CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016
Sarah Palin Donald Trump Interview on One America News Network OANN
Source: Politics and More, 8-28-15
Source: Politics and More, 8-28-15
Posted by bonniekgoodman on August 29, 2015
Source: Bush Center, 8-28-15
New Orleans, Louisiana
(August 28, 2015) —
Thank you all. As has been mentioned, in 2006 Laura and I came here to Warren Easton Charter High School a year after Katrina hit, and we are honored and pleased to be back on the tenth anniversary of that devastating storm. I can’t think of a better place to come here in New Orleans, except for some of the restaurants. (Laughter.) The slogan that guided the school when we first visited is true today: “We believe in success.” And because of the success that schools like this have achieved, you have given all Americans reason to believe that New Orleans is back and better than ever.
Mr. Mayor, thank you for your hospitality. You and the First Lady have been so gracious to us, and we want to thank you for your leadership. If enthusiasm and a good strategy count, New Orleans is in good hands. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
By the way, I do bring greetings from one of the co-chairmen of the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund: 41. (Laughter.) He had one of the great lines of all time. He said, “Who would have thought that getting out of bed at age 91 would be more dangerous than jumping out of an airplane at age 90?” (Laughter.)
I want to thank David Garland, President of the Warren Easton Charter Foundation Board. I want to thank all the folks who have shown up. As Laura said, we had a roundtable discussion. Many of our friends were there, people who we worked with. I think of Norman Francis for example, one of the great leaders of New Orleans, one of the great minds of New Orleans. (Applause.)
In spite of the devastation, we have many fond memories. I remember sitting with [General Russel] Honore on top one of those big ships, strategizing. I think you were drinking; I wasn’t of course. (Laughter.) It is great to see you. We’re honored that you took time to come.
Members of Congress, Members of the State House, Superintendent White, on and on: thank you for coming.
I really want to thank the leadership of the school. I’m going to talk about them here in a minute, although I must confess, the Principal is always a teacher. So she tried to teach me how to Second Line with the band here at Warren Easton. (Laughter.) I know she didn’t say it, but she was thinking, this boy needs a lot of work. (Laughter.) So we’re thrilled we’re here. Thanks for your hospitality.
In a cruel twist, Hurricane Katrina brought despair during what should have been a season of hope – the start of a new school year. Students who had recently gone back to school suddenly had no school to go back to. Many had nowhere to live. The floodwaters, as you all know better than most, claimed schools and homes alike. As Laura mentioned, the ground we’re on today was underwater. All of us who are old enough to remember will never forget the images of our fellow Americans amid a sea of misery and ruin. We will always remember the lives lost across the Gulf Coast. Their memories are in our hearts – and I hope you pray for their families.
Hurricane Katrina is a story of loss beyond measure; it is also a story of commitment and compassion. I hope you remember what I remember, and that is 30,000 people were saved in the immediate aftermath of the storm by U.S. military personnel, by Louisiana law enforcement, and by citizens who volunteered. I hope you remember what I remember, and that is the thousands who came here on a volunteer basis to provide food for the hungry and to help find shelter for those who had no home to live in. There are people all around our country who prayed for you, many of whom showed up so they could say they helped a fellow citizen who was hurting.
One of the groups that stepped forward to serve were the educators of New Orleans. At a time when it would have been easy to walk away from the wreckage, the educators here today thought of the children who would be left behind. You understood that bringing New Orleans back to life required getting students back to school. And even though some of the educators had lost almost everything you owned, you let nothing stand in your way. Today, we celebrate the resurgence of New Orleans schools – and we honor the resilience of a great American city whose levees gave out but whose people never gave up.
Out of the devastation of Katrina, you vowed to do more than just open the schools. You vowed to challenge the status quo. Long before the great flood, too many students in this city drifted from grade to grade without ever learning the skills needed for success. Parents lacked choices and the power to intervene. Principals and teachers lacked the authority to chart a more hopeful course. It was a system that stranded more than sixty percent of students failing in schools. It was what I called the soft bigotry of low expectations.
The decisions you made in the dark hours after Katrina sparked a decade of reform. Rather than just reopen the schools, you reorganized many into charter schools that are independently operated but publicly accountable for achieving high standards. More than nine in ten public school students in this city now call a charter school home. Administrators at these schools have the freedom to slice through red tape and the freedom to innovate. Parents at these schools have choices if dissatisfied. And the results at these schools have been extraordinary. The reason we know is because we measure, and any attempt to undermine accountability our school system is a huge disservice to the students who go to the schools in New Orleans. (Applause.)
According to a new report by the Cowen Institute, the percentage of New Orleans’ students graduating on time has soared since Katrina. The percentage of students who attend schools that score better than the state average almost doubled. And so has the percentage of students meeting basic standards. You’ve got to ask, why? It just didn’t happen. A lot of it’s structural, and a lot of it requires strong leadership – people who stared into the eye of a storm and who refused to back down. And so Laura and I are here in New Orleans to remind our country about what strong leadership means, and we’re here to salute the leaders.
I think of Jenny Rious here at Warren Easton. After Katrina, Jenny was forced to leave New Orleans; she started Warren Easton in Exile. The site reunited students scattered across the country around a vision for returning to New Orleans, and reopening this school. When Jenny returned to New Orleans, the first place she went was not her house. It was this school. And as she put it, “I would rather see my own house burn down than this school.” Jenny would give anything for Easton – and today, we give teachers like her our sincere thanks. (Applause.)
It’s amazing what happened in this city after a storm wiped out the school system. Educational entrepreneurs decided to do something about the devastation, and the failure. I met a lot of them when I was President, and subsequently. Neerav Kingsland is one such person. After Katrina, Neerav took a leadership role at an organization called New Schools for New Orleans, where he worked with others to help launch dozens of new schools and to turn ideas for reform into reality. In other words, this isn’t just a theoretical exercise. It’s important for people for our country to look at New Orleans and realize this is an exercise in implementing a plan which works.
Neerav was so encouraged by what he saw here, he was talking up the reforms that worked in New Orleans to other cities across the country. Isn’t that amazing – the storm nearly destroys New Orleans, now New Orleans is a beacon for school reform. (Applause.) Neerav represents the virtues that Bill Clinton and I had in mind when we announced the new Presidential Leadership Scholars program – and we are honored that Neerav was among the first class of scholars.
Achieving these results took librarians who salvaged their collections from the watery wreckage. Listen, I know something about librarians. (Laughter.) I married one. (Laughter.) I’m really proud of the Laura Bush Foundation. She talked about the grants; she talked about Pam and Marshall. These are citizens who supported this Foundation who, like many around the country, they care deeply about the future of this city. I hope the students here – and I’m really thrilled you’re here by the way, thank you for staying awake (laughter) – I hope you realize the compassion of others in helping you realize a good education.
It turns out that every good school that’s succeeding – and we know it’s succeeding, because we measure against other standards – requires strong principals. And there’s no doubt that Lexi Medley is a strong leader. (Applause.) I love when she says, “If you fail, we fail. The student is our product. We don’t believe in putting out anything but the best.” In order to succeed, in order to lead properly, you’ve got to set high goals and high expectations. And that’s what Lexi and this school have done. As you heard, this school has graduated 100 percent of its seniors for the past five years. (Applause.) Lexi, you’ve earned our admiration and our gratitude, along with our best wishes for a happy birthday tomorrow. (Laughter and Applause.)
In the stories of schools like yours, we see a determination to rebuild better than before. It’s a spirit much stronger than any storm. It’s a spirit that has lifted communities laid low by tornadoes or terrorist attacks. It’s a spirit that I saw in New Orleans ten years ago, and that is very evident today.
We see that spirit in a population that has ticked back up as families settle back down. We see it in tourists who are drawn not only by this city’s rich heritage but by the new hotel rooms and restaurants. And we see that spirit in Lauren LeDuff. As Lauren mentioned, Laura and I first met her in 2006 when she was a senior at Easton. She was happy to be back at the school she loved at the time – and you know what she told me? She said, “I want to be a teacher.” And here she is as a member of this faculty, teaching English. I probably needed her when I was in high school. (Laughter.) When asked how students have overcome adversity, Lauren says, “We teach our kids to be resilient. That’s in the culture of the city.”
Lauren is right. The resilience you teach at Warren Easton is the same resilience that this city showed the world in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. On this anniversary, the work of making a stronger and more hopeful New Orleans goes on. We have achieved a lot over the past ten years. And with belief in success and a faith in God, New Orleans will achieve even more. The darkness from a decade ago has lifted. The Crescent City has risen again. And its best days lie ahead. Thank you for having me. (Applause.)
Posted by bonniekgoodman on August 28, 2015
Source: WH, 8-27-15
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON THE TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE KATRINA
Andrew Sanchez Community Center
New Orleans, Louisiana
4:00 P.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: Everybody, have a seat. Hello, everybody! Where y’at? It is good to be back in the Big Easy. And this is the weather in August all the time, right? (Laughter.) As soon as I land in New Orleans, the first thing I do is get hungry. When I was here with the family a few years ago, I had a shrimp po-boy at Parkway Bakery and Tavern. I still remember it — that’s how good it was. And one day, after I leave office, maybe I’ll finally hear Rebirth at the Maple Leaf on Tuesday night. (Applause.) I’ll get a chance to “see the Mardi Gras,” and somebody will tell me what’s Carnival for. (Laughter.) But right now, I just go to meetings.
I want to thank Michelle for the introduction and, more importantly, for the great work she’s doing, what she symbolizes, and what she represents in terms of the city bouncing back. I want to acknowledge a great friend and somebody who has been working tirelessly on behalf of this city, and he’s following a family legacy of service — your mayor, Mitch Landrieu. (Applause.) Proud of him. And his beautiful wife, Cheryl. Senator Bill Cassidy is here. Where did Senator Cassidy go? There he is. (Applause.) Congressman Cedric Richmond. (Applause.) Where’s the Congressman? There he is over there. We’ve got a lifelong champion of Louisiana in your former senator, Mary Landrieu in the house. Mary! (Applause.) I want to acknowledge a great supporter to the efforts to recover and rebuild, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries from New York, who has traveled down here with us. (Applause.)
To all the elected officials from Louisiana and Mississippi who are here today, thank you so much for your reception.
I’m here to talk about a specific recovery. But before I begin to talk just about New Orleans, I want to talk about America’s recovery, take a little moment of presidential privilege to talk about what’s been happening in our economy. This morning, we learned that our economy grew at a stronger and more robust clip back in the spring than anybody knew at the time. The data always lags. We already knew that over the past five and a half years, our businesses have created 13 million new jobs. (Applause.) These new numbers that came out, showing that the economy was growing at a 3.7 percent clip, means that the United States of America remains an anchor of global strength and stability in the world — that we have recovered faster, more steadily, stronger than just about any economy after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
And it’s important for us to remember that strength. It’s been a volatile few weeks around the world. And there’s been a lot of reports in the news, and the stock market swinging, and worries about China and about Europe. But the United States of America, for all the challenges that we still have, continue to have the best cards. We just got to play them right.
Our economy has been moving, and continues to grow. And unemployment continues to come down. And our work is not yet done, but we have to have that sense of steadiness and vision and purpose in order to sustain this recovery so that it reaches everybody and not just some. It’s why we need to do everything we can in government to make sure our economy keeps growing. That requires Congress to protect our momentum — not kill it. Congress is about to come back from a six-week recess. The deadline to fund the government is, as always, the end of September. And so I want everybody just to understand that Congress has about a month to pass a budget that helps our economy grow. Otherwise, we risk shutting down the government and services that we all count on for the second time in two years. That would not be responsible. It does not have to happen.
Congress needs to fund America in a way that invests in our growth and our security, and not cuts us off at the knees by locking in mindless austerity or shortsighted sequester cuts to our economy or our military. I’ve said I will veto a budget like that. I think most Americans agree we’ve got to invest in, rather than cut, things like military readiness, infrastructure, schools, public health, the research and development that keeps our companies on the cutting edge.
That’s what great nations do. (Applause.) That’s what great nations do. And you know, eventually, we’re going to do it anyway, so let’s just do it without too much drama. (Laughter.) Let’s do it without another round of threats to shut down the government. (Applause.) Let’s not introduce unrelated partisan issues. Nobody gets to hold the American economy hostage over their own ideological demands. You, the people who send us to Washington, expect better. Am I correct? (Applause.)
So my message to Congress is: Pass a budget. Prevent a shutdown. Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t worry our businesses or our workers by contributing unnecessarily to global uncertainty. Get it done, and keep the United States of America the anchor of global strength that we are and always should be.
Now, that’s a process of national recovery that from coast to coast we’ve been going through. But there’s been a specific process of recovery that is perhaps unique in my lifetime, right here in the state of Louisiana, right here in New Orleans. (Applause.)
Not long ago, our gathering here in the Lower 9 probably would have seemed unlikely. As I was flying here today with a homegirl from Louisiana, Donna Brazile, she was — she saved all the magazines, and she was whipping them out, and one of them was a picture of the Lower 9th right after the storm had happened. And the notion that there would be anything left seemed unimaginable at the time.
Today, this new community center stands as a symbol of the extraordinary resilience of this city, the extraordinary resilience of its people, the extraordinary resilience of the entire Gulf Coast and of the United States of America. You are an example of what is possible when, in the face of tragedy and in the face of hardship, good people come together to lend a hand, and, brick by brick, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, you build a better future.
And that, more than any other reason, is why I’ve come back here today — plus, Mitch Landrieu asked me to. (Laughter.) It’s been 10 years since Katrina hit, devastating communities in Louisiana and Mississippi, across the Gulf Coast. In the days following its landfall, more than 1,800 of our fellow citizens — men, women and children — lost their lives. Some folks in this room may have lost a loved one in that storm.
Thousands of people saw their homes destroyed, livelihoods wiped out, hopes and dreams shattered. Many scattered in exodus to cities across the country, and too many still haven’t returned. Those who stayed and lived through that epic struggle still feel the trauma sometimes of what happened. As one woman from Gentilly recently wrote me, “A deep part of the whole story is the grief.” So there’s grief then and there’s still some grief in our hearts.
Here in New Orleans, a city that embodies a celebration of life, suddenly seemed devoid of life. A place once defined by color and sound — the second line down the street, the crawfish boils in backyards, the music always in the air — suddenly it was dark and silent. And the world watched in horror. We saw those rising waters drown the iconic streets of New Orleans. Families stranded on rooftops. Bodies in the streets. Children crying, crowded in the Superdome. An American city dark and under water.
And this was something that was supposed to never happen here — maybe somewhere else. But not here, not in America. And we came to realize that what started out as a natural disaster became a manmade disaster — a failure of government to look out for its own citizens. And the storm laid bare a deeper tragedy that had been brewing for decades because we came to understand that New Orleans, like so many cities and communities across the country, had for too long been plagued by structural inequalities that left too many people, especially poor people, especially people of color, without good jobs or affordable health care or decent housing. Too many kids grew up surrounded by violent crime, cycling through substandard schools where few had a shot to break out of poverty. And so like a body weakened already, undernourished already, when the storm hit, there was no resources to fall back on.
Shortly after I visited — shortly after the storm, I visited with folks not here because we couldn’t distract local recover efforts. Instead, I visited folks in a shelter in Houston — many who had been displaced. And one woman told me, “We had nothing before the hurricane. And now we have less than nothing.” We had nothing before the hurricane — now we had less than nothing.
And we acknowledge this loss, and this pain, not to dwell on the past, not to wallow in grief; we do it to fortify our commitment and to bolster our hope, to understand what it is that we’ve learned, and how far we’ve come.
Because this is a city that slowly, unmistakably, together, is moving forward. Because the project of rebuilding here wasn’t just to restore the city as it had been. It was to build a city as it should be — a city where everyone, no matter what they look like, how much money they’ve got, where they come from, where they’re born has a chance to make it. (Applause.)
And I’m here to say that on that larger project of a better, stronger, more just New Orleans, the progress that you have made is remarkable. The progress you’ve made is remarkable. (Applause.)
That’s not to say things are perfect. Mitch would be the first one to say that. We know that African Americans and folks in hard-hit parishes like Plaquemines and St. Bernard are less likely to feel like they’ve recovered. Certainly we know violence still scars the lives of too many youth in this city. As hard as rebuilding levees are, as hard as —
PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible) mental health.
THE PRESIDENT: I agree with that. But I’ll get to that. Thank you, ma’am.
As hard as rebuilding levees is, as hard as rebuilding housing is, real change — real lasting, structural change — that’s even harder. And it takes courage to experiment with new ideas and change the old ways of doing things. That’s hard. Getting it right, and making sure that everybody is included and everybody has a fair shot at success — that takes time. That’s not unique to New Orleans. We’ve got those challenges all across the country.
But I’m here to say, I’m here to hold up a mirror and say because of you, the people of New Orleans, working together, this city is moving in the right direction. And I have never been more confident that together we will get to where we need to go. You inspire me. (Applause.)
Your efforts inspire me. And no matter how hard it’s been and how hard and how long the road ahead might seem, you’re working and building and striving for a better tomorrow. I see evidence of it all across this city. And, by the way, along the way, the people of New Orleans didn’t just inspire me, you inspired all of America. Folks have been watching what’s happened here, and they’ve seen a reflection of the very best of the American spirit.
As President, I’ve been proud to be your partner. Across the board, I’ve made the recovery and rebuilding of the Gulf Coast a priority. I made promises when I was a senator that I’d help. And I’ve kept those promises. (Applause.)
We’re cutting red tape to help you build back even stronger. We’re taking the lessons we’ve learned here, we’ve applied them across the country, including places like New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
If Katrina was initially an example of what happens when government fails, the recovery has been an example of what’s possible when government works together — (applause) — state and local, community — everybody working together as true partners.
Together, we’ve delivered resources to help Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida rebuild schools and hospitals, roads, police and fire stations, restore historic buildings and museums. And we’re building smarter, doing everything from elevating homes to retrofitting buildings to improving drainage, so that our communities are better prepared for the next storm.
Working together, we’ve transformed education in this city. Before the storm, New Orleans public schools were largely broken, leaving generations of low-income kids without a decent education. Today, thanks to parents and educators, school leaders, nonprofits, we’re seeing real gains in achievement, with new schools, more resources to retain and develop and support great teachers and principals. We have data that shows before the storm, the high school graduation rate was 54 percent. Today, it’s up to 73 percent. (Applause.) Before the storm, college enrollment was 37 percent. Today, it’s almost 60 percent. (Applause.) We still have a long way to go, but that is real progress. New Orleans is coming back better and stronger.
Working together, we’re providing housing assistance to more families today than before the storm, with new apartments and housing vouchers. And we will keep working until everybody who wants to come home can come home. (Applause.)
Together, we’re building a New Orleans that is as entrepreneurial as any place in the country, with a focus on expanding job opportunities and making sure that more people benefit from a growing economy here. We’re creating jobs to rebuild the city’s transportation infrastructure, expanding training programs for industries like high-tech manufacturing, but also water management, because we’ve been building some good water management around here and we want to make sure everybody has access to those good, well-paying jobs. Small businesses like Michelle’s are growing. It’s small businesses like hers that are helping to fuel 65 straight months of private sector job growth in America. That’s the longest streak in American history. (Applause.)
Together, we’re doing more to make sure that everyone in this city has access to great health care. More folks have access to primary care at neighborhood clinics so that they can get the preventive care that they need. We’re building a brand new VA Medical Center downtown, alongside a thriving biosciences corridor that’s attracting new jobs and investment. We are working to make sure that we have additional mental health facilities across the city and across the country, and more people have access to quality, affordable health care –- some of the more than 16 million Americans who have gained health insurance over the past few years. (Applause.)
All of this progress is the result of the commitment and drive of the people of this region. I saw that spirit today. Mitch and I started walking around a little bit. Such a nice day outside. And we went to Faubourg Lafitte, we were in Tremé, and we saw returning residents living in brand new homes, mixed income — new homes near schools and clinics and parks, child care centers; more opportunities for working families.
We saw that spirit today at Willie Mae’s Scotch House. After Katrina had destroyed that legendary restaurant, some of the best chefs from the country decided America could not afford to lose such an important place. So they came down here to help — helped rebuild. And I just sampled some of her fried chicken. (Laughter.) It was really good. (Laughter.) Although I did get a grease spot on my suit. (Laughter.) But that’s okay. If you come to New Orleans and you don’t have a grease spot somewhere — (applause) — then you didn’t enjoy the city. Just glad I didn’t get it on my tie. (Laughter.)
We all just heard that spirit of New Orleans in the remarkable young people from Roots of Music. (Applause.) When the storm washed away a lot of middle school music programs, Roots of Music helped fill that gap. And today, it’s building the next generation of musical talent — the next Irma Thomas, or the next Trombone Shorty, or the next Dr. John. (Applause.) There’s a Marsalis kid in here somewhere. How you doing?
And I saw it in the wonderful young men I met earlier who are part of “NOLA for Life,” which is focused on reducing the number of murders in the city of New Orleans. (Applause.) This is a program that works with the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative to make sure that all young people, and particularly our boys and young men of color who so disproportionately are impacted by crime and violence, have the opportunity to fulfill their full potential.
In fact, after the storm, this city became a laboratory for urban innovation across the board. And we’ve been tackling with you, as a partner, all sorts of major challenges — fighting poverty, supporting our homeless veterans. And as a result, New Orleans has become a model for the nation as the first city, the first major city to end veterans’ homelessness — (applause) — which is a remarkable achievement.
You’re also becoming a model for the nation when it comes to disaster response and resilience. We learned lessons from Katrina. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed stricter standards, more advanced techniques for levees. Here in Louisiana, we built a $14 billion system of improved levees and pump stations and gates — a system that stood the test of Hurricane Isaac.
We’ve revamped FEMA — and I just have to say, by the way, there’s a man named Craig Fugate who runs FEMA — (applause) — and has been doing extraordinary work, and his team, all across the country, every time there’s a disaster. I love me some Craig Fugate. (Laughter.) Although it’s a little disturbing — he gets excited when there are disasters — (laughter) — because he gets restless if everything is just quiet. But under his leadership, we’ve revamped FEMA into a stronger, more efficient agency. In fact, the whole federal government has gotten smarter at preventing and recovering from disasters, and serving as a better partner to local and state governments.
And as I’ll talk about next week, when I visit Alaska, making our communities more resilient is going to be increasingly important, because we’re going to see more extreme weather events as the result of climate change — deeper droughts, deadlier wildfires, stronger storms. That’s why, in addition to things like new and better levees, we’ve also been investing in restoring wetlands and other natural systems that are just as critical for storm protection.
So we’ve made a lot of progress over the past 10 years. You’ve made a lot of progress. That gives us hope. But it doesn’t allow for complacency. It doesn’t mean we can rest. Our work here won’t be done when almost 40 percent of children still live in poverty in this city. That’s not a finished job. That’s not a full recovery. Our work won’t be done when a typical black household earns half the income of white households in this city. The work is not done yet. (Applause.)
Our work is not done when there’s still too many people who have yet to find good, affordable housing, and too many people — especially African American men — who can’t find a job. Not when there are still too many people who haven’t been able to come back home; folks who, around the country, every day, live the words sung by Louis Armstrong, “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?”
But the thing is, the people of New Orleans, there’s something in you guys that is just irrepressible. You guys have a way of making a way out of no way. (Applause.) You know the sun comes out after every storm. You’ve got hope — especially your young people reflect hope — young people like Victor York-Carter. Where’s Victor? Victor York-Carter. Stand up, Victor. I was just talking to Victor. I had some lunch with him. He’s this fine young man that I just met with. (Applause.) Stand up — everybody. See, these are the guys who I ate chicken with. (Applause.) Really impressive — have overcome more than their fair share of challenges, but are still focused on the future. Yes, sit down. I don’t want you to start getting embarrassed. (Laughter.)
So I’ll just give you one example. Victor grew up in the 8th Ward. Gifted art student, loved math. He was 13 when Katrina hit. And he remembers waking up to what looked like something out of a disaster movie. He and his family waded across the city, towing his younger brother in a trash can to keep him afloat.
They were eventually evacuated to Texas. Six months later, they returned, and the city was almost unrecognizable. Victor saw his peers struggling to cope, many of them still traumatized, their lives still disordered. So he joined an organization called Rethink to help young people get more involved in rebuilding New Orleans. And recently, he finished a coding bootcamp at Operation Spark; today, he’s studying to earn a high-tech job. He wants to introduce more young people to science and technology and civics so that they have the tools to change the world.
And so Victor and these young men that I just met with, they’ve overcome extraordinary odds. They’ve lived through more than most of us will ever have to endure. (Applause.) They’ve made some mistakes along the way. But for all that they’ve been through, they have been just as determined to improve their own lives, to take responsibility for themselves, but also to try to see if they can help others along the way.
So when I talk to young men like that, that gives me hope. It’s still hard. I told them they can’t get down on themselves. Tough stuff will happen along the way. But if they’ve come this far, they can keep on going. (Applause.)
And Americans like you — the people of New Orleans, young men like this — you’re what recovery has been all about. You’re why I’m confident that we can recover from crisis and start to move forward. You’ve helped this country recover from a crisis and helped it move forward. You’re the reason 13 million new jobs have been created. You’re the reason the unemployment rate fell from 10 percent to 5.3. You’re the reason that layoffs are near an all-time low. You’re the reason the uninsured rate is at an all-time low and the high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, and the deficit has been cut by two-thirds, and two wars are over. (Applause.) And nearly 180,000 American troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have now gone down to 15,000. And a clean energy revolution is helping to save this planet.
You’re the reason why justice has expanded and now we’re focused on making sure that everybody is treated fairly under the law, and why people have the freedom to marry whoever they love from sea to shining sea. (Applause.)
I tell you, we’re moving into the next presidential cycle and the next political season, and you will hear a lot of people telling you everything that’s wrong with America. And that’s okay. That’s a proper part of our democracy. One of the things about America is we’re never satisfied. We keep pushing forward. We keep asking questions. We keep challenging our government. We keep challenging our leaders. We keep looking for the next set of challenges to tackle. We find what’s wrong because we have confidence that we can fix it.
But it’s important that we remember what’s right, and what’s good, and what’s hopeful about this country. It’s worth remembering that for all the tragedy, for the all images of Katrina in those first few days, in those first few months, look at what’s happened here. It’s worth remembering the thousands of Americans like Michelle, and Victor, and Mrs. Willie Mae and the folks who rallied around her — Americans all across this country who when they saw neighbors and friends or strangers in need came to help. And people who today still spend their time every day helping others — rolling up their sleeves, doing the hard work of changing this country without the need for credit or the need for glory; don’t get their name in the papers, don’t see their day in the sun, do it because it’s right.
These Americans live the basic values that define this country — the value we’ve been reminded of in these past 10 years as we’ve come back from a crisis that changed this city, and an economic crisis that spread throughout the nation — the basic notion that I am my brother’s keeper, and I am my sister’s keeper, and that we look out for each other and that we’re all in this together.
That’s the story of New Orleans — but that’s also the story of America — a city that, for almost 300 years, has been the gateway to America’s soul. Where the jazz makes you cry, the funerals make you dance — (laughter) — the bayou makes you believe all kinds of things. (Laughter.) A place that has always brought together people of all races and religions and languages. And everybody adds their culture and their flavor into this city’s gumbo. You remind our nation that for all of our differences, in the end, what matters is we’re all in the same boat. We all share a similar destiny.
If we stay focused on that common purpose, if we remember our responsibility to ourselves but also our responsibilities and obligations to one another, we will not just rebuild this city, we will rebuild this country. We’ll make sure not just these young men, but every child in America has a structure and support and love and the kind of nurturing that they need to succeed. We’ll leave behind a city and a nation that’s worthy of generations to come.
That’s what you’ve gotten started. Now we got to finish the job.
Thank you. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)
4:36 P.M. CDT
Posted by bonniekgoodman on August 27, 2015
Source: Time, 8-6-15
Seven Republican presidential candidates met for an undercard debate on Fox News Thursday night.
The candidates who did not make the main debate due to low poll numbers hit each other, Donald Trump and President Obama during an hour-long debate that began at 5 p.m., nicknamed the “happy hour debate.”
At the debate: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former New York Gov. George Pataki.
The moderators were Fox News anchors Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum.
Here is a complete transcript of the debate.
HEMMER: This is first official event in the campaign for the Republican nomination for president. Welcome to Cleveland Ohio. It is debate night.
HEMMER: I’m Bill Hemmer.
MACCALLUM: And I’m Martha MacCallum.
It all starts here. We are ready, the candidates are ready. We’re live at the Quicken Loans Arena, where we have partnered with Facebook to bring you, the voter, into today’s debate.
HEMMER: So you will hear from all 17 candidates tonight, and you’ll meet seven of them right now, starting with three-time governor in the state of Texas, Rick Perry.
MACCALLUM: Also, two-time senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.
HEMMER: Two-time. Two-time governor of the State of Louisiana, Acting Governor Bobby Jindal.
HEMMER: So you will hear from all 17 candidates tonight, and you’ll meet seven of them right now, starting with three-time governor in the state of Texas, Rick Perry.
MACCALLUM: Also, two-time senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.
HEMMER: Two-time. Two-time governor of the State of Louisiana, Acting Governor Bobby Jindal.
MACCALLUM: Businesswoman and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina.
HEMMER: The senior senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham.
MACCALLUM: Former three-term governor of New York, George Pataki.
HEMMER: And former Virginia governor, Jim Gilmore.
MACCALLUM: Now, this debate will last one hour. We’re going to have four commercial breaks.
MACCALLUM: Each candidate will have one minute to anwer each question and 30 seconds for rebuttal. If you run out of time, you’re going to hear this.
MACCALLUM: Everybody got the bell?
HEMMER: Wait til you hear what the others are going to get later, huh?
HEMMER: One year from now, a Republican nominee will be standing on this stage in this very same arena. That person is in Cleveland today.
So let’s get started. First topic, electability.
First question to Governor Perry from Texas.
PERRY: It’s good to be with you.
HEMMER: You were in charge of the 12th largest economy in the world, and you recently said that four years ago, you weren’t ready for this job.
HEMMER: Why should someone vote for you now?
PERRY: After those four years of looking back and being prepared, the preparation to be the most powerful individual in the world requires an extraordinary amount of work: not just having been the governor of the 12th largest economy in the world, which I might add, we added 1.5 million jobs during that period of time over that 2007 through 2014 period, a period when America was going through the most deep recession it had been through since the Great Depression.
I think Americans want someone to have a track record of showing them how to get this country back on record, someone who will stand up and every day project that best days of America are in front of us.
And I will assure you, as the governor of the state of Texas, and as those last four years have shown me, the preparation to be ready to stand on this stage and talk about those monetary policies, those domestic policies, and those foreign policies, Americans are going to see that I am ready to be that individual.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.
MACCALLUM: Now we go to Carly Fiorina.
Carly, you were CEO of Hewlett-Packard. You ran for Senate and lost in California in 2010. This week, you said “Margaret Thatcher was not content to manage a great nation in decline, and neither am I.”
Given your current standings in the polls, is the Iron Lady comparison a stretch?
FIORINA: Well, I would begin by reminding people that at this point in previous presidential elections, Jimmy Carter couldn’t win, Ronald Reagan couldn’t win, Bill Clinton couldn’t win, and neither could’ve Barack Obama.
I started as a secretary and became ultimately the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, almost $90 billion in over 150 countries. I know personally how extraordinary and unique this nation is.
I think to be commander in chief in the 21st century requires someone who understands how the economy works, someone who understands how the world works and who’s in it; I know more world leaders on the stage today than anyone running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton; understands bureaucracies, how to cut them down to size and hold them accountable; and understands technology, which is a tool, but it’s also a weapon that’s being used against us.
Most importantly, I think I understand leadership, which sometimes requires a tough call in a tough time. But mostly, the highest calling of leadership is to challenge the status-quo and unlock the potential of others. We need a leader who will lead the resurgence of this great nation and unlock its potential once again.
HEMMER: Senator Santorum, you won the Iowa caucus four years ago and 10 other states. But you failed to beat Mitt Romney for the nomination. And no one here tonight is going to question your conviction or your love for country. But has your moment passed, Senator?
SANTORUM: You know, we didn’t start out four years ago at the top of the heap. We were behind where we were today. But we stuck to our message. We stuck to the fact that Americans are tired of Washington corporate interests and Democrats who are interested in just politics and power and they’re looking for someone who’s going to fight for them; looking for someone who’s going to grow manufacturing sector of our economy, so those 74 percent of Americans who don’t have a college degree have a chance to rise again. Someone who’s going to stand up, and be very clear with our enemies as to the lines their going to draw and stand with them.
I’ve got a track record. The reason I did so well last time is not just because of the vision, it’s because I have a track record in Washington, D.C. of getting things done. Iran sanctions — the Iran sanctions that brought them to the table, those are sanctions that we put in place when I was in the United States Senate, and a whole host of other things that put me in a position of saying, I not only have a great vision, but I can govern effectively in Washington.
HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.
MACCALLUM: Governor Jindal, you’re one of two sitting governors on the stage tonight. But your approval numbers at home are in the mid 30s at this point. In a recent poll that showed you in a head-to- head against Hillary Clinton in Louisiana, she beat you by several points.
So if the people of Louisiana are not satisfied, what makes you think that the people of this nation would be?
JINDAL: Well, first of all, thank you all for having us.
You know, I won two record elections. Last time I was elected governor, won a record margin in my state. Martha, we got a lot of politicians that will kiss babies, cut ribbons, do whatever it takes to be popular. That’s not why I ran for office.
I ran for office to make the generational changes in Louisiana. We’ve cut 26 percent of our budget. We have 30,000 fewer state bureaucrats than the day I took office. I don’t think anybody has cut that much government anywhere, at any time. As a result, eight credit upgrades; as a result, a top ten state for private sector job creation. And we fought for statewide school choice, where the dollars follow the child, instead of the child following the dollars. We’ve been the most pro-life state six years in a row. My point is this: I won two landslide elections, I made big changes. I think our country is tired of the politicians who simply read the polls and fail to lead. Both Democrats and Republicans have gotten us in the mess we’re in — $18 trillion of debt, a bad deal with Iran, we’re not staying with Israel.
I think the American people are look for real leadership. That’s what I’ve done in Louisiana, that’s what I’ll do in America.
HEMMER: Senator Lindsey Graham, you worked with Democrats and President Obama when it came to climate change, something you know is extremely unpopular with conservative Republicans.
How can they trust you based on that record?
GRAHAM: You can trust me to do the following: that when I get on change with Hillary Clinton, we won’t be debating about the science, we’ll be debating about the solutions. In her world, cap- and-trade would dominate, that we will destroy the economy in the name of helping the environment. In my world, we’ll focus on energy independence and a clean environment.
When it comes to fossil fuels, we’re going to find more here and use less. Over time, we’re going to become energy independent. I am tired of sending $300 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts. The choice between a weak economy and a strong environment is a false choice, that is not the choice I’ll offer America.
A healthy environment, a strong economy and energy independent America — that would be the purpose of my presidency, is break the strangle hold that people enjoy on fossil fuels who hate our guts.
HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.
MACCALLUM: Governor Pataki, four years ago this month, you called it quits in a race for the presidency in 2012, but now you’re back. Mitt Romney declined to run this time, because he believed that the party needed new blood.
Does he have a point?
PATAKI: I think he means somebody who hasn’t been a career politician, and who’s been out of office for awhile. I think the last eight years in the private sector have allowed me to see government from the outside, and I think that is a positive thing. Yes, I thought about running four years ago. I was ready to lead, but I wasn’t ready to run.
But I look at this country today, and I look at how divided we are, I look at how politicians are always posturing and issuing sound bites but never solving problems. What I did in New York was bring people together, an overwhelmingly Democratic state. But I was able to get Democrats to support the most conservative sweeping policy changes in any state in America.
And when I look at Washington today, we need to bring us together. We need to solve problems, we need to rebuild our military so we can stand up to radical Islam, we need to get our economy growing much faster by throwing out the corrupt tax code and lowering the rates. We have to end crony capitalism in Washington, where the lobbyists and the powerful can get tax breaks and tax credits, and the American people don’t get laws in their interest.
I can do that. And I can do it regardless of what the makeup of Congress is because I did it in New York state. So we need new leadership — yes. I will be that new leader.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.
From one side of the stage, the other — the other, Governor Jim Gilmore.
You were the last person on stage to declare your candidacy. You ran for the White House once and lost. You ran for the Senate one time and lost. You haven’t held public office in 13 years.
Similar question, is it time for new blood?
GILMORE: I think the times are different now. I think the times are much more serious.
Because Obama and Clinton policies, the United States is moving further and further into a decline. I want to reverse that decline. That’s why I’ve entered this race, and I think I have the experience to do it.
Former elected prosecutor, attorney general, governor, I was elected to all of those offices.
A person who, in fact, has a long experience in foreign-policy issues, which is different from many of the other governors and prospective governors who are running. I was an Army intelligence agent and a veteran during the Cold War, assigned to West Germany.
I was the chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security and Terrorism for the United States for five years. I was a person who has dealt extensively with these homeland security issues. I was a governor during the 9/11 attack.
I understand both of these issues, how to build the economy and doing that as a governor who’d built jobs, had cut taxes and also a governor who understands foreign-policy, and that’s why I entered this race.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.
MACCALLUM: Alright, everybody. Now to the elephant that is not in the room tonight, Donald Trump.
Let’s take a look at this graphic that shows the huge amount of political chatter that he is driving on Facebook right now, some of it good, probably, some of it bad. But he is dominating this conversation. Governor Perry, you two have been going at it. But given the large disparity in your poll numbers, he seems to be getting the better of you.
PERRY: Well, when you look at the celebrity of Donald Trump, then I think that says a lot about it.
One thing I like to remind people is, back in 2007, Rudy Giuliani was leading the polls for almost a year. I’ll suggest a part of that was his celebrity. Fred Thompson was the other one, a man who had spent a lot of time on that screen.
I’ve had my issues with Donald Trump. I talked about Donald Trump from the standpoint of being an individual who was using his celebrity rather than his conservatism.
How can you run for the Republican nomination and be for single- payer health care? I mean, I ask that with all due respect. And nobody, nobody on either one of these stages has done more than I’ve done and the people of the State of Texas to deal with securing that border.
We sent our Texas ranger recon teams. We sent our parks and wildlife wardens. I deployed the National Guard after I stood on the ramp in Dallas, Texas and looked the president of the United States in the eye and said, “Mr. President, if you won’t secure the border, Texas will,” and that’s exactly what we did.
We need a president that doesn’t just talk a game, but a president that’s got real results.
MACCALLUM: Alright, I want to ask that same question, because it’s true, really, of all of you on this stage that, like it or not, Donald Trump is — there’s a huge disparity between the poll numbers that you have and the poll numbers that he has, given also the fact that Rudy Giuliani said he thought that there may be some Reagan qualities to Donald Trump.
So Carly Fiorina, is he getting the better of you?
FIORINA: Well, I don’t know. I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the foundation or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign.
Here’s the thing that I would ask Donald Trump in all seriousness. He is the party’s frontrunner right now, and good for him.
I think he’s tapped into an anger that people feel. They’re sick of politics as usual. You know, whatever your issue, your cause, the festering problem you hoped would resolved, the political class has failed you. That’s just a fact, and that’s what Donald Trump taps into.
I would also just say this. Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, what are the principles by which he will govern?
MACCALLUM: Thank you.
HEMMER: This Saturday, August 8th, two days from now marks one year since the strikes began against ISIS in Iraq and followed in Syria one month later. This week, a leading general in the U.S. Marine Corps says, “One year later, that fight is at a stalemate.”
Governor Jindal, give me one example how your fight against ISIS would be different over there?
JINDAL: Well, to start with, unlike President Obama, I’ll actually name the enemy that we confront. We’ve got a president who cannot bring himself to say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Now, Bill, he loves to criticize America, apologize for us, criticize medieval Christians. How can we beat an enemy if our commander-in-chief doesn’t have the moral honesty and clarity to say that Islam has a problem, and that problem is radical Islam, to say they’ve got to condemn not generic acts of violence, but the individual murderers who are committing these acts of violence.
We’ve got a president who instead says, we’re going to change hearts and minds. Well, you know what? Sometimes you win a war by killing murderous, evil terrorists. We’re going to take the political handcuffs off the military. We will arm and train the Kurds. We will work with our Sunni allies. They know we will be committed to victory.
We had this failed red line with Assad and it discouraged folks that want to help us on the ground. Finally, we’ll take off the political handcuffs. We’ll go to the Congress. This president has gone to Congress and said give me a three-year deadline, give me a ban on ground troops. I’m going to go to the commanders and say give me a plan to win. You can’t send your troops into harm’s way unless you give them every opportunity to be successful.
HEMMER: And the senator to your right has called for 20,000 American troops in Syria and Iraq so far today, Senator Graham, and I’ll give this question to you. Why should the American people after two wars in Iraq sacrifice yet again on a third war?
GRAHAM: If we don’t stop them over there, they are coming here just as sure as I stand here in front of you.
One thing I want to be clear about tonight. If you’re running for president of the United States and you don’t understand that we need more American ground forces in Iraq and that America has to be part of a regional ground force that will go into Syria and destroy ISIL in Syria, then you’re not ready to be commander in chief. And you’re not serious about destroying ISIL.
According to the generals that I know and trust, this air campaign will not destroy ISIL. We need a ground force in Iraq and Syria, and America has to be part of that ground force. According to the FBI and the director of national intelligence, Syria’s becoming a perfect platform to strike our nation. I’ve got a very simple strategy as your president against ISIL. Whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat them.
HEMMER: Senator, thank you.
MACCALLUM: All right. Let’s get to our first commercial break. There is plenty more to discuss tonight. Coming up, immigration, more on ISIS and homeland security as well as we continue live tonight from Cleveland, Ohio.
HEMMER: It is debate night, and welcome back to Cleveland, Ohio. Let’s get back to the questions right now with Martha.
MACCALLUM: All right. Let’s talk about ISIS and the threat to the homeland that we have seen growing in recent months. This goes to Governor Pataki.
Sixty-nine ISIS-inspired terrorists have been arrested in this country, in homeland plots, and the FBI assures us that there are likely many more to come.
The president is reluctant to label these terrorists Islamic extremists, but you’ve said that you have no problem with that label. Then comes the hard part.
So here’s the question. How far are you willing to go to root out this problem here at home? Would you put mosques, for example, potentially, under surveillance? And keep in mind that conservatives are increasingly concerned in this country with religious liberty.
PATAKI: Martha, religious liberty doesn’t include encouraging a fellow American to engage in violent jihad and kill an American here. That is not protected free speech. That is not protected religious belief.
That is like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, and that is illegal, and I would do everything in our power not just to go after those who are here who we know who are here, before they can radicalize other Americans to carry out attacks, and it’s not just the ones they’ve arrested.
Think back to Garland, Texas. But for that Texas police officer, we could have had a mass murder. We have to shut down their internet capability. We have to shut down, whether or not they’re in prisons preaching or on — in mosques preaching. No radical Islam that is allowed to engage in encouraging violence against Americans, that is not protected speech.
Let me just add one thing about ISIS over there. We have got to destroy their training camps and recruiting centers.
I was governor of New York on September 11. I know that we are at greater risk today than at any time since then of another attack. We have got to destroy their training camps over there before they can attack us here.
I don’t agree that we’re going to occupy and spend another decade or a trillion dollars. What we need to do is destroy their ability to attack us here over there, and then get out.
You know, I have two sons. Both served. One as a marine officer in Iraq, one as an army officer in Afghanistan. I do not see — want to see one parent or loved one worrying about getting a call in the middle of the night.
I would not place one American life at risk unless it was absolutely necessary. But to destroy ISIS, it is necessary.
MACCALLUM: All right. This question to Carly Fiorina. The FBI director Comey says that terrorists can thrive here at home because they go dark and they recruit behind the cyber walls that are built by American companies like Google and Apple.
Comey says this is a big problem. Rand Paul says that the government forcing these companies to bring down those walls would be a big privacy issue and a dangerous way to go on this. You’ve been a tech leader in this country. Which side are you on?
FIORINA: Let me say first that it is disturbing that every time one of these home-grown terrorist attacks occurs, and, as your question points out, they are occurring with far too great frequency, it turns out we had warning signals.
It turns out we knew something was wrong. It turns out some dot wasn’t connected, and so the first thing we have to do is make sure that everyone and every responsible agency is attuned to all of these possibilities and symptoms.
We even had warnings about the Boston Marathon bombers, and yet the dots weren’t connected. So we need to get on a different mindset.
Secondly, I certainly support that we need to tear down cyber walls, not on a mass basis, but on a targeted basis. But let me just say that we also need down — to tear down the cyber walls that China is erecting, that Russia is erecting.
FIORINA: We need to be very well aware of the fact that China and Russia are using technology to attack us, just as ISIS is using technology to recruit those who would murder American citizens. I do not believe that we need to wholesale destroy every American citizen’s privacy in order to go after those that we know are suspect or are — are already a problem. But yes, there is more collaboration required between private sector companies and the public sector. And specifically, we know that we could have detected and repelled some of these cyber attacks if that collaboration had been permitted. A law has been sitting — languishing, sadly, on Capitol Hill and has not yet been passed, and it would help.
MACCALLUM: So, would you tonight call for Google and Apple to cooperate in these Investigations and let the FBI, in where they need to go?
FIORINA: I absolutely would call on them to collaborate and cooperate, yes.
HEMMER: Excuse me, Martha. I have not heard the bell just yet, so you’re all very well behaved so far.
Governor Gilmore, 30 seconds.
GILMORE: Well, yes, indeed. I chaired the National Commission on Homeland Security Committee for United States. We warned about the 9/11 attack before the 9/11 attack occurred. I was the governor during the 9/11 attack when the Pentagon was struck.
And I’m going to tell you this, we need to use the benefit of our law enforcement people across this country, combined with our intelligence people across this country. We need to use our technological advantages, because what we’ve warned of is an international guerrilla movement that threatens this country. It’s going to happen in this country, there are going to be further attacks.
We have to be prepared to defend the American people, prepare them for a long war, stand up for the defense of this country, and stand up for the values of this country…
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor. I’ve got to move on to immigration here.
Senator Santorum, you would argue you have one of the tougher positions on illegal immigration in the entire 17 candidate field at the moment. We often talk about this issue on the abstract level in Washington, D.C., but you know how it’s being talked about in states like Iowa and New Hampshire among illegals in our country today — 11 million plus.
And some are asking, what would you say to a child, born and raised in America, who could see their family broken apart by your policy?
SANTORUM: My father was born in Italy, and shortly after he was born my grandfather immigrated to this country. And under the laws of this country, he wasn’t allowed to be with his father for seven years. Spent the first seven years of his life in Fascist Italy, under Benito Mussolini. Not a very pleasant place to be.
I asked my dad after — obviously, when I found out about this. And I said, “Didn’t you resent America for not letting you be with your father in those formative and very threatening years?” You know what he said to me? “America was worth the wait.”
We’re a country of laws, Bill. We’re a country of laws, not of men, not of people who do whatever they want to do. I know we have a president who wants to do whatever he wants to do, and take his pen and his phone and just tell everybody what he thinks is best. But the reason America is a great country, the reason is because our compassion is in our laws. And when we live by those laws and we treat everybody equally under the law, that’s when people feel good about being Americans.
And I put forth an immigration policy that is as strong in favor of the folks who are struggling in America the most than anybody else. It’s the strongest pro-worker immigration plan. It says that after 35 million people have come here over the last 20 years, almost all of whom are unskilled workers, flattening wages, creating horrible opportunity — a lack of opportunities for unskilled workers, we’re going to do something about reducing the level of immigration by 25 percent.
We’re going to be tough at the border, we’re going to be tough on all of the illegal immigrants that everybody else in this field — we’re going to be different. We’re going to be actually out there trying to create a better life for hard-working Americans.
HEMMER: Governor Perry, try and answer this question again.
What do you say to the family of illegals? Are you going to break them apart?
PERRY: Bill, here’s the interesting position on this. Americans are tired of hearing this debate — want to go to, what are you going to do about illegal immigration? For 30 years this country has been baited with that. All the way back to when Ronald Reagan signed a piece of legislation that basically allowed for amnesty for over 4 million people, and the border is still not secure.
The American people are never going to trust Washington, D.C., and for good reason. We hear all this discussion about well, I would do this, or I would do that, when the fact is, the border is still porous. Until we have a president of the United States that gets up every day and goes to the Oval Office with the intent purpose of securing that border, and there’s not anybody on either one of these stages that has the experience of dealing with this as I have for over 14 years with that 1200-mile border.
PERRY: We have to put the personnel on that border in the right places; you have to put the strategic fencing in place; and you have to have aviation assets that fly all the way from Tijuana to El Paso to Brownsville, Texas — 1,933 miles looking down 24/7, with the technology to be able to identify what individuals are doing, and ID when they are in obviously illegal activities or suspicious activities, and quick response teams come.
At that particular point in time, then Americans will believe that Washington is up to a conversation to deal with the millions of people that are here illegally, but not until.
If you elect me president of the United States, I will secure that southern border.
HEMMER: Governor, thank you.
MACCALLUM: On that note, next, the candidates take on the future of the U.S. economy when we come back after this quick break.
MACCALLUM: Welcome back, everybody. It is the bottom of the hour, and we are back, live from Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, kicking off the first 2016 Republican primary debate.
HEMMER: And so right now, we’re 30 minutes in. Going to jump back into the topics and continue our discussion of national issues on the domestic level.
The issue that is really number one on the minds of many voters, that’s the economy and jobs.
MACCALLUM: So let’s start here with Senator Graham.
Senator Graham, 82 million Americans over the age of 20 are out of the workforce.
MACCALLUM: Forty-five million people in this country are on food stamps. Nine million are on disability.
All of these numbers have been rising sharply in recent years.
There is an increasing willingness in this country to accept assistance. How do you get Americans who are able to take the job instead of a handout?
GRHAAM: I think America is dying to work, you just need to give them a chance. To all the Americans who want a better life, don’t vote for Hillary Clinton. You’re not going to get it. She’s not going to repeal “Obamacare” and replace it. I will. She’s not going to build the Keystone Pipeline. I will. She’s not going to change Dodd-Frank. I will.
Until you change the policies of Barack Obama, we’re never going to grow this economy. Until you change the policies of Barack Obama, we’re never going to be safe. She represents a third term of a failed presidency.
I’m fluent in Clinton-speak; I’ve been dealing with this crowd for 20 years. You know, when Bill Clinton says it depends on what the meaning of is is, that means is is whatever Bill wants it to mean. When Hillary Clinton tells you I’ve given you all the emails you need, that means she hasn’t. So to the people who are dying for a better America, you better change course, and she doesn’t represent the change that we need.
Do we all agree that ISIL is not the JV team? If I have to monitor a mosque, I’ll monitor a mosque. If I have to take down a cyber wall, I’ll take it. If I have to send more American troops to protect us here, I will do it. She will not. She has empowered a failed agenda. She is going to empower a failed solution to an American economy dying to grow.
Elect me, I know the difference between being flat broke. Apparently, she doesn’t. In Hillary Clinton’s world, after two terms in the White House where her husband was president, she said she was flat broke. Hillary, I’ll show you flat broke. That’s not it.
MACCALLUM: All right. Senator Santorum, let’s get back to the question at hand, which is whether or not Americans have become too reliant on assistance or too willing to take assistance. Do you believe that we need to change the culture in this country in terms of whether or not we should be encouraging people to get off of it and take the job when it’s available? Some are able and not doing that.
SANTORUM: I think it’s — yeah, I think it’s a one-two punch. Number one, we have to create better paying jobs. I mean, that’s just the bottom line. We haven’t. And that’s the reason that I’ve said under my presidency, we’ll create jobs and make American the number one manufacturing country in the world.
If we want to create jobs for the folks that you’re talking about, who are having trouble getting off government benefits, primarily because of their low skill level, there is no better way — it’s worked for 100 years in America — putting people back to work in manufacturing is it.
I’m going to be introducing a plan which I call the 2020 Perfect Vision for America. It’s a 20 percent flat rate tax, it’ll take a blowtorch to the — to the IRS. It will create a manufacturing juggernaut in this country. And you combine that with reforms of our welfare system.
You’re looking at the — at the man who introduced and fought on the floor as a freshman senator and passed the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 over two President Clinton vetoes. Got 70 votes in the United States Senate. Bipartisan issue. And I ended a federal entitlement. Never been done before, never been done since.
What we need to do is take the rest of the federal entitlements, not just welfare, but food stamps and Medicaid and housing programs and do the same thing we did with welfare. Work requirements and time limits. That will change everything.
MACCALLUM: All right. New question, same topic, goes to Governor Gilmore. You know, based on your record and what we’re discussing here, which is potentially cutting back some entitlement, cutting back benefits, it’s tricky business as we all know because people will argue that that’s their means to escape poverty. So they’re going to look at you when you want to do that and they will call you heartless. What will you tell them?
GILMORE: I’ll tell them that we’re going to grow the economy so that we can give people better opportunities so they don’t have to rely exclusively on benefit types of programs. Some do, but many Americans are dying to have an opportunity to grow and to create something inside this economy. And I’m glad that I have a chance to answer this question.
I’ve had the growth code (ph) there for about five years, and it’s this specific program. We’re going to do a tax cut for all Americans. We’re going to have a three-bracket tax code, 10, 15 and 25 percent. We’re going to combine all commercial activity in business into one place in the tax code and charge it 15 percent, which is going to suddenly make us competitive with the rest of the world. And we’re going to eliminate the death tax.
GILMORE: With a couple of additional tweaks, we know what this will do. It will cause the economy to grow, to explode, to create more jobs. And first of all, we’ve got to recognize that there is problem that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have caused. And that problem is too big regulations like the EPA, too much new taxes on business that we have seen and “Obamacare.” These are drags on the economy, it’s a deliberate drag. I propose to reverse that and get this economy moving again.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.
Your last topic brings us to the state of Ohio.
You know, the saying, right? No Republican wins the White House unless you win here in the Buckeye state. Well, here in the Buckeye state, the Governor John Kasich took the federal money for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
And Governor Jindal of Louisiana, you passed on those tax dollars. Why do you think Governor Kasich got it wrong here?
JINDAL: Well, this goes to the question you were just asking. Look, under President Obama and Secretary Clinton, they’re working hard to change the American dream into the European nightmare. They do celebrate more dependence on the government.
Give Bernie Sanders credit. At least he’s honest enough to call himself a socialist. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, they’re no better. If we were to expand Medicaid, for every uninsured person we would cover, we’d kick more than one person out of private insurance or remove their opportunity to get private insurance.
We’re going to have too many people in the cart rather than pulling the cart. This isn’t free money. I know some people like to say, “well, this is free money.” We pay federal taxes. We are borrowing money from China today.
Yesterday, the president stunningly admitted this. He said, “we don’t have leverage with China to get a better deal on Iran because we need them to lend us money to continue operating our government.”
The president of the United States admitting that he’s weakening our government’s position, our foreign policy standing, because he can’t control spending in D.C..
There is a better way to provide health care. The Oregon study showed this. Simply expanding Medicaid does not improve health care outcomes. In Louisiana, instead we’re helping people getting better paying jobs so they can provide for their own health care.
HEMMER: So Governor Kasich was wrong, just to be clear.
JINDAL: I don’t — look, I don’t think anybody should be expanding Medicaid. I think it’s a mistake to create new and more expensive entitlement programs when we can’t afford the ones we’ve got today. We’ve got to stop this culture of government dependence.
HEMMER: I didn’t hear an answer regarding Governor Kasich, but for now I’ll go to Governor Pataki. Yes or no?
JINDAL: I’ll say this. I don’t think anybody should expand Medicaid. I think it was a mistake to expand Medicaid everywhere in Ohio and across the country.
HEMMER: Governor Pataki, three term governor of New York. Is he right, Governor Jindal from Louisiana?
PATAKI: I think he is right. I don’t think you expand entitlements when so many people are dependent on government and when the money the federal government is offering is going to be taken away from you after just a couple of years.
But getting back to Martha’s question about how we end dependency, do we have to have a cultural change? The answer is no. And I know this, because when I ran for governor of New York, one in 11 of every man, woman, and child in the state of New York was on welfare. On welfare. Think about that.
And people said “you can’t win, you can’t change the culture.” But I knew that good people who wanted to be a part of the American dream have become trapped in dependency because the federal government and the state government had made it in their economic interest not to take a job because the benefits that they didn’t work were better.
I changed that. We put in place mandatory work fair (ph). But we allowed people to keep health care. We put in place child care support.
HEMMER: Yes or no, would you have expanded Obamacare in the state of New York, had you been governor at that time?
PATAKI: No, it should be repealed. And by the way, when I left, there were over 1 million fewer people on welfare in New York state than when I took office…
PATAKI: … replacing dependency with opportunity.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor Pataki.
In a moment here, we’ll talk to the candidates about an issue today on Planned Parenthood, and also the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s all next here in Cleveland.
HEMMER: Welcome back to Cleveland, Ohio. Want to get back to the questions and the issues in this debate now, with my co-anchor, Martha.
MACCALLUM: All right.
Well, there’s been a lot of discussion on Facebook, as you would imagine, about the Iran nuclear deal. Let’s just take a look, as an opener, at this one question that comes from Logan Christopher Boyer of St. Louis, Missouri.
He says, “How will you disarm Iran and keep the Middle East from becoming nuclearized?
So let’s open this discussion about Iran with this question that comes to Governor Perry. Governor Perry, here’s the question for you:
Critics of the Iran deal say that it puts America on the same side as the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, of Hamas, of Hezbollah, of the backers of those groups of people who chant ‘Death to America,’ in the street, that this deal puts on that side of the equation.
But our traditional Middle East allies, led by Saudi Arabia, have also funneled support to Islamic radical groups who want to kill Americans.
So which side do you believe we should be on?
PERRY: We need to be on the side that keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That’s the side we need to be on, and that’s the side of the bulk of the — of the Middle East.
We need to have some coalitions in that part of the world to go after ISIS, but we also need to send a clear message. And hopefully — you know, Senator Graham, I — I know where he’s going to be on this, but we use Congress, and we use Congress to cut this funding.
One of the great challenges that we have, $150 billion is fixing to go to a country that killed our Marines in Lebanon, that used their weapons to kill our young men in Iran. And the idea that this negotiation — I will tell you one thing. I would a whole lot rather had Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation than John Kerry. Maybe we would’ve gotten a deal where we didn’t give everything away.
But the issue for us is to have a Congress that stands up and says not only no, but “Hell no” to this money going to a regime that is going to use it for terror, Susan Rice has said that, and we need to stand up and strongly and clearly tell the ayatollah that — whoever the next president of the United States is going to be, and I’ll promise you, if it’s me, the first thing that I will do is tear up that agreement with Iran.
MACCALLUM: Alright. I want to go to Carly Fiorina on this, but I want to ask you some of what I just asked to Governor Perry.
The issue is that the allies that we are with sometimes have groups within them that funnel money to terrorists as well. This is a complicated situation. Are you OK with us being on their side?
FIORINA: Yeah. Sometimes it’s a complicated situation, but some things are black and white.
On day one in the Oval Office, I would make two phone calls. The first one would be to my good friend, Bibi Netanyahu, to reassure him we will stand with the State of Israel.
The second will be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take my phone call, but he would get the message, and the message is this: Until you open every nuclear and every military facility to full, open, anytime/anywhere, for real, inspections, we are going to make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.
FIORINA: I hope Congress says no to this deal. But realistically, even if they do, the money is flowing.
China and Russia have never been on our side of the table. The Europeans have moved on. We have to stop the money flow. And by the way, as important as those two phone calls are, they are also very important because they say this. America is back in the leadership business. And when America does not lead, the world is a dangerous and a tragic place.
This is a bad deal. Obama broke every rule of negotiation. Yes, our allies are not perfect. But Iran is at the heart of most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East through their proxies.
MACCALLUM: Very, very briefly, would you help our allies in that region to get nuclear weapons if Iran has them?
FIORINA: Let me tell you what I would do immediately, day two in the Oval Office. I would hold a Camp David summit with our Arab allies, not to talk them into this lousy deal with Iran, but to say to them, “what is it that you need to defeat ISIL?”
You know, Obama has presented the American people with a false choice every time. It’s what I’ve done or not done, or it’s war. It is a false choice.
King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I’ve known for a long time, has been asking for bombs and materiel. We have not provided them. He has gone to China.
The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years. We haven’t done so.
The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence. We’re not doing it. We have Arab allies.
They are not perfect. I know every one. But they need to see leadership, support and resolve from the United States of America, and we can help them defeat ISIS.
HEMMER: Next question on the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s been 42 years, Senator Santorum, since Roe v. Wade, and many consider, in this country, to be a case of settled law.
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage. Is that now settled law in America today? SANTORUM: It is not any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln, who, in his first inaugural address, said “it won’t stand.” And they went ahead and passed laws in direct contravention to a rogue Supreme Court.
This is a rogue Supreme Court decision, just like Justice Roberts said. There is no constitutional basis for the Supreme Court’s decision, and I know something about this.
The — one of the times the Supreme Court spoke that I thought they were acting outside of their authority was in a partial-birth abortion case. You know, these Planned Parenthood tapes, what they’re showing are partial-birth abortions.
Abortions being done where the baby’s being delivered first, to preserve those organs, and then they crush the skull. Well, the Supreme Court found a bill that I was the author of unconstitutional.
What did I do? I didn’t stop. I didn’t say “oh, well we lost. It’s the law of the land.” We worked together. The House and Senate, under my leadership, and we passed a bill, and we said, “Supreme Court, you’re wrong.”
We’re a coequal branch of the government. We have every right to be able to stand up and say what is constitutional. We passed a bill, bipartisan support, and the Supreme Court, they — they sided with us.
Sometimes it just takes someone to lead and stand up to the court.
HEMMER: Alright, Senator, thank you.
To Governor Gilmore. For years, presidential candidates have not said they would have a litmus test for justices nominated to the Supreme Court.
Recently, Hillary Clinton broke that precedent. She said she would apply that on the case of Citizens United, which deals with campaign finance laws in America today.
Is it time for conservatives to impose a litmus test on abortion?
GILMORE: Well, as you know, I’m a former elected prosecutor, a former elected attorney general, trained at the University of Virginia in constitutional law, and I don’t believe in litmus tests except this.
I believe we should be appointing Supreme Court justices who will follow the law and not try to make the law. Now, the challenge we’re seeing today is that the Supreme Court is being converted into some type of political body.
They have to have some legal basis and precedence for being able to follow the law instead of making the law up, and my goal is — in appointing Supreme Court justices, would be to point — to appoint justices who would follow the law. Bill, I want to say one more thing about…
HEMMER: So, no litmus test?
GILMORE: Not — not on that, no. But let me say one more thing. I want to — before my time runs out I want to get back to this issue of ISIS versus Iran. It is Iran that’s the expansionist power. ISIL is trying to create themselves into a new state.
Our job has to be to recognize the conflict between the two. I have proposed there be a Middle East NATO so that we can combine our allies there to stand up to Iranian expansion, and at the same time join together to begin to stop and this ISIL thing before it becomes an actual state.
HEMMER: Thank you, governor.
MACCALLUM: All right. With that, we are going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with much more from Cleveland. Stay with us.
HEMMER: As the first debate of the nomination season continues, welcome back to Cleveland. Let’s get back to the questions right now, and the issues here in the U.S.
MACCALLUM: We want to get back to Planned Parenthood. And this question goes to Governor Pataki.
Governor Pataki, you’re the only pro-choice candidate running. A Republican holding that position has not won a single primary in 35 years. With the recent Planned Parenthood videos that we have all seen, shedding new light on abortion practices, I know that you have said that you would defund Planned Parenthood.
MACCALLUM: But has this story changed your heart when it comes to abortion?
PATAKI: My heart has not changed, because I’ve always been appalled by abortion. I’m a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception. But as Bill said earlier, Roe v. Wade, it’s has been the law for 42 years, and I don’t think we should continue to try to change it.
But we can do is defund Planned Parenthood, and by the way, put in place an absolute permanent ban on any taxpayer dollars ever being used to fund abortions. Also, when you look at these videos, they are horrific and show just a hideous disrespect for life. What else we can do is that we should believe in science.
PATAKI: You know, Hillary Clinton’s always saying how Republicans don’t follow science? Well, they’re the ones not listening to the scientists today, because doctors say that at 20 weeks that is a viable life inside the womb. And at that point, it’s a life that we have the right to protect, and I think we should protect.
So, I would pass legislation outlawing abortion after 20 weeks. It is Hillary, it is Biden, it is the others who insist on allowing abortion well into viable (inaudible) wrong, and that should be stopped.
MACCALLUM: All right.
On the same topic, let’s go to Governor Jindal.
Carly Fiorina, also on the stage, said that she would go so far as to shut down the government over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. Would you do that? Would you be willing to shut down the government when it comes to defunding this group?
JINDAL: Well, a couple of things. Planned Parenthood had better hope that Hillary Clinton wins this election, because I guarantee under President Jindal, January 2017, the Department of Justice and the IRS and everybody else that we can send from the federal government will be going in to Planned Parenthood.
This is absolutely disgusting, and revolts the conscience of the nation. Absolutely, we need to defund Planned Parenthood. In my own state, for example, we launched an investigation, asked the FBI to cooperate. We just, earlier this week, kicked them out of Medicaid in Louisiana as well, canceled their provider contract. They don’t provide any abortions in Louisiana.
But in terms of shutting down the government, I don’t think President Obama should choose to shut down the government simply to send taxpayer dollars to this group that has been caught, I believe, breaking the law, but also offending our values and our ethics.
It is time for Republicans in D.C. to fight. Too often, they give up, they negotiate with themselves. They said they would get rid of the unconstitutional amnesty. They didn’t do that. They said they would repeal Obamacare if we gave them the majority. They didn’t do that either. They said they’d shrink and balance the budget. They haven’t done that. Absolutely, they should fight to fund — defund Planned Parenthood, and I don’t think the president should shut down the government simply to send our taxpayer dollars to this group.
MACCALLUM: All right.
Lindsey Graham, this conversation will no doubt go to the war on women, and that cutting funding to this group could be a very broad brush against all of you or anybody who will hold this nomination as being against women’s health, against these organizations that people will say provide positive things for many women.
GRAHAM: I don’t think it’s a war on women for all of us as Americans to stand up and stop harvesting organs from little babies. Let’s take the money that we would give to Planned Parenthood and put it in women’s health care without having to harvest the organs of the unborn. The only way we’re going to defund Planned Parenthood is have a pro-life president.
You want to see a war on women? Come with me to Iraq and Afghanistan, folks. I’ve been there 35 times. I will show you what they do to women. These mythical Arab armies that my friends talk about that are going to protect us don’t exist. If I am president of the United States, we’re going to send soldiers back to Iraq, back to Syria, to keep us from being attacked here and keep soldiers in Afghanistan because we must.
I cannot tell you how much our nation is threatened and how we need a commander in chief who understands the threats to this nation.
If you’re running for president of the United States and you do not understand that we cannot defend this nation without more of our soldiers over there, you are not ready for this job.
HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.
Executive power. It appears that you all have a little bit of an issue with it at the moment. I want to move through this as quickly as I can, from stage left to stage right.
On the second day of his presidency, January 22nd 2009, President Obama signed one of his first executive orders. That was close Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Still open today. What would be your first executive order?
Governor Gilmore, start.
GILMORE: Well, it’s not a matter of what the first executive order would be, Bill. The matter is what orders exist now that shouldn’t exist?
The president has done an executive order with respect to illegal immigration that is illegal. Illegal. And it creates a — a contempt for the law, for the rule of law. If i were the president of the United States, I would go and look at every executive order that exists right now and determine which ones want to be voided, because the president shouldn’t be legislating: not through that vehicle or any other. We should be relying upon the leadership of the Congress to pass the laws.
HEMMER: Senator Graham.
GRAHAM: Change the Mexico City policy, not take one dime of taxpayer money to fund abortion organizations overseas, and restore the NSA that’s been gutted. We’re going dark when it comes to detecting the next attack. We have gutted our ability to detect the next attack. And I would not stand for that as president of the United States. I would take the fight to these guys, whatever it took, as long as it took.
HEMMER: Governor Jindal, your first executive order would be in the White House would be what?
JINDAL: To repeal these unconstitutional illegal orders, whether it’s amnesty or whether it’s this president going around the Congress, whether it’s in Obamacare, to restore the rule of law. I’d also go after these sanctuary cities, do everything we can to make sure that we are not — that we are actually prosecuting and cutting off funding for cities that are harboring illegal aliens, and then finally making sure the IRS is not going after conservative or religious groups.
I would sign an executive order protecting religious liberty, our first amendment rights, so Christian business owners and individuals don’t face discrimination for having a traditional view of marriage.
HEMMER: Governor Perry.
PERRY: It’ll be a pretty busy day, but that Iran negotiation is going to be torn up on day one. We’re going to start the process of securing that border. I’m also going to take a bottle of White-Out with me to get started on all those executive orders that Mr. Obama has put his name to.
HEMMER: That will be a long day.
PERRY: It will be a long day.
HEMMER: Senator Santorum?
SANTORUM: Just ditto to that.
We’re going to suspend — I’ve — I’ve said this for four years. We’re going to suspend and repeal every executive order, every regulation that cost American jobs and is — is — is impacting our freedom.
And second, the First Amendment Defense Act, which is protecting religious liberty, if it’s not passed by then, which I suspect it won’t, because the president will veto it, I will institute an executive order to make sure that people of faith are not being — not being harassed and persecuted by the federal government for standing up for the religious beliefs.
HEMMER: First order, Carly Fiorina?
FIORINA: I agree with my colleagues. We need to begin by undoing — I would begin by undoing a whole set of things that President Obama has done, whether it’s illegal amnesty or this latest round of EPA regulations. But let me go back to something that’s very important. We have been debating right here the core difference between conservatism and progressivism.
Conservatives, I am a conservative because I believe no one of us is any better than any other one of us. Every one of us is gifted by God, whether it is those poor babies being picked over or it’s someone whose life is tangled up in a web of dependence.
Progressives don’t believe that. They believe some are smarter than others, some are better than others, so some are going to need to take care of others.
That is the fight we have to have, and we have to undo a whole set of things that President Obama has done that get at the heart of his disrespect and disregard for too many Americans.
HEMMER: Governor Pataki?
PATAKI: Bill, I defeated Mario Cuomo. In the first day in office, my first executive order, I revoked every one of the executive orders that he had — he had enacted over the prior 12 years. I would do that to Barack Obama’s executive orders.
But I’d sign a second one, as I did in New York, as well, having a hard hiring freeze on adding new employees except for the military or defense-related positions. I’d sign that executive order.
When I left the workforce, New York State had been reduced by over 15 percent. We can do that in Washington. I will do that in Washington.
HEMMER: Thank you all.
MCCALLUM: Moving on to the next question, President Obama promised hope and change for the country, yet 60 percent of Americans are not satisfied with the shape that the country is in right now. Many think that America has lost its “can do” spirit and that it’s not the nation that it once was.
Ronald Reagan was confronted with a similar atmosphere, and he said that it could be morning in America again. JFK said it was a new frontier. FDR said that we had nothing to fear but fear itself.
On this level, Carly Fiorina, can you inspire this nation?
FIORINA: This is a great nation. It is a unique nation in all of human history and on the face of the planet, because here, our founders believed that everyone has a right to fulfill their potential and that that right –they called it life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness — comes from God and cannot be taken away by government.
We have arrived at a point in our nation’s history where the potential of this nation and too many Americans is being crushed by the weight, the power, the cost, the complexity, the ineptitude, the corruption of the federal government, and only someone who will challenge the status quo of Washington, D.C. can lead the resurgence of this great nation.
I will do that.
MCCALLUM: We’re talking about tapping into historic levels of leadership and lifting the nation in this kind of way that we’re discussing.
So Senator Santorum, how would you do it?
SANTORUM: I came to Washington, D.C. in 1990. That sounds like a long time ago. It was. It was 25 years ago, and I came by defeating the Democratic incumbent. I came as a reformer.
I started the Gang of Seven, and it led to the overtaking of the 40-year Democratic rule of Congress, because I didn’t — I stood up to the old-boy network in Washington, D.C. because I believed that Washington was not the solution, that Washington was the problem, just like Ronald Reagan said. I was a child of Ronald Reagan.
And I went there, and for 16 years, I fought the insiders and was able to get things done. That’s the difference. We need to elect someone who will stand with the American people, who understands its greatness, who understands what an open economy and freedom is all about, but at the same time, has a record of being able to get things done in Washington like we’ve never seen before.
Reforms, everything from moral and cultural issues to economic issues. Those of you health savings accounts. Health savings accounts are something that we introduced. It’s a private-sector solution that believes in freedom, not Obamacare that believes in government control.
SANTORUM: Those are the things we brought, and we were able to get things done. If you want someone who’s not going to divide Washington, but gets things done, then you should make me your president.
HEMMER: Thank you, senator.
MACCALLUM: (inaudible) Lindsey Graham?
GRAHAM: Thank you.
First thing I’d tell the American people, whatever it takes to defend our nation, I would do.
To the 1 percent who have been fighting this war for over a decade, I’d try my best to be a commander-in-chief worthy of your sacrifice.
We’re going to lose Social Security and Medicare if Republicans and Democrats do not come together and find a solution like Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill. I will be the Ronald Reagan if I can find a Tip O’Neill.
When I was 21, my mom died. When I was 22, my dad died. We owned a liquor store, restaurant, bar and we lived in the back. Every penny we needed from — every penny we got from Social Security, because my sister was a minor, we needed. Today, I’m 60, I’m not married, I don’t have any kids. I would give up some Social Security to save a system that Americans are going to depend on now and in the future.
Half of American seniors would be in poverty without a Social Security check. If you make your president, I’m going to put the country ahead of the party. I’m going to do what it takes to defend this nation. This nation has been great to me, and that’s the only way I know to pay you back.
MACCALLUM: Thank you.
HEMMER: Thank you, Senator. I need a two-word answer to the following query. In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama described Hillary Clinton as, quote, “likable enough,” end quote. What two words would you use to describe the Democratic frontrunner? Governor Pataki to start.
PATAKI: Divisive and with no vision. No vision at all. HEMMER: Wow. Carly Fiorina.
FIORINA: Not trustworthy. No accomplishment.
UNKNOWN: Secretive and untrustworthy.
PERRY: Well, let’s go with three. Good at email.
HEMMER: Governor Jindal?
JINDAL: Socialist and government dependent.
GRAHAM: Not the change we need at a time we need it.
GILMORE: Professional politician that can’t be trusted.
HEMMER: Not a lot of compliments. To be continued.
MACCALLUM: So every candidate will have the opportunity to make a closing statement tonight. Each candidate will have 30 second for that. And we start with Governor Perry.
PERRY: Well, this is going to be a show me, don’t tell me election. I think America is just a few good decisions and a leadership change at the top away from the best years we’ve ever had. And I think that the record of the governor of the last 14 years of the 12th largest economy in the world is just the medicine America is looking for.
1.5 million jobs created during the worst economic time this country has had since the Great Depression while the rest of the country lost 400,000 jobs. We’re talking about a state that moved graduation rates forward from 27th in the nation to second-highest. As a matter of fact, if you’re Hispanic or African-American in Texas, you have the number one high school graduation rates in America.
Americans are looking for somebody that’s going to give them, and there is a place in this country over the last eight years in particular that talked about hope every day, and they didn’t just talk about it, they delivered it. And that was the state of Texas. And if we can do that in Texas, that 12th largest economy in the world, we can do it in America.
Our best days are in front of us. We can reform those entitlements, we can change that corporate tax code and lower it. We can put America back on track on a growth level and a growth rate that we’ve never seen in the history of this country. Manufacturing will flow back into this country. It just needs a corporate executive type at the top that’s done it before. And I will suggest to you nobody’s done it like Rick Perry has done it over the last eight years. And if you elect me president, we will bring incredible growth back to this country. And as someone who’s worn the uniform of the country, that’s how we build our military back up.
HEMMER: Thank you Governor. Senator Santorum?
SANTORUM: I’ll tell you how optimistic I am about America. Karen and I have seven children. You don’t have seven children and bring them into this world if you’re not optimistic about the future of this country.
I am, but people are upset, and they’re upset for a reason about the future of this country. Donald Trump actually seized on it when he talked about immigration. And I think the reason he did is because immigration is sort of an example of what’s broken and what’s wrong in Washington, D..C.
You see, you have one side, the Democrats, and with immigration, all they care about is votes. They don’t care about American workers, they just care about bringing as many people in so they can get as many votes as they can. ON the other side, you have so many Republicans, and what do they care about? Helping business make profits. There’s nobody out there looking out for the American worker.
I’m looking out for the American worker. I’m the only one on this stage who has a plan that’s actually reduced — actually going to reduce immigration. Actually going to do something to help the American worker. And you combine that with a plan to make manufacturing — this country number one in manufacturing, you’ve got someone who’s going to help revitalize and give hope to America, the place — the place is that is the most hopeless today.
That’s why I ask for your support for president.
HEMMER: All right. Senator thank you.
MACCALLUM: Governor Jindal?
JINDAL: You know, we’ve got a lot of great talkers running for president. We’ve already got a great talker in the White House. We cannot afford four more years of on the job training. We need a doer, not a talker. We also need a nominee, a candidate who will endorse our own principles.
Jeb Bush says we’ve got to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general. Let me translate that for you. That’s the establishment telling us to hide our conservative principles to get the left and the media to like us. That never works. If we do that again, we will lose again, we will deserve to lose again.
One principle, for example, we’ve got to embrace is on immigration. We must insist on assimilation — immigration without assimilation is an invasion. We need to tell folks who want to come here, they need to come here legally. They need to learn English, adopt our values, roll up their sleeves and get to work.
I’m tired of the hyphenated Americans and the division. I’ve got the backbone, I’ve got the band width, I’ve got the experience to get us through this. I’m asking folks not just to join my campaign, but join a cause. It is time to believe in America again. MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.
HEMMER: Carly Fiorina, closing statement.
FIORINA: Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e- mails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party’s frontrunner. 2016 is going to be a fight between conservatism, and a Democrat party that is undermining the very character of this nation. We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets into the ring.
I am not a member of the political class. I am a conservative; I can win this job, I can do this job, I need your help, I need your support. I will, with your help and support, lead the resurgence of this great nation.
HEMMER: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Senator Graham.
GRAHAM: We need somebody ready to be commander-in-chief on day one, who understands there are no moderates in Iran, they’ve been killed a long time ago. That the Ayatollah is a radical jihadist who really means it when he chants, “Death to America, death to Israel.” And this deal is giving him a pathway to a bomb, a missile to deliver it, and money to pay for it all.
We need a president who can solve our problems, bring us together. We’re becoming Greece if we don’t work together. At the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, our best days are ahead of us only if we work together, and I intend to put this country on a path of success by working together and doing the hard things that should have been done a very long time ago.
HEMMER: And to Governor Pataki, closing statement now.
PATAKI: With all the candidates, why me?
My background is different. I look at Washington, and I hear the talk, and I see the promises and it seems nothing ever changes. Washington gets bigger, taxes get higher, and the American people feel more distance from our government. I have the opportunity not just to run, but to win in the deep blue state of New York three times. And not only did I win, but I then worked with a Democratic legislature to put in place the most sweeping conservative reforms of any state in America, taking us from the most dangerous state in America to the fourth safest; reducing our welfare rolls by over 1 million, and replacing over 700,000 private sector jobs.
I can govern by bringing people together. And also, I’ve been tested in a way no one else has. I was governor on September 11th, and I’m proud of my leadership in bringing New York through that time. And when I left, we were stronger, we were safer, and we were more united than at any time in my lifetime.
We need to bring people together in Washington. The talk has got to stop, the action has got to begin. People can promise you something, I delivered in the blue state of New York. I will deliver for the American people if I have the privilege of leading this country.
HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.
MACCALLUM: Governor Gilmore.
GILMORE: Well, I was a conservative governor of Virginia, I governed that way, and that’s my track record. But the key thing that we’re seeing now is serious challenges to this country that must change, the direction of this nation must change. And that’s why I’ve offered a specific program to the people of America tonight to address the fundamental problem of getting our country growing again, getting our economy growing, wages up, opportunities for people.
And second, the international crisis we are facing is most dreadful and most dangerous. I have the experience as a prosecutor, attorney general, governor, United States Army intelligence veteran, governor during the 9/11 attack, chairman of the Terrorism Commission for this country. It’s time for real substance and real experience.
And that’s what I’ll offer to the people of the United States in this candidacy for the presidency.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.
HEMMER: That concludes the first debate of the 2016 Republican primary. We would like to thank all seven of you for being here today.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on August 6, 2015
Ten Republican presidential candidates met in Cleveland for a primetime debate on Fox News.
At the debate, real estate mogul Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The moderators were Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.
Here is a running transcript of what they said.
KELLY: It is nine p.m. on the East Coast, and the moment of truth has arrived.
KELLY: Welcome to the first debate night of the 2016 presidential campaign, live from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
I’m Megyn Kelly…
… along with my co-moderators, Brett Baier and Chris Wallace.
Tonight, thousands of people here in the Q, along with millions of voters at home will get their very first chance to see the candidates face off in a debate, answering the questions you want answered.
BAIER: Less than a year from now, in this very arena, one of these 10 candidates or one of the seven on the previous debate tonight will accept the Republican party’s nomination.
Tonight’s candidates were selected based on an average of five national polls. Just a few hours ago, you heard from the candidates ranked 11th through 17. And now, the prime-time event, the top 10.
WALLACE: Also of note, Fox News is partnering for tonight’s debate with Facebook. For the past several weeks, we’ve been asking you for questions for the candidates on Facebook. Nearly 6 million of you, 6 million, viewed the debate videos on our site, and more than 40,000 of you submitted questions: some of which you will hear us asking the candidates tonight.
KELLY: As for the candidates who will be answering those questions? Here they are.
Positioned on the stage by how they stand in the polls, in the center of the stage tonight, businessman Donald Trump.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
BAIER: Neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
WALLACE: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
(APPLAUSE) And your very own governor of Ohio…
… John Kasich.
WALLACE: Brett — Brett, I think you would call that a home field advantage.
BAIER: It might be. It might be. We’ll see.
(UNKNOWN): Is this in the rules? An objection’s coming.
BAIER: It might be. The rules for tonight are simple. One minute for answers, 30 seconds for follow-ups. And if a candidate runs over, you’ll hear this.
We also have a big crowd here with us tonight in the home of the Cavaliers, as I mentioned.
And while we expect them…
… we expect them to be enthusiastic, as you heard, we don’t want to take anything away from the valuable time for the candidate. So, we’re looking for somewhere between a reaction to a LeBron James dunk and the Cleveland Public Library across the street.
Somewhere there, we’ll find a balance tonight.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
BAIER: Gentlemen, we know how much you love hand-raising questions. So we promise, this is the only one tonight: the only one. Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person.
Again, we’re looking for you to raise your hand now — raise your hand now if you won’t make that pledge tonight.
Mr. Trump to be clear, you’re standing on a Republican primary debate stage.
TRUMP: I fully understand.
BAIER: The place where the RNC will give the nominee the nod.
TRUMP: I fully understand.
BAIER: And that experts say an independent run would almost certainly hand the race over to Democrats and likely another Clinton.
You can’t say tonight that you can make that pledge?
TRUMP: I cannot say. I have to respect the person that, if it’s not me, the person that wins, if I do win, and I’m leading by quite a bit, that’s what I want to do. I can totally make that pledge. If I’m the nominee, I will pledge I will not run as an independent. But — and I am discussing it with everybody, but I’m, you know, talking about a lot of leverage. We want to win, and we will win. But I want to win as the Republican. I want to run as the Republican nominee.
BAIER: So tonight, you can’t say if another one of these…
PAUL: This is what’s wrong!
PAUL: I mean, this is what’s wrong. He buys and sells politicians of all stripes, he’s already…
BAIER: Dr. Paul.
PAUL: Hey, look, look! He’s already hedging his bet on the Clintons, OK? So if he doesn’t run as a Republican, maybe he supports Clinton, or maybe he runs as an independent…
PAUL: …but I’d say that he’s already hedging his bets because he’s used to buying politicians.
TRUMP: Well, I’ve given him plenty of money.
BAIER: Just to be clear, you can’t make a — we’re gonna — we’re going to move on.
You’re not gonna make the pledge tonight?
TRUMP: I will not make the pledge at this time.
BAIER: OK. Alright.
KELLY: Gentlemen, our first round of questions is on the subject of electability in the general election, and we start tonight with you, Dr. Carson.
You are a successful neurosurgeon, but you admit that you have had to study up on foreign policy, saying there’s a lot to learn.
Your critics say that your inexperience shows. You’ve suggested that the Baltic States are not a part of NATO, just months ago you were unfamiliar with the major political parties and government in Israel, and domestically, you thought Alan Greenspan had been treasury secretary instead of federal reserve chair.
Aren’t these basic mistakes, and don’t they raise legitimate questions about whether you are ready to be president?
CARSON: Well, I could take issue with — with all of those things, but we don’t have time.
But I will say, we have a debate here tonight, and we will have an opportunity to explore those areas, and I’m looking very much forward to demonstrating that, in fact, the thing that is probably most important is having a brain, and to be able to figure things out and learn things very rapidly.
So, you know, experience comes from a large number of different arenas, and America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation, and that’s what will get us on the right track now, as well.
WALLACE: Senator Rubio, when Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for presidency, he said this: “There’s no passing off responsibility when you’re a governor, no blending into the legislative crowd.”
Could you please address Governor Bush across the stage here, and explain to him why you, someone who has never held executive office, are better prepared to be president than he is, a man who you say did a great job running your state of Florida for eight years.
RUBIO: Well, thank you for the question, Chris, and it’s great to be here tonight. Let me begin by saying this: I’m not new to the political process; I was making a contribution as the speaker of the third largest and most diverse state in the country well before I even got into the Senate.
I would add to that that this election cannot be a resume competition. It’s important to be qualified, but if this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton’s gonna be the next president, because she’s been in office and in government longer than anybody else running here tonight.
Here’s what this election better be about: This election better be about the future, not the past. It better be about the issues our nation and the world is facing today, not simply the issues we once faced.
This country is facing an economy that has been radically transformed. You know, the largest retailer in the country and the world today, Amazon, doesn’t even own a single store? And these changes have been disruptive. They have changed people’s lives. The jobs that once sustained our middle class, they either don’t pay enough or they are gone, and we need someone that understands that as our nominee.
If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton gonna lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she — how is she gonna lecture me — how is she gonna lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago.
If I’m our nominee, we will be the party of the future.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on August 6, 2015
Source: WH, 8-5-15
11:58 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you very much. I apologize for the slight delay. Even Presidents have problems with toner. (Laughter.)
It is a great honor to be back at American University, which has prepared generations of young people for service in public life. I want to thank President Kerwin and the American University family for hosting us here today.
Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, addressed this same university on the subject of peace. The Berlin Wall had just been built. The Soviet Union had tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. China was on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb. Less than 20 years after the end of World War II, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real. With all of the threats that we face today, it’s hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time.
In light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists here in the United States argued that we had to take military action against the Soviets, to hasten what they saw as inevitable confrontation. But the young President offered a different vision. Strength, in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. But he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing. Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a “practical” and “attainable peace” — a peace “based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions — on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.”
Such wisdom would help guide our ship of state through some of the most perilous moments in human history. With Kennedy at the helm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully. Under Democratic and Republican Presidents, new agreements were forged — a Non-Proliferation Treaty that prohibited nations from acquiring nuclear weapons, while allowing them to access peaceful nuclear energy; the SALT and START Treaties which bound the United States and Soviet Union to cooperation on arms control. Not every conflict was averted, but the world avoided nuclear catastrophe, and we created the time and the space to win the Cold War without firing a shot at the Soviets.
The agreement now reached between the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran builds on this tradition of strong, principled diplomacy. After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb. It contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program. As was true in previous treaties, it does not resolve all problems; it certainly doesn’t resolve all our problems with Iran. It does not ensure a warming between our two countries. But it achieves one of our most critical security objectives. As such, it is a very good deal.
Today, I want to speak to you about this deal, and the most consequential foreign policy debate that our country has had since the invasion of Iraq, as Congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough, or instead blocks it over the objection of the vast majority of the world. Between now and the congressional vote in September, you’re going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads, and the accompanying commentary, sounds familiar, it should — for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.
Now, when I ran for President eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war — we had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place. It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy; a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus; a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported. Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history. And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive, while dismissing those who disagreed as weak — even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.
More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq. Our troops achieved every mission they were given. But thousands of lives were lost, tens of thousands wounded. That doesn’t count the lives lost among Iraqis. Nearly a trillion dollars was spent. Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al Qaeda in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.
I raise this recent history because now more than ever we need clear thinking in our foreign policy. And I raise this history because it bears directly on how we respond to the Iranian nuclear program.
That program has been around for decades, dating back to the Shah’s efforts — with U.S. support — in the 1960s and ‘70s to develop nuclear power. The theocracy that overthrew the Shah accelerated the program after the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, a war in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to brutal effect, and Iran’s nuclear program advanced steadily through the 1990s, despite unilateral U.S. sanctions. When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges — the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb — that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges, and showed no inclination to slow — much less halt — its program.
Among U.S. policymakers, there’s never been disagreement on the danger posed by an Iranian nuclear bomb. Democrats and Republicans alike have recognized that it would spark an arms race in the world’s most unstable region, and turn every crisis into a potential nuclear showdown. It would embolden terrorist groups, like Hezbollah, and pose an unacceptable risk to Israel, which Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to destroy. More broadly, it could unravel the global commitment to non-proliferation that the world has done so much to defend.
The question, then, is not whether to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but how. Even before taking office, I made clear that Iran would not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon on my watch, and it’s been my policy throughout my presidency to keep all options — including possible military options — on the table to achieve that objective. But I have also made clear my preference for a peaceful, diplomatic resolution of the issue — not just because of the costs of war, but also because a negotiated agreement offered a more effective, verifiable and durable resolution.
And so, in 2009, we let the Iranians know that a diplomatic path was available. Iran failed to take that path, and our intelligence community exposed the existence of a covert nuclear facility at Fordow.
Now, some have argued that Iran’s intransigence showed the futility of negotiations. In fact, it was our very willingness to negotiate that helped America rally the world to our cause, and secured international participation in an unprecedented framework of commercial and financial sanctions. Keep in mind unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran had been in place for decades, but had failed to pressure Iran to the negotiating table. What made our new approach more effective was our ability to draw upon new U.N. Security Council resolutions, combining strong enforcement with voluntary agreements from nations like China and India, Japan and South Korea to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil, as well as the imposition by our European allies of a total oil embargo.
Winning this global buy-in was not easy — I know. I was there. In some cases, our partners lost billions of dollars in trade because of their decision to cooperate. But we were able to convince them that absent a diplomatic resolution, the result could be war, with major disruptions to the global economy, and even greater instability in the Middle East. In other words, it was diplomacy — hard, painstaking diplomacy — not saber-rattling, not tough talk that ratcheted up the pressure on Iran.
With the world now unified beside us, Iran’s economy contracted severely, and remains about 20 percent smaller today than it would have otherwise been. No doubt this hardship played a role in Iran’s 2013 elections, when the Iranian people elected a new government that promised to improve the economy through engagement with the world. A window had cracked open. Iran came back to the nuclear talks. And after a series of negotiations, Iran agreed with the international community to an interim deal — a deal that rolled back Iran’s stockpile of near 20 percent enriched uranium, and froze the progress of its program so that the P5+1 — the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the European Union — could negotiate a comprehensive deal without the fear that Iran might be stalling for time.
Now, let me pause here just to remind everybody that when the interim deal was announced, critics — the same critics we’re hearing from now — called it “a historic mistake.” They insisted Iran would ignore its obligations. They warned that sanctions would unravel. They warned that Iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism.
The critics were wrong. The progress of Iran’s nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade. Its stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced. The deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped. Inspections did increase. There was no flood of money into Iran, and the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place. In fact, the interim deal worked so well that the same people who criticized it so fiercely now cite it as an excuse not to support the broader accord. Think about that. What was once proclaimed as a historic mistake is now held up as a success and a reason to not sign the comprehensive deal. So keep that in mind when you assess the credibility of the arguments being made against diplomacy today.
Despite the criticism, we moved ahead to negotiate a more lasting, comprehensive deal. Our diplomats, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, kept our coalition united. Our nuclear experts — including one of the best in the world, Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz — worked tirelessly on the technical details. In July, we reached a comprehensive plan of action that meets our objectives. Under its terms, Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon. And while Iran, like any party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is allowed to access peaceful nuclear energy, the agreement strictly defines the manner in which its nuclear program can proceed, ensuring that all pathways to a bomb are cut off.
Here’s how. Under this deal, Iran cannot acquire the plutonium needed for a bomb. The core of its heavy-water reactor at Arak will be pulled out, filled with concrete, and replaced with one that will not produce plutonium for a weapon. The spent fuel from that reactor will be shipped out of the country, and Iran will not build any new heavy-water reactors for at least 15 years.
Iran will also not be able to acquire the enriched uranium that could be used for a bomb. As soon as this deal is implemented, Iran will remove two-thirds of its centrifuges. For the next decade, Iran will not enrich uranium with its more advanced centrifuges. Iran will not enrich uranium at the previously undisclosed Fordow facility, which is buried deep underground, for at least 15 years. Iran will get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is currently enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs, for the next 15 years. Even after those 15 years have passed, Iran will never have the right to use a peaceful program as cover to pursue a weapon.
And, in fact, this deal shuts off the type of covert path Iran pursued in the past. There will be 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. For decades, inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain — from the uranium mines and mills where they get raw materials, to the centrifuge production facilities where they make machines to enrich it. And understand why this is so important: For Iran to cheat, it has to build a lot more than just one building or a covert facility like Fordow. It would need a secret source for every single aspect of its program. No nation in history has been able to pull off such subterfuge when subjected to such rigorous inspections. And under the terms of the deal, inspectors will have the permanent ability to inspect any suspicious sites in Iran.
And finally, Iran has powerful incentives to keep its commitments. Before getting sanctions relief, Iran has to take significant, concrete steps like removing centrifuges and getting rid of its stockpile. If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council; America can trigger snapback on our own. On the other hand, if Iran abides by the deal and its economy begins to reintegrate with the world, the incentive to avoid snapback will only grow.
So this deal is not just the best choice among alternatives -– this is the strongest non-proliferation agreement ever negotiated. And because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and non-proliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors — who served under Republican and Democratic Presidents — support it. I’ve had to make a lot of tough calls as President, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls. It’s not even close.
Unfortunately, we’re living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prism, evaluated by headline-grabbing sound bites. And so before the ink was even dry on this deal — before Congress even read it — a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition. Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into arm-chair nuclear scientists, disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple — and sometimes contradictory — arguments about why Congress should reject this deal. But if you repeat these arguments long enough, they can get some traction. So let me address just a few of the arguments that have been made so far in opposition to this deal.
First, there are those who say the inspections are not strong enough because inspectors can’t go anywhere in Iran at any time with no notice.
Well, here’s the truth: Inspectors will be allowed daily access to Iran’s key nuclear sites. If there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious, undeclared site anywhere in Iran, inspectors will get that access, even if Iran objects. This access can be with as little as 24 hours’ notice. And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in. And by the way, nuclear material isn’t something you hide in the closet. It can leave a trace for years. The bottom line is, if Iran cheats, we can catch them — and we will.
Second, there are those who argue that the deal isn’t strong enough because some of the limitations on Iran’s civilian nuclear program expire in 15 years. Let me repeat: The prohibition on Iran having a nuclear weapon is permanent. The ban on weapons-related research is permanent. Inspections are permanent. It is true that some of the limitations regarding Iran’s peaceful program last only 15 years. But that’s how arms control agreements work. The first SALT Treaty with the Soviet Union lasted five years. The first START Treaty lasted 15 years. And in our current situation, if 15 or 20 years from now, Iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the United States will have better tools to detect it, a stronger basis under international law to respond, and the same options available to stop a weapons program as we have today, including — if necessary — military options.
On the other hand, without this deal, the scenarios that critics warn about happening in 15 years could happen six months from now. By killing this deal, Congress would not merely pave Iran’s pathway to a bomb, it would accelerate it.
Third, a number of critics say the deal isn’t worth it because Iran will get billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Now, let’s be clear: The international sanctions were put in place precisely to get Iran to agree to constraints on its program. That’s the point of sanctions. Any negotiated agreement with Iran would involve sanctions relief. So an argument against sanctions relief is effectively an argument against any diplomatic resolution of this issue.
It is true that if Iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money — revenue frozen overseas by other countries. But the notion that this will be a game-changer, with all this money funneled into Iran’s pernicious activities, misses the reality of Iran’s current situation. Partly because of our sanctions, the Iranian government has over half a trillion dollars in urgent requirements — from funding pensions and salaries, to paying for crumbling infrastructure. Iran’s leaders have raised the expectations of their people that sanctions relief will improve their lives. Even a repressive regime like Iran’s cannot completely ignore those expectations. And that’s why our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people.
Now, this is not to say that sanctions relief will provide no benefit to Iran’s military. Let’s stipulate that some of that money will flow to activities that we object to. We have no illusions about the Iranian government, or the significance of the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force. Iran supports terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. It supports proxy groups that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies — including proxy groups who killed our troops in Iraq. They try to destabilize our Gulf partners. But Iran has been engaged in these activities for decades. They engaged in them before sanctions and while sanctions were in place. In fact, Iran even engaged in these activities in the middle of the Iran-Iraq War — a war that cost them nearly a million lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.
The truth is that Iran has always found a way to fund these efforts, and whatever benefit Iran may claim from sanctions relief pales in comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon.
Moreover, there’s no scenario where sanctions relief turns Iran into the region’s dominant power. Iran’s defense budget is eight times smaller than the combined budget of our Gulf allies. Their conventional capabilities will never compare with Israel’s, and our commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge helps guarantee that. Over the last several years, Iran has had to spend billions of dollars to support its only ally in the Arab World — Bashar al-Assad — even as he’s lost control of huge chunks of his country. And Hezbollah has suffered significant blows on the same battlefield. And Iran, like the rest of the region, is being forced to respond to the threat of ISIL in Iraq.
So contrary to the alarmists who claim that Iran is on the brink of taking over the Middle East, or even the world, Iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges. The ruling regime is dangerous and it is repressive. We will continue to have sanctions in place on Iran’s support for terrorism and violation of human rights. We will continue to insist upon the release of Americans detained unjustly. We will have a lot of differences with the Iranian regime.
But if we’re serious about confronting Iran’s destabilizing activities, it is hard to imagine a worse approach than blocking this deal. Instead, we need to check the behavior that we’re concerned about directly: By helping our allies in the region strengthen their own capabilities to counter a cyber-attack or a ballistic missile; by improving the interdiction of weapons shipments that go to groups like Hezbollah; by training our allies’ special forces so that they can more effectively respond to situations like Yemen. All these capabilities will make a difference. We will be in a stronger position to implement them with this deal. And, by the way, such a strategy also helps us effectively confront the immediate and lethal threat posed by ISIL.
Now, the final criticism — this sort of a catch-all that you may hear — is the notion that there’s a better deal to be had. “We should get a better deal” — that’s repeated over and over again. “It’s a bad deal, need a better deal” — (laughter) — one that relies on vague promises of toughness, and, more recently, the argument that we can apply a broader and indefinite set of sanctions to squeeze the Iranian regime harder.
Those making this argument are either ignorant of Iranian society, or they’re just not being straight with the American people. Sanctions alone are not going to force Iran to completely dismantle all vestiges of its nuclear infrastructure — even those aspects that are consistent with peaceful programs. That oftentimes is what the critics are calling “a better deal.” Neither the Iranian government, or the Iranian opposition, or the Iranian people would agree to what they would view as a total surrender of their sovereignty.
Moreover, our closest allies in Europe, or in Asia — much less China or Russia — certainly are not going to agree to enforce existing sanctions for another 5, 10, 15 years according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress. Because their willingness to support sanctions in the first place was based on Iran ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It was not based on the belief that Iran cannot have peaceful nuclear power. And it certainly wasn’t based on a desire for regime change in Iran.
As a result, those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy. Instead of strengthening our position as some have suggested, Congress’s rejection would almost certainly result in multilateral sanctions unraveling. If, as has also been suggested, we tried to maintain unilateral sanctions, beefen them up, we would be standing alone. We cannot dictate the foreign, economic and energy policies of every major power in the world.
In order to even try to do that, we would have to sanction, for example, some of the world’s largest banks. We’d have to cut off countries like China from the American financial system. And since they happen to be major purchasers of or our debt, such actions could trigger severe disruptions in our own economy and, by the way, raise questions internationally about the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency.
That’s part of the reason why many of the previous unilateral sanctions were waived. What’s more likely to happen, should Congress reject this deal, is that Iran would end up with some form of sanctions relief without having to accept any of the constraints or inspections required by this deal. So in that sense, the critics are right: Walk away from this agreement and you will get a better deal — for Iran. (Applause.)
Now, because more sanctions won’t produce the results that the critics want, we have to be honest. Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option — another war in the Middle East.
I say this not to be provocative. I am stating a fact. Without this deal, Iran will be in a position — however tough our rhetoric may be –- to steadily advance its capabilities. Its breakout time, which is already fairly small, could shrink to near zero. Does anyone really doubt that the same voices now raised against this deal will be demanding that whoever is President bomb those nuclear facilities?
And as someone who does firmly believes that Iran must not get a nuclear weapon, and who has wrestled with this issue since the beginning of my presidency, I can tell you that alternatives to military action will have been exhausted once we reject a hard-won diplomatic solution that the world almost unanimously supports.
So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. And here’s the irony. As I said before, military action would be far less effective than this deal in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That’s not just my supposition. Every estimate, including those from Israeli analysts, suggest military action would only set back Iran’s program by a few years at best, which is a fraction of the limitations imposed by this deal. It would likely guarantee that inspectors are kicked out of Iran. It is probable that it would drive Iran’s program deeper underground. It would certainly destroy the international unity that we’ve spent so many years building.
Now, there are some opponents — I have to give them credit; there are opponents of this deal who accept the choice of war. In fact, they argue that surgical strikes against Iran’s facilities will be quick and painless. But if we’ve learned anything from the last decade, it’s that wars in general and wars in the Middle East in particular are anything but simple. (Applause.) The only certainty in war is human suffering, uncertain costs, unintended consequences. We can also be sure that the Americans who bear the heaviest burden are the less than 1 percent of us, the outstanding men and women who serve in uniform, and not those of us who send them to war.
As Commander-in-Chief, I have not shied from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat. I have sat by their bedside sometimes when they come home. I’ve ordered military action in seven countries. There are times when force is necessary, and if Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we don’t have an alternative.
But how can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives; that has been agreed to by Iran; that is supported by the rest of the world; and that preserves our options if the deal falls short? How could we justify that to our troops? How could we justify that to the world or to future generations?
In the end, that should be a lesson that we’ve learned from over a decade of war. On the front end, ask tough questions. Subject our own assumptions to evidence and analysis. Resist the conventional wisdom and the drumbeat of war. Worry less about being labeled weak; worry more about getting it right.
I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously. But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts, or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. (Applause.)
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. (Laughter and applause.)
The majority of the Iranian people have powerful incentives to urge their government to move in a different, less provocative direction — incentives that are strengthened by this deal. We should offer them that chance. We should give them that opportunity. It’s not guaranteed to succeed. But if they take it, that would be good for Iran, it would be good for the United States. It would be good for a region that has known too much conflict. It would be good for the world.
And if Iran does not move in that direction, if Iran violates this deal, we will have ample ability to respond. The agreements pursued by Kennedy and Reagan with the Soviet Union, those agreements, those treaties involved America accepting significant constraints on our arsenal. As such, they were riskier. This agreement involves no such constraints. The defense budget of the United States is more than $600 billion. To repeat, Iran’s is about $15 billion. Our military remains the ultimate backstop to any security agreement that we make. I have stated that Iran will never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. I have done what is necessary to make sure our military options are real. And I have no doubt that any President who follows me will take the same position.
So let me sum up here. When we carefully examine the arguments against this deal, none of them stand up to scrutiny. That may be why the rhetoric on the other side is so strident. I suppose some of it can be ascribed to knee-jerk partisanship that has become all too familiar; rhetoric that renders every decision that’s made a disaster, a surrender — “you’re aiding terrorists; you’re endangering freedom.”
On the other hand, I do think it’s important to acknowledge another, more understandable motivation behind the opposition to this deal, or at least skepticism to this deal, and that is a sincere affinity for our friend and ally, Israel — an affinity that, as someone who has been a stalwart friend to Israel throughout my career, I deeply share.
When the Israeli government is opposed to something, people in the United States take notice. And they should. No one can blame Israelis for having a deep skepticism about any dealings with a government like Iran’s — which includes leaders who have denied the Holocaust, embrace an ideology of anti-Semitism, facilitate the flow of rockets that are arrayed on Israel’s borders, are pointed at Tel Aviv. In such a dangerous neighborhood, Israel has to be vigilant, and it rightly insists that it cannot depend on any other country — even its great friend the United States — for its own security. So we have to take seriously concerns in Israel.
But the fact is, partly due to American military and intelligence assistance, which my administration has provided at unprecedented levels, Israel can defend itself against any conventional danger — whether from Iran directly or from its proxies. On the other hand, a nuclear-armed Iran changes that equation.
And that’s why this deal ultimately must be judged by what it achieves on the central goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal does exactly that. I say this as someone who has done more than any other President to strengthen Israel’s security. And I have made clear to the Israeli government that we are prepared to discuss how we can deepen that cooperation even further. Already we’ve held talks with Israel on concluding another 10-year plan for U.S. security assistance to Israel. We can enhance support for areas like missile defense, information sharing, interdiction — all to help meet Israel’s pressing security needs, and to provide a hedge against any additional activities that Iran may engage in as a consequence of sanctions relief.
But I have also listened to the Israeli security establishment, which warned of the danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran for decades. In fact, they helped develop many of the ideas that ultimately led to this deal.
So to friends of Israel, and to the Israeli people, I say this: A nuclear-armed Iran is far more dangerous to Israel, to America, and to the world than an Iran that benefits from sanctions relief.
I recognize that Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees — disagrees strongly. I do not doubt his sincerity. But I believe he is wrong. I believe the facts support this deal. I believe they are in America’s interest and Israel’s interest. And as President of the United States, it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally. I do not believe that would be the right thing to do for the United States. I do not believe it would be the right thing to do for Israel. (Applause.)
Over the last couple weeks, I have repeatedly challenged anyone opposed to this deal to put forward a better, plausible alternative. I have yet to hear one. What I’ve heard instead are the same types of arguments that we heard in the run-up to the Iraq War: Iran cannot be dealt with diplomatically; we can take military strikes without significant consequences; we shouldn’t worry about what the rest of the world thinks, because once we act, everyone will fall in line; tougher talk, more military threats will force Iran into submission; we can get a better deal.
I know it’s easy to play on people’s fears, to magnify threats, to compare any attempt at diplomacy to Munich. But none of these arguments hold up. They didn’t back in 2002 and 2003; they shouldn’t now. (Applause.) The same mindset, in many cases offered by the same people who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong, led to a war that did more to strengthen Iran, more to isolate the United States than anything we have done in the decades before or since. It’s a mindset out of step with the traditions of American foreign policy, where we exhaust diplomacy before war, and debate matters of war and peace in the cold light of truth.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict,” President Reagan once said. It is “the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means.” President Kennedy warned Americans, “not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than the exchange of threats.” It is time to apply such wisdom. The deal before us doesn’t bet on Iran changing, it doesn’t require trust; it verifies and requires Iran to forsake a nuclear weapon, just as we struck agreements with the Soviet Union at a time when they were threatening our allies, arming proxies against us, proclaiming their commitment to destroy our way of life, and had nuclear weapons pointed at all of our major cities — a genuine existential threat.
We live in a complicated world — a world in which the forces unleashed by human innovation are creating opportunities for our children that were unimaginable for most of human history. It is also a world of persistent threats, a world in which mass violence and cruelty is all too common, and human innovation risks the destruction of all that we hold dear. In this world, the United States of America remains the most powerful nation on Earth, and I believe that we will remain such for decades to come. But we are one nation among many.
And what separates us from the empires of old, what has made us exceptional, is not the mere fact of our military might. Since World War II, the deadliest war in human history, we have used our power to try to bind nations together in a system of international law. We have led an evolution of those human institutions President Kennedy spoke about — to prevent the spread of deadly weapons, to uphold peace and security, and promote human progress.
We now have the opportunity to build on that progress. We built a coalition and held it together through sanctions and negotiations, and now we have before us a solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, without resorting to war. As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement. And as members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns, shut out the noise, consider the stakes involved with the vote that you will cast.
If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear program, or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy; America’s credibility as the anchor of the international system.
John F. Kennedy cautioned here, more than 50 years ago, at this university, that “the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war.” But it’s so very important. It is surely the pursuit of peace that is most needed in this world so full of strife.
My fellow Americans, contact your representatives in Congress. Remind them of who we are. Remind them of what is best in us and what we stand for, so that we can leave behind a world that is more secure and more peaceful for our children.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
12:54 P.M. EDT
Posted by bonniekgoodman on August 5, 2015