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tv   Road to the White House  CSPAN  August 28, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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needed resources and moving forward, fema is working with state and local responders to assess damage and assist in the recovery. i want to underscore that the impact of the storm will be felt for some time. the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer. in every way that we can as they work to restore power in those areas. so i'm going to make sure that d.h.s. and fema and other federal agencies are doing everything in their power to help folks on the ground. i continue to meet regularly with secretary napolitano and administrator fumgate to insure we have what we need in place. i have told governors and mayors across the affected area, if they need something, i want to know about it. we want to respond as quickly and effectively as possible. we're going to keep did up as
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along as hurricane season continues. faith, while we're not out of the woods yet, i want to thank everybody at the federal, state, and local levels who have worked so hard to respond to this storm. this has been an empolarry effort of how good -- examplary government are everyone's needs. i want to thank scientist who's provide the information necessary for governors and mayors to make sound decisions, disaster response experts to make sure we were as prepared as possible, to national guard members and first responders to risk their lives to insure their fellow citizens' safety, all americans who love their country and volunteer to do their part. above all, the past few days are a shining example of how americans open up their homes and hearts to those in need and pull together in top times to
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help fellow citizens respond to and recover from extraordinary challenges, whether natural disasters or economic difficulties. that's what makes the united states of america a strong and resilient nation are strong and resilient people. i want to thank all who have been involved very much. now i would like to ask secretary napolitano and administrator fugate to say a few words. janet. >> thank you. thank you, mr. president. and i would like to echo the president's comments about the ongoing threat from hurricane irene. we will be dealing with the impacts of this storm over the coming days and i urge all americans to take prudent steps to stay safe. now dealing with a storm like this requires a three-phase approach, preparation, response, and recovery. some states and communities are still currently responding while others are beginning to assess their damages and plan
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for recovery. assets are freed up in states already impacted by the storm, we will begin moving them to help with ongoing response and we will be working with all other states throughout the recovery period. i would also like to thank the entire team that is working so hard to respond to irene and that team includes the american people. thanks to all of you who prepared, especially those who followed local evacuation orders. your actions help protect not only your families and minimize loss of life, but also freed up local first responders to help those who needed help the most. now department of homeland security will continue working to coordinate the federal response through fema, making sure that the entire federal family is working as one to support the affected states, so with that, i would like to personally thank craig fugate who is my director of fema and
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the entire fema team who have been leading this effort. so craig. >> thank you, mr. president and secretary. when you look at these disasters, a lot of times you try to find a place of damage that tells everybody the story about what's happened. in this hurricane that's hard to do because i'm pretty sure most of you forgot puerto rico and the virg gin islands were the first impacted and we have people who have lost their homes and are dealing with recovery in puerto rico and now we're dealing with it in north carolina and up the coast where flooding is ongoing. we're working hard across this country from tornadoes and floods that have already struck this country as well as the new damages. that's part of the mission we have with fema to work with our state and local partners and most of all, the american people who we work for. we're there for the survivors. we'll be there through the length of these disasters. we're not going home just
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because it won't be ons news. we have a lot of work ahead of us and be there and support local commutes and states as they begin the local recovery. thank you. >> ok, thank you very much, everybody. craig and janet will continue to keep everybody posted throughout the week as we have already said there are a lot of communities that are still being affected. we are particularly concerned about flooding because the continuing rains can end up having an impact well beyond the immediate center of the storm and so we're going to continue to monitor that carefully. assessments are already being done in north carolina and virginia. there are still search and rescue teams that are operating throughout the region and we will continue to keep the american people posted throughout our efforts, not only with respect to response but also with respect to recovery. so thanks very much, everybody. [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> next on c-span, it's road to the white house. we'll show you an interview with republican presidential candidate john huntsman. after that, it's q & a with author clarence lusane on the contributions of black men and women in the white house in his book, "the black history of the white house." later another chance to see ireland's prime minister criticize the catholic church over mishanding child sex abuse cases from 1996 through 2009. on tonight's "road to the white house," an interview with republican presidential candidate john huntsman. the former governor and u.s. ambassador to china talked about his strategy for winning the republican nomination and the state of the u.s. economy and relations with china. this is close to an hour. >> governor john huntsman, when
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did you first think about running for president? >> as we were departing china just this year, of course, there is always talk about higher office when you're a governor. i would dismiss that as nonsense and never really focused on the presidency until we returned home from china and there were some folks who actively had organized and thought there was room for another candidate who brought a real world problem solving approach to our challenges as a nation. we looked at the situation, analyzed it and as a family decided we would get in the race. >> what do you bring to this campaign? what's your message? >> well, i think i think we bring a very realistic common sense approach to, first of all, recognizing the situation that we face, which is a desperate dire difficult economic set of circumstances where you got high unemployment, record debt, the most difficult economic
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situation since the depression and people hurting and people not just hurting, but people downright frightened about their circumstances and about their future. so i think in order to address that, three things are going to be important as we go forward. i think i bring all three of these to the race. one, private sector experience where you have got somebody who understands the fragility and the importance of the free market and what it means to job creation going forward, because as far as the eye can see into the 21st century, we have been creating jobs as a country. you need a president who understands the dynamic of the free market system, number two, having someone who has been a successful chief executive, a governor who has actually managed a state with something to show for it. in our case, taking a great state to number one in terms of job creation, the best environment, most pripicious for business, the best managed state in america. that is very important and the
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results speak for themselves. that would be a very important consideration by the voters. number three, someone who understands the unpredictable nature of the world in which we live. it's not going to get any better going forward. it's going to remain unpredictable. it's going to remain a dangerous place. i have lived overseas for times. i have an intimate knowledge of our most significant economic relationship, china, and what i think is our most significant strategic challenge going forward as well, china. i think that is something that will be of great value in the oval office. >> i want to talk about your politics and experiences, i want to talk but. born where? >> born in california, raised in california. i was born in the navy. my father was in the navy at the time, born in palo alto. my mother left the naval base in san diego when my dad was out to sea on tour and i was delivered in palo alto.
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she went up to live with her parents for a little while. my grandfather at the time who had a small hardware store in palo alto was mayor of palo alto. then palo alto had nothing more than leyland stanford jury university and a lot of undervalued real estate. my other grandfather was principal of palo alto high school. both families were in the bay area. following that we went back to san diego to the navy base and following my dad's departure from the navy, moved to los angeles where he took a job with a couple of my uncles in a very small egg distribution business. so i spent the first part of my life in southern california. >> what was your dad's experiences like? what were they like in the navy? >> well, he was in rotc. he followed what his father had done. his father was a naval officer, too. in fact, on both sides of my family, i come from naval officers. so there was an expectation in
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my father's family that if you did it right, you would rise up and become an educator like my grandfather. you would serve in the navy, which is what he had done and his three sons all did the same thing. so my father was involved in the navy just right before the vietnam war, the early 1960's. so he served his two or three years consistent with the rotc commitment, got out and went into business after that. >> you dropped out of high school. why? >> i thought i could be a musician. i left a couple of classes hanging my senior year. i had been junior class president the year before, ran for senior class president, lost, thought i could make it in music. we started a rock band and i pursued that for about a year, year and a half only to find that wasn't to be my future and
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went back to more traditional life. >> what instrument did you play or instruments? >> keyboards, piano, rock organ, sin -- synthesizer. i still play to this day. we used to practice in the basement of the governor's mansion. we would warm up for various bands that would come to town and visit the state of utah. i love all kinds of music. i have a daughter who is a concert pianist. i have a son who is a guitar player and one that is a drummer. music has already been an important part of my life. >> was there a huntsman band? >> there was in the basement of the governor's mansion. i played keys, one played guitar and drums. we had several musicians that rounded out the band. we played every now and then. we were decent. i'm not sure we would have made the cut to tour at a club act.
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if we spent a little more time of it we could have made something of it. >> did you ever write a song? >> yes, wrote some of our own original music that was influenced more by the music trends of the 1970's where you had more art rock, more classical rock, long version songs where you had multiple chord progressions, you had solo breaks, the kinds of things that you don't find much in today's music, but was very much on display in the late 1960's and through much of the 1970's before disco then ran it out of town. >> in your perspective, who had the greatest influence in music, at least in your generation? >> oh, you would have to say probably the beatles or the rolling stones, since they were at the cutting edge of rock and roll, at least during my generation. they gave rise to, of course, the rock and roll that we
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experience in the 1960's and then into the 1970's which then turned heavily influenced by the u.k., which then turned to more classical rock and more classical rock and inspired i think a lot of bands here in the united states who then picked up their own varieties through the 1970's and the 1980's. i'm a traditionalist in that sense. i think that probably the beatles and the rolling stones and the who were probably among the most influential bands of my generation. >> so what's on your ipod? >> my ipod would include some music from the 1970's, 1980's, and even the 1990's. a heavy dose of foo fighters. i'm a foo fighters fan, more of a recent band. i have music by muse. i have rack mondayoff's third con con charityo that i like. on the jazz side, stanley clark, some of the best
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musicians to come together to form a band. it's a fairly eclectic offering. >> your own music career begins to fizzle away. you get your high school diplomacy, then what? >> i went on to college. i served as a mormon missionary overseas when i was 19 years old, lived in taiwan for two years where i was introduced to the chinese language which for me has been a fascination. it's taken me back to asia multiple times, something that i picked up and continued studying through college. it's all consistent with my fascination with the east asia region where i saw it on display as a young man in the late 1970's. i lived in taiwan right as the united states or shortly after the united states had pulled its diplomatic relationship with taiwan and recognized mainland china, the government in bay shank. so i saw the diplomatic
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technical tonic shifts taking place and for the first time felt the power of the united states, the consequences of the united states from a foreign policy standpoint. you see and you feel that much differently living overseas than you do here domestically. that left a lasting impact on me. it certainly influenced my course of study in college which was political science and international politics. >> let's talk about asia, do americans understand asia and does the u.s. policy reflect a policy specifically towards china that you think is propose? >> we -- appropriate. we have insufficient knowledge of asia. we don't quite understand the economic implications of the rise of asia and what that means in terms of our own competitiveness. when you look into the 21st century, it's going to be a much different century because it will be a century based on
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economic competition. the players pretty much all reside in the asia east pacific reason aside from the united states. the implications are fairly profound. if you visited china 10 years ago versus today, the differences are absolutely phenomenal. i'm one who believes that in order to truly understand the economic implications of the rise of asia and the way in which society has so transformed itself, you have to have visited on a very regular basis because the rise of asia and specifically the rise of china, it's all happened so quickly and the change of society, the development of society, the rise of their economy is so significant, so consequential with profound implications for our own country, i don't know that we have focused enough attention on what it means. so to have a president that is actually plugged into the raise of asia, what it means for the united states in terms of how
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we compete in the 21st century i think is going to be very important. >> so what should we be doing that we're not, specifically towards china, economically, politically, foreign policy? >> well, i could give you a list of more academic answers, but i would have to tell you that we have to get our own house in order. if we're going to compete with the chinese, if we're going to do what needs to be done as a competitive nation in the 21st century, we have a little nation building to do here at home which is to say to get our economic house in order. our core is weak. our economic core is broken. we don't have the leverage we used to have in the u.s.-china relationship. i have to tell you that we're not going to project that might even though we're still 25% of the world's g.d.p. until such time as we get our own economic house in order. so longer term, i would argue that the best u.s.-china policy is that which must take place right here on the homefront and that's getting our economy back
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in working order, which is to create a more competitive environment here. we don't have an environment that is conducive to job growth. our taxes are dilapidated. they need to be changed. they need to be updated. they need to be simplified, flattened and more competitive. we have regulatory barriers and a lot of red tape. that makes it difficult for business to start up and indeed for us to maintain any real industrial base in our country. there are things like energy independence that are real opportunities for this country that could be job creators and allow this economy to really move forward in ways that would benefit this nation. it's all there. it all needs to be done in order for us to rebuild that core and rebuilding that core i think will have a significant impact on how well then we're able to compete in the 21st century against the likes of china and india. >> you have talked often in the last couple of days about taxes and revenues. so clear up the issue of how you bring down a $14.5 trillion
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debt? do you do so by simply cutting spending? should revenues be on the table? if so, where? >> i like the ryan play. first of all, we have to be realistic about where we are. our economy has hit the wall. if you were in the banking sector, you would say that effectively we're in a workout position right now. so you look at the ryan plan. you look at how it talks about medicare. we can't keep doing things the way we have been doing it year after year. we fundamentally have to change the dynamics of entitlements. that means social security, medicare and what the ryan plan calls for in terms of the changes to medicare i think are absolutely right on. that is, you know, creating more of a marketplace. creating something more akin to medicare part d, something very similar to what we have done in creating an insurance connector in the state of utah in trying to close the gap on the uninsured there. we have to choice. we have to change the rules of the game. you can guarantee people about
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55 years of age that we will hold true to our commitment as a country, but those under 55 i think that dynamic has to change. we have to show more flexibility. we have to broaden the marketplace. when you have medicare where the average human being is paying in over his or her last time and paying in $100,000 and getting paid $300,000, the system is upside down. i completely subscribe to the changes in medicare. in social security, we're going to have to take some bold measures as well. we have to back out the retirement age. why? because we have no choice. we're going to have to move it something closer to the 15th percentile of the average length of life. we're living a whole lot longer than we were in 1935 when social security came about. so a combination of moving the retirement age and indexing the underlying numbers to c.p.i. as
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opposed to the assumptions that today are being used. those two things alone i think would make a significant impact on social security. >> so there should there be a means test nerms of your income and whether you should receive social security? >> absolutely there should be. a lot of people in this country who don't need social security, who don't need medicare and i think we need to look realistically as where we have to be drawing those lines, means testing, absolutely should be on the table. we got to look at these programs. this is 2/3 of our nation's budget. we need to look at these programs and say we can't afford to keep doing things the old fashioned way. it's going to bankrupt this country. you look at the current numbers and try to extrapolate it to 2020 for example. i tried to explain it to my kids the other day, their generation. following medicare and social security and interest payments on the debt, in 2020 there is
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nothing debt. what do you do about national security? what do you do about defense and disaster relief? we're on a trajectory that is so dangerous economically for this country and it's got to stop, but we're just going to have to put entitlements on the table, look at them differently than we have in the past. same with the defense department. >> as you know, if you are the republican nominee, you'll face a democratic firestorm on the issue of social security and any titlement cuts. >> i understand that. we got to talk truth. we got to recognize the facts for what they are and we have to proceed by doing business differently than we have in the past. we have no choice. the people of this country understand that. they understand the implications of where we are going and the disservice we're doing to the next generation of americans. in the history of the greatest nation that ever was, we're not passing our standards upward. we're passing downward. that's the first time that we have done.
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it is less productive. it is less competitive. it is saddled with debt like never before. we should do better than that we should do better than that for the next generation. they deserve better. we have to take some pretty bold measures and speak the truth to the american people about where we are and what needs to be done. it isn't a pleasant message, i understand that we're not in a good place right now as a country. >> you are john huntsman jr. who is john huntsman sr. what is your relationship like with your dad and what did he teach you about business? >> he is a great man. he is not only my dad, but my best friend. he is a great american entrepreneur, great family business success story that we were all part of building in life. as with any family business, you start small and you build it up. if you're lucky enough, some years it hits the wall economically. you face dire times. in other years, you do reasonably well. he is a man who has taught me first and foremost before we ever had a family business, service to your community.
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it doesn't matter what your background is, what your economic means are, you serve your community. you leave it a better place. that was always something that he instilled in me at a very, very young age. number two, the importance of hard work, which i started doing at a very, very young age, either as a dishwasher having a lawn company selling records door to door, in fact i worked with my wife in a restaurant when i was 16 years old. i was a dishwasher and she was a salad girl still trying to get a investigate with her which i failed miserablely at. life placed us in the same restaurant at the same time which was an outgrowth of the work ethic that was instilled in me by my father and may have also had a side benefit by kind of starting a little romance at the time as well. >> it was a marie calendar restaurant? >> yeah. pretty unglamorous place, but
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it was work. >> growing up in a family with seven brothers and sisters -- >> i'm the oldest of nine. >> what are the dynamics in a family like that? >> you know, when you can grow up in a family of nine kids and you can have a family business and you come out of it where each is respectful of the other, where you cheer each other on is probably a pretty rare set of circumstances. you know in family businesses these days there are fights, skirmishes, lawsuits, there is division and animosity. i have to say in our family, thanks to my good parents, probably also thanks to the fact that we didn't start with a family business. it kind of grew over time, so our philosophy has always been, we didn't start with anything, you leave life with nothing. you give it back. you find a way to benefit your communities. i have to say the family dynamic is a very good and a very healthy one with love and respect one for another. >> in fact, your dad had been
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quoted as saying he wants to die broke. >> yeah, i think he'll succeed. i think he'll succeed. i think for the rest of us, for whatever we might have, whatever we might develop during our lifetime, that philosophy holds true. you enter life with nothing. you leave with nothing. you leave it behind directed at causes that will help the human condition, help your communities. we have the great privilege of starting a cancer institute that i was president and c.e.o. of. my father was chairman of the board back in the 1990's it started. for years and years and years, we started small and built overtime what is today a terrific cancer center. it does basic research and it does clinical work as well. i have to say, you can take politics out of the equation. can you take business out of the equation. this is what is important to people in life. finding a cure for cancer, giving hope to those who are absolutely hopeless when they
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have been diagnosed with this dreadful disease, that's what is important in life. that's what i take in my journey life. some things are less important than others. that's truly important. >> cancer remains a leading cause of death in this country. are we doing enough to research the causes and the treatment of cancer? >> you know, you would like to see the national cancer institute receive more in the way of funding. you would like to see, aside from funding, more collaboration and coordination among our research centers. we have got some great universities in this country, the finest in the world, who are making some very, very good breakthroughs, particularly we're at the end of the human genome project. that has unlocked a lot of the mysteries of disease. the root cause of disease, who might be susceptible to certain types of diseases, the inherit ability of certain diseases like cancer, we know a whole lot more of it today.
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not only do i see cures around the corner, but i certainly see in the meantime being able to improve the quality of life. so what would have been a death sentence for somebody 20 years ago means that you can live a longer life today with a better quality of life and the one thing that i would hope for would be greater collaboration among our research centers. you have universities with various smart people. they tend to hoard because you win funding and prizes based on what you discover. people are less likely to break down those barriers institution to institution to share some of the basic research that has been done. if we were to pool the basic research that goes on in this country, which is a very powerful engine, and let's just say begin greater collaboration with other countries, for example, in china, they have some very smart scientists in china. they have increasingly good research capabilities and development. if we were to blow the lid off
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the wall that now divides science and basic research and pool for of the discoveries, we would get to that end point where curious are found, not only for cancer, but, for example, my daughter has juvenile diabetes. she is my hero in life because she has carried this disease with great dignity and without any kind of self-pity and she has to shoot herself up with insulin every single day and test her blood multiple times a day. i would love nothing more than to be a cure for juvenile diabetes. it's around the corner. we have the brain power. you wish they would drop those barriers that stand in the way of greater scientific collaboration. >> let's go back to your now wife mary kay. when did she yes to a date and when did you get married? >> she said yes to a date my junior year in high school and
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it was a one off deal because she had a boyfriend. i don't want to get into this kind of romantic detail. i'm not sure it was important at all. i was successful once my junior year in landing a date. beyond that, it was a hard fought battle all the way to when i think i was 21 or 22 years of age and we ultimately married in 1983, in november of 1913 and we have been married ever since, seven kids to show for it, two of whom are adopted. >> walk through that process, adopting overseas, why did you do it? >> well, i had lived four times in asia, three of them with mary kay. i think it really started in the 1980's when mary kay and i were living, building a joint venture factory in taiwan in the 1980's and she would volunteer at a catholic church orphanage in our neighborhood. i remember her coming home one
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day saying we have got to bring one of these kids into our family. they have no life. they have no hope. they have no future. there is a need. and selfishly i would say we have our own kids. let's make sure that they're raised to be productive contributing members of society and maybe we can revisit the whole idea of adopting someone. i never thought that i would be the father of adopted children. it just never crossed my mind early in life. now i wouldn't have it any other way. we revisited that whole thought many years later in the late 1990's. we lived in asia three times together and we had a real tie to that part of the world and we decided that we had a little more love to give after our own five biological children. it's hard to describe beyond words what i mean when i say we
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had a little more love to give. you just know it at the time. we started the paperwork and went through the bureaucratics of adopting a child. at the time in 1999, the relationship was improving between the united states and china. it was right after we had bombed their embassy in belgrade as you remember that incident and the relationship had soured tremendously in the late 1990's. so the relationship was on the uptick and we waited probably six to eight months would be my guess before we were able to adopt little gracie who had been abandoned at two months of age at a vegetable market at a city in china, no note, no record, just a child found at a vegetable market. she apparently had a smile on her face because the name they gave her was happiness, so her
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chinese name is after the town she was found and what means happiness or content president in chinese. we were lucky enough to bring her into our family at her being roughly six to seven months of age. the minute i laid eyes on her at that orphanage, the connection was complete. i knew she was ourselves. that bond of love and affection just happened instantaneously. that adopt so transformed our family and so transformed my own kids in terms of the way that they saw the world and the appreciation that they had for kids in every corner of this world who have such need, don't have families. they don't have a life to look forward to, they can't aspire to anything great in life because of their circumstances that some years later we
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decided to do it again. we had just been elected governor and our life was busy and it was frenetic. it was about the last thing we needed, but, again, we had that love to give as a family and india is another country that has pulled me in over the last 25 or so years much like china. we thought if we're going to adopt another child, let's go to a region that has also had an impact on our lives and that was india. we went through the process. it was long and it was as torturous as anyone who has been part of this process knows and it took a long time, but ultimately we adopted from a catholic orphanage in rural india, little asha, which is hindi for hope. so her name translates to the hope of india.
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her circumstances were quite dire. she was delivered in a little field in rural india, left on the day of her birth and for whatever reason discovered by some villagers. she has a very loud voice and she even at 5 years of age, she makes her presence known wherever she goes. i think it was that loud voice at birth that probably saved her life. she was handed over to the local catholic orphanage. we adopted her a little more than a year later. >> did your own children accept them immediately? >> they did. they were all part of the run up to the adoption. so the run-up to the adoption can be a very unusually gratifying emotional journey all by itself where you learn about the circumstances. you begin to bond with the child before you even adopt. and so by the time the adoption occurs, your heart is ready, your mind is ready, your family
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is prepared because everyone has been part of the application process, the wait, the following of the journey from start to finish and so our kids were ready with both of them and embraced both gracie and asha immediately as they came into our family. it was a transformative experience, i just got to tell you, like few things that we have done in life, a completely transformative experience. >> let's talk about your tenure as governor. what was the most difficult you had to make and how do you go about making a decision as an executive? >> a lot of difficult decisions as governor, most of them dealing with families in difficult circumstances. decisions you make all the time, i think those that were most heart-wrenching for me had to do with dealing with
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families, for example, who had lost a loved one in the theater of combat. as governor, you're the commander in chief of the national guard and when you lose a member of the guard and you have to sit down with those family members, when you have to preside and speak at those funerals, that's always a very, very difficult thing to do it was always for me a very heart-wrenching thing. i can say cutting budgets, dealing with the policy issues around cutting education and cutting human services, those are always very difficult things to do during a time of economic austerity. you do what you need to do to balance budgets. for me it was always working with families, either families of guard members who had lost their lives or, for example, we had a major mining tragedy in our state where we lost several individuals from a small town in utah, a mining town, a hard-working town that
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completely devastated that town and the county in which the town resided. and dealing with those families and in trying to console them and trying to represent all the people of your state in lifting and boosting the morale of the town after a devastating thing. the eyes of the country and probably the world were on this small town in utah during this mining incident. for me, as i reflect back on my years as governor, it was the interaction with people that stood out as either the most gratifying or the most heart-wrenching, i guess, because i'm a people person more than anything else. you feel the pain -- you feel the pain of people in the state when they're going through it. you feel the difficulty of having to cut budgets, particularly in the areas of education and human services. you feel those lives that are impacted and you rally together communities where you can't afford to cover many some
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services by bringing religious groups, by bringing foundations, by bringing not for profit organizations to step up and maybe contribute a little bit more, but i got to say, it was a terrific job and i love being governor. i love the rigors of presiding offense a state, being chief executive. i love the interplay with the legislature and the interest groups that are all part of it. i mean it's like running your own little country. you got everything that you would see on a national level. it's a microcosm of the country. the thing i like about the job most is the idea that you can create a vision for the state and you can share the vision with the people of your state. you can execute on that vision. you can actually pull the levers of power. through the power of persuasion and the power of the bully pulpit, you can get things done. then an interesting thing happens, you run for re-election and the people
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assess what you did. particularly in the case of governor and they remember what you said on the campaign trail and they remember what you promised to do as governor and then they look at what you did during your first term and then they hold you accountable. for me, that was a very, very important lesson in politics because i ran on a very specific platform in 2004. i had a 10-point plan and it was all about economic recovery and getting on our feet and expanding the base and creating jobs, reforming taxes and reforming health care. it took us a couple of years but we got every single point done on the 10-point play. got unemployment down to 10.4%. we do the taxes to a flat tax. we were the hottest economy in the country based on what magazines were saying, the best managed state in america. i went back to the electorate in 2008 and i said if you like your state, if you like what we
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have done, i ask for your support. if you don't like what we've done, you have got an alternative. vote for somebody else. and we got almost 80% of the vote for re-election. >> you were re-elected and you get a call from the president to go to china. how much time did you put into that decision? >> days. when it was put on the table and the white house called, there were a couple of days, two or three days where we had to think through as a family whether or not this was the right thing for us and for our state and our country. i love being governor. i mean, it was the greatest job in the world. we connected with people. we have been able to achieve a lot of things that a lot of folks had said were down right impossibility and we loved doing it as an entire family. and the thought of moving to the other side of the world,
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although we had lived there before, with a son who was a football player, they don't have football in china, kids who were in college, we wouldn't be able to see them, a daughter who was soon to be married, we would have to disengage from all of that. it was a very, very painful thing to do as a family. we thought military families do it. foreign service families do it. folks who serve in embassies all over the world, they make a sacrifice. if they can do it, we can do it, too, if we can make our country a better place by stepping up in a bipartisan fashion and serving. it was really driven by the whole notion that if you love your country, you serve her. when you're president, ask you to step up in serve, in a bipartisan fashion, you step up and do it. that's a philosophy i was raised up with and i'll take it to my grave. >> if you run for president, you're running against the person that appointed you as ambassador to china? >> that's right, that's right. i served proudly and i would do
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it again. you don't resign your political affiliation and you don't compromise your world view when you take u.s. ambassador to china. you bring to the job the skills that you have built up as a manager, as a foreign policy expert, as someone who knows china intimately well and you go at a job that under eight presidents has been a bipartisan spot. try your best to protect and defend your country's interests in what today is the world's most important relationship, the u.s.-china relationship. >> the person who has been appointed by the president, the head of g.e. to create jobs has a company that is leading jobs in the midwest and moving to china. is that part of business? >> you have a lot of international companies that are truly global companies and sadly enough, we don't have enough of a competitive foundation in this country to expand our industrial base and to do what i think is going to
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need to be done in the years ahead in order to expand our manufacturing base which today is 10% of our g.d.p. getting it back to 20% and 25% of our g.d.p. of what it was in 1960 when i was born. so it's a combination of a couple of things. one, there is a legitimate need on the part of multinational companies to service their customer base, wherever they might be and it's not that you're manufacturing in another country and sending it back here. more and more, your manufacturing in another country to service the needs of that country because you got rising g.d.p.'s, disposable incomes on the rise in many countries in the world. if you're a global company, you got to service your customer base wherever they happen to be in the world. but the second part of this, we haven't done enough to insure that we have a competitive economic foundation here in this country and that's either taxes or that's regulation,
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that's making a marketplace that is hospitable and conducive to manufacturing growth. we need to do a better job of it here in america. i do believe that we have an opening. as china becomes more expensive and as labor rates increase 10 and 15% each year and as the political situation in the years to come in china becomes a little more tenuous, i think a lot of manufacturers, a lot of international businesses are going to return right here to the preferred marketplace anywhere in the world. we are the preferred marketplace. we're 25% of the world's g.d.p. we need to improve our environment for growth. taxes and regulation in order to capture what i think in the years to come is going to be a real opportunity for this country to get back in the game economically. >> you also worked for a couple of republican presidents at the white house. >> right. >> what did you learn about the job of president from your vantage point? what did you see? >> that you are in fact the
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leader of the free world, that the power of the bully pulpit goes well beyond our own shores and that this world is better served by a strong america. we are the only country left in the world that can stand up and speak out on democracy and liberty and free rights. it all starts with the presidency. there is nothing more powerful than that office, then the bully pulpit and you hear it and having lived overseas, i have felt it firsthand. the influence it that is felt internationally from this country as we project our goodness and our might, which has always been, i think an influence for good internationally is unparalleled. it's set by the president. i have seen people like president reagan who maximized that bully pulpit, who stood up
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and spoke out about the goodness of our american traditions. he was optimistic. he was a blue sky optimist. he would always be able to find the good in any situation. he had a very simple view of the world based on his priorities and what he wanted to get gone. he wanted to reinvigorate the economy out of the doldrums of the late 1970's. he wanted to win the cold war. he knew that he would have to engage soviet leadership in order to do it to preserve peace through strength and he wanted to promote freedom and liberty throughout the world. you always knew where he stood on the i understand of the day. he was an effective communicator. he was an effective statesman because he stood his ground. >> are you ready for the job? >> absolutely, absolutely, as ready as anyone can be. you know, you have to say that you're going to draw from private sector experience. you're going to draw from being governor. you're going to draw from your
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stints overseas and you kind of pull a little bit from each one of those experiences and you take what you have learned and you put that into the job and you say, do i have as much as any candidate maybe has ever had in terms of running for the presidency? in looking at my ballgame, have i seen the world for what it is? have i been in an executive position and dealt with the legislature, dealt with difficult and thorny issues? have i been able to move an agenda along based on leadership? absolutely. i think i got what it takes. >> what type of person would you surround yourself? what type of cabinet secretaries would you look for? >> people who believe in service above everything else, people who believe that we are in a difficult and precarious moment in our nation's history, people who otherwise wouldn't think about public service but today, because of our dire
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circumstances and the need for good people to step up would be willing to do just that and take on a set of responsibilities. so i would want to draw from people who in ordinary circumstances would say i would never want to serve in government. i have too much to lose if i do that. i would rather stay in private life of the i would rather stay in academic life. i would rather stay in not for profit life. i want to draw on people who have something to bring to the table, who might not be thinking about serving their country, but are the best at what they do and based on our time in history and the needs that we have would be willing to step up and serve given the circumstances. >> what do your seven kids think about this run? >> they are terribly supportive. my daughters talked me into running for governor when i never thought it was something i would do. i never contemplated a run for the governorship? >> they told you to run? >> they sat me down after i had
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been trade ambassador for 2 1/2 years and spent a whole lot of time overseas with trade agreements. i covered all of south asia and all of africa. that's the part of the world that i covered as trade ambassador. as my daughters grew up, they as my daughters grew up, they sat me down at one point. they were in high school, a couple of them were and said they would like my dad back. i said what would you like your dad to do? i do what i do well. i'm serving our country and making a good contribution. they said i think you should run for governor of our state. i think you're crazy. i'll give you a weekend to sit down and think about it. we followed up and we discussed it and we looked at our state, the state we love and the state that was in need of what we uniquely could bring, which was expertise in revitalizing an economy and drawing from private sector experience and
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insuring that college grads didn't leave for greener pastures and investment dollars could be attracted and entrepreneurs could stay. we mounted a campaign. i told bob saleck, the trade ambassador at the time, he is now president of the world bank, that i was going to go out and run for governor and he said i have never worked with anyone who has done anything like that. i'm going to live it vicariously through you. good luck. i left as trade ambassador. i hung up my cleats and went out and immediately started a campaign. we loaded up our family suburban and kids included and we went town to town, home to home, city park to city park and after a year of campaigning which we absolutely loved. we won the election of 2004. >> so the kids have a pretty good sense of what politics is, the good, the bad, and the ugly. they're all pretty sophisticated kids. they have been around political
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life. they have been around the world. they're realists and they're very, very supportive and very excited. >> national journal wrote this about your campaign that john huntsman would be the right candidate with the right message at the wrong time based on what is happening in the republican party. how do you respond to that? >> i give the republican party more credit than that. i believe the republican party and indeed people who used to be republicans who are now unafillated or now independent voters are looking for a good, clear, economic message. based upon it being delivered by someone who has been there and done that and i think those three areas that i mentioned earlier are going to be critically important as people consider where we are in our time in history and where we need to go. and that is business experience, governing experience and international experience. we bring them all together. i think our message is right. people find that we are a conservative problem-solver. i'm pro life, pro second
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amendment. i'm pro growth with a track record to show for it. more importantly, we're going to be honest with the voters. my track record is what it is. my accomplishments are what they are. i'm running on my record. i'm proud of it and all i ask is for people to look at it. inif they do, they'll like what they see. i'm not going to morph myself into something i am not. i am what i am. the record is what it is. i think it's absolutely consistent with our time in history. we're going to take it out to folks aggressively and we're going to say what i think needs to be said and hope for the best. i like our position. >> what is your strategy? begin in iowa, moves to new hampshire, goes to south carolina and a series of big states in florida where your campaign headquarter is located. >> we're really beginning in new hampshire. that's where it starts for us. new hampshire is an incredibly important state. we have spent a lot of time in
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new hampshire. our message is tailored particularly well for the people of new hampshire. they want budgets balanced, government out of their lives which is completely consistent of my own view of the world. we're going to do well in new hampshire. we're going to surprise people. this is a state that doesn't like to be told for whom to vote. this is a state that likes a candidate to come in and earn it. they like the old shoe leather approach. they want to know your heart and soul, what you believe, get to know your family. we're approaching it exactly the right way. we go to south carolina where we have a terrific ground game. we have a great support group in south carolina, henry mcmaster is one of our leaders in state, the former attorney general, one of the more respected people in politics, carol campbell's family, the most beloved political family in the state came out and endorsed us recently, just to mention a couple of examples. i think the momentum coming out of new hampshire going into south carolina is such that
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we're going to do well. i think that momentum is going to be real. i think the connection with south carolina on the issues that matter most, things like economic revitalizization, keeping that boeing plant that unionses are trying to close down is important to south carolina. they are issues that we are all about. onward to florida which i think where the republican nomination is going to be decided. my wife is from florida. she is an orlandan. our headquarters are in orlando, the first time in history that a republican presidential candidate has headquartered their campaign in the state of florida. there say lot of good buzz as a result of that. with the people of the florida know we're taking that state very, very seriously. i do believe that is where i believe the nomination is going to be wrapped up. >> let me conclude with this point. you have been on the campaign trail for three or four months. what have you learned about yourself in this process running for president?
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>> how important it is to speak from the heart and to be genuine because you can't have people make you into something you're not. you can have advisors, you can have media focus. you can have strategists. at the end of the day, you are who you are and people see you for who you are and they can cut through the buster and they can cut through the artifice with no problem at all. you're left standing with who you are. your family is who you are, your record for what it is. i have learned more than anything else at the national level that you're standing on that stage all alone based upon what you have done, what your record is, and what you have in your heart and what you have in your head. that is driving us in this race and i think that's enough to drive us all the way to victory. >> do you have your republican opponents in mind when you say that? >> no, not necessarily, but i do believe that this is a race
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that is going to be won, not at the extremes of the political spectrum. i think that the party in some cases has gone too far to the right and that's not where you win elections. this is a center right country for the most part. i believe it's a pragmatic country. i think it's a common sense solution oriented country. we're a bunch of optimists in this country. we stare down obstacles and channels and we always know we can rise to the occasion. i believe this country is waiting for a candidate who can face the realities head on, who is a similarly practical pragmatic common sense results-oriented person and that's exactly our mode of operation. that's exactly the tradition we come from, so i think i like exactly where we sit politically. we are who we are. we got the record that we got and i believe it's timed perfectly well with what this nation needs. >> former governor, former
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ambassador john huntsman, thanks for being with us. >> pleasure to be with you. >> watch more video of the candidates. see what political reporters are saying and track the latest campaign contributions with c-span's website for campaign 2012. easy to use, it helps you navigate the political landscape with twitter feeds and facebook updates from the campaigns, candidate bios and the latest polling data. all at >> in a moment on q & a, author clarence lusane talks about the contributions of black men and women in the white house in his book "the black history of the white house." after that, ireland's prime minister criticizes the cath over allegations of mishanding child sex abu


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