tv Today in Washington CSPAN January 24, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EST
year, 24 states have passed 92 pieces of legislation to protect life. [cheers and applause] a new milestone. when you go back home and to talk to your friends and/or relatives, tell them there are two things you need to know. ask question number one, issue of life sacred in all of its forms? is it sacred? >> yes. >> and when does life begin? conception. god bless you, keep marching, cheaper and. will come back year to celebrate the end of roe v. wade. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i'm congressman of wisconsin, the former chairman of the house judiciary committee. one of the principles upon which our country was founded was freedom. last friday the obama administration took away of freedom by going against conscious protection.
and what this means is that people who are health care professionals or people who work in religious sponsored hospitals will have a choice. the choice is their faith or their job. that's not freedom. that has to be reversed. and we all will march on, talk to our elected officials at all levels of government, to make sure that is reversed. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon, pro-lifers. [cheers and applause] i'm congressman todd akin from the state of missouri. [cheers and applause] this is my 12th annual chance to join you in rain or shine or warm or cold. but this will be my last chance
to join you as a u.s. congressman. because in the state of missouri we have a pro-abortion senator that needs to go on vacation. [cheers and applause] i hope next year to join you as a u.s. senator right here continuing to fight for pro-life. [cheers and applause] god bless you all. you are standing up for the most fundamental aspect of american culture. that is, that we protect life, because no other rights mean anything if you are dead god bless you. march on. [cheers and applause] >> hello everybody. i'm congressman john fleming from the great state of louisiana. [cheers and applause] we can feel your energy and your commitment up here on stage come
in such terrible weather. we appreciate your turning out today. you know, as a physician who has delivered hundreds of babies, as a father of four and the grandfather of two, i can tell you that the taking of innocent life is never health care. do i have an agreement on that? [cheers and applause] do you realize that since roe v. wade, over 54 million innocent lives have been taken from the womb? and over 1.2 million every year occur, even 300, well, really 320,000 abortions occur just from planned parenthood alone. [booing] ladies and gentlemen, we don't know when will be able to change what has occurred from the great court this nation, but i can say
this but we're doing things every day that is reducing abortions around the country, such as requiring a 24 hour notice, such as sonograms, and many other things that we can do. and every day we see more people are now pro-life, and more than ever people say they do not want their tax money to go for abortions. keep up the great work. thank you very much. [cheers and applause] >> all these wonderful members of congress do. we have one more. [laughter] >> i cannot tell you what an honor it is to be among all of you. this year is a destiny shaping year for america and for the unborn. i promise you in the congress this year we'll hear the pain capable legislation and will hear the prenatal nondiscrimination act which will demonstrate to the world both the humanity of the child and the inhumanity of what it's done to them.
please hear this much. in this coming election we are facing one of the greatest challenges in our history. barack obama is the most pro-abortion president in history of this nation. he is the abortion president and we must defeat in if the unborn are to be protected. [cheers and applause] and so i'm going to leave you with this quote that clean national queen elizabeth said when she was facing king philips our motto. she said we see the sales approaching. we hear the sound of the guns over the water. so now we will meet them face-to-face. i come out among you to live or die amongst you all. why we stand together, know any will pass. let them come with the armies of hell, they will not pass. and win this bid is over, and when this day is over, we meet again, in heaven or the field of
victory but by the grace of god i will meet you at this time next year on the field of victory. [cheers and applause] >> yes, we want to victory and we're going to have it. i want to invite some ladies up here. we say in the pro-life movement, the celebrities that we have are the mothers and the pre-born children that are suffering under abortion. and we've got a lot of times that the other part of that equation are the mothers who are suffering who have had abortions. and i want to introduce some purely to tell you about the work they are doing, talk about the request, regrets for abortion. >> hello, i'm jenna, executive director of -- silent no more awareness campaign. [cheers and applause] this is our 10th marsh with the men and women here with their size. i regret my abortion and i
regret lost fatherhood. since gulf and the campaign over 10,000 people have joined this campaign in 67 countries. [cheers and applause] over 5000 men and women have done public or on the streets of united states and all over the world, publicly testifying to the damage is done in their lives by abortion. that's a lot of women and men who are hurting, and we are here to send a message, please come to the supreme court and hear the testimony that you are marching by the court date they are life changing and they will equip you to help those people back home. and i'm introducing my cofounder of the campaign, georgette barney. [applause] >> greetings. i'm the president of anglicans for life, and the cofounder of the silent no more awareness campaign. we are humbled to stand up here and be silent no more.
we are women and men who have come for one reason or another, had an abortion. and while they think we just talk about the babies, we know that not only does our baby die, but a part of us dies right along with that baby. the women and men that are standing behind me have courageously allowed god in to heal them, to forgive them, and to restore them. and now they courageously stand up and speak out about the injustice of abortion. we know it kills our children. now we need to people understand that it's not good for women. it's not good for man. it's not health care. women's rights do not include, do not need to include the right to die. the right to abortion. please help us get this message
out. please go to our website, silent no more awareness. we all know somebody. we are here because we care about somebody who's had an abortion. let them know that the healing programs are out there, that they don't have to live in pain and regret. silent. let them know the healing programs are out there. coder website, again, silent no more awareness.org. we want everybody to help us spread the word. there are over 1400 testimonies published on our website. lease help us get the word out. tank you and god bless. [cheers and applause] >> thank you for these dear ladies who have such courage to speak like that. guess what? with more members of congress. so welcome them now. >> good morning. this is the day the lord has made.
let us give thanks and rejoice in it. i am from the great state of new jersey alongside me is my wife, mary ellen, who along with our two college aged daughters are 100% a pro-life family. [cheers and applause] and right behind this is the halls of congress were a little over a year ago today the gavel was taken away from nancy pelosi. [cheers and applause] and handed to a pro-life congress, a congress that can speak for those who cannot speak, a congress that can act for those who cannot act, a congress now that can fight for those that cannot fight. a pro-life congress. and now, although the struggle we know continues, we know that he who first created life, that he, too, is now still in control of this universe. and so i commend everyone out here who has come from far away from home, every member what scripture tells us, that we will continue to run and not grow
thick and we will continue to walk and not grow weary, so we continue to march today for life. i commend you all as we begin this walk will continue to fight and we will not grow weary. we will defend life. god bless everyone. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon, pro-lifers. [cheers and applause] pro-american's. [cheers and applause] i am congresswoman jean schmidt from the great state of ohio. [cheers and applause] and i'm here to challenge you to help me make sure that we are in continue to be the greatest nation in the world, a nation under god, and god planned for us to. [cheers and applause] on friday, as you've recently heard by my good friend,
mr. sensenbrenner, this administration attacked one of the basic core of what makes america great. not only has our right to life being under continuous attack for the last 39 years, but now our right to be the person that we want to be, the right to liberty. ladies and gentlemen, young folks in this audience, that is the cornerstone and the foundation that makes us unique, unparalleled across the world. by removing the conscience clause, this administration is now forcing us to choose between our right to be the person we want to be, to have a religious expression, and a job.
i have to repeat that. we will now have to choose between our core beliefs, our religious belief, and in some cases our jobs. the erosion is frightening. you and i have the voice to change it. i ask you to join me in that voice. god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon, pro-lifers. [cheers and applause] im ann marie buerkle from the great state of new york, and let me say hello to all my fellow new yorkers out there. [cheers and applause] thank you, thank you, thank you for your willingness to stand here every year and fight for the right to life.
you are the hero. we need you. and to all of the young people in the audience, thank you for being strong and for being willing to stand up to protect all life. ladies and gentlemen, every life regardless of the circumstance has intrinsic value because it was created i god. we know that. we now need to convince the rest of the country. we stand for life. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i'm congressman and here is, one of the pro-life physicians in congress. [cheers and applause] >> thank you all for being here, especially my son danny, daughter jessica somewhere out there. worked hard this year because we are one election away from restoring america as a pro-life nation, thank you. [cheers and applause]
i'm from nebraska and i am pro-life. [cheers and applause] >> thank you all so much for coming here today but young people it saddens my heart i have to say this to you. president obama is not with you. president obama is against you. president obama and his administration are aggressively pro-abortion and are actively undermining religious freedom and the rights of conscience. so as you march today, please know as well that his secretary of health and human services has recently said, kathleen sebelius, secretary sebelius said we are at war come in who she at war with? with you. people who believe in the sanctity of human life and that women deserve better. so thank you for standing up for your rights, you write for free speech, right for assembly, and no today that as you march you are "speaking truth to power." god bless you. [cheers and applause]
>> imi kelly from northwest pennsylvania, from the keystone state. the rain can't dampen our spirits and his administration can't dampen our mission. we are here today for one reason and one reason only and that is to defend life. you are truly occupying washington. thank you for what you do and god bless you. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i'm congressman mike from the great state of kansas. [cheers and applause] it was just 20 years ago, 20 years ago in my hometown in wichita, the summer of mercy. [cheers and applause] were a flame was lit and all of you here today are a testament to the great commitment to protect every human life from conception until natural death. making so much for what you are doing. it is truly the lord's work. with a big fight ahead of us for the next 11 months and years to
come. we've made a ton of progress to thank you for what you do and may god bless beach and everyone of you, you. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. my name is jeb and i'm from the great state of louisiana. that's right, this year louisiana made the union's top state for pro-life issues. yes, for the second time in three years we see in the has been named the most pro-life state in the union. [cheers and applause] so that means the rest of y'all have to be challenged. you have to take us down. so remember, i want you to take that challenge on, please pray for life, preach for life, and politics for life. thank you all. [cheers and applause]
>> how is everybody doing. [cheers and applause] i and john duffy from the great state of wisconsin. happy to be a with all of you. u. r. all the unsung heroes of the greatest civil rights battle of our generation. [cheers and applause] now, today we are not only marching on the half of it millions of babies who have lost their life to the violence of abortion, but you are also standing with their mothers who have quietly suffered from the greatest lie ever told. the lie that their babies were not wanted and that their babies were not human. thank you for exposing that lie. keep up the fire. keep the faith. god bless, and game on. [cheers and applause] >> hi, i'm congressman thompson from the state of pennsylvania
and. [cheers and applause] i want to thank you so much rubbing her own behalf of the unborn today. i know you've traveled long distance to get personally sacrificed to be are so got to tell you it's worth a. you're making a difference. you're making a difference for the unborn. each one of us here today can give thanks to the crater for life and thanks for must for delivering us alive. i am proudest in one or% pro-life and proud to stand with you on the fundamental and the constitutional right to life. thank you for what you do. [cheers and applause] >> hey, everybody. my name is randy holborn from illinois, just outside of chicago. thank you for being here. i am here in congress to fight for life. there is no more important fight that we are going up over this next year these next month been to fight for life. thank you for being here but i am so encouraged by all the young people that are here. and that is when playing here to sing their dying because we have
the young people committed to life. god bless you. e. praying for our leader. be praying for this election. let's come back next year and celebrate winning the fight for life. god bless you all. [cheers and applause] >> we will have more members of congress in a few minutes. you know, you always hear the pro-life movement doesn't have alternatives but we do. we have pregnancy crisis centers. we have adoption, all sorts of things. we are going to hear right now from chris snow, founder of the good counsel homes about the work pregnancy aid centers and how important they are to the pro-life battle. chris? >> hey, would also have maternity homes throughout this nation, from bangor to miami keys to new york to san francisco. if a woman is pregnant and she needs help, she needs a house,
and she needs long-term care, not only through birth, but after birth, good counsel, and dozens and hundreds of maternity homes are there to take her in to care for her and to love her. don't we have enough love in our nation for another baby to be born? jew emacs good counsel. good counsel homes.org is there to help women with a national hotline and our website. we are partnering with dozens of other maternity homes, a couple of whom are represented here today and we will share with you briefly how we are helping mothers before, during and after birth. we are forming a national network. if you are pregnant or know someone who is, or if you want to help a maternity home today,
e-mailed maternity homes at gmail.com. thank you and god bless you. then here is mary peterson. >> hello. my name is mary. i represent homes in arizona and in cleveland, ohio. any situation than any difficult into a safe and loving community and we are eager to welcome any women that need it. if you would like to support a maternity home and if it like to start a maternity home, or if you're pregnant and need of support, please e-mail the turn of the homes at gmail.com. [cheers and applause] >> i'm gloriously with our lady's attorney homes in st. louis, missouri, and i first and second webpages said but i also like to add one thing. we can take care of the mothers but we need some help with the
fathers. we need more programs for men. i hope i challenge some people out there to start some programs to help men become fathers. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you all so much for that work of what you're doing. okay, come on up. i will be right back. we talk about the future of the pro-life movement. we have now wonderful -- come on up here and introduce the students of one of the student contest. >> we hold this contest, as many of you know, every year, and then it's very competitive and then we pick the winners of the best high school, junior high essay poem and post it. so i just want you to meet these winners this year.
the first winner from the high school essay is morgan wit. [cheers and applause] okay, the junior high winner for the essay is becka kennedy from -- [cheers and applause] from iowa. [cheers and applause] >> morgan by the way is from matthews north carolina. third when it is rich enough from waynesville ohio. winner of the high school poem contest. our next win is maggie stein from maryland. [cheers and applause] winner of the junior high poem contest. put it up. okay. our next winner for the poster for junior high is sarah from
owensboro kentucky. [cheers and applause] did i get everybody? [inaudible] oh, yeah, sorry. my apologies. the winner for the high school poster contest is at the foul of woodstock maryland. [cheers and applause] thank you ladies, all. next year we would like some gentlemen to enter this contest, too, you know. all right. thank you. >> well, we have more members of congress now. we want to introduce them. temple here and let's give them a big applause.
[cheers and applause] howdy, i'm lloyd gomer from the state of texas. and we are all here as dear friends for life, right? well, then franklin called it the sacred writing, the sacred writing says the whole children a heritage from the lowered, the food of the womb is a reward. like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so were the children of one's youth. happy is the person who has a quiver full of them. 50 million dead babies. it's not a reward, it's an indictment. my dear friends for life, the same selfish arrogance and reckless disregard that would allow life to be taken, and one generation to take a life after life after life i'm a future
generation will also allow a generation to forge change made of mountains of debt to set on those they do allow to be born. it's wrong. and the beginning is with the indictment for allowing so many unborn to be killed. having allowed my child free, free, prima born -- to hold onto my thing for eight hours, nonstop, i came to know they want to live. they want to live. [cheers and applause] >> let me just finish this with the statement you ought to know, it ought to be inscribed on the heart and i want you to finish the one word end of the statement. liberty and the pursuit of happiness can never begin and
until you allow -- [inaudible] god bless you. thank you for being here. >> congressman tim hill from the state of kansas. [cheers and applause] time here today, my wife and three of our for adopted children. isn't adoption great? [cheers and applause] and for the founding of this country to the end of the most violent institution, it took 89 years for this country to rid ourselves of slavery. 89 years. today, it's been 39 years, the other has corroded our nation. we can't wait another 50 years. we can't wait to end abortion. we can't wait.
to end abortion. thank you for being here today. [cheers and applause] >> hello, everyone. my name is bobby schilling from the great state of illinois. [cheers and applause] joined by my wife christie of 25 years. [cheers and applause] with six of our 10 children. [cheers and applause] mother teresa said, saying this to me children is like saying there are too many flowers. we've got to stick together, we've got to continue this fight. adoption is a beautiful thing. we never had been talking about that. we need to press on, stay focused, to get this to an end. god bless each and every one of you. press on.
[cheers and applause] >> thank you. my name is congressman joe barton of texas, and let me just say, i wish roe v. wade had been made -- may 22 in bless janet 22nd. god bless each and every one of you for coming out in his measurable whether to show that you are for life. i am a lifetime 95% pro-life congressman. i guarantee you that we will eliminate rove versus wade, and i hope we do it sooner rather than later. we appreciate your inspiration by coming to washington to show the country, not just the congress, that this is a pro-life country. god bless you and god bless yours. thank you for being here. [cheers and applause]
>> i'm jim jordan from ohio. my favorite scripture, i thought the good fight. i kept the faith. [cheers and applause] and that is an attitude that is always -- is the attitude we did most at this critical for air nation's history. so keep that in mind as you continue to fight. thank you for what you're doing. and always go with a smile on your face but i will finish with the i love this story, the david added to come to know the story when the issue let's were can't a stability for everyday that goes goes intent with walkout and issue the challenge, who will fight the life. he so big we can never defeat them. but david's response was, he so big i can't mess. that's our attitude. keep it up. [cheers and applause] >> great job, jim boeheim steve chabot from cincinnati. don't have any ohio folks out there? we do, excellent, excellent. it's cold out here today.
it's way. you've heard a lot of speeches i'm going to keep my remarks very brief. yesterday january 22 was the anniversary of perhaps the most disgraceful decision ever to come out of the united states supreme court, that resulted in the slaughter of 53 million innocents, roe v. wade. and yesterday january 22 was something else. it was my birthday. thank you very much. and yesterday as i enjoy spending my birthday with my family, i couldn't help but think of all of those precious little souls who were never born, never got the opportunity to experience the wonders of life that we all have because their mothers decided to end their life as they were just getting started. let's change that, let's reverse roe v. wade. [cheers and applause]
>> and in order to do that let's make sure that we still have a pro-life house as we do now. let's make sure, let's elect a pro-life senate. [cheers and applause] and perhaps, and perhaps most importantly let's make sure that the most pro-abortion president in american history, barack obama, no longer occupies the white house when we come back next year. [cheers and applause] thank you. god bless you all. thank you. >> roscoe bartlett, maryland. maryland, where are you? thank you. we've been together now here for 20 years and we're making progress in abortion rates are down. i think one of the main reasons they are down is older sound. as a medical teacher i knew that you older sound to somebody who
sees it, it's a baby come it's not just the tissue growth. with our tech savvy young people coming of age, we will make you more progress in the future. roe v. wade will be history sooner rather than later. thank you very much. keep on keeping on. [cheers and applause] >> my name is chuck fleischman and i hail from the great state of tennessee. [cheers and applause] i'm a freshman but one of the issues i ran on and i serve so strong is the right to life. let us come together as a nation what it is rain or shine -- snorkeled on this issue is the issue of our lifetime. let stand in opposition to roe v. wade. let stand up for the sanctity of life from conception until the great. and god bless the great state of tennessee and the united states of america. and god bless you all for coming out today. thank you. [cheers and applause]
>> hi, i'm 50 hearts were from the great state of missouri and i'm so glad -- [cheers and applause] so glad you here and so on it to be a part of the largest pro-life glass of freshman in congress is history. i'm also glad to serve with the largest group of pro-life women in congress and to take back our country and to remind them that we have a greater and our creator has granted a certain unable rise quickly life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. and with your help we will continue to stand strong for life, keep the faith can keep working, keep praying and let's get involved in this election. thank you so much. [cheers and applause] >> my name is james langford from oklahoma city, and it is great to see you out here in the rain. at me just say to you, thank you, god bless you for coming and standing in the rain and stand for life. year come from all over the country.
you husband your own money to be the standout in the middle of the city and to say to america, this has to end. what happened to our founders when they wrote down we hold these truths to be self-evident, to be obvious that our creator has endowed each of us with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. it is not up to the choice of a woman to choose whether that child has the right to life. god has given that life to that child and that is the one that makes the decision who has the right to life. our committee was the one that stood up and said it is obama administration you cannot go back to the catholic bishops and say you can just preclude service to human trafficking because the catholic bishops would not encourage abortion. not just provide but even encourage abortion and so they're pushed away. we need to stand for the basic rights of every church of every american to say that is a life, not just tissue. god bless you for what you are doing. [cheers and applause]
>> time tim waldron, congressman from michigan, seventh district. [cheers and applause] go blue, go green. thank you so much for being here. you know how much encourage my wife and myself, we are parents of three. we have for grandkids, one in heaven, to on the ground, and one in the womb. [cheers and applause] who says you can't be a grandparent of one who is pre-birth, who wanted one as a life. and i look for demeaning the little guy in less than a month. [cheers and applause] i praise god for you being here, standing for life. we are a force of redemption, aren't we? we gaming those that have been consigned to death with other choice, redeeming the young ladies have been sold a bill of goods that is a lie. and ultimately responding to the same when he said you might have life, and life abundantly. he was the redeemer. we thank god for him. thank god that he was not aborted and broad of salvation.
we too can follow after his patterns. god bless america as we respond to his truth and support life. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> hi, i'm bill johnson and i'm another one of your conservative pro-life representatives from the great state of ohio. [cheers and applause] and i am so honored and humbled to be here with you, the thousands of you who are showing up today to choose life. our founding fathers had it right when they said that our creator has endowed us with certain unable right, and it was no accident that life was the first one of those rights that they mentioned. as a father of four and as a grandfather of five, i know how precious life is. and as a 26 year veteran of the air force, i also know what the sacrifices our that are required to protect life. you can better believe i in my colleagues here are going to
continue to fight washington to prevent your tax dollars from funding of abortion. [cheers and applause] god bless you. god bless america. let's keep this fight up. thank you for being your. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i'm from the great state of tennessee representing the appalachian mountains. thank you for those of you all who are here today in the rain. last year for those of you who are here in the cold and for those of you have been here for decades to carry on this fight. for the last 31 years i made pro-life bob kind doctor delivered almost 5000 children's. [cheers and applause] >> the group that i am in delivered almost over 25,000 babies here and those children, have lived there long enough to see them grow up to be teachers and lawyers and doctors and and coaches, little league coaches and they have become my friends. i cannot imagine this world
without those great people. 20 years ago i delivered a young man who, very few people get to do this, too, 18 years later, i recommended him to the air force academy. to all those veterans that are out to protect this nation would not be here. icsi renovator that says michigan loves life. so does tennessee, and so do you wonderful people here here to protect life. and you all for coming and being out here in this weather, this weather come and get my solemn promise that the last breath of my body i will fight for life in this great nation. god bless each and every one of you. [cheers and applause] >> you guys look good out there. [cheers and applause] i'm allen west the great state of florida. [cheers and applause] you know, yesterday i use this as my devotional, in god we
still trust. but what i wanted to share with you the words come that devotional yesterday. it starts off first timothy, six, 13, god gives life to all things. [cheers and applause] here now the words of ronald reagan. the 40th president of the united states, abraham lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land with some men could decide that others would not be fit to be free and, therefore, should be slaved. likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion. those were the words of reagan and they resonate still to the day. but here are the words of abraham lincoln. my administration is dedicated
to the preservation of america as a free land, and there's no cost and more important for preserving that freedom that reaffirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning. you are here today because thomas jefferson said you have an unalienable right to come from our creator, first and foremost is life, and that's why we stand here, that's what i stand here for each and every one of you, and may god bless you today. to fight, shall not end until we protect our unborn. and god bless you all and thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank god for such a wonderful, courageous senators of congress. let's give him a big cheer. [cheers and applause] and let's continue to support them and encourage them and let
them know that you appreciate their standing up for life. you know, pro-life movement doesn't just stand for the babies but there are other issues involved, too. and that includes the end of life issues. we all remember the tragic case of terri schindler sligo and all we face in a situation. there's a ministry and end of life ministries that was thrown out of that circumstance and i want to introduce bobby schindler and his brother paul to talk about that. [cheers and applause] >> give them a big and. >> hello, pro-life america. i want to thank march of life for giving us this opportunity. since 1973, i have been here at this march pictures i am on the outside. today i am here on behalf of of
the terri schiavo life and hope network. we need to proclaim as a pro-life movement immunity that we care about all life, innocent human life from womb to tomb. we need to proclaim that we will not let obamacare kill the pre-born child or the elderly or disabled. we need to remember that euthanasia follow the abortion just as night will follow this day. i am on the podium here with bobby schindler, the brother of terri schiavo. i'd like a bobby to say a few words to you now. >> ladies and gentlemen, we're here today to recognize the horrible truths of abortion occurring every day in our nation. so we must understand the
reality the deliberate killing of our brain injured is also happening. accounts health care facilities across the country every single day. if we don't defend the value and dignity of our disabled, elderly and vulnerable brothers and sisters, will never defeat this insidious culture of death. we need your help and are asking you and the pro-life leaders, and the organizations, to join us in this battle to end health care rationing's and euthanasia by going to our website, life and hope.com. we also want to remind those who have been elected to public office and those running for public office who claim to be pro-life, the responsibility they have to protect all innocent life, including those persons like my sister, terri schiavo. thank you, for your ongoing support and may god bless you.
and please go to lifeandhope.com to learn how you can help. thank you all for being here. god bless you. [cheers and applause] .. >> we account for over 30% for all abortions in this country, and it ends today. this is the day we with end abortion everywhere, and i want to thank you for all of your help. god bless you. [cheers and applause] >> now we bring our final word
of greeting before pastor luke robinson comes to do our closing prayer. >> you have no idea how wonderful you look today. after all of the suffering and misery we have with cold and rain. it shows the determination of the pro-life movement, despite the rain and the cold! [cheers and applause] thank you very much for coming and bringing all your people, and i know there are many school children here, many churches and schools. i thank you and welcome you to march up to the capitol and the supreme court. god bless you! [cheers and applause] >> and now pastor or luke robinson of the ame church from frederick, maryland, is going to come and bring some remarks and our closing prayer. pastor luke, god bless you,
brother! [cheers and applause] >> god bless america and god bless you. they've asked me to have a little bit more than the 30 seconds, and i thank god for it. beloved, we've got to make a change. the grace of the lord jesus christ be with all of you today. i am surely blessed by those who stand with me today, and i am also blessed by many more who stand with me, with us, this nation and even the whole world for this cause of life. we are here because injustice is here. 39 years ago our supreme court decided to legally kill children in america. 39 years ago america bought into the lie that it could not determine when human life began. how sad and how tragic has been
the consequences of this lie. these supreme ones were not wise enough to determine the beginning of human life, and thus have poisoned this nation into a bloody sea of human death with the murder of over 52 million innocent children! this must stop guy. [cheers and applause] studies are shown that abortion has, has tremendously increased breast cancer among women. this is a fatal decision handed down in roe v. wade. women have been sterilized, raped found dead on the abortion table. this -- [inaudible] [cheers and applause] 17 million of the aborted children, one-third are african-american children. they are like me.
they're black like me. they are black like the president in the white house, mr. obama. well, i am sorry to say today that they will never have a chance to be president of the united states! they will never have a chance to talk, they will never have a chance to love, they will never have a chance to experience what we are experiencing! [cheers and applause] that must stop. on this platform and at this rally today are african-americans who do help to make america a great nation. we were here in the beginning of this great republic. but today like so many americans, our hearts are heavy, our voice needs to be clearly heard for justice! [cheers and applause] we, we are troubled, we are troubled because our country's increasingly embracing the culture of death. we have lost the light that ghei us the strength -- gave us the strength to overcome all of the
obstacles of our past histories. we have lost the light that gave us truth. we now call evil good, and good evil. so today we stand here on this platform with all americans of goodwill to call for an end to the culling of children by the -- the killing of children by the state called abortion. [cheers and applause] we also call for the end of devaluation of human life. why, recently i was in el salvador, i was with the former high official of that country. i was told of the devaluation of how many life. -- human life. i was told that some children were being adopted by foreigners for the purpose of taking their body parts. the adopted child was killed so that they could live. this must stop! [cheers and applause] we know that abortion is a choice, and it is a choice, but it is a bad and it is an evil choice. it is a wrong choice. we know that some call it legal, but dr. martin luther king jr.
once said from a birmingham jail, we should never forget that everything that adolf hitler did was legal, and everything that the hung hungarn freedom fighters was illegal. it was illegal to aid incumbents jews in hitler's germany. even though, dr. kick -- king said, if i had lived in germany at that time, i would have aided the jews who are my brother. if today i lived in a communist country where certain principles deal to make the christian faith unreal, he said i would openly advocate disobeying that country's anti-religious principles! we must stand up in america and awe are not going to take it anymore! [cheers and applause] the african-american community must come onboard! we must stand up and stand up
now. [cheers and applause] we say from this platform today that the african-american must also reject abortion because it's wrong and evil. we take note that our president, mr. obama, has spent more time with planned parenthood and other organizations that have been founded to destroy the life of so many human beings made in the image of god. in fact, he has spent more time with a culture of death than he has with a culture of life, and he has spent for time with the culture of life -- of death that he has on our economic troubles. he even has spent more time encouraging planned parenthood, etc., with their outrageous killing of americans and people around -- he supports, he says he will not support the doma, defense of america act, and we
say we need strong families in america. we need strong families. we need godly leadership. >> that's right. >> last year it was reported that the african-american community of new york was being devastated by abortion. the report was that 60% of all the impregnations of new york city in the african-american community ended in the death of the children! that meant that out of every 1 o o -- 100 impregnations, 60 dies and 40 lived. suppose it was 100,000 impression nations? it meant that 60,000 died and -- suppose it was a million people. my god, if it was a million people, it means that 600,000 people would have died and only
400,000 live! this is a tragedy! it is a tragedy in america. it's a tragedy in the african-american commitment. [cheers and applause] it's genocidal. it is duction of a people. destruction of a people. where is the voice of president obama? where is the voice of jesse jackson? where is the voice of al sharpton? where is the voice of the black congressional caucus? where is the voice of the great democratic party? this -- where is senator chuck assume or of new york? -- schumer of new york? where's senator kirsten gill brand from new york? where is the voice of the naacp on this issue? where is african-american church on this issue? they're all silent for the most part.
could it be, could it possibly be that the billion dollar abortion business have bought them out? in the days of old, jesse jackson spoke out against abortion. however, when he ran for president in 1984 and '88, he changed his pro-life status to pro-death. i wonder if abortion blood money got to him. the abortion business will spend big bucks to support those who will fulfill the killing of children. many of these so-called protectors of minorities have supported the evil workings of the abortion industry. they support planned parenthood. the u.s. government accountability office reported that planned parenthood federation of america cannot find some $1.3 billion given to them of taxpayers' money. why can't they find snit if you
miss a few dollars, the irs would be on your case! [cheers and applause] why can't they find it? it is reported that planned parenthood was caught aiding and abetting sex trafficking in this country. we've got to bring it to an end! december 9, 2009, a new undercover planned parenthood video from lionel rose showed planned parenthood accepting donations targeting african-americans only. let me say to you, if that ain't a wake-up call, i don't know what is! [cheers and applause] these so-called freedom fighters are just the instruments of the culture of death. they want with us to be silent because the president is a black man. but he and his administration is leading this nation and
especially the african-americans to absolute destruction. there are none so blind as those who will not see. none so deaf as those who refuse to hear! and this november, this november, this november, this november 2012 we must take this nation back guy. [cheers and applause] we must take this nation back! [cheers and applause] we must take this nation back from the princes of darkness and the culture of death. we must work to defeat this -- yeah! it ought to be defeated! it only should have one term. no more! enough is enough! [cheers and applause] >> preach, preacher!
>> we must work to defeat this administration and every member of congress that doesn't have enough sense to know that life is precious in the sight of almighty god. they're alive, america! the abortion industry and the so-called pro-choice, they are lying! and we are dying. let all people and all nations get onboard and stop the slaughter of the innocent human life by abortion. let us move to heal women and to heal families and heal children and for the aftereffect of what abortion has dope and is doing -- has done and is doing to this great nation! [cheers and applause] i'm almost done. [laughter] that's my introduction. [laughter] jesus said unto them, and i'm going to close this way, these
are my closing statements. i say unto you, i am the -- [inaudible] of the sheep. all that ever came before me are thieves and robbers. i am the -- [inaudible] but if any man enter, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and -- [inaudible] the bible says. but for -- [inaudible] they have stolen our children, they have stolen our future, and they are about to kill this nation. i am come that they might have life and that they might have more abundance. i am the good shepherd. yz is the good shepherd! jesus is the good shepherd! [cheers and applause] i am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
[inaudible] and we must put the howlings of murder, we must send them packing. life is better, beloved, beloved, we need to change. now, listen what i said. they came out with this thing, we need change. i've got a new twist to it. we need to change! we need to change these rascals before the nation be laying down on the ground. i will look to the hills from whence cometh my help. my help comes from the lord who made us all, who made the heaven. god bless you and god bless america! [cheers and applause] >> let's do it! let's do it! let's take america back!
let's pray. thank you so much for coming. thank you for standing in this rain, all the sacrifice you made. father, in the name of jesus christ, we love you because you have first loved us. we thank you, god, for the privilege of life. how you breathed into us, how you've been our source of strength, how you made this country a great country because we trusted in you. would you, please, open up the eyes of those who are blind that they might see? and for those who refuse to see, would you give us grace to give them a great retirement party on november 6, 2012? in the name of jesus, we pray, amen! [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ god bless america, land that i
♪ god bless america, my home sweet home ♪ [cheers and applause] >> amen, amen. and as we start our march today, now remember just take your time, make sure you pick up your trash and your signs, take everything with you. take your time. if you have any problems, who do you -- talk to the marshals. look for a marshal, you know, the march for life logo on his hat or shirt, and he'll help you, or she'll help you, i don't know, do we have -- anyway, ask for a marshal if you need help. we just thank you all for coming out here. take your time, be in a spirit of prayer.
and, wow, this is a beautiful sight, seeing all of you here standing up for the free born children. god bless you all. i think you guys have a couple of more numbers to keep us marching? all right, remember, pick up your trash, and we'll see you on the other end. god bless. >> this morning on c-span2, speech writers from the george h.w. bush, clinton/gore and george w. bush administrations. they'll talk about what to expect in tonight's state of the union speech, and the mechanics of writing a major national speech. the discussion will come to us live from the bipartisan policy center this morning at 8:30 a.m. eastern. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states! [cheers and applause] >> tonight, president obama delivers his state of the union address. live coverage begins at 8 p.m.
eastern including the president's speech, republican response by indiana governor mitch daniels, and your phone calls live on c-span and c-span radio. on c-span2 watch the president's speech along with tweets from members of congress. and after the address more reaction from house members and senators. throughout the night go online for live video and to add your comments using facebook and twitter at c-span.org. >> supporters of abortion rights gathered on the steps of the supreme court yesterday to mark the 39th anniversary of roe v. wade. the president of the national organization for women, terry o'neill, spoke to the crowd. [cheers and applause] >> one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime before the age of 45. abortion care is a common and essential part of a woman's normal reproductive health care
needs. now, you hear a lot of noise coming from over there, and they're talking and shouting and singing and making a lot of noise about abortion. but guess what action they're taking? the action they're taking is not so much about abortion although it's -- [inaudible] they're going after birth control. they're going after women's access to birth control. how does that make sense? if you really oppose abortion rights, if they really don't want women to have abortion, why don't they make birth control universeally available at no cost to all women? [cheers and applause] and we see hypocrisy before, we'll see it keep coming. and this year what we are looking at is more right-wing attacks not just on women's reproductive rights, but on the very programs that women rely on more than ever. we are experiencing an economic
downturn in our country that shows no sign of significantly letting up for years. this is a time when women need access to birth control and their families need access to birth control and the full range of reproductive health care. that's what we demand, that is what we say we have have no less than that. every woman has a right to the full range of reproductive health care choices. so thank you all for being here. we're going to turn in a circle very soon and have a silent vigil for all of the women who have been shamed about needing an abortion, who have been, who have been prevented from having an abortion that they needed to have. we will invite women to speak their minds when they feel comfortable and when they feel safe. we will create a circle of safety and support for women on this day when we celebrate the supreme court's decision, and
when we rededicate ourselves to our determination never to give up this right, never go back and never give up. thank you very much. [cheers and applause] [inaudible conversations] >> blessed is the fruit of our womb, jesus. holy mary, mother of god, pray for us sinners. the lord is with thee. blessed are thou amongst women, blessed is the fruit of our womb, jesus. holy mary, mother of god, pray for us sinners. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our web site, and you can join in the conversation on social media
sites. >> this morning on c-span2, speech writers from the george h.w. bush, clinton/gore and george w. bush administrations. they'll talk about what to expect in tonight's state of the union speech and the mechanics of writing a major national speech. the discussion is live from the bipartisan policy center this morning at #u 30 eastern. -- 8:30 eastern. until that event gets underway, we'll show you as much as we can of mississippi governor phil bryant's inaugural address. [applause] >> place your left hand on the bible, raise your right hand, repeat after me. i, state your name. >> i, phil bryant -- >> do solemnly swear -- >> do solemnly ware --
>> that i will faithfully support -- >> that i will faithfully support -- >> the constitution of the united states -- >> the constitution of the united states -- >> and the constitution of the state of mississippi -- >> and the constitution of the state of mississippi -- >> and obey the laws thereof. >> and obey the laws thereof. >> that i am not disqualified -- >> that i am not disqualified -- >> from holding the office of -- >> from holding the office of -- >> governor of the state of mississippi. >> governor of the state of mississippi. >> that i will faithfully discharge -- >> that i will faithfully discharge -- >> the duties of the office -- >> the duties of the office -- >> upon which i am on the to enter. >> upon which i am about to enter. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. thank you, sir. [cheers and applause] there are --
oath of office. governor barbour, speaker gunn, senate and house members and all elected officials, i offer a warm welcome with profound gratitude for your presence here today. i'm joined on this delightful occasion by my family both immediate and extended. holding my grandmother's bible for my oath of office. the one who has supported my dreams and challenges for over 35 years. the person who has held my heart in her hands, my wonderful and patient wife and our new first lady, deborah. [cheers and applause]
>> governor, she said keep it short. [laughter] also here are my two children, katie and patrick, who are the light of my life, and steven who will soon join our family as katie's husband. i am so grateful for god's great gift of such a beloved family. my two older brothers are here today by my side as they have been since my earliest memory. larry, the oldest, set the example with his passion for success and dedication to achieve. chuck, the middle child, has been the balance between hard work and a love for life. i am here today because i stood on their shoulders.
our parents, dewey and estelle, would have been el callly proud of their -- equally proud of their children today. our mother was the lighthouse and the light that would bring us home when we lost our way. they were simply the best part of our lives, and we loved them with all our hearts. so my mother-in-law, doris hayes, i extend a heartfelt l thanks for your acceptance and your willingness to allow your daughter to marry a deputy sheriff so many years ago. [laughter] i know you all both hayes and applewhites must be equally surprised today. [laughter] but you are my family. my world would have been empty without your love and support. to former speaker billy mccoy, i am honored that you are here, mr. speaker, and thankful for our years of service together. i ask god's blessings upon you
and yours. speaker ford, thank you fur your leadership -- for your leadership when i was such a young house member. god bless you. to newly-elected speaker phillip gunn, i extend a hearty congratulations, and i look forward to our time together as you serve the great citizens of our beloved mississippi. and i want to give a very special thank you to governor barbour and first lady marsha for their leadership and service during most trying times of this state. mississippi will long remember and appreciate your dedication and sacrifice. i think i can speak for all of mississippi when i say, well done, our true and faithful servants. [applause]
>> a tough act to follow. in addition to my parents, there are others i wish could be here today. now, pat would have been gracious with her comments, and kurt would have said, keep it short, phil. [laughter] i was elected to the house of representatives on the same day kurt was with elected governor. i ran for that office after i had the rare opportunity to visit the white house to meet president ronald reagan in 1996. inspired by his admonition to rise above my own self-interests and to stay the course of his conservative revolution, i returned to mississippi determined to make a difference. i've been blessed on my journey with some unique perspectives of this wonderful place.
i've seen it from behind the badge as a deputy sheriff, as mississippi keeps the peace. i've seen it from the records of state auditor how mississippi spends its money, and i've seen it from the floor of the senate as to how mississippi makes it laws. and i might add, from the floor of the house of representatives. at each step along the way, i have marveled at our people. i give my sincerest thanks to the incredible people of mississippi who made this day possible. you are truly amazing in my eyes which makes my presence here today as your governor even all the more humbling. today we start a new administration, one that will reflect upon the success of our past with admiration and respect. while looking for greater achievements in our future. and it would be timid and insincere to believe that our problems are all solved and our
shared potential exhausted. we must dedicate ourselves to the belief that we may fall separately, but we will surely rise together. and if we are to rise together, we must do so with the inherent characteristics of mississippi. you see, we are a people of character who value hard work and treasure loyalty to our family, our state and our country. and as the prophet isaiah described so long ago, we are a people of faith who will soar on wings like eagles. we will run and not grow weary. we will walk and not grow faint because our trust is in the lord. with the lord's blessings, i want to help the people of mississippi to be a people of opportunity. i know they are, and there are four important opportunities that we will start our work with here today. every mississippian should have the opportunity to be gainfully
employed right here at home. every mississippian should have the opportunity to actually learn from the best educational system we can offer. and every mississippian should have the opportunity to be born into a mature, two-parent family. every mississippian should have the opportunity to make sure that his or her tax dollars are put to proper use. so, first, our most important work is to make sure that mississippians have work. providing job opportunity is critical for mississippi's long-term success. and there are two sectors we can foster that have incredible promise to bring more jobs to mississippi over the next decade. energy and health care. mississippi is becoming a center of power, the very power that fuels modern life, natural gas, biofuel, solar power, clean coal technology and tertiary oil recovery are adding to our position as a leader in the
energy economy of the 21st century. mississippi cannot only create thousands of home grown jobs with an energy economy, but we can help this nation become energy independent while we do it. [applause] mississippi's other potential growth sector for enhancement is health care. now, just look around us. many of us here today are baby boomers, and whether it was hula hoops, automobiles or housing, we've driven the economy since the 1950s. we will now need additional health care. to meet this demand, i have proposed adding a thousand new physicians by 2025 knowing that even doctor and the support service surrounding that position will bring in $2 million into the community in which he or she will settle. to do this, we will complete our
new medical school as we have a -- as we also plan for new medical zones across mississippi. thousands of jobs will be created by this public and private venture, it's just the beginning. the lives that will be saved, the disease that could be eradicated and the education of the nation's finest medical professionals will be transformational. together we can enhance the health of our bodies and the health of our economy at the same time. governor barbour and i have had a singular focus on economic development for an important reason. when a mississippian has a job, it changes absolutely everything. a mississippian with a job doesn't need public assistance, adds taxes to the state treasury, is an example of responsibility to his or her children and is more likely to avoid crime, to vote and to participate in the community. [applause]
thank you. 24r-rb and we all know state government can't create jobs, but we can remove as many objections as -- obstacles as practical to make our state a magnet for the people and companies who do. every day i am governor i will make my job, my job will make sure to assure that mississippians have a job of their own. second, we must change our discussion on education from one of only dollars and cents to one that makes sense. early childhood learning, charter schools -- [applause] classroom redesign. [applause] and our qualifying standards for new teachers will be our goal. we must also attack the dropout rate by allowing the children, our children to take standard high school exams and work force learning community college at the same time.
a dropout who would otherwise be preordained as a societal failure could be valued as a craftman with such programs. we must refocus our efforts on the most important factor in education. a child's ability to read. [applause] we know, we know a child who cannot read at a standard level by the fourth grade is almost always destined to failure. we cannot continue to stand by and allow this failure for mississippi's children. the future our children live in will be written, and i want them to be able to read it. third, the epidemic of teenage pregnancy in this state must come to an end. [applause] churches, schools, community
organizations and, most importantly, families must realize that the highest teen pregnancy rate in america will eventually cripple our state. such a change in societal norms is, in fact, possible. forty years ago, think back, 40 years ago many of you may have been smoking during this ceremony. that was the norm, even in this chamber, and few would have noticed. society, however, decided that smoking was harmful, and a slow, but certain repudiation of that habit began. a similar attitude must move forward regarding teen pregnancy. it must begin throughout mississippi society with every church, health care provider, teacher and employer who must help in identifying teen pregnancy as an activity as challenging as smoking. friends, we can no longer turn our heads and pretend the
problem doesn't exist. teen pregnancy in mississippi must be reduced if we are to reach our full potential. finally, our people need to know that their precious tax dollars that they send the -- to jackson are spent with the utmost care. mississippi's budget process is broken, and it must be fixed. our state cannot be successful in the 21st century with a budget system from the 19th. most importantly -- >> just a moment or two left in this inauguration speech. you can see it in its entirety at c-span.org. we are going live now to the bipartisan policy center as this morning they brought together speech writers from the last three administrations to talk about what to expect in tonight's state of the union address and the republican response. this is just getting underway. >> we'll be recapping the entire season at our fourth annual political summit in new orleans. this morning of the state of the
union address we are fortunate to have with us four seasoned speech writers who anticipate and frame the president's speech this evening and the republican response. our moderator is the always-insightful richard wolffe. he's also the author of the best-selling book "renegade," detailing his travels with obama during the 2008 campaign. you may recognize him from his frequent appearances on msnbc and nbc. richard, welcome. >> thank you. thank you all for coming. we have a wonderful panel here today to talk about the -- is this on, by the way if is --? can you hear me okay? one of the best and worst nights for speech writers ever. you have all the attention of this high-profile event, and you have all the fiddling hands with your finest prose that comes with a group effort like the state of the union. i also think the life of a speech writer which we want to get into today is one of the best and the worst jobs in the
white house because for all of the access you get to the boss and all of the creativity that comes with it, everyone likes to get down on top of the speech writers and be tough on them. i was talking to a recent entrant into the white house, a white house official who said when i asked how's it going, are you working hard, she said, yeah, i'm working hard, but, you know, the people who really get abused are the speech writers because they have way too much work, everyone crams it on them in the last minute, and everyone's really critical. so here we have a great collection of formerly abused people who i'll just go through here. [laughter] sitting next to me, a partner at west wing writers who specialized in national security and foreign affairs. i actually first came to notice her work with that 1995 speech in northern ireland when most of the british press who had no
idea that speech writers even existed said that whoever wrote that speech needed to be hired immediately by british politicians. so i think some of that came to pass. [laughter] john mcconnell sitting next is a washington-based consultant in politics, government, business and entertainment which i think there's some overlap between -- [laughter] a couple of those. a longtime senior speech writer for president bush and vice president cheney, john was responsible for some of the most memorable, most historic spoachs of the bush presidency including the joint session of congress after september 11th. he was responsible, part of the team behind four state of the unions and co-authored the eulogy from president bush and vice president cheney for ronald reagan. so some historic moments in the bush presidency there. chris winston sitting next to john made history herself. the first and only woman to head the white house office of speech
writing. she was a deputy assistant to the president, the communications and speech writing for president george h.w. bush, and if that wasn't enough in terms of management, she also oversaw the white house offices of media relations and public affairs. and finally, bob has written even more books than i have which, um, which is really, actually, very impressive. a novelist, commentator, speech writer, former chief speech writer for vice president gore. he has written several award-winning novels, thousands of speeches for democratic politicians, and he's best nope for his nonfiction -- known for his nonfiction book which is very -- [inaudible] today because it's the political speech writers' companion, a guide for writers and speaker, so bob will correct everything we're about to say, in terms of at least grammar. i want to start today, actually, with the process of writing one of these because my impression
is what starts out as maybe having some grand vision, some articulate ideas just gets nibbled to death by the group mentality of everyone needing to check and correct and maybe veto some parts of the speech. so wonder if drawing on your own experience, starting with you, the best worst parts of state of the unions as you saw it. >> well, i think a few things and thank you all for being here and thank you. one of the things that i'm sure will come out on this panel is that every white house has a different process, every administration is different, and i'm sure that the obama team's process is what different from what each of us experienced when we were there. one of the points you made in your opening remark about the state of the union being frustrating because our finest prose is being nibbled away, i don't think the state of the union is an address where you typically see the kind of rhetoric that ends up engraved in marble l. it's really a policy statement, an agenda-setting kind of
address. as somebody who in the clinton white house was a foreign policy speech writer, one of the battles that we faced this those days probably very different from what john faced was actually getting foreign policy into the state of the union. and i think when we think about what is, what we're going to hear tonight, all of the polling of the public suggests that, you know, what the public really cares about is the economy, all of the previewing that the white house has done of this speech is about domestic issues. so, personally, i'm very curious to see what role foreign policy will play because president obama has a lot to be proud of on that front. what they're struggling with to get their issues prominently mentioned tonight. >> okay. john? >> well, you're right, the bush speech writers did not have a problem getting foreign policy into the state of the union. [laughter] the biggest challenge when you're on an assignment like that is to keep it on large themes. and because the speech is the presentation of a legislative
program, it can be very difficult to keep it on big themes. you're going to have a lot of topics. even if you try to keep the number manageable, the number of topics that go into the state of the union, you know, is just going to be -- there's going to be a lot of them. and so, but you're going to try to keep it on the big themes, tie it together. last year the theme was winning the future with president obama. well, that helps you if you have something like that. then at least you can put everything under that category, and then you can do your transitions. transitions are always difficult for speech writers, you know, connecting one idea to the next. t really hard when you've got 40 transitions in a speech, so it help to have the big themes, and i'm sure they're working on that right now. >> chris, you've managed these things before, so what's it like being on the management side of one of these operations? >> long hours, really, really long hours, and you have to really become a diplomat and a
manager all at the same time. i, what you're really doing is managing, um, the creation of what i saw as really a political document. it is not just policy, it's a political document. it's almost a campaign document, and in an election year like tonight, i kind of thing it becomes a campaign document. but it's always a political document, and i think one of the things that's most difficult to balance when you're going through that process is trying to write a speech for so many different audiences. i mean, normally you go into a venue, you've got one audience, you've got probably one big message you're trying to get out. and while you may be lucky and get a theme, you're trying to deal with so many different audiences for this speech. and they all judge it differently. so your big audience is the american people, obviously. that's your number one audience. and then you've got the members
of congress in the hall. and then we've got members of the media, wonks, the wonks are out there watching and special interest groups. and each of those groups will judge the content of the speech differently. and so it's very difficult to write a speech that's going to please everyone. and so juggling, juggling all of those different interests and making it all try and come together in some way, have some glue that connects the transitions is a very difficult, um, process. and the -- all of those groups also try and get their information, their points that they want made into you. so you're also juggling their expectations along with what their eventual assessment will be of the speech. and that makes it difficult, and that's one of the problems, i think, always with state of the unions because you have way too
many audiences, you just can't please anybody. >> bob, you had perhaps a tougher challenge which is writing the minority response. [laughter] can you tell us a little bit about how tricky that is? >> are actually, that was a lot of fun, i hate to anytime it. when chris was supervising george h.w. bush's first address to the congress, i wrote the minority response for lloyd benson. and there as opposed to so many cooks which can spoil the broth when you write the state of the union, i talked to benson for an hour, i went and wrote the speech, we came back and there were about three or four aides, and the most, the thick we talked -- the thing we talked about most was i had done a tribute to lloyd's father who had just died as a kind of symbol of america, and he said he wanted to do that, but he was afraid that he was would choke up. so we went back and forth over that, and everybody said do that, and i had prepared a plan b which was some churchill quote
or something. and finally said, all right, i'm going to do this, but i'm going to read it so many times to myself that i will have no emotion when i read it and, you know, i'll be totally under control. which is what he did. and i was really relieved that he did that because when bush spoke, he used my plan b -- [laughter] benson would have been really stuck setting in that room. [laughter] but one of the things i learned about that is how limited you are when you do the minority response. you know, you have 45 minutes of admit -- or an hour of glitz and pomp and ritual applause and lights, and then you cut away to benson sitting by himself in a kind of darkroom, no applause, and he has nine minutes. and you cannot compete with the president for persuasiveness. so you can be critical of
things, but delicately, and you're looking for ways we have common ground with the president, we work with the president. it's, you're a lot more limited in what you can, what you can do. >> so, um, i understand that former speech writers get together occasionally. some of them work together, and if you were being collegial about the current team, jon favreau working what's actually a very dingy, low ceilinged, windowless office of the west wing, working all hours, you've been up all night, last minute warnings, what not to do in a state of the union. he may have done a few, but you still know more. what would you say to the team today? what should they be avoiding? >> you know, the one piece of advice i would give for a big speech like that, especially in an election year context when you're going to set up the
contrast -- not explicitly, but set up the contrast for the year ahead -- is to avoid straw men. really steer clear. if you're contradicting a counterargument, make it a real counterargument that's actually held by a person. don't make it a straw man, don't make it an argument that no one has actually made or asserted. bill sapphire had a story when he worked with nixon. he said, unfortunately president nixon had a habit of saying something along the line of i've made a very difficult decision. now, there are people around me who told me i should take the easy way, and sapphire would say who's telling him to take the easy way? anyway, he could never get the president to stop using this little device. and so on occasion when sapphire told the story later on occasion when he was walking through the west wing, he'd walk past the closed door of the oval office,
he would say take the easy way, mr. president. [laughter] so that's my advice, avoid the straw man. >> i hate to find myself agreeing with a republican -- [laughter] but that is one of the things i like least about the big speeches. whenever you see somebody say, and obama does this i am sorry to say too much -- there are those who say, some say. you can be sure that there is going to be some caricature of what the other side really says. you can find real people on the other side, and you can then rebut what they say, and you look more credible when you do it when you're talking about a real person with a real quote. >> are there particular challenges now with the way state of the unions have evolved, they're policy-driven, maybe legislative-tripp speeches, but this is an election year. we were talking earlier about how little coverage there has been leading up to the state of the union.
is there, um, is there a mismatch here between what the state of the union traditionally is, there's your laundry list of things you want to get through congress at a time when people don't believe anything can get through congress, it's an election year. so how do you square those things with this one speech? >> well, i think in this case what we'll hear tonight for the very reason you said, there is this feeling that it's going to be impossible to get much done this year. what we'll hear tonight is really a much longer view than just 2012. this is a second obama term. so he's setting a much bigger vision for where he would like to take the country. and just thinking about some of the challenges and differences, um, in writing now, and this would be the same if it was a republican president in the white house, just the way the media environment, the information environment has changed. i think one of the things that the white house is doing very differently from what we all did, it's not just the written text of the state of the union, it's the whole interactive
experience that's going to go along with it, so the whole digital team in the white house is putting together their enhanced state of the union that you can stream in realtime. i think that's fascinating. at least in the clinton white house where we had, i think, a deserved recognition for getting drafts done really early and so forth, to have that kind of last minute feeling going into the drafting of something and then to have the obligation to be producing the multimedia experience that's going to go along with it, i imagine it's a very busy time not just for jon favreau, but for all the communications professionals in a way. >> chris, is there a way to square the election year needs with the legislative expectations? >> well, after having asserted that this is a political document five minutes ago, now i'm going to contradict myself and say i think if i were going to give one piece of advice which i suspect they would never listen to, but for tonight it would be the tone. and i think that the american
people have kind of had it with all of the fighting and so on that's going on between the white house and the house and the senate. congress. and i would hope that tonight the speech will be, um, president obama laying out his vision but doing it in a way that allows for at least the possibility of some progress at least this spring. and so one of the things i would urge is to avoid a kind of hectoring, lecturing, um, tone this evening and perhaps extend the olive branch one more time and see if we can possibly make some progress this spring. i don't, i think politically that is, um, helpful for the president as well. i mean, i think coming in with any kind of an angry tone tonight, i think, would probably not be well received by be many of the audiences i spoke about
earlier. so that would be my advice for what it's worth. >> is it possible, john? can you reach out with an olive branch at this point? >> sure, sure, i think it is. i don't expect it to be put in those terms. i mean, basically, what you're going to get, i think in general, it's not going to be explicit, but isn't it going to be, um, thing are getting better in the country. i think he clearly is going to say that. it's an election year, and this is going to be on people's minds. so i think he's going to try to make a strong case that things are getting better in the country. and then the undercurrent of the rest of the speech, i think, is going to be things are going to get even better, unimaginably better if you pass my legislative program. and by the way, if you don't, we're going to have a big fight about it this fall. as i say, shot in those words with, but i think that's pretty much what the progression is going to be. as to tone, i don't know. you could put that message
across in one tone or another. um, i was looking back at president bush's 2004 state of the union, an election year state of the union that i worked on as part of a team, and it really doesn't read as a campaign speech if you go back and look at it. and so you don't have to make it an explicit campaign speech or even close to an explicit campaign speech. but you can. and i don't know what we're going to get. >> what do you think the tone should be. >> >> one of the things obama does very well is he knows that the most persuasive thing you can do for audiences is to concede a point to the other side. he's always doing, oh, the republicans have a point here. and we've taken republican ideas. eric's right about that. because people when researchers who look at these things look at what their reactions are, people don't interpret that as weak. they say, well, he's a reasonable person. he knows the truth isn't always on one side.
and, n., i remember in the 2008 campaign, the mccain campaign did a -- they strung together a group of these concessions of obama saying, oh, he's right about that, the republicans have a good idea. i guess they thought maybe that would persuade people republicans had good ideas. but i think they took it off after two days, and i think the reason was people looked at that and said, hmm, obama really is reasonable. [laughter] so i think that concession, you know, is usually part of what he does. he'll have to draw some firm lines here because you have an election year. but i think that'll be part of the speech too. >> so i just wanted to make you aware, we are going to do questions later on, so, please, start thinking, otherwise i'm going to pick on you at random. in the meantime, um, a couple of quick ones for you. i always have the impression certainly in the reporting of state of the union addresses that there is a pressure to come up with the shiny, new thing to stick on a speech like this, something that will surprise the
news media or get some attention. sorry to bring this up, josh, but there was the -- john, but there was the mission to mars. can you think was this one time when someone came to you and said, you know, the state of the union's coming up, give us something new a new line, a new twist, a new policy that maybe was left on the cutting room floor or made it all the way through, anything like that in your experience? chris? >> when we worked on president bush's first and second state of the unions, the process in that white house was a very centralized one with john sununu, the then chief of staff was very much in control of that process. so the cabinet members and their surrogates would frequently call him directly and be so forth, and he very much controlled it. but the joke in the speech writing office was that we
needed exactly what you were talking about, what is going to be the news, what's the news in the state of the union? and we focused a little more on that. and he would always tell us, well, we'll get back to you on that. we'll get back to you on that. and it was going to be some sort of an economic announcement, economic policy announcement. and so we nicknamed it the rabbit because we didn't know what it was, and we didn't know where we were going to put it. [laughter] we just figured we were going to have to pull it out of the hat at the last minute and stick it in the speech somewhere which in the state of the union isn't that hard because they're not exactly thwarting rhetoric. so we nicknamed it the rabbit, and we waited for the rabbit, and we waited, and we waited. speech writing for the rabbit. but the rabbit never showed. [laughter] and so in the end we didn't ever have that, that exactly what you were talking about, that shiny thing that was going to get everyone's attention. and we just used to sort of
chuckle about it. that is probably my favorite story, the story of the rabbit. >> well, occasionally you do have lines that stick. in fact, think maybe you can tell us about the era of big government was over. but the one that i love to think about as a speech writer in 1961 named ralph williams who nobody has ever heard of thought of a good line, and he thought eisenhower might like it, and he put it in the draft. and eisenhower did like it, and now practically the only thing that people remember about anything eisenhower ever said was the warning about the dangers of the military industrial complex. so ralph williams, wherever he is, should be thinking that should be on my be tombstone. >> may i just say on the era of big government is over, there's an interesting second half to that story which is when that line was originally written, it was a longer sentence, it was a two-part sentence, and the
second half of the sentence was something along the lines of the era of big government is over, but the era of every man for himself must never be allowed to begin. but as the speech draft went through the vetting process, a flag was raised that every man for hymn was not gender- for himself was not gender-neutral, and the speech writers were instructed to rewrite the sentence. you couldn't really pluralize it elegantly. we were thinking how can we get rid of the map and still get the punch. it was cumbersome, the era of big government is over, but the era for which every citizen is left -- something awkward. in any event, when it was covered, the second half of the sentence was completely ignored, and the first half is what people remember. >> it was the gender-neutral version -- >> a gender-neutral version made into it the speech, and nobody, including me, remembers what it was. so -- [laughter] >> you asked us, you know, do people come with you, ask for
big ideas or big lines. >> right. >> always, but they want the good lines. they don't really come to the speech writers for the grand idea so to speak. but this my ex-- in my experience with president bush several state of the union messages were in such a dramatic context all by themselves that you were able as is not always the case in state of the union messages anymore, you were able to have passages of the speech that went just strung together applause lines. you could really explain something, and you had a very receptive audience, and you could draw them in and not have to sort of, you know, try to have all these applause lines. i think of the 2002 state of the union which was the first one after 9/11, the 2003 state of the union was, what, two months or three months after congress voted to authorize a war in iraq, but the war hadn't started
yet. so that was a very dramatic moment. and then 2007 which was the last one i worked on was, um, right after the president had announced a surge of operations in iraq, and it was a new democratic congress, both house and senate. he had pelosi sitting behind him, the congress really wasn't supportive of the troop surge, it was a hard sell with the country, and the president had to go in there and tell the congress, i'm going to do this. and, um, it was a very dramatic moment. and those are the moments that the writers, you know, you do your best, but it's the man himself who really, who really does the job. >> did you know that the line about the ax si of evil was going to -- axis of evil was going to pop at the time? >> that it would get a lot of attention? >> uh-huh. >> to a degree, yes. i guess i wouldn't have been good at predicting how big it would be. i remember a headline in the newspaper, i think it was the
"usa today," it was something along the lines of axis powers denounce bush or something like that, and i thought, wow, that really got out there. >> um, so we've talked a little bit about what to expect or maybe what the tone should be from the white house side, what should be the tone to have response? what would be the smartest thing that mitch daniels should do tonight? >> agree with everything barack obama has to say. [laughter] but he can't do that. i think he has to balance -- it's a balancing act. you want to be conciliatory, you want to make sure you show some respect for the office of the presidency. but you also have to be concrete in the things that you want to criticize. now, this is an economy speech, the emphasis is on jobs. i always think that the emphasis should also be in the response on jobs. but your, but you're limited in
what you can do. and, actually, to me that shows a weakness in the american system. you very rarely see the heads of the two political parties going head to head talking about substantive issues, and you don't see out here because an hour of one person and nine minutes of another is not enough to do that which is why i would love it if we had a system hike they do in -- like they do in great britain where you have the prime minister's questions. when you see the prime minister going in there and they get up and ask him these questions, and he gets up and he fights back and they argue back and forth even though he has some notes, you actually see them grappling in a substantive way. and even when i would look at margaret thatcher, i said, wow, she really knows a lot. i can see why she is successful and adds to the credibility of politicians. i think obama would do that very well. >> i know we'd love to put that on cable tv, but, chris, any
advice for mitch daniels? >> well, i think one of the arguments, the debates that's been going on in washington lately has been is this election coming up going to be a referendum on president obama and his policies, or is it going to be a choice? and, you know, which direction are we going to go, the white house trying to make it a choice, and the republicans ostensibly making it a remember dumb. i would -- referendum. i would argue that you really need to do both. i think this election more so than any, and i've worked -- i don't even want to say how long i have worked in politics, a long time. and i think that the american people today, um, really are looking for more than just one direction or the other. they want both. and so i think the response tonight has to -- my advice would be to do both, to talk about president obama's record, criticize it if he will, but
also i think the republicans have to offer a positive alternative. i think they have to offer a positive vision tonight as well, particularly on the economy. and you can -- some of the other issues maybe as well, but as bob points out rightly, it's a very shot period of time that you have for that response, much shorter than for the main event. so you really have to try and get a lot boo a short period of time. -- into a short period of time. so i would focus on republican vision for the future. i think that's what people want to hear. >> let's just try and do a couple of topical things. um, since we've got two people who wrote extensively about foreign policy challenges facing a president, um, the state of the unions have to talk to a domestic audience, but they also have to deal with tricky international situations. iran has come up time and time again through the republican debate, so it's made a sort of crossover into the domestic po
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