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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  December 30, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

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>> keep your promise to come back in the fall. >> >> good evening. could lot to you. -- good lot to you. -- good luck to you. >> you did a great job tonight.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> rick santorum was wearing an iowa state university invest. the was at a football watching party today in ames. the huffington post said the event was packed, largely with media. rick santorum is scheduled to go to another football watching party tonight in joycelyn, at -- johnson, iowa.
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he will have a campaign rally at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> in the last iowa caucuses in 2008, barack obama won the democratic caucuses and went on to win the presidency. my caucus be won the republican caucus, but dropped out of the race. watch online with the c-span video library. now through tuesday, our cameras are following the 2012 republican candidates at events do not the state. every morning live in iowa, political guest take your calls on "washington journal." we will show two of the caucuses on c-span and c-span2. later on, the results of the 1800 caucuses, plus canada speeches. for more resources, use c- span's campaign 2012 website to see what the candidates have said on issues important to you
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and read the latest from candidates, political reporters, and people like you at c- span.org/campaign2012. >> our road to the white house coverage continues tonight with new to gingrich at a town hall meeting in des moines. then, mitt romney at a campaign rally. also -- later, on "the contenders," a look the presidential campaign of george wallace. now on road to the white house, republican presidential candidate mitt gingrich at a town hall meeting at a coffeehouse in the boyne. the former house speaker sat down with a pollster to talk about issues important to mothers. cafemom posted the discussion. it is a little more than one hour.
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>> welcome, everybody. how are you doing? [applause] how many of you only have one child, raise your hand. two children? four or more? raise your hands? who has five or more? how many kids do you have? how old are your children? wow. thank you for being here. this is the first time that cafemom has been able to bring together a group of moms. you care more than the average american. this is your opportunity to ask the presidential candidates
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direct questions that will affect your parents, your kids, your families, your career, everything. cafemom has brought this together to give you a chance to be heard. in the end, what they decide to do over the next four or eight years will affect your son and the people like you. i want to point out our mom in uniform. thank you for being here. [applause] >> hello, everyone. i'm with the number-one mom site on the internet. cafemom.com there are a lot of people out there who are eager to hear what you have to say. one of the things we have noticed is that while we see your policies and plans on the news, we want to get to know
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who you are personally. i see you brought your family here. >> my wife, callista, is here. [applause] one of my two favorite daughters, kathy is right here. my other favorite daughter jackie is right here. and my grandson robert is right here. jump up. and my granddaughter maggie. maggie has been campaigning with her this week and she brought her friend. >> you are very close with your daughters, by all accounts, and your grandchildren. >> they are my two favorites. >> i read you talk to your father every day. that is a rare bond.
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how have you maintained that personal connection with them as adults, and with your grandchildren? >> i think you have to work at it. you have to put in the time and the effort and the conversations and go on vacation, be together to solve problems, try to do things -- we get together and say, what kind of life do you want to have? we want them to have a great life. >> now that you are a grandparent, in hindsight, what do you wish you'd done in different as a father when your girls were growing up? >> my daughters are so terrific. it would have been great not to a been divorced in a different
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world, to a been able to talk more openly and to solve some of our problems more openly than we did. all three of us worked through it. i do nothing to was a single week when we were not aware of each other and tried to do things together. they both have become tremendous. callista and i have enormous pride. jackie's doing a great job. kathy has been tremendous. she has sat arthritis since she was 25. she now walks marathons. watching her life and with a husband. jimmy is here. these are my two son-in-laws. >> which one do you like better?
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>> jimmy is an atlanta falcons fan. the other is a green bay packers shareholder. we do own one share of stock. we love atlanta and we loved jimmy. >> these moms talked with great in trepidation about the future. i will ask for a show of hands. how many are you afraid that your children when not have the same quality of life that you had when they grow up? this is something that the president can do something about. >> what would you do so the next generation will have a better? >> i tell audiences that i did
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not ask anyone to be for me. i think that i am less confident than frank is. i think presidents can have an impact. ronald reagan was effective because he could communicate clearly with the american people, and the american people communicating clearly with congress. so i think it has to be a team effort. if we don't have profound change in washington, we're heading towards decay. i do not want to leave maggie and robert a country which is poor, weaker, and in more danger than the country that our parents worked and fought
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to give us. we have to have a whole new approach to politics and have a willingness to deal with large solutions and to do with together and to bring people together to solve things. i think it can be done. you can go to newt.org. it takes a fair number of ideas to get the country back in shape, and that's what this country is all about, setting a path to create jobs, national growth, and reassert the core values and start with the declaration of independence. if you could get right the economy, national security, and the core values, this would be a remarkably successful country, and you could feel good about what you're leaving your children with. >> you gave a general response. what are your three prioities?
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>> you have to fix the economy. cut taxes, cut regulations. i had an endorsement from the man that developed the reagan plan. we created millions of jobs. we did the same thing when i was speaker. >> cutting taxes for everybody? including millionaires? >> i know how to create jobs. the best thing you could do is to get every poor person a job. [applause] if they have a job --if they start getting better education, they will fix redistribution because they will rise and their children will be better off than they were.
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it teaches everybody that is successful to leave the country. that's the big difference. i would have a lot less regulations. an epa in which the mayore of a --a town will have to double its electricity rates to meet the requirements. senior citizens wear their coat all day because they cannot afford to heat their houses. there are bureaucrats in d.c. to of no idea where we are. this is the first female mayor of a town and she worries about the people of her town. i think you need an american energy program. i am in favor of ethanol and by
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a diesel fuels. -- and biofuels. i pick south dakota or iowa. i like us to become so energy independent that no american president has to bow to a saudi king. [applause] >> we were talking about the environment. that is an issue that is near and dear to many moms. i have many friends whose children cannot go outside and play in the summertime because they have asthma. that is a big issue in atlanta. what we do to insure that the air is clean and the water is clean?
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>> we should put in perspective where we are. i taught environmental studies and i taught at the second earth day. when i was teaching, the cuyahoga river caught fire. when the river is so polluted it catches fire, you need environmental regulations to clean them up. so i'm for cleaning things up. but after cleaning them up, i would not lobby the epa to crush -- it would kill several million more jobs. iowa is a perfect example. you produce more electricity from wind than any place on the planet except denmark.
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it has been successful. nobody has complained. this is a piece of the future, not the whole future. >> we have our first question. >> kinnick. they are laughing because he is named after the heisman trophy winner. [laughter] >> if this was chicago, he would be voting. >> wait. your husband went to iowa state? >> i went to iowa. [laughter] i am a public school teacher
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and teach at the local high school. i do have some difficulty with some of the things that they are doing. how would you handle education and the teachers' union? i have a huge problem with how they are handling teacher security. -- seniority. i see young teachers losing their jobs and all the teachers that are taking up space and stay because they have been there for a while. >> most education should be at the local level, not washington. i taught a long time ago in a public high school and at college. i think that we should reduce the bureaucracy in washington dramatically and reduce the red tape and bring things back home not just to des moines but all the way back to county offices and to local schools.
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we should empower parents lot more with the proviso that we need discipline in the school and we need to reestablish the principle that students should obey teachers and that we go back to the all-time model that said if you're in trouble with your teacher, you are in trouble with your parents. [applause] let me say something about the teachers union. i would encourage every state to adopt a program that was competitive with the teachers' union so you could choose to pay it direct and you would not have to be a union member. in a lot of states, the protectionism and artificially large number of participants. i believe the purpose of schools is to educate children.
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i did something lesser that some people thought was daring and other opponents would say it was zany. i went with the rev. al sharpton and we went around talking about charter schools. in inner-city philadelphia and in a meeting where every official is black, i have no standing. i'm a southern republican conservative. but al sharpton had a lot of standing. he said, don't tell me you will back a bad teacher and ruin children. every child's right to be in a room and learning from a teacher who is confident with their parents involved, and we have to solve this. if you're not ready to get rid
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of bad teachers, you will love lost the moral authority in teaching our children. [applause] >> thank you for being here. i appreciate your specific answers. that is what i'm looking for today. what is your strategy in a general election -- no canned answer. please be as specific as you can. [laughter] >> the pain of thinking that -- [laughter] look, i have helped design campaigns for a long time. i was first active as a highschool junior.
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my father was stationed and i worked at the nixon campaign as a volunteer. this room is bigger than the georgia republican party in 1960. i could not win. when i started there were no federal elected officials. my children were used as child labor because they were handing out brochures. i would say to them, "this will be fun." some more around the seventh grade, they had friends and did not want to go. so i've had experience my whole life. i work with the reagan campaign in 1980. he was a former democrat. george w. bush was behind in may and we had to get independents and democrats. in 1994 we ran a positive
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campaign. we have the largest one-point increase, 9 million votes. you have to be positive. independents and democrats hated partnership. -- partisanship. we had a positive campaign. i would run on big issues. i'm running to the american president. 79% of the country wants an american energy plan. over 90% of the country believe our rights, from our creator and that we should honor and respect that. over 90%. president obama has been the most successful food stamp president in history. more people today on food stamps than ever before.
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i want to be the most successful paycheck president in history. [applause] go into any neighborhood in america, and you say, would you rather your children have food stamps or paychecks, there is a big potential majority of democrats and independents willing to work with you. >> if you look at you and mitt romney, he runs and have you in almost every survey against barack obama. why would you be the most electable candidate against a field? >> in this point in 1979, ron reagan was running 30 points behind jimmy carter. the news media image of ronald reagan was such that he had a
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deficit. as the people got to know ronald reagan, it turned out he cared more states against carter than fdr carried against herbert hoover. it is october of next year. obama has $1 billion to spend on the kind of negative advertising you have been seeing here. it comes down to a series of debates. who do you think could go on that platform against barack obama and effectively articulate your values, defend your beliefs, and communicate his failures without flinching? i want to suggest almost everybody seems to think that i'm a more effective debater than mitt romney, a more coherent conservative.
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i first worked with ronald reagan in 1974. i think that i can debate barack obama and begin decisively by telling the truth that the country says, we want paychecks, we do not want more food stamps. [applause] >> i have a question about the national debt. i have a high-level of anxiety about getting obama out of the white house. please describe your plan to pay off the national debt. >> that is a good question. what you have no is a generation of politicians who plan to leave the debt to their children and grandchildren. when i became speaker, the congressional budget office projected over the next 10
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years we will borrow an additional $2 trillion $70 billion. then the work surpluses of over two trillion dollar. that's a big swing in four years and that was working with bill clinton. you control spending. start by saying how much money is coming in. >> what are you going to cut? >> you can close the department of energy tomorrow morning and you would have more energy. [applause] you could shrink the department of education and you would have more education and better loans. they think they can save $500 billion a year.
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that doesn't save everything. i think governor perry had a good idea. all foreign aid should be on the table. [applause] there are three phases. control spending. reform the system. economic growth. we have unemployment down to 4.2%. you take people off of welfare, off of food stamps and medicaid and public housing, unemployment and get them taking care of their family and paying taxes. the biggest single step back.
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-- towards a balanced budget. >> thank you for being here today. christian evangelicals believe in second chances. you have stated you're not the same person you work 20 years ago, that you have change. convince us that the change was a fundamental change of the heart and not just political talk. how would that change died you as you serve as our nominee and president? >> i don't know that i can convince you. i can be a witness. you have to decide whether you are convinced. i may sadder and slower person slowerm a sadder and person that i was 25 years ago. i thought if you just get moving fast enough, everything
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would work. i have learned the limitations of life. sometimes it is painful. sometimes you have to go to god for forgiveness. you have to seek reconciliation. i don't ask people to vote on whether or not they approved of my entire life and more than other people would vote to approve of their entire life. look to a grandfather who spent 53 years studying with this country needs and how to get it done. look at my overall record and my willingness -- i was told by a reporter 45% of the ads that have been bought in the state are attacks on me. just the willingness to take that says something about which of the candidates as character and which of the candidates doesn't. i will let you decide whether the person who was been positive has more character than the one with higher guns to run those ads.
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>> have you sought forgiveness with those who have had issues with you? >> i tried to express my sadness about what happened. in the case of my first wife, we had a very long relationship, which jackie has written about as probably the best eyewitness. >> the feel you're not running those negative attacked ads is responsible for your drop in the polls? do you feel the ones running against you have had an impact? >> oh, sure. he's the expert. if you have $8 million, $10 million --
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>> there is an attack right there. [laughter] >> i will bet ron paul is behind that curtain. [laughter] >> they may want to fix that because it looks strange on television. i would not vote for the person they are describing. you take all those negative ads and line them up. here's my problem. i deeply believe that we should be worthy of our children and grandchildren. we owe it to them to have an honest debate. i don not mind debating policy. iran is a policy discussion. but i would be ashamed to run
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some of these ads they are running and i will not participate in that kind of progress. we will face some real decisions. >> you would rather lose? >> i can be a witness to -- i cannot be a witness to america's future while smearing my opponents. [applause] i would ask every iowan to ask yourself, do you want to reward negativeness, or insist on politicians with the courage to be honest. this is not some kindergarten election. we can disagree in public and take responsibility for what we're doing. we're talking in a positive way. i do not want a contrast with
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ron paul on foreign policy. there will be principal positions that you have seen. the attack ads are false. >> i have a broad question. living in a democracy, i feel like we're losing that. we have the so much special interest and anybody that has a sore toe, we are to pay attention to them except what the majority wants. how can we turn that around? >> you put your finger on something that's bigger than politics. a culture that loses the work ethic and loses the sense of responsibility is hopeless. we have to confront how serious that is.
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i am committed to re- establishing that we are in doubt about our creators with -- endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. i remind people pursuit is active. [applause] i will tell you a funny story. children that sometimes grow up in families where nobody is working. it would make sense to of jobs in local schools that paid that a bit and give them some responsibilities. earnork city janitor's more than new york city teachers. they have contracts for how little they are supposed to do.
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a great example union power that makes no sense at all. for one janitor, you could hire 30 students. pay them $3000 a year. give them a connection to the school that keeps them from dropping out. have them learn habits like show up for work, it is your money, here is how you budget it. people on the left one crazy. "gingrich wants to destroy children." jackie called me, laughing. she said, you never forgot the my first job at 13 was that the first baptist church cleaning out the toilets. she said she treasured every dollar she got paid because she earned every doubt she got paid. -- dollar she got paid. robert is not as enthusiastic about this experience as his mother. you need a president who is a
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cultural leader as much as they are a political leader. we have to reestablish patriotism, the work ethic, that responsibility, god endows you with rights and he expects you to be responsible in exercising those rights. [applause] >> 12% of mothers have faith that washington gets that. how many of you have faith that washington gets it? nobody. >> i like to meet the 12%. i do not believe the elite in this country. i don't think the elites in this country have a clue. they are arrogant and lecture us and they have no standards.
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>> how are you going to restore confidence in the future if you're attacking the institutions that are supposed to help us feel confident in the future? >> i am cleaning them out, not attacking them. our job is to reestablish the constitution and to insist that the congress be confident and to -- competent and to insist that bureaucrats remember we are citizens, they are subordinate to us. we're not subject that are supported to them. >> is congress in competence? -- incompetent? >> when you pass a two-month extension of a minor tax cut and go home claiming victory -- this is the most irresponsible washington i can remember in my lifetime.
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>> congress is led by republicans, including people who served as part of your leadership. >> this is the entire team -- an anti-team. the sum of the whole is less than the individual parts. very confident and very smart people get in a room together and collapse. i'm not saying this happily. i would love to be a partisan republican. the whole country is say mess and the whole country will be faced with huge challenges. this is part of what i am so angry about the negative commercials. we need a presidential campaign that is an honest discussion about how we can fix our country and we cannot do that when consultants are throwing mud.
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you have to think about what kind of campaign we want because we will end up with the same kind of election and next year will be worse and the future will therefore be worse. [applause] >> good morning. my question is three parts. if margaret thatcher was here in the united states and 30 years younger, would you consider her as a running mates? [laughter] >> one anytime. -- one at a time. i would ask her to consider me as her running mate. [laughter] [applause] >> ok. do you have right margaret thatcher-like woman in mind?
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>> i think that we have to look for people who are very confident and capable and tough enough mentally to do that. i like susanna martinez, the governor of mexico. she was a prosecutor. her husband was the deputy sheriff. she has done a fantastic job. >> would you consider condoleezza rice as a running mate? >> the only question i has is if you've never run for office, it is a different business. but she is very smart. she is one of the people you would look at in terms of sheer talent and sheer knowledge. >> thank you. >> our national survey shows that moms tend to be more conservative, they do agree
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with the occupy wall street sentiment that government and business operate to the benefit of the 1% and that they are part of the 99%. what do you have to say to the armchair occupiers? >> the genius of the american system is you could have a huge impact by calling into talk radio, voting, the kind of questions you asked candidates. the federal reserve has spent trillions of dollars in secret. i want to break up fannie mae and freddie mac because they are much too big and are out of control and to wean them off of any kind of government sponsorship. the former governor of new jersey said, i don't know what
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happens to the billion dollars. it is confusing. of there no sense io responisibility or accountability? i talked to someone in a small town who had some funds invested with that firm and he said it is still locked up and it is still a total mess. something is profoundly wrong. the last three years, what we did was fundamentally wrong because it protected the big at the expense of little americans. -- middle class americans. >> next question. >> thank you. you said you would use executive power to overturn some of obama's policies. how can you be sure another president will not overturn your orders?
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>> an executive order operates within the law. you have pretty wide latitude. the first executive order i would sign would abolish all the white house czars. [applause] if you elected a future left- wing president and it wanted to go in and recreate them, they could. it would take positive action on their part and it would not be very popular. one reagan had the mexico city policy, that no american money would go to pay for abortions overseas -- ronald reagan. you could reinstate that by executive order. there are things you can do within the law that are pretty powerful. >> do you think that the president -- using their orders to go around congress, aren't you doing the same thing? if it is not good for him, why
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would be good for you? >> any president uses executive order. it goes back to george washington. president obama was doing things at the margin. to be serious about it, congress should cut off the funding. they could say that no money would be spent on the czars. the constitution is designed for that kind of checks and balances. if you think that the wagon is in the ditch, the president will do some strong things. otherwise the wagon will stay in the ditch. that is a decision the american
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people have to make. if they want a timid president who operates in a way that avoids the fights in washington, that is fine. nothing much will be changed. if you want someone who says there will -- and fix these things -- i would move on the first day the american embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. we've said to the israelis that they don't get to designate their capital. that is state department bias against israel. >> there have been focused with moms and they do have some concern that you can create even more chaos than what exists right now. take a look at the things that u.s. said it over the last eight -- you said over the last eight months, there are so many
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things you'll do one day one, day two, day 100. couldn't create a battle every single day because of all this change -- could you create chaos? >> i do not know about chaos. how many days should we wait for children to be trapped in a school that fails every child? how patient should we be? how much we say, those of children's lives are worth -- if you were a lifeguard and somebody fell in the river, you have to get up and dive in. that is a pretty aggressive action. ronald reagan understood action. when reagan wanted to call the
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soviet union the evil empire, he thought was important marley and -- morally to undermine the psychology. they stuck it through the national security council. he knew it would be opposed. he wanted to say, mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. there were fighting in as late as the morning he was delivering the speech. bold leaders want to get the country moving again. they leave a sense of anxiety around people who do not want to move. did not want to take risks or fix things. you have been in situations where you had to get it done. otherwise, it would stay a mess. if we're going to fix this, we'll have several years of
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rolling up our sleeves together and cleaning this out. this is like spring cleaning. some will be messy, but i think together we will get this done. >> moms are frustrated with this on willingness to compromise. can a bold leader find solutions? >> you don't necessarily have to compromise but you have to find a way to have a win-win system. if i want to get what i need, i have to find out which you need. "i have to have this and i cannot do that." you begin to figure out, is there a formula that breezy together? -- brings you together. senator webb and senator warner are two democrats from virginia. it would increase revenue of the government and in the state
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of virginia and it would increase revenue for ever structure and for land conservation. -- infrastructure and land conservation. i've been trying to convince the house republicans to pass the bill. it is not a compromise. harry reid has to say, i'm not going to let you bring up your bill. there are ways to work together. you understand each other and you figure out how to find the agreement that lets you move forward. i did it in the 1980's with ronald reagan when tip o'neill was speaker. i did it as speaker when bill clinton was president.
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>> i am from memphis, tennessee. what is your plan for obamacare? >> go to newt.org. i would repeal it. [applause] then you have to replace it with a program that is more focused on doctor-patient relationships and your pharmacist and the people you rely on. government bureaucrats and the insurance bureaucrats and get doctors -- [applause] >> and replace it with what? >> a system that is much more localized and that people will have more choices. there are more regulations in health care --
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than there are at the internal revenue service. >> do people have the right to quality health care? >> none of us want to see someone die on the streets. an amazing percent of poor people go to emergency rooms don't have an emergency. if you put a clinic inside the emergency room door, you could save 80% of a cost by using common sense at a local level. >> thank you for coming today, mr. speaker. if there was to be a government shutdown, how would the military be affected?
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>> i am proud of you for wearing that uniform. >> thank you. [applause] >> my father wore uniform in the infantry. i grew up on army bases around the world. this goes back to our conversation about how that washington is. we twice closed the government. we did not affect the military, the fbi, social security because we designed the danced to not be stupid. these guys are doing the opposite. they are trying to maximize the pain to win their way. it is bad government. i hope we will not get to that. if we did, i would introduce legislation to exempt all public safety personnel and to exempt social security so that
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you didn't have those engaged in the fight. we should be able to up a fight over here without crippling our institutions and leaving people that have enough to worry about. military families should not have to worry about whether they will get their next paycheck. >> what about that paycheck? what about veterans benefits and those who are serving our country right now? >> this probably goes against the tide of the current believes in washington. you're not five years from now. you'll not that significant cuts in military spending. you cannot live in a world with china is modernizing and there are radical islamists that want to kill us. in which the north koreans have
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a nuclear weapon. if we cut on the most expensive military you can have, there is a cheap military-- we did decide if we will be the strongest country in the world and that would be the first duty to remain strong. [applause] >> i don't think you're expecting the questioned or this one. i asked you to talk about a moment in your life that had an impact on your policies and i your beliefs. -- and on your beliefs. this is a group of moms here. i know your mother is not still with us. what do you think of we think of your mom? >> i get teary-eyed every time we sing christmas carols.
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excuse me. my mother sang in the choir and love singing in the choir. i don't know -- when i was young, she made me sing in the choir, and we had pictures of me at an early age singing in the choir. identify my mother with being happy, loving life, having a sense of joy in your friends. she was in long term care facility with bipolar disease and depression and she acquires some physical elements. -- ailments. that introduced me to long-term care, which ended with bob kerrey and that introduced me to alzheimer's.
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my emphasis on brain science comes with -- i'm getting emotional. the real problems of real people and my family. this is not a theory. this is my mother. [applause] i do policy much easier. [laughter] >> they will be mad at me. is she was here today, would you tell her? >> here today? she would be talking to all these people. she would be telling them how nice i am. she was proud of me most of the time. >> what would you say to her?
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>> she spent 27 years as an army wife, and she was in a culture that valued patriotism, duty. took a risk for this country. i would say to her that i will do everything i can as a candidate to be worthy of her. [applause] >> do you have another mom question? we have about four minutes left. i apologize. i did not mean to put you through that. >> they're helpful. >> and they are free. >> no, no, no.
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that's a sign you have not had children. [laughter] >> how would you like to close, knowing there are moms in this room and moms who are watching you right now connected through cafemom? what would you tell them that they need to do and they need to hope for in going forward? >> women in general and moms in particular bear the brunt of the economy. when the economy is bad, try to figure out what to do and how to do what by mothers and women in general. that's the way culture works. mother's care and or more deeply about their children. one of the most powerful
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comments i've heard was a focus group that was done about national security and why people are worried about the iranian nuclear weapon. the mother said on the morning of 9/11 she had three children in three different schools and she did decide which one to get -- she had to decide which one to get first. she said she would do anything to never do that again. whether you talk about the economy, security or mothers of the civilizing influence. we all get it. mothers play an enormous role in sustaining civilization. mothers understand the threat more deeply than men do. more deeply than men do. i would ask you to think a

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