said, what they are doing is illegal. president obama could end it, but it would not be do his political advantage to end it. he would look. the democrats will look bad because what he is doing is just sitting on it. it will be renewed or let the congress ended. he did start the bulk data collection portion of this whole nsa thing. people are really confused with this, and that is the way the government operates now. they have everybody confused -- mixing the patriot acts, the freedom act, the bulk data collection, and the phone collection. it is so confusing and the average person does not understand. they are actually recording every -- they are recording the right now. host: the story from "the new
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york times" offers a little bit of background here. it is from earlier this month. the story says that the bulk phone record program dates back to october 2001. host: janice from columbia, maryland is the next one on the
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phone lines. what do you think should be done? caller: i definitely think it should be extended as it is. i think that those people who say it should be discontinued are the first ones who will say that the government did not do its job, is something else happens. in this day of heightened threats to america i think we need this. i just cannot imagine that we would do away with this. host: a few more of your thoughts from twitter. karen writes, i do not like being wiretaps, but if the nsa can detect isis and other radicals i can adapt for the greater good. meanwhile, jody writes, the pgi is a cowardly program and has no place in the land of the free. cliff from new york is calling now. you think the program should be ended. caller: yes.
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i am kind of turning against the government -- you know how most people don't even think about the government in their life. they don't understand it. in my family, a 17-year-old girl was kind of forced -- she lives down in texas. she was forced into an abortion. host: cliff, what does this have to do with the nsa surveillance program? caller: it is an example in my life. see, this is what i'm trying to get across. we don't usually come in contact with the government. here is a good example of the government at work. they forced her to have -- you know, have a kid. then, they cut food stamps and medicaid to help this teenage girl with the baby. host: cliff, how is this
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connected to the collection of phone records? caller: the government. you know. working against the people. host: all right, that was cliff from new york. next up is randy from indiana. you believe this program should be ended as well. why is that? caller: when i was going up, there was a thing called the kgb in russia. it kept records on everybody. people in america thought that was a bad thing. there was a book called "1984," by george orwell, and people thought that was a bad thing. that is what the country is going to. who decides who is iteris? it could be because you are a member of the nra or the tea party. where does the end -- it and? host: sender mitch mcconnell
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was on the senate floor last friday. [video clip] senator mcconnell: one more opportunity to act responsibly to not allow this program to expire. this is a high threat period and we know what is going on overseas. we know what has been tried here at home. my colleagues, do we really want this law to expire? we have a week to discuss it. we will have one day to do it. we better be ready next sunday afternoon to prevent the country from being in danger by the total expiration of the program. host: that was senator mitch mcconnell urging the extension
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of the nsa surveillance program on the senate floor. c-span will be covering the delusions -- deliberations on this issue starting tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. on c-span two. our next caller is joni from indiana. what do you think the senate should do? caller: i think they should renew it. they need all the tools they can get to keep people like the boston bomber -- you know, keep tabs on them. as far as the american citizens, there are so many rules out there that we are breaking anyway because we don't know we are breaking them, they can get is like that. i would rather be at aware of who is over here causing trouble or visiting the country and coming back, and have the tools to keep us safe. host: how concerned are you about your personal privacy? caller: it is a violation of our
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rights, but if they are -- as long as they are using it on each other and the businesses, it is the same, it is fair. host: all right. the nsa whistleblowers who opposed the freedom act instead endorse a different bill. they believe that the freedom act still endorsed too much. edward snowden told "u.s. news & world report's" said that he recommended returning to a pre-9/11 legal framework and repeal the entire freedom act.
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our last caller for the segment is craig from woodcliff, new jersey. what should happen? caller: i am against. hello? host: you are on the air. go ahead. caller: i'm against renewing for the privacy purposes. i just want to bring to everybody's attention, a very interesting sidebar which is dennis astor -- hastert. this was revealed because he was taking money out of his own bank account. taking money -- his own money out of his own bank account. the government says that we are not allowed to take more than $10,000 out of our own bank account without letting them know. even then, if you take less than
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$10,000, with the intent of $10,000, you have to let the government know that you are taking out your own money. i think that is more insidious than listening to phone calls. host: all right. we will leave it there. that concludes our second on the nsa surveillance program this morning. next up, we will be continuing "washington journal" with a discussion on the death penalty. nebraska became the 19th state to abolish the death penalty. later on, with numerous candidates in the race for 2016, we will discuss the campaign trail with both a democratic and republican analyst. first, we will discuss fema with the fema administrator on "newsmakers." [video clip]
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>> going into the hurricane season, can you give us your three worst-case scenarios for hurricanes. >> you can take any area that has a lot of people, a lot of traffic and congestion along the coast, and that will be a problem area. obviously, new jersey and new york is some of the highest densities so again, very challenging area. some areas that have not been hit with hurricanes and a longtime also have big challenges. one is in virginia. there are areas where they have not had a lot of hurricanes, people tend to think that they do not have problems, but it is a region that would be very difficult to evacuate. and again, we need to highlight to the public why it is so critical to take the time now,
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as we going to hurricane season, and find out if you live in an evacuation zone, that you know where you will go. not everybody realizes that this is not just along the coast. often times, you will have flooding well inland on rivers and canals. storm surge is not just about being on the beach. as we saw in new york and other places, water coming into urban areas can cause tremendous devastation. >> one of the things that you have been working with in fema has been public-private partnership. can you give us a sense of what you have been doing there. what kind of response have you gotten there from big corporations? do you think they are more prepared now to face disasters particularly hurricane stucco >> we started off with the
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question, what could the private sector do to help government do our job. the reality is that we have to provide food, water, and other supplies when stores aren't open. is stores are open, they have a much better system of logistics. host: you can see the entire interview with the fema administrator on sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. you can also here on c-span radio. it is also available online at we are joined now by robert dunham, the executive director of the death penalty information center two discuss some of the movements across the country. thank you for joining us this morning. nebraska this week became the 19th state in the country to
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abolish the death penalty. why is that important and what led to the decision? guest: i think what we saw nebraska is a microcosm of what is going on in the united states. support for the death penalty in the united states has been dropping for the last 20 years. in 1994, 80% of the public said that they supported the death penalty. in polls earlier this year that's of what had dropped to 56%. in the last two years, we have seen six other states abolish the death penalty. the death penalty appears to be in decreasing use across the country. what happen in nebraska is the first time that a predominantly republican and a predominantly conservative legislator abolished the death penalty. host: why has public sentiment shifted away from the death penalty? guest: there are a number of factors involved.
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one of the principal reasons that support for the death penalty has shifted is the emerging evidence that people who are innocent have been sentenced to death and almost certainly have been executed. we are up to now 153 individuals who have been exonerated from death row. there have been 11 exonerations since the beginning of 2014 alone. people are very concerned because a punishment like capital punishment, when you take somebody's life, you cannot correct the air once it has occurred. the andersons -- innocence revolution has also presented evidence. when someone is exonerated by dna, does not prove that somebody else did it -- it also has brou broad implications for the investigation. if there was scientific
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evidence, you know it was fabricated. government informants, sometimes known as the jews, provided false testimony. that has undermined the confidence of the system to get it right. it has pretty much reached a critical point. one other factor has played into what is going on with death row. that was the recession in the united states. at that point when the government found itself so cash-strapped, people started looking at the death penalty not in the app store, but as a practical matter, whether it was something that could be afforded. all the facts have shown that the death penalty is much more expensive, and with the growing evidence that it does not work, it is not a deterrent, and more
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people have their death sentences reversed been carried out, that has been very persuasive to the conservatives saying that it is a broken government policy that they need to do away with. host: we are speaking with robert dunham, executive director of the death penalty information center. you can join the conversation as well. we have switched up the phone lines for the segment. you can call us at (202) 748-8000 if you support the death penalty. you can call us at (202) 748-8001 if you oppose the death penalty. we especially want to hear from you if you have some experience if you are an attorney with experience with this or if you have a family member that may be experiences this -- experiencing this, we want to hear from you as well. can you tell us more about the state of executions in the country right now. how many are carried out?
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how many are on death row right now? what are the democrats and -- demographics of those folks? guest: there proximally 3000 people on death roll across the united states. depending on how you count, we are probably under 3000. a substantial number of people on death row actually do not have valid death sentences. when we look at the demographics of death row, death row is about 43% white, a similar percent african-american. the critical racial data is that more people are executed -- substantially more people are executed for murders of white victims and then murders of any other victims. that is substantially out of proportion to the way in which murders are committed. about half of the murders in the united states are committed with
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white victims and about half with minority victims. but, three quarters of executions are directed at people convicted for killing white victims. in terms of what happens to people who are on death row, the most recent study shows that of the more than 7500 people who have been sentenced to death in the united states since the death penalty was restored in the early 1970's, the single most likely outcome is not that they are executed, but that their conviction or death sentence is overturned. we are looking at about 40% of all the people who are sentenced to death have their convictions or death sentences overturned. the next highest likelihood is that they are still on death row, pursuing their appeals. there are fewer than 60%, one in six, people who are sentenced to death in which the sentences
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actually carried out. host: a few charts from your organization. this one shows the number of exonerations by state. we will take a few callers now. would you like to respond? guest: yes. i would say that the 153 people is most likely a series underestimate -- serious underestimate. there was a study that estimate of probably about 4% of people who are convicted and sentenced to death are innocent. that would give us a number that is probably double what we have been able to currently exposed. host: first up is walter from bronx, new york, calling in
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support of the death penalty. caller: i think whatever you say is hogwash. i would not believe you if we were out in a storm and you told me it was raining. what would you say in connecticut -- do you think those guys should be put out there and let people like you postponing until you get them out. for 20 years they were on death row, and then one of those liberals like you comes along and says -- host: robert dunham? guest: i think walter has some fairly strong opinions. one of the interesting things is that he would not believe a fact if he saw it. look, people have personal reactions to murders that is
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understandable. nobody says that there are not some very serious crimes that occur. in many respects, the death penalty is not about whether individual defendants deserve to live or die. the death penalty is about whether it can be carried out consistently as a policy. one of the very interesting things that happened recently in the case of kansas versus marsh justice scalia issued an opinion in which he said that there are certain cases where clearly the crimes call out for the death penalty. hubert -- he referred to one case in north carolina where the murder was so horrible that he thought nothing other than death would be a sanction. the death penalty is not simply about the punishment. it is about whether you got the right person. it turns out that afterwards the north carolina innocence commission ended up exonerating
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the man. it may have been a crime that people who supported the death penalty would say, it was capital punishment, but the fact of the matter is that the system got the wrong person. with 153 exonerations of people on death row, that has undermined confidence on the system's ability to get it right. that is what of the themes that conservative legislators in nebraska were talking about. conservative legislators in nebraska were the ones who most push the repeal of the death penalty and were responsible in overriding the veto. host: talk a little bit about the political breakdown for ending the death penalty. you mentioned an increase in conservatives who would like to see it gotten rid of. what is the support like among democrats? guest: for the first time in history, a majority of democrats now say that they are opposed to
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the death penalty. there is a substantial gap in support of the death penalty based on party affiliation. a majority of democrats oppose the death penalty now. with independents it is about easy -- even. a substantial portion of republicans say they support the death penalty. we have seen changes in the overall rates of support. a poll indicated there have been reductions across all demographic groups, but one of the most dramatic is in the past years there has been a 7% drop among people that identify themselves as conservative republicans. host: joe from massachusetts is calling in support of the death penalty. i do not think i got the name of your town correct. caller: what i am in support of
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is -- most of the jails, 50% of the people there are mentally ill, and they lock them up 24 hours a day and if they clog up the toilet, they go in there and beat them up. those people should be shot. i would rather be dead than live like that. the republicans, who say they are christians, will not put up the money to spend on mental hospitals. host: robert dunham? guest: that is interesting. one of the things we have found with respect to capital punishment is a substantial number of people convicted and sentenced to death are people with serious mental illness and that seems to be one of the emerging areas of concern. under international law, you
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should not be executed individuals who had serious mental illness. the united states has constitutionally said you cannot execute individuals who have mental retardation. they have permitted execution of individuals who have mental illness. when it comes to the question of incarceration, the justice department has said solitary confinement for people with mental illness could amount to cruel and unusual punishment if it is for unlimited duration. we know that does very bad things for the mental health of the individual subject to that punishment, and when you look at what incarceration is on death row, you are talking about 23 hours a day, typically, of solitary confinement which is extraordinarily bad for the psychological state of the defendant and it is something that raises great concern especially since such a large portion of people sentenced to
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death eventually have their sentence overturned, and then the psychological devastation they experienced in solitary confinement may affect them when they return to general population. host: robert dunham, you had mentioned that the cost of holding someone in prison for a lifetime -- the cost of putting someone on death row and executing them could exceed the cost of putting them in prison for a lifetime. could you quantify that at all? guest: that is right. it is hard to quantify it. the states that have done analysis to say it is millions of dollars more and it really is for a number of reasons. there is a misconception that the cost of the death penalty as compared to life in prison is the difference between the cost of lethal injection drugs and the cost of housing someone in jail or their lifetime. in fact, -- for their lifetime. in fact, the cost of the death
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penalty, the cost of not just the trials in which the defendant is sentenced to death, but the many more trials with a defendant is charged and not sentenced to death. if you take 100 cases of in which a state seeks a death penalty, the death penalty is returned in a small portion of those cases. in each case where death is sought, it is a different type of trial. if you are going to adequately fund defense of the case, what you are going to be doing is funding two trials from the outset. as soon as an individual is e charged, lawyers as opposed -- is e charged, -- capitaly charged, there is the question of life or death, and that requires the alert -- lawyers conduct a thorough background review of the upbringing of a person and so forth. you are typically talking about
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retaining a life history social worker to reconstruct life history. you're talking about retaining a psychologist psychiatrist, a neuropsychologist, and whatever ballistic or scientific experts are necessary at the guilt stage. in a regular trial, you do not have a second trial for life. in most of those cases, you would not have the cost of the investigation of the life history or bringing in all of the mental health experts. now, if you figure the death penalty is returned in 10% of the cases -- i think that is over --an over-estimate what that means is the extra 90% of the money is wasted. the cost of the death penalty is not just the appeals in which the few cases it is returned, but the trial cost of the many cases in which it is sought and not returned. host: turning back to the phone
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lines, north carolina. calling to oppose the death penalty. caller: hi. thank you for c-span. robert, those are the facts. you are spot on. first, i will let to congratulate the republicans in nebraska for just dealing with common sense. for the death penalty, you know, so many people have been killed -- innocent people, especially people in texas and florida -- i mean, give me a break. common -- it is time to abolish that thing. don't you agree? guest: well, the death penalty information center does not take a formal position for or against the death penalty, but there are extremely serious concerns about the system's ability to get it right, and i think there have been several very, very important recent examples of innocent people on death row
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that has been exonerated after a very long time. there is the story of glenn ford who spent more than 30 years on death row in louisiana and his prosecutor said he was young -- he was 33 at the time -- in his words, i was arrogant, and more concerned with winning than fairness. he did not conduct a thorough investigation of the case, and if he had done it, he would have discovered glenn ford was not the killer. here is a man who spent 30 years of his life on death row and was nearly executed. there is the case of a recent release by the state of alabama. he was innocent, but represented so abysmally, that he ended up being sentenced to death. the main evidence against him was scientifically unsupported ballistics testimony, where the forensics specialist for the
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state of alabama had claimed he was able to identify bullets as having come from a gun that was found in his house. as a matter of fact, the ballistic analysis was completely inaccurate. fbi experts later on testified in the state's postconviction process, the appeal in which new evidence is allowed to be presented, that the analysis was faulty, but the state court judge did not affect that. it turns out -- host: robert dunham, is there any restitution for folks that have been on death row and later found to be institute -- innocent? guest: that is a serious issue. restitution is a matter of state law. in most states, we see people released from death row do not get any restitution at all were minimal restitution. there are cases that have been brought and won, but for the
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most part there is very little restitution these people get. host: doug from misty -- doug is coming. why do you support the death penalty? caller: i would like to associate myself with the person who said 150 or more. if you go back the past 20, 30 years, there have been more than that convicted. i also wanted to mention -- you might not have a statistic on this, but how many people are convicted over circumstantial evidence in a murder trial, do you think? rather than forensic evidence. guest: we do not have firm
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numbers on that. we do know when you take a look at the death row exonerates there are a number of individuals convicted primarily on circumstantial evidence, and in a lot of cases like that, you end up also seen prison informant testing, which raises serious issue with the on -- with the unreliability of the death sentence. the national innocence project has taken a look at what the causes of wrongful convictions are, and they found that over the course of several hundred dna exonerations, prison informants have provided false testimony in about 50% of those. when we take a look at the exoneration from death row, we see the prison informants are present in almost 45% triple the rate as they are in innocence cases in general, and
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that is especially dangerous in cases of circumstantial evidence. when you have a confession, that is something juries pay a lot of attention to. we find in a disturbing number of cases, the confessions are coerced or false, and key evidence related to confessions comes from prison informants who are simply making it up. host: robert from florida is calling in support of the death penalty. robert, you are on the air. caller: yes. i support the death penalty because we have -- i support it because why should you let these people go on and stay in prison for years and years -- taxpayers are paying for it. if they have gone out and committed a murder, they should
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not -- if they check them out mentally and they are capable they ought to be tried, and get the death penalty. i do not agree with what nebraska is doing because there is crime everywhere. host: all right, that is robert from florida. robert dunham? guest: well, certainly, that is a belief that some people have. i think one of the key facts to remember is that although there are 3000 people on death row the death penalty is not imposed in a majority of homicides, so if you have a question -- if you question the government putting someone in jail the rest of their life on homicide, well that is the majority of homicide. that is the majority of convictions. the death penalty is imposed in a small number of pieces by
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percentage but, you know, i guess there really is not an answer to the caller's suggestion. the fact of the matter is we are a country of laws and the law calls for life without the possibility of parole for most homicides, and that is what happens. host: can we talk of the bit about methods of execution? guest: sure. host: supreme court looked at whether a lethal injection cocktail is considered cruel and unusual punishment. guest: the predominant method of execution in the united states is lethal injection. in fact, it is the method that is on the books virtually everywhere. there have been recent problems with obtaining legal injection drugs. -- lethal injection drugs.
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there have been problems with executions being botched, but it is a primary method of execution. other states have used other methods in the past. in the 1990's, there began to be a movement away from other methods of execution when the electric chair had some notable failures. and florida actually had a couple of instances in which the defendants as they were being executed -- men were being executed -- were caught on fire. they had used the wrong type of sponge in the helmet that was put on the death row inmate as he was being executed. because of the gruesome nature of these failed electric-chair executions, states that had the literature were convinced that it was going to be declared cruel and unusual, so they moved
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to lethal injection. other states, delaware, for example, had used hanging. utah had used the firing squad. arizona and some other states had used the gas chamber. with the failures of lethal injection, recently, states have begun to look at alternatives, in case lethal injection is declared unconstitutional, or if lethal injection drugs are unavailable. utah, the only state in united states used at fire squad, and has adopted the firing squad as an alternative in case lethal injection is declared unconstitutional. oklahoma has passed a bill that would bring back gas executions, a new method which would be nitrogen gas. tennessee has brought back the electric chair as an alternative method, although in front of the supreme court of tennessee right now is a petition to declare the use of the electric chair
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unconstitutional. host: just a few charts now. so, we are showing a map of the u.s. and the methods of executions approved in each state. as you mentioned, utah and oklahoma approving the firing squad. hanging being used in washington state, delaware. the number of state approving lethal injection. one is the supreme court respect to make a ruling in terms of whether or not the lethal injection cocktail is actually constitutional? guest: the case was argued in april. the supreme court is expected to decide it by the end of june when it goes out of session. i want to quibble a little bit about what glass of stands for.
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lethal injection itself is not before the court. the court will not decide whether lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. with their looking at is a particular chemical and a combination of chemicals. oklahoma uses a comical part of a three -- as part -- uses a chemical as part of a three-drug cocktail. what happens in oklahoma and other states, they use three drugs. the first is supposed to be a sedative that makes the person executed unconscious, and is supposed to render them insensitive, so they do not feel what happens afterward. many, the second drug that comes in begins to suffocate them and paralyze them, and it third -- and a third drug that is supposed to be the killing drug. while it has been used in some surgeries to reduce unconsciousness, it does not
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retain unconsciousness in painful procedures. so, the person that is being executed gets jolted back into consciousness by the other drugs . in the debate, the supreme court argument, we saw a number of the justices talking about what happens in the procedure, and justice kagan was describing it and so was justice alito as being burned alive from the inside out, being chemically burned at the stake. the legal question is if it does not reliably render the person unconscious, is it cruel and unusual for them to be executed by means in which they are conscious while there painfully burned alive by the chemicals? host: the next caller is angel from new york, new york, calling into word of the death penalty. angel, you're on the air. caller: thank you, mr. dunham for the conversation. guest: thank you for calling in.
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caller: i do support the death penalty in an ideal system and obviously we do not have an ideal system. i think the plea bargain system alone is horrendous. there is no access to justice. so, while i say i do support the death penalty, it is just not in this system. host: all right, that is angel from new york. our next caller is tom -- guest: well with respect to -- host: i'm sorry, angel is gone. guest: ok, i was going to say his comments are similar to what we see with the number of people who say they support the death penalty in the abstract. a majority of americans say they do support the death penalty in the abstract but the policies do not occur in the abstract. they occur in the real world. people that say they support the drug -- the death penalty in the
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abstract would prefer life without parole instead, and national polls indicate that for the same time of a say they support the death penalty in the abstract, a majority also say they prefer the possibility of life without parole to death. host: tom opposes the death penalty. tell us why. caller: i tell you guys, you have the problem with the drugs, for one thing. there should not be any problem. we have tons of confiscated heroine. we have people overdosing on heroin all the time, and they cannot suffer a bit. they should take this confiscated heroin and use this to kill them. i do nothing with the system we have, the corruption we have, that we can enforce the death penalty, and carry it out. it is proved by the innocent people that have been killed and
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that are waiting to be killed today. that is all i have to say folks. host: robert dunham? guest: tom's comments are similar to the comments we heard from the legislators doing the repeal in nebraska. there were a number of the legislators, particularly the conservative legislators, that were saying they have difficulty trusting the government to get this particular policy right and because of that -- you know, if this were any other policy, they said, it would have been repealed years ago. i think it is notable that when you are looking at the death penalty, you have to look at it not in the abstract, but in the manner in which it is carried out, and an emerging number of
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conservatives are saying we cannot trust the government to get it right. host: here is a story from "the omaha world herald." tears erupted. lawmakers voted 30-19 to override the governor's veto of the bill.
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host: "it is everybody who voted for the overrated because -- override because if not for them, it would not have happened." do you have thoughts on that? guest: i think senator chambers is right, and what other things that is remarkable in this time is you saw in nebraska people of different political ideologies coming together and you had bipartisan support or the repeal of the death penalty. mr. chambers, senator chambers, has been opposing the death penalty for years, and he has been talking about the traditional argument that the death penalty is racially disproportionate economically mr. mentoring, -- discriminating, but there is poor representation, and you add on that the conservative views were they looked at it is
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extremely costly, that when people are not executed the systemr re-victimizes the family of the homicide victims. what we saw in nebraska was not just conservative registers came out in force to repeal the death penalty against the desires of a sitting governor, but that in politically decisive times what had been considered a decisive issue turned out to be the issue that brought conservatives moderates, and progressives together. host: jerry from jacksonville florida, is the next caller, and jerry, you are mixed in your thoughts on what we should do about the death penalty. caller: i am for the death penalty if it is proven without a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty. i also would like to bring out something about your guest. i believe he kind of played the
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race card is there a little bit and the reason why i am saying this is when he brings up blacks are more likely to get the death penalty when they kill a white person. well, i would like to bring this up -- a lot of black on black crime is black youth fighting over turf, fighting over drugs. a lot of the crimes against white committed by blacks -- i've known cases like this, they rob the store, the clerk gives them the money, and the black youth still shoots the clerk. a lot of that happens. so, i wish you would not play the race card so much, sir. host: robert dunham? guest: well, i appreciate your comments. i appreciate the comments, but i think jerry is wrong on the facts.
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the fact of the matter is the combination of defendant and victim that is most likely to produce a death sentence is a homicide that is committed by an african-american defendant against a white victim. that is the pattern that you see across all levels of severity. there are some very, very interesting studies that have been done on this, and this brings in the race of the victims affect as well. in philadelphia there were four graphs available -- photographs available of all of the defendants that have been convicted and sentenced to death and the defendants that have been convicted and sentenced to life for murder. there was a study done and people look at the photographs for stars typically african-american features. instances of black on black homicide, there was no
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difference in the rates in which death sentences were returned based on what the defendant looked like. in cases of interracial murder where there was a black defendant and a white victim, a black defendant was twice as likely to be sentenced to death if he had what are called stereotypically african features, as opposed to if he had lighter skin, thinner lips, a thinner nose, more european features. that was the case, irrespective of the degree of severity of the murder, and what that told the researchers was what somebody looks like makes a difference. that has also been the expanse we have seen when people are taking a look at killings by police officers of civilians. the recent data shows across the country that a police officer is as likely to shoot an unarmed
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african-american as he is to shoot an arm like -- armed white person, and that amounts to a person essentially looking at someone on the street and concluding they are an imminent danger because of their race. in texas there was a case where individual was sentenced to death based upon false psychological testimony that he were that she was likely to pose a future danger because -- that he was likely to pose a future danger because of race. race is a serious issue in capital cases. host: have time for one last call, melody from, new york -- from new york, new york, calling to oppose the death penalty. caller: i went to a conference in 2013 at villanova university on restorative justice, and i saw a panel of people, a family that lost their child and a
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person who murdered their child they forgive that person. i want to change to alternative methods. we are going to pretend to be humanitarian because we have alternative ways of putting someone down, and if that is the goal of being humanitarian, that is the standard, we're always going to fall short. that is my thought. host: robert dunham, you have the last call -- the last word. guest: i think the caller mentioned an important point. more and more we have seen family members of the victims opposing the death penalty sometimes on humanitarian grounds, and sometimes recognizing that the death penalty does not serve family members of victims well. they get exposed to an extended appeals process and the worst day of their life, the day in which a loved one was murdered becomes viewed for years and
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years and the scab keeps getting pulled off and off and off as the procedures go on and on. studies on the health of the family members of victims in minnesota, where there is no death penalty, and in texas where there is, and conclusion was that in states that did not have the death penalty, that the family members were physically healthier, emotionally healthier, and psychologically healthier. the death penalty is not good for victims, even those that say they want the capital punishment to be carried out. host: robert dunham, executive director of the death penalty information center, think you very much for joining us this morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: next, as of today there are eight republicans running for president, and later there will be three democrats running for president. we'll discuss the road to the white house with a democratic
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and republican strategist. stay tuned. ♪ >> this week on q and a, our guest is david mccullough who shared thoughts on his new book, "the right brothers." david: they did not graduate from high school. their father always encourage them, if they had an inch thing project they were working on, -- an interesting project they were working on, stay home. wilbur was a genius. the other was good mechanically
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but did not have the reach of mind that wilbur had. they loved music. they loved books. nathaniel hawthorne was orval's favorite writer. catherine loved sir walter scott. one of her birthdays, the brothers gave them a bust of sir walter scott. here are these people living in ohio, no running water, no electricity, and they are given a bust of a great english literary giant to their sister for their birthday present. -- her birthday present. there is a lot of hope in that. i think what i would like to get to know even more about was the sense of purpose that they had. it sounds like a bad pun but high purpose, not something ordinary -- a big idea. we're going to achieve this big
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idea, and nothing was going to stop them. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q&a." >> this sunday night on "first ladies, influence and image," we will look at three -- sarah polk had a strong belief in politics and help james make positions. margaret taylor was opposed to her husband's nomination and zachary taylor told people she was praying for opponents to them. abigail fillmore was the first 200 profession and began efforts to establish the first white house -- to establish -- the first professional and began efforts to establish the first white house library.
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influences on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama, sundays at eight adequate p.m. eastern. as a complement to the series, c-span's new book, "first ladies ." it is available as a hardcover or e-book through your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are talking campaign 2016 now. we are joined by liz chadderdon a democratic consultant. we're also joined by ford o'connell. thank you for being here. guest: thank you for having us. host: ford, i want to start with you. let's talk about the broad field for the gop nomination. george protecting is the latest -- george for tacky is the latest to announce. guest: it will be tough.
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we have nine official candidates. the problem is those that are the highest name id are the ones holding the best and that will be hard for -- and it will be hard for any of these folks to break away until we turn to the debates in august. right now it is name id, therefore the polls are so tight no one can break away. host: and liz chadderdon, we started this week with bernie sanders announcing his candidacy. is he a viable candidate, what are his plans? guest: let's define viable. i do not think anyone thinks senator bernie sanders will be the democratic nominee in 2016 but there are plenty people that thought that about senator barack obama in 2007 however i think senator sanders is a much greater long shot at this point to be our nominee. i like senator sanders. i think he is left of left, and
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while that might play well in vermont, i do not know, even among democratic primary voters, how that will play. host: what is the goal of his campaign? guest: have you ever met bernie sanders? this is a guy with something to say, and this is an opportunity for him on a national scale to say some of the things he wants to say. he has definitive opinions about wash it, corporate america, how he feels the american middle class and the poor are being left hind on our government can't -- by our government. this is his chance to stand up and say what he feels. he will get attention because we only have two official at this point. host: later today we will have three and c-span will be covering it. guest: on what the republicans who have some of between eight and 27, it is harder for them to get their message out, but if you're a democrat, it is a wide-open field and it is a chance to have a bully pulpit and have some cameras. guest: one of the things is
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hillary clinton has near universal name id. the chance of her not when the nomination is next to impossible. she is going to be the nominee barring something outrageous -- whether she gets sick, whatever. as for my guys, you can throw the names in the air. if i had to say today you will have a combination of any two names on this ticket, edit is likely to be marco rubio, jed bush or scott walker. there are only about seven states in play and we have to run up about 35% with hispanics in florida, colorado, and nevada, and basically bring every white working-class voter into the tent or hillary clinton is going to walk into the white house. host: what are the states question mark -- states? guest: florida colorado, texas virginia. host: there is bipartisan agreement sometimes. guest: exactly. host: you can join the
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conversation by calling us on -- host: you can find us on social media as well. host: we are going to go ahead and get your phone calls, mike from cap florida,: the democratic line. -- tampa some of florida calling on the democratic line. caller: i would like to challenge liz chadderdon. it seems to me you are probably in the camp for hillary clinton and i would like to say i do not make a lot of money, but the money i have given is to bernie sanders and he represents the democratic party much more than hillary clinton who is a demonstrated liar. i am sorry.
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guest: first off, as a voter, i have not made up my mind and as a democratic strategist, i am not working for any of the candidates, hillary clinton senator sanders, or soon, martin o'malley. the left of the left, actually they have an opportunity to talk because they have a voice in bernie sanders. if you do not like hillary clinton, support bernie sanders martin o'malley. that is what the process is about. i have to agree with my republican politics -- colic, i think it is tough to see senator sanders be the nominee, but stranger things have happened. host: how much could you shift the conversation and force hillary clinton to move further left than she wants to for the general election? guest: under different circumstances i would tell you that is a real possibility, but the truth is she is such a juggernaut in this, it is so
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clear that this moment she has most of the money, most of the delegates, most of the democratic voters for the primary. if i am hillary clinton, or i am advising hillary clinton, and i am not, but i would tell her to ignore senator sanders and governor o'malley, because she does not need to acknowledge them. they need to attack her. she does not need to acknowledge they are in the race. as it, democrat of she wants to be kind and say i always welcome everyone's view, that might be the good thing to do, but as a candidate, they are inconsequential. guest: i have to agree, but she is lucky martin o'malley is on the stage because bernie sanders could really challenge with the left of the left. what she wants to do if she gets engaged is to triangulate off of martin o'malley to be considered in the middle of the carrots and answer sanders through o'malley and stay above the fray -- in the middle and answer sanders
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through o'malley and stay above the fray. host: this article in "the wall street journal" -- host: he repeatedly says the deck is stacked against the middle class. host: how much as he already change the conversation for hillary clinton? guest: i do not know how much
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already, but i do think governor o'malley will change the conversation a little, and you highlighted some key democratic issues where frankly governor o'malley is better than both secretary clinton and senator sanders. then control is a big one. maryland passed -- gun control is a big one. maryland passed some of the strictest and control measures, and friendly vermont, the home of bernie sanders, has some of the most liberal and loose gun laws in the country. if i were advising any of these candidates, i know whoever wins the democratic primary is usually the best democrat, and that often times means being the best on key and core democratic issues, on which gun control is a big one and of the three, if i were looking at the three as a voter trying to decide and i would say gun control is my big issue, i would say governor o'malley. guest: how is that going to be
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hard to break away from hillary clinton and bernie sanders? hillary clinton does not need to take a position. the party is unified under control. what she is trying to reconstruct is the obama coalition of unmarried women minorities, and voters under 35. if she can do that, she does not have to worry about sanders and o'malley. when they could push her is on free trade, the keep--- the keystone pipeline and energy. there are ways to push away they would have to tag team to bring her into the conversation and have her address questions. host: new york. steve on the independent line. caller: am i on? host: the air. what are your thoughts? caller: i am cares. i hear commentary how people need to ignore people like sanders and o'malley, but it seems the media seems to make
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the mistake of discounting the economic populism message and you have a case of david pratt winning in virginia over eric cantor. obviously people respond to this. my question is why exactly does the media seem to ignore the fact that people like economic populism and just write off candidates and speak about that. guest: very simple, it is called the horse race of polling. when you are leaving the democratic polling by 51 points, you will draw the media and the wallets. that is why polling is so important. o'malley is getting less than 1% in national polls. bernie sanders is getting 8.8% according to real clear politics. lies the media going to pay attention? they have not given the media -- why is the media going to pay attention? they have not given the media why until the debates.
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guest: the issue of economic populism is not just owned by democrats. i've seen several other republican nominees including mike huckabee, ted cruz, talk about economic populism and have a middle class is being left behind. now, is that fair? should they be talking about it? they get to talk about what they want to talk about. you'll will see economic populism as a message from the far left all the way to the far right which i find interesting. it is going to make this an adjusting election. we all know the secret to winning this is going to be the middle, and in some ways, you are absolutely right. hillary has to put together the obama coalition, the unmarried women who never show up instead of -- except for presidential years, the younger voters, minority-based voters. what we learned in 2014 is if we ignore the middle and only count on that coalition, we lose.
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economic populism is a message will hear from everyone. guest: let me be more specific on economic populism. you have the economy jobs, economic mobility. can i improve my standing under this economy? you will see both sides talking about how they couch it differently. the democrats might be talking about increasing the minimum wage. republicans will be talking about how the private sector can get to higher levels. when we get in the general election we might see more of a clash on how they approach the subject. host: fran from jacksonville florida, calling on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. now that you mention the economic populism part, and the primary, i would consider voting for martin o'malley or bernie sanders, of course, but whoever wins the democratic nomination gets my vote because even in my state when i look at how the republicans are in charge and each week i see how the voting
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goes, and what the issues are if anyone actually read what came up, and how the congressman voted, i just cannot believe the ordinary person would actually vote republican because -- host: i will give you a chance to respond. guest: [laughter] guest: they -- and let him do that one. what is really interesting is are they really going to push hillary clinton to the left in the primary and the answer is maybe. doubtful, because, again, as we both said, as strategist, we would advise secretary clinton to frankly, not engage with either one of them because they are not polling and she is at 51. she can run her own agenda and she does not necessarily have to engage. however, it is may of 2015.
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we have 19, 20 months of this left, god help us all. it might be that if they start pushing the more economic populism, the more liberal side of the argument, which is great they may for secretary clinton to start addressing that. wouldn't that be fascinating? guest: they will force her to address her vote on the iraq war, even though she said it is a mistake. what about maryland am --martin o'malley's record? marylanders think he is not presidential material. every clinton said look at his -- and likely will say you you look at my record, look at her record. i cannot believe i am defending hillary clinton. [laughter] host: the baltimore poverty rate is at 23.3%. an appointed rate is at 8.1%.
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the u.s. unemployed rate is 5.1%. it also shows baltimore is in the middle of the pack when it comes to other measures of urban revitalization. guest: let me say one more thing. since 1969, there have only been to republican governors -- two republican governors, and he was so bad that we neither republican governor. do you know how much you have to mess up to make that happen? host: i want to ask you again about the crowded gop field. in "the u.s. news & world report " there was an article about how new debate rules could alter the campaign. it could limit the number of persistent and markedly change the .
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host: brandon relentlessly campaigning in the state settled early contests -- rather than relentlessly campaigning in the states that hold early contests. guest: in the first debate, they will cap it at 10 candidates. the cnn debate will have 10 candidates, but they will have a lower tier debate. you cannot have even 10 candidates on a debate staging and 90-minute debate. what will wind up happening is it will become a political version of wwe smack down. you have to remember what the overarching goal of the debates is and you have to protect the nominee from democrats especially hit jobs from american bridges from running gaffes from the average voter
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that is not follow politics as close as we do. guest: one of things that famously came out was the rick perry "oops" moment. what i find interesting is how they will put 10 people on the stage, what happens to everyone else? i think it will be difficult for everyone involved in the republican primary to make that cut off. whoever is 1, 2, 3, 4, it will be easy, but who is five to 10 will be interesting, and most important, who is 11. i would love to know your opinion, is carly fiorina going to be on the stage? right now, she is not a contender, i think you would agree, but she is a woman, and it really is going to be smart for the republican party to have at least one woman onstage. right now, mostly white men, and they're the party, or at least accused of being the party of white men.
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if i'm working for the republicans, i would advise them to have carly fiorina the stage for several reasons, however if she is on the stage, everyone is on. guest: if you were not having a coronation, you would have the same problem. [laughter] it is not just diversity of gender. it is thought. we have the social conservatives, the tea party the libertarians. people do not understand while we might be considered the party of old, white men, which i do not really like, the problem is we have a lot more diversity of opinion that the democratic field as a whole. i agree it would be great if carly fiorina could get up there as well as ben carson, but we also have a spandex like ted cruz and marco rubio. given that -- hispanics like ted cruz and marco rubio. given that hillary clinton will be the nominee, it would be good to have carly fiorina to go on media programs and be an attack dog so the mainstream media
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cannot focus on her. -- play the women time. host: speaking of wwe -- a super pac released this ad. [video clip] >> sunday, sunday, sunday. the defender of freedom, senator rand paul versus barack obama and his so-called conservative accomplices, the capitulating canadian, ted cruz. kids, we have not forgotten about you. senator lindsey graham tries to read your e-mails while doing doughnuts in a 1997 geo metro,
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while it is on fire. watch them battle it out on the floor of the united states senate. the brawl -- sunday. sunday. host: and that was an ad from america's liberty super pac supporting rand paul that talks about the usa freedom act. i would like both of you to comment on the ad itself and the broader issue of whether the nsa surveillance program has legs to the 2016 election. guest: i have to tell you i have not seen the ad. it is my first time. i am a little stunned, both as a message strategist, a democrat, and as an american, actually. i think that is the definition of over-the-top. what is interesting is what is its job? it's job is to break through to a specific audience using a specific medium in a very crowded republican field, as we talked about. now, is that the right ad?
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maybe. it is not an audience i know a lot about. i will not kid you. i'm still a little stunned because that ad was obviously very contrasted. it literally called out, by name some of the other republicans in the race. it referred to senator ted cruz as a canadian, which is true, but kind of funny. i do not know if rand paul -- and he did not do this ad, i want to make that clear, but i do not know if senator paul would have agreed to do this if he had anything to say about it. will distinguish him? maybe. i think it will do more harm than good, which is part of the problem. with so much independent money so much of this will be done at the candidates have no control over. if it were me and i were senator paul, i would see the ad, call
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american liberty and take it down. he is not allowed to talk to them, so he is stuck. he gets to live with that. is that the right thing to do? i do not think so. guest: i think the job the ad is trying to copy just something he would agree with, but i agree it is over the top. he is trying to solidify his libertarian base who think he has gone to mainstream. he is at 9%. since he announced, he is not gone anywhere. ted cruz and others are creeping up behind him. now, the risk of this is the high-end part. for the public and primary voter, national security and foreign policy are the top two issues and then on not ready to hand over the keys to the republican nomination to someone they see as a libertarian-leaning ideologue. that is the risk. what rand paul should be doing is using his time wisely to pay himself as a reluctant warrior that says when push comes to shove i will do what is in the
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best interest of america in foreign policy. host: how does the meeting to discuss the nsa play into this? guest: this is the backdrop for the grandstand to be able to talk about this. what will wind up is the patriot act provisions will expire and we will adopt the usa freedom act and rand paul will say look, i did that. the problem is right now, right or wrong, americans are concerned about national security and foreign policy, and in some ways they're almost willing to trade civil liberties for stronger national security. he is running at the wrong time. if this were 2008, that would be a brilliant move. guest: what i find interesting about ad and what you said, and i agree, actually, the definition of the best republican which all of these nominees are trying to figure out -- how do they win the nomination by being the best
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republican? the definition of the best republican is really skewed. is it someone strong on national defense? is it someone that is more evangelical and catering more to the socially conservative base? is it someone that is more tea party libertarian? is it someone that is more business conservative? that is ashley, for me, as a democrat, and as a strategist -- actually, for me, as a democrat and as a strategist, the more fascinating to watch in the next year with republican field -- their positioning themselves in those buckets, and anyone crossing over those buckets. is anyone going to emerge as the person that is going to be able to pick up more than one bucket. that will be interesting. guest: you make a commission point. you cannot win with any one of the bucket. one bucket is worth more than the others, and that is the establishment bucket, 40%.
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you can convince voters. the two best hybrids right now are marco will be on scott walker. host: david from virginia. david, what are your thoughts? david, are you there? surely comment from new castle pennsylvania, on the republican line. go ahead -- shirley, from new castle pennsylvania, on the republican line. are you there? moving on to cary. go ahead. caller: bernie sanders is the only one out there telling what is really going on in this country and people to wake up and realize that. he is telling it like it is, and the other ones -- what do they got? what do they got? bernie does not run negative ads against people. i mean, you guys are just way
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too sure to early. guest: i think that hillary clinton, obviously, is such a known name. what's fascinating about her is she isn't 99% total name idea. who are the 1% who have never heard of hillary clinton which i thought was an interesting and funny article. bit more importantly, the hard thing for hillary and the color and other colors have struck on this is to know hillary is to have an opinion on hillary. you either love her or you don't. there isn't a lot of waffling on hillary. so, those people out there including democrats who are not huge fans of hillary is that room for them to really start to make some noise and really start to take some vote? i don't think so. but this is america and anything can happen.
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host: let's play a clip of bernie sanders' clip of his announcement for candidacy. >> this campaign starting today is going to send a message to the billionaire class. and that is you can't have it all. you can't get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. [applause] you can't continue sending our jobs abroad while millions are looking for work. [applause] you can't hide your profits in the cayman islands and other tax havens while that are massive unmet needs of every corner of this nation. [applause] to the billionaire class i say that your greed has got to end.
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you cannot take advantage of all of the benefits of america if you refuse to accept your responsibilities. host: and that was bernie sanders announcing his bid for president in 2016. ford o'connell, your thoughts. guest: as the republican i want bernie sanders to keep singing, any way that he can discredit hillary clinton is fantastic for my guys. at the same time though, there's one thing that he did say that we're going to be able to play over and over and he said that hillary clinton has been outhustling for money and she's disconnected from the reality of the everyday american which she's trying to represent. so therefore bernie sanders is the best person so far of who we think is going to be on that deal who can really drive hillary clinton. the question is whether or not she's going to take the bait. i hope she does. guest: the most interesting about watching that is as an absolute self-identified liberal, i'm listening to him and necessary striking chords
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with me. i love the term "billionaire class." instead of eight the wealthy, which is such a difficult at some points, to determine definition. what is wealthy? $100,a year? -- 100,000 a year? $500,000 a year? is i am a pragmatist and i know that pretty much what just came out of bernie sanders' mouth is not going to play to the middle class, the swing voter in a general election in iowa. it's not going to play in ohio. it's not going to play across this country to the more moderate middle part of america. now, that dun mean that i don't agree with him. i'm glad he's out there saying it. but do i think he's going to be our nominee and do i want him to be our nominee? that's a whole different question. host: bill from holden, nebraska, is calling out from the democrat line.
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bill, go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. i think if hillary clinton is the nominee on the democratic class, i really think we're going to hand the candidacy to the republicans. i think she's got too much baggage. i'm half wondering is if she's running because people expect her to run. i worry about bernie sanders' age. he's almost 80. it would be interesting to know what he would have had as vice president. and i think hillary clinton will not be elected. i think secretly, the republicans want her to be the nominee because i can only imagine how much money they've already spent in ads they haven't shown attacking her. and i just don't want to go
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through a whole year of negative politics and that's probably what's going to happen. the caller a little bit ago talked about bernie sanders and how he had doesn't run that negative time of campaign. but i do worry about his age. host: bernie sanders is 73. guest: the first important point is the optics around why she's running. is she running because she is so ambitious that she just can't help herself or is she running because she wants to do good things for this nation? you're going to get a different answer from just about everybody you talk to. and one thing that drives me a
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little nuts about hillary clinton and the advisors around her is that they don't know they have that problem. "sportscenter" they do know they have that problem, they're not doing much to address that problem. so that's number one. but number, two let's talk about the age factor what's really interesting is that hillary clinton is 68. so it's not like with all due respect to 68-year-olds, she's a spring chicken. joe biden 72. part of the reason he is choosing not to run for president. we're 44 -- the last president offense the united states were 44. is america ready for grandma and chief? i don't know. and that's going to be a really big question in this election. guest: and my guys are going to say because of ambition and she's been doing this since 2005 and that's why she's wanting to be secretary of state. she wants to buy her time while she's waiting to run in 2016.
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guest: we need to keep strong despite the progressive will to bring us back. and he can use the military to control the drug trafficking that comes back from the caribbean. guest: let me say this about marco rubio if he wins the republican nomination. it would be largely on the backs of national security and foreign policy. that is his strength over a lot of other candidates the military is a strength for marco rubio, not a negative. guest: you know what i'm finding really interesting is two months ago, which feels like a lifetime
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ago. i think we only had two official people running for republican nomination two months ago. but if you had asked me if marco rubio was really going to be in the top tier of candidates for the republican nomination, i might have said no. i've totally changed my opinion. not that i have a vote in the republican nominating process but i am really actually impressed with the way senator rubio has handled himself in the last couple of months and what i'm finding interesting when i talk to republican friends and i have a few. when i talk to my republican strategic friends but when i talk to my republican friends from texas, i've got a few back home his name is coming up all the time. i'm going to start to pay a lot more attention to rubio. guest: i'm newt industrial on this. i just want us to beat hillary clinton. i'm not picking any favorites here. marco rubio was the frontrunners
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for a very long time. where he tripped and fell was the immigration reform. there's a story who you feared the most and they said we fear marco rubio because he can win florida. he's fluent in spanish and he has a very compelling personal merit. when you go into marketing which is what we do here, that's a very big product statement going forward. host: going back to rand paul a little bit how much of a chance do you think he has of making any inroads here? guest: i have to be tough. i have to be a little -- rand paul is probably not going to win the republican nomination and the reason is is because national policy plays such heavy roles. you have to understand something -- well, substantial amount to majority in the first 14
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nominating contests were republican voters over 50. they tend to be more hawkish. because he's been unable to actually differentiate himself on foreign policy and make a cogent argument particularly after those isis morning he had at morning joey, he's had to find a way to paint himself as a reluctant lawyer and people that can accept. host: sort of going to social media and also going to sort of a variety shows. any place but the political media in order to make their case. do you still think that's true? guest: well, first of all, i'm glad someone read my book. therien lice the -- lies the problem. folks say i care about the issue.
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what i'm trying to say is in general, hillary clinton's biggest strength right now is the fact that she's going to be in women's magazines. they're going to develop 53 million readers. a great democratic pollster said unmarried women which is hillary clinton's primary target voters, basically 71% of them pay little to no politics. being able to go out there and talk about anything other than politics and making yourself look like a likable hard-working person may be more valuable than any perfectly stated policy person. guest: i couldn't agree more. and one of the things that's really interesting and i really actually say this with respect is that the democrats have at least since 2008 but the idea of being authentic, the idea of being real, the idea of talking about things about yourself
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beyond your political position, that's not just key. that's the baseball game. that's crucial. if you cannot present yourself to those voters, the ones who are not watching "washington journal" this morning they're still asleep right? when you're talking to voters, what they want to know is their elected officials are motivated by something that is political ambition. that is their most desperate desire. and if you can't tell them that in an authentic and geniune way you're not going to win their vote. so reaching out to those voters through non-political traditional mediums and more women's magazines on social media or on late night television is key. it doesn't matter if you're a democratic or republican. that goes back to marco rubio and i think he gets that. host: kathleen is calling on the democratic line. kathleen, good morning to you. caller: thank you. can you give me as much time as you gave the guy from maine? i want to talk to the democrat
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strategists. why do you get on tv? and i'm a democrat. you're sitting there giving this guy a playbook to how to hurt the democrats. they don't give you all any advice. and let me tell you some of your republican candidates. marco rubio flip-flop drinking water while trying to give a speech. ted cruz tried the to shut the government down over obama's health care. and then there's 50 hearings on health care costs and the day he said he was going to run for president, he said he was going to get rid of health care. tuesday, he said he was going to get health care. jeb bush brother war chris christie, on investigation, scott walker, on investigation. you know, mike huckabee is a lying preacher. donald trump is a joke. so why don't you sit up there and help the democrats instead
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of trying to give republicans a playbook and republican guy, it's amazing how you all said president obama's not worth anything. but child done stole all his ideas. he got his ideas wrapped up in a package with a pink ribbon on it. if you win you overtake this man's ideas and go forward and pretend like they're your ideas. host: that was kathleen from chicago. response. guest: kathleen, while i appreciate that people think that i am a vault of information, i promise you that republicans are well aware of many of the things that i'm saying today. what's really interesting about what she's saying is there are many people across the country who feel passionately about this election and i'm very excited about that because one of the things that we saw in 2014 was the lowest national turnout in a midterm election since world war ii. we saw between 2030-35% across
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the country. that's dismal. i want everybody to go vote. i want more democrats than republicans to go vote but i want everybody to go vote and that means getting fired up about this election and getting your friends and neighbors fired up and talking to people who don't get all that fired up and that's what i want people to do. guest: i give her kudos for passion and participating in the political process and following this. about the mid terms versus the general elections. mid terms, only about 47% of america turns out to vote. in a presidential election it's about 63%. when we get to that 63%, then we get to a tight tug of war and it tends to favor the democratic nominee just because the current electorial vote is matched. host: and jason calling from new york on the republican line. good morning jason. caller: good morning and thank you so much for taking my call. i just have what i hope is regarded as the practical question about the upcoming
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republican debates and i think i saw it on fox news. i'm inclined to believe that even having 10 people on state is too much. these primaries are extended -- intended to be competitive seems to me the debate should be an consent to inform voters in addition to start the process of elimination. so for instance, if there are plans to have four debates during the season, seems to me that you take the top five and then in each debate, you whittle it down until you get to two. there has to be a process in place through these debates, you know to cut through all of what i call the muck and the mire and get down to the most serious candidate who is have an opportunity to win. if they don't do that, seems to me they're going to have the problem they did in 2012. the whole debate cycle will run too long and they will effectively end up eliminating
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each other. and i'll hang up and take your comments. guest: i wholeheartedly agree with everything he just said. we may have 12, 16 candidates up there. there are only five to seven candidates. i'm not going to name them that can win the nomination and take on hillary clinton in a general election. but he's absolutely right. what's going to happen if somebody gets up there and they're not in there to win the nomination? maybe they want to run for another office? maybe they want a media deal so they can sit down and talk to you. there's a lot of reasons why people run. someone is going try with a i call a low blow. as newt gingrich did in 2012. all of a sudden, barack obama's team said gee, we now have a winner and if we run that commercial that romney's card forth, we're going to knock down his favorables. we're going to decide this in displace like colorado, virginia and florida and it wound up killing us.
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host: good or bad for democrats? guest: i think it's good for democrats. in some ways, it's good for republicans. guest: we should have an open process. guest: i agree about your point of the potential nominee or one of his or her competitors that is used in the general. your vulture capital comment is very fair. that is for better or worse the way the game gets played. in 2008, when the democrats had their own contentious primary. it energized the democrats. and while to this day, you will still find people who democratic primary supports, my mother was a hillary clinton supporter. she's still mad at me. it's been seven years. even though you will still find that level of contention man, were we fired up. we came out of that primary
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season and we were fired up and ready to go. and i'm wondering though, if that's not a good thing. guest: no, it's not. i disagree with you because in 2008, you had two candidates and it was two candidates who were in it to win it. you could have as many people on the stage as you want as long as you're in it to win it. donald trump is a sideshow. we have a new thing now. now we have the announcement to announce. it's sort of like the soft opening before the hard opening and that way you keep generating headlines. i want to know whether he's in or out and i want him to play by i'm in it to win it rules. if he has the numbers, good for him. host: should the democratic field have more candidates in it? guest: that's a fascinating question and many people have asked me both personal friends and professional friends. why do we not have more strong and with all due respect bernie
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sanders and martin o'malley running. 37 states hope their governor races in the midterm election. when you get annihilated in 2010 and 2014, you don't have a lot of governors. we lost seven united states senators in 2014. we have no bench. who is left? there is one. democratic female governor. that is something we as a party is going to have to take a look at. would it help us? i don't think so. i actually think in all honesty there is so much residual feeling from 2008 around the obama -- hillary primary that we're all very happy that she's on the ticket. guest: i can't disagree with you more. host: ok. guest: you do have some candidates namely, elizabeth warren.
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some people do not want to leverage her political career on a long shot. host: next up, suzanne is calling from luthersville, georgia, on the democrat line. caller: i am a democrat. i was a republican up until i lost a job of four years worki attorneys. and i went to go get food stamps and i had a $2,000 -- which they made me sell in order to get food stamps to feed my children. at that point, i realize the democratic party represented the small guys. i changed parties. i since worked. i've gotten a college degree. i've raised two kids. i help with my parents.
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i would vote for hillary simply because she's a woman. i watch c-span. i watch congress. i watch the news. i am very political. but i've decided is that both parties basically, they're all politicians. they're all going to say what you want to hear. and it's their basic premise the bottom line as to what the party represents that i care about. and then next, what is good for the country? and what will be good for the country is a woman president. host: all right, suzanne from georgia on the democratic line. guest: well, i think this is one of the most interesting things about 2016, is the women of this nation, republican independent democrat unmarried, married, old, young. are they all going to rally
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behind hillary clinton because she's a woman? the likelihood that hillary clinton will be the democratic nominee is pretty high. we all agree with that. which means we're going to have a woman on the ticket and this will be the first time in history whether she wins or not. first time we ever have a truly viable woman on the ticket as the nominee for the presidency. so does that mean that the women rally to her side because she's a woman or does she have to win them over like she wins them over like the male vote? guest: unmarried women under 50 is a big problem. there's a lot of voters out there who share that sentiment of voting for hillary clinton. having women surrogates out there is so important to see that we are not just a party of old white men.
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the problem that we have over and over. and this is a historical issue. unmarried women went to obama 70% in 2008. 60% in 2012. s the has always been an issue for republicans. it's not something we can unpack in 12 seconds but it is something that we can work with and it'sen a tough slogging but what does concern me the number one thing about hillary clinton some people are going to say like the caller. she had a tough story. the one thing she said that does matter is i'm going to vote for hillary clinton because she's a woman. host: mike is on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. excuse me. one thing that distinguishes rand paul from the -- including hillary and the g.o.p. field is the fact that he stands on the intellectual shoulders of the
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geniuses that founded this country. for example, james madison wrote no nation can preserve is freedom in the midst of continuous war fair. how do particularly the republicans, and conservatives pretend to endorse the found terse' wisdom? how can they stand up against that kind of critique? guest: i agree with what he's saying here. it is a little bit of schism within the republican party between civil parties and national security. unfortunately herein lies the problem. we have a lot of people who are fearful of terrorism. guest: i agree. the two easiest emotions to elicit are fear and anger so when politicians of either party, democrats or republicans are out there talking about the
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threat of terrorism it is something that's going to be a reaction from voters and at this point, we all simply want to continue our 14-year streak of not having a major terrorist attack on our shores. and at this point, the vast number of americans will do almost anything to keep that streak going. guest: including sacrifice on civil liberty. i wish we could have this debate and people were walking through the patriot act and discussing what it does and how it does it versus saying the government can always listen to your phone calls. if there's a lot of showboating going on in this debate and i think the american people are losing out. host: where do the republican candidates fall in terms of support for the patriot act? guest: they're all over the map. there is no -- one thing that they all agree is the freedom act is going to be the next piece of legislation, they're for it.
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you have rubio who favors something in between the patriot exact the freedom act. you have rand paul who thinks the freedom act goes too far. so they mostly err on the side of security but they recognize the need for civil liberty. host: william is next from tennessee calling on the democratic line. go ahead william. caller: yes. hello? host: hello, william, you're on the air. caller: yes. you know, i came here in 2001. and i went to school because when i came here, i was 21. i could not go to high school. so i went to local school in oregon. so before the iraq war. and i was like this war is not going to end good because i'm from south of there, if you know that.
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the sudan government and fighting -- so when i came here, i know it's bad. to invade iraq cause a lot of problems because it was like, you know, a bullet guy that's give away from the -- killing him was not an answer. they're saying what happened in libya. they go and took out gaddafi. host: so william, who do you plan to support in the next presidential election then? caller: ok yes. my problem is we are 100 senators. 435 congressmen. these number of 500 people don't have idea what they're doing.
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some of them been there like 20 years. when real senators come in or new president, they don't have the power. host: all right. that's william from tennessee. we'll move on now to garland from the democratic line. garland, go ahead. caller: one of the best discussions in recent history. great stuff. well, here's my book title. i'm post-election already. how the g.o.p. lost in 2016. hence, it was an inside job. and that's the candidate clutter. the party is not going to get past it. you're ensuring the most electability candidate is nominated. the way this is going, they're not even thinking like that. host: ford your response. guest: there's some points there
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that the republican party's been trying to brush up between when the democratic party begin. i wish we had a perfect system. and unfortunately, we do have a cattle call free-for-all and what's going to happen here is we're going to try to nominate the best candidate out there. that's the best we can do because that's the system we have right now. guest: you know what i think is really interesting about this and i appreciate the caller saying this. i have been asked several times both on air and personal friends who are the democrats the most afraid of? since i've already been called out by another caller for giving away too many secrets, i'm not going to say that but i am not afraid of any of the democratic frontrunners right now. they're not conservative enough to make it to the primary and
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therefore, i don't have to worry about them. yes, one of them's a governor from the northeast but were never going to probably see him be the nominee. frankly at this point of the what we may call top five, if you will, the only one who i really think is going to be quite a challenge for us in the fall is marco rubio. i still think marco rubio's young. i think he is untested. i think he can easily gas. i think we have a long way to go. but boy i am growing more and more impressed with him. i believe his story, his ability to be authentic is fascinating. are there republicans going to let him out of the primary? guest: it's a funny validation. let me say this about chris christie. democrats did one heck of a hit job knocking him down for over a year and a half. it was chris christie 24/7. nobody could have survive that.
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chris christie's biggest problem is more of his record as a governor with respect to finances than bridge gate. one thing i will say about chris christie he is the best republican when it comes to a rally and giving a speech. i would take that skill from him and i would love to put it into another candidate. guest: i couldn't agree with you more. and i don't think it's bridge gate. i don't think it's bridge gate that's going to keep him out of the nomination. i don't think with that record, you make it out of the current republicans' nominating office. host: we will move on to our final caller for this segment and that is kevin from charlotte, north carolina, on the independent line. kevin, go ahead. caller: really, i look at this whole process and how the candidates are rolled out has
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been kind of sad. because you see all the individuals coming out but it's like a dog and pony show. everybody just acting like they don't really care. they don't have their own personal interests towards what they're trying to be able to get done or whatever slighted way. and it's kind of like left me at no end where i can't really find a candidate that is smart, intelligent, who's going to make the right decisions for america comparatively for themselves. honestly, it's more like, you know, i'm still trying to be able to find that evidence process and not just about, you know, if you're a woman or you're a mexican or this and where is the intelligence? where is the person that i can look at that i can find within this election that is going to be smart? not president bush who i'm trying to blow up some money because they're talking about my daddy or something else talking about.
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i want somebody smart. host: final thoughts, ford o'connell. guest: i agree with him. i wish we could change the process. it's headline and two quick bytes. guest: i think the caller really just summed up what i said earlier which is that the american people are desperate to know that their elected officials are motivated something other than just ambition and possibly greed. singh the next president whoever he or she maw be is going to have the ability to inspire. it is what we want as americans from our leaders and certainly from our president. and i think at this point, it's going to be a very interesting race. guest: and it should be a very close race. guest: i agree. host: liz chadderdon and ford o'connell. thank you so much better for being here. guest: thank you. host: next, you can continue the discussion about campaign 2016
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or offer your thoughts on other news of the day. we will be right back. >> this week on q&a, our guest is two-time pulitzer prize win, david mccullough. he shares stories about his new book, "the wright brothers." they didn't even graduate from high school. and their fathers encouraged them with only interesting projects. he said stay home and do that. you don't have to go to school. because he knew how bright they were. wilber was a genius. orville was very bright, very inventive. clever mechanically but he didn't have the reach of mind
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that wilber had. they loved music. they loved books. nathaniel hawthorne was orville's favorite writer. katherine loved sir walter scott. one of her birthdays, the brothers gave her a bust. these people living with no indoor plumbing, no hot water, no electricity and they're given a bust of a great literary giant for her birthday present. there's a lot of hope in that. but what i would like to get to know even more about was this sense of purpose that they had. and sounds like a bad pun, but high purpose. not something ordinary. big idea. we're going to achieve this big idea. nothing was going to stop them.
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>> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. >> "washington journal" continues. host: and we are opening up the phone lines to you during this segment. we would like to hear your thoughts on campaign 2016 or any news of the day. if you would to call in call the number on your screen. more on social media. you can tweet us. the handle is @c-spanwj or send us an e-mail at journal right now, we will also discuss some of the top washington stories on the day including this story in "the "new york times" about former house speaker dennis hastert.
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it is headlined hastert is linked to sex abuse. he served for eight years as speaker of the house of representatives was paying a former student hundreds of thousands of dollars to not say publicly that he had sexually abused him decades ago. according to two people bereaved on the evidence and covered in f.b.i. investigation, federal prosecutors on thursday announced the indictment of mr. hastert on allegations that he made cash withdraws totaling $1.7 million. and the authority charged them of lying to them about the purpose of the withdraws. the former student who is not identified in court papers told the f.b.i. he had been inappropriately touched by mr. he's forget when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach that two people said friday. this is how the story played out in dennis hastert's home state of illinois. the "chicago sun-times" had a
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front page article entitled "secret shame." source reveals ex-speaker of the house. feds have interviewed two victims accusing dennis hastert of paying hush money to a male student. the "chicago tribune" had this to say -- that is a second person involved in these allegations. federal agents have interviewed a second person who raised similar allegations of sex abuse against hastert that corroborated of the initial victim. so, went to hear from you. what do you think about the hastert controversy? what do you think about campaign 2016? we'll turn to jesse on the republican line. caller: good morning. host: what are your thoughts this morning? caller: my thoughts are i'm a conservative.
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and i think ted cruz is the most conservative person in the race. and i notice fox and the other networks are not mentioning ted cruz at all. they're mentioning jeb bush rubio and walker are the only ones to have a chance. i think ted cruz is the only one who has chance against hillary and i wish the network would tell us on the polls because ted cruz is not mentioned. that's all i have to say. host: all right jesse from west virginia. next up is john from kentucky. john, go ahead. caller: hello. good morning. host: you're on the air. caller: yam. -- yes, ma'am. i want to say two quick things to add to the discourse. first of all i used to -- i'm a register republican but i've voted across the board. i've been in different parties
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and i actually at one time, i helped campaign for not very much, but donated some money, helped campaign for hillary clinton. but i lost faith in her. i lost trust in her after ben ghazi. next point. and honestly, i don't trust her because of benghazi. and next thing, i would like to bring up the governor pataki in the race. i know that him and giuliani went through a lot on 911 and i believe it's going to be interesting to see if he has with a it takes to lead this nation. host: have you decided on a candidate yet? caller: no, it's much too early. but i'm interested to see if pataki can rise to the occasion.
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host: and a new poll by quinnipiac includes these details on the frontrunners on the republican field so far. leading the pack with 10% each are former florida governor jeb bush, ben carson, former arkansas mike huckabee, u.s. senator marco rubio of florida, scott walker. those are named as the frontrunners in the republican race for the punishable -- presidential nomination. rounding out the top 10 are the u.s. senator rand paul kentucky. he has 7% of the votes so far. u.s. senator ted cruz of texas has 6% to the previous caller's point. donaldson trump is at 5%. and chris christie is at 4%. and john kassig are at 2%. our next caller is richard from grand v.c.u., mt., on the -- grand view, montana. richard? he's gone.
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move on to ellen from indiana on the republican line. ellen, good morning to you. caller: good morning. and i'm an 81-year-old christian and i want to say to all the people that call in daily. as a christian, i have more in common with a black christian than i do with a white non-christian. and i say that because when i was growing up, this country was totally christian. we learned about our founding fathers who were primarily christian and wanted to go by bible wisdom. and then we took prayer out of school and now we have gotten to the point where i am very concerned that god can no longer bless america. the base of the republican party is the judeo christian principles. god is love and god is wise and we better get back to that.
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and that's all i have to say. host: all right. that's ellen from indiana on the republican line. we are joined now by peter sullivan from the "hill" newspaper. he is a staff writer from that location and he will be covering martin o'malley's announcement today that he is running for president. peter sullivan, good morning to you. guest: good morning. how are you? >> i'm great. tell us what we should expect when governor o'malley makes this announcement. guest: he's announcing at a rally in baltimore making it official that people have expected for a while that he is running for president and he faces some long odds against hillary clinton but he's going ahead anyway and he's been looking to kind of position himself on the liberal side of hillary on issues like to immigration and trade. 's been opposed to the trade deal that president obama is for, which is a big issue for
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some labor unions and liberal groups. so he's trying to carve out his own space in this race but it's an uphill climb for him. host: which theme do you expect him to focus on in his announcement speech? guest: i think he's trying to really present himself as a fresh face. his slogan we just learned is new leadership, which is obviously, an implicit jab at hillary clinton saying that she is not new. she's been around for a long time. he wants to say i'm new. i'm a fresh face. i'm going to lead us in a different direction. and i think he's trying to hit the theme that it's time to turn the page that he's going to be different. le had quote in march that the presidency is not a crown to be passed between two families. and that was kind of a hit at clinton. host: now, vermont senator bernie sanders also announced his intention to run for president this week.
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bernie sanders martin o'malley. which one do you think is the biggest threat to hillary clinton? guest: yeah, well, sanders, i think, has more momentum at the moment. he's kind of got a built in base of liberal supporters to have liked him for a long time during his time in congress. and he's really -- gets a lot of traction on social media. he had a big rally in burlington vermont. for the moment, sanders seems to have more energy behind him. some say he may not be solely electability. he's a little too brash and outspoken and liberal for some people. maybe so. maybe eventually o'malley can bummed more support, seen more like the electability liberal alternative to hillary. host: what does o'malley do to generate that same level of excitement? are what are his next steps? guest: it's going to be hard.
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i think it's got be hard to keep up the campaign trail. he's already been going to iowa and new hampshire, the early primary states. he's going to have to keep contrasting himself to hillary clinton. one of the questions is how negative our sanders and o'malley going to go with clinton? so far yeah, they've made some contrast remarks about needing new leaderships but they haven't gone on a few attack certainly not looking at issues like the clinton foundation has gotten a lot of scrutiny. if they get maybe a little more desperate, are they going to start attacking her more? host: does he have any other thoughts announced in terms of the campaign trail yet? guest: no. it's still a little bit up in the air where he's going to be going. he's going to his speech in baltimore where he was mayor. that's his home town.
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it's gotten scrutiny lately because of the protests, there questions about whether o'malley was a little too tough in terms of police task during his times as mayor. he's in baltimore today but it's a little bit of issue for him at the moment. host: thank you for being here this morning and calling in, peter sullivan. guest: yeah, thanks for having me. host: on friday, he released a video playing hail to the chief on his guitar. ♪ host: and c-span will be covering martin o'malley's expected presidential
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announcement later this morning at 10:00 a.m. we'll be in baltimore following that action. next on the phone lines is tim from virginia on the democratic line. tim, good morning to you. caller: yes, good morning and thank you for c-span. i'm trying to figure out how we got to -- where money is controlling politics today. i'm a firm believer and we've got to have term limits in this country to stop the money from controlling politics. and if i could pick two people, it would be elizabeth warren and tim kaine. if i could put those two people together, that would be a winning ticket and bring this country back to where it needs to be. and all these other people millionaires running for politics they would just hold hands and run to a bridge and start jumping off. if elizabeth warren and tim kaine was to get in this race, i think that would be the best thing we could do to this country because they both have more or less and a heart.
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host: all right. caller: that's what we need in this country. thank you. host: next up is teresa from virginia on the republican line. teresa go ahead. caller: yes. my question is this is with the clintons and hillary clinton. where is the ethics committee? they have been involved in so much scandal and still involved in scandal and how can she even run for president with all the scandal that's been very young her? did -- surrounding her? did we not have an ethics committee in this country? is it so lost now that anybody can run, no matter what their moral values? it seems to me like being president of the united states should be totally about more or less and values and this is the leadership of our country. what's happened that people can do whatever they want and still just walk off and rise to power.
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host: that was teresa from virginia on the republican lines. a few more headlines for you this morning in "the new york times," the white house takes cuban off terror list. the obama administration removed cuba of state sponsors in terrorism. -- host: officials failed in talks last week to reach an accord to re-establish diplomatic talks. and the "wall street journal" recovery stumbled yet again. the g.d.p. shrunk for the third time as a tough winter knocks the economy off course. the u.s. economy shrank during the fourth quarter. --
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host: and in the houston caron:, there is this update on the flooding. deadly downpours pelt rain weary state. the paper says. an onslaught of foul weather continues --
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host: we have opened up the phone lines during this segment for you discuss your thoughts on the news of the day. we'll turn now to houston texas, where fred is calling on the independent line. fred are you there? caller: yes. host: i hope you're staying safe with the flooding. caller: yeah i'm a little away from it. it's quite a bit out. it took out a big golf course. here's the thing. i am so amazed at how the democrats get behind hillary clinton when she was like the biggest -- the two -- the other
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caller took my thunder about how can she even think about running? and that's how the democrats get behind their people and it's sink or swim with them. it's unbelievable. host: so fred, who do you support? caller: well, i'm going to support ben carson. but he's not going to make it because he's too smart and it's just -- he's right down the middle but he's not going to make it. and i'm hoping it's chris broussard against somebody like elizabeth warren. i just can't believe -- i just want to get the word out to how can hillary clinton even be in this. it's just like barack obama. host: all right, fred houston on the independent line. next is matt on the democratic line. matt, good morning. caller: hey there. i just want to -- mr. o'malley's
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announcement that he's going to make. not only do i think he will make an excellent competition for ms. clinton but every time he takes his shirt off -- host: all right. next up is joel from new york, new york, on the independent line. joel go ahead. caller: hi c-span. i love c-span. i watch it every day. good job. i'm not happy with what we're doing. and i want things changed, you know like get our troops back home. stop all the massacres and killings that's really happening in the mideast. maybe 1% caused by our occupation, by the deployment of troops there. let them decide for themselves. and this program -- that has
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caused -- no. actually anger among people that they do not take -- and they say violence or the privacy and millions of innocent people are, you know, being badly surveyed upon and that's not part of the constitution of the united states to monitor civilians daily now. let them decide for themselves. host: all right, joel from new york calling on the independent line. and just a reminder that c-span will be following the senate's debate over the n.s.a. surveillance program tomorrow at 4:00 and wednesday when it convenes. frederick from indianapolis, indiana, calling on the democratic line. frederick, go ahead. caller: yes. i was just calling on a comment
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that george bush made -- or jeb burks i'm sorry, made earlier in the week that isis was not around when his brother was in office. and to me that's a total misrepresentation of the truth or it kind of makes him incompetent because it was his brother two created isis during an illegal war in iraq. and i use illegal because all the justifications they use to go to war were not true. there were no mobile weapons labs. according from with a i know, they did not find any weapons of mass destructions. he was not friends with osama bin laden. so he wouldn't be able to get him weapons of mass destruction to carry out terror attacks. and the yellow cake uranium was all just falsified stuff. so i would like to comment on what he had to say about -- isis was actually created from the people who are in the iraqi
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military. and so, he is just saying that isis wasn't around when his brother was in office. when it was his brother that created it. host: all right, fredic from indiana, we got your thoughts. next up is john on the republican line. good morning. caller: yes. aside from the fact that the last guy is a bush hater, he's got his facts all wrong sunnis that were in hussein's command was -- isis didn't exist then. you are wrong. but i call to talk about hillary who is reputed to be the smartest woman in the world. and i refer you to her book, "living history." and also to carl bernstein's book, "woman in charge," where it's mentioned in there that she came out of the yale law school in 1973 that summer she want came to d.c. because she wanted to be a big lawyer in d.c. no matter whether she worked for the government or private
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company, private law firm. and she took the bar exam after taking the two-day bar review. and she flunked it cold. two thirds of the people that took the d.c. bar exam, the is to the most difficult one passed it. and they didn't all go to yale law school. she got a job on the watergate committee because bill who was running for congress then turned it down and he recommended her to john doer who is stepping it up -- host: who are you settling on? have you picked a candidate yet? caller: i want to see these guys in the republican part. of course, i called on the republican line. i want to see them fight it out. i don't want to see them limited to the top nine or 10. i want to get a stage big enough or do it in, you know, on different occasions and have the all-out and then the semifinals and do it as they do in sports to eliminate people.
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or zpwouked the old convention method and that's how lincoln was, begin the nomination was by a convention. and it wasn't on the first vote. host: all right. that's john from maryland. next up is mark tchibling independent line from texas. mark, is caller: anyway. that is ok. the problem i am seeing is there is no difference between the democrats and republicans. they are both out to destroy our sovereignty. the only difference is the geographic parameters. the democrats want to turn us into -- let's put it this way the democrats want to redistribute the wealth within the borders of the united states. the republicans want to redistribute wealth globally through globalization. there is no difference. either way, we lose on this deal.


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