tv Christian Science Monitor Breakfast with Dennis Mc Donough CSPAN January 17, 2016 11:57am-12:53pm EST
i think we've got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around. [applause] president barack obama: let a bipartisan group do it. [applause] obama: i barack believe we've got to reduce the influence of money in our politics so that a handful of families or special interests can't bankroll our elections. [applause] president barack obama: and if our existing approach to campaign finance reform can't pass muster in the courts, we need to work together to find a real solution. because it's a problem. and most of you don't like raising money. i know. [laughter] i've done it.
[applause] president barack obama: we've got to make it easier to vote, not harder. we need to modernize it. [applause] this is america. we want to make it easier for people to participate. and over the course of this year, i intend to travel the country to push for reforms that do just that. but i can't do these things on my own. changes in our political process, in not just who gets elected but how they get elected, that will only happen when the american people demand it. it depends on you. that's what's meant by a government of, by, and for the people.
what i'm suggesting is hard. it's a lot easier to be cynical. to accept that change is not possible. and politics is hopeless. and the problem is, all of the folks who are elected don't care. and to believe that our voices and our actions don't matter. but if we give up now, then we forsake a better future. those with money and power will gain greater control over the decisions that could send a young soldier to war or allow another economic disaster or roll back the equal rights and voting rights that generations of americans have fought, even died to secure.
and then, as frustration grows, there will be voices urging us to fall back into our respective tribes, to scapegoat fellow citizens who don't look like us or pray like us or vote like we do or share the same background. we can't afford to go down that path. it won't deliver the economy we want. it will not produce the security we want. but most of all, it contradicts everything that makes us the envy of the world. so, my fellow americans, whatever you may believe, whether you prefer one party or no party, whether you supported my agenda or fought as hard as you could against it, our collective futures depend on your willingness to uphold your duties as a citizen.
to vote, to speak out, to stand up for others, especially the weak. especially the vulnerable. knowing that each of us is only here because somebody somewhere stood up for us. [applause] we need every american to stay active in our public life and not just during election time. so that our public life reflects the goodness and the decency that i see in the american people every single day. it is not easy. our brand of democracy is hard. but i can promise, in a little
over a year from now, when i no longer hold this office, i will be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by those voices of fairness, of grit and good humor and kindness that have helped america travel so far. voices that helped us not see -- see ourselves not first and foremost as black or white or latino or asian, gay or straight, immigrant or native born, not democrat or republican, but as americans first bound by a common dream. voices dr. king believed would have the final word. voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love. and they are out there, those voices. they don't get a lot of
attention, they don't seek a a lot of fanfare, but they are busy doing the work that this country needs doing. i see them everywhere i travel in this incredible country of ours. i see you, the american people, and in your daily acts of citizenship, i see our future unfolding. i see it in the worker on the assembly line who clocked extra shifts to keep his company open. and the boss who pays them higher wages instead of laying them off. i see it in the dreamer who stays up late at night to finish her science project, and the teacher that comes in early. maybe with some extra supplies that she bought because she knows that that young girl may someday cure a disease.
i see it in the american who served his time, made bad mistakes as a child, but now is dreaming of starting over. i see it in the business owner who gives them that second chance. the protester, determined to prove that justice matters, and the young cop walking the beat, treating everyone with respect, doing the brave, quiet work of keeping us safe. [applause] i see it in the soldier who gives almost everything to save his brothers. the nurse who tends to him until he can run a marathon. the community that lines up to cheer him on. it is the son who finds the courage to come out as who he is , and the father whose love for that son overrides everything he
has been taught. i see it in the elderly woman who will wait in line to cast her vote as long as she has to, the new citizen who casts his vote for the first time, the volunteers at the polls who believe every vote should count. because each of them, in different ways, know how much that precious right is worth. that is the america i know. that's the country we love. clear eyed, bighearted, undaunted by challenge, optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. that is what makes me so hopeful about our future. [applause] i believe in change, because i believe in you, the american people. that is why i stand here as confident as i have ever been that the state of our union is
that's kind of cool. how are you doing? you guys doing good? good to see you. thank you, guys. i was talking to you. >> thank you. [indiscernible] >> motion to adjourn. ayes have it. accordingly, the house stays adjourned until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. >> south carolina governor nikki haley was selected this year to deliver the republican response to the state of the union address. she spoke from columbia, south
carolina for about 10 minutes. gov. haley: good evening. i am nikki haley, governor of the great state of south carolina. i am speaking tonight from capital, our state's history. much like america as a whole, our state has a rich and complicated history. one that proves the idea that each day can be better than the last. i am going to talk about a brighter american future, but first, i want to say a few words about president obama, who just gave his final state of the union address. barack obama's election as president seven years ago broke historic barriers and inspired millions of americans. as he did when he first ran for office, tonight, president obama spoke eloquently about grand things. he is at his best when he does that. unfortunately, the president's
remarks has often fallen short of his soaring words. many americans are still feeling the squeeze of an economy to o weak to raise income levels. we are feeling a crushing national debt. a health care plan that has made insurance less affordable and doctors less available. and chaotic unrest in many of our cities. even worse, we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since september 11. and this president appears unwilling or unable to deal with it. soon, the obama presidency will end. and america will have the chance to turn in a new direction. that direction is what i want to talk about tonight. at the outset, i will say this. you have paid attention to what has been happening in washington, and you are not naive. neither am i. i see what you see, and many of your frustrations are my
frustrations. a frustration with a government that has grown day after day, year after year, yet doesn't serve us any better. a frustration with the same conversations we hear over and over again. a frustration with promises made and never kept. we need to be honest with each other and with ourselves. while democrats in washington bear much responsibility for the today,s facing america they do not bear it alone. there is more than enough blame to go around. we as republicans need to own that truth. we need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in america's leadership. we need to accept we have played a role in how and why our government has broken. and then we need to fix it. the foundation that has made america that last best hope of earth hasn't gone anywhere. it still exists. it is up to us to return to it.
for me, that starts right where it always has. i am the proud daughter of indian immigrants. who reminded my brothers, my sister, and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country. growing up in the rural south, my family did not look like our neighbors, and we didn't have much. there were times that were tough. but we had each other. and we had the opportunity to do anything, and to be anything, as long as we were willing to work for it. my story is really not that different from millions of other americans. immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations, to live the dream that is america. they wanted better for their children than for themselves. that remains the dream of all of us. and in this country, we have seen time and again that that dream is achievable. today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory.
during anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. we must resist that temptation. no one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country. at the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our orders. we can't do that. we cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally. and in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined. we must fix our broken immigration system. that's means of stopping illegal immigration. and it means welcoming properly vetted immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. just like we have for centuries.
i have no doubt that if we act with the proper focus we can , protect our borders, our sovereignty, and our citizens. all the while remaining true to america's noblest legacies. this past summer, south carolina was dealt a tragic blow. on an otherwise ordinary wednesday evening in june at the historic mother emanuel church in charleston, 12 faithful men and women went to bible study. that night someone new joined them. he did not look like them. he did not act like them. he did not sound like them. they didn't throw him out. they didn't call the police. instead, they pulled up a chair and prayed with him for an hour. we lost nine incredible souls that night. what happened after the tragedy is worth pausing to think about.
our state was struck with shock , pain, and fear. but our people would not allow hate to win. we didn't have violence. we had a vigils. we didn't have riots. we had hugs. we did not turn against each other's race or religion. we turned toward god. and to the values that have long made our country the freest and greatest in the world. we removed a symbol that was being used to divide us. and rebounded -- and we found a strength to stop a domestic terrorist. and the hate that filled him. there is a lesson in this. in many parts of society today. whether in popular culture academia, the media, or , politics, there is a tendency to falsely equate noise with results. some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. that is just not true. often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. when the sound is quieter, we can actually hear what someone
else is saying, and that can make a world of difference. of course, that doesn't mean we won't have strong disagreements. we will. as we usher in this new era, republicans will stand up for our beliefs. if we held the white house, taxes would be lower. and we would put the brakes on runaway spending and debt. we would encourage american innovation and success instead of demonizing them. so our economy could truly soar and good jobs would be available across our country. we would reform education so it works best for students, parents, and teachers not for , washington bureaucrats and union bosses. we would end a disastrous health care program and replace it with reforms that lower cost than actually let you keep your doctor. we would respect differences and -- in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for
religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy. we would recognize the importance of the separation of powers and honor the constitution in its entirety. and yes, that includes the second and 10th amendments. we would make international agreements that were celebrated in israel and protested in iran, not the other way around. and rather than just thanking our men and and women in uniform, we would actually strengthen our military. so both our friends and our enemies would know that america seeks peace. but when we fight wars, we win them. we have big decisions to make. our country is being tested, but we have been tested in the past and our people have always risen to the challenge. we have the guidance we need to be safe and successful. our forefathers ate the way for
us. let's take their values and strengths and dedicate ourselves takes towhatever it keep america the greatest country in the history of man and woman. thank you, good night, and god bless. and more reaction to the president's speech from paul ryan, interviewed on fox news this morning. political.ry he ethics his views to people who do not agree with him -- he affixes views the people who do not agree with them -- with him that they do not have. i think he tries to shift his blame for his mistakes to other people. i think it is a part of saying -- i think he sees the world as what he wishes it would be, not what it is.
prison -- for title that is for television for a president. >> friday, the speaker held it press conference. he outlined a new agenda that he growth,uses on economic health care, poverty, and restoring the constitution. this is about 10 minutes. >> today is the anniversary of the packers' first super bowl it. good morning. with everything a stake in 2016, we have been talking about how do we go on offense in ideas. we make sure we offer the country a clear and compelling choice. they deserve that. we want to earn their trust by offering an agenda that fixes
their problems. if we do not like the direction the country's going -- we do not -- we have the obligation to offer a solution. so starting today, we are pro-growth agenda focused on five areas. first, national security. anxious rightvery now. how do we go about making sure we are secure here at home. how do we go about building a 21st century military and making sure we are equipped to defeat isis and the threat posed by radical islamism. our economy is far from reaching its potential. wages are still stagnant. people are working harder than ever before but they feel they are slipping behind. code, we fix our tax
maximize our energy potential? third, health care. obamacare has taken us down the wrong path. higher prices, higher deductibles, fewer choices, restricted access. we not only repealed this, but what solutions lead us to lower costs in a truly patient-centered health care system? poverty and opportunity. there are 46 million americans living in poverty today. what solutions will help get people up? right now, we have a safety net to catch people in poverty, but we need a trampoline to get people into lives they want for themselves. how do we get them back into the workforce, restore upper mobility? the last piece of this -- it is
so critical to all of the others -- is restoring the constitution. we are a country founded on an idea. and our rights do not, from the government. our rights come from god. natural.s are the constitution is this beautiful system of rules, preserving liberty and freedom so we can exercise those rights. that we as a people are sovereign and free. how do we restore the constitution, because the president's executive overreach has damaged the constitution. people more and more do not trust the compliment -- do not trust the government because we have deviated from the constitution. idiots that we will advance. we will work with our colleagues through our committee-elect task
forces. i means every member and their constituents will have the chance to provide their input. a complete will have agenda by the time we have a nominee. this is nothing short of a self defining moment. the country is crying out for solutions. to beuntry is crying out unified. the country is crying out for a positive vision that brings us all together. we want a confident and america. now is the time to get to work. thank you. questions? circumspect -- you have been stressed that she had been circumspect and how specific this agenda will be. will there be actual legislation or? we just launched
the process. the point is that for us will not determine everything. that is not the style we have. we are going to do this with our members. me, the people of this country will know who we are in stand for when this is done and they will be given a choice -- they will be given a choice so where they vote, they will no they are voting for. i was told that the republicans should develop an agenda that is agnostic to whoever becomes the nominee. it is unclear who the nominee might be. there is one person that people are concerned who could become the nominee. everybodyan: i know in the media and television are
worried about the presidential contest, but we are worried about congress. we are putting together an agenda that we think rises to the occasion. we are not thinking about who the nominee will be. we do not have time for that. >> you do not have anyone in the back of your mind? speaker ryan: no. >> how exactly are you interpreting this poverty program? is this how the initiation would tackle poverty or is or how you would envision a poverty program? it seems like it will be a completely different vision of how the administration would do it? i am curious as to how you envision it. voters are thinking billions of dollars of a social program. quo,er ryan: the status now the obama administration, believes that measuring success
in the war on poverty is having washington dictate solutions to communities. we fundamentally reject that. we believe the more effective way of fighting poverty and combating the lack of upper mobility is to go to the causes and break the cycle of poverty. that means take our principles and apply it to the problem. we believe in freedom, government by consent, government closest to the people. we believe in federalism. -- work works. local communities work. washington does not work. so we won't take those principles and apply it to people living in poverty and the lack of upper mobility. we believe that is where these principles are needed. it is very different than where the left thinks we should go. i know you are a policy
drive. last night, there was a debate -- speaker ryan: i did not see it. >> well at the beginning, there cruz -- or speaker ryan: we're not worried about that. a second'sgiven it worth of thought. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
going to have these different groups of committee chairs working in these tax force -- these task forces. >> president obama spoke this morning to the nation concerning the release of americans held prisoner in iran and the inclination -- and the implementation of that nuclear accord. the prisoners will fly to germany where they will undergo a medical examination before returning to the united states. this is just under 15 minutes. pres. obama: good morning. this is a good day. once again, we are seeing what is possible with strong, american diplomacy. my state of the union address, ensuring the security of the united states and the safety of our people
demands a smart, patient, and disciplined approach to the world. that includes our diplomacy with iran.lamic republic of for decades, our differences met our countries did not speak to each other. advancely, that did not america's interests. moveshe years, iran closer and closer to having the ability to build a nuclear weapon. franklinidents roosevelt to john f. kennedy to ronald reagan, the united states has never been afraid to pursue diplomacy with our adversaries. as president, i decided that a america couldent
advance our national security by engaging directly with the iranian government. we have seen the results. under the nuclear deal that we, our allies, and partners reached last year, iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb. theregion, the ice age, and world will be more secure. the nuclear deal was never intended to resolve all of our differences. but still, engaging directly with the iranian government on a astained basis has created unique opportunity to try to resolve important issues. , iranre than a decade moved ahead with its nuclear program and before the deal had installed nearly 20,000 centrifuges that can enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb. today, iran has removed two-thirds of those machines.
before the deal, iran was steadily increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium -- enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs. today, more than 98% of that stockpile has been shipped out of iran -- meaning iran now doesn't have enough material for even one bomb. before, iran was nearing completion of a new reactor capable of producing plutonium for a bomb. today, the core of that reactor has been pulled out and filled with concrete so it cannot be used again. before the deal, the world had relatively little disability to iran's nuclear program. today, international inspectors are on the ground, and iran is being subjected to the most comprehensive, intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program. inspectors will monitor iran's key nuclear facilities 24 hours
a day, 365 days a year. for decades to come, inspectors will have access to iran's entire nuclear supply chain. in other words, if iran tries to cheat -- if they try to build a bomb covertly -- we will catch them. so the bottom line is this. whereas iran was steadily expanding its nuclear program, we have now cut off every single path that iran could have used to build a bomb. whereas it would have taken iran two to three months to break out with enough material to rush to a bomb, we've now extended that breakout time to a year. and with the world's unprecedented inspections and access to iran's program, we'll know if iran ever tries to break out. now that iran's actions have been verified, it can begin to receive relief from certain nuclear sanctions and gain access to its own money that had been frozen. and perhaps most important of all, we've achieved this historic progress through diplomacy, without resorting to another war in the middle east. i want to also point out that by working with iran on this nuclear deal, we were better
able to address other issues. when our sailors in the persian gulf accidentally strayed into iranian waters, that could have sparked a major international incident. some folks here in washington rushed to declare that it was the start of another hostage crisis. instead, we worked directly with the iranian government and secured the release of our sailors in less than 24 hours. majorrings me to a second development. several americans unjustly detained by iran are finally coming home. americansses, these of continued detention. i have met with their families. i have seen their english. i gave these families my word that we would do everything in
our power to win the release of their loved ones. we have been tireless. on the sidelines of the nuclear negotiations, our diplomats at the highest level, including secretary kerry, used every meeting to push iran to release our americans. i did so myself, in my conversation with president rouhani. after the nuclear deal was completed, the discussions between our governments accelerated. yesterday, these families finally got the news that they have been waiting for. jason rezaian is coming home. a courageous journalist for the "washington post," who wrote about the daily lives and hopes of the iranian people, he's been held for a year and a half. he embodies the brave spirit that gives life to the freedom of the press. jason has already been reunited with his wife and mom. pastor saeed abedini is coming home. held for three and half years, his unyielding faith has inspired people around the world in the global fight to uphold freedom of religion. now, pastor abedini will return
to his church and community in idaho. amir hekmati is coming home. a former sergeant in the marine corps, he's been held for four and a half years. giving thanks in michigan. -- today, his parents and sisters are giving thanks in michigan. two other americans unjustly detained by iran have also been released. nosratollah khosravi-roodsari and matthew trevithick, an iranian who was in iran as a student. their cases were largely unknown to the world. but when americans are freed and reunited with their families, that's something that we can all celebrate. i want to thank my national security team, especially secretary kerry. susan rice, my national security advisor. brett mcgurk. avril haines. ben rhodes. our whole team worked tirelessly
to bring our americans home, to get this work done. and i want to thank the swiss government, which represents our interests in iran, for their critical assistance. and meanwhile, iran has agreed to deepen our coordination as we work to locate robert levinson -- missing from iran for more than eight years. even as we rejoice in the safe return of others, we will never forget about bob. each and every day, but especially today, our hearts are with the levinson family, and we will not rest until their family is whole again. in a reciprocal humanitarian gesture, six iranianamericans and one iranian serving sentences or awaiting trial in the united states are being granted clemency. these individuals were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses. they're civilians, and their release is a one-time gesture to iran, given the unique opportunity offered by this moment and the larger circumstances at play. and it reflects our willingness to engage with iran to advance our mutual interests, even as we ensure the national security of
the united states. so nuclear deal -- implemented. american families reunited. workhird piece of this that we got done this weekend involved the united states and iran resolving a financial dispute that dated back more than three decades. since 1981, after our nations severed diplomatic relations, we've worked through an international tribunal to resolve various claims between our countries. the united states and iran are now settling a longstanding iranian government claim against the united states government. iran will be returned its own funds, including appropriate interest, but much less than the amount iran sought. for the united states, this settlement could save us billions of dollars that could have been pursued by iran. so there was no benefit to the united states in dragging this out. with the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well.
of course, even as we implement the nuclear deal and welcome our americans home, we recognize that there remain profound differences between the united states and iran. we remain steadfast in opposing iran's destabilizing behavior elsewhere, including its threats against israel and our gulf partners, and its support for violent proxies in places like syria and yemen. we still have sanctions on iran for its violations of human rights, for its support of terrorism, and for its ballistic missile program. and we will continue to enforce these sanctions, vigorously. iran's recent missile test, for example, was a violation of its international obligations. and as a result, the united states is imposing sanctions on individuals and companies working to advance iran's ballistic missile program. and we are going to remain vigilant about it. we're not going to waver in the
defense of our security or that of our allies and partners. but i do want to once again speak directly to the iranian people. yours is a great civilization, with a vibrant culture that has so much to contribute to the world -- in commerce, and in science, and the arts. for decades, your government's threats and actions to destabilize your region have isolated iran from much of the world. and now, our governments are talking with one another. following the nuclear deal, you -- especially young iranians -- have the opportunity to begin building new ties with the world. we have a rare chance to pursue a new path -- a different, better future that delivers progress for both our peoples and the wider world. that's the opportunity before the iranian people. we need to take advantage of that. i and to my fellow americans, today, we're united in welcoming home sons and husbands and brothers who, in lonely prison cells, have endured an absolute
nightmare. but they never gave in, and they never gave up. at long last, they can stand tall and breathe deep the fresh air of freedom. as a nation, we face real challenges, around the world and here at home. many of them will not be resolved quickly or easily. but today's progress -- americans coming home, an iran that has rolled back its nuclear program and accepted unprecedented monitoring of that program -- these things are a reminder of what we can achieve when we lead with strength and with wisdom. with courage and resolve and patience. america can do -- and has done -- big things when we work together. we can leave this world and make it safer and more secure for our children and our grandchildren for generations to come.
i want to thank, once again, secretary kerry. our entire national security team, led by susan rice. i'm grateful for all the assistance that we received from our allies and partners. and i am hopeful that this signals the opportunity, at least, for iran to work more cooperatively with nations around the world to advance their interests and the interests of people who are looking for peace and security for their families. that thank you so much. god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. >> where do you see this relationship going next? house foreign affairs committee chairman ed royce of california released this statement on the prisoner swap with iran. it said in part --
our road to the white house coverage continues today when texas senator ted cruz campaigns in milford, new hampshire. we have a live today right here at 5:00 on c-span. have college aged kids covered here in alabama. but it is really the key the elementary schools that are suffering. african-american kids are getting poorer education, horrible buildings. tonight on q&a, documentary filmmaker aviva kempner talks her latestnwald," movie about a partnership to build schools and bring -- to ruralducation
schools in america. said why do we not use the houses? the best thing booker t. washington said was now, i want the communities to build it. morphed into 5000 schools all over the south, including maryland. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span "q&a." of staff denisef mcdonough says he has a lot of admiration for south carolina .overnor nikki haley he gave a recap of the state of the union speech and with governor haley's response as he spoke with reporters. this is just under an hour.
mr. cook: ok. here we go. i'm dave cook, "christian science monitor." thanks for coming after i know what was a long night for many of you covering president obama's state of the union address. in the 50 years, that the monitor has been hosting these gatherings, we have welcomed white house chiefs of staff up to rahm emanuel. we are especially pleased to have our first breakfast -- it is true. it's true. it's true. so we are especially pleased to have our first breakfast of 2016 with president obama's fifth and reportedly favored chief of staff, denis mcdonough. thanks so much for making time in your busy schedule to do this. he's a minnesota native who grew up surrounded by seven broth