tv [untitled] CSPAN June 20, 2009 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT
>> i think the most important thing right now is to try to generate a sense of outrage, that we have been promised change in what we are getting is worse than last time around. it's time to turn up the heat and say this administration comes in promising change, and they appoint these tired old bureaucrats who have been instruments of exactly the rot that we have been talking about. a help to accelerate the wrought. we need to look down their throats and make it public. in that respect i think it's very important to watch very closely with secretary gates does with the f-22. don't watch just what he does with that airplane. watch also what he does with the f-18 and ef 35. my expectation is that they will buy a few more f-22's, a few more f-18s, will pay for it by rating some money from the f. 35. note that at the rates of the
two other airplanes that were will not do anything to the unit cost. it will continue going up. it will push the f-35 making it more expensive and when it becomes more expensive, what i'm trying to say i'm not saying very well is that a compromise in the f-22 that involves other airplanes will make everything worse. if he instead makes a clean-cut decisions on the f-22, even if he just ignored the other two airplanes and say, you know, you have agger party, it's over now. that's a good sign. but what i'm reading in the papers this week at least, is that at march 1 decision is going to be a compromise and it's going to make everything worse. >> the air force has come in and said they are willing to back off their 380 some odd.
just give us 60 more, you don't. >> i'm going to make a moderators prerogative and try not to have the audience leader despond. [laughter] >> i question put the heat on them or what does that actually mean? there are people in the room who can help do that. what he'd are you talking about? >> well, expose some of the stuff that we are talking about. the american people don't see the things we are talking about in the news media are not that interested in either. and that's what you have to change. i mean, get the media into this. >> the media is a big part of it. >> there on the other side now. >> i mean, you have to remember these are human beings and we have to do with human nature. win last week there were 93 senators who voted to approve the deputy secretary, four
senators had the character to scratch the surface and look at what actually was going on and voted against him. in the case of 93, when things are pretty clearly blown up, remind them, and remind them that what is going on is not an opportunity for them to point fingers, except at themselves for appointing managers in the department of defense that made these things worse. the other side of that coin is to talk about those four that had the character to go against the grain. i thought you were especially notable. won the senator
grassley, who pretty much got the ball rolling. he had a memory to go back to his archives and check some of mr. lindh record as controller and confronted him with some of that history. and i also particularly like claire mccaskill from missouri. the only democrat who voted
against that nomination. in the normal scheme of things, there would have been a gaggle of democrats voting against that nomination, had that been a republican administration. she demonstrated great character i thought to separate herself out from that. >> i think senator coleman was one of the other ones. clec senator colburn, i disagree with senator colburn on a lot of social issues but he is fantastic. i would vote for him early and often if i had a chance. he's been a real tiger in court.
he understands what the problem is. he was apprised of some of the history of this nomination, and he did the right thing. more power to him. >> after senator mccaskill's comment, senator levin was breathing some of the press about he thought the nomination
hearing has gone, what was going to happen in the next two months. and he very clearly criticized her for speaking out. >> i think of for the senator was senator mccain. >> no, it wasn't john cornyn. mccain folded like he often does. >> a little bit of positive news. i briefed the senator mccaskill on some of this. and she told me, she said i don't know how long i'm going to be in washington. i'm from missouri. i'm a democrat from missouri, we are in danger. she said if i can change 1% of that, the gop, and she also had just gotten a new ad hoc committee on federal contracting and she said she is ready to take the two by four out. so we hope that she doesn't leave part, and it took a lot of guts to vote against the nominee. there are some out there still trying to.
>> tried to talk to these people and help them to come forth. >> may be asking you guys to come talk to her. >> a question on acquisition. is there a problem, don't understand these problems or don't do anything about them? is that they don't have enough power implementing them? >> they have the power. i've watched and worked for acquisition executives in my time in the pentagon, and watched the procedure. you know, these guys come in from industry. some of them pretty bright guys your end day, right or wrong, are all-stars on shoulders, and a four star comes in and tells a guy, you know, the moon is made of cheese, and is a no, it
isn't. no, he said it is it is. this program is going to come on budget and so forth, and you guys are wrong about this. get off the back and they go ahead and sanctioning. you know, but lack of guts. yeah, but it starts with believing and wanting to believe what is a true. >> they are already predisposed to believe whatever some general is saying that will increase the budget. if he was saying something that criticized the budget they would be more inclined to disbelieve the. >> only once, shame on once. fool me twice, shame on me. time and time again these things happen. the promises are made at an early decision in the acquisition process about cost, schedule and performance, it's palpable and often identified below any. they go ahead with the program
and the problem is that that occurs time and time and time again. it's not just the question of generals or other advocates folding these executives. it's that, you know, the alternative to there being a question of character and ethics is that they are palpable idiots. but they are not. they are very intelligent, hard-working people. who operate in an environment that asked them, demands of them that they do the wrong thing. >> a follow-up to the last question. where are they today in the pentagon? >> there aren't any. >> you look at the 1983 cover story, and it says the pentagon
undergrad. he is out there from the political engineering, precisely what happened with that and the consequent of the. generationally, are there a few boys is there, how can we amplify them wax is there a way to do that? is there a way to send grassley back? >> i haven't given up hope yet. i have proof of the. i talk on the cover year of 13 pentagon insiders and others who produce this book. if you look at the bios about the author section there are only 12 bios there. 13 is not. there still a lot of people. a lot more than that one, given the proper literature, will be happy to do the right thing work
>> and not something that they can address. even though the military belongs to them it's our military. there's been a debate outside of work done by cgi and veterans group that has gone on for 30, 40 years with john wayne, but that leaves the military right where it was. and there is very little assessment of this is our military. it acts in our names. we suffer with the consequences of what it does, how it does it. and the question is what budget should you have, not only how it deals with its weapons but more important areas ideal in, with personnel, retention problem that is very rarely talked about. except in worse training methods. when i worked up in congress, and i tried while i was there to get started a military reform caucus. there was one during the dellums
period. and i think on these kind of issues and on personnel issues, to put together a caucus in their would get you a lot farther than anything you are getting from these hearings and these armed services committee which i attended them but they were pretty much pro forma and not even discussing the issues that needed to be discussed. i think a lot of people know what's wrong on these issues but their voices are put together. and the public isn't aware of that, that they really need to own the military, not just shun it as something they don't like, but own it and make it right. >> you're not going to have a meaningful military reform caucus in congress until you have got some members of character to format. you know, i have four candidates right now. we had a reform caucus in 1980s.
it became sort of a political exercise for most of the members. but they are a small core of senators and congressmen who not all the time, but frequently would be serious about some issues. we had to be careful to pick safe under safe issues for the. we didn't pick the mx missile, we didn't pick those kind of things. we picked off racial testing. on safe issues, sometimes some members of congress can be worthwhile. >> that's about as optimistic as you can get. [laughter] >> that the ray of sunshine. >> i think we need one last question. >> so far this financial crisis, the nationalized debate, mortgage industry, auto industry, but meanwhile, the
defense contractors in our jails are private companies. would it be that crazy to switch that around and actually nationalize our defense? >> would already have. >> we have nationalized it. stack they are an enormous part of the problem. consolidation of defense contractors has caused unbelievable -- has made the congress much worse among other things because of the power the very large conglomerates exercise. and that was done with the encouragement of the defense department at exactly the wrong thing to do to put three aircraft companies together, you know. if you only have three, he should have six and if you have six you should have 12. we are doing the opposite. they are totally feeding at the public trough, and they are indistinguishable from the government because their executives are rotating in and out of the government. consider the nationalized
socialistic corporations. >> how do the executives minimize the money, our money that they are spending? >> they need to learn how to perform oversight. they need to learn how to do one of two most important things congress does. to investigate and find out answers to things. when that kind of attitude blossoms, and when perhaps those four senators show to the other 93 or 96, that there is great plentiful benefit in doing your job, it's amazing the new age you can open up. i didn't mean to sound all that pessimistic. what congress needs really to start to change some of these things, is to follow some
positive examples, and to follow the positive examples they have to understand there isn't a positive example. right now they don't understand what positive example there is to follow, other than porting of transportation, defense budgets, and pretending about things and posturing using money as a measure of merit for your defense. >> just a couple weeks ago i think we had a situation where you had about half the congress i and a great signing a letter to the sector defense wanting f-22 production to continue. do you believe that? because almost everyone of them had worked in the district. i remember, i go far enough, to remember sitting in on secretary of defense caspar weinberger's reviews of programs, and i remember that the one program manager coming in early on in weinberger's tour, and
presenting, you know, here's the update on the program and he had a chart. he had a chart that had how many congressional districts that would work for the b-1. i don't ever want to see that again. that's not what we are in the business for. well, today every program manager is expected to devise such a chart year and the more he can spread it around the country, the better off he's going to be. think about what that does to the cost of getting all these parts and putting the system together. again goes on because congress loves it. and until they step up and stop this, i can't see it happening. >> allright. i'm going to thank pierre sprey and tom not all he tonight but for the fantastic book you put together. >> kendal immediately, and hard
copy from amazon towards the end of march. we have copies for sale here right now for the cdi edition. we are almost out to get them while they're hot. quick. >> first edition. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> winslow wheeler is the director of the stross military project at the centerboard defense information. he is the author. america's defense meltdown is published by the center for defense information. for more information visit their website. >> shaun casey, in your new
book, "the making of a catholic president" you write that it was a liability to be catholic in 1960 and run for president, why? >> the wisdom was that in 1968 catholic couldn't get elected because of what happened in 1920. herbert hoover absolutely destroyed him and it was in washington and the country because al smith lost so badly that even by 1968 catholic couldn't get elected. >> even though it was a 32 years earlier? >> that's correct. think about today, can an atheist get elected in america. or can an african-american get elected even two years ago. we still do traffic in those kind of labels. >> and it herbert hoover exploit al smith catholicism in 1920. >> not really. i think scholars and political people argued about why he lost. he was a county hall boss. he was a new york democrat which did not play well across the country. there were a lot of reasons he may have lost sort of in
addition to this catholicism. i can't find any real record says herbert hoover exploited. >> how did the kennedy campaign to use his catholicism to make it an asset? >> they really were panicked through most of the campaign, but by labor day they had a pollster give people for free that showed that 23% of the american electorate by labor day in 1960 was undecided. and when you drill down among those undecided voters, the perception that he might be a victim of anti-catholic bigotry would actually drive him to the democratic column. so at that point the kennedy campaign changed its strategy which to that point had been to really kind of softened the catholicism. the truth is by labor day if you are against kennedy because he was a catholic you were gone and you were never going to come back. so it focused on these persuadable, undecided voters. and talk of religion in any way after labor day. >> how did the nixon campaign
reduce religion, catholicism? >> on the one hand, he wanted to hold the republican catholic cities his own party but he wanted to increase the number of protestants who might defect from the democratic party. but he couldn't do this overtly. he couldn't go on television say if you are a protestant you can't vote for a catholic because he would come off like an anti-catholic bigot. so he had really a clandestine campaign where he hired a staffer who traveled the country and networked with some of the major evangelical leaders of the day and preachers of the day to get them to talk more about anti-catholic themes and to disseminate more anti-catholic literature. so he had to be very careful, but in a very machiavellian way he had to have forces in the field trying to gin up those forces of anti-catholicism. >> what were the roles of norman vincent and billy graham? >> they were actually crucial as part of nixon's strategy. graham moved to europe in the
summer but continue to hold meetings in europe of leading protestant evangelical leaders strategizing about how we can beat this catholic i. one of the things that came up was to host a meeting in washington, d.c., and early september at the mayflower hotel, one of the large hotels there, and peel chaired the meeting. it was a secret meeting. 150 clergy were there and they strategize the whole day about how to plot against kennedy. them media infiltrator that meeting and then there was an impromptu press conference afterward that just absolutely exploded. at that point and john kennedy was on his first campaign trip in california, which was going abysmally. and it went off like a bombshell when the kennedys lord that people like billy graham and were organizing millions of protestants around the country to vote against him. kennedy actually had an informant inside that meeting who told him and told his campaign all that nixon was
doing, and they've were actually terrified at what they learned. it was a week later that kennedy made his famous houston speech, in a panic. today we remember that famous houston speech and when we think of kennedy in a campaign that's the speech we think of. it was the speech he did not want to make. it's one he gave out of fear and desperation in response to what they were doing behind the scenes. >> what was the crux of that speech? >> you can vote for me because i'm a democrat. i will represent all americans. i happen to be catholic, but i will not be the catholic candidate for the presidency. norge, the pope will not pick up the phone and the morning and give me my marching order. there would be different areas from the church. i'm not going to give federal aid dollars, $8 to parochial schools. and if a foreign country as for foreign assistance to help disseminate birth control information, i will be sited on
the merits, not on the basis of what my church might give. >> but we currently have an ambassador to the vatican. >> we do. interestingly enough, the history of that would make the book itself. harry truman first tried to do this. he tried to make general mark clark the great world war ii hero the first ambassador. there was a change human cry against that that truman drew it back realize politically this would be a mistake. >> it was either jimmy carter or ronald reagan who actually didn't have the political cover to appoint an ambassador to the vatican. so eventually it became a nonissue of. >> so when it breaks down, where did the catholic vote go in 1960? >> it overwhelmingly went to john kennedy. he received a historic vote. interestingly enough he received almost exactly the same protestant vote that edley stevenson's had in 1956. but it was the catholic migration than that provided him a tiny, teeny sliver of a
victory that he got in the united states. >> there's another new book out on the 1960 election, what's the fascination with this election? >> i think it's the two characters. arguably kennedy and nixon were two of the brilliant political minds in america produced in the 20th century. and to put them together face-to-face in this election with religion hanging over it, there were religion problems for both candidates and it was such a photo finish at the end. kennedy wins by barely 100 does in both. several contested states. so i think people go back to that and that they say it really was a changing of the guard when kennedy, you know, ekes out this little victory. nixon's career then blossomed later on. it's interesting to see these two political titans going toe to toe, such a close election. and i argued in the book that in the end, religion actually helped kennedy went and helped
nixon loses the election. had nixon in a better job on handling religion he might have actually won this race. >> you were involved in the 2008 campaign, to what capacity? >> i serve as an advisor for a year and then with general election date for the obama team, and then was the general election season i would've stepped. >> what would your role as adviser? >> i was the evangelical director when i joined the campaign, so i was sort of a religious outreach team which had seven or eight people and an army of people working with us. i think the lesson if there is one that we do for the 1960 race was that kennedy realized extremely religious problem. they said if you're going to win this race, except possibly because of your religion, and kennedy was flummoxed by that. he had never encountered the kind of grassroots anti-catholicism that you find in the southern part of the united states in terms of being in massachusetts it was not a
disadvantage to be roman catholic in 1960. what he did he'd been surrounded himself with very smart people, and he spent a lot of time doing a listening tour off the record of leading anti-catholic protestants around the country saying you're a democrat, you like my policies but you are going to vote against it because i'm a catholic. help you understand that because that's confusing to me. so he applied tremendous assets personally in terms of the campaign to work through and develop strategy, a flexible strategy on religion as a campaign unfolded. i think the same can be said about president obama. he went into the race with some weaknesses with certain religious groups in the united states. and unlike some democrats who run for president in recent years he wasn't afraid to parse the problem, to hire people come to think through and read and talk to the fold, the principals who were involved. so he may have felt some anxiety about religion but it didn't keep him from engaging and th o