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tv   Washington Journal Former Rep. Francis Rooney  CSPAN  April 12, 2022 2:17am-3:07am EDT

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>> washington journal continues.
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host: joining us from naples, florida is former congressman francis rooney. he served in the house from 2017 to 2021. prior to that, that if a mask mandate comes back to the states, would you agree to where one? guest: light would. i think there is some legitimate question about the light blue ones, but i wear and n95 when i wear one. i might as well get the benefit. do you think masks should still be mandated? guest: the statistics seem to be
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complex. it would be an individual decision, but i like to see people masked and be masks during that omicron revival. if we have 8:30, i think there -- if we have a third one, i think there is justification for wearing a mask. host: how do you think governor desantis did? guest: i do not know if they kept cases as low as they might have been, but the statistics seem to be confusing -- whether washington, d.c. and virginia have less cases end here, because cultures are radically different as far as masks go. host: you served as u.s. ambassador, also on the foreign
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affairs committee. i want to talk about the op-ed you recently wrote. if putin wants a cold war, the world should give him one. what did you mean by that? guest: wheat went for a long time before the fall of the ussr with no questions. -- no russians. they were constrained in their own bubble which could not provide economic stability and standard of living. they were destroyed. putin even speaks of catherine the great. if he wants to go back to the cold war and earlier era, we should cut him off. europe should join us. host: that containment policy is? guest: we do not trade with
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them, they do not trade with us. host: we go back to an iron curtain? guest: it worked fine for us and for europe. it was the basis of stronger u.s.-europe ties. host: can we have the right approach when it comes to ukraine? guest: i think so. i wish the president would beat faster at getting them more javelins and things like that. i would like to get the polls to send ukraine some of those makes -- the poles to send ukraine some of those migs. i would tell them, you send some of those over there, things will happen good for you in a few months.
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you do not want to give putin an excuse to accelerate. host: should the u.s. have accelerated? should the u.s. commit to defending ukraine? guest: i do not think we should give him any excuse to go after a nato country or use nukes or biological weapons. the first thing he will do is have some russians shut down to make a revocation link now in eastern ukraine. we should support them every way we can. other european countries need to join. some are, some are not. host: francis rooney served in congress and as the u.s. ambassador to the vatican. (202) 748-8001 four republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats.
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(202) 748-8002 four independents. if you want to send a text message, send it to (202) 748-8003. include your first name and your city. mr. ambassador, mr. congressman, what were some of the issues that you faced at the time you were ambassador and in congress that perhaps are still important today. guest: one of the big things in 2005 and 2006 was iraq. mr. ema john was outspoken in his hatred of the west. we had the pope speak up
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forcefully against what was going on over there. that started the anti-iranian dialogue that led to his bush -- president bush calling them part of the axis of evil, and sanctions that were taken off under obama. host: and in congress? guest: we had many issues. i was on the foreign affairs committee and the latin american subcommittee. we had all kinds of problems in latin america it, in columbia, the post-park deal. the land distribution campaign has not worked. now you have got virtual, populist autocrats. in addition to bolivia, you have got one in peru after 30 years
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of government -- capitalist government. venezuela has never been as bad as it is. i am shocked that the biden administration would consider talking to venezuela about oil. nicaragua, we got rid of dutere. he came back and is worse than ever. host: you mentioned autocratic governments. we have seen what putin is doing in russia. is there a return to the totalitarianism, to autocrat -run empires? guest: it is. when you look at the three failed states in central america -- guatemala, honduras, el salvador --, they have corrupt autocratic leaders.
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when you look at nicaragua, it is just as repressive as venezuela or russia. now we have this new guy in peru. latin america has had a shift away from democracy. then you look at hungary. for -- orban said yesterday he is not going to support restricting russia's oil. poland, slovenia, slovakia said they will. orban is an autocrat in a democrats coat. he is not playing team ball with europe. not the -- they need to not necessarily contain him like russia, but let him know there is a price to pay. host: what do you think about some of the signs that china and russia are aligning? guest: they are aligned.
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you cannot trust either one of them. there is an article in the urinal today that the chinese are using their facebook footprint to broadcast russian propaganda. no surprise there. to date share a common heritage of autocracy -- they share a common heritage of autocracy and oppression. they have that non-western belief that ends justify the means. some domestic issues -- this is a tweet from mark, how do you think the president has handled inflation, gas prices, the border, the supply chain? guest: the supply chain issues, of all those points, that is the one where the president has done
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the least damage and the most good. they are creating multiple vendors to the u.s. and the west. latin america has a great opportunity to play a strong role in that. globalization was great for cutting prices, it turned out to be not so great for stability. you've got to have multiple vendors and vendors in places you can trust to ensure you can make your products. as far as some of those other points, i am not convinced. the federal reserve pumped in tons of money in 2008 to stay off the recession. they should have stopped after the recession went away. instead, for 12 years, and they have an eating rates too low, pumping about much money in the supply.
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they own a third of all that now. we are stacked. they need to unravel that. but this could drive rates up. host: matt calling in from virginia, democrats line. caller: quick comment. it is always funny to me that republicans yell about being free-market capitalists until gas prices go high and suddenly it is, government, do something. my question is, you talked about authoritarian regimes in europe, which i do these are a problem and will be something we have to face, especially looking at france and the closeness that le pen could possibly get to power. look at your own power and talk about a fact that a third of
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your party in congress voted against resolutions supporting nato as an organization and they are voting against nato because the leave in a more white nationalist, anti-progress, anti-gay, more fascist organizations like russia. you have people in congress against russia supporting ukraine in your party. where is your party going here? guest: good question. i agree about gas prices. no politician likes to say that there is no pain, no gain, but that is the case. supply chain's, if we want to straighten things out, we have got to take pain. on where our party is, that is a good question. i am a traditional pro-business republican, limited government,
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going back to ronald reagan and the bushes. what has happened to our party is it has turned into a populist, isolationist, somewhat negative group. i do not think that is constructive for the country or the party. some of these congress people criticize us for taking a hard line on russia. that is incomprehensible, just like it is incomprehensible that they would oppose nato or not defend the election when no fraud was proved. we have seen strange behavior from republicans that i do not think is constructive or will be successful for them long-term. host: do you think you are the majority of the party for do you think the populace are? guest: hard to say.
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trump had pulling in the 50's for a long time. assess something recently, it was down to 42. it seems like overtime people would move on and things may sort out, but i know from speaking to a lot of trump base they have a strong populist streak. as george bush used to say, they are the -isms -- protectionism, nativism, etc. host: do you think the gop has room for a populist wing or bent? guest: i suppose it has room for it, but it cannot be dominating the dialogue.
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we have to be engaged in the world that has provided stability since world war ii. we are seeing that breakdown. i think having costs go up a bit is fine, but we have that to be able to treat with other countries, not just put walls up. we should be able to walk and chew gum. host: you were not present trump's favorite congressman? guest: no. i was the first to speak up against him, against his ridiculous effort to end the two state resolution for israel. i spoke about the need to go after the huthis in saudi arabia. we are still operating on the same war powers resolution that president bush used in 2002.
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host: do you think the january 6 investigation committee in congress is legitimate? guest: i do. i think kevin mccarthy made a tactical mistake. he should have picked a few more moderates and let them indicate there position -- their position. host: let us hear from the meridian. this is larry, independent line. caller: one question -- when the russians started to surround the country, do you think biden should have started sending weapons then instead of reading for the -- of waiting for the
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russians to attack? guest: in hindsight, it always works that you should have moved quicker, whether it is trump on vaccines or biden on ukraine, but we knew it was coming. george bush ended up moving it to georgia under president bush, ended up moving it to crimea under president obama, who joked about it. president trump at least sold the most javelins that they have been using for the first line of defense, but we should be getting more armaments, and getting poland to send airplanes and should be together with the parts of the you that are with us to ban russian oil. host: joseph tweets, why are we
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taking sides in this work? how do we know that ukraine did not do something? is that fair? guest: i think this gentleman is a distant formed. it shows the dangerous nature of this information through the internet. what that ukraine has become a democracy. they are plenty corrupt. they have embraced freedom and are willing to fight for it. the invasion is an outrage in this time of our world that they would even consider destroying a democracy like that. host: markets, republican, florida. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: first of all, the generous six committee -- janua
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ry 6th committee is a joke. you are supposed to have a drinking number from the party in the majority. they do not have a ranking member. it is not liz cheney. i could go on. ukraine, everything biden has done is a disaster. i have watched zelenskyy multiple times being interviewed. this man is infuriating with biden and all of nato. nato was created to prevent this exact thing from happening. nato failed to stop the invasion of ukraine by russia. biden as the president of the u.s. is the biggest failure of all. if donald trump were still
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president, putin would not have invaded ukraine. he wanted to during tom's presidency, but he did not do it because he looked at trump as a strong leader. host: do you agree that give president trump still in office that this invasion would not have happened? guest: possibly. i do not think putin wanted to embarrass a person who thinks like him. host: tyrone, new york city, democrats line. caller: i hear that the republican representative also believes trump was a disaster for the country, but back to the origins of the republican party and why it came to be.
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i wish i was a republican listening to the beginning of the republican party, the grassroots efforts to stop the spread of slavery. i do not know how the republican party strayed so far away from this beginning and why when it was standing up for people that needed help and now is going to big money interests that decide to go into the big money spending that made this party completely opposite from what it started out. host: what do you think the democrats stand for? caller: i think the democrats also stand for big money interests, but i think that the
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democrats recognize that it is not good to stop people and going out of your way to try to destroy individuals. they realize that instead of being -- as opposed to a blunt instrument to stop people from living out their life. that is that hammer that everything is a male. we want to destroy it and make it become what we want or are we wearing to get rid of it? the democratic party, they have got stuff, too, but they also do not try to destroy everything in their path. host: any response? guest: there are some areas
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where we would probably disagree in terms of the teaching of kids, social science related issues. there are two sides of opinion on when kids should be exposed to certain things. i am stronger perhaps on parents involvement then liberal democrats. i think kicking parents of their children's lives is a movement towards socialism and alienation of people from families. as an aside, though, you make some good points. the republican party started as the party of lincoln and it is not now, not even the party of ragan. richard nixon got one third of the black vote, started the epa, was environmentally sensitive, expanding the clean air act.
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george bush said, if you pass an extension of the assault weapon ban, i will sign it, but they could not get it to him because of democrat and republican votes. i offered to be the only republican to support the ban if democrats could get it over the fence and they could not. host: do you think you could be elected today? guest: no. i decided early on that it was better to speak what i believe and that meant opposing president trump then to stay in office. host: kenneth, missouri. caller: good morning. you are an old country club republican, you and this cheney. -- liz cheney.
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i am a vietnam veteran. i am a republican, but you are a go along, get along and have been through most of my life. you give into the democrats. you are past history. you could not win your district now because people in red states do not like country club republicans such as yourself. we think that this country has gone too far to the left. almost every word we have had recently, a democrat has been the president. -- almost every war
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that tells you something. you get along with these people -- host: are you a supporter of trump? caller: i m because he would take care of the border problem and would stand up for america and not being one of these new world order individuals. host: let us look at those two issues, the border and standing up for america. was president trump successful? guest: he did a lot of good things on the border. there are a lot of liberals that do not think we should have a border. that is wrong. bush tried to propose, hence of immigration reform that would have stopped illegal immigration
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but provided a pathway for workers. we need the workers. what have been the best of both worlds. it was scuttled by an insidious combination of liberal democrats and the freedom caucus. i worked on immigration for five straight years. the freedom caucus does not want immigration reform. they want to be on tv criticizing it. we got close. you might have seen kevin mccarthy with president trump agreeing on a package only to have it scuttled. i have worked on straw -- for five years there and the freedom conference doesn't want immigration either. they want to be on tv to be criticizing it.
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you might see kevin mccarthy there with president trump agreeing on, -- immigration reform package only to have it be scuttled either republican house in 2017. the other issue of where the party is or where i am, you are right. this is a different party than i have been a member of and supported for many years. our unique free enterprise and individual rights and liberties are paramount and that is what the republican party has supported. it is not populist, it is minimalist -- it is socialist. more influence and -- to anyone around the world, including the united states. some people say you have empowered billions of people out of poverty all over the world
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but what has it done for us. how many people working in the united states have jobs and good jobs to support services around the world? host: let's hear from brad in kentucky on the independent line. go ahead. caller: you said there are a lot of political actors in the fbi and those agencies could use purging. now we are post the whitmore case. in that case -- in what ways do
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you think you could tell us from your experience have you seen this move? what should the american people know about this deep state you speak of? guest: like most americans, i was horrified to see the level of politics that invaded and infiltrated the fbi. the thing that struck, the vast relations of comey, going this way and that way. i could talk about that separately if you want. it undermines confidence in some of our major institutions like the fbi. i knew they were not our kind of
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people because washington dc votes 96% democrat but they always had a tradition of the bureaucracy and what was discovered, especially with the -- that should never have been granted. it shapes our confidence on the impartiality of these constitutions. host: when you say you ran for office, did you experience that? guest: you cannot deal with foreigners and take for money if you're running the u.s. bank. it is a serious problem. having associates all over the world, i didn't talk to any of them and engage in financial --
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i was running them when they were doing these sorts of things. i do not think they knew. i do not know why they didn't get better campaign advice at the time but you cannot get foreigners in federal campaign. they should have said we cannot talk to you. host: the first impeachment trial over russian collusion, do you think that was legitimate? guest: the probe proved nothing. they didn't prove any collusion or practical output. russia was bombarding us with disinformation information they are now. i think they were doing it longer than we know. john durham, his inflict -- his investigation is continuing. have you been keeping up with that? guest: there have been a few
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things i have come out of that to confirm these comments. we will see where they go. host: sean is in indianapolis on the democratic line. caller: good morning. i am a lifelong democrat. if mr. trump is back on the ticket with democrats for 2024, i am going to vote for him because he displayed more of a commanding presence. host: what do you mean when you say a commanding presence? caller: he displayed more of a presidential attitude. president biden, he doesn't display the attitude and remorse one is that mr. trump does. host: thank you, sir. any comment to that representative roni? guest: president biden is not as
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charismatic or forceful as president clinton or even president connor, but he has his own base of how he wants to do things. i do not think trumps bombastic and hostile approach towards people was constructive. 20 plus percent of the state department elected early retirement because of all of the abuse they were getting. that is not right. host: if ron desantis, your home state governor, ran for president, would you vote for him? guest: he is a very strong environmentalist. banding offshore drilling in the eastern gulf, getting a couple billion dollars to finish out projects for the restoration to do the water and minimize pollution that the sugar industry perpetrates honest. i like a lot of things he has done.
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he has done a lot of good things for education in florida. to the gentleman that mentioned republicans and blacks before, it was a lot of black mothers that all got together and voted for ron and campaign for ron because he was going to reserve a choice in education, charter schools. host: sylvia, washington, dc, republicans line. please go ahead. caller: we need more republicans that are going to be strong enough to push -- educational approach and we need to have more of a drive towards negating and combating some of this infiltration we have in our
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agency. it is a concern for myself, being in washington dc. i have called our current representative and i have spoken with her, talking about some of the main issues there in washington. let alone what is happening over the news. when you are a stronger republican party, i am begging, the democrat party missed a step back and allow on -- government spending. going every way without being policy driven and an appropriate choice selected. host: response? the congressman seems a little frozen there.
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in the meantime, if he is having trouble with his connection, we will hear from clearance in triangle, virginia and we will continue to take your calls. caller: yes? host: go ahead, clearance and make your point. caller: we are helping the ukrainians, what about americans? that need help? we stand on one thing, we always helping other countries. they always say they booked one it comes to helping americans. i just want to know why they tore up a 5.9%. that is not nothing. i was getting $800 a month, i am still getting 800 was 5.9 percent. inflation is going up.
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at least trump did help americans on the stimulus. they are not giving us nothing. they drop billions in ukraine. this -- until this war out. they always say they broke when it comes to america. host: clarence, thank you very much. let's hear from john in patterson, new jersey. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. the representatives said he wouldn't take foreign contributions, but how to use where -- drawers different on picklist said on tv he will --.
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host: where are you coming from misses wilhelm in warrenton, missouri? i cannot see what line you are calling from. wilhelm, go ahead. caller: people need to stop listening to donald john trump. all he does is lies. how would you like it if i put all the people behind that border wall and see what it is like? people are discriminating against mexican people and that is not right. people should not discriminate against people. it is wishy-washy. people are listening to president trump he lies. host: caller, where are you calling from.
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? caller: i am calling from sherman, texas. i have to different subject. structural intelligence to help stabilize our democracy. that is some type -- the recent translation revealed that is because of a manipulation of facts. if you want to talk about something, everybody have to pull from same facts.
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if we devise some type of system where we pull from a common set of facts that is government stamped, we would eliminate all of these opinions of somebody else facts or alternative facts. and be able to move forward. the average joe who does not watch tv and politics knows that one plus one equals two. right now, one plus one equals four or five because the facts are manipulated. host: caller, where are you calling from? caller: south carolina. host: where in south carolina?
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caller: donald trump was a jim jones. what he did there was an insurrection. if anybody doesn't tell you right then and there -- how come everybody else will go to jail when the commander that sent them there, responsible for everything that happened there, and he still sit out there. everybody else is knowing he
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predicted it and he come there and he caused it. if he gets away with this, you might as well pull the plug into every prison. because people died, it is under his belt. host: the next call is from mike in houston. what is on your mind this morning? caller: the border is one thing. i don't know if there's anyone who can come in and effectively explained to the american people how a country survives with open borders. in u.s. history, in world history, there was no civilization that has ever survived with open borders. it is so frustrating to think of any and people, we don't know who they have jobs we don't know anything about them.
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if they are bringing in drugs or what have you. this is not the way to govern. i want president biden to do well. i want him to lift up people. with bad ideas, there is no way you are going to lift up people. i wonder who really is running the country. one thing about january 6, compared to the 570 riots of 2020 was getting in gas. the people on january 6, they are completely ignoring what happened in 2020. we are supposed to forget. it is so horrible in the media. the media are so complicit in
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all of this. it reflects poorly on lack of objectivity. host: mike, do you see the effects of illegal immigration in houston? caller: i have no doubt that we do. i know that i can point to anything relative to crime rate and so forth, but those kind of effects are things that are felt in grinding, slow way. you pay for by the wave of medicare, the school system's overburden, you don't have the asl teachers. where does the money come from to pay for all of these housing, food, shelter and education, medical care? i am concerned about that. we need leaders who care about
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americans because that is who they represent. host: thank you. john is in columbus, ohio on the democrats line. what is on your mind this morning? caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i want to say, i hope americans are thinking more than having a feeling. let us pray so that god can save this country because there is no other person -- no other country that his field on this earth other than this country. if we can resolve our differences and continue to make this country better, that is what i want to see. host: nancy, new york on the republics line.
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what is caller: caller: on your mind? caller: i believe in close border and people should come to our country the right way, like everybody else. maybe they should talk to people who have come in this country the right way who cherish the country they live in. everybody says open borders, but do it the right way like you would have to do in any other country. we need some protection here.
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