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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 24, 2009 11:00pm-11:30pm EDT

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further but where we have to be in the long term with missile defense. it also gave a firsthand look actually going into the silos which is important because it's nice to get the documents we have lots of paperwork but until you are physically there and understand the logistics and the apparatus that is set up you don't have a feeling of what is going on. in the case of secretary gates, he was keeping an open mind there is no question and how that would grow and be dynamic over the next several years. i think the issue right now we are dealing with is a tight budget and all aspects of the defense but across the board and he's balancing where he can. the good news and all of this from my perspective is he talked about a robust testing which the testing is part of the equation if you stop testing word limit testing you're never going to improve the system and some of the call talked about before i
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came on, they talked about the 60's and the 70's and what was occurring to imagine you could shoot a rocket and hit another rocket within a very small space, thousands of miles away is an amazing technology but that occurred because testing so there was a long-term commitment which was important to the system. there was a commitment to look up the missile defense system and see there was the changing in an evolving program which is important from my perspective, not good enough as you can imagine. i think there is continued investment we need to make. there's 44 potential silos that could be constructed at fort really. they are committing to the administration to 30. i believe it should be a higher number for a variety of reasons, so we are in discussion today and it will be the start reprocess of appropriations or authorizations. >> host: let's go to the phones on the democrats' line from virginia, michael joins us.
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>> caller: good morning, how is everybody? >> guest: very good. >> caller: my question basically is for the republican that just left. he's on the kennedy and why did we send our troops to the board they didn't have enough supplies, didn't -- the equipment was old, it didn't protect anyone, and now you guys are talking about missile defense. are you getting less prepared for something? >> guest: thank you, michael, for the call. i can only answer for my time the last six months. i am a new member, i freshman but that some of the questions when i campaigned i talked a lot about and that is when we make these decisions are we equipped, do we have the supplies and the necessary troops and support not only from within the country but around the globe. an example is when i campaigned i talked a lot about afghanistan and how we were under resources in the sense of troops,
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equipment and other aspects how to deal with long-term sustainability in the country making sure the government has strong governments and long-term economic growth, so when i came in one of the things i talked about during the last six months was if we are engaged in any conflict we have to make sure the troops are well prepared, that they have the equipment necessary but also the other piece of this equation is what is back home. what i mean by that is when a soldier goes overseas, many times especially now with almost 70% of the military have military families where if you go back 30, 40 years ago it was the reverse, a single man basically fighting the war. today it's a different ball game and we have to make sure we have the resources home to support the spouses and families of the soldiers overseas. so one of the efforts i try to make over the next six months so far is we are engaged in conflicts and need to make sure
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they are well equipped and have the supplies and equipment that is of the best grade possible. the other issue when i came into the office i know there was a discussion by the administration early on to add more troops to afghanistan around 17,000 about 150 additional trainers, which i felt was weighed low because the idea of the traders is to create self sustaining government meeting that the government of afghanistan can move forward without the forces there. today the obama administration over the last several weeks have committed not only 17,000 additional 4,000 trainers. that's what we need to do the job right and make sure they have self governance in their country. >> host: in addition to the armed services committee mark begich is also on the veterans affairs committee and former mayor of anchorage. >> guest: correct and as i tell people i'm a mayor that happens to be a u.s. senator because it's important i think what may years have done is kept track of the details as far down
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they pass something or have dealt with an issue they not only thought about it today but how it would be down the road so it's a little different than here when you pass a long you kind of move on. my view is when you pass something you've got to continue to talk about the implications not only today but generations to come so i kind of keep that feeling. >> host: on the republican line pennsylvania. >> caller: i see a lot of attention to the republican debate and i like a lot of what ron paul said as far as how the military is around the world. apparently we have the military and one-hundred 30 countries. actually i didn't know there were 130 countries, i think that's quite a lot but i was curious why can't we scale back from the list is a 65 countries and limit the amount of money we're spending because we are actively borrowing 49 cents of every dollar we spend and have so many problems at home with health care and the economy we need to scale back the military
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so i'm wondering why can that not be done? 65 countries to me sounds like a lot and felt cut the number in half of where we are today. i will take my answer offline. >> guest: thank you for the question and it's a good point with a restrictive for 130 different countries you can imagine the wire and terror of the military on the system and what the tradeoffs have to occur. in a lot of ways the united states has been carrying a heavier load as times progress on dealing with international issues with regard to conflicts and this is where i think i know president obama has aggressively approached this as well as both republicans and democrats a nonpartisan issue when it comes to engaging our allies around the country, and around the globe to step up to the plate to do more than they are doing today because it is clear we are carrying a significant load. your argument is a very strong one that i know again as republicans and democrats everyone is talking about where
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the international community is in this conflict and what they have to do. as you know in afghanistan for example there's a couple countries considering moving out of the commitment or current obligations in afghanistan and we have to engage them and make sure they do their part that is part of the stretch and it's a very good question and one that doesn't have a simple answer but my solution or comment is we need to engage in the community more to participate at a higher level. saying that many countries have participated and are given great credit when my boys and afghanistan which i just came back from my three day trip there afghanistan and pakistan there is no question some allies are doing them incredible job but their needs to be more in a sense of people. but i was very impressed by the work they were doing and cooperation and the sense of where they saw afghanistan gwen and the cooperation between the
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country. >> host: last week you had a chance to talk to the missile defense and ask him some questions. you mentioned of course missile defense is associated as something that can be defended as north korea but he also said it could defend against iran. was that surprising? have we seen that? >> guest: what's interesting the alaska d date as i recall on missile defense has been all about north korea which north korea has significant issues we need to be watching, there's no question about it but what was surprising by the simple comment because i made the comment north korea, it's important we have a strong missile defense for north korea and i made a slight, and i know this has minimal or no effect with regard to iran and if you notice it wasn't just the director of missile defense, it was everybody jumped to the microphone and said absolutely not, this has an impact what iran could do. that was i would say augmented as new news to not only myself but other members. we knew it had an impact but as
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you saw in the testimony, the indicated important impact. that changes the discussion from my perspective of what i recall the political discussion because everyone kind of focused on fort greeley alaska, our biggest threat right now is iran. my argument is both of them are a threat. what they did is confirmed that absolutely the system can work for both of those threats which is important discussion and argument point and that is probably one of the points i will bring up during the debate hopefully today or the next couple days when we go through the authorization. >> host: on the independent line daniel is calling from michigan. >> caller: hi there. >> guest: hauer you? >> caller: good. a quick thing, here's my voting record for the last presidential , i voted for reagan, bush, clinton, gore, carey and obama. >> guest: you are definitely
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independent. [laughter] >> caller: what do you think about this debate over obama and like the republicans that didn't think that he was strong enough on his reaction to the iran thing? go ahead. >> guest: that is interesting because a lot of people are talking about that, and i think that he has done a very good responsive measure. in the sense what is going on in iran, and i think yesterday he was a little more aggressive but careful and cautious, i think what we don't want to be is the center point of the conflict with in iran. i think it is amazing we have this debate going on when if you listen to most international folks that will get international affairs they think the president has done a good measure response in regard to what's going on in iran. they've obviously by what we are watching the tv and what we can see by individuals putting their
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life on the line to get video through youtube and other means that there is great conflict and there is a change occurring in that country but i think we need to be cautious and very measured and i think the president has been done a good job. some districts want to be more aggressive but if you take the next step with that question usually they don't have the next answer why should he do next and usually it seems like a lot of politics when this is a fairly significant issue internationally and we should be cautious up the same time watching in a measured approach and not become the focal point of the aspect of what is going on in iran. >> host: from new york city, cristina is on the democratic line. >> caller: good morning. >> guest: good morning. >> caller: i want to make one comment and too quick questions. you are doing an absolutely fabulous job. i hope to stay in a long time.
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[laughter] >> guest: well that is all up to the voters as you know. >> caller: why will do whatever i can for you. [laughter] >> guest: thank you. >> caller: two questions. are we ready, anti-missile ready in the united states, and then one quick question i hope i can ask an environmental question very quickly. i entry concerned about the families killed in alaska and what are you doing -- i'm sorry to get off topic but i'm interested in that -- >> guest: one second, i missed the 90 -- >> host: wolfpack, wolf kunkel. >> caller: yeah, there's like a big deal going on over there and i feel so bad about it. >> guest: you bet. i will try to go through those quickly. one of the comments we received in committee and there was a very direct question to the folks managing the missile defense system, what is the
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accuracy and are we prepared, and the response was on the accuracy rate it was 90% or better, which is very strong when you think about technology and what you're doing with the missile defense system. saying that, i think there are issues as i have brought out in regard to alaska's fort greenly, that if we stop the program as it is today as they've proposed i think a word readiness will diminish. i know the military leadership said absolutely not. we will be in great position but i would say that if you search, if you noticed the data points for example north korea has done more, they've done 40% of missile launches in the last period of three months since we made this decision or the administration proposed its decision of limiting fort greenly in the last ten years 40% of the missile launches have occurred since that decision has been made. maybe it's coincidence. i think it is to show they want to make sure that if we are
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slowing down they are going to be aggressive, so we have to keep up the work in my view expanding and utilizing technology and missile defense. seeing that all the other issues, the environmental question you know, i do think that the issue of the wolf debate in alaska is a constant feed eight. we have had i think i want to say now three public initiatives interesting to note, to have past limiting goebel skilling. the third has passed saying we should have both killing, alaska is next to some degree but at the same time we believe in alaska the management of our wildlife is very important if you look at everything from the wild life to the fisheries i think when it comes to any state in this country we do a very good management technique to ensure that tax may be wolf, fish, bear, caribou, moose,
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whatever the wild life is that we are managing it in a very careful way because we not only have everything from hunters and alaskan natives that utilize animals for subsistence lifestyle. we have sports hunting, we have monde sports hunting and people like myself who are my family goes out fishing and we eat fish a lot in our household and if it's not once we get this multiple times. so, it's a very careful management system we have in alaska. from the outside sometimes it may not look as well done as some people might like to think but i think we do a very good job the issue of wolfpack is very controversy will not only around the country but at times within alaska itself. >> host: the final call, shame on the independence line from ridgely iowa. >> caller: good morning to both of you. i want to touch quickly on something an earlier call said about the military spending and the fact that we spend more
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money than every other country in the world combined, military and that nothing is being done about it seems whenever i talk to, it is too big to deal with military industrial complex. and then as far as elon goes it's been frustrating because i participated in protesting actually, the ongoing war in the country back at the rnc and was witness to hundreds of people being illegally arrested and detained as well as tens of dozens of reporters and this happens here every time we have had conventions' the last eight years and it's still happening under obama. my question is when is this going to stop, when is the media going to stand up and show these atrocities and the stuff that is going on in our own country that we called fascist and i'm democratic and is unbelievable this is happening but the people don't even realized it happens right here all the time. when is this going to change?
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>> guest: let me answer the last one first and probably libby is able to answer because i can't control the media. if every politician had that opportunity it would be great from our perspective. i know that doesn't happen but back to the first issue in funding i think in a lot of ways freshman especially today if you look at this year and two years ago 30 per cent of the united states senate has changed. the freshmen that are there are more inquisitive and cautious about spending. i we want to eckert of moderate democrats and we focus on the national debt, deficit and expenditures. one of the most recent bills that passed the samet was the reform to the procurement within the military. this has been and when we came in and now there is plenty of votes to pass the idea is to get a better handle on this expenditure within the major defense systems. in some cases the technology or the first phase of the spending was sometimes 40% or more than
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what was projected and i agree when you have projects like that or expenses we of course there has to be some control and deficiencies of that is one area you are seeing at least from a freshman standpoint a strong look at it. just because we have a system doesn't mean we continue if it is not efficient. i don't care if it is just in defense but across the board, so i do think there is a large group especially in the democrats, large group of democrats more fiscally responsible and fiscally focused that you're going to see a lot of that come out the next couple of years and on the media, you know, the media covers what they cover. i think in a lot of ways i think with the sense of fear on their to be an incredible job getting as much visual on tv as possible, what if information they can get which i think is healthy for us to see with regard to convention and covering those i'm not sure i can give an answer to that but there's a lot of issues depressed wants to be made aware
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but they don't cover all the time and that is how the media has to balance time like everyone else but i want to offend them, i will let them do that. libby's job is to do that. >> host: alaska senator mark begich, thanks for being with us. >> guest: the to see you again.
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now, governor mark sanford of south carolina holds a news conference at the state capital. from columbia, south carolina, this is about 20 minutes. >> how are we going to do this? do you want to hold it? >> i have my own. >> somebody want to help me here? how are we going to move this around? okay. ready? everybody ready? and won't begin in any particular spot. let me just start with -- where
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is gina smith? not here? okay. i had a conversation with jean smith this morning when i arrived in atlanta and i told her about my love of the appalachian trail and i use to organize hiking trips when i was in high school i did get a soccer coach or football coach to act as the chaperone and then i would get folks to pay me $60 each or whenever it was to take the trip and then off we would go and have these great adventures on the appellation trip, and i told her of adventure trips both in college, it was a campus representative from the eastern airlines and you could fly from free, get myself a job, carry emergency money and either find a job that were locals could come back or come home.
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about nine years in congress and the governorship of what trips of leave and traveling different places because what i have found in this job is that one desperately needs a break from the bubble. where every word and every moment is recorded, just to completely break, and i found that to be true in trips to the form or other places. and all of those things were true. i talked about the profound frustrations i felt over this last legislative session in the battle that was in place with regard to the stimulus package. the $700 million in play and how at emotional level i founded exhausting. i tried to make as good a stand as i could. not for a further political office. what was interesting is if you're doing this to climb a political office it was always based on that idea that i genuinely believed that the action would be bad for the tax payers and made the stand as i did. so all of those things we talked
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about this morning were true. but they are not the whole story and that is obviously why everybody is gathered here right now. and so late me lay out the larger story that has attracted so many of you here. i am a bottom-line kind of guy. i will leave it out. it's going to hurt and we will let the chips fall where they may. in so doing, let me first of all apologize to my wife, jenny, and my for ways, marshall, landon, bolton and blake. one of the primary roles is being a father to those for boys who were absolute the walls and blessings that i've led down in a profound way and i apologize to them. and i don't like apologizing in this realm, but given the
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immediacy of you all wanting to visit and my proximity to them, this is the first step in what will be a very long process on that front. i would second say to jenny, anybody that has observed her over the last 20 years of my life knows how closely she has stood by my side in campaign after campaign after campaign and literally being my campaign manager and in the raising of those four blaze and a whole host of of things in the life we fell together. i would also apologize to my staff because as much as i did talk about going to the appalachian trail that is one of the recent scenarios i had thrown out that isn't where i ended up and so i let them down by creating a fiction as to where i was going which meant i had been given as much as they
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rely on that information letdown people that i represent across this state and so i want to apologize to my staff and i want to apologize to anybody who lives in south carolina for the way that i let them down on that front. i want to apologize to good friends. tom davis came to the house, he drove from buford, and he had been an incredibly good friend for a very long time. in my first race for governor, he moved up and lived in the basement of our house for six months, and we called it jurassic park because it was kids dinosaur sheets and all kind of folks were living there in the campaign and he gave his time and his talent and effort for ideas that he believed to try to make a difference in those ideas. and so in a very profound way i have let down tom davis's of the
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world. on the right over here i called the house and in the background i heard my parents in law who have come to see jenny and i let them down. i have had some real conversations with my father-in-law, leaving the cards on the table and he was incredibly gentlemanly as you cannot imagine in seeing here were some things i was struggling with regarding where my heart was, where i was in life, those different kind of things, and i let him down. i fled down a lot of people. that's the bottom line. and i let them down in every instance i would ask their forgiveness. forgiveness is not an immediate process. it is in fact a process that takes time and i will be in that process for quite some weeks and months and i suspect years ahead. but i am here because if you
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were to look at bald's laws and every instance they are designed to protect people from themselves. i think that is the bottom line of god's mall. it isn't a rigid list of do and don't just for the heck of to and don't come it is indeed to protect us from ourselves and the biggest is self. that sin is grounded in this notion what is it all i want as opposed to somebody else and in this regard with me for one more apology and that is to the people of faith across south carolina or for that matter across the nation because i think one of the big disappointments when, believe it or not, i've been a personal face all of my life, if somebody falls within the fellowship of believers or the walk of faith, i think it makes it that much harder for believers to say where does that person come from or folks that want believers to say we're in deep was that
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person coming from, so one more apology obsoletes and that god's all is there to protect you from yourself and there are consequences if you preach that. this press conference is a consequence. and so the bottom line is this: i have been unfaithful to my wife. i've developed a relationship with what started as a dear friend from argentina. it began very innocently as i suspect any of these things do in just a casual e-mail back-and-forth in advice on one's life there and here. but here recently over this last year it developed into something much more


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