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tv   America in the Age of Trump  CSPAN  September 9, 2017 9:00pm-10:02pm EDT

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trust. i'm unmarried, you're unmarried and quakers give me resources that enable me to make good on my promises of investment return. once that starts going, the chief marketers of the scheme start advertising word-of-mouth. that is a pattern that has occurred right up to our time. >> you can watch this and other programs online booktv.org. >> good afternoon. welcome to the richard nixon presidential library. i'm with the nixon foundation. before we introduce our special guest for today, i want to announce a few upcoming events. on september 7 we are going to have cold war historian and member of the national security council. his name is ben cramer and he
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will talk about inside the cold war from marx to reagan, an unprecedented guide to the history, strategies and key documents of the cold war. this should be a really interesting historical discussion. on that similar note, on october 23, we will have a historian that will talk about his book, reshaping the postwar atlantic world. on september 11, we will have, at 11:00 a.m. we will have our annual september 11 commemoration, and please look on our website at nixon foundation.org, and on november 7 we will have the daughters of president george w. bush and laura bush, jenna bush hager and barbara pierce bush and they will talk about their book sisters first, stories from our wild and wonderful life. now i'm on to our speaker today.
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douglas is the most, one of the most influential campaign consultants. he is the founding partner and principal strategist. his clients include new york city mayor bloomberg, corporate clients including time warner, procter & gamble and at&t. he's also a commentator of fox news. he's also a bit of a nixon buff. he wrote a comprehensive book on nixon's policy called the nixon effect, how his presidency fundamentally changed american politics. his new book is about another president, another presidency in the current look at politics today. it's called america in the age of trump, opportunities and opposition in an unsettled world. fox news political analyst who
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has also been at this podium calls this content real solutions for real people of all political stripes and how america can get back to its can-do spirit. ladies and gentlemen, douglas shown. [applause] >> thank you all for coming today. i will try to do three things, hopefully successfully. i will try to address the currently of the land and then answer question that's probably unanswerable but we will try. what would richard nixon do if he face the same circumstances. number three, what does the book say, what does it
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recommend, and why is it different from washington today. to start, i ought to share a little context. there were many americans who did this as well. i worked for bill clinton and i decided hillary clinton was a bridge too far. on fox news i made it clear that i could not, would not support secretary clinton. i got a fair amount of publicity but i didn't say would support donald trump. i knew donald trump and my own philosophy and view of government is very different from his.
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i want to speak out however i believe is necessary and appropriate. as i said here today, i'm probably one of the few commentators you might hear or see who doesn't have an ax to grind. put another way, i didn't support donald trump, i didn't support secretary clinton, i didn't vote for president, i am still a democrat. there is much about the left wing of the democratic party that i can't associate myself with, and there's much about the right wing of the republican party that i also can't associate myself with. i'm in the middle. i tried to do that on my appearances on fox news, offer a central perspective and hopefully a common sense and logical perspective.
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i leave that to others. , to determine. america in the age of trump tries to forge commonsense bipartisan solutions to the problems we are facing. i would argue those problems are getting worse and they are bein being, to a great degree, made were still by our political leadership. first, let me start with the president. i have two problems. philosophically, i disagree with a lot of what he has tried to do. but, i think it's fair to say, much of what he has proposed is within the realm of reason. i could disagree as i do with his health care plan, i might not support from what's been released, his tax reform plan, i probably would have
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appointed a different supreme court judge, justice, but let's be very clea clear, everything the president has proposed is within the realm of reason and can be considered and negotiated. we'll get to in a second what would richard nixon do, and i daresay, president nixon would have approached things very different than president trump. i think, like a lot of people, i was heartened by the speech monday night he set out a clear policy for afghanistan, made it clear where he was different from president obama, and what's come before, and outlined an approach toward afghanistan or pakistan and indeed toward south asia generally. but, to can lea be completely
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candid, when i saw what he said and did in phoenix, yesterday, my heart sank. my perspective is pretty direct and pretty simple. we are all americans. we all have a common interest. if we don't pursue our common interest as americans, we all lose. that's what our adversaries, whether it's north korea, he iran for the chinese and the russians, that's what they are hoping for, that we will, in our own way, divide and fight among ourselves and weaken ourselves. i think it was a case that secretary of defense james mattis that our greatest enemy is here at home and i certainly share those sentiments and that worldview because if we cannot get our own house in order and stop attacking, we have a profound problem.
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so, from my point of view, to polarize, as the president does, and i say that with a heavy heart because i think most of it is really unnecessary. i think what he said about charlottesville was unnecessary and unhelpful, i know the man, he is not a racist, he is not an anti-semite, but certainly to say there were some fine people in charlottesville and to equate left-wing protesters, however offensive with neo-nazis and whites premise is to me unacceptable that he doubled down yet again yesterday is deeply, deeply upsetting. it's also upsetting to me, and i'm not.to try to quantify mounts, more or less, whatever, but it certainly upsetting to me that the democratic party is the party of resistance. my heart sinks because i was brought up in the 60s where
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we had a bipartisan tradition, we did the civil rights legislatio legislation, voting let rights, medicare, medicaid, all done with democratic and republican bipartisanship. maybe i'm old enough or perhaps naïve enough to believe that we can still do that. i would hope we could. so far, given the way the democratic party is operating, the chances of that are almost minimal. when i look at people like bernie sanders and i look at elizabeth warren, i say to myself look, we are capitalist country. we believe in free markets, we believe in liberty, we don't believe that the answer to everything is to tax the rich or somehow believe that those who have had success in life are way inherently evil and need to be punished. i think that's wrong. it leaves me, literally, out in the cold with a level of
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sadness about what is happening to our country that makes me as disappointed as possible. i was hoping that donald trump would govern like richard nixon. if you remember the 68 campaign, and i can see that at least some of you are old enough to remember that campaign, but most not, richard nixon had a southern strategy. he talked tough a lot and he got enough of the wallace vote to win parts of the south and certainly the midsouth area as well as much of the midwest. the nixon rhetorical strategy, if you remember, watch what i do, not what i say was exactly that. nixon, i argue, in my book the nixon effect, governed in a bipartisan way. his agenda, i make the
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argument in that book, was actually more liberal than much of what we see today. the epa, we see that he proposed a guaranteed annual income that was more integration, in the nixon administration, and in any prior time, and if you sense his presidency, he consciously and consistently governs in a way that was designed, if nothing else, to unify the country on a policy basis. for those who didn't like president nixon and certainly there are plenty of those, he did get 49% of the vote in 1972 and over 60% of the popular vote if my memory serves me, or right around 60%. this is a man who was a leader
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on foreign-policy, with the opening to china, the beginnings of détente, this was a man who was a visionary. sadly, we don't have that today. i hope and pray that donald trump speech is the beginning of a strategy that involves a more assertive america and seeks to position ourselves to deal with the many threats we are facing, whether they be in north korea, the middle east, but to me the question is still an open one. again, speech in the right direction, on monday night, but what the 3900 troops will be able to accomplish, how we will be able to get them to the table and a secretary
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tillerson said, all of these are open questions for the other thing i think, in fairness to president trump that we have to accept, we had nothing like the north korean threat back in the 60s or 70s. even 80s or 90s. when you have the framework agreement in 1994, we were not facing a situation or set of circumstances where north korea going nuclear was eminent. yes we bought ten years of time, that's correct, but they cheate cheated. we face serious problems in the middle east, the sunni shiite rivalry which is taking a different shape, but again, we are facing challenges again without a white house staff that in a lot of ways is as experienced as that with
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president nixon able to bring to bear. we've seen a great deal of turnover in the white house in the past six or seven months. i think the papers in the past couple of days, i thought in the new york times of a remember, the wall street journal as well, i think they listed ten or 12 people who lasted less than six months. again, my point is not to say this one should stay or this one should go but if we have this kind of turnover, the loser is united states of america because we have a government that appears and indeed may well be inherently unstable. i am saddened by what i see and i'm saddened by my party the democrats, what they are doing or not doing to cooperate because we cannot address the challenges we have with the kind of political approach we have. in the book, america in the age of trump that i
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co-authored with jessica, we had ten basic propositions that we addressed and what i would like to do is articulate the propositions, give you a second to think about each one, and then go back through some of the solutions we proposed in our book. let me be very clear, we make the argument that if there were people of goodwill getting together, as happened in the 60s and 70s, we could solve a great deal of many of the issues and challenges we face, but in the absence of that and the hyper politicalization of our system where everything is a campaign event and everything evolves an attack ad, sadly our challenges have gone unaddressed. first, i think this is fair to
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say, the american education system is a failure at every level. we'll talk about that in a second. i would really tell you one of the experiences i have had, whenever i talk to immigrants and i say how was your education system compared to where you came from. people who say they are patriots, they love this country, we don't know what we have, they always say their educational system is superior. to be sure we have some very good universities, but i would say we have a challenge to educate people and particularly a challenge in poor communities. i would just say one thing about that, we are one nation. whether you're republican or democrat, you can't govern
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just to protect minorities or to protect upper-middle-class whites, you have to be inclusive. whatever your approach. so far, again, i have yet to see a politician or political party taken inclusive approach to education and indeed on most issues. we have another problem that i think most of you have seen, certainly as the parent of a 26-year-old son trying to make his way in the world, i see it myself, the economy is strong and it is recovering, but wages are stagnant, the middle class is howling out, and the american dream is on life support. i think many of us, certainly me grew up believing whatever happened, we would do better and i would do better than my parents. my parents were successful, i
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am proud of them, proud of what they were able to offer to me, but there was no sense that i would face the kind of challenges i see young people facing today. those challenges have to do with affordability, they have to do with getting good jobs and they have to do with the simple challenges we face in dealing with a very complicated world where educational system is not necessarily preparing people for the challenges we face or the challenges they face. the third proposition was something i alluded to before, we are approaching a national emergency of military readiness and preparedness. we wrote the book, we finished
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in about six months a year ago. we didn't anticipate precisely what happened but again you didn't have to be a prophet to figure out the challenges that trump is going to face from the russians, the chinese and rogue nations like north korea. we also have a criminal justice system that does a good job punishing people who commit serious crimes, but it is also sentencing many of our young men and women guilty of less serious offenses too long sentences and doomed to futures. now, i think we could debate the policy and approach that attorney general sessions is taking and i certainly believe president obama may have gone too far with his pardons at the end of his second term,
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but i think it's also the case that we have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world and we have very limited resources to both teach and train people in prison to come out and be productive citizens. put another way, we do have an underclass in this country, and one of the ways we are seeing it reflected is what's come to be called the opioid crisis. candidly, jessica and i did not write about that in any great detail, but now, as we watch the median, i'm pleased the president declared a national emergency, we have 50 odd thousand people dying every year, and you run across people who are taking prescription drugs apart from heroin and cocaine and waking up and finding themselves addicted to pain medication,
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and tags idea medication, and it is literally crippling them. we don't have a handle on how to deal with it. we don't have the resources and if we have the resources, it's not clear to me that we know how to best handle that. i think it's obvious to everybody, and again this was written before the fight over repeal and replace. we have a healthcare crisis because while i'll be the first one to criticize the republicans for having seven years to come up with an alternative plan, it's also the case that obamacare is a failure, exchanges are collapsing, insurers are pulling out, and premiums are going up by double-digit amounts or more. the other thing we have, which
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we haven't heard much about lately, but still remains a problem is and entitlement crisis. we may have differed that for a while, were not going to have a medicare, medicaid and social security go bankrupt in the next couple of years, but i think the actuarial reports indicate that within ten, 15 years, we could face a very serious crisis. there is one other issue, this is actually my sixth., which i think informs everything. this is something we were talking about at lunch today which is there is never been a time in my memory, and i think it bears this out, that the public has had such little faith in our institutions. why is that. well, we've all seen how washington or state governments have failed us.
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i think it's fair to say that the level of skepticism is high. there are couple of things going on that exacerbate the problem which is increasingly people are deciding why would you want to serve in government. were not getting our best people to go into government to serve. the other thing is with the internet, in a very aggressive media, we live in a gotcha society. in a gotcha society, whatever you have done, however you have done it can be magnified and turned into a problem. to say to somebody give up your career, step out, leave your job, go into the administration, democrat or republican, run the risk of condemnation for what you did or what you didn't do, why would you do that.
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isn is a rhetorical question. i think for many people that is also a huge issue. another issue we escalated is there is a crisis of values. what i mean by that, is basically, we were brought up, at least i think virtually everyone in this room, and hopefully those watching, the vast majority, with the sense of right and wrong, a sense of morality, decency, and integrity. that is largely gone. we live now in a transactional society where the issue is not am i doing the right thing or not, but candidly, am i going to get over the other day. it's a zero-sum society and it reflects an underlying decay and what has made our country unique.
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i did something last night that i would urge everyone here to consider doing. his point was our sense of freedom and liberty came not from our government, though our government was certainly to be involved in promoting them around the world, but from our religious faith and a religious belief. that was a common thread in our political life. i can remember as a child, the pride i had in saying the pledge of allegiance, the pride i had in watching space launches, and the sense that this was a unique experiment in democracy that had never been replicated and never will be replicated. that's what i grew up with. most people i knew growing up
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have that view. i think that's all gone now. sure, we can blame president obama or president trump or george w. bush, we can blame lots of people, but i think the society challenges that we face are huge and obvious. there is one other issue that one of my teachers, colleagues, friends, and even employers wrote about in 1965 which is the structure of the american family is in collapse. the late senator daniel patrick moynihan, a professor of mine wrote the moynihan report about the crisis of the black family. now it's not the crisis of the black family, it's the crisis of the family. i think for many of you, you
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can recognize if you just look around that kids who come from families which are single-parent tend to have less good outcomes than those who are from stable families and the number of stable families has declined from a sizable majority when i was growing up to a very small minority of households. again, this is not a racial issue, this is an issue that crosses racial, economic, political lines, and again, i think it's responsible in part for why we have the kind of drug problem that we do, that i was alluding to before. the tenth.we make, which i think was our effort to sum this all up is to say the future of the american ideal
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is very much in question. it used to be that the world accepted that we were unique, superior and offering benefits to it a society and people that arguably, you couldn't find anywhere else. now you really have the leading from behind, were not unique, were not special, all of that. :
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>> >> we need to expand community colleges and educational training a four year college experience is not right we need to trade them for the job that exists not for what we think they should have many of us that the liberal arts education and i certainly did it is a right for everyone and then try to organize our society
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we really need to understand that unless you're able to do this we cannot address those issues of social mobility or job creation in that way so even if they believed that has got much more difficult in what i would like to you do with some hard headed education and job -- job-training field we can make a dent i do believe we need comprehensive tax reform and the president from what i know is going in the right direction not merely read distribution we need efforts
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to help train workers and give them opportunities in those policies that encourage and strengthen rather than allowing them to disintegrate. but i am somebody hitting so we have a role in the world that when the president said we can do nation-building as a pollster by trading in a what is popular or not but to strengthen the country's like afghanistan than we have a result where the forces of evil continue to
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undermine the government we have of afghanistan, the taliban, isis, haqqani network, we have to strengthen the government's to be competitive. i just think we need to foster the of global cooperation i am concerned of the withdrawal from the tpp with the read negotiations of nafta but i think we need to recognize we have a serious issue to fight the war is known that level to be a more
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aggressive and assertive for campaign 2016. but in terms of criminal justice, we cannot attack america and american institutions for the of mass incarceration to see that as the new segregation or apartheid. we have to give them opportunities if they are it jail to be pointed in the right direction in terms of rehabilitation and job training but it'll see that as a racial issue but it is a crisis if we cannot take people who wore a prison --
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who are in prison to give them a clear path. those that have great success the problem is from what i can tell is a drop in the bucket. we need more and better police training or out reach . but crime under his leadership is that record lows so clearly in chicago something has gone wrong. i am not saying it is from of the new rules fall to read to gain membership in the nation from the police is so substantial that there is literally a crisis of societal leadership given the exploding and experience in murder rates so that is
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something we need to do. we have to address the entitlement crisis and i believe now was some degree of modest means testing to raise the retirement age of benefits to be available by a few months and small fixes like that now can save the programs for the future. i also believe the more choice and competition from a practical matter we have to do something about health care. i am happy to repeal and replace but now we have to take what it is to fix it
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with more market competition with efforts to make sure insurance companies do not allow those markets entirely of not an expert but i do know as a matter of politics if we do not address the health care crisis, very quickly this system could be in complete collapse. i believe the government has to face the crisis that we see to have an effort of responsiveness on all levels to the federal government with an openness and a responsiveness of government issues a decision to and if we could do that and also deal with the crisis and values and to do that explicitly not too many
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people are talking about it but those are huge challenges and to change that underlying issue. but in terms of that vacuum and political leadership and then part of redistricting. so few -- so few elections are competitive and i am not tsa i am for or against citizens united the neck you are doomed to fail and to recognize that in my final point is that of position is
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eroding numerous commentators or numerous political leaders so we have to deal with a new reality. >> and as we sit here today president nixon would approach this very different . looking at his record thinking about american i in the age of trump president nixon would try to find a bipartisan solution to each and everyone. that is what president nixon
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would do today is lower his voice if you remember that negative is some there right now the roles are reversed i am not suggesting that my parents should go out there and suggesting that they would profit in benefit from the president loring his voice not attacking his own party to say how do we get this done and work together? i was very moved on monday night by the speech going in the right direction but however they make a the president and his supporters
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field to put us in a position to be less equipped on the challenges of our country. i am an optimist. i am an american. i believe in our country and of values to make us still the of greatest country that has ever ben put together and assembled. i believe the nixon library as an institution stands given those invitations of a wide range of speakers and is a great pleasure to come
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from new york not only to be in sunny california but sunday and optimistic people so now i will open to questions. [applause] >> i watch you on fox for your very good one of the few that i believe are trying to be honest. but help me now. i look on the one side it no mention of clarence thomas anywhere. and then they take colin stuff so to rationalize that
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so they are subversive by calling the average white guy successful or not then what good does that do? and then to the basic premise with that diversity of backgrounds. with a judge and hispanics. and then we all lose. and then to put in the blunt terms.
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and to teach me as martin luther king with those values and color blind so bad is the way i choose to see things with the african-american community to be dissipated to criticize the democrats there is much i would say so republicans could be criticized as well. we are americans first and the mess we pull together exclusively we all fail. >> first of all, and then to give a fix an appreciation.
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>> you were a six now you are a tad. now you are a republican and. [laughter] and then regarding that violence will there be anything to expose what is really going on to get some control of the violence?. >> who would you like to arrest?. >>.
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>> speaking of those on the right or the left?. >> i must tell you that i really believe we have to do everything within the law to discourage those violent protest. i want to be very clear they do not seedier nazi or white supremacist as the equivalent of those on the left. to do those destructive acts like separatism or not these as an american are those who perished in the holocaust that they cannot equate.
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so those protests are destructive with that counter protester and certainly what i believe. i rather move to a situation to focus with a sober minded way i can talk about it you and i may differ who's doing what but one team of best for the in -- unified united states of america.
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>> does fox have plans to resurrect the political insiders?. >> i do enjoy doing the show i don't know of any plans right now i am very grateful to the entire leadership to give us a chia's to the program. >> as a mother and grandmother and great-grandmother somebody working in the schools at least 12 years it is a fight to have the values in your home when they are not accepted or approved of in the schools.
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but it was not in keeping with this is a good nation. all i have to do is look to each grandchild of mine that was raised with the same values to came out of colleges and universities with a totally changed attitude. >> first of all, how proud i am to be with this forum. what you have done makes you a true american end hero in terms of family and education. this is what makes america great so first thing is to leave the your life the way you have. number one.
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i could not agree more why charter schools are so important. most of them is is don uniforms or values and to those outcomes are extraordinary and then what to address as a great believer in speech not freedom of speech to be on the left or just to mouth whatever views you hold. but now many years later the intellectuals i cannot tell
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people what i think. they are not chickens they are not afraid of their own shadows there just realistic. so that is very, very sad i could not agree with you more. they give and i am proud to me you. >> so how worried should americans me with the left trying to adopt a socialist platform?. >> as a prod capitalist than
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free-market sought and free enterprise and all of that and how this country was formed also a robust of paul expensive and such a social safety net would be. added say capitalist system and they do worry that the fundamental premises have been attacked on the democratic left and some critique make some sense but basically state run society's.
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to be inherently dangerous to be logical into basic freedom. and why that would become a socialist party but the democratic party is moving in that direction. not everybody thinks that way but the energy of the strength of the democratic party power redistribution the had of capitalism. [applause] >> each of those issues you identified require the governing body to come together how does that happen?. >> if you have an answer i will be the first one to campaign for you. the reason why i was so thrilled the nixon library
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invited me to make the argument and speak out we will never succeed i cannot say i have a magic formula but we have to be unafraid. >> with the 16 campaign is to be very old and rich foods you see those up and comers of the democratic party? to challenge trump in the next election?. >> i wish i knew. it is a great question. i can give you names but not
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like barack obama like you could see in 2007 that he was emerging. in that the democratic party is bereft of talent. the neck hold such a person emerges but and then potentially with bernie sanders with that right and responsibility to be donald trump. >> you mentioned at the beginning and how we are trying to very low in the world with international
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testing. one of the top countries is finland it is the top three every single year. i read a book by the head of the finnish educational system and they have adopted united states progressive education through the university of chicago movement. using those materials that are quite clear and use that scientific map said. wife has united states dropped the program that was inherently successful?. >> i wish i knew the answer to your question which is why did we see is to feet from the jaws of success? i
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wish i had an answer but so the number of people that i higher seamlessly from very good schools is pretty limited. with another personal example i tried to offer internships to a diverse audience and i am proud to do that. i have had to teach some people just a big - - basic rules like show up on time, do your work, is it still. don't leave your desk to tell it is breaktime or lunch time. you don't decide on thursday you need a long weekend and disappear. i say this but one year we had i could tell was the
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weekend because of thursday afternoon they brought their suitcases to the job and they were gone. i don't want to be unfair peas are intern's not full-time employees but some of those that have been compromised. then that requires a different kind of trading but wire we moving in a way that is clearly doom for failure? that i don't know and that is not answerable. >> this is been very informative.
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have a question of immigration. >> good question we did not address that in a central way but i believe there is a fairly straightforward although contentious solution. we have to protect our borders first and foremost, but for those deleaded million people that pay their taxes and contributing to society to deny a chance to be citizens is wrongheaded and to live in fear is a mistake for our society. i am not advocating amnesty those who are not productive
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especially not committing crimes get them out. forget that sanctuary city stuff we don't need sanctuary cities. [applause] >> and persecuting those that have been here but to provide the opportunity and that is contributing to our society. into ask about some version with 55 for 60% to agree one way or another. the democrats take one
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extreme position this is another issue we can and should and must resolve. thank you very much. >> he will be available to sign your book we will see you next time. [applause] [inaudible conversations] ♪ [inaudible conversations]

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