tv Sens. Marsha Blackburn Joni Ernst Address Conservative Political Action... CSPAN February 27, 2020 5:23pm-5:48pm EST
our president -- is his aggressive push back on this coup has highlighted the work of members of congress, you two leading the pack, in a way that we've really not seen before. and if you want to see the people that are really leading the house, you're going to find it in the peoples' house. that's why i think the american people see it. we think there's a chance jim jordan gets a gavel again. >> i hope so. >> we appreciate y'all being back at cpac. >> thank you guys w. e love you. thank you. >> well, good morning cpac. is everyone awake?
>> yes! good morning! >> well, it is my pleasure and honor this morning to introduce to you and to have a conversation with senator joni ernst of iowa and senator marsha blackburn of tennessee. >> thank you. >> these women are the perfect example of strong, principled conservatives who are in washington, d.c. making a big difference. and over the past couple of months with the battles that conservatives have been having to fight against the left, not just democrats, but the left that is going towards socialism and communism, they have been at the forefront of that fight. so, we're going to let them open the floor and talk about their issues. senator black burn we'll go with you first. >> i want to say welcome and where are all my tennesseans out here? all right! i knew you were here. and i'm depending on you this year. you know what? we are the volunteer state, and we are going to volunteer to
help stamp out socialism! forever! [ applause ] and i know we can depend on that. you know, one of the things i love so much about tennessee is the way people understand that you can have freedom free people and free markets or you can have socialism which is government control of just about everything. and tennesseans really believe in the american dream. they believe in entrepreneurship. they believe in individualism. and what they want to do is to live out what ronald reagan told us. you don't pass freedom along in the bloodstream. you've got to go fight for it every single generation. so, we need a cpac full of happy warriors ready to deploy all across the country.
>> senator ernst, you are a happy warrior, the definition of one. >> yes, thank you. and i am so glad to be here at cpac with my friend marsha. i'm going to do the same. where are my iowans. yeah! thank you! oh, my gosh. thanks to all my iowans for being here. just a little personal story and my brush with a socialist country many years ago. when i was at iowa state university between my freshman and sophomore year, i had the opportunity to go on an agricultural exchange to the soviet union. the soviet union. lived on a collective farm where my family had no running water. they were farming with horses and wagons on the collective. they had no refrigerator. they had no automobile. they shared one bicycle amongst all the family members.
that was socialism, folks, living in poverty, okay? if that's what we're striving for as a united states, i'm not going to have any of it. okay. we have opportunity. we have opportunity. so, when we would get together in the evening, on that collective, the entire community would come together, sit down with those of us from iowa. and first question that they asked us students from iowa was what is it like to be an american? and what is it like to be free? they hungered for the opportunity and the freedoms that we had as a country. and folks, you look at all of these democratic candidates and you look at those socialists that are serving in the house, that's not what we should be striving for as a united states. and i would say none of them are moderate. they are all marching so far as
the left as they can get. they are all on the path toward socialism. folks, we are not going to have it in the united states of america. >> you can argue when bernie sanders went to honeymoon in the former soviet union, it wasn't a socialist country. it was a communist country. i think his comments really tripled down on the idea that we're not talking about some low level tinge of socialism. we're talking about tyranny, authoritarianism, and the opposite of freedom for individuals which is completely opposite of what america was founded on and what it stands for. >> well, you're exactly right and i thought it was so interesting that bernie was applauding castro's literacy program. i said, my goodness, he was probably excited that castro was teaching them how to read the communist manifesto which was probably in his bedside table. it wasn't a gideon bible that was in there when he was honeymooning in the soviet
union. and it's just that different perspective. and i have to tell you, joni talked about her experience as a college student and that awakening for her. and when we travel, i -- in 2003 in mezul in a bombed out shell of a build being a group of women that some of us from d.c. were the first free women that these individuals had had the chance to meet. and they wanted what we had. they wanted better for their families. they wanted that taste of freedom. they wanted opportunities. it's not something that they had ever had the opportunity to experience because of saddam and his cruelty. and you see that impact of how socialistic and dictatorial policies tear down countries.
their infrastructure and their citizens. and it really takes away from them that hope. and you know, one of the things that we go fight for every single day. i say it's the big five: faith, family, freedom, hope, and opportunity. how do i cast votes that are going to make certain that my two precious grandchildren, with one more on the way -- >> congratulations. >> -- are going to have the opportunity to live in that free society and live out their version of the american dream? >> yeah. >> senator ernst, you were nodding your head with a lot of comments. >> truly agree. truly agree. and i do wish that more folks could understand the detriment that socialism is on any country that it touches. and i have been in arguments with people in iowa over our value system and what we stand
for as americans, the way our country was founded versus socialism. so, being a free market society versus a government-owned industry-driven country. and when i asked them or when they ask me about socialism versus capitalism, i argue back and i always say so you want the united states to strive to be more like china, north korea, venezuela. and i actually had a man at a town hall. he stood up and pointed his finger at me and he's like those are bad examples! >> yes, they are. >> i said, yes, they are bad examples. i have not heard of one good example yet of a socialist nation. >> they're also very real examples. a couple of years ago i went to china on a delegation with
journalists and we went to a university to speak to translator students about america. and they were allowed to ask questions. and they asked about the first amendment, a basic right that we have, a basic right that people should have to speak freely against their government if they so choose. and one of the young women, one of the students who asked the question was condemned after that for asking that. we obviously defended the first amendment and the right to speak out and she was punished for that. we're talking about very basic things and a rule of law that only applies to people the government is controlling. so, a little bit closer to home, senator ernst i'll start with you. talk about the consequences that we see coming to our borders as a result of these governments being tyrannical whether it's venezuela or issues of human trafficking. >> those are issues we have been working on together in the
united states senate. it is wonderful having such a great partner. we're the first republican women to serve on the judiciary. >> ever. >> ever. long overdue. >> olong overdue, but we're at 192 judges. 192 federal judges. >> it's really amazing. >> so, you know, which is remarkable that we're able to work on judges. but the issues that we see and people that are driven from these other countries that don't have the same value system that the united states does. we are seeing issues of human trafficking where they are bringing women and children and sometimes young men as well from other countries and they are trafficking them over our borders. we see huge issues actually in the midwest with our interstate system there and working on josh holley as well on a human trafficking bill. but we also see influx of drugs
from some of these countries like china. we talked about that in judiciary. we see drugs coming up from central america over our borders. also marsha has been working on a really important bill. i'm working with her on that -- about female genital mutilation. with e s we see that coming from other countries and into the united states. and this is not something we should allow here in the united states. and marsha, why don't you talk a little bit about that. >> yeah, the fgm bill is something that came to our attention as we were looking at how you protect women that have come from other countries. and we found out that about a half million women and children have been adversely impacted. and there was a court decision that came out of michigan, and they said, well, congress needs to clean the law up around this. so, we're inserting the
provisions to make sure that all women are protected from female genital mutilation. and we will change that federal law. and we are moving it forward with the legislation that we're working on violence against women act and trying to get that nailed down and updated. we are working this as -- we are looking at human trafficking. and one of the things, katie, that we found is we have worked on this sex trafficking and human trafficking issue is that many of the traffickers are using the internet and some of the social media apps. so, this is why i'm leading the tech task force at judiciary committee. and we are working to hold big tech accountable and to make certain that they are not
censoring conservatives in the online space and that they are not allowing traffickers to traffic human beings on their apps and their platforms. >> specifically on the issue of fgm, that's an important ideology that is something that is not from america that comes from the outside from places where the rule of law is completely broken down. >> human rights violation coming from these other countries. and again, this is not what the united states stands for. we shouldn't tolerate it. but the left has allowed this different ideology to come into this united states. and, again, we should not have any of that. this is the united states of america, and we should be protecting the most vulnerable among us. >> senator ernst, as you travel around the world and you see other systems of government and the oppression -- and the
majority of the world does not have the same rights as america obviously. that's why so many people try to come here and die to do it. let's talk about some of the myths that vagus nerve be phave there by the left, especially the socialist power of bernie sanders. they say that socialism is all about fairness. is that true? is socialism a fair system? >> oh, no, not at all because what does socialism do? it allows the government to choose winners and losers. and that is one of the things that we as conservatives fight against. we want a level playing field. we want individuals that have that get up and go and that can-do spirit to be able to achieve their dreams. so, when people say that, you know, socialism is fair, everyone gets the same thing, that is not true because here's the nugget.
you never have equal opportunity when you have socialism. you have governmental opportunity. whatever they're going to give you, that is what you're going to get. >> if i can share an example there. now, i was at a state dinner when i served in the iowa state senate. we had a delegation that visited from china, largely on, again, an ag exchange. but they came and the gentleman that i sat next to from china, he had grown up as a poor rural boy, but he had extreme intelligence. now, in their system, he would stay a poor rural farmer, but he had that exceptional intelligence. so, they said we are going to -- "we," the government will send you to college. he thought wow, i'm going to college. i can choose what i want to do.
oh no. the government told him you will study ag sciences because you come from a poor farming family. that's your lot in life. so, he went on to study agriculture in college and he worked then in a job that the government told him he would be working in. there was no self-destiny there. there was no equal opportunity to do what he wanted to do which is something we really take for granted here in the united states. but that's what those countries do. the government tells you what you will do and how you will operate your life. and that's not what we stand for. >> senator, when you say that there's no equal opportunity, that means there's no freedom to choose what your future is going to look like. and the irony of what the argument is that that make is that socialism and communism make everybody equal. but it creates a class system that is, again, completely opposite of what america was founded on and built on the idea
of america being you can be whoever you want to be, make your own decisions. if you don't want to pursue certain pathways you don't have to. if you would like to get to the top of the financial sector, you have the opportunity to do so. it eliminates that and does create a class system that really has not been part of the american story at this point. >> that's exactly right. and the elites have all of the power, all of the money. and they are the ones that dictate to others just as joni is saying with a guy that was told he would study ag sciences. and see, that's the thing about government control. when government has that kind of control, they will tell you what your education is going to be, where you're going to live, what kind of car you're going to drive, what food you're going to buy on the grocery store, what kind of house you're going to live in because it is their decisions that are going to determine your life.
and they don't have that freedom of expression. and you know, we talk a lot in nashville about freedom of speech and freedom of expression because of the music industry that is there. and that means so much to people. and before i came to the house and was in tennessee and in the state senate, i hosted a group of individuals from the old soviet bloc. that was back in the mid-90s. they were here to do an election lunch. i thought i'll find some things to entertain them. and we took them out to the grand ole' op ri. i turned around and this guy was on his hands and knees. and he was kissing the floor. and i went over and i said are you okay? and he said, yes, i am. he said, you know, i would
listen to radio for europe and i would hear country music and it was coming from the grand ole' opry. but see, here was this individual who was standing up to lead his country to freedom as a newly minted, newly found leader. what had inspired him was menopausic that he heard ov menopausic music that he heard over the radio. joni's story, what inspired this guy was he was going to have the opportunity to go to college which he didn't have in a socialistic society. so, that's why these two gals get up and go to work every single day is to make certain that we remain a free and prosperous country. >> absolutely. absolutely. [ applause ] >> so just to wrap up here, you know, the argument is that bernie sanders will never be
able to get his agenda through, that it's too crazy, it's too far left, it's antiamerican. and yet ronald reagan said freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. so, you have a room full of people who want to be involved to be in the fight against this ideology. is it possible for bernie sanders to get his ideology embedded in the american system first of all? and second of all, what can all these people do to fight against that? >> certainly. yes, i see that. we have seen in a number of states so far where bernie sanders has been leading and has finished either at the top or very near the top of the primaries or caucuses. and so i've seen it in iowa and i see it in young people. and the irony in the situation is that while all of this sounds wonderful, free college, free health care, just remember it is not free. the health care system at a
$32 trillion price tag the really no more than rationed care. it is socialized medicine. and they don't understand that. so, it does take time to explain that. and what we desire as a nation is that opportunity. and that is where the irony is is that they all want to be young entrepreneurs. they want to be successful. and yet the very thing that they are promoting is the very thing that will inhibit them. >> and the best way we can assure that bernie never gets his agenda through is to make certain that we have four more years of president donald trump! [ applause ] >> yes. >> thank you. >> any final thoughts? >> be happy warriors. join us in this fight. this is the year to show our strength. and remember, there is no news network as powerful as the
y-o-u, you and your circle of friends. get the word out there. we need you all. thank you for coming to cpac. >> i appreciate it. yes. >> senator ernst. >> and i would echo that as well. and we just want to thank you so much because we know that it does take effort to get out from your home states and come be here with us. but god bless you. and of course god bless our great united states of america. >> absolutely! >> thank you all. >> thank you senator blackburn. thank you so much. >> yes. >> thank you. trump administration officials and others address the audience at the conservative political action conference, also known as cpac, in washington, d.c. watch live friday morning beginning at 7:20 eastern on c-span3, online at c-span.org, or listen live on the free
c-span radio app. the south carolina primary is saturday. join us to hear the candidates' reaction to the results. live coverage saturday evening starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, on demand at c-span.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. there are really a lot of ways to follow this highly competitive election season on the c-span networks, but probably the fastest and the easiest is on the web at c-span.org. we have, among other things, our campaign 2020 interactive calendar with the result maps of all the upcoming primaries and caucuses including super tuesday. there is the event tracker. this is a tool for quick and easy search of the 2020 candidates, our coverage based on the candidate, topic, events,
on the campaign trail. not only for the presidential candidates but also the upcoming senate, house, and governor races. it is free. it is easily accessible. it's all there at c-span.org. members of the senate budget committee along with budget experts discuss ways to improve the congressional budgeting process. they spoke at an event hosted by the committee for a responsible federal budget. so, this sounds really loud to me. does it sound okay to people? yeah? hello everybody. i'm maya mcginnis. i run the committee for responsible budget. i'm pleased you joined us for our forum. many of you probably know