tv Senator Jeff Flake Remarks in Gilbert Arizona CSPAN August 22, 2017 1:14am-2:11am EDT
could be made to streamline the immigration process. that begins at 9:30 a.m. eastern on he spent to. betsy devoscretary has been pushing for school choice and privatization initiative. c-span, a conversation about school choice, live coverage from the american federal -- federation for children at 4 p.m. eastern. you can follow both events online at c-span.org or on our free span radio app. a senator jeff blake held town hall in arizona and took questions on various issues including trade, tax reform, border security and stability in u.s. politics. the arizona republican was interrupted by protesters. [applause]
>> thank you mike. >> good morning. >> this might does not work very well. >> [indiscernible] right, we will get it before the event starts today. senators, obviously a lot going on in washington right now. you have a new book out, conscience of a conservative, a rejection of the structure of call -- of politics and a return to principal. the book echoes a number of the comments that area goldwater made in a similar book years ago and maybe you could cap a little bit about the book? >> thank you. -- barrywater audio] r -- [no
yelling] s are you in to know, favor of the environment or not! >> we will have the opportunity for questions from the audience later. [indiscernible] do you support climate change? >> we apologize for that. no worries. >> it may not be the first one or the last one. >> it will not be the last one today, i am sure. 19 60 feltater in like the conservative movement in the republican party had been compromised by the new deal and he felt like there had to be a manifesto put out for conservatives to follow. so he wrote "conscience of a
conservative" at that time. this book i wrote is very much an homage to senator goldwater and also because i am concerned about where we are today. i am concerned that the party is going down a populist route, and populism is called populism for a reason. it may be popular, you may win elections that way but it is not a governing the loss of the. -- governing philosophy. i am concerned by this intense nationalism and anti-free trade and arizona benefits significantly from free trade. nafta has been good for arizona, obviously it needs to be modernized but it needs to be continued, not abandoned. i am concerned that the party might go there, and the, half of the book is on what the subtitle is, "the rejection of destructive politics." i am a
conservative i am just not in a bad mood about it [laughter] i think it is something that is an affirmative, positive philosophy. not built on anger or hatred. i am concerned about where the party might be going there as well, if we follow the lead of some individuals who would give in to that kind of destructive behavior. so i would like to address that quite a bit in the book. it talks about going back -- growing up where i did, so flake is the center of the universe, [laughter] i am sure the eclipse will be most prominent there as well! i grew up with a great example, my father, being the mayor of the city, doing public service, judicial advisory council for ins date, uncle that were politics, jake flake who was speaker of the house, and also another who was eager of the
house and state president. they found ways to work across the are well governing in arizona and do it in a collegial manner, looking for compromise. and i feel like we are losing some of that in this shirts versus skins, winner take all, winners and losers type of environment. it is a beak concern of mine and i address it in the book. >> you address it very well. there is a quote in the atlantic a while back where it says maybe you were too nice to be a senator! have a stellar service record and it shows that you can be nice and be a conservative too. >> i hope so! >> so try not to be a grumpy conservative, we appreciate it. you have been a strong supporter of free trade, please talk about that. it is very important to the southern part of the united aids and to the whole country --
united states and to the whole country. some of your directions have broken with the administration and are different, can you talk about that? >> overall, trade has been extremely important for the state of arizona. we are a border state and we take advantage of that. we'll have $19 billion in trade with mexico, last year. that is something we should be proud of and seeks to expand, and i am proud of the chamber of commerce, all of the folks who have pushed this. the people of arizona understand, i think, better than others days, the valley and importance of trade. in this country we are just 5% of the world population, less than 5%, less than 20% of the world's economic output and shrinking, not because of our economy shrinking but because the developing world is growing faster.
economically, we cannot have a better standard of living or quality of life if we shun trade and if we build barriers to trade. so i am very concerned about where we are going, the rejection of the trans-pacific partnership or the tpp which was a big mistake which will haunt us for a long time. as we speak, the other parties to the tpp, the other 11 countries are seeking to do deals amongst them selves and they will leave us behind. the international supply chains are set, once they are set it is tough to break back in. we all know how that works. on thencerned not only economic front but also on the geopolitical front as well, rejecting the agreement means particularly for those countries in southeast asia, we want them to be in our trade orbit, not .ust in china's' we are giving them no option,
and they are looking elsewhere for trade partnerships. we have to get away from the idea that we are the only game in town, we are not. harness free trade, make it to our benefit as it has been over the past couple of decades, several decades. but if we reject this trade agreement, the administration has said it once to go forward with bilateral trade agreement. great! do them! bilateral trade agreements usually grow up to be multilateral trade agreements in this day and age, but we cannot reject multitech -- multilateral trade agreements. prior to nafta, our total trade between 50 was billion and $60 billion per year, 25 years ago. now, it is over $500 billion per year. the administration seems to fixate on the trade deficit we have of over $50 billion. well, take it!
if you are trading nearly $600 billion with a trade deficit, particularly when it has to do with the energy sector, it is not as detrimental as some people ain't it as -- paint it as. we need to move forward from this rhetoric from the pet -- the president's campaign which was to reject nafta and has evolved to let's renegotiate it. modernizemeans let us it, let us make it better and stronger for all three countries involved. the reason for negotiation, i amg forward, -- encouraged as art my colleagues who want free trade. >> you spoke out about that pretty well in your book. if we create a vacuum, someone will be waiting there to fill it. >> to that point, just after the election i was down in mexico's 80, a preplanned trip the trip took on more urgency after the
election. the mexican senate, while i was down there, was working on the tpp that we had just rejected. their efforts were moved in that regard -- were moot in that regard but at the same time the russian and chinese presidents were both in southern america telling these countries that would have been part of the tbb that we are here. -- tpp that we are here. about us beingng left behind if we do not aggressively look for these trade agreements. >> thank you. let us talk about something that is closer to home. you grew up in a wrenching family in arizona, so you know very well that water is important and is the lifeblood of arizona. you sit on the committee for energy, and we appreciate your areort for srp there we
talk about your efforts to preserve what are in arizona? question,ciate the thank you for all that you do there. it has been wonderful to fly over northern arizona when i fly from back east and a.c.l. of the greenery -- when i fly from back east and ice he all of the greenery -- i see all of the greenery. when i get over to my parents house and our ranch, i always see myself on a horse, writing mile after mile after mile. being asemember it green as it is right now, it is gorgeous, and we are benefiting from a wet monsoon. . in the winterat, last year, particularly in the sierra nevada, there was a drought issue for arizona.
we might have but we got a little reprieve as we got to lake mead. water is the lifeblood of arizona. arizona has planned very well, better than other western states because of the site -- the foresight of those who came before us. mentioned, who worked on the ground water code, the republicans and democrats who came together in the 1980's and required eight 100 year supply of water for development to happen. we are in better shape here in arizona and the key is to make sure that kind of planning continues. which is why it has been great to work with senator mccain and other members of the delegation is it with the governor and his water advisers and they what are the priorities for arizona? arizona couple of years ago, and my efforts and senator mccain's in particular withbeen in tandem
arizona's priorities, and we try to mature that voluntary arrangement to leave water behind the dam in lake mead by arizona water users would be honored by the federal government. to make sure the water did not disappear down some canal in california. they have a bigger delegation that we have [laughter] so we are always concerned about that. we got a agreement from the department of interior to make sure the voluntary water arrangements would be cast in stone or honored. in anas done appropriation bill and we will have to do the same thing again this year, but i believe we can do it. we have to make sure that one, the colorado river that we have a drought contingency plan that involves a lot of other water users obviously. and other states, so, these are important think things -- things.
just as important is to make sure that every drop of water that falls on the state is captured and we make use it -- make use of it. srp has not do that, -- done a lot of work on this project, nature conservancy, showing us that as long as we have a watershed, with traditionally the ponderosa pine forest in the north, they are about 20 to 50 trees or acre, they were, now they are around 200 on average. that means, it is fuel for fire's, on account of 16 years. we have lost about 20% of our northern force -- northern forests. it has terrible consequences in terms of this watershed that is so important to arizona. and srp obviously don't a lot about that -- obviously knows a
lot about that. when we have the sediment falling into the reservoirs it has costs to municipalities and others. these are the things you are working on a lot? >> thank you, you cannot talk about water without talking about the watershed and the conditions, the effect that the fires have been causing it with respect to water quality. i appreciate all of your efforts on that. ,ou cannot have a successful you cannot manage a successful watershed control without having a process that is more developed than what we have right now. >> that threat, we have a lot of force out there and there is -- we have a lot of forests out there and there is no way to manage it, they need to partner with our industry, and the problem was prior to the
previous fire, the industry was gone. growing up, we always had a paper mill, we had timber industries, a lot of activity in the forest in terms of reducing the fuel load. we started these stewardship contracts. it worked well with the administration. we were able to bring it back dollars to theon industry. thesrp's were involved with power plants. uses foril and other these forest products. the difficulty has been to get
the federal bureaucracy to move quick enough. readye a lot of acreage now. the problem is getting it prepped and ready for private industry. it has been an ongoing process that senator mccain of myself work on a lot. we tend to work together on that to have better leverage. we meet with chief tidwell frequently in washington to make sure they are prioritizing arizona. we've had some good results. about 500,000 acres ready to go. we have had some problems with the contractor but we are working through that. hopefully this year we will do as much as 50,000 acres and if we can continue at that pace, we will actually make some progress. >> we appreciate your support on that issue. let's talk about tax reform.
of leadership and commitment to get a piece of legislation that make through in an environment like today. can you talk about your direction her? sen. flake: we have got to lower our rate if we want to be competitive globally. if we want to be competitive globally, we have got to have a lower tax rate. that is priority one. every proposal we have seen has lowered the corporate rate. i am pleased that the houses abandoning its efforts on the border adjustment tax. that is maxingg out a tariff is not good in this environment. we should not be putting up new barriers to trade. we are moving away from that. good thing.
i know secretary mnuchin has senators.ng it looks as if the administration will be pushing lower-de-rate, broaden-knee-based kind of perform. lower, -- lower-de-rate, broaden-d-based kind of reform. they lobby hard. it is not going to be easy by any stretch but i think when you compare to health care, it is different. health care is personal to individuals and families in a way that tax reform is not. tax reform, like i said, it will no doubt be tough but we are got to do it. we have congress need a victory here. it hasu look at what
done, the economy, hiring, the unemployment rate, i think it is baked in that we are going to do tax reform and if we do not come through, it is going to be a big blow to the economy. we are feeling the pressure on this. >> you mentioned health care. talk about that. clearly, there has been a lot of controversy over the strategy replacing affordable care. talk about your direction and path forward. this morning in arizona, about 200,000 families or individuals woke up without health insurance. toy will have paid the fine the federal government. more than 180 3000 people will have paid the fine but they cannot afford the insurance. so they paid the fine and still do not have any entrance. you have an even greater number
on thes insurance exchange, the obamacare exchange, but nobody can afford to use it. when i go to the gym in the morning, like i did this morning, inevitably on the treadmill next to me somebody will come up in give me their obamacare horror story about how they had insurance and lost it. ] huckling sen. flake: i have a friend who said he is paying $1500 in premiums every month. when you totaled the deductibles to his family, it goes nearly -- into combined with a premium -- he pays more than $30,000 out-of-pocket before the first insurance dollar kicks in. not a situation that can continue. looking out in his room, i'm sure many of you have similar issues. small business and particular is
hit hard. 70% of arizona's still covered by traditional employer insurance for small businesses and contractors are really hit hard. arizona has that issue. we are kind of ground zero for the failure of the exchange. one and agencies have sure. -- counties have one insurer. the average for a family of four is more costly than their mortgage. in a couple of counties, it is double the cost for their mortgage. that is not sustainable. it is really not. is obviously an expansion states of more than 28% of the population is covered by our version of medicaid. in some counties, it is up over 60%. so, that is important to her zone as well. how we deal with that has got to be sustainable.
my principal has always been let's not pull the rug out from under those people who have insurance now. that is what obamacare did in a big way. theirof people lost insurance when obamacare came along. we do not want to repeat that. those are picked up insurance on the exchange, you cannot pull the rug on the medicare expansion. you can't pull the rug out from them either. you have to make that system sustainable. don't take insurance away from people 11 now and make sure the system we have is sustainable. when you look at the medicaid medicaln, some of it is inflation plus one or two, depending on the population. we have to find way to make that sustainable for the long-term. i would've hoped we could have kept the reform effort alive. we were not able to.
i hope we can. senator mccain has pushed for it over and over his entire career, get back to regular order. with his back in the health committee. fix.them work out a that is where we are now. not seem to be an environment where compromise and regular order prevail very easily. how do we get there from here? : we don't have a choice. that is what i was talking about in the book. the biggest by far is our looming debt and deficit. we have a debt of 20 trillion dollars. we have a deficit that is about to hundred billion dollars now. over the next decade, we will get back over $1 trillion a year. that is not sustainable. at some point i fear the financial markets will wake up
one morning and they will have already decided we're not just a good bet. when that happens, it takes decades, generations, to grow out of it. other countries -- japan, greece, others are finding that out. i do not want to be in that situation. i want to fix this kind of thing before we get there and you can only do that if you work across the eye. chuckling] it happened when republicans, democrats, sat down together and said -- let's share the political risk because one party, when that party controls both chambers in the white house whether it is republican as it is now or democrat, that party will never take the chance because midterm elections are never more than two years away
and the party will never do on its own and so i think with this betrayal we have in this inability to compromise, it is in my view, as a conservative, it is preventing us from achieving conservative ends and we have got to get away from this notion that it is a bad thing to sit down and work across the aisle and it is just -- it is disheartening to be in that situation where you are attacked if you realize that we need a bipartisan solution for something. it is far more the on a fiscal and economic issue, it is a world reputation and national security issue. in your work on the foreign relations committee, you are seeing that now. sen. flake: you bet. with regard to the challenges we face and our standing in the world, north korea is the most
urgent, obviously. that is a big problem. i think our allies need to know we are there. that we are steady. that we are forgettable. that is why in my view that is what a conservative is. if nothing else, a conservative maybe boring. that at least predictable and sober. his use of diplomacy and force, our allies need to do that. we need to recognize our adversaries as well for who they are and what they are looking to achieve. to intervene in our elections. whether they were successful or not we will leave to others, but they certainly tried and we ought to want to know what they did. and, we want to try to make sure it does not happen again here or in other countries as well. but we have big challenges
around the world on the security front, on the trade front. certainly with nuclear weapons and proliferation that we need to make sure that we lead as we have in the past. >> thank you. let's talk about infrastructure. a big priority for both parties this year. it is important to all of the chambers and all of the cities. there has been some discussion and ideas raised about repealing tax exempt status of municipal bonds. important toly municipalities hand impacts our citizens. can you talk to us about your view on infrastructure proposals? obviously, the country is in need of a big boost with infrastructure. there is a lot of discussion on how we fund that. that is a big question. i have long supported a tax holiday when it comes to repatriated assets.
ring them back at a lower rate and devote a portion of that to infrastructure. those discussions are continuing. others want to lay claim on that revenue to bring down the rate further. we need a boost and infrastructure. the question as far as a state like arizona, do we farewell with regard to guess tax and other moneys they go to the federal government and then come arizona. one thing i've always try to do is make sure every dollar we sent from arizona, that we get it back in a way that we can fully utilize in and part of the problem is that when the federal money comes back to arizona, it is tied up with regard to federal mandates and regulations that decrease the value of that money when arizona goes to build .p infrastructure that is why i have supported things like pla to make sure
that like in the bush administration, labor agreements, that the government is neutral with regard to project labor agreements and requirements. we should get rid of it when it comes to federal contracts on infrastructure because that simply drives up the cost and means that arizona can build a lot less than they would have otherwise. so there are things we can do on the regulatory front to make sure our infrastructure spending goes further. but with regard to what the infrastructure package contains in the end, that is still being discussed. there was infrastructure we, the administration had it a couple weeks ago. but i do not think anything was settled during that time. package witha big regard to tax reform that includes an infrastructure element.
sometimes that is a way to get more votes for the tax package to include infrastructures running. it will be a busy fall in that regard. >> thank you. we started out the morning with questions from the audience. it did not go quite as planned. [laughter] >> maybe we'll try it again. sen. flake: there was an element of that question i want to address. people were saying, no unified disagreements with the administration but aren't there things you agree with? yes, there are. i think the president appointed a great supreme court justice. george neil gorsuch, i was pleased to help shepherd that through the committee and now he is a sitting justice. i think that is a good. i think the national security team the president put together is a good one. i sleep that are at night knowing general mattis is in charge over at defense and bad tillerson is at stake.
tillerson is at state. federal, state, tribal land, it makes it difficult to provide services when the land is owned by the state or federal government, which also means that when the federal government regard toons with regulatory issues whether it is power generation issues or grazing or land use issues, it has an outside and packed on airs on a. we want to make sure federal government is right-sizing of regulations and not one-size-fits-all because that does not benefit arizona. i sent the -- i sense it is better in that regard. we are working with epa in ways we have not before with things like ozone or things like particulates or things like, you
know, dust storms that arizona has that the epa for the longest time cannot recognize that arizona has periodic test storms that have nothing to do with development here, they have just been here for millennia. those kinds of regulations, think the administration has been more responsive to the state concerns and that is a good thing. >> thank you. let's take a couple questions from folks. [indiscernible question] >> bob corker, who she mentioned it is chairman of the foreign relations committee, when we had sale to certain
countries, the committee wants to insert its jurisdiction to make sure that we review and make sure they are not duplications we do not know about. i know that bob corker has been in favor of trading and sales and i will have to check with him and see what it is about but i am confident that we can work tested and that he has the atntry's best interest heart. corker is a good chairman of the committee and a good man so i will talk to him. >> questions from the group? > [indiscernible question]
>> well, thank you. i certainly identified a problem that i think a lot of us are learning a lot more about just in the past couple of years and if you read about it, some states are particularly hard-hit. hampshire, arizona is not immune at all. we have our own issues there. the governor has taken action in that regard. later iterations in the health care reform we are discussing, there was a significant bit about investment and addressing of that issue and so i think that the congress is coming to grips with what we need to do in that regard in terms of thatment so i am hopeful we are going to get there but it is a big issue. thank you for raising up. >> i do not think there is a state in the country not impacted by right now.
additional questions for the senator? a microphone coming. in arizona, i know travel andly recently went down to southern arizona to visit with ranchers and property owners. i was wondering if you could share what you are hearing and any teacher action on security and those issues. sen. flake: yes. i was just in novellus the week before last. gorgeous. they really had a good year. the ranchers are happy in that regard but also happy in that border crossings are down significantly. it has been a trend over the past several years but it is at the lowest level in about 30 years right now. that is due to a number of factors.
the biggest of which is the economy, particularly in mexico. doing well largely because of nafta. one of the big factors is nafta. that is one of the concerns i have about where where going on trade. the other implications that it has on border security. but, to me, in the bipartisan immigration bill passed in 2013 on the senate that did not go anywhere in the house, significant border investments. there are areas in some of the towns where we need better walls go out of thee cities. there are some areas i can tell you along the border that do not lend themselves to a wall or a fence or just about any barrier but our best dealt with by surveillance and so when people talk about one solution on the border they have not trouble the
border. when you talk to the ranchers there, you have a lot of different issues that come up all the time if you go down in cochise county, you know, it is a watershed. the water flows north not south and so you cannot have a wall. obviously you have to have a fence with storm gates that open when floods happen. so, it is a different kind of border infrastructure then many envisioned. at the situation is better. there is good cooperation between local law enforcement and federal government. at the time, the border sheriffs in wilmont or yuma or share of panels in cochise county, -- sheriff daniels in cochise county, we have good cooperation there. has bore fruit
so we are in a better situation on the border than we have been in a while and we have to build on those improvements and recognize that any event might change the equation significantly. in theirle, if mexico elections next year were to elect a populist or leftist government, that might change the trajectory of government there and terms of revenue is asian, trade, and it could affect their income to me is significantly. we would face pressures again. that is one big concern i have about not just the policy we have with mexico but the rhetoric we have with mexico. if we just up anti-american sentiment in mexico it might of ato or aid the election leftist government there which would not be to our benefit herein arizona or in the united states but the border -- there
has been a cooperation. we have continuing infrastructure improvement. i traveled with them bell, a rancher near nogales two weeks ago on his property and the new infrastructure in terms of technology has improved the situation significantly. we have had better improvement. the problem is that you still people coming to work, migrant traffic across the to be, but you still have concerned. as we do have to be concerned about the prospect of terrorism. it used to become i talked about in the book, and in an op-ed i wrote recently about a situation on the border back in the 70's when i was back on the ranch and we employed labor that came across the border. there was really no border patrol on the border at that
time. sometimes they would come up to northern arizona but it was a different time into age. we did not have the terrorism or drug wears we have today. thank you for the country. it is a better situation but we have to remain vigilant and make sure we have border security. host: we will go back to more questions but let me just ask you one i went into but got off track. cuba -- you spent a lot of time trying to improve our relations with cuba and have been successful. we have seen some threats that could go backwards. sen. flake: i have always thought if we want to punish the castro brothers, make them deal with spring break once or twice. i have often been asked way a wasssman from errors on involved with foreign policy and myook a poll of people in
district and they said, moving ahead we like you are doing. unless there is a compelling national security reason not to, i think we should move ahead. there was not for a long, long time a compelling national security reason. in fact, all indications pointed that the cuban people would be in a much better situation if we were allowed to travel. i did not often agree with the obama administration on foreign policy, but i think president obama did the right thing in 2010 when he allowed cuban-americans to travel as much as they wanted. no more restrictions. before that, if you were a cuban-american in miami, and your mother and father were in havana and your father died, you would have to decide -- do i go motherfuneral or will my die within three years because i can only travel once every three years. what an awful, awful thing we did to cuban-american families.
and that was lifted. they started traveling. aat happened to coincide with time when the castro's realized they could not employee every cuban. they had a growing private sector in cuba. the trouble of cuban americans increased remittances that president obama also allowed for seed capital for cuban entrepreneurs. over five years, you went from almost zero private sector employment and cuba to today, 25% of the workforce and cuba is employed in a private sector. breakfast,ed and private restaurant, taxicab services, beauty salons. they are making good money by the standards of what people working for the government in cuba are. an average waiter in a cuban restaurant that is private earns $50 a day.
in a government restaurant next door, 20 bucks a month. that is changing the dynamic politically. it is giving them more economic freedom certainly. it gives them more political independence from the government as well. that is a good thing. the cuban people are better off and i am proud of the role that -- the small role i have been able to play in forwarding that. one of the best experiences i had was i was asked to go down to cuba in december of 2014 two eraicipate in a cold war spy swap. spies," seen "bridge of this is similar. when we decided to change the dynamic in cuba, there were some issues with detainees and spies we had to solve. i was asked if i would travel to
cuba on a sensitive mission and not even tell my wife or staff where i was going and that is why i joined. go to an island somewhere? that is the kind of thing i like. host: did they give you dark glasses? sen. flake: none of that but we went to andrews air force base at 5:00 in the morning, myself and senator leahy. upflew down to cuba to pick allen gross, an american who had been held for five years. i visited him before in havana, he was about to take his own life, he said, unless he was released. there were three cuban spies in our jail who got on a plane. we all landed in cuba at the same time and were on the ground for exactly 31 minutes. we picked up allen gross and headed back to the united states. i will never forget we had been in the air about 25 minutes and
the pilot came on and he said, we have now entered u.s. airspace. allen gross stood up and just cheered and breathe deeply in and out several times and said, now i know i am free. it was just a wonderful reminder of what it means to be an american. sure, youles from our can have a communist socialist government that imprisons people who protest and want freedom. just a reminder of what this country means. a greatas just experience, one of the best i've congress. host: thank you. wonderful story. we have another question. him to sleep on that story, sorry. host: great story. >> can you comment on the policy of energy independence and what it means to country going forward?
sen. flake: great. i think we are in a position right now but 10 years ago, certainly 15 years ago, we never thought we had the end. be in.ould the abundance and the technology that has allowed us to extract national -- natural gas and to have secure sources for the foreseeable future and allowed us to not only have a more be morenergy future and independent of countries that we would like to be independent from, but a cleaner energy future as well. we have been able to, you know, do significantly more than we thought we would have with regard to moving away from dirty fossil fuels into a cleaner environment. sign.a good i am in favor of certainly keystone and what we can do to become energy-independent. at least north america.
we are closer to that goal than we thought we would be, you know, just a few years ago. and it also makes a difference aswe can export natural gas well to europe. two central european countries, eastern european countries to change the geopolitical inquiries there as well with russia. we are in a better situation, i and this new administration has been helpful in terms of being able to access natural gas deposits on federal land and also call deposit and make sure we have an energy policy that makes sense going word and bad increases our independence. ournd that increases independence. host: any questions from the crowd?
>> grade. senator mccain was chairman of the armed services committee and that is an area he is focused on. obviously, we are concerned about our budgets with regard to the defense department. making sure that we have the right balance and you know, a long-term plan to make sure that we are defended. and that really is going to depend on making better use of resources that we have already and that can only be done if we have reform in acquisition and make sure that small businesses and particular have access to these contracts. i know senator mccain is working on that and i will continue to work with him on that.
in arizona we have a lot of aerospaceompanies in and defense-related industries that could benefit from acquisition reform. host: we will take one more question. i do not when to keep anyone from watching the eclipse today. don't want to be accused of that. >> thank you. i work at a small university with a lot of young people i work with. the issue of civility is a topic that comes up at times. we encourage our students to be partmmunity and to of the community. you have to interact with people in a civil way. i think that is what you are promoting. i have not read your book yet but i think that is what you are promoting. speak to thee you seeming incivility we have right now and what some good solutions are to move things forward.
sen. flake: thank you. you are right. it is a big part of the book. when i was just the dishing the book, i was -- i happened to be for theaseball practice republicans for the congressional baseball game when the shooter was there. a paragrapht least about that there, but that is only one side. i remember thinking when that shooter opened fire on the field and seeing bullets bounce off the gravel around the infield, i just -- i thought came to me and stayed with me for a while. us? why? who could look out at a field of middle-aged members of congress playing baseball and see the enemy? it is just something we have got to work on in a big way. i mentioned in the book the experience of when gabby giffords was shot in tucson.
you know, a year after she was shot she had come to return to the house and it was the state of the union right at that time. we left an empty seat for her. it was just a few days after she was shot so she returned and it was a big deal. so, i sat next to her and she was not able to stand when she wanted to when president obama would have an applause line, all of the democrats withstand stand and so i mentioned in the book i would help her up. that left me standing, a republican amid the democrats. i started to get texts and emails from irate republicans, saying why are you standing? why are you standing? that is when i really thought, this has gone far too far. we have got to come to a place
where we do not look at other americans as our enemies. you know, no matter how, you know, fears the debate can be -- and i am a fear spreads on on some issues. you can have a partisan debate but it can get ugly. we have got to get away from calling our opponents losers or clowns, things that make it difficult to sit down and work with him on the big issues with them on and so i am very concerned about it and that is very much what the book is about. thank you. host: thank you for the question, that is a good one to wrap up on. clearly if we're going to in this country returned to principal as the senator talks about in his book, that starts with an informed discourse and that is what these meetings and sessions are about, to have good conversation, good questions and responses.
senator, we thank you for being here today. give you an opportunity if there's something we did not mention. the -- sen. flake: on the trade issue, sometimes trade never there is well in a political campaign. it is easy to point to a shuttered factory and say, that is because of a bad trade agreement or the mexicans on chinese took your job. thatizona, we have groups have talked about the value of trade and so the population here understands it and i applaud you for that. it makes it easier to do the right thing for politicians when you have some groups or individuals who are doing the right things and making it is in for us i want to thank you for that. i appreciate it. host: thank you. i want to thank you for your staff as well. they are always responsible,
available, and informed. on behalf of srp, the other sponsors and the chamber, want to thank you everybody for joining us today and please join me and thinking senator flake for being here. [applause] -- in thanking senator flake for being here. [applause] ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, johns hopkins university political science professor lester spence and professor l brophy from the university law school talk about efforts to take down political statues. discussing the documenting hate
project, creating to provide one central source that tracks hate crimes across the country. we sure to watch c-span's washington journal. live tuesday morning at some :00 a.m. eastern. join the -- at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join me discussion. >> live coverage of donald trump in phoenix again said 10:00 p.m. eastern on tuesday. >> next, a conversation on combating isis. middle east academics and former officials examine the rise in countries such as india and bangladesh. the atlantic council hosted this conversation.
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