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tv   Sen. Sherrod Brown Discusses Possible 2020 Presidential Bid  CSPAN  February 12, 2019 1:55pm-2:59pm EST

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means you stand for the constitution. the bill of rights. and you wish to uphold those. if you don't know them, if you don't uphold them, or you think that we don't need them, those are the formations of our country. that's what we are built upon. i say that you would be n-american to not be key -- be devoted to those. >> i think to be american is that we get to stand up and express ourselves that. we have the right to express our voice, our actions, and to quote wilcox, to y emma send by swlens when we should protest. make cowards out of men. >> what i think what it means to be an american is having the right to choose your own future. choosing where you live. taking whatever job you want. and living the way you want. spending your money how you want it. that's truly what it means to be american. having the right to choose your own destiny.
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>> voices from the road on -span. >> ohio senator sherrod brown is considering a presidential bid in 2020. he answered questions about it this morning at an event hosted by the "christian science monitor" in washington, d.c. he also talked about tax, climate change, jobs, and his faith. this is about an hour. >> good morning. i'm linda, the washington bureau chief of the "christian science monitor." our guest today is senator sherrod brown, democrat of ohio. this is his first appearance at a monitor breakfast. delighted to have you. first a little background. senator brown is a native of mansfield, ohio and graduated
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from yale university. with a degree in russian studies, which is dear to my heart as i was also a russian major. i have read your wife forbids you from speaking russian. senator brown: that was report the. it was said as a joke. but obviously some things -- this is exactly what i didn't want. this is sort of the whole point. >> sorry to ambush you like that. in 1974 the senator became the youngest person ever elected to the ohio house. and has been climbing the ladder in politics ever since. serving as ohio secretary of state, then representing ohio's 13th congressional district, and finally representing the state of ohio in the senate. senator brown is married to journalist and pulitzer prize winning columnist connie shultz. they live in cleveland and have four children and seven
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grandchildren. he joins us today partway of ugh his listening tour early primary states where he's been speaking on the dignity of work. now for the ground rules. we're on the record, please no live blogging or tweeting. in short no filing of any kind. while the breakfast is under way. and once the session ends at 9:00 a.m., there is no embargo. file away. we will email pictures from this breakfast to all reporters here as soon as the breakfast ends. and as you know, if you'd like to ask a question, just wave at me and will i call on as many of you as time permits. senator brown, if you'd like to make brief opening remarks the floor is yours. senator brown: it's an honor to be here. i'm grateful. thank you. last night you saw again at a trump rally another attack on a camera person or reporter, bbc,
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i don't know if you saw that. it was fairly prominent in the news today. a bbc camera man was attacked. it's become par for the course. as you know this is just -- we all think about -- i talk about this at home a lot with my wife about what's happening in this country. it's important that the president at some point sooner rather than later goes on television, not just tweets but goes on television and says there is some -- that reporters and journalists are not enemies of the people and that in fact, he should call off his supporters who are doing those kinds of things. call them out and ask them to stop. we all are concerned that there will be something worse happening at some time in the many of my rallies in ohio
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in the 2018 campaign, some of you were there, i went off and thanked reporters for the work they do. one particularly -- first time i did it it was a big rally in parmo, ohio, conservative democrat suburb, it's sort of the mccomb county, michigan, construct that journalists like to talk about. there being 300, 400 people in the back, there were the reisers with newspaper, television print, i middle in the rally said i believe the job of journalism is to conflict the afflict and conflict the comfortable. they are not enemies of the people. the group as a whole, these people at a democratic rally gave a standing ovation to the journalists, something you would never see at a republican rally, trump rally. it's important to note there and important to call on the president to stop the encouraging of violence at these rallies.
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that aside, let me talk substance about a couple of issues. americans are finding out as they're filing their taxes that they're not getting the refunds they thought they would get. they're certainly not getting the refunds or the raises that the president promised. the thousands of dollars in raises. thousands of dollars back in their tax refunds. i think it's important, like right now, to throw out the trump tax bill and to pass my patriot corporation act. my patriot corporation act does a simple thing. it simply says if you pay good wages and you provide good benefits and you do your production in the united states of america you get a lower tax rate. on the other hand, if you're a big company where the executives of making millions and thousands of their employees are eligible and receiving or they're making $8, $10, $12 an hour getting
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section 8 housing, food stamps, medicaid, that those companies pay a corporate freeloader fee, those companies pay back -- reimbursing -- essentially reimbursing taxpayers for the cost of -- for the subsidy of those companies' own employees. third bill that i worked on for sometime is the expansion of the earned income tax credit. it was my legislation in the senate -- leader pelosi's work in the house that expanded to more people and increased the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit back in 2015. in the midst of a republican control of the house and senate, we got president obama to agree to issue a veto threat and we were able to pass what was the maybe the greatest anti-poverty measure except for the affordable care act in 20 years. it was called that. and also to expand the eitc and expand the i.t.c.
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the i.t.c. bill doubles the i.t.c. and does something that is really important to a low-income family. you can see the importance of that from the government shutdown that not just the 800,000 workers -- federal workers affected but the contract employees. the contract workers making $10, $12 an hour and that whole issue but if you're eligible for the earned income tax credit you can get a $500 advance on that earned income tax credit once a year. so if you're -- if in the middle of july your car breaks down and you can't come up with $450 to pay for the car, to fix the car so you can get to work, then you can get a $500 advance. you get $500 less, obviously, in taxes. you get a $500 advance. especially the new director of the consumer bureau --, consumer financial protection bureau and what their -- they're rolling back protections on military
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lending, on payday lending -- payday lending, you can see how important that is. that's part of this tax package so people don't have to go to a payday lender if their car breaks down and they can't come up with the $450 to fix their car. the patriot corporation act, the eitc, the corporate freeloader act and the c.t.c. will go together and put money in the pockets of working families, all part of the dignity of work and what this country's values are. i'll stop there. linda: great. thank you very much. so i'll start with the question i think is on everyone's mind. now that you're -- have done some -- done some events in early primary states, how are you feeling about the race? are you ready to jump in? is the water warm? senator brown: is the water warm? i am not ready to jump in. the democrats seem to -- this
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was not a long time dream of mine to be president of the united states. i know many candidates who announced have been thinking about this for months, years, longer than that. i haven't. in november, as i began to see more and more democrats thinking we need to choose between talking to our progressive base and exciting the base, as we do, and talking to workers about their lives, as if it's that's a choice. we got to do both. we don't win swing states like new hampshire and nevada and ohio and michigan unless democrats talk to our progressive base. never progressing on progressive values and civil rights and lgbt rights and women's rights and gun issues. never compromising on those but speaking to workers at the same time. that's what the dignity of work tour is all about. i have said i will -- connie -- and this is very much a joint decision with connie. connie and i -- my wife, connie schultz, we will make that
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decision in march after the four states. i've bullpen to iowa, new hampshire. two weeks from now -- a week from this weekend in nevada and south carolina and -- it's what i said all along i would do. i wanted to -- i just want to see -- we're in this -- we call dignity of work listening tour because it's more listening than speaking. some of you are not used to seeing politicians do in these early primary states and that's why we're doing that and we'll assess at this point. linda: what have you learned about the voters in the states you visited so far? senator brown: i learned a number of things, of course. one of the most interesting things is the response on the patriot corporation act and on the -- on the corporate freeloader fee. it probably in rallies or house parties, it's when i'm speaking about something, it probably gets the best response because voters understand, activists but voters generally understand the importance of a tax system
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that actually works for workers and works for families. something else that's been increasingly obvious to me is the importance of finding -- making daycare a public good. a woman in new hampshire, has been doing this for 40 years, i started childcare at 2 -- i was calling people around in a roundtable format. pretty much half the size of this. maybe six, eight people. she said we pay for public parks and we subsidize transportation and that's the way we look at our society. we order our society. we should do the same for daycare because it's a public good that children get that -- get that launch in life and get that environment that they can be nurtured and there really was a piece in "the times," i think front page of "the weekend review," i think, about the importance of childcare. i think that's increasingly a role for government.
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it always should have been a role for government. i think the public is coming to that conclusion. too many families -- some cases people told me they put off marriage because they -- because of potential childcare costs or just the costs because of student loan debt. they put off having children, i hear that often from families that they think they simply can't provide for our children because they're very aware before they have kids what the cost of daycare is. what the cost of childcare is. it's wrapped in, also, to other roundtables we've done on family leave. also something -- i think the first vote i cast in congress was on family leave but not subsidized family leave at that point back in the clinton years. it's an issue this country has not addressed the way that we should. linda: all right. thank you. carl from "the dallas morning news." crarp: several of your colleagues and would--- carl: several of your colleagues and would-be opponents have
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endorsed medicare for all and the green new deal. two-part question. one, what is your view on these -- in these two areas? secondly, have the democrats opened themselves up for to attacks and to problems occupying the political center? if you saw the president last night, did he what he did in the state of the union speech, talking about democrats want to bring socialism. examples number one and two are the green new deal and medicare for all. senator brown: i'll make you the political interpretation. i believe in universal coverage. i always have. i want to get something done now and that's why -- that's why, first of all, i don't want to repeal obamacare. i want to add to obamacare and i want to help people now. that means -- that means if you make -- if you allow voluntary
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buy-in at 50, that's not just practical and smart. it will help people today. it will make a difference in people's lives as soon as it becomes law. that -- carl: medicare for all. senator brown: i didn't say opposed. i said we start with medicare at 50 now. i think over time people will see how well this works and how many new people are in medicare and take advantage of it. people that lose their jobs, people that decide to retire, want to close their business but have health insurance that are just ready to kind of move on, and if medicare -- when i came to congress in 1992, i promised i'd pay my own health insurance until congress passed it. i did for years and years. now my wife and i are on the affordable care act, obamacare exchanges with millions of other americans. i think -- eventually we probably will get to something
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like medicare for all. but we start at the age of -- we start by expanding it and helping people now. it will make a huge difference in people's lives. carl: green new deal. senator brown: climate change is the most issue -- one of the most important moral issues of our times. we should be much more aggressive. we have a president and a whole political party that's coopted by the oil industry, by the fossil hers, by the fuel industry. most republicans won't stand up and say climate change is real, many republicans, including the president. we got to aggressively -- i support a green new deal. an aggressively -- aggressively addressing climate change and what it means with infrastructure and other ways. carl: were you not concerned the democrats will be portrayed as socialists? senator brown: i -- i guess the fact that so many reporters ask that and so many republicans
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attack democrats for that is kind of the point. that -- the democratic party isn't making this huge move to the left. we have people speak out. nancy pelosi is the leader of the party. nancy pelosi -- i look to what she says more than i look to see -- look to what a handful of members of congress say. we always had members of congress that want to push debate forward to their credit. we have people on the right doing that with republicans. unfortunately, they've been successful at moving their whole party right and their leadership follows like meek lambs. the democrats' leaders -- the democratic party, there will be people that want to do that. i trust pelosi to run the house the way she runs the house. and i think that those debates are healthy. debates on the green new deal, debates on medicare. i see a lot of interest in all of that out there. because we had a government that keeps moving right and keeps moving right and keeps trying to deny health care
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coverage and keeps trying -- keeps denying the whole issue of climate change, denying science, it's important that these voices are out there. linda: all right. alex bolton from "the hill." alex: you know, you talked about your patriot tax plan but where are you on some other proposals? like, for instance, tacking earners who make more than $10 million at the 70% rate or financial transaction tax or closing the carried interest loophole? senator brown: i'm not going to sit at breakfast even though i'm not eating and pick individual items off the menu and say let's do this one, let's do that one. i want to throw out the trump tax plan or the trump tax law. i want to start again with the changes made. i want to enact the patriot corporation act. we can talk about what rates as we look at this. part of a big package. i don't want to look at do this, do this, do this. without the major construct
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with patriot corporation act, the earned income tax credit, the c.t.c. and corporate freeloader bill. if you start with that document as a basis then we debate within that document. do you do a wealth tax? does that bring in the revenue we want? does that fit with other things you do, higher individual tax rate? i'm open to everything but within the construct. two of these bills i sat with president trump in the cabinet room as a member of the finance committee and about 10 senators. i offered him a couple of those bills. i talked about the patriot corporation act. i talked about the eitc. that was slightly different than this. a family tax -- what i call it -- working families tax relief act. he said he liked both of them. i stood up at the end and handed it thoim. he said i really like those ideas. of course the interest groups walked into mitch mcconnell room and wrote a special
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interests tax bill. these are out there. the senate finance committee knows about these issues. they are ripe to be debated and they will work -- one of the things in the trump tax law that's particularly egregious, if a company shuts down production in one town, g.m., some of you covered this, and moves production to mexico as they're doing, they get a 50% off coupon on their taxes. alex: 70% for people making over $10 million, it's been pretty predominantly discussed. senator brown: i know it's been predominantly discussed. alex: even in the realm -- senator brown: i said i won't individually talk about every time freshman member of congress or presidential candidate comes out with the plan and i see you in the hallway and my answer will be, it should be in the context of doing something bold. my plan is further reaching and bolder, if i could use that
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word, and with much more consequence. i don't want to just make wealthy people pay their fairway as she should. my whole career i have been doing that. i want money to end up in working class families' hands. not just the rate we charge that we set for high-income people or wealthy people. you could ask a question about the estate tax. i'm on record is much -- estate tax that starts earlier, way earlier than the law starts. we can debate all those individual issues but i want it to be in the context of a whole tax package and we negotiate all these rates. linda: jessica from the "columbus dispatch." jessica: the lingering image that sticks to me from 2016 is the debate -- the republican debate where there was 16 people on stage.
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i guess i'm wondering, given the fact there are so many people -- 1/3 of the senate democrats are thinking of running or running. senator brown: that's a little high. jessica: i may be prone to some hyperbole. i wonder how much it weighs -- senator brown: if you looked in the mirror and all -- jessica: you have such a huge field -- senator brown: [inaudible] jessica: the person who merged with donald trump and are you concerned with similarly crowded field? senator brown: no. we don't have people that appeal to racism and bigotry and people's prejudices and fears. i mean, republicans have -- republicans have prospered as a party that has appealed to fear for years. go back and look -- go watch vice, adam mccain movie about cheney. is it "vice"? the appeal -- the appeals to
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fear are always sort of behind the man behind the scene or now the man in front of the screen. in republican party politics. because we don't have candidates that don't do that and we don't have a recent party history of doing that, that -- we will not produce anybody like donald trump from a crowded primary field. jessica: are you concerned bout an ideological outlier? senator brown: i guess i don't know who any of them would be. linda: all right. mara from n.p.r. mara: i have two questions. one quickly on climate change. putting the green new deal aside, do you have a centerpiece proposal, carbon tax, whatever it might be, the way you do on taxes, do you have some climate change proposals that you -- senator brown: i don't have anything that specific. i supported it in the past. one of the first things -- people asked in iowa and new
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hampshire, a number of people -- some people asked, what will be the first thing you will do if you're president and i answer it in -- i answer foreign and domestic. the first thing i do internationally is reassure our allies in brussels that we are part of nato and we will lead the world, as we should. not be the policemen in the world. police officer in the world. but lead the world on those issues. and second or first, maybe the same day -- they are close together -- go to paris, figuratively, literally, say we are back in the paris accords. i will look at other things around the world at the same time and domestically i would do something like symbolically but also putting money in the pockets of five million americans, i would scale back the scaling back of the overtime rule. if you remember secretary perez, i worked a lot with him on this proposal. they announced in this columbus, in fact, because of that -- there were -- if you're
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making $40,000 or $35,000 a year, if you are a night manager at a restaurant and the management company decides to designate you management, they can work you more than 40 hours without overtime. and five million americans as a result of that overtime rule will get a -- would get a raise and trump has scaled that back to not quite nothing but not what it was. i would aggressively move on things like that. then i would lead on climate change depending on where we're going on this. mara: one other question about the democratic field. how would you describe the choice that democratic voters are going to have to make in the primary? is it between somebody who can only excite the base versus a full spectrum candidate who can do both? how do you think the -- senator brown: the voters will decide both. the voters want a progressive. and the voters want somebody who talks to workers and the voters want somebody who can
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win. mara: and pennsylvania, wisconsin, ohio? senator brown: capital w win. i am not thinking of idaho. although i have seen t-shirts that said, "welcome to ohio, the potato state" and it's a map of ohio. linda: daniel straws from "politico." daniel: good seeing you. how was new hampshire? hat's not my question. [inaudible] daniel: so i want to ask you about -- you got a little attention when you called president trump a racist the other day. i was wondering if you could describe sort of the response you got, anything along those lines? senator brown: not much to say. he is. he's -- i don't know what's in his heart. i don't usually know what's in his mind. but i know that he is -- he has
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done racist things in his career, starting with at least -- documented starting with the nixon justice department. going after him in his -- him and his dad and his housing -- his housing career. his housing business. what he did with central park joggers. i could list all them. there is no reason to do that. america recognizes that after i said it. some people just yawned and said we already knew that. some people thanked me for speaking out. some people said, who are you to judge? it's clear from his behavior he's very happy to play to racism and bigotry. on trade issues, he plays -- he plays to anti-immigrant fervor. he plays worker off worker. i'd answer this better this way, dan. some people call trump a populist. populists are never racists. populists are never anti-semitic. populists don't engage in hate
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speech and give tax cuts to rich people. populism is the -- populists don't play off american workers against mexican workers. fundamentally his trade policy and his foreign policy and his immigration policy and his domestic policy are always dividing to distract. you divide people and then you forget about all the indictments. it pushes aside all the indictments in his immediate political and government operation. you attack people and people forget about how he shut the government down. that's the way he plays. that's how he will continue to play and i would just it this way. the president of the united states is a bully and in the end all bullies are cowards and that's the way he plays, that's the way he practices. daniel: he's been called a bully before. i ask because in the past cycle, some of your colleagues have come short of actually calling him a racist. i am not saying he's a racist.
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you know, i'm saying supporters are racists. senator brown: i didn't say that. i am not saying his supporters are racists. i know many of his supporters and i know many, many of his supporters are not racists. they -- i think trump carried ohio -- he carried my state by almost nine points. that doesn't mean my state is racists. it means people in ohio thought their kids weren't going to be better off materially than they were. i think most of you have flown into ohio, some longer than others, and you see the -- you feel that pain, that anguish, that anxiety. and i think that's why he won. i don't say that he -- endorsement from david duke to another candidate but he'll probably be back. he'll probably be back in the general election for the president. up stein, "wall
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street journal ". reed: i won't get you out of weaseling out of the green new deal answer you gave to cramplet you said you support a green new deal. there is a specific piece of legislation that your senate colleagues -- senator brown: there are going to be all kind of specific pieces of legislation on all different issues coming out of a very energized new group of congress and that will continue for the next year and there will be all kinds of bills sponsored by presidential candidates, offered, if not sponsored, suggested or proposed. i am not going to take a position on every bill that's coming out. i support a green new deal. i think we need to aggressively -- we need to aggressively support climate change. that's my answer. reed: half dozen of your colleagues who are running for
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president -- senator brown: half dozen of my colleagues said they support -- co-sponsored -- have co-sponsored the medicare for all. i want to get something done for people now. -- you know, i dish i am a progressive. if i run i will be on that stage. i will be the only democrat on that stage that voted against the iraq war. i will be the only democrat on that stage that supported marriage equality for 20 years. i will be the only democrat on that stage that opposed nafta and has a long lifetime record of an f from the n.r.a. so i don't need to -- i don't need to co-sponsor every bill that others think they need to co-sponsor to show my progressive politics. the difference, if i get in this race, is i will speak to workers and i will -- when i say workers, it's understanding always that the challenges for women and people of color are greater in the workplace than overall workers. and i will continue the fight
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on those issues. reed: do you view that piece of legislation as a set of goals? senator brown: you're also going to ask me in these formats or throughout the campaign to have -- to be conversent with every single proposal out there and analyze it. i haven't -- i -- some have said it's aspirational or legislative. look, i look to nancy pelosi to run -- to -- she's the leader of the party. especially in the house. she's the number three person to succeed the -- i guess number two, technically, to succeed the president. i look to leadership on where she takes the house. reed: if that piece of legislation was on the table, would you vote for it? senator brown: you're good, man. [laughter] i don't know. reed: we have gone back and forth and i haven't heard you take an actual position.
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senator brown: you haven't and you won't. i haven't -- we vote on a lot of stuff. i don't know how many -- you can choose the issues you want me to tell you how i will vote on but i will do my job and take issues on -- that are coming to the floor soon and on the ones i choose to. i am not going to analyze every bill that some people with a lot of big ideas are proposing. i know that -- a lot of stuff there. [inaudible] reed: you choose not to take a position on that? senator brown: i will think about strategy. i am not in the race at this point. i will think later. >> you just don't want to do it now? senator brown: i don't know. i just think -- i am not going to get in the position of every time somebody has a really good
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idea or a big idea that i have to talk -- i have to talk in great detail about my position on? i know the easy thing to do is say, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, but i don't know that serves my constituents. as a progressive i am not going to get in this race and change my positions and go like that with people. i just am not going to do that. i think those of you that i've known for years, and most i have known for years, know i don't compromise on my principles ever. i do that in a state that -- i voted against marriage equality 20 years ago. who did that in a state like ohio that's a fairly conservative state or oppose the iraq war or did all the things i do. i don't need to take a position on every issue that comes down the pipe that every one of my democratic colleagues for whatever reason they need to take position on. it's not an attack on them. i am just not going to do it that way. linda: do you want to
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follow-up? reporter: when you say you support a new deal -- for instance, some specifics of a proposal would be a job guarantee, would be net zero carbon emissions within certain years, what would your specific -- senator brown: i don't know. i -- response to mara's question, i don't have a proposal yet. i am not in this race yet. i might be. i really don't know. i really have not decided legitimately and i think most of you believe me because none of you have heard ever me talking about being president prior to about november of this year. that's not -- as connie says, i am glad to be married to a man all these years that didn't look in the mirror and see the next president. maybe i do now. i don't know. or as george akin said, the only cure for the presidential virus in the senate is embalming senator. or maybe udall said it or keith said it or maybe john adams said it. i don't know. i just -- i don't know. i will have proposals.
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the tax issue i worked on for years. on trade issues i worked on for years. on health care issues, medicaid issues, on justice issues. on voting rights i worked on for years. i will be more specific on those. but i will be plenty specific on these when the time comes. linda: ok. amy walter from "cook political report." amy: i will go back in time to 2016 for a minute. especially in a place like ohio and the debate over whether trump's success was about tapping into economic anxiety or sort of cultural grievance anxiety. and the political science seems to come down on the cultural grievance was much more significant than economic anxiety. i want to bring that up about you running, especially in ohio and other places in the midwest, addressing some of those cultural challenges, the idea not simply that democrats are the party of socialists but they are the party of these
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ideas and values? senator brown: how du define culture? amy: in terms of the -- immigration, race, the idea of the elites, you know, again, cities looking down on small towns with their value systems that don't align, whether it's transgendered bathrooms, whether it's pushing an agenda that they feel like does not value -- senator brown: are c.e.o.'s elites, are they part of the elites? amy: sure. senator brown: ok. the elites -- all the elites that vote republican and play on those fears and anxieties. amy: that's how you're going to -- how do you address it? i guess my question is -- is an economic message enough to win back those folks who voted for trump by six, seven points? senator brown: principle economic message, if -- principled economic message absolutely is because you do it without compromising on justice. you don't -- you talk about
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immigration, you reject out of hand separating babies, children at the border from their families. is that a cultural issue? is that an immigration issue? that's a justice issue. the great majority of the american public agrees that president trump is both cruel and morally wrong on that question. i can go to zainsville, ohio, which i don't win, or mansfield, ohio, where i grew up and haven't won there the last two elections, used to win there big, and i can talk about their kids going to college. i can talk about the overtime rule. perhaps some will not vote for me because of my position on guns. or marriage equality. but i don't -- i don't give up on them. i serve them as a senator and i will continue to fight for them. and i will beat trump in my home state where they know me best and i will beat him in his home state where they know him best, if i can throw that part in.
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amy: you are on the record you can win new york as a democrat? senator brown: now that you -- i didn't say new york and you figured out i meant new york. linda: all right. sean sullivan from "the washington post." sean:: there are many other democrats that have already entered this race. is there anybody out there now who is already a candidate for president that you see as having a compelling message or somebody that you think is a good democratic, you know, potentially democratic president? are there anybody that worry you that are talking or thinking about running? nator brown: i guess i don't -- i think they have compelling messages. some more compel than others. nobody worries me. i think democrats -- if i get in this race, it will be in part because i think i am eight most likely to win. because of ohio.
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because of my message of dignity of work. because i talk to workers in my -- it's who i am. it's my whole career has been dedicated talking to workers. i think i am getting messages from all over the country. union members and nonunion members how much they like that many. people -- i -- i think that trump is beatable by these cast of characters. some are more challenging than others. some face a more uphill climb than others, perhaps. i am not going to name names. but i am not going to do that, obviously. linda: all right. i'll throw one in. one of the things i've been talking about is how among this big and growing field, a candidate can distinguish him or herself and kind of rise above and one of the ways in which you distinguish yourself is on trade. so how does that issue work for you if you run and that you're not completely opposed to the
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president have worked with him and his people on trade issues? senator brown: well, i would -- you're correct, one of the issues is trade. that's part of a whole continuum of fighting for workers. this president has betrayed workers. i tried to get him involved in the g.m. closure. 5,000, 4,500 -- if g.m. says it will do whatever it will, end of march, march, whatever, 4,500 workers will have lost their jobs in a community of 400,000. that doesn't count the 5,000 component manufacturers that are in the region and then the diners and the hardware stores and the teacher layoffs as the tax pay shrinks. the president has betrayed workers almost every day of his presidency. and i will make that case. trade. even on trade, he's not done what he said he'd do. he is -- nafta 1.6.
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it's not even good enough to be nafta 2.0. minor changes at the margin. it doesn't address the issues of -- it does a head fake to the issues of wages. it does little -- it doesn't quite do nothing. that's a bad sentence. it does little on trade enforcement. the labor -- sorry -- of labor chapter enforcement, labor enforcement, worker rights enforcement, so i -- and i never ever -- i've written a book on trade. i know you, of course, all read it because it was the bestseller from kent state -- new press. i felt that position for years. the suit i wear is made by union workers in cleveland, ohio. six, seven miles from my house. it's who i am and what i'll fight for. you never heard me play off foreign workers against american workers. you never heard me appeal to race on trade so while the president comes down in some ways on the same place i do, in some cases, underlying is
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something very different. linda: do you have a good working relationship with the president's people on trade? senator brown: i have a great working relationship with lighthizer. i have a bit of a working relationship with ross and navarro. i've spoken to the president a couple of times. he's called me on these issues. for me, it's whom you fight for and what you fight against. i don't make it personal with my colleagues when i disagree with them. i will continue to work with the president on any of these issues. that's why i tried to get him to move on the patriot corporation act. he said he would and his staff changed his mind the next day when i asked him to eliminate the thing -- the provision in his tax law that he at the time in the conversation didn't really know was in his bill was 50% off taxes coupon to move overseas. i'll work with him on all those issues. linda: just curious. in terms of your working
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relationship, say, with mr. lighthizer, what does that mean? how often do you talk to him? senator brown: at one point we were talking at least once a month for the first year and a half of his -- i sat with him at the finance committee. he's from my wife's hometown of ashtabula, ohio. i've known him a little bit because of that. i've known him on trade law issues. i sat him with dole and portman -- he might have been staff director. i am not sure. i talked to him monthly in the first few months. i talked to him weekly as nafta negotiations got more intense. i talk with him daily almost for periods of time. we haven't talked as much since the agreement has fallen so short on labor enforcement. linda: agreement meaning? senator brown: the nafta 1.6. linda: ok. senator brown: and that's because he thinks that he's done the best he can. i assume he has, but it's
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simply not good enough for most democrats, if not almost all of us. it's not good enough for labor. it doesn't work -- it's not good enough for organized labor. it doesn't work for workers. doesn't work for mexican workers, in my mind. i'll tell you a real quick story. after nafta passed and i led the freshmen class against nafta in my first year of congress. five years later i went to the mexican border. i flew to texas. i went to -- went across the border. i went to a mexican auto plant that looked like -- looked like an auto plant in cleveland except it was newer. it was modern. the floors were clean. the workers working hard. technology up to date. there was one difference. the mexican auto plant didn't have a parking lot. the purpose of trade policy is so workers all over the world can build a middle class lifestyle and buy the products they make. if workers can buy the products they make, then everybody does better. american workers do better. those workers do better. if you have a trade policy that keeps wages low as nafta 1.6
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does, keeps wages low, continues to exploit foreign workers, hurts american workers because particularly on top of -- particularly because of the president's tax law to give the 50% off coupon, we never -- we never build what we need to. i'll just -- one more point i'll say. most americans agree that capitalism works. it brings a dynamism to our economy and a prosperity to people but you need rules. you need consumer protections. you need environmental laws. you need worker protection laws, right? we should practice the same internationally on trade. it always puzzled me democrats -- democratic presidents -- most democrats don't do this anymore but democrat presidents in the past have believed, if -- have not really believed with trade laws we should the -- those consumer protections, virmal protections. if we had done it the same construct as we did our
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domestic economy, there would be a lot more -- there would be a lot more manufacturing jobs in our country because in part we'd be exporting to those countries that could afford to buy things. linda: did you want to follow up? >> are you suggesting this nafta -- whatever you want to -- 1.6, 2.0, it will fail in congress, will not be a new deal? senator brown: i won't predict it's going to fail because i don't know -- i don't know what republicans are going to do. i know there are a few democrats in the senate that support it. i believe by talking to a couple of house people -- private conversation -- i can't give names. people whom i trust. it's a big uphill fight in the house too. labor is overwhelmingly against it still. i worked with labor -- i talk to them regularly about getting in one place -- where we can get a good -- i wanted to get to -- lighthizer knows that. i've spent a lot of time on this. i've spent more time -- i would
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be -- i would be 95% certain i talked to lighthizer than any other member of the house or senate. i can't prove that, of course. but i think that's true. i didn't put this kind of time in to vote no. i want to get to yes. i told lighthizer in a closed door meeting with both parties i want to get to a yes. i need a strong labor enforcement chapter. labor enforcement language. it's not there. >> how worried will you get 2.0 or nothing? senator brown: that would be really stupid. linda: ok. turn to the other side of the table here. jasmine wright from cnn. jasmine: so one of your fellow american colleagues went to the race, amy klobuchar. others tout she would -- through her american grit, they would be able to appeal to blue collar workers, white collar workers, kind of coaless this
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group that -- of people throughout the midwest and to be able to be competitive in states like ohio and some other around the midwest, so i'm wondering if she's already in the race and she competitive with labor and workers and all these things that you are kind of laying down or laying the bare bones -- what would differentiate your possible candidacy from hers and if she's already in the race and picking up these american grit boxes why would you get in the race? senator brown: i don't know. i will calculate all that. but i -- i like amy. i think amy -- amy brings -- everybody brings something to the table. that's not in any way to diminish her. she has things different or differently than anyone perhaps where she's from. she's had a lot of -- i don't
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count minnesota a swing state because it's gone to the democrat for president more. i think more than any other state in the -- linda: almost voted for trump. senator brown: they didn't. if minnesota is a swing state we lose. almost a swing state. we lost. ok. i think she brings something. she's a americanner. she clearly has a american aura about her. she -- has a midwestern aura about her. she has a strength. others that are more progressive -- on their -- in their demeanor and language brings something else. i am -- i am not going to go over -- i am not going to go over calculations on this person, this person, this person. i am going to when the time comes and we kind of digested all this, i'm not -- don't mistake my deliberative for weakness or reluctance. it really is a deliberative process in my mind because i never thought i would be doing
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this. to want to be leader of the free world is a lot of self-examination and talking to family and talking to friends and thinking this through and imagining yourself in that job and all the things that you need to do if you're going to step up. as i said, i only started that process in november. not 14 novembers ago. i just don't know. linda: jen from "huffington post." jen: how are you doing? so when hillary clinton ran in 2016, she was relentlessly critique about her voice. people said she was shrill, she was too loud, too soft. she was criticized for her style. people said she looked too -- she didn't look warm enough, too rigid, too stuffy. she was criticized all things like that. so i'm worried -- my question
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for you is -- do you worry that you got your gravely voice, you got your shaggy hair, are you just too unlikable? [laughter] senator brown: that shaggy hair, as you say, gravelly voice, will work in union halls and -- pretty funny question. the question that -- jen: i don't know what you're talking about. senator brown: women are judged differently. it's too bad they are judged differently. a lot of the criticism of hillary was unfair because she was held to a different standard. from male candidates. i see that issue rising from time to time or maybe more than time to time this year. that's all a concern to me. i know republicans don't care about that stuff. i mean, the top -- the top republican office holders in my state, 12 members of congress. all six statewide office
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holders all elected in 2018, all are white men. and so republicans don't have this anguish and anxiety and thinking through these issues of race and gender and justice and fairness. we do. we always should -- we always should address them better than we do. and enough said. jen: are you likable enough though? senator brown: are you immolating barack obama here? are you likable? you judge that. i don't know if i'm likable or not. i win in a pretty -- increasingly republican state. that's more less about likeability and more about policy and empathy and actually believing what i said. so -- >> is it presidential? senator brown: i don't know. [laughter] senator brown: do you know each other? do you team up with each other? c'mon, carl. linda: ok. we'll go to this side, jessica -- senator brown: i like that. "huff post."
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jen: are you on the record? senator brown: sure. unlikable -- to maybe not likable -- linda: all right. jessica mendoza, over here from the left from "the christian science monitor." jessica: my question is recently we've seen on issues of race and gender, past -- vior, words maybe cute scrutinized. i wonder how you think the party should be handling some of these past kind of behaviors as it strives to be this moral authority distinguishing itself from the president, what should the standards be for the things that leaders have done in the past? bathroom women should be heard. in cases of sexual harassment or -- senator brown: women should be heard. in case of sexual harassment or violence or any number of issues that affect women and
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men, too, but especially women, i'm proud of my party's progress on race. i look at -- i hear so many people -- particularly people yearn senate say, god, i for the old days where people look like me and i don't romanticize the past. i am proud of the progress of the party on issues of race. i also know we have not gone -- we as a party always have more to do on the issues of race. again, the republicans don't seem -- i don't mean rank and file republican voters -- but republican leaders don't care about those issues like democrats do. we need to -- we need to address them. jessica: doesn't it make it more difficult and how do you decide when to call for a
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resignation? senator brown: i don't think you have a blanket policy. a blanket policy never -- i mean, who would have guessed -- who would have predicted what happened in virginia, that that would have happened? i called for the governor's resignation that day, as did a number of others. i wasn't first with you but i was early. and then he muddied the waters by saying he didn't know which of the two he was and then he wasn't in it. how could you have predicted that and have a formula? mean, it's going to be -- it raises some things as a nation. republicans don't care. democrats do because we are a party that looks at justice issues. i mean, that's who we are and who our values are. that's why -- that's the activists i see all over the country even in states that are not as especially diverse. the first two states i've been in are not especially diverse states.
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the state i represent is 15% of color. the two states i will visit yet for dignity of work are states -- nevada has a black speaker, a black -- i believe a black speaker, state chairman and attorney general in a state that's more latino than african-american. south carolina, obviously, a big part of the primary votes african-american. that's the beauty of the democratic party. it's why i am proud to be in this party and why i would never really want to be a republican office holder because they speak to a much narrower group of people ideologically and culturally and demographically and kind of what amy said. linda: so we have time for one more question. is there somebody who hasn't had one? seth mclaughlin from "the washington times." seth: you supported the secure of defense act. given where the debate is on immigration, how do you think that's going to sell with primary voters and how do you plan on handling that vote? senator brown: well, it was a very different -- technology
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has changed so much. overwhelming support among progressives for that. i haven't really looked back at the numbers how people voted exactly but my understanding it was pretty mainstream democratic position. don't worry about people in this primary or this general questioning. i understand what trump says. well, they all voted for the wall and now against it because i'm president. i don't buy that at all because the change in technology and change of the number of people coming across the border. the continued lies from this president. the lies about crime rates in el paso. the lies about -- suggesting or worse than suggesting that immigrants commit more crimes than native born. it's important -- because you come to afflict the -- i learned that in sunday school -- thaw keep calling him out when he lies about immigration.
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and lies about race and does what he does. linda: all right. well, we're -- let's see -- we have one minute. are you -- do you go to a church? you mentioned sunday school. senator brown: my faith is very important to me. i -- i'll tell you one real quick thing. i -- matthew 25. i quote scripture more than i ever did in my life in the last couple years because i thought a lot about of things. i quote scripture more. in matthew 25 you all know matthew 25, when i was hungry you fed me, when i was thirsty you gave me drink. you all though that, right? i thought, that doesn't -- mow ham you had or moses or jesus, they would not have thought -- they would not said least of these that carl is worse less than jess. think wouldn't -- so i found a different translation from a -- a u.c.c. minister who is -- the wife of my wife's best friend, jackie, who saw a -- a
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translation called the poverty and justice bible and it says when you hungry you fed me, when you thirsty you gave me drink. stranger you welcomed me. what you did for those seem less important you did for me. i looked at the great translation. i don't know enough to understand that part. it really -- it shows, if i get this right, in resurrection he talked about the universal -- the universal -- the religious feeling of the universality and egalitarianism of human beings, the human spirit. it really forms how i look at the world. that people really are equal and people should have equal chance and opportunity and that's increasingly in my politics. linda: i'm glad we ended on that. thank you so much for coming. that ends our hour and i hope you come again. senator brown: i will. >> that's got to be likable.
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senator brown: you find me that unlikable? >> no. >> worried about your likeability? senator brown: now i do. [laughter] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] > voice and likeability. [indiscernible] senator brown: pick somebody from the dallas paper doing that or even the examiner, christian science monitor but uff. public radio is full service all the time. indiscernible]
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linda: i think the cameras are still running, just so you know. senator brown: unlikable voice. take a while to get over that one. >> there are nearly 100 new members of the house of representatives this year. ohio, west virginia, maryland, mississippi, and washington are five of the states that added one new member. representative anthony gonzalez was a football star at ohio state before the indianapolis colts drafted him in 2007. after injuries cut short his professional football career, representative gonzalez earned his m.b.a. at stanford business school. he's the first latino elected to ohio's congressional delegation. representative carol miller served over a decade in the state house before voters in west virginia's third district elected her to congress. politics runs in her family. she's the daughter of former congressman samuel devine whose
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seat would later be field by future ohio coverager and presidential candidate john kasich. john guest was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years, the last decade as district attorney before his election to the house. he's also a sunday school teacher at his local baptist church. representative david thrown and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in the early 1990's. the company eventually moved its headquarters to maryland and expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country. and washington's eighth district, kim schrier, a pediatrician and only female doctor in congress. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. >> the body of michigan congressman john dingell is on its way to washington, d.c., where the late congressman will lie in repose at the nation's capitol prior to a memorial service tomorrow. about 60 members of congress, includin


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