tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN January 24, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EST
he had not given it in his own name. that is a russian doll problem. that demonstrates there is a russian doll problem, in my view, but these candidates who are supposed to be living and existing independently of these super pacs perceive these super pacs as being their own money. it poses just as much from a corruption for democracy as if it were legal for not only -- for an actual business corporation to cut a million- dollar check directly to an individual who may be the next president of this country. >> and is wanted to dovetail on that, to go back to something allen said. it is undoubtedly true that there are many fabulous 501c4's. pick your favorite. many of them are funded by a
lots of small donations. i don't think many of us at this table would claim that to be a problem. the bigger problem is when c4's are used to shield these corporate entities or other rich individuals. i think the chamber of commerce has similar rules. they spend a huge amount to influence elections, and we understand as a community that they represent "business interests," but we have no way to know in given circumstances they are giving a $5 million donation from walmart to target a very small election, to blow out of the water some person who is against changing the zoning laws to allow walmart in.
that is a huge problem. it is only earmarked if you are stupid enough to say it is earmarked. there are lots of ways to convey -- we are all human beings. you can convey what you want someone to do something without running afoul of legal rules. and there is the concern about people using these c4's as sham art shell organizations. i think that is more of an enforcement problem, but we have not seen any enforcement from the fcc, the irs, or the justice department. i cannot think of another entity that would have jurisdiction, but there is a very real ability to create a
501c4 organization for the very purpose of funneling money to pay super pac or other political entity, dissolve it, and the american people don't really know what hit us. >> i would just say briefly about these and nonprofit groups, the vast majority of these groups are the salt of the arts groups that you might contribute money to. this is one of the reasons why it is very, very challenging to regulate, but i think it is worth saying that the irs has a reputation for not having the necessary resources to make sure that nonprofit groups actually are serving a purpose around social welfare as opposed to campaigns. to say i don't think we are going to have abuses by nonprofits in this area, that seems a little naive to me.
if you look at groups like swift boat veterans for truth, very influential in the 2004 election. when that group first kick hit the airwaves, nobody knew what they were about. organizations like the new york times dug around and found that information, but at a time when we have an economic downturn and a news industry that is going through great change and tightening its belt of fronts, i don't think we can really count on investigative reporters like woodward and bernstein to go out and get the story the way they did in the watergate era. >> i want to make one more point about the c4'sallen. alluded to the 50% reduction in efficiency. they cannot have as their primary duty to get involved in elections. i don't agree your cutting your efficiency in half. i agree there is an irs rule saying that election influencing cannot be the
primary activity of ac4. there are democratic and republican groups. karl rove said of american crossroads as a super pac. he said oakley to the press and his donors, if you are willing to be disclosed, go to my super pac. if an individual gives money, they are going to get this close. if you don't want to be disclosed, make out your check to my super pac. crossroads gps is using 49% of their money to run ads saying vote for candidate x or y. they are running issue ads in close proximity to the elections in battleground states using broadcast media. it certainly appears as though their principal goal is to affect elections, even with a 51% of their money they are spending on so-called issue ads. when you look at the battleground state targeting, they are very good lawyers.
they know the irs's weak track record of enforcement. go to a crossroads gps website and ask yourself, is this really a major, 50% reduction in efficiency of electoral influence in dollars? i don't think so. >> usually i get to reserve time for rebuttal in court. where to start? i take your point on issue adds. everyone at this table and many people here know there has been a long debate about what exactly an issue ad is. >> any of these phrases the supreme court has come up with,
you have to understand why they have those phrases. it is back to the direct lines issue. you have to be able to differentiate -- maybe you don't, which is a different question. but if you are going to regulate campaign speech and differently from other types of first amendment speech, every single time the court has tried to do this over the last 30 years, they have ended up in a morass, because people are smart. as a result, we have jurisprudences says this is an electoral communication and this is not. i understand people may not be
comfortable with that. there has to be some amount predictability. this is where the supreme court gets more flak than maybe they deserve. this is a tough question, and have to draw the line somewhere. that drew the line in a way that protects the maximum amount of speech. i don't think it is fair to call it a sham issue ad pickwick congress did address this problem. it was tailored to the issue. if you are going to run a broadcast at within 30 days of our primary or 60 days of a general and spent more than $10,000, you have to file a disclosure report saying it spent the money.
the c4's or filing a report saying the spentx dollars on x day. anyone who spends more than two dozen dollars on the type of ad, it is easy to know if you are inside or outside of that line. you have to disclose all contributors who contributed more than $1,000 to that organization. fec passed regulation with very little notice in 2007 saying the only time the c4 has to tell us where you got your money, we don't require the name of all contributed is who contribute $1,000 or more, only the names of contributors who gave you $1,000 or more for the purpose of furthering that specific ad, who gave that money specifically designated to run in that ad. i think congress effectively dealt with the bright line issue. >> i have one more question and then we will open up questions from the audience. the thinking if there is something you would like us to address. questions around the naacp decision that had to do with why associations are particularly protected in terms of having to disclose the membership. the one i would like to ask of
the folks up here, there are a number of different attempts and venues in which people are trying to address the issues. we have heard about the fec, the fcc has a piece of this as well. if anyone would like to condemn or to praise something that should be brought to the attention of the people here. >> i would just highlight one effort that i don't think has been raised yet. that is the sec. there has been a petition and much talk of a new rule that would require publicly owned companies the money they spend on advertising, and it would have to be disclosed to the public record. there are variations of a, but it would have to be disclosed to the shareholders. one variation, you could tell these companies that they had to get -- in the shareholders would have to give approval to the corporation before it would be able to spend money in that
the fcc already tells us what is being spent, and that is a great way for reporter such as myself to know what is being spent. that is one of the reasons why we can say 30 plus million dollars has been spent by super pacs. that is a pretty simple and not interested way to say here is the number of ads that were bought, and here is who bought them. that would be pretty easy an illustrated and helpful in getting a grip on what is being spent and by whom. i will be provocative and say that i actually think that this is such a difficult area to legislate in for constitutional and free speech reasons, that i advocate of correction via a
culture change. i think that nonprofit organizations should voluntarily disclose their donors, and i think there should be growing public pressure on groups to voluntarily disclose their donors. i think those who do not disclose should be embarrassed. that is the only way we will ever fully correct this problem. i do want to say that to the degree the disclosure rules are challenging or perceive to be impossible or ineffective, there is a surprising model out
there which is the lobbying disclosure laws. a lot of people say those are incomplete and not enough lobbyists are captured, and lobbyists say they need to be fixed. interestingly enough, they don't seem -- they are very illustrative. they shed a lot of light on the industry. there has been a lot of self correction within the lobbying industry. i don't think the abramoff scandal would not have come to life without the lobbying disclosure laws we have in place. i think simple, basic disclosure laws that require reporting in a way that is not hard to understand, that draws bright lines, and does not burden
people unnecessarily, if it is not broken, don't fix it. those things work for lobbyists and pacs. let's keep that model and not mess it up. if you want to give the irs will extra money to decide who is really a non-profit, that probably would not hurt either. >> i have to say three things, one because our communications director will be to me if i don't. the sunlight foundation has its own draft called the super pac act. the second is that the advisory committee on transparency held an event last year on lobbying reform. it is worth looking at. you can watch the video at transparencycaucus.org. the sunlight foundation discloses all of its contributions and expenditures to other entities that we fund. it is certainly something we encourage other organizations to do, although i will not put anybody on the spot about that at this table. whether you look at lobbying disclosure or disclosure of super pacs are other things along those lines, there are a lot of holes in the rules in the way things are formulated.
>> in terms of legislation, there is a really good content in the super pac act that daniel just mentioned. it is stripped down without many of the bells and whistles that got hung on to the disclose act. i would like to see legislation introduced this year that is a much streamlined version of the disclose act without a lot of the bells and whistles. fec is where i spend most of my professional time monitoring and engaging with. i don't have a lot of hope for the federal election commission. three times and 2011 that deadlocked 3-3 on a document that would begin to undo the loopholes that the commission created in 2007. i was just explaining a couple of minutes ago, one that says you do not have to disclose all your contributors. three times in 2011 that deadlocked on party lines. they said let's open it up for public comment and revisited. three democratic commissioners who voted against it three times in 2011, and five of our current 6 federal election commissioners are serving an expiring term. five of them could be replaced by the president whenever he wants to. he has completely failed on this front to exercise the initiative necessary to overhaul the fec and turn it back into a
functioning regulatory agency. one other hope on this front is a lawsuit we are involved in. we are representing been hauling, who has sued the fec bridge their arguments to weeks ago in federal district court. the best case scenario, which is not a super strong posture, is that the court orders the federal election commission to revisit this rule and consider once again whether the loopholes created in 2007 was a good thing. we have our fingers crossed in the holland case, that is all we have got. >> i completely agree with you on a culture shift. a lot on my side of the spectrum do not have a problem with this closure as long as it is voluntary. to the extent that any group that finds itself so uncontroversial it can do that, sure.
but obviously the first amendment is to the other groups. i agree that i don't have a lot of hope for the fec, and we'll encapsulate the problem free. go to the website and look up super pac forms. there is not a single regulation that super pacs exist. fec has not been able to get together and write -- there is no form. which take is a regular pac form and philip out and then right on your letterhead that you are actually a super pac and the new staple it.
until the fec can handle the easy questions, i don't have any faith they can handle the hard ones. i am a corporate litigator by training, which works your mind permanently. i disagree with you on the fec initiative. there has not been rulemaking effort on it yet. the problem have with it is this. it is true that shareholders, company or lease the residual value of it, or however you want to characterize it. the thing is, citizens united talks about shareholder democracy as a way of handling these things. there has been shareholder democracy. there were 25 elections last year were shareholders were asked, would you like us to disclose our critical spending?
every single one of those elections failed. fec is coming on and saying the shareholders cannot take care of their own interests, so we will force this disclosure. the shareholders do not want this type of disclosure, for obvious reasons. it basically means that every single annual meeting turns into a referendum on the political role being taken by the corporate world in general. obviously that is a distraction. it is not good for shareholder value, and shareholders probably do not want it. secondly, to the extent that it creates transaction costs for the spending of political money by corporations, it essentially is a unilateral, political disarmament by the boat be due by the business community. i am not taking a normative position on this. to the extent that shareholders don't want this information and don't want to turn their annual meetings into a circus, they have a responsibility to respect that. that is my view on the. >> let me just rebut that very quickly.
>> i think it is extremely disingenuous to say that shareholders are not interested. the fact is, most of us don't know where all of our shares are. and i am not a corporate litigator, so you understand the structure of these investment vehicles better than i did. but i do know, you have a pension being invested on your behalf. there are all sorts of ways that money that could be yours is being invested in corporations and you don't actually know. i am not saying a change to the rules would be a silver bullet, nor do i think that is the only change that should come about. i do think that it strikes me as extremely low hanging fruit, publicly owned corporations are transparent in many, many ways, and i can understand the debate about having to vote on specific expenditures, but making these corporations disclose their political spending and giving shareholders at least the ability once a year
to say, i am comfortable with my money being used for political purposes, or no, i am not comfortable with my money being used for political purposes. i think it is hard not to support that, in my opinion. nor do i think that is a silver bullet. >> i will not use the word disingenuous, but i do think it is difficult to draw the line exactly on what is political when you talk about a corporate budget. the fact that $10,000 in direct political spending should somehow be disclosed to shareholders, and a multimillion-dollar negotiation with the union is not.
i think that is a weird line. corporations do things all the time that are hugely politically risky. i think you have to have everything else. that is no way to run a corporation, which is why we don't do it that way. >> open to questions. one of my colleagues is running around with a microphone in just a moment. sometimes you need is in the back of your head. we will start of the there was a gentleman in a sweater. >> if we could move beyond theory for a second, we have a primary in florida in eight days. how'd you crack at that, when you move beyond the big guys? >> i wanted to just comment
briefly. the topic of this forum is will super pacs determine the 2012 election? that is the one question we have not answered. i do not think that will determine the presidential outcome. i think to the degree they play a role, they have accelerated existing trends that will not be definitive. i think where they could really play important role is in close house and senate races. if you talk to any member of the house or senate, candidates who lost in 2010, a number of them will point to super pac expenditures in very large amounts. many of them are very shocked. i think super pacs are important, but i would say keep an eye out for other vehicles that will be utilized shortly. >> here it is. in the 2010 election, 80 super pacs spent $9 million in the
2010 elections. only a handful of them were particularly active, putting in millions and millions of dollars. >> you can go to the fec web sites and see the disclosure reports for the actual discrete expenditures. the rule on whether they have to tell who made expenditures, whether they gave the money for the purpose of furthering the ads is a subject of that disclosure report. you will not get any information on the donors until the end of this month when have to file their first report of this calendar year. no good information on where the money is coming from prior to the florida primary. slightly better information hopefully, moving forward. >> taking all these points, and this is more of a whimsical
observation. when that information does come out, no one is going to be particularly surprised. that is part of what is funny about this debate. everybody is saying, who put a ton of money into rick santorum's super pac? i saw an exchange on tv may be a week ago were summoned said, what is in there that is going to change anyone's vote? what is big oil get a bunch of money to rick santorum? no one voting for rick santorum is bothered by big oil. i am not saying that eviscerates anything else that has been said here. at the end of the day, it is not going to be that surprising. >> if that is the case, it begs the question why all these groups at the last minute change their reporting so there would not have to report it.
why not just come out and say where the money came from, if it is not a big deal? >> i am wondering about 527's, as most people understand the term. there has been some speculation that maybe super pacs are yesterday's 's527's. now if super pacs are available for unlimited contributions, does the panel -- will those now go away or be less prominent in favor of groups like super pacs? >> thank you for the crs report. i have your cheatsheet in front me to help keep all these entities straight. >> the very odd answer to question is, 527's and super pacs are typically one and the
same. super pacs refer to an fec label that they stick on you if your primary purpose is to influence election results. major purpose. >> the irs standard is primary activity. greg's the very confusing thing is, you still have to organize reorganization under some thread of the tax code. most of them organize as 527's that have the primary purpose of influencing elections. super pacs had not changed much. what has changed is, with a
swift boat in an earlier election, we saw 527's resisting being labeled as a pac. they were resisting the contribution limit that largely don't exist anymore, and the source limits on prohibiting them from taking money from corporations that largely don't exist anymore. >> i think the simple answer is yes to your question, super pacs are taking the place of 527 groups. the reclining to register to ebay contribution limits and source restrictions on corporate money. that is all now legal.
the 527's groups got into some trouble. they violated federal campaign finance laws, but now all that activity is legal. there is no more incentive to stay away from the fec. >> if anything, maybe you have seen a shift to the 510c4's. on their primary purpose and they can hold on to that designation before the irs would get together to investigate. they can do the same thing, but avoid disclosure on top of it. >> certain types of groups for political organizations as defined by the internal revenue service, but not political action committees. the way they did was not using terms like voting for or voting against. as i said earlier, the 527
organizations were very different from super pacs in that they did not engage in specific campaign messages. they did disclose eventually to the internal revenue service. i actually think they are great example of one way to approach disclosure because initially they did not disclosed. members of congress like john mccain said we want them to disclose, and we will do it through the irs. for all of its problems, making public records available to journalists and helping them go for them, and the irs does disclosure, probably for good reason. began as they do not want people pawing around in your personal tax records. having said that, after the fines that were imposed against a lot of leading527 organizations including the
donors said we are not going to they were spooked. they did not think it was effective. they moved away from 527's anyway, and now that there is a super pac option, i don't think you'll see people spending their money in that way. if there is an alternative to the super pac, it will probably be a trade association or social>> there was a question over on this side. as he is walking over there, i am getting the impression that investigations don't seem to be all that likely. is that accurate, or are they still going to investigate this behavior? >> first of launching an investigation is getting for votes among six commissioners to find reason to believe that the law was broken. its staff identifies what may be a violation, they go to the commissioner and say before you start an investigation -- that has happened with less and less
frequency in the last three or four years and we have seen increasing deadlocks. >> so it is similar to the lobbying rules, were basically no one ever gets prosecuted, although not quite as extreme. matt? >> my question is about what mr. dickerson was saying about the 50% efficiency cut in political contributions. even if that were potentially the case, from my perspective, it seems as if there is still a great investment in political contributions. number one, potentially high rates of return, given the fact that the federal government as all can influence your profit margin potentially by hundreds of millions or perhaps billions of dollars. number two, the fact that because of the enormous wealth concentration, there is not that much of a risk of a dollar to -- the donor to the $5
million to gave was a drop in the bucket for him. i am just curious as to your perspectives as to how good of an investment donating to these independent expenditures would be. >> i am trying to figure out how to address that. it is an excellent question. i think i am going to zoom out in answering it. feel free to draw me back in if i am unfair. i think a lot of the confusion is about the concept of corruption. when the supreme court talks about corruption, they are talking about something specific. this was alluded to by everyone on the panel. quo agreement, where i am giving you contribution are doing something for you, and you are doing something in return. a lot of that is covered by robbery statutes. -- by bribery statutes. the supreme court has recognized probably fairly that the there are ways to hide this.
they decided to draw a bright line rule on contributions. where i run into trouble is, it is more of a philosophy discussion than it should be, it is not about whether someone feels they owe you their election, or someone feels a certain amount of gratitude for your support. it is about whether or not there was an actual, corrupt bargain. and now that sounds like splitting hairs, but think about it. at the end of the day, all democratic politics involves a certain amount of trading of support. i think it is unquestionable that when george pataki was elected with support of unions that it never supported him before, he felt a lot of obligation or support our gratitude towards those unions. i am sure it is true that when
speaker boehner was elected, he felt certain gratitude towards people who had helped fund the majority. that is just politics. if you try to make that illegal, people to have a functioning democracy. maybe that is too far out, and if you dig down, maybe you could find a fair rule that distinguishes between actual corruption in the sense of, i give you $5 million and you prove my walmart in your home town. i think we all agree that as massively illegal and people should go to jail for that. i don't know how to draw that line. i don't know if that answers your question. >> isn't the phrase corruption or the appearance of corruption? it is not just about doing wrong, it is giving people a reason not to trust the democratic system. >> i think that is an extremely valid point.
this is a bit of a hobby horse for me. i think a lot of the problem with this area of the law is, all this stuff goes up from preliminary injunctions, someone pages long. asked to pass on the question of what constitutes the appearance of corruption. but academic work has been done -- it has suggested that there is this worry about corruption, that when you drill down, the amounts of money people are $500. >> these decisions, congress goes through hearing process to make a number of findings. they make a determination about the law and passed a law and the congress. where the lines are.
they are the ones most subject to these pressures anyway. >> you will notice that often -- the debate was over the part of the challenge to all these laws, question of is the contribution limit too low? is $1,000 in $1,976 corrupting? the court has occasionally hinted that it might not be. it is probably true that $1,000 does not by anyone, thank god. -- doees not -- does not buy anyone, thank god. is appropriate. i think the phrase "the appearance of corruption" is a dangerous way of doing constitutional law. >> i think it is undoubtedly the supreme court would agree
with corruption. that was not the case as recently as 2003, when the court not only defined corruption as they said undue access and influence the results in the making of big contributions creates corruption. that is corrupt. they referred to the definition of corruption as -- what changed was, justice o'connor retired and justice alito joined the court. in citizens united you see a had been defined as corruption, meaning and to access and influence, as well as actualthat
is a pretty recent>> i completely agree that our democratic system is premised on individuals trying to influence other individuals to push policy in some direction. clearly, we will always be more willing to listen to our friends that our enemies. i do think there is a huge difference when you are talking spending money to influence election results. a for-profit corporation is extremely different than uni. we are very complex creatures with all sorts of motivation. we also have larger senses of wanting to make our community and our country a better place. a for-profit corporation, by law, has one goal, and that is to make money. that is not a bad king.
making money is a great thing, and there -- but i don't think when making policy. that is an extremely dangerous situation to be in. >> contribution limit is actually $2,500, not $1,000. good things that happen with the mccain-feingold law, the effect of bringing more regulated money into the system. i think it should be noted that the same lawyers and advocates who endorsed and championed at for a whole new set of changes in the law. they are challenging the candidates and parties. mitt romney has been very candid about this. he says the super pacs have all this power and money, i want to have all that power and money, that would level the playing field. that puts it to the high court on whether they want to go against what buckley said. the supreme court said we
believe there is a sufficient limiting contributions to candidates and parties, but we are going to let these laws stand. i am not sure whether from a court would approve or disapprove contribution limits being eliminated. citizens united, i would be very accepted that. i think there is a limit to how much the voters can swallow. i don't think they want to see us go quite that far. i see a lot of dissatisfactioni think if you try to get rid of the contribution limits to candidates and parties, members of congress would hear such an earful from their constituents that.
>> there was a survey that just came out on january 17 that said that 54% of registered voters decision allowing unlimited independent spending on political ads. 65 percent think the changes in effect on the 2012 presidential but that, unfortunate, we are out of time. i would like to thank all four of our panelists for doing a fantastic job today. i probably should thank stephen colbert for helping bring attention to this issue. i would like to say that the next event is scheduled for march 12. more information will be available on the c-span website. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> for more resources on the presidential race, use the c- span 2012 web site with videos of candidates on the campaign trail. see what the candidates have said on issues important to you, and hear the latest from political reporters and citizens at the website. >> tomorrow on "washington journal," a look ahead at the president's state of the union address and the fiscal 2013 budget with brad miller of north carolina. then, a congressman, republican from florida, talks about the republican primary in his state next tuesday, and later, a discussion on a piece called the myth of american productivity. we hear from the chief economic strategist for the progressive
policy institute. "washington journal," every morning starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> i have never felt more strongly that america's best days and the best is where america lie ahead. we are a powerful force for good with faith and courage. we can perform great deeds and take freedoms next step, and we will. we will carry on the tradition of a good and worthy people who have brought light where there is darkness, warmth where there is cold, medicine where there was disease, food where there was thunder, and peace where there was on the bloodshed. let's be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time that in our time, we did everything that could be done. we finished the race. we kept them free. we kept the faith. >> find state of the union
address is going back to 1952 online at the c-span video library, and watch president obama deliver this year's address. it is washington your way. >> some will say we are reactionary. others will say we stand for socialism. there will be the inevitable cries. it is time for a change and so on and so on. all of those things and many more besides, but we will hear nothing that we have not heard before. >> as candidates campaigned for president this year, we look back at 14 men who ran for the office and lost. and go to our website to see video of the contenders who have a lasting impact on american politics. >> let our opponents stand on the status quo while we seek to
refresh the american spirit. let the opposition collected their $10 million in secret money from the privileged few, and let us find 1 million ordinary americans the will contribute $25 each to this campaign, a million-member club with members who will not expect special favors for themselves but a better land for us all. [cheers and applause] >> c-span.org/thecontenders. >> the bipartisan policy center hosts speechwriters tomorrow, discussing the writing of the speech. you will hear from former speechwriters for president clinton and vice president gore as long -- as well as george h.w. bush and george w. bush. this is tomorrow on our
companion network, c-span2. >> anti-abortion activists from around the country were in the nation's capital monday for the annual march for life rally. in january, they gather to protest the anniversary of the 1973 roe vs. wade supreme court ruling that legalized abortion in the u.s. house speaker john boehner and other members of congress are among the attendees. this is one hour 50 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, our national anthem. >> ♪ o so they can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hail at the twilight's last gleaming
whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming, and the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gained truth through the night that our flag was still there o, say, does that star spangled banner yet wave for the land of the free
and the home of the brave ♪ [cheers and applause] >> welcome to march for life 2012. well, that was beautiful. thank you. now, we are going to have the pledge of allegiance to our flag, and i want to introduce john, who is the supreme advocate of the general counsel of the knights of columbus who helped us so much each year. brother john, come forth. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, and thank you for inviting us to participate in this march for life. i would like to reflect on two important words in the pledge of allegiance, and those words are "under god."
-- [cheers and applause] it has been understood for most of history that our rights come from god and that they are accountable to a higher authority, identified by our founding fathers as nature and nature's god. there was an inaugural address that said-that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of god." by coming to washington, you are all buried truth to the dignity of the person and each person's god-given right to life. now please join me in saying the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. [cheers and applause]
>> we always like to open the march for life with prayer. you know, the scripture says that god is delighted when brothers dwell in unity, and today, we have a special treat. we have a combined opening prayer where we have the eastern orthodox and roman catholic bishops standing on the stage together in unity, and i am going to introduce right now father john from orthodox for life, and he is on to introduce our opening prayer. >> thank you, james. thank you, nellie gray, and thank you, march for life. [cheers and applause] it is with profound joy in our lord and savior jesus christ
that i have this opportunity to introduce a joint venture in our march for life opening program. in fact, it is unprecedented and historical, a combined gathering of roman catholic and eastern orthodox bishops together on the same platform, at the same time, offering the same prayer and sharing a 2000 year, and tradition of loving and respecting the dignity and sanctity of human life. [cheers and applause] we are both celebrating the word of god made flesh and being prayerfully mindful of our common tradition, especially the role of the mother of god in celebration history. today, we are very grateful to the cardinal, archbishop of
galveston, houston, and the bishop of brooklyn of the roman catholic church for taking the initiative in this momentous venture and the archbishop of washington, d.c., and his grace from philadelphia of the orthodox church and others for equally blessing this wonderful opportunity. an opportunity and occasion to pray together, reflect together, march together, and present a common witness before the world and saying that life is sacred from the moment of conception and must be protected. to show this unity in our pro- life witness, and in the spirit
of genuine humility, at the invitation of the cardinal that his beatitude metropolitan church in america offer this invocation as one prayer before the one throne and majesty of the kingdom of god. it is with honor and respect that i represent his beatitude, metropolitan jonah. [cheers and applause] >> brothers and sisters, it is good for us to be here. i am deeply honored by the invitation of the cardinal to stand here together with my brother bishops, especially with the cardinals elect of new york, archbishop of new york. [cheers and applause]
and other bishops of the roman catholic and orthodox church. [cheers and applause] brothers and sisters, we have to come together. when are of one mind on this issue, of one heart, as the apostle calls us to be. let us give thanks to god that we can come together and show our unity in this way, working together, being together, praying for the end of abortion. affirming the sanctity of life, so, brothers and sisters, let us pray. now, let's make this a little response. when i say "let's al sadr lord have mercy," you say, "lord have mercy." let's hear it.
let us all say "lord have mercy ." and the name of the father and the son and holy spirit. holy father, our creator, savior and redeemer, god, light and life of the world, show by in some love for mankind by sending your only begotten son into the world to be born as an infant of the blessed virgin mary, becoming all but we are in order to like us to himself. who through the servant moses said the way of life and the way of death. it does not only call us to life but freely gave it to us, the speaking to your server and the prophet jeremiah reminds us
that you know each one of us even from our mother's womb. who himself was born in poverty and laid in a manger, taking the form of a serpent. -- servant. racheal for her children, weeping because they were no more. let us proclaim to your disciples that unless one receives your kingdom like a child, one cannot enter it. .et's all say lord have mercy visit us on this solemn day, a day on which we beg for infinite mercy for the atrocities we allow for the killing of children in the warm, a day on which we gather to bear witness to the sanctity of all human life from cradle to grave, and day on which we bear witness to gather to the vallium of each human person, a day on which we
offer a blessing and to the world as a sign, our witness to your infinite goodness and charity, even to was who neglect the life which you have given to us, even to killing and death. let us all say lord have mercy. remember not our negligence anson. remember not our failure to be doers of the word and not yours on the. remember not our hypocrisy to assist those who fall prey to the despair and hopelessness of abortion. let us all say lord have mercy. accept the repentance of us who have sinned, and he'll parcels. accept, lord, the grief of mothers to have aborted their children as a cry of repentance.
accept the better sort of progress -- the better sort. standing together in unity of mind with a contrite heart and a broken spirit. we offer our repentance, however we have since, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god, and none of us can judge or condemn. we offer our compassion for those in grief, in guilt, and in despair. we pray that they will receive us with open arms of forgiveness, and the woman who has sent that god has not condemned, let us all say lord have mercy. in light and those lost in the darkness in insensitivity, transformed the minds and hearts
of those hardened in bitterness. give hope for those in despair. let us all say -- >> lord have mercy. >> visit us with infinite compassion. created in each of us and in our nation a new heart, taking not your holy spirit from us, and restore to us the joy of life and of salvation, cleanse us and redeem us by your precious blood, shed for the light of the world. gas does not off, and neither turn your face away from us -- cast us not off. we earnestly repent, and with our souls about, let us al sadr -- >> lord have mercy. >> you are the devil of life and the savior of our souls, and we sent gloria to a father and to
the sun and to the holy spirit, now and ever, and unto ages and ages. >> amen. >> made the lord bless you abundantly. [cheers and applause] >> what a beautiful sight. god's people coming together in unity to stand up for life. this is mine this has been my march 24 volunteering in this rural, and i just think god for all of you and everyone makes an effort to come out here.
and we thank god for every one of you that shows up. and i want you to welcome the president for the march for life. >> thank you for coming. we love the unborn children and the abortionists whom we are trying to educate the they should not be doing this with the innocent children, so that we focus today as it went to
focus the around the year, but beginning today, these words of unity on the life principles without any exception, without any compromise. we will save the right to life of each human being at fertilization, so help us god. [cheers and applause] we want to make certain that we remind our officials that this is not something unusual for america. our founding documents put in them the right to life endowed by our creator so that we understand that from the beginning, america was indeed a land of understanding our right to life for each human being. we marched today on the sadness
that unfortunately there is an abortion industry in our country. how does this happen? it begins with their language. they want to deceive the world that the killing of the unborn children is something that is a right, a choice, and so with language, they have developed unfortunately a killing industry for our country. and we come here today to remind them that when each and every member of our government awakened this morning, participating and giving allowance for the intentional killing of 3000 innocent pre-
born children today, and that has averaged out for the whole of the time of roe vs. wade to more than 50 million innocent pre-born children and victimizing the mothers and fathers of those children and those of us who are brothers and sisters of those children that unfortunately 50 million innocents preborn children have been killed by the permission of our government, participating in evils. the nordberg trials taught us that genocide, the killing of innocent human beings, is a crime against inanity -- nirenberg trial. they are participating in crimes against humanity which cannot be
made legal. we are asking our government to overturn roe vs. wade, but they do not seem to understand that roe v. wade is not a lot of the land, but rather in has been an evil imposed on our country. -- it has been an evil. an incremental approach that we do little by little and this has made the abortionists feel very confident that they have some kind of a right. the incremental approach must be abandoned right now. we go to the live principles. no exceptions. no compromise. [cheers and applause] another reason you and i come to
this debate, our government actually authorize is this intentional killing. they authorize in in the name of you and me, too, so that, unfortunately, they are making us part of their industry, and that is, indeed, what we have to overcome. now, the is live principals were put together at the beginning of the very march 1 for life, and what they say in about seven items or sell is that we understand that human life begins at fertilization. the only thing about roe v. wade is the error which roe v. wade threw our supposedly aerodyne supreme court justices, they do not know when life begins. is that not amazing? when all this wonderful, educated justices do not know when life begins -- when all of
these wonderful, educated justices do not know when life begins? the light principles state clearly that each human life is in existence at fertilization. now, the reason we must be very careful and consistent about is that today, it is the innocent pre-born children who are being killed by our government, a also there is an idea that it is not them, but it is also for the aged and the handicapped and the elderly, and therefore, we say that the march for life life principles are to protect human life without regard to age, health, or condition of dependency. it is for all of us throughout
our whole life, and we ask that our life principles be followed. [cheers and applause] the abortionists are able to operate because they not only have an industry activated, but you do not hear very much about it. they are able to make it seem like a right in our world, and therefore, they are also operating against the life principles because they are able to keep you from seeing an understanding what exactly they are doing, but they are, indeed, killing innocent preboard human
beings. one of the most important things i want to leave with you is that we have held so that no one has to go to an abortion clinic and have their children killed. no one. some of those in the pro-life movement -- come to them. anyone who is in a situation that seems difficult, do not be afraid. do not worry about going to an abortion, but our churches, where jesus christ is, in the
sister all of the religious organizations. this is to ensure that you and your preboard children can be taken care of. listen to the aid that is available to you, and do not let the abortionists distract you to think that they all was providing something that appears to be the end of a problem, and the abortion industry does not end the problems, but rather they create more problems for women and men and children, and therefore, we must indeed understand help is available. what are we going to do after this? we have been marching in washington now for 39 years. thank you for remaining with this whole effort, because what you have done, even like this,
is to come and tell our government that they may not continue the abortion industry. and now, we must really at this point -- what are we going to do about it? and tell them every morning when he gets up at 3000 babies could be killed when he could protect those 3000 babies, and he has to stop supporting abortion industry and save the baby's. that is our president. he must stop the killing of those innocent children. [cheers and applause] in addition, we have a united states congress that is very pro-life, and they, too, must put forward the legislation we are going to propose to stop
abortion in america. are members of congress. ask them to stop it, and in order to do it, we put the legislation before congress, and all of us, all of you who are here today are a part of a grass-roots effort to get that legislation passed. and with our supreme court, we will write again to them and suggests -- and suggest, we are going to tell them one more time. that's our supreme court can indeed overturn roe v wade, and they can do it without waiting until all of the appeals go, but just get to the point. the united states supreme court
and i want to thank you for coming today, and i will work with you, and you can work. you have no idea what it looks like. r&b people and hear, you are wonderful. thank you, thank you. god bless. >> we have someone here that nelly is going to introduce. >> in order to get this done, we very much need to go to the congress, and we are delighted to have today the house speaker, john boehner, a republican from ohio. >> minelli, thank you. let me say thank all of you for
braving the elements today. i am truly honored to be with all of you, and i come here today as the speaker of the whole house of representatives and the leader of the bipartisan pro-life majority in the united states house of representatives. [cheers and applause] . with your help, this bipartisan majority is standing up we are heeding the voice of the people who overwhelmingly opposed taxpayer funding of abortion. [cheers and applause] the house has passed a bipartisan legislation to cover the amendment across our entire government. we will continue to press the senate for a vote. [cheers and applause] it is an honor for me to serve with men and women committed to
protecting the sanctity of life. we are one in the same when it comes to this issue. because human life is not a political or economic commodity. defending life is not defending a party. it is about standing are principles. take a moment to reflect on the first principles that bring us all here today. we are blessed to gather on this national mall, hallowed ground and one half a century ago, john f. kennedy led the world know that americans would pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship to keep freedom alive and well. like many of you, my family of kennedy democrats was moved by
these words. i am for more you would call a big family. i have got 11 brothers and sisters. [cheers and applause] i know it was not eason for our mother to have 12 of them, but i am glad we are all here -- i know it was not easy for our mother. respect for life at every stage was instilled in us early on. my heart still grows restless at the stories in scriptures that say whatever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me. no life is an island. extend a taught to helping hand, especially to those in need. so i never considered being pro- life a label or a political division. it is just too i am. [cheers and applause] . it is not just as i am pro-life. it is that we as a people are
pro-life. and if you are like me, and you are on the steps of the other side of the tidal basin, there are jefferson's immortal words. that got you gave us life gave us liberty. these are intertwined. together, they are the core of our national character. they comprise the standards by which the world looks to us. and when we affirm the dignity of life, we reaffirm our commitment to liberty and freedom. when we do not affirm life, when life is cheapens, we can come here or abroad, -- when life is cheap ande -- cheapened,
weakened, here or abroad -- this is why nellie gray marches on. this is why you march on, so let us rise to her example and raise our voices together in defense of life. [cheers and applause] let us pray that more of our countrymen, whether you belong to one political party or no political party, will join this noble cause. god go with all of you today, and may god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, mr. speaker. looking out and seeing hundreds of thousands of people, it is great to know we have a great speaker of the house of representatives, and that is john boehner.
i would like to introduce to you now another story of the right- to-life movement, congressman chris smith from new jersey. the co-chair of the house pro- life caucus. >> with my wife, let me thank you for being part of the greatest human rights movement on earth, that by prayer, fasting, and hard work, seeks to defend the weak and the vulnerable. as you know, under the extraordinary leadership of speaker john boehner, whom you have just heard, the majority leader and the whip, our conference chairman, the house is overwhelmingly approved the new taxpayer funding for abortion act to protect life act, and voted to completely repeal obama care and to defund
planned parenthood. [cheers and applause] we must work hard to change the senate so these bills can go forward and reclaim the white house. tomorrow night, in his state of the union message, president obama will issue a call to return america to american values. mr. president, the violent destruction of children in the worm, killing babies, it is not an american value. mr. president, stop violating conscious rights -- conscience of rights. stop violating religious freedom. that is not an american value. abortion is not and never will be an american value, and stop exporting abortion to the four
corners of the earth. the last three years, my friends, of abortion extremism by president obama is a mirror -- mear foretaste, a mear foreshadowing of what will happen if he is elected again. it was only worsen in a second term. given four more years, obama will pack the courts and especially the supreme court with pro-abortion judges. and he will use the coercive power of the state. make no mistake about it. we do not have the luxury of this unity or apathy. no one can sit this one out.
failure to unite, failure to mobilize cents the enablers in chief, barack obama, back to the white house, so for the sake of the innocents, failure to unite is simply not an option. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i am a representative from the state of illinois. i want to thank all of you for being here today. we have a lot of work ahead of us. to conquer a culture of life in washington, all across our nation. and we know that it is not going to be easy. as a democrat in washington, it is not easy to be pro-life. we must let america know, and i want to let america know and all
of you know that we will not back down, and we will not go away. with god's help, we will turn around the culture of death, and we will make our nation respect and cherished and protect the lives of the most innocent among us, and said today, we dedicate ourselves to that, to protecting the lives of the innocent in our nation. god bless you. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i am eric cantor from virginia. the majority leader.
it is always so amazing to look out on this crowd, people who travel from all across the country and brave the cold to fight for life. [cheers and applause] i especially want to recognize those who made the trip from virginia and for those who came up from the southern district today on five buses. your belief and commitment to the right to life gives all of us even more inspiration to never, ever give up the fight. we come together to say that the taking of life is morally wrong. millions of americans across this country agree with us that we must stop government from
assisting in the assault on innocent life. millions of americans agree with us that we should defund giving dollars to planned parenthood. [cheers and applause] our dollars should never be used to take life. it is time to protect conscience rights for those who oppose abortion. as you know, we cannot do this alone. we need your help. we need more who dedicate their lives for the cause. their passion, their courage and the clear message to the american people that we all stand proudly for life and let us not give up the fight. thank you very, very much.
>> good afternoon, i am kevin mccarthy from california. i am the majority whip of the house. [cheers and applause] >> i stood here one year ago. we committed to finding a way to ensure that life is protected. what a difference one year makes. despite being met with obstacles, the house stood strong, and we succeeded in reinstating the ban on federal funds being used for abortions right here in d.c. this may not be california weather, but the one thing it does do, it reinstates to everyone in this capital, this country, our dedication to the sanctity of life. [cheers and applause] i pledge to you again that house republicans will continue to stand hand in hand as we persist in our mission to promote the safety of life.
magnus find and more powerful way -- let us find a more powerful way of what is written in psalms, that children are a gift of god. thank you. >> good afternoon, from dallas tx. is cold. it is rainy, and there is no such thing as a bad day to march 4 lives. 10 years ago next month, my firstborn was put in my arms, and i celebrated a child of god. my wife, when she said she was pregnant, i knew as a matter of faith that she carried live. when i saw that first sonogram, science confirmed what i knew by faith, that she carried live, and it in february 28, 2002, the
baby exerciser constitutional right to be born and came into this world, and as a united states congressman, i will never rest until every child in america born and not born has their inalienable right to live protected. march on. [cheers and applause] >> i'm tom price from the state of georgia. god bless you. as a doctor, i know that life is so very, very basic. we all know that life is so very, very precious. we also know that life is so very, very innocent. and is also soapberry, very threatened. as those who oppose the sanctity
of life try to change the definition to suit their purposes, our task becomes greater. as this administration turns his back on the sanctity of life, our task becomes greater. and as popular culture and education diminishes the sanctity of life, our task becomes greater. and so i have one question for you -- are we up to the task? [cheers and applause] you bet we are. god bless you. god bless the united states of america and keep fighting for freedom in life! >> i am steve king of iowa. hello, pro-life america! he [cheers and applause] you can see the small as far as the eye can see today, this is the 39th year, 53 million american babies aborted.
millions of you come to this small every year. younger and younger every year, and more more of you prayed for life. and now i see that over the last year, 24 states have passed 92 pieces of legislation to protect life. it is a new milestone. and when you go back home, and you talk to your friends and your relatives, tell them they are two things to know. is he alive question in all its forms? is a sacred? and at what instant does life begin? concession. god bless you. we're going to come back here to celebrate the end of what roe v. wade. >> i am congressman jim sensenbrenner of wisconsin. one of the principles upon which our country was founded was
freedom. last friday, the obama administration took away a free them by going against conscience protection. and what this means is that people who are health care professionals or people who work in religious sponsored hospitals will have a choice -- that choice is there a day or their job. that is not -- their faith or their job. that is not freedom. we will march on and talk to our elected officials to make sure that that is reversed. this year. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon, pro-life firstrs. i am taught taken from the state of missouri. -- todd akin from the state of
missouri. this is my 12th chance to join you in rain or shine, but this will be my last chance to join u.s. a u.s. congressman. because in the state of missouri, we have a pro-abortion senator that needs to go on vacation. i hope next year to join you as a u.s. senator right here, continuing to fight for pro- life. [cheers and applause] god bless you all. you are standing up for the most fundamental aspect of american culture, that is, that we protect life, because no other ride can mean anything if you are dead. god bless you. [cheers and applause]
>> hello, everybody. i am congressman john fleming from the great state of louisiana. we can feel your energy and your commitment up here on stage and in such terrible weather. we appreciate your turning out today. as a doctor, who has delivered hundreds of babies, as a father of four and a grandfather of two, i can tell you that the taking of innocent life is never health care. do i have agreement on that? >> yes! >> you realize that since roe v. wade, over 54 million innocent lives have been taken from the womb. even 300 -- really 320,000 abortions occurred just from planned parenthood alone.
[booing] ladies and gentlemen, we do not know when we will be able to change what has occurred from the great court in this nation, but i can tell you this, we are doing things every day-reduces abortions around the country. such as requiring a 24-hour notice. such as sonograms, and many other things that we can do. and every day we see more people are now pro-life, and more than ever, people say they do not want their tax money to go for abortions. keep up the gray work. thank you very much. [cheers and applause] >> all these wonderful members of congress here. we have got one more. ok. >> i cannot tell you what an honor is due -- is to be among all of you. this year is a shape -- at destiny-shaping your foot the unborn. i promise you that we will hear
the prenatal nondiscrimination act which will demonstrate to the world of the humanity of the child and the inhumanity of what is done to them. please hear this much. in this coming election, we are facing one of the greatest challenges in our history. if barack obama is the most pro- abortion president in the history of this nation. he is the abortion president and we must defeat him if the unborn are to be protected. [cheers and applause] i leave you with this quote, that queen elizabeth said when he was facing king philip's armada. she said, we see the sales approaching. we hear the sounds of the guns over the water very soon now we will meet them face to face. i am come out among new to live or die almost too well. while we stand together, no enemy will pass.
let them come with the armies of hell, they will not pass. and when this day is finally over, and we meet again in heaven of the field of victory, but that grace of god, i will meet you here this time on the field of victory. [cheers and applause] >> we want to have victory and we are going to have it. i want to invite some ladies appear. we say in the pro-life movement that the celebrities we have are the mothers and that freeborn children that are suffering under abortion. we forget a lot of times that the other part of that equation of the mothers who are suffering who have had abortions. i want to introduce some ladies to tell you about the work that they are doing to talk about the regret for abortion. >> hello, i am executive director of free for life.
this is our march 10. the men and women here with their sons, i regret my abortion, and i regret lost fatherhood. since found in the campaign, over 10 dozen people have joined the campaign in 67 countries. over 5000 men and women had said publicly on the streets of this united states and all over the world, publicly testifying to that damage done in their lives by abortion. that is a lot of women and men hurting. and we are here to send a message -- please come to the supreme court and hear that testimony as we march by the court. they are like changing and they will acquit you to help those people back home. now i introduce my co-founder of the campaign. >> greetings. and i am cut -- i'm a co-sponsor
of the silence no more campaign. we're humbled the stand up here and be silent no more. we are women in manned -- and men who for one reason or another have had an abortion. because we think we just talk about the baby, we know that not only does our baby die, but a part of ourselves does right along with those babies. the men and women standing along behind me have courageously allowed god in to heal them, to forgive them, and to restore them. and now they courageously stand up and speak out about the injustice of abortion. we know it kills our children. now we need to help people understand that it is not good for women, it is not good for man, it is not health care.
women's rights do not include, do not need to include the right to die. the right to abortion. please help us get this message out. please go to our website, and we all know someone. we are here because we care about someone who has had an abortion. let them know that the healing programs are out there, that they do not have to live in pain and regret. stop being silent. let them know the healing programs are out there. go to our website again, we want everyone to help us spread the word. there are over 1400 testimonies published on our website. please help us get the word out. thank you and god bless. [cheers and applause] >> thank you for the year's
steep -- these dear ladies who have courage to speak of. we have some more members of congress. welcome them now. >> this is the day that the lord has made. let us give thanks and rejoiced senate. i am from the great state of new jersey. alongside me as my wife, who along with our two college aid dollars are 100 percent pro- life. reject offers are 100% pro-life. -- daughters are 100% pro-life. the gavel was taken away from nancy pelosi, and we have a congress who can speak for those who cannot act. who can act for those who cannot act, who can fight for those who cannot fight. a pro-life congress. and now, although the struggle continues, we know that he who first created life, that he too
is now still in control of this universe. so i commend everyone else there to came from far away, remember what scripture tells us, that we will continue to run and not growth rate, that we will continue to walk and not grow weary. so we continue to march today for life and i commend you for all that we will continue the fight and we will not grow weary. we will defend like. god bless everyone. >> good afternoon, pro-lifeirs. pro-americans. i am gene schmidt from the great state of ohio. and i am here to challenge you wehelp mae make sure that are and continue to be the greatest nation in the world, a
nation under god and god's plan for us. [cheers and applause] on friday, as recently heard by my good friend, mr. sensenbrenner, this administration has passed one of the basic cores of what makes america great. not only has are not -- are right to life in under continuous attack for the last 39 years, but now our right to be the person that we want to be, the right to liberty. ladies and gentlemen, young folks in this audience, that is the cornerstone in the foundation that makes us unique. on parallel across the world. by removing the conscience clause, this administration is
now forcing us to choose between our rights to be the person we want to be, to have a religious expression, and a job. i have to repeat that. we will now have to choose between our core beliefs, our religious beliefs, and in some cases our jobs. the erosion is frightening. you and i have the voice to change it. i asked you to join me in that voice. god bless you. and god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon, pro-lifer s. i am from the great state of new york and let me say hello to all
my fellow new yorkers out there. thank you, thank you, thank you for your willingness to stand here every year and fight for the right to life. you are the heroes. we need you. and to all the young people in the audience, thank you for being strong and for being willing to stand up to protect all life. ladies and gentleman, every life regardless of the circumstance has intrinsic value because it was created by god. we know that. we now need to convince the rest of the country. we stand for life. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i am andy harris, one of the pro-life people and congress. thank you for being here,
including my son who is out there. work hard this year. we are one election away from restoring america as a pro-life nation. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> i am from nebraska and i am pro-life. thank you all so much for coming here today. young people, it saddens my heart, i have to say this to you. president obama is not with you. president obama is against you. president obama and his administration are aggressively pro-abortion and are actively undermining religious freedoms and the rights of conscience. so as you march today, please note as well that his secretary of health and human services has recently said, catherine sebelius said, we are at war. who is she at war with? with you, people who believe in the sanctity of human life and
that women deserve better area such thank you for standing up for your right to free speech, you're right to assembly, and know today that as you march you were speaking truth to power. god bless you. [cheers and applause] >> i am mike kelly from pennsylvania. the rain cannot debt and our spirits. and this administration cannot dampen our mission is. we're here today for one reason and one reason only, to defend life. thank you for what you do and god bless you. [cheers and applause] >> i am from that great state of kansas. [cheers and applause] it was just 20 years ago in my hometown of wichita, where a flame was lit. and all of you here today are a
testament to that great commitment to protect every human life from conception until natural death. thank you so much for what you're doing. it is truly the lord's work. we have a big fight ahead of us. for the next 11 months and years to come, thank you for what you do and from -- and may god bless each and everyone of you. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i am from the great state of louisiana. that's right, this year louisiana made the union's top state for pro-life issues. yes, for the second time in three years, louisiana has been named the most pro-life state in the union. [cheers and applause] that means that the rest of you all have to be challenged. you have to take us down. so remember, i want you to take
that challenge on. please pray for life, preach for life, unpolitical life. thank you all. -- and politicking for life. >> al is everyone doing? i'm from the great state of wisconsin. happy to be here with all of you. you are all the unsung heroes of the greatest civil rights battle of our generation. now today you are not only marching on behalf of the millions of babies who have lost their lives to the violence of abortion, but you're also standing with their mothers who have quietly suffered from the greatest ally ever told. the lie that their babies were not wanted and that their babies were not human. thank you for exposing that light.
keep up the fire. keep the faith. god bless and came on. -- game on. >> i am the congressman from the state of pennsylvania. i want to thank you so much for being here on behalf of the unborn today. i know you have trouble long distance and a personal sacrifice to be here. i have got to tell you, it is worth it in your making a difference. you are making a difference for the unborn. i am proud to stand 100% pro- life and had to step with you on the fundamental and a constitutional right to life. thank you for what you do. >> i am from illinois just outside of chicago. thank you for being here. i am here in congress to fight for life. there is no more important fight
that we will have over this next year in these next months than the fight for life. thank you for being here. i'm so encouraged by the young people that are here. and that is why planned parenthood is dying. we have young people committed to life. god bless you. keep praying for our leaders, keep praying for this election, we will come back next year and celebrate winning the fight for life. bless you all. >> we will have more members of congress and a few minutes. you always hear that the pro- life movement does that have alternatives, " -- but we do. we have pregnancy crisis centers, all sorts of things. we're going to hear right now from the founder of one about the work at pregnancy aid centers and how important they are to the pro-life battle. chris. >> we also have maternity homes
throughout this nation, from banker to the miami keys -- bangor to the miami keys. if a woman is pregnant and she needs a house, she needs long- term care -- long term care, not only through birth but after birth, good counsel and hundreds of maternity homes aren't there to take her again, to care for her, and to love her. don't we have enough love and our nation for another baby to be born? yes. good counsel homes is there with a national hot line and our website. we are partnering with dozens of other maternity homes, a couple of whom are represented here today, and we will share with you briefly how we are helping mothers before, during, and after birth, we are forming
a national network. if you are pregnant or know someone who is, or if you want to help a maternity home today, e-mail email@example.com. thank you and god bless you. charismatic -- mary peterson. >> i represent homes in arizona and in cleveland ohio. we welcome women in any situation, in any difficulty. it is a safe and loving community and we are eager to welcome any woman that needs it. if you would like to support these homes and start a minority home, or if you're pregnant and in need of support, please e- mail firstname.lastname@example.org. >> i am with homes in st. louis
cemetery -- say louis, missouri. i also like to add one thing. we can take care of them hunters, but we need some help with the father's. we need more programs for men. i held by challenge some people out there to start some programs to help men become fathers. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you all so much for that you're doing. eric, come on out. harry. i will be right back. we talk about the future of the pro-life movement. we have now some wonderful --, peering introduced the students to of one the student contes. >> we hold this contest, as many of you know, if every year. it is very competitive and then
we pick the winners of the best high school/junior high s.a., a poem, and posters. i just wanted to meet these winners this year. the first winner for the high rgan whitt.y is mo an the junior high and winner is becky. [cheers and applause] from iowa. morgan is from north carolina. the third winner is from winds will, ohio. the winner of the high school poem contest. our next winter is maggie stein from maryland. winner of the junior high poem
contest. did you raise your hand? put it up. ok. our next winner for the junior high is from kentucky. did i get everybody? i cannot hear you. let me see here. oh, yes, sorry. my apologies. the winner for the high school poster contest is abby from woodstock, md.. thank you, ladies, all. next year will allow some gentleman to enter this contest, you know. all right, thank you.
>> we have some more members of congress now. come on forward. let's give them a big applause. >> i am louie gohmert from the state of texas. and we are all here as your friends for life. right? well, ben franklin called it the sacred writing, the sacred writings says, behold, children our heritage from the lord, the fruit of the wound is our award. like arrows in the hands of a lawyer, so are the children's of one youth. happy is the person who has a quiver full of them. 50 million dead babies is not a reward. it is an indictment. my dear friends for life, the
same selfish arrogance and reckless disregard that would allow life to be taken and one generation to take a life after life after life from a future generation will also allow a generation to forge it chains made of mountains of debt to sat on those they do allow to be born. it is wrong, and the beginning is with the indictment for allowing so many on born to be killed. having allowed my child -- prematurely born, to hold on to my finger for eight hours, nonstop, i came to note, they want to live. they want to live. [cheers and applause] let me just finish this with a statement you ought to know, it
it basically means that every single annual meeting turns into a referendum on the political role being taken by the corporate world in general. obviously that is a distraction. it is not good for shareholder value, and shareholders probably do not want it. secondly, to the extent that it creates transaction costs for the spending of political money by corporations, it essentially is a unilateral, political disarmament by the boat be due by the business community. i am not taking a normative position on this. to the extent that shareholders don't want this information and don't want to turn their annual meetings into a circus, they have a responsibility to respect that. that is my view on the. >> let me just rebut that very
quickly. >> i think it is extremely disingenuous to say that shareholders are not interested. the fact is, most of us don't know where all of our shares are. and i am not a corporate litigator, so you understand the structure of these investment vehicles better than i did. but i do know, you have a pension being invested on your behalf. there are all sorts of ways that money that could be yours is being invested in corporations and you don't actually know. i am not saying a change to the rules would be a silver bullet, nor do i think that is the only change that should come about. i do think that it strikes me as extremely low hanging fruit, publicly owned corporations are transparent in many, many ways, and i can understand the debate about having to vote on specific expenditures, but
making these corporations disclose their political spending and giving shareholders at least the ability once a year to say, i am comfortable with my money being used for political purposes, or no, i am not comfortable with my money being used for political purposes. i think it is hard not to support that, in my opinion. nor do i think that is a silver bullet. >> i will not use the word disingenuous, but i do think it is difficult to draw the line exactly on what is political when you talk about a corporate budget. the fact that $10,000 in direct political spending should somehow be disclosed to shareholders, and a multimillion-dollar negotiation with the union is not. i think that is a weird line.
corporations do things all the time that are hugely politically risky. i think you have to have everything else. that is no way to run a corporation, which is why we don't do it that way. >> open to questions. one of my colleagues is running around with a microphone in just a moment. sometimes you need is in the back of your head. we will start of the there was a gentleman in a sweater. >> if we could move beyond theory for a second, we have a primary in florida in eight days. how'd you crack at that, when you move beyond the big guys? >> i wanted to just comment briefly.
the topic of this forum is will super pacs determine the 2012 election? that is the one question we have not answered. i do not think that will determine the presidential outcome. i think to the degree they play a role, they have accelerated existing trends that will not be definitive. i think where they could really play important role is in close house and senate races. if you talk to any member of the house or senate, candidates who lost in 2010, a number of them will point to super pac expenditures in very large amounts. many of them are very shocked. i think super pacs are important, but i would say keep an eye out for other vehicles that will be utilized shortly. >> here it is. in the 2010 election, 80 super
pacs spent $9 million in the 2010 elections. only a handful of them were particularly active, putting in millions and millions of dollars. >> you can go to the fec web sites and see the disclosure reports for the actual discrete expenditures. the rule on whether they have to tell who made expenditures, whether they gave the money for the purpose of furthering the ads is a subject of that disclosure report. you will not get any information on the donors until the end of this month when have to file their first report of this calendar year. no good information on where the money is coming from prior to the florida primary. slightly better information hopefully, moving forward. >> taking all these points, and
this is more of a whimsical observation. when that information does come out, no one is going to be particularly surprised. that is part of what is funny about this debate. everybody is saying, who put a ton of money into rick santorum's super pac? i saw an exchange on tv may be a week ago were summoned said, what is in there that is going to change anyone's vote? what is big oil get a bunch of money to rick santorum? no one voting for rick santorum is bothered by big oil. i am not saying that eviscerates anything else that has been said here. at the end of the day, it is not going to be that surprising. >> if that is the case, it begs the question why all these groups at the last minute change their reporting so there would not have to report it.
why not just come out and say where the money came from, if it is not a big deal? >> i am wondering about 527's, as most people understand the term. there has been some speculation that maybe super pacs are yesterday's 's527's. now if super pacs are available for unlimited contributions, does the panel -- will those now go away or be less prominent in favor of groups like super pacs? >> thank you for the crs report. i have your cheatsheet in front me to help keep all these entities straight.
>> the very odd answer to question is, 527's and super pacs are typically one and the same. super pacs refer to an fec label that they stick on you if your primary purpose is to influence election results. major purpose. >> the irs standard is primary activity. greg's the very confusing thing is, you still have to organize reorganization under some thread of the tax code. most of them organize as 527's that have the primary purpose of influencing elections.
super pacs had not changed much. what has changed is, with a swift boat in an earlier election, we saw 527's resisting being labeled as a pac. they were resisting the contribution limit that largely don't exist anymore, and the source limits on prohibiting them from taking money from corporations that largely don't exist anymore. >> i think the simple answer is yes to your question, super pacs are taking the place of 527 groups. the reclining to register to ebay contribution limits and source restrictions on corporate money. that is all now legal.
the 527's groups got into some trouble. they violated federal campaign finance laws, but now all that activity is legal. there is no more incentive to stay away from the fec. >> if anything, maybe you have seen a shift to the 510c4's. they are skirting the line on their primary purpose and they can hold on to that designation before the irs would get together to investigate. they can do the same thing, but avoid disclosure on top of it. >> certain types of groups for political organizations as defined by the internal revenue service, but not political action committees. the way they did was not using terms like voting for or voting against.
the 527 organizations were very different from super pacs in that they did not engage in specific campaign messages. they did disclose eventually to the internal revenue service. they are great example of one way to approach disclosure because initially they did not disclosed. members of congress like john mccain said we want them to disclose, and we will do it through the irs. the fec has a reputation for making public records available to journalists and helping them go for them, and the irs does not have a tradition of disclosure, probably for good reason. having said that, after the fines that were imposed against a lot of leading527 organizations including the swift boat group, a lot of
donors said we are not going to play this game anymore. they were spooked. they did not think it was effective. now that there is a super pac option, i don't think you'll see people spending their money in that way. if there is an alternative to the super pac, it will probably be a trade association or social welfare organization. >> there was a question over on this side. i am getting the impression that investigations don't seem to be all that likely. is that accurate, or are they still going to investigate this behavior? >> first of launching an investigation is getting for votes among six commissioners to find reason to believe that the law was broken. its staff identifies what may be a violation, they go to the commissioner and say before you start an investigation -- that has happened with less and less
frequency in the last three or four years and we have seen increasing deadlocks. >> so it is similar to the lobbying rules, were basically no one ever gets prosecuted, although not quite as extreme. >> my question is about what mr. dickerson was saying about the 50% efficiency cut in political contributions. from my perspective, it seems as if there is still a great investment in political contributions. high rates of return, given the fact that the federal government as all can influence your profit margin potentially by hundreds of millions or perhaps billions of dollars. number two, the fact that because of the enormous wealth concentration, there is not that much of a risk of a dollar to new gingrich as a billionaire, the $5 million to gave was a drop in the bucket
for him. i am just curious as to your perspectives as to how good of an investment donating to these independent expenditures would be. >> i am trying to figure out how to address that. it is an excellent question. i am going to zoom out in answering it. i think a lot of the confusion is about the concept of corruption. when the supreme court talks about corruption, they are talking about something specific. this was alluded to by everyone on the panel. we are talking about a quid pro quo agreement, where i am giving you contribution are doing something for you, and you are doing something in return. a lot of that is covered by robbery statutes. the supreme court has recognized that the there are ways to hide this.
they decided to draw a bright line rule on contributions. where i run into trouble is, it is not about whether someone feels they owe you their election, or someone feels a certain amount of gratitude for your support. it is about whether or not there was an actual, corrupt bargain. and now that sounds like splitting hairs, but think about it. at the end of the day, all democratic politics involves a certain amount of trading of support. it is unquestionable that when george pataki was elected with support of unions that it never supported him before, he felt a lot of obligation or support our gratitude towards those unions. i am sure it is true that when speaker boehner was elected, he
felt certain gratitude towards people who had helped fund the majority. that is just politics. if you try to make that illegal, you destroy the ability of people to have a functioning democracy. if you dig down, maybe you could find a fair rule that distinguishes between actual corruption in the sense of, i give you $5 million and you prove my walmart in your home town. i think we all agree that as massively illegal and people should go to jail for that. i don't know how to draw that line. i don't know if that answers your question. >> isn't the phrase corruption or the appearance of corruption? it is not just about doing wrong, it is giving people a reason not to trust the democratic system. >> i think that is an extremely
valid point. i think a lot of the problem with this area of the law is, all this stuff goes up from preliminary injunctions, someone has an affidavit that is three pages long. the supreme court has never been asked to pass on the question of what constitutes the appearance of corruption. but academic work has been done -- it has suggested that there is this worry about corruption, that when you drill down, the amounts of money people are talking about are not $200 or $500. >> these decisions, congress goes through hearing process to make a number of findings. they make a determination about the law and passed a law and the courts will give some deference to the determinations made by congress. so it is the role of congress to do the investigation to find out where the lines are.
they are the ones most subject to these pressures anyway. >> you will notice that often -- the debate was over the part of the challenge to all these laws, going back to buckley, the question of is the contribution limit too low? is $1,000 in $1,976 corrupting? the court has occasionally hinted that it might not be. it is probably true that $1,000 does not by anyone, thank god. to we don't have a scalpel probe whether $5,000 or $10,000 is appropriate. i think the phrase "the appearance of corruption" is a dangerous way of doing constitutional law.
>> i think it is undoubtedly the case that five justices on the supreme court would agree with allen's definition of corruption. that was not the case as recently as 2003, when the court not only defined corruption as the appearance of corruption, they said undue access and influence the results in the making of big contributions creates corruption. that is corrupt. they referred to the definition of corruption as -- what changed was, justice o'connor retired and justice alito joined the court. in citizens united you see a narrowing of the court of what had been defined as corruption, meaning and to access and influence, as well as actual quid pro quo stuff. that is a pretty recent development.
>> i completely agree that our democratic system is premised on individuals trying to influence other individuals to push policy in some direction. clearly, we will always be more willing to listen to our friends that our enemies. i do think there is a huge difference when you are talking about a for-profit corporation spending money to influence election results. a for-profit corporation is extremely different than uni. we are very complex creatures with all sorts of motivation. we also have larger senses of wanting to make our community and our country a better place. a for-profit corporation, by law, has one goal, and that is to make money. that is not a bad king. making money is a great thing, and there -- but i don't think
that goal should be confused when making policy. that is an extremely dangerous situation to be in. >> contribution limit is actually $2,500, not $1,000. i think that is one of the very good things that happen with the mccain-feingold law, the effect of bringing more regulated money into the system. i think it should be noted that the same lawyers and advocates who endorsed and championed at citizens united are now pushing for a whole new set of changes in the law. they are challenging the existing contribution limits to candidates and parties. mitt romney has been very candid about this. he says the super pacs have all this power and money, i want to have all that power and money, too. that would level the playing field. that puts it to the high court on whether they want to go against what buckley said. the supreme court said we
believe there is a sufficient public argument in favor of limiting contributions to candidates and parties, but we are going to let these laws stand. i am not sure whether from a constitutional perspective this court would approve or disapprove or should approve or disapprove contribution limits being eliminated. but based on the reaction of citizens united, i would be very surprised if this nation accepted that. i think there is a limit to how much the voters can swallow. seen't think they want to us go quite that far. i see a lot of dissatisfaction with citizens united already. i think if you try to get rid of the contribution limits to candidates and parties, members of congress would hear such an earful from their constituents that they just would not accept that. >> there was a survey that just came out on january 17 that said that 54% of registered
voters are aware of the supreme court's decision allowing unlimited independent spending on political ads. 65 percent think the changes in the rules are having a negative effect on the 2012 presidential campaign. but that, unfortunate, we are out of time. i would like to thank all four of our panelists for doing a fantastic job today. i probably should thank stephen colbert for helping bring attention to this issue. we will focus on access to legislative data in our next event. more information will be available on the c-span website. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> today on "washington journal," a look ahead at the president's state of the union address and the fiscal budget. with democratic congressman brad miller. then congressman steve sutherland, a republican from florida talks about the republican primary in his state on next tuesday. and then later, a discussion on a piece in "washington monthly," if we will hear from michael mandel. washington journal, every
morning, starting at 7:00 eastern, here on c-span. >> leading up to president obama's said the union address, the bipartisan policies and a host former speech writers today. you will hear from former speech writer for president bill clinton and vice president gore, as well as presidents george h. w. bush and george w. bush. that is live starting at 8:30 a.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span2. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. [applause] >> tuesday night, president obama delivers his state of the union address. live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern, including the president's speech, republican response from mitch daniels, and your phone calls live on c-span
and c-span reappeared on c- span2, watch the speech live with tweets from congress. and after the speech, more reaction from house members and senators. go online to see the video, add your comments on facebook and printer. -- twitter. >> before the candid face each other in -- this event moderated by bryan williams is one hour 25 minutes. >> to night's gathering of the candidates comes after what has already been a long campaign. it started in iowa. it continued in new hampshire. but after a bruising battle in
south carolina, the fight has now come here to florida. the first big state to have a big say in the gop contest. the issues -- a stubborn 10% unemployment rate. for seniors, real concerns about the future, medicare, social security, a high foreclosure rates, and 90 miles off the florida coast, cuba. that, and more on the agenda tonight. the debate starts now. [applause] >> good evening. welcome to the university of
south florida. the candidates are here. lord knows, everyone knows each other by now. we begin this republican primary battle and finds itself at a critical stage. the voters here in florida and across the country are dialed in and paying attention. we want to get a quick acceleration of our rules. 60 seconds for answers, 30 seconds for rebuttals or follow ups at the moderator's discussion. we have asked our guests to withhold their applause and any verbal reactions to what they hear on stage so as to ensure this is about before candid certain night and what they have to say. as for toppers, this is a wide open evening. let's begin. first of all, three of you on our states have enjoyed victories. an unprecedented moment in the modern era -- three separate candidates, three severed
victories. congratulations to you. in all three contests, the voters made it clear that electability was a crucial element to them. a crucial argument this year. and so, speaker gingrich, on electability, your rival on this stage, governor romney, was out today calling you erratic, and failed. he warned that your nomination for this party could result in an october surprise a day. given that he would after you today on this topic of electability, your response tonight. >> in 1980, when ronald reagan started your about 30 points behind jimmy carter and that the staff should describe his ideas as -- economics, he went out and won the debate. he won the nomination and won the general election caring more
states than roosevelt carried against herbert hoover. i would suggest that the group believes in an american energy program, who believes in a strong national defense, and who has the courage to stand up to the washington establishment may make the washington establishment uncomfortable, but is also exactly the kind of bold, tough leader that the american people want. they're not sending someone to manage the decay. they are sending someone to washington to change it. >> about your problems. your departure from the speakership in the 1990's. what is the case you make to the american people and voters about how you have changed. >> when i was speaker, we had four consecutive balanced budgets. most people think that is good. to 2.4% -- we were down
unemployment. we reformed welfare. people went to work in school. people think that is good. i took responsibilities because results were not as good as they should be. that is what leadership does. i did not want to stay around. i found it for small businesses and i'm very comfortable with my four years as speaker working with a democratic president concede the kind of conservative values of most republicans want as president. >> governor romney, for his part, the speaker said of you you were dancing on aids for this campaign. a good salesman with a week -- dancing around eggs for this campaign. a good salesman with a weak product. your challenge is going to be with how you connect with people. how're you going to be on
electability? >> i think it will come down to leadership. you're looking for a person who will lead this country at a very critical time. lead the free world and the free world has to lead the entire world. the speaker was given an opportunity to be the leader of a party in 1994. the other for years he had to design in disgrace. in the 1970's he came to washington. i went to my first job in the 1970's. in the 1990's, he had to describe as a disgrace from his job as speaker. i had the opportunity to go off and run the olympic games. in the 15 years after he left the speakership, the speaker has been working as an influence peddler in washington. during those 15 years, i helped turn around the olympics. i began a very successful turnaround in the state of massachusetts. when i was fighting against cap and trade, the speaker was with nancy pelosi on a sofa encouraging it. when i said that the paul ryan plan to save medicare was bold
and right, he said it was social engineering. we have very different perspectives on leadership and the kind of leadership that our conservative movement needs. not just to get elected, but to get the country right. >> mr. speaker? >> i am not we spend the evening trying to chase governor romney's misinformation. he is at least four things are fall. i now want to waste time on them. i think the american public deserves discussion about barack obama. a discussion about what we will do about the economy. this is the worst kind of trivial politics. there were four things that were false. we have an ad in which both john mccain and mike huckabee in 2007 and 2008 explain how much they think governor romney cancels the truth. don't believe me. just look at the ad with mike huckabee and senator mccain. you understand what's i'm saying. >> governor romney, let's talk about the southern base of the
gop. they describe themselves as very conservative. only one in five have gone away. how that affects you in the longer campaign? >> i have a great record as you know. the new hampshire voters overwhelmingly supported me. i got the biggest support the we've seen among republicans, even including ron reagan -- that far back. i am pleased that i'll be back to connect well with our republican race. -- base. we have to take my word for the facts. i will point out they are accurate. the members of his own team. his conditional team, after his four years of leadership, they moved to replace him. they also took a boat and 80% of republicans of voted to reprimand the speaker. he did this time -- he did resign in disgrace. this is the first time in american history that a speaker of the house has resigned from the house. that was the judgment rendered by his own people as to his
leadership. do not forget, at the end of the speaker's term as speaker, his approval rating was down to 80%. we suffered historic losses after his four years in office. we just learned today that his contract with freddie mac was provided by the lobbyist at freddie mac. i do not think a possibly retake the white house if the person leading the party was working for the chief lobbyist at freddie mac. they're paying speaker gingrich 1,000,006 and a thousand dollars. -- $1.6 million. >> you said that your time on stage was spent with negativity, these of the, the candidates. >> i will tell you why. i learned something in south carolina.
i had in coming from all directions. i was overrun with all the attacks. i'm not raise it down and get attacked without returning fire. i would like to not have the kind of attacks that came against me. there were to add second and speaker gingrich that or false, yet they continue to run them. one by his campaign and won by a pack -- pac and his benefit. it was republicans who replaced him in the house and voted to reprimand him. it was the head lobbyist a freddie mac, with whom he had a contract, at times that floridians were suffering in part because of freddie mac. >> mr. speaker, 30 seconds before i move on. >> he does what on and on and on making all kinds of allegations. first of all, he is a terrible historian. the vote on the ethics committee was in january of 1997.
i asked the republicans to vote yes because we had to get it behind us. the democrats had filed ethics charges four simple reasons. we had taken control the house and there were very bitter. on every single at discharge of substance that was dismissed in the end, the only thing we did wrong is we had one lawyer who had written one letter that was an error. i didn't pay a fine. i left two years later. frankly, we put it behind us for economic growth and the four balanced budgets all came after that vote. apparently your consultants are not good historians. stop and look at the facts. we want the house for the third time in 1998 but the margin was not big enough. in the only speaker to that point since the 1920's who had led the republican party to three consecutive victories.
we lost governorships and in the four years you were governor, we lost the massachusetts legislature. the 20 years i spent building the republican house party shows leadership. >> you have played this choice between being between a moderate and a radical. what is your path to the top here? >> i think if you know anything recollection, any type of friction is going to be wrong. the idea that this was a two- person race is an idea that has been in fashion now for eight months. it has been wrong about eight times. we are looking at this race and tried to paint a positive image for this country. my path to victory is to tell the people of florida end of this country of someone who is here who presents a clear contrast to the president of
united states. someone who as a track record of being the strong conservative. someone who has the vision to reach out to the voters that i was successful in getting that when i ran for the senate in pennsylvania twice. i want it twice. once in a year were george bush lost the state by five and i won it by six. how did i do? i had plans included everybody. plans about manufacturing. the reagan democrats that provided that plan. we talked about family and jobs and limited government. that message was one that connected in a state just like florida. it is one of those key states to win. that set me apart from anybody in the state who is been victorious with a strong principal conservative message. >> you are former senator santorum having lost her state
by eight points. >> our tutorial candid it lost the will loss five congressional seats. it was a meltdown year. probably, unlike a lot of other candidates, a lot of folks crouch down. they get out of the way of the wind and try to sneak in. i stood tall and stood for when i believe in. i talked about issues on the horizon. talk to up the need to restore social security and medicare. i did that at a time when no one wanted to that message. i was standing by him and tried to reform social security. i stand by that. one of the things i figured out what i was running in that tough election year, there is one thing worse than losing an
election. that is not standing for the principles you hold. >> congressman paul, there's no denying you have an enthusiastic base of support. we could hear them out side tonight. in any recent interview your if, well campaign, you envision yourself in the oval office. you said, not really, but i think it is a possibility. that begs the question about your path and when you give an honest answer about perhaps your third party plans going forward. are you in this regardless of the outcome? >> unlike others, i just do not sit around daydreaming about it. you talk about electability, why do we take on the first three states and take everybody 30 years and other. i am doing pretty darn well. what about the compare my name to obama? i do quite well, if not better than the rest. to say there has only been three
races and talk about not being electable, i think it is a bit of a stretch. the delegates have not even been appointed in iowa yet. frankly, we have a good chance of getting a good amount of those because of the organization. this argument to one -- it was a straw vote. the delegates are what counts. i want to discuss this question you had on 1997. i had been in congress and i went out. it was chaotic. let me tell you. it was a mess for 12 years. newt gingrich had a big job on his hand, and he did it boldly. quite frankly, i think the foron -- he didn't not run speaker two years later. he did not have the votes. that is what the problem was. this idea that he voluntarily left unpunished and sell because
he did not do well on election, that is not the way it was. >> its newt gingrich emerges from the gop primary process as the nominee of the party, do you go your own way? >> i have done a lot of that in my lifetime. [laughter] >> i should be more specific. will you run as a third-party candidate? >> i have no plans to. i have no intention. when asked me, i do not want to. i have been an absolutist. when i left congress, i did not have any plans on going back. i went back to medicine. i cannot have any plans to do that. >> would you support newt gingrich as nominee of the gop? >> he is not about attacking the fed. if i could change a month for policy, we might be able to talk business. >> speaker gingrich, are you willing to adjust to pick up an endorsement from texas? >> i got one on friday from
governor perry. i like endorsements from texas. congressman paul is right. i think what he said of the federal reserve, what he has said about the importance of monetary policy, the proposal i have issued for a gold commission started back to something he and jesse helms helped develop and served on. in fact, we have people who have agreed they would share such a commission. there are areas we can work on. there are places we disagree deeply -- iran is a good example. you can find ways to work together. frankly, we could work a lot more together than we could with barack obama. >> governor romney, a question you know is covering -- is coming because of when you're going to release your tax returns and estimates for 2011. we know it is not a matter of producing them. you said during the mccain of vetting process that you're
something of a pack rat. prior to tomorrow, can you tell us tonight what is in there that is going to get people talking? what is in there that will be controversial? what is in there that you may find yourself defending? >> no surprises. the most extensive disclosure that i made was the financial disclosure requirements. we each had to do that. i laid out of my assets are. people have been looking at that. it is very similar to what it was four years ago. my income tax will show that is where the profits and rewards came. the real question is, not so much my taxes, but the taxes of the american people. who is going to help the american people at a time when folks are having real tough times? that is what i formed a task --
a plan to limit the savings on the tax on middle americans. i eliminate the tax on dividends and capital gains. i also want to bring the corporate tax rate down to 25% as quickly as possible. then begin a process of reshaping the entire tax code. it is far too complex, interested, and too great. a like to lower the rate and broaden the base. by the way, the president commissioned and then simply brushed aside. we to go back to that and get our rates down. we need a pro-growth tax policy. >> when people learn the details of the tax return your releasing, and of course you'll be under pressure to release more years after that, nothing will stake out? nothing will emerge that will be talked about this time tomorrow night? >> i am sure people talk about appeared you'll see my income. how much taxes i pay. how much i paid to charity.
you'll see how complicated taxes can be. i pay all the taxes that are legally required and not $1 more. i do not think you want someone to the president pays more taxes than the others. i'll point out that is the case. is it entirely legal and fair? absolutely. i am proud of the fact that i pay a lot of taxes. a lot of people in this country pay a lot of taxes. i like to see our tax rate come down and focus on growing the country, getting people back to work. that is the problem this country. let's let them start paying taxes because they have jobs again. >> speaker gingrich? >> i said when he indicate he was quick release, that was the right thing to do. that is a tradition his father started in 1967. the biggest thing, i think you indicated you pay something like a 15% marginal rate. my position is not to attack him for paying a 50% marginal rate.
i have in my tax proposal an alternative flat tax or you get to choose which to what appeared to our rate is 50%. i am required to describe my 50% -- 15%, i like to bring everybody down two minutes rate. >> under that plan, i pay no taxes in last year's. >> if you created and of jobs doing it, as alan greenspan once said, the best way to crate jobs in capital gains at zero. my job -- my goal is to greet the maximum amount of jobs to get people back to work. >> what about your father's model of 12 years of returns? >> i grit my dad and a lot of things, but we also disagree. going back to 12 years of returns is not something i will do. i will put down two years. i did it will satisfy questions to the american people to see
that i pay my taxes and right put my charitable contributions. i think that is the right number. >> have you been surprised about the degree to which are what has become an issue? he spoke rather forcefully in south carolina over the weekend on saturday night about this. about the way you have had to defend, as you put it, your success in business? >> i knew that would come from the obama team. i understood that. we see that on the left. i was surprised to see people in the republican party picked up the weapons of the left and use it to attack free enterprise. i think as weapons will be used against the spirit i think it will be very unfortunate. i will not apologize for being successful. but bit by build everything the old fashion way, by earning it and working hard. we built businesses that grew
and employed people. staples employs 90,000 people. these are entry-level jobs. i am part of the fact we help people around the country. sports authority, steel dynamics, these employee middle income people. individuals pursuing their dreams to not make everyone else more poor, they make everyone else better off. i will not apologize for success or free enterprise. that is one of the things we have to reinvigorate in this country if we want to get people working again. >> senator santorum, governor romney has said he expected these attacks and the other side and has been taking fire as he would from the democrats from the group of the stage. that means you end includes you. >> i did not mean to include -- >> i have not fired at governor romney on his work at bain capital. in fact, i have maybe been
unique in that regard. i believe in capitalism and free markets. i believe governor romney can go out and earn whenever he can. hopefully creates jobs by investing in companies. my only question for governor romney is to be a defender of capitalism and talk about the importance of free markets and in the case of bain, constructive capitalism and a destructive capitalism. my question to governor romney and speaker gingrich is if you believe in capitalism that much, why did you support the bailout of wall street? you had an opportunity to allow destruction to work. to allow a failure of a system that needed to fail because people did things that, in capitalism, you pay a price. you we should have allowed those financial institutions to go to the bankruptcy process. we would have resulted not with this lengthy recession and
depression, you would have seen the effects of what governor romney advocated for today at bain capital, which is allowing companies that do not do their jobs and make mistakes to fail and pay the price instead of the government coming in and propping them up. >> tonight, two hours ago in fact, he released her contract with freddie mac that was alluded to earlier. your company was paid $25,000 a month, three and a thousand dollars for the year. but it did not provide and -- $300,000 for the year. but did not provide -- he wants to see your work product. do you disagree with that? >> if you read the contract, we had to work to the process of getting approval because it was that -- because there was a confidentiality agreement. but if you read the contract we posted, it says very clearly
that i did consulting work. let me start right there. there is no place in the contract provides for lobbying. i never did any lobbying. the president of the freddie mac watch committee said he has never been approached by me. he said he is never been approached me and the only report in the newspapers of "in your *" in july 2008 said that i told the -- "the new york times" in july to designate said that i told them to vote. there's a process for this is nasty and that is sad. i had a very long career of try to represent the people of georgia. as speaker, i have never gone
and done any lobbying. in fact, we brought in an expert on lobby law and trained all of our staff. he was brought in to say, here is the bright line between what you can do as a citizen and what you do is a lobbyist. we consistently for 12 years stay away from lobbying. this is a false charge to be made. >> mr. speaker, you were on the state -- on the stage as a year paid $3,000 from freddie mac as a historian. they cannot pay people $25,000 a month for six years. that adds up to $1.6 million. they would not hire you as a historian. this country proves you were a consultant. it is not say provide a historical experience.
it's as your hide as a consultant. you're hired by the chief lobbyist to freddie mac -- not the ceo, but the chief lobbyist. you also spoke publicly in favor of these government entities. at the very time or freddie mac was getting into a position, you could have spoken out aggressively. you could've said these guys are wrong and this is to end. instead, you were being paid by them. you're making over $1 million at the same time people and for being heard by millions of dollars. >> as a businessman, you know the gross revenue of bain was not your personal income. the company had three offices and was being paid. my share was about $35,000 per year. i offered strategic advice largely because of my knowledge of the industry, including the history of washington. government sponsored enterprise includes federal credit unions, there are many different
enterprises. many of them put down very good things. in the early years, the democrats began to change the model. those housing institutions were stossel for a lot of people getting a lot of good health care. >> we're talking about freddie mac. that one did a lot of bad to a lot of people. you were working there making over $1 million for your entities. owned by you. over $1.6 million. >> what is the gross revenue base your social with it. >> a very substantial number but i think it is a relevant. [laughter] >> did bain do any work with a company that did work with medicare? medicaid? >> i never worked in washington.
we of congressmen who say the you came and lobbied them. there are congressmen who say you came and lobby them with regards to -- at the same time -- >> you just get along with over, friend. no. let me be very clear. i understand your technique because you use the john mccain and huckabee. you are consistent. it is unfortunate and it will not work very well because the american people see through it. i have always publicly failure -- favored a strong medicare program. i publicly favored medicare for practical reasons. the reason is simple. u.s. governor was not prepared to give people anything -- insulin, for example. they would pay for kidney
dialysis. that is a terrible way to run medicare. i am proud of the fact that i publicly, openly advocated medicare part b. it has saved lives and included held savings accounts. it included medicare alternatives which gave people alternatives. i did that publicly and it is not correct to say things that are untrue. it is not correct to describe public citizenship having public advocacy as lobbying. every citizen has the right to do that. what i did for medicare i did publicly and that is my right as a citizen. >> here is why that is a problem. if you are getting paid by help companies -- if your hat entities are getting paid by held companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation and you than me with their congressmen and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you like. i call it influence peddling.
it is not right. you have a conflict. you are being paid by companies at the same time you're encouraging people to pass legislation. you spent 15 years in washington. this is a real problem if we're going to nominate someone who not only has a record of great distress as the speaker, but has worked for -- >> we're going to go to the state of the race. this has to happen. we have to go to break. we will come back and talk about foreclosures, foreign- policy. when we continue. [applause] >> the nbc news national journal debate continues. in parsh
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