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tv   After Words Will Hurd American Reboot  CSPAN  May 28, 2022 11:50am-1:02pm EDT

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well, i'm really excited to jump into this. this is a is an excellent book with a perspective that is is very unique. i love how you've built in a lot of personal side to this. i'm a you know, sitting member of congress. i don't get to be the one interviewing a lot. i'm really excited about this because because i'm gonna flip the script a little bit instead of being subject to lots of interviews. well as long as you agree not to
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treat this like a congressional hearing then and i'm fine. i'm using in your chair. no, i'm not looking for i'm not looking to score political points playing it is i'm actually just wanted to hear your perspective and a little bit behind what this book is about and the part i want to jump right into and the thing that impressed me. the most is you talk a lot about misinformation and you've been you were in latvia and 2017 a lot of what was going on, you know bleeding up to the current rest, but all of this was written before russia invaded ukraine, but the thing we're dealing with right now a lot on the armed services committee where i sit. is is misinformation going out and spewing all over the world from every angle, right? what's going on communicating here? what russia's you know, what ukraine sending to us like you hit on that? it's one of the key challenges that we're going to face in the next you know phase of our of what we go on in the world like i love your perspective on that because you kind of nail that with with what's going on russia right? now. look i i appreciate that and for me, it's good to get worse, right? that's what scary the russians
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have spent the last three decades perfecting information operations, and so for them information, the information space is a domain just like air land the sea in space and so we we know what they're going to do. they don't have the military capabilities. they used to have we're finding that right now in ukraine and so they have to control the information domain right now we're talking about are they pulling troops back from keith? no, they're not. okay like this you can't believe anything that they say i remember i think i want to say it was 2016 or 2017 when the russians were deep in syria. the russians put out a notice that they were leaving syria and you saw these planes leaving a syrian air base and everybody's like, oh my god, the russians are leaving. no, they would just those planes were going back to russia and they were bringing new ones in and they just put that information out there in order to deceive their opponents.
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and so the difficulty that we have that we're dealing in now versus like the 80s. is that information can move so fast the rand corporation calls it truth decay where you're able to have, you know separating being able to separate fact from opinions, right? and then you have the systems that can move that information very quickly now, this isn't a new thing one of the things that talk about in the book. there was some british philosopher back in the 1400s was basically had a quote that a lie can travel faster than the truth. are you talking about that for for a couple for a couple now my fear is when we get into if we have to if we ever get into a conflict with china. and china's capabilities in the digital sphere specifically when it comes to deep fades. we have to assume, you know, one of the things that i've been lucky to do since i've been out of congress is work with some great technology companies, and i've seen a lot of companies
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that are kind of in stealth mode the ability. we have to assume the chinese government today. has the ability to render deep fakes that are real. yeah. so imagine what conflicts going to be like when you have that as a tool. well, you put it you put it in an interesting framework. you took foreign political issue based and lucrative. you talked a little bit about the lucrative side because it it is and it's in there's there's so much to be gained from clickbait and you know the way things get misconstrued between opinion in fact and how we're communicating that but anything else we bring up again foreign political issue based and lucrative. i haven't seen anywhere where the misinformation that we're gonna that we're going to be dealing with going forward be that our that are that well articulated and it playing out literally a month or so after your book. i mean as your book gets released this stuff's playing out right in front of our eyes you look i appreciate that and in one of the entities that i've always had have looked to was
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the eu disenfolab there. they've been following this in a methodical way way for a really long time. one of the things that i was able to do when i was in congress and serving on the intel committee was whenever i would travel somewhere i would always stop in the capitals of some of our friends. i would always try to stop and brussels and talk to eu partners and the eu disinformation lab or disinfo lab is this technical title the work that they're doing on this is is pretty fantastic the german marshall fund has a dashboard that tracks this kind of stuff. there's a there's a there's a great company basin israel called siabra, they track fake accounts the amount of fake accounts that are out there are shocking right? and so so the ability to separate and understand this and what is the motivations right when when i was in the cia recruiting spies and still in secrets, you always start with
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what is that motivation of that individual potentially work with you and so we have to understand the motivation of many of these actors. and this issue is is i don't want to say easier. you just probably the right the right word when we're looking at our foreign adversaries. but we have domestic entities that are involved in some of these same kinds of kinds of activities. we also need to make sure that our media and our press have standards when it comes to sharing information and just because they got a piece of information from one person somewhere in an administration doesn't necessarily make that fact right even plural of those types of anecdote doesn't make that data sure for sure that that was look i was lucky for my for my experiences in the agency and being an intelligence officer where the information is actually only one piece of the intelligence. who did you get it from how'd that person have access to it? and and so so this is broader than just people doing something on purpose.
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it's like are we are we, you know unwitted unwitting in involved in some of these kinds of activities. we're not looking at the cross the the cooperation veracity. we're not looking at all angles of it. we just we were just so quick to consume and quick to actually bring up a point another key theme of this book is that america we need we need to we need to our allies to love us and we need our enemies to fear us you just spout it off five or six really strong allies talk a little bit about that because that's a key piece of this then and you know in the lack of global leadership from the us and you fear for that in the next phase of this look it's it's it's worrisome, right? so, why did i write this? i wrote this book because i want to make sure this century stays the american century. and then put it in 250 years previous 250. we need to be thinking about the next 250. so even beyond century what 100% 100% and we can but there's a question mark about whether we stay that way in in let's look
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at let's look at the events in ukraine right now. when you look at the global when you look at a globe. and see the number of countries that are not participating. in the financial sanctions against russia. it's pretty staggering. it's like most of latin america most of africa most of the middle east are not participating and so you got to ask yourself. why now? i have an idea. let me hear it. no, but it look but the why is not only are there afraid of russia? they're actually afraid of china for china the belton road in in for me look some people have criticized president biden about how he framed his speech in poland about democracies versus autocracies. i think that was appropriate and and that is where things are devolving into and so the only way we the united states is going to be able to compete is if we have a bigger posse. then the chinese government and i make it clear in the book. we are we talk about new cold
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war with russia? yes. we're actually in a conflict with russia right now. but the the the relationship that is going to define the rest of this century is the us the relation between the us and china. i actually think both of us can exist the same time as long as we're competing and cooperately we're gonna cooperate we're gonna compete we're frenemies. or economically integrated more than i mean. yeah, what what did we put restrictions on other than energy and the banking? what is american shellfish vodka some diamonds like that was all there was imagine we're in that kind of conflict with china. our economic integration is so vastly different, but it does it presents an opportunity for us to you know, you know have a shared interest to avoid this type of conflict. well, hopefully a better deterrent to this repeating with with taiwan as as russia has done and they're currently doing
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to ukraine for sure because one of the russians have to lose nothing. yeah, the chinese have a lot to lose. we have a lot to lose in that potential conflict. so how do we prevent that from happening? make sure your friends, you know, it's in the book make sure your friends. love you and and that starts with working with them. why have we not seen some high level delegations going throughout latin america. the western hemisphere should be with us 100% when it comes to when it comes to russia if they're not with us when they come to russia. it's gonna be even more difficult when when this conflict and we have still do something tough against the chinese government. i've you know when i was in congress since i've been out of congress talking with very senior leaders throughout the middle east and their government that always say will don't make us choose. and they're saying don't make a shoes between the united states and china and they're saying in that way but by implying you're not gonna like our answer and so these are issues that we have to deal with now the biggest issue
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driving in a relationships in the in the middle east right now is is iran and how we handle that issue and so so all of these things are connected and the world works better. when america is showing leadership in this international order that we created following the end of the second world war america is at its best when we are helping people, you know, we become an exceptional nation not because what we've taken but because of what we have given and that is where we need to be focused the deficiency when you're sitting there across from another ally and they're telling you you might not like my answer needs to be a huge wake-up call that we're not leading out enough and we're not providing that that leadership across across the globe when i was running my own campaign, you know, i'm in my first term of congress when i was running my own campaign. it was the start of the pandemic. and i went back to the same exact thing. we have to build an international coalition if we want to ever find a way to hold china to account. we're not going to be able to do things. you know, legally or i can't
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supine to them to come talkative, you know congressional hearing, right, right, but as a global is a global entity we have to be able to build that strong international community to be able to demand and we want answers. we need to know whether so this this affected all of us and what do what are we going to do about it? you know so many things are happening, you know, imagine my first 15 months in congress everything that's happened from january and afghanistan and then ukraine and inflation crazy energy prices all that kind of stuff like my constituents have been through turmoil, and i've been you know, navigating all this the point i make is we're not in the right spot right now. you talk about getting off the x. it's the concept that i understand. i'd love to hear you kind of expound on it a little bit more about what america can do to get off the x. we're not in the right spot right now and in a lot of areas, we're doing something we're still doing some of the good we're still the global leader and numerous ways. the dollar is still the currency reserve status, but those are those are under threat for that
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next century. what do we need to do to get off the x your point? the fact that saudi arabia is even thinking about, you know, selling energy to china and they're in maybe right like that's that's a scary thing and we need to be we need to be concerned about this and get off the x. that's the second lesson. you learn on day one at the farm the super secret ca training facility. the first lesson is lock your car door second. lesson is get out the x the x is the location where something's going down and the last place we want to be where it's going down is where it's going down. right and we're at a moment where 72% of americans think the country's on. track this is not just this the sentiment has not just existed under this administration. this has sentiment has existed and grown over the last couple of administrations. and so the country feels like we got to do something different. yes. we are the most powerful nation that have has ever existed on this country. capitalism has uplifted people out of you know to achieve
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heights that were previously unimaginable and but we have to make sure that this continues and what's getting in the way is the inability to get big things done because of political gridlock within within washington dc and now it's and that is metastasizing to state capitals and city councils and such and so for us but for me this this notion that america has become exceptional when we play a role and we leave and the world is interconnected when my man george washington gave his his farewell address and said watch out about entanglement with other countries, the world was very different back then and so so now we're so interconnected. but we have to we elected officials people in an administrations have to continue to make the case. why these things matter? we had to make the case. why does taiwan matter to the
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the couple that owns that coffee shop in in the midwest, right? why does the person that's selling, you know skiing attire? why should they care? why should my brother who says shout out to the most beautiful congressional districts. however, we have parked cities. no basin some of the best ski resorts. thank you for that. no, of course, of course, you know my brother. my brother says cable. why does he know and we have to make these cases and sometimes right? those of us that that are involved in these things have failed to articulate why this stuff matters right? and so it starts with that and and what i've learned it's the same in your additions the same in the old district. i represented people care about putting food on their table or roof over their head and taking care of the people that they that making sure the people they love are healthy happy way for retirement. 100% right and so what all of these things are interconnected and we're better off you get your retirement's going to be better when america is the one i'm leading this this global
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this global of international order that we created after world war two the issues that we're going to to have to deal with super complicated biotech the technology exists today to program dna the way you program a computer. the technology is soon to exist. where we have agi artificial general intelligence. this is where an algorithm. is going to be smarter than any human on a particular thing. right the quantum computing up to this point. we've always been the people programming those. that transition happens. you're you're right. we're moving into a realm that it was was made about movies from terminator days. so i've actually been going back rewatching old science fiction rewatch and reread that i didn't get a lot of them have predicted some of these things right? and so these there are some legitimate debates about the role of technology in society.
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we should be having those conversations up here in washington dc. and and so so this is why this is this is important and i tried to i try to articulate some of these things at the topics that we should be talking about in order to make sure and and i framed in you know, my degrees in computer science the first job i ever had was in college was working in a computer lab and when the computers weren't working, what did i do? i rebooted the sucker right it's not changing the software. it's getting the software back to its original form. yeah, and i think that's that's what we that's what we need to do. let me pull it back a little bit from the the tech discussion, but you talk about how the contempt we have in our political world and now the gridlock that we face. i've seen it for 15 months now majority of bills still get passed on suspension, but we don't tackle the big things. we don't tackle the big things because you know with a four seat with four seat majority and the margin these small i was
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thinking this could be this could be the case, but right now politically democrats have the white house and senate that moved everything to a very very progressive push that i you know, firmly you can firmly look at a lot of bad outcomes inflation energy prices like that, but things that congress needs to be addressing and fixing i just jotted down a few immigration debt and deficit health care like we're not tackling that we're not being able to fix it that to me is what like are some of our most near-term issues are that we don't figure out a way to come come together and not quit worrying about, you know, the political ramifications are always looking through this stuff from a political lens. we are legislators. we are lawmakers and we need to be focused on this through a policy perspective, but we all we're forced in this situation you talk a lot of about this in the book, you know, you know peasing face peasing this kind of stuff just you know, because you have reelection always coming up over two years like we've got to dress these things and our gridlock and it's making it very difficult.
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but so concentration of power in the hands of the few is always a bad thing and this trend in washington started probably two two almost three decades ago when decisions started being made in by leadership. 20 30 years ago. the appropriations bill was written by the appropriations chair in the ranking member. decisions along the nda was the side by the chair of the house arm services and in that ranking member now a lot of these things originate and start with the speaker the majority leader within those within those offices and that's where and and when you had the diffusion of decision-making down to to leaders of the committees and sub-connect shares, they worked with their committees. and so they did they worked more with people on the other side than the old folks and that's why when we think of any major piece of legislation over the last 50 years those were always done in the divided in a divided
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congress and a different in a different white house last time we balance the budget. when was it was late 90s, yeah 1997. we democratic president and republican house. yeah, and you said two to three decades ago. it's about two to three decades ago that we actually did something and the you know, just the what's going on over the last few decades. that's made it so we can't address these issues look and and it goes back it starts with primaries. in 2018 the last non-presidential election, the average contested primary was 54,000 people. 54,000 people. that's crazy, right? that means 27,5001 people a decide. who that who that person that member of congress is going to be and that happened in 92 seats and 92% of the house seats are decided in a primary. yeah. so 2% of the population. oh look though. i loved up to those numbers
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after this year. yeah. it's been a search. so so 2020 right in 2020. the number was close to about 60,000 that was happening in in a primary. and so so that means alexa officials are speaking to the extremes of the party. not the middle where the majority of the country is. that's why you have 72% of americans see the countries on the wrong track, but the you know, so the answer that's why i have almost a single digit approval rating of congress but each individual rep is our own districts has a little bit more popularity or gets elected and things like that for sure. so the structure right the system is is designed poorly. now, how do you fix it get more people voting in primary? yeah. i was in i forget what year it was, but i'm on a panel on at south by southwest. this is the then down in austin, texas music festival music festival tv festival now, it's a lot of technology and i'm on the
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stage with i think four other youtube stars. i don't know who any of them were but all four of them that i'm guarantee. they did all four of them combined. probably had a billion followers on youtube and at the time i think i had like 60 right? i was like why am i on the stage? one of the people there was the digital director for the rock dwayne johnson? okay, and the movie moana was about to come out. and she says she goes if moana fails at the box office are we going to criticize moviegoers and shame on you moviegoers? we're not going to movies or you get to say it was a crummy movie now moana. i've seen moana. it's an excellent move. excellent movie, right and i think was very successful as a box office success. yeah, and of course if that would have happened we would have said it was a crummy movie and then her was only in politics. do we blame the person that is supposed to be making the the purchasing decision right? go into the ballot box versus
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the product and and i agree that i think we a lot of people are not appealing. we just went through an election in texas three million people voted in the in the primaries, march 1st out of 30 million. that's a terrible number that apathy and i would say part of it is we are not inspiring those kinds of people that that are not coming out to vote because ole miss is a title is the one the chapters in the book. we you know, too many leaders interested in fear-mongering rather than inspiring right and i think if we if we switch that that's going to help us it's hard systems are designed that on about that in your book though too and about your own personal leadership. so i mentioned us leadership on the global scale, but individually, what are some of the things you take from your background your personal story that drive your your ideas on leadership. look, i think it goes back to i was bullied as a kid. my head's literally been this size since i was four years old we have evidence, you know, my mom pulled out a little, you
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know picture and that is so i married an ax murderer didn't help that movie. yeah. i didn't it didn't and look i had a mess that had messed up teeth that a speech impediment until until i was in high school. so i got bullied a lot. wore size 13 shoe and i was in fifth grade, right and and so so for me that experience taught me listen, it doesn't matter what other people think about you. it's just what you're what your loved ones do right? and so that gave me a thick skin my parents. my dad always taught me to have a pma a positive mental attitude, right? my dad's back my mom's wife my parents moved to south, texas in 1971 after meeting in california, and they live in the house. they live in now because it was the only place that somebody would sell to an interracial couple, right which is which is crazy. it's crazy. and so so the those are kind of the experiences that drive me and i've learned to be honest be honest to do the right thing. tell people what you're doing and why you're doing it one of
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the benefits of having represent a truly 50/50 district. was that no matter what i did. have to dish it was upset with me. yep. but as long as i went and told people what i was doing and why i was doing it. they appreciated they knew they didn't have to agree with me and when folks push me on this i would say do you agree with your spouse a hundred percent of the time do you agree with your best friend 100% of the time and of course the answers always know so it's like why are you expect to agree with your elected official 100% of the time and so those things is what kind of what drove me when i when i was up here and in lessons that i've used, you know, most of my life i that advice we spoke before i joined congress with someone had connected us similar, you know shared background things like that. and i love that conversation and i i had to use that and i don't think you've shared that with me. i don't think we got into that in depth of conversation. but that's one of the my biggest
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points that i've learned about this. i'm i get a yes or no vote. you know because you don't nobody's supposed to make that present vote you get made fun of for making the pee on that little dial there yet. yes or no vote like there's a lot of context that goes into this type of stuff and someone's always going to be angry. i remember very conservative district you need time right and and i've made boats that didn't necessarily go just, you know down the majority of the party line and i've had to show up that next day. and tell people the context as to why and dig into the details of it the constitutionality of it and you know. it earns trust over time, but it's the harder way to do it. it is flat out a lot more difficult and it's something that i'm proud of that i've that i've been able to do and then i go back and then you share that context with them. they get it and i always leave my town halls with look. as you've seen some of you call me too conservative some of you call me too moderate all within about 10 minutes of each other
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like i'm trying to provide context so you can you know understand what decision making i'm going through. that's what i want you to know is one of my as one of my constituents and i say look you're not gonna to agree with every single decision. but i encourage you to find an area that we do agree and let's build a relationship from there and i try trying to do that here even with my colleagues. yeah, but your articulating what your values are and they know that right? and so and and for me it's one of the things about your audio on your video have to match the things you say have to matter everything you do. and so when you do that people are going to respond they again they may not agree with you, but they appreciate you. oh and by the way, and you're showing up you're not afraid of your constituents and so when you go there and you articulate stuff people be like, okay and the fact that they know that they're gonna hear your perspective goes goes goes a long way and i always remember, you know, we we get all these, you know letters about some
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particular thing hr 2727. you're like, what's hr 2727 and and you have to be like, how do i feel about this? right and always what do i believe and i remember one that was fascinating it was about whether you should be illegal to eat cats or dogs. and i'm sitting there like it's critical years in korea. so i have an opinion on this sure, but i'm just like eating cats or dogs is strange for sure, but should it be illegal right and so it's like what principal are you basing off now what we found out was it was already illegal to eat cats and dogs last time a dog was eating in the united states was like in 1982 or something with super super weird story, but even i i use that as an example of you got to find what your value is and then and then and then make decisions based on that and and sometimes i talk to kids i try to talk as many high schools and middle schools i can. and i was at the kids being a person of character takes practice.
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just like being playing a sport or music and instruments or being a scientist or a doctor. i'm being a person character takes practice and the the when you're able to make good decisions and do the right things when the stakes are low. it makes a lot easier to do the right thing when the stakes are hot, right and and unfortunately, i think there's too many people that sometimes get to positions of power that have never had to make tough decisions when the consequences doing that we're doing the right thing meant the consequences were negative. and it's hard for some people to understand that but but it happens and so when you have zero experience and making that then when that when the consequences are high, you're probably going to make a bad decision because you don't have that experience. well, you're making this interview easy good because i've interviewed anybody before. i would not have known that. yeah. yeah, right. i hope meet the press is watching and i'm gonna get recruited out of this gig. you talk about taking conservative principles to unreached communities.
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it is something i have been trying in my you know, even though i'm a strong concerned i represent like park city. yeah, where you go to park city. it's the one the one county that i lost, you know, because it tends to be more liberal more. yeah, and i will still show up their new town halls and you get into some really interesting bates. most of it ends up being around climate change, but you talk a lot about taking that conservative message to unreach communities. how have you continued to do that? how did you do that when you were in office and why is it so important? so so i represented 29 counties two time zones 820 miles of the border it took 10 and a half hours to drive across my district at 80 miles an hour, which was the speed limit in most of the day. i'm not yeah. i know it wasn't the speed limit all very little. yeah the hard way respect law enforcement across forward never make their job harder exactly and the founder of the district didn't cell phone service, right? and so so the dynamics when i first ran or when i won my first
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election was that if every republican voted for me, i would still lose so i had to appeal to independence and democrats and i took a title representative seriously. i represented everybody people that voted for me the people that didn't vote for me and the people that didn't vote and so so i took each one of those constituencies as serious as anyone of them and so part of it was showing up and in a lot of these communities they know it's hard to get to those places one of my favorite towns is is in loving is loving is in the loving county. okay, the entire county has 90 people in it. it's really hard to get to. yeah, and and i went about six seven times and i met 75 people and the county judge one times like i was like judge i was like man, i've met 75 there's still like 15. i haven't met and he's like, well, they don't want to be mad, right? that's a check see the metamor. yeah, but but so so part of it
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was to understand those parts of the district. i was a black republican representing a 71% latino district. people were like no we thought i had a chance and i would but i would go to these communities. i had never seen an elected official. so this is the benefit right when you show up most the times other people have never shown up so you get an opportunity. so i'd be in el paso, texas far west texas of wilming latina overwhelmingly democrat. i'm knock on people's door and they're like, why are you here? i said well cuz you know, i want to represent you and i want to hear what your issues are and they're like no one's ever done that before. and guess what you learn and here's what i learned. whether i'm in, you know, el paso. or i'm in the neighborhood with the san antonio spurs live right same issues. and like i would say the exact same thing. my my remarks didn't change depending on where i went. the questions didn't change from
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depending on where i went. and and that's what doing that early on made me realize that these are the these issues are you know, we agree on 80% way more units us than the right person. i've said that 100 times. and so for me now, it's like you got to go and talk about this show talking about education in texas the school choice issue. there's a there's been a longitudinal study over 20 years that shows that the achievement gap between black and brown kids has decreased when they go to a charter school in, texas. that's amazing. yeah, it's amazing. why are we not talking more about that stuff, right and when you take that message and look i'm a proud product of public schools. i think public schools should be able to have the same ability to be flexible. the way charter schools can't but these are where some of the debates are and if you take that positive message to people they they appreciate it. some you know that actually just illustrates the point that you know, you're elected by maybe a four he had 800,000 people in
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your congressional district in you know, you tend to most these districts you tend to you know elected in the in the primary or to the nature, but you have to be willing to rise above that and go out and serve. i found you know constituent service to be really awesome opportunity that people if you just communicate with people and feel just be out there and be present. then there's this, you know tampering down of the rhetoric and they're like, okay. i get it and yeah, we do we do kind of agree on this particular thing and i think you can take all the major issues like i said from immigration to debt and deficit all those things that are really plaguing our country right now do it. i not to get political here. but that's the way that we have petition is not getting political. we've done a pretty good. i think we have done a really good job. yeah, i could i get actually watch this interview. is that's what i think the american people want to see right now. there is this there's i would categorize it maybe as a movable middle. kind of saw it maybe in the
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virginia. governor's race. they're like, okay so decisions made in washington have really affected my life. right and i work on the natural resources committee as well. so we talk a lot about energy policy. it's energy and climate and conservation we go through all that type of work. and there's an opportunity right now. i think for the republican party to really hit this this this this this group of people that are like, okay, i was frustrated at this but goodness now, this is really affected my life and if you see this amount of government spending take place and it suppresses our workforce with existing supply chain issues. i don't blame everything with inflation on president biden's administration and we were going to have a supply chain issue as we kind of ramped back up out of the pandemic. but but injecting two trillion dollars of non-offset spending that was masqueraded as a covid bill like those types of things go directly into the equation of inflation, and there's only one way. there's only one thing you get out of that when you depression workforce you load your monitor supply you get inflation, right?
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and unfortunately the the there's only one way out of it too and that's to raise interest rates and slowly down and that's gonna hurt people too. so it's just people are recognizing that there's a there's a movable middle and so i love how much you're talking about going out to unreached communities. and for the republican party need to be to look more like america. no for sure and you mentioned you mentioned governor youngkin. a 10% swing from a year prior. yeah. well, it wasn't a youngkin in the race though. it's hard to really make that's a better the president. so biden and trump. would that have been a bigger if youngkin was running in 2020 would there have been a ten? that's i'm i have a poster by traits they get i get excited about that stuff, but they did they went democrat in their last statewide election by 10 points and they swung hugely toward junkin. yeah, that's a trend right in and i and a testament to young kids campaign and how they reached out and made sure the things that were matter. i think the american vote is a sophisticated voter. yeah, and they do something different they look.
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i think there's a lot of conversations about or we're going to do this or this right? no, let's make an ant let's make an end and issue and one of the issues you've mentioned is immigration. this one drives me crazy. because republican primary voters and democratic primary voters want to see a solution and that solution they agree on like 80% and and there is a bill this this is probably one of the things that i was most frustrated by in my time in congress the usa act that would have addressed border security with extreme line legal immigration, you know, what's happening on the board of right now is an absolute crisis in the worst has ever been we're not using our intelligence to dismantle these human trafficking organizations and networks that are happening the difference between a human's uglier and a terrorist. it's a terrorism has do something once. a human smuggler and a drug trafficking organization has to have infrastructure that can replicate activity, which means
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that something you can dismantle and so we're not doing enough on that piece, but if you if you if you streamline legal immigration it takes off someone that pressure. you also in every industry needs workers. and it might be seasonal workers in utah or agricultural landscape or agriculture our h2a hdb requests that alleviates pressure on the border as well. i will say your predator the your successor individual in your seat. now one of the most sound voices, i'm sure he cares a lot of what you had done one of the most sound voices on immigration to actually look at it as a holistic approach because we do we agree about the outcome we agree about what we want to get to and this is the process on how we can get it and everybody's you know, kind of scared to vote one way or the other if it looks too much like this because then this and then when we've got to solve this i remind people the dream act when it was first brought up. it was it failed. because of six democratic
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senators when president obama was in office. and the usa act was prevented from coming in the floor by republican leadership, but now democratically leadership is preventing to bring that forward and ultimately it's because leadership on both sides of the party would rather use this issue political football as a political football 100% right? and so so these are some of the real solutions. oh and by the way what people forget folks want you to go back to the audition and be like i did this right like i fixed this problem like this is this is what you know, i did for this community. that's a way bigger motivation than being like i prevented those jerks on the other side from from doing this x y or c. and and it's just it's wild for me is like some people say hey, will your views are a little, you know a little too sweet
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right like you're a little too you're a little too optimistic. well, i'm optimistic because the people that are out there and i talk to are the ones that are like, hey, this is what we need this what we want. that's the opportunity. we always we always want to look at the last election or fight the last war not the next war and and there's opportunities abound and we got to get through this because the the challenges we're having to address. i'm gonna be crazy. i'm not doing my first interview without bringing up march madness you talk a little bit about coachesky. yeah, and in an analogy there and you related even to afghanistan any thoughts on that. i thought that was fasting and of course timely i mean what kind i had i actually had kansas in nova playing each other. okay, so i'm in the game. so i have kansas winning my bracket with my buddies back home. so i'm still in the game, but i didn't see the duke unc side playing out and what an awesome time for that to take place for sure. look at these young kids for their their fabled coach, right? you know, they're good. they're put they got a little extra in the tank.
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you know, my my brother is super disappointed because he's a texas tech red raider so it's been around but them my bracket had houston going all the way so i was so my mind's messed up but but the analogy i use is coach k talks about how if you try to hit somebody with your fists, you know, and your fingers are open. you're gonna break your hand, but when you close that when you all five fingers are close together, you can pack a powerful punch right and think of this chris rock's lucky there was yeah. i know exactly we're moving on. we're not going there exactly and so the stress of teamwork, right? yeah is is important. and and you know another another good another good coach that i used to play in the in the the member lobbyists basketball game i play in that and and we had we had a guest coach a coach calipari.
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all right. i mean people telling me about that. yeah, and and it was great. i we were behind because the members, you know, we hadn't practiced together much and and our endurance was pretty terrible and we were getting we got real close. we got with him two points, and he called the he called he called a timeout and there's all these grown men right sitting around and coach. he looked. each of us in the eye. and we all come down and he goes breathe just breathe right and we're like, yeah, we're gonna breathe right? and so sometimes when we when we settle down right and we can we can look to sports as some examples on how to solve many of our problems work together be common cool and we can get a lot of accomplish. that is is. is that's a great, you know, that's a great sentiment in communicating that because with you know, what coach k has done in his careers is really neat and you have to sort of build
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that that structure and again, i want to just go back to this. this next century like i've showed i've laid out some of my you know big things that we need to be addressing. but you know. i serve on armed services intelligence background i've served myself in southeast asia and lived over there. let's talk just like zero in a little bit more on the china side. sure. i personally think our debt in china or two of our our most our biggest challenges. and so we talked a little bit about this but the belt and road initiative and you he explained it better than than i really seen it in text before. just how concerning that is the debt that these countries are getting into to china. exactly what china wants to have happened? they don't care if they have to spend a little bit more on an
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infrastructure project in africa or latin america. they're going to be able to use that. for their un security vote sure. that's a scary scary thing. i love your perspective on that look, so it starts talked about motivations. what is the motivation of the chinese government and xi jinping? it's very simple. as a surpass a united states of america as a global superpower. this is not my opinion. this is not me laying in my bed thinking at night. what is gonna happen? this is not collecting intelligence when i was in the cia about what the chinese government is doing. this is what the chinese government has said said about themselves in english. so so start with that and how are they going to surpass us? they're going to surpass us by being the global leader in a number of advanced technologies 5g ai quantum. i'm a hypersonics biotech, you
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know, it's space right? there's about 14 industries. 5g we've been talking a lot people talk a lot about does 5g matter? it's going to be awesome. to download season 3 of ted lasso in two seconds on my phone. yeah, okay, but the route the reality of 5g when you have your phone and you do something on your phone and it goes into the cloud and then response comes back that that time it takes for that process to happen is latency. 5g is going to allow us for that that trip to take place in one nanosecond. our thoughts are in seven nanoseconds? so we are going to have the entire power of the internet. in our hands in real time. what is that going to allow us to do right and so when china and huawei specifically there they a chinese technology company you bring it up because i could i would have taken us
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theirs too owns 30% of the world's infrastructure when it comes to 5g so that means anything that's traveling over that infrastructure. they can influence. i don't care how great you think your encryption is. the ability that that process has to travel over an infrastructure owned by an adversary. they can do a whole lot of stuff with it. they can they can stop it. they can try to get into it. they can turn it back. they can change it. right and so so this is why and it starts with 5g because artificial intelligence in order to have real intelligence and to have ai at the edge right at the end in your phone in your device. you have to have that 5g infrastructure to make that happen. that's why these two things are connected vladimir putin said whoever matches ai is gonna master the world. he said said that back in 2014. i think it's the only thing he and i agree on right and so so this is the methodical approach
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that the chinese government is taking we talk about privacy in the united states a lot. europe there's a transatlantic beef on privacy. but guess what? you know who doesn't care about civil liberties. it rhymes with the chinese governments, right? they are the and so you do not want these new technologies being driven and decided by the authoritarian government who doesn't care about civil liberties. these are the with the delivery mechanism in hallway what the delivery mechanism and okay why so tiktok i don't care. if you do a silly dance. and share it. okay, i don't. however all of the data tagging your friends tagging locations user behavior all of that stuff. that is why tiktok was a national security issue because all of that can go in the government the chinese government can use it and they can use all that information to train their algorithms.
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whoever has the most data is going to be whoever has the most data and has the most computing power is going to be able to make these algorithms do something. so imagine a scenario in which an algorithm can know absolutely everything you've ever done digitally about you. and then direct ads or influence you based on that information. look, i i use timely information that you that they're identifying when you're making a decision about something and they're able to directly influence you. i can't say i don't really care if it's a grocery store might even help me might even help me like oh what product actually do it. do i care about but if i'm gonna be making a political decision and i'm gonna go vote and i'm you know, i'm getting the ballot. they know it's coming three weeks before and they go and they communicate it. it's scary. it's scary. right? and so so look, we should embrace these things right technology is going to also allow us to do things like look. we're already seeing energy companies using artificial
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intelligence to improve the amount of hydrocarbons. they get out of the ground. they're using less water. they're using less land right we're seeing agriculture to be able to you know, bruce bruce crops outputs. that's what that's why like it's amazing. we're able to detect more right now. you can look at your iris and detect the number of of cancers well in advance of any kind of technology that we have now, which means people are going to live longer lives. so there's a great upside. i always we need to take advantage of before it takes advantage of us. and so this is the landscape in which we're going to compete with the government of china and i want are 401ks. to be based off of investments in american companies not chinese companies. i want our kids growing up to in our grandkids growing up to get jobs with great american or european or western company our allies our countries of our
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allies a democratic countries. that's what i want to happen. look i don't get me wrong. i watch a foreign film every once in a while. i watch the that what was the show on netflix that was in korean, you know, i watched that with yeah with the subtitles why i'm fine with that i speak korean. so yeah, i don't want every movie. being in mandarin with english subtitles, right? these are is that this is what is ants is that state? and and what is the chinese government realizing, you know, we just got out of the olympics right or a couple months ago and there was all that focus on that young woman from california who decided to to compete with the chinese. i'm not going to debate the decision of a young 18 year old woman, but what's even more fascinating is why did xi jinpin put the hardcore press to get her to do that? he understood. the value of having this young
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californian, you know make the choice could have been on the us could have the us across her ski gear absolutely said she was she was wearing the so the fact that they're seeing that soft power the fact that they're using the belt and road initiative to to when you look at the map. of all the countries that they have a belt and road initiative. it is staggering how much money they're putting and we have debates here in the united states about how 1% of our budget is too much when it comes to form aid right? so this is this this is where things are going and it really does jeopard jeopardize our standing in the world at jeopardizes are retirements. it jeopardizes everything and and those are what some of the conversation i think we should be having and what they can use they can lay this out. hey athletes. you're going to become you have. how many in china now how many how many people live in china now?
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there's two billion. yeah. i'm here you have immediate access. to billions of people that you're going to be a star in a sensation. i her decision has her decision. but like that's a lure for people to be like that's immediate success and you know you don't become a you know you popular during the olympics but you don't become a national sensation off of one olympic event or if you know and i i i'm a big fan of the olympics where i represent park city of course we're hoping to have him back soon and we need to you know that soft power so let me move it away from the soft power and just hit on one thing that i'm in the of right now and i know that our dods in the middle of it and we used to design these contracts. we have just a few minutes left, but we used to design these contracts. company would take it on perform a really important innovative feat for our department of defense then four or five years later. we're declassifying enough of this and it ends up being very very applicable commercial use
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those days are slipping away and it's way too expensive and too timely to develop the capabilities that our department of defense needs. we've got to embrace our commercial technology our small businesses our cyber world. that's where the work and the innovative work is being done and it needs to inject into our dod and we're figuring out how to go about making this transition brother. don't don't start with me because i love talking procurement right because because right now the government needs by not build right the fact that is so hard to get innovative technologies introduce into the government is is plaguing our ability to compete an authoritarian government like china can get some place first right because they can move all factors of production in one direction, but but i will always take entrepreneurship in an ingenuity and freedom over authoritarianism. but yes, we have and part of the problem. is the way procurement works in the government the person
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purchasing the good or service is different from the person using the good or service, right? and that disconnect is what creates some of that problem now moving some of that that power and authority to those individuals that are ultimately use it you'll see speed, you know, the cia usually adopt stuff probably earlier than most folks in the government part of that is a commitment to the mission and to help people downrange. and so so yeah, look the only way we're gonna to solve this. have an allies right having a bigger posse and making sure that the public and the private sector are working together against dealing with these these issues an industry. i've spent a lot of time in the last over the last year's space. yeah, the number of commercial companies in space is mind-boggling like if you would have asked me back in 2015 when i first came into congress, would there be more space companies and you can name i would say absolutely not no way but i know of a company that's good. that's gonna be building the
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first structure on the moon. right probably within two years like it's just it's it's wild and so the science fiction is really becoming science reality and the only way we're continuing to keep up. is if is if public and private sector actually we figure out a way to work together and introduce novel in technology into the government. it's that the space piece. with the lack of treaties and the one one satellite that they blow up. did you hear the trepidation in the the people on the international space station? they're like we have to go on a spacewalk. this might be hitting us like you could hear their absolutely it is it's an it's a frontier without sounding trekkie. it gets a it's a it's a concern that we don't have the order figured out on how we're going to go manage this and the amount of you know, they are now designing every launch based on space junk and how they're gonna navigate and miss that and that's only gonna perpetuating if we don't get control over. oh, that's a whole number dia
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did a report. i want to say two years ago and talked about how space is contested. it's no longer this. we're all holding hands singing kumbaya right when you when you create a satellite. that has a claw on it. right that clause i'm gonna be used for one thing and that's when it gets close to something else is going to cut it. hit it. knock it out. right, right. and and so and and what we sometimes forget is how important space is to us here on earth our communications how we navigate the understanding the weather all of that stuff is important. and so these are some of the conversations that are super complex, but we got to be able to find answers to well you're gonna sign my book again american reboot one of the with the book when i love about just final comment. is you have so much personal introspection on you know, what drives you to do your next thing like any final thoughts on on
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your your history your upbringing? you know, how all that plays into your motivation to to go out and stay involved. sometimes when you leave congress people are like, oh no like i think you're doing you're doing a lot of things. i appreciate that and and for me, i've been lucky. i've been lucky to serve my country and a number of different ways and i'm lucky, you know, i have more opportunities and my father had and i hope for my nieces and my nephews to have more opportunities and i had and it starts with as my dad always told me. i'm have a pma positive mental attitude, but also to make sure you model the behavior you want to see happen. if you know, it's really if if you don't like social media and you think it's toxic. well, are you being toxic on social media? right. are you encouraging the people that are doing the things you want to see right and so model the behavior that you want to see when we do that. i think this place will be a little bit better. thank you so much. i appreciate it. yes.
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well, i'm honored and privileged. to be here this morning with former secretary of defense mark esper, i might also say former secretary of the army mark esper. colonel retired united states army mark hesper served


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