tv Preet Bharara Commencement Address at Berkeley School of Law CSPAN July 2, 2015 12:40pm-2:01pm EDT
how to solve a problem, their own problem, and then created a website to give others a way to do the same thing. tonight, one million people will sleep underneath the roof of an airbnb. there are so many problems that we need you as a generation to solve. so again, i challenge you, tell us, tell me what problems you'll solve. i see natalie padilla said getting more help for people who have cancer. jalen, who is in the audience, a graduate, says climate change. these problems you have been given all the tools from las positas college to solve. and i hope as you go along your path, as you continue to find mentors and teachers, that you'll remember that you have two hands. one to continue to reach up and receive more skills to solve the problems around us.
but don't forget that the other hand should be used to reach down and to lift others up. next year, five years, ten years from now, hundreds of graduates will sit in those very seats and it's my wish for you that you take all of the skills you have acquired and remember that they will be better and more enriched if you reach down and lifted them up like you were lifted up by your mentors and your teachers. las positas college, john f. kennedy said and it was his birthday this week, that the american by nature is optimistic. experimental, and a builder. who builds best when called to build greatly. today, you were called. you were called to solve some of the greatest problems of our time. remember how you got there, how you walked across that narrow bridge. answer the call and reach down
and pass your knowledge on to others. thank you so much. congratulations, las positas. [applause] >> preet bharara is the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. he recently addressed the graduate in law, last -- law class of uc berkeley. he encourage them to embrace the notion of one person can make a difference. he is known for his prosecution of white-collar crime on wall street and elected officials in public corruptions cases. in 2012, he was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. [applause] justice bharara: dean childry,
distinguished faculty, proud parents, family, friends, and graduates, congratulations to the class of 2015. you have so much to be proud of and so much to be grateful for. congratulations to all of you. [applause] justice bharara: i want to congratulate the student speakers and also professor brought who i will tell you on the record stole a lot of my material. [laughter] justice bharara: i was totally going to make the joke. thanks. i learned -- i always learn something when i come to law school, even when i'm not an attendee of the law school. i graduated from columbia law school 22 years ago, and it was news to me that in all that time, it turns out there is still a legal writing requirement. [laughter] justice bharara: i thought we had gotten rid of that. i was a little bit nervous, i will tell you, when i came here to speak this morning.
i have given commencement addresses before, but never in california, never in northern california, and i had some butterflies. i was worried, would you understand my new york accent, i don't know if it's going all right so far. so i arrived, and this is different for me. usually i'm in a different kind of venue, not in an unbelievable greek theater. then i heard the steel drum band, and that calmed me down completely. [laughter] justice bharara: i just want to make one basic point this morning. and it echoes what has been said already. it's this. you are joining a profession much maligned and often misunderstood, that presents virtually infinite possibilities, infinite possibilities to grow, to learn, to achieve. but not only that. the law also presents infinite possibilities to do good, to help other people, to serve.
there are so many ways as a lawyer, not just to make a living, but to make a difference. on a day like this, the air is inevitably thick with expectations. expectations of what kind of mark you graduates will make on the world, but if we're being honest, there is also inevitably some trepidation also. and not just when you think about how you're going to pay back your student loans. you may be asking yourself, did i make the right choice? is this the right career? what if i'm not good in the courtroom? what if i don't like billing in six-minute increments? these are all natural worries. so let me start by offering a mildly radical suggestion. promise yourself today that if you are not happy in your first law job, after giving it a genuine chance with genuine effort and a genuinely open mind, move on.
quit. and do that for every job you ever hold. if you don't like your job, because of the people or the politics or the hours or the work, you can leave. you have worked too hard and invested too much to accept a long sentence in a job that you hate. i have seen in my years in practice too many people unhappy in a law job because they stayed too long, because they let inertia overwhelm their free will. now, i'm generally not an advocate for being a quitter but i am an advocate for being happy in your job. i believe you should grow and mature and learn and derive joy, actual joy, from your work as a lawyer. and one reason i can so blithely suggest you quit if you don't like your job is because i think a jd confers more mobility than
just about any professional degree you can get. if it turns out you don't like the first congressional path you wander down, you can double back and take the path less traveled by. if you go to a law firm and don't like it, you can go in-house. if you don't like private practice, you could do public service. i would encourage that. if you don't like transactional work, you can jump to litigation and vice versa. you should do what makes you happy. you should do what brings you joy. in fact, here's a news flash. ultimately, you don't even have to practice law at all. if you don't like it. i know at this point, there are some parents saying what the hell is preet talking about? [laughter] justice bharara: does he know that this is a law school graduation? maybe the steel drum band had an effect on him. we just paid $160,000 for this education. what do you mean, don't practice law? now, before you start throwing things at me, i should let you know this happened in my own
family, not with me. my parents went through it with my brother vinny. yes, somehow i have an italian brother. [laughter] justice bharara: diverse family. so my brother was a trained lawyer, but after time, he was bitten by the business bug. he felt a pull towards becoming an entrepreneur, so he left the law. his first dotcom business didn't do so well, but he recovered. in 2005, he started another e-commerce venture with his best friend from high school, this time, selling of all things, diapers. so basically, my brother remember, this is a proud indian american family, my brother went from being a scholar at columbia law school to selling diapers on the internet under the slogan, and this is true "we're number one in number two."
[laughter] [applause] justice bharara: i have the t-shirt. it's true. [laughter] justice bharara: you laugh. my brother laughed, too. especially on the day that he sold his diaper company to amazon for $540 million. [applause] [laughter] [applause] justice bharara: yes, my brother is now what plaintiff's lawyers call a deep pocket. [laughter] justice bharara: my brother, by the way, is a fairly competitive guy, vinny. this is also his way of saying hey, bro, i see your whole u.s. attorney thing. and i raise you $540 million. [laughter]
justice bharara: so here's the thing. this is also true. my brother would be the first to tell you that he owes a large part of his success to his legal training and his time in law practice. he doesn't regret that at all. it sharpened his mind, taught him rigor and enforced his work ethic. you can do anything you want with your law degree. you can be a grade school teacher, a community organizer a ceo, a venture capitalist, a tv producer, a sitcom writer, a novelist, and some of those may sound far fetched, but i have law school graduate friends who have done each of those things and even in this group, who left -- which left the profession all together, each credit law school and lawyering with a good chunk of their success. but not withstanding all the choices you will have, i federal -- do fervently hope you will keep faith with the law, that you will keep on a legal path, and why do i say that? because there are so many people
yet to serve. there are so many causes yet to champion. there is so much justice yet to achieve. who better to achieve it than you? and why do i say that? because the power of your degree gives you a degree of power that few possess, fewer know how to use, and still fewer know how to put to good purpose. you will have opportunities to improve your community and country that others can only dream of. and that is something to behold. especially at this moment of just starting out, at this moment of commencement. so here's an observation since i'm in northern california. with silicon valley just a stone's throw away, this university is one of the top feeders to that tech and start-up mecca. i'm told by the dean up to 25% of you may go work and counsel the great bay area entrepreneurs of our time, following in the footsteps of one of your alums
larry. it does occur to me that each of you is in some ways like an individual mini start-up. you have yet to turn a penny of profit. [laughter] justice bharara: but you really really swear you will have income soon. [laughter] justice bharara: you don't even have a business license yet, but you claim to have a plan. you haven't provided any substantial good or service, but you are said to have much promise. and like any start-up worth its salt, you're celebrating with an over the top public launch. [laughter] justice bharara: in this case, a gigantic outdoor greek theater. but perhaps most importantly you are surrounded by deeply supportive investors who believe in you and will trumpet to everyone they know that you will succeed. [applause]
justice bharara: if i could pause on the silly analogy just for another second. there are reasons for america's enchantment with the tech and start-up culture, and it does not, i think, have to do only with the gargantuan profit potential, though there is much of that. ceg, vinny. [laughter] justice bharara: i think it has to do also with the spirit of unbridled optimism and daring, the spirit of energy and passion. it has to do, i think, also with the faith and possibility and attraction to the pioneering spirit. never mind most new ventures fail. each silicon valley success story can be seen as another example of the enduring notion of the american dream. and that is something very special. but often i wish we had more of that optimistic and visionary spirit in our own legal community and in our own legal and government institutions.
because the law needs risk takers, too. the law needs entrepreneurs, too. the law needs dreamers, too. and no matter what you decide to do in the law, i hope you find a way to inject some of that spirit, because an idealistic lawyer can not only achieve the american dream but open up that dream to other people also, to the disenfranchised, to the downtrodden, to the discriminated against. it's certainly impressive when someone figures out how to deliver advanced technology to your wrist, but what about when someone figures out how to deliver justice to your life? a driverless car? well, that seems downright magical, but don't ever underestimate the promise of your own profession, the noble profession you embark upon today, because the law practiced -- law, if practiced with hope
and idealism, can lift people up, too. it can inspire wonder, too. the law, if wielded well, can work a type of magic, too. you think the iphone is elegant? you think a tesla is beautiful? what about the truth inherent in the argument that separate but equal is inherently unequal? [applause] justice bharara: what about the argument that seeks to give every american the right to marry anyone he or she loves. [applause] justice bharara: what is more elegant and beautiful than that? your commencement speakers last year were david buoys and ted olson. they and so many others that have brought equality have done so much for the modern era than
any other tech pioneer spawned by silicon valley. [applause] [laughter] [applause] justice bharara: and so the law has always had pioneers, too. but we need more. more pioneers for justice, pioneers for equality, pioneers for fairness, and i hope you find ways to add yourselves to their ranks. and to do that, you must, from time to time, take heed of some of those watch words of silicon valley. embrace risk, think different, think big. and there is no one in a better position than you to make a difference. there is no one better situated to preserve liberty, promote equality, and prevent cruelty than the person who is genuinely dedicated to becoming both a master and a servant of the law. and sometimes all it takes is one person. i believe that to be true.
one person, one lawyer armed with courage and a well-drafted complaint can bring a misbehaving industry to its knees. one lawyer, armed with a searching mind and an obsession for truth, can right a wrong. one lawyer, armed with an idea and a vision for justice, can plant the seeds for a long-lasting movement for reform. and one lawyer, motivated by conscience, guided by principle, and empowered by training, can set an example for a generation of future lawyers. the thing to remember always is this: the law can have great force, but it needs help from human lawyers who are willing to help. the law is not self-actualizing. google may be developing a driverless car, but there will never be and can never be a lawyerless legal system. and that is as it should be. you know, a business plan is in the execution. a joke is in the telling.
a sheet of music is in the playing. and so it is with a system of laws. now, there is probably some cynics somewhere who may think that when i suggested a moment ago that even one person can make a difference, that's just overblown rhetoric. that's just commencement cliche. i assure you it is not. it's the truth and it happens all the time in ways big and small, and so i want to end with a short story, and it's a true story. it's about a woman named kathy watkins. kathy watkins was arrested on february 16, 1995 for the murder of a livery cab driver in the bronx, new york. she was convicted by the local district attorney's office along with several others. she got 25 years to life. but here's the thing. kathy watkins hadn't committed the crime. kathy watkins was innocent.
she had always proclaimed her innocence, but no one had ever believed her. no one believed her, that is until in 2012 an investigator in my office, former nypd police officer john o'malley, happened to come across evidence that cast doubt on her conviction. he was one person, and what a difference he made. there is no radio serial or hbo special about john o'malley and about that case, but he quickly took on the task of reinvestigating the murder. he didn't have to. it wasn't his case. and he had a thousand things on his plate already. but he studied the facts, he read the trial transcript, and he interviewed new witnesses. and on the strength of that reinvestigation, backed up by prosecutors from my office kathy watkins was released from
prison in 2012, and her conviction formally vacated by a judge. 17 years later -- 17 years later -- she was finally free. and so one person can make a difference, but there is even another lesson to this story. the power of hope and possibility.you see, cap the watkins, even though she did not belong there -- kathy watkins had chosen to rise rather than rot in prison. she is taking classes and inmate marymount manhattan college but could double out -- only take a few per semester so it took her 11 years to get a bachelors degree in sociology. she got it. she was named the class figure at the ripe age of 41. in a thousand nine before all of these events transpired, she
attended her own graduation ceremony behind prison walls addressing fellow graduate who all more prisons are under their grounds -- under their grounds. would you believe it if i told you this wrongly convicted woman, this wrongly imprisoned woman after 14 years of seeing every plea of innocence fall on deaf ears, after fully three years before she had any hope of release that she delivered that they a message of optimism and possibility and hope you know what she said yes she said even those -- even though these walls can restrict our physical movements, they cannot restrict our imagination, nor our connection to the outside world. you know what else she said jacob she said one person can make a difference.
left that difference start with you. three years later a stranger named john o'malley proved her right. i say to the class of 2015, don't let anyone ever tell you you can dream, that you can't hope, that you can't change the world. don't take it for me, take it from kathy watkins. one person can make a difference. left that difference start with you. thank you and congratulations. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> he was unsuccessful in 2012 but there are differences this time around, and those -- those differences go beyond the eyeglasses they gave governor perry his new look. he began his preparations early for this cycle, much earlier than 2012, and has avoided using the word boots that was memorable on the campaign trail. he says another different in 2016 is this race is a show me, don't tell me election. current and former governors in -- in contrast are better prepared to run the country. he cites the credential job creation during his 14 years as texas governor. he also cites is handling of the mexican border and hurricane katrina refugees. one of perry trademark
development tools as a governor to visit countries and try to persuade them to move to texas. in 2013, he went to maryland in search of receptive companies and while there he ended up on cnn crossfire ending -- arguing with martin o'malley who was then governor of maryland and now at democratic presidential candidate. on many issues, he says the city -- states should set policy, not the federal government. on that issue he disagreed with the recent supreme court decision on marriage equality. rick perry has spent 30 years in one or another public office in texas including is agricultural commissioner and lieutenant governor and governor. prior to entering public service, he was a captain in the air force and farmed cotton with his farm -- father.
today he will discuss his economic opportunity plan at the national press club. please join me in getting a warm welcome to armor texas governor rick perry. [applause] governor perry: thank you. it was 99 years ago on the 15th day of may 1916 that a courthouse and waco, texas there was a mentally disabled 17-year-old boy. his name was jesse washington. he was convicted of raping and murdering the wife of his employer.
he pled guilty and was sentenced to death. jessie and no ordinary death. because he was black. after the death sentence was issued, jesse was dragged out of the courthouse, into a crowd of hundreds and thanks to the advent of the new technology called the telephone, word spread rather quickly to what was about to happen. soon there were 15,000 people watching jesse washington be tortured, to be mutilated, to be tied to a tree. someone lit a fire under jesse and raised him up in the air.
jesse tried to climb up the chains to keep from being consumed by the fire. someone started cutting his fingers off so that he could not climb the chain. one man castrated him. another used of whole -- pole to prevent himself from pulling away from the fire. there was a prominent local photographer who took pictures of jessie's charred remains and sold them as souvenirs on a postcard. even today, we texans struggle to talk about what happened to jesse washington. we don't want to believe that
our great state could ever have been the scene of such unimaginable for, -- horror, but it is an episode we cannot ignore. it is an episode that we have an obligation to transcend. we made a lot of progress since 1916. a half a century ago republicans and democrats came together to finally in trying into law the principle that all of us regardless of race color national origin are created equal. shed rick willis was a slave.
this was before the civil war. he had been bought and sold on the courthouse steps of mclennan county, texas. the same courthouse where jesse washington with later be drunk down and brought to death. when i was the governor of texas, i had appointing willis great, grandson. to be the first african-american justice on the texas supreme court. in 2004, i appointed wallace to
be the supreme court's first chief justice. you see, there were tens of thousands of stories like wallace jefferson when it comes to race. america is a better and more tolerance and more welcoming place than it has ever been before. we are a country with hispanic ceos, with asian billionaires with a black president. so why is it today so many black companies feel left behind gas: why is that quarter of african-american live deal -- below the poverty line? even after the impact of federal programs like to dance and housing subsidies, the
supplemental poverty rate for african americans is nearly double the rate for other americans. democrats have long had the opportunity to govern the african-american communities. it is time for black families to hold them accountable for the result. i'm here to tell you it is republicans, not democrat who are truly offering black americans to hold for a better life for themselves and their children. i am proud to live in a country that has an african-american president. but president obama cannot be proud of the fact that prevalent in black poverty has actually increased under his leadership. we cannot dismiss the historical legacy of slavery, nor its role
in causing the problem of black poverty, and because slavery and segregation were sanctioned by government, there is several for government policy in addressing their lasting effects. but the specific policies advanced by the president and his allies amount to little more than throwing money at the problem and walking away. police and $450 billion per year on medicaid. and yet health outcomes for those on medicaid are no better than those who have no health insurance at all. instead of reforming medicaid, the president expanded it under obamacare.
in the city were left-wing solutions have been trying over and over again. places like detroit and chicago and baltimore, african-americans are moving out. ythey are moving to cities like houston and dallas. as americans, i think we are all united by certain aspirations. we want access to opportunity. we want good schools for kids. we want to live in safe neighborhoods. we want to live in cities and states were housing in college and every day expenses are affordable. they want to all eggs. the american dream. from 2005-2007 more to text than all but one other state. that state being georgia.
many were coming from blues dates like new york and illinois and california. many came from louisiana where they had lost their homes due to hurricane katrina. but each one of those new residence were welcomed to texas with open arms. they came to a state with a booming economy. we cap taxes low -- cap texas -- taxes low, regulation low and frivolous taxes to a low. we worked hard to educate every child. let me be clear, we have not eliminated black property in texas. we have made meaningful progress. in new york, the supplemental poverty rate is 26%. in california, it is 30%.
in washington, d.c., it is 33%. in texas, it is just 20%. here's how it happened. we curtailed frivolous lawsuits and unreasonable regulations. it is far cheaper to do business in dallas or houston as it is an baltimore or detroit. the lower cost gets passed down to consumers especially low income consumers in the form of lower prices. there is a lot of talk in washington about inequality. income inequality. there is a lot less talk about the inequality that arises from the high cost of everyday life. in blue state coastal cities you
have the strip zoning laws environmental regulations that have prevented buildings from expanding the housing supply. that may be great for the venture capitalist who wants to keep a nice view of the bay, but not so great for the single mother working two jobs in order to pay rent and still put food on the table for her kids. it is not just about how many dollars you learn. so -- though there is still pretty substantial opportunity in texas. it is also about how far each dollar you do earn can take you. after you pay your taxes from your dollar -- your rent, your grocery bill. too many parts of this country black students are trapped in failing schools where union bosses look out after themselves
at the expense of the kids. this matters, because kids who graduate from high school typically make 50% more than those who don't. in texas, we made sure the kids came first. texas high school graduation rates are 27 in the nation in 2002. in 2013, they were the second-highest in america. our most recent graduation rate for african americans, number one in this country. 13 percentage points higher than the national average [applause] . that matters. we also found a way to reduce crime while also keeping kids
out of jail. in 2014, texas had the lowest crime rate since 1968. at the same time, we closed three prisons and reformed our sentencing laws. too many texans were going to prison for nonviolent drug offenses. once i got out of prison, many of them found they could not get jobs as they had a criminal record. i'm pretty sure no one gets confused texas is a soft on crime place. but i also believe like texans believed -- believes in consequences for criminal behavior. i also believe in second chances and human redemption, because that, too, is part of the
american story. americans who suffer from an addiction need help, they do not need moral condemnation. a trading alcohol and drug abuse as a disease we have given texans who have fixed variance to run in with the law the help that they need. three of the rotation that many take -- the rehabilitation that many seek. now many of the individuals are living in recovery. they are in a in saving the lives of others that are trapped in addiction. the human soul hearings to be free, free from the chains of addiction. free from the chains of poverty. i am running for president because i want to make life better for all people. even those that do not vote republican. i know republicans have much to
do to earn the trust of african-americans. black nose -- republican goldwater ran against lyndon johnson, a champion for civil rights. they know very goldwater opposed the civil rights act of 1964. he felt parts of it were unconstitutional. great supporting segregation in the south, they cited state rights as a justification for keeping blacks from the voting booth and the dinner table. as you know, i am an ardent believer in the 10th amendment which was ratified in 1791 as part of the bill of rights. the 10th amendment says the powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution nor prohibited by the state reserve for the states respectively for the individual.
i know that state governments are more accountable to you than the federal government. but i'm also an ardent believer in the 14 amendment, which says that no state shall the any person in its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. there has been and will continue to be an important and legitimate role for the federal government in enforcing civil rights. too often we republicans, me included, have emphasized our message on the 10th amendment but not our message on the 14. an amendment that bears reminding that was one of the great contributions of the republican party to american
life, second only to the abolition of slavery. for too long, we republicans have an content to lose black vote. we found we did not needed to win. but when we gave up trying to win the support of african-americans, we lost our moral legitimacy as the party of lincoln. as the party of equal opportunity for all. it is time for us once again to reclaim our heritage as the only party in our country founded on the print for freedom for african-american. we know what democrats will propose 2016. the same thing, the same thing the democrats have proposed for decades. more government spending on more
government programs. there is a proper and important role for government assist keeping people -- assistance in keeping people on their feet but few presidents have done more to expand government assistance fund president obama. today was and nearly $1 trillion per year's on means tested anti-poverty program. yes, black poverty remains stagnant. here is what i have seen in my time in public office. the best welfare program in america is his job. [applause] 0--- is a job. there is a fundamental reason why democratic policies have failed to cure property, because the only true cure is a job and democratic policies have made it
too hard for the poor to find jobs. just this week the president announced new regulations for overtime pay that will make it costlier for companies to hire full-time employees. companies are going to respond to this i hiring fewer people, simply because money does not grow on trees. my first priority as president of this country will be to reignite the engine of economic growth by preforming the tax code requiring federal agencies to adhere to strict regulatory budgets. a growing economy will give those at the bottom of the latter more opportunities to climb, just like we did in texas. many more americans went to leave welfare, rejoin the workforce, but because of taxes and regulations it often makes more economic sense to stay on
welfare then to take the full-time job. furthermore, federal programs and posts of one size it's all approach to fighting poverty. think about this. in california you may be substantially more in need for money to pay for the cost of housing. in massachusetts it may be the cost of vocational school you are more interested in. instead, we forced the poor to enroll in the separate programs for housing assistance and telegrams. if i am an american president i want to send congress a welfare reform bill that will take the money we are ready spend on non-health-care related antipoverty programs and split them into two parts.
the first part will be expanded and reformed income tax credit so that anyone with a job can live above the poverty level. the second part will consist of a block grant so that states can put into place the safety net for their population in a manner that best serves their citizens. as i mentioned earlier, one of the most important things we did in tech as well i was governor was to reform the drug-related sentencing law, so that non-violent offenders stay out of risen. as texans got smarter about policing and crime prevention, we came to appreciate the importance of keeping promising young will out of prison. just imagine how hard it is to
get a job if you have a criminal record. we are working to stop the intergenerational cycle of incarceration where grandchildren meet their grandparents behind prison bars. we can reform the federal sentencing law. just as we have done at the state level to ensure more young or have a real shot at life. we can do so while keeping our low income communities safe from crime as well. we all know we have to improve our schools. this is where president obama has substantial approval but
caved in to the demands of the labor unions. it is a fallacy to assume the vastly different student populations across this country can be adequately educated with a one size fits all mentality and policy. we need to empower state lawmakers, school boards, parents to implement policies that address the specific needs of their students, and to keep those schools accountable and efficient. enterprise and charter school teachers like eve of moscow with fashion eva moskowitz in new york should be read -- should be to replicate their success all across the country without the interference of the federal government. we also have to attack the challenge we have with the exorbitant price of a college
education today. one of the biggest barriers today into entering the middle class whether you are black or otherwise is the high cost of the college degree. a four year degree at the tip of private university in this country cost $170,000. compare that to the median home price at $205,000, we are literally asking for students to mortgage their future in order to gain a college degree, and that has to end, it must end. in tech this i challenge ours a universities to offer a four year college degree for less than $10,000. many thought that would be impossible. you just could not drive tuition and fees that low.
today there are 13 texas universities that have reached that target. [applause] we are on the cusp of an online revolution in higher education but only if the federal government rolls back the rules that makes it almost impossible for students to gain accreditation for a bachelors degree achieved from online instruction. we have to reduce the cost of living for those who need every dollar to be stretched as far as it can go. federal regulations like obamacare employer mandate are driving up the cost of hiring new workers. that means companies are hiring fewer people. it also mean price of a sick
consumer goods are going up. the competitive enterprise institute estimated the federal regulations cost american businesses as much as one point eight $8 trillion per year. -- $1.88 trillion per year. nearly $15,000 per household. when you add state regulations the problem gets even worse. i will suggest we will do five things. if we create jobs, incentivize work keep nonviolent drug offenders out of prison, reform our schools and reduce the cost of having, we will have done more where african-americans from the last three democrat administrations combined. at the american cemetery in normandy above omaha beach there
are 9387 american soldiers very. in row after orderly row. if ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause and not a conquest, an american general once said, it could be found in these cemeteries. here was our only conquest, all we asked was enough soil in which to bury our dead. some of those gallant dead in the cemetery are sons of the united states president, but
most were ordinary americans. simply doing what their country had asked them to do. some of the grades to not even have names. they simply armor -- in place are marked a comrade in arms known to god. some of the most compelling grades in normandy are for african-americans who served in segregated regimens like lily collins of the fourth battalion. he made the ultimate sacrifice for america, despite the fact that america did not always treat him the way he deserved. brigadier general theodore roosevelt junior and sergeant willie colin grew up in very
different circumstances. ancestors had a coat of arms. his ancestors came here in chains. ted and willie joined themselves together with a commitment that every generation of americans have embraced. the promise of leaving america and the world a better place then they found it. at ensuring a better future for the children in grandchildren of those to come. i am a beneficiary of the sacrifices of sergeant colin and general roosevelt and so many others known only to god. i grew up in this place called paint creek. when i was young we had an
outhouse. mama bade best on the front porch of the number two washed up. we attended paint creek cool. some of the teachers literally lived on the campus. their profession was literally their lives and they inspired me. i can assure you none of them knew, had any idea they would be educating future and the captain of the united states air force and certainly not a future of the governor of texas. the endless possibilities for students. it says no dream too tall for a school so small. many people today don't feel their lives are filled with the endless possibilities anymore. americans entering adulthood today have good reason to fear it will be harder for them to earn a living, to buy a home, to
pay off their debt is the parents did. but if there is one thing we can learn from lily collins of millions like him, from the tragedy of jesse washington and the triumph of what -- walter jefferson, it is that america has overcome far greater obstacles than the one we face today. lily collins is the belief america could become a greater country than the one he left home to serve and he was right. it is up to us to be worthy of the country really collins generation gave us. it is up to us to lead our country better off than we found it. america has never been perfect. but there is no country that has achieved more than the united states of america. with new leadership in durable performance, america can be stronger, more prosperous than
it has ever been before. america can be an incredibly exceptional place where nothing in life is guaranteed but where we all have the opportunity to build a better life for ourselves, for our children and our children's children. thank you, and god bless you. [applause] >> thank you, governor perry. the congressional budget office has forecast for medicare and medicaid social security spending to grow precipitously in the coming years. these are programs that have had a role in helping the people that you describe in your speech, as well as all americans in poverty. if you were to become president, how would you tackle the growth
in entitlement ended while at the same time protecting those in poverty you want to help? cr>> i think i just that in my remarks to some degree, but i will expand. i do think one part fits all is not the solution. i think as you will go back and recall in my remarks i talked about splitting the pots of money into two things. one of them to be to create the earned income tax credit where we actually get people incentives to work. the other side of it is to make sure we have as many novel ideas and approaches. louis brandeis said that. not known as a hard-core conservative supreme court member but said the states where the laboratories of democracy. they were supposed to go out and put novel ideas into place.
that is where you would find the truly in his -- innovative concepts. he sent from time to time the state will make a mistake, and label tape christ for that. when i read those remarks, i think about colorado. i will defend colorado's right to be wrong. but the point is i think that is where we will find that efficiencies, and innovation in the country, not washington, d.c. but in this dates and the program and letting those rates in particular with programs and medicaid to come up with various and different ideas about how to deliver you to their citizens. -- deliver to their citizens. >> how about the overall growth in the size of the program? do they need to be means tested so people like myself that are a little bit better off retire?
how do you handle the growth that i do not have a problem at all means testing. i am pretty sure donald trump can do about medicare. in the seriousness of it, that is the means testing -- means testing does make sense to me. i think people who have enjoyed the extraordinary benefits of this country as become wealthy in that. the idea they have to be in line for all of the programs does not make sense to me. during the course of a campaign i will lay out a very broad approach to this and layout a lot of different ideas for how to address social security. how to address medicare, medicaid and all of the government programs. today is not that day. >> on the issue of tax reform,
can you give us any more detail on how you would read on the tax code and how you would use it to reduce income in the polity inequality? >> we got the highest corporate tax rate in the western world. lowering the corporate tax rate. two things attached together make a lot of sense. north american energy policy canada, united states, and mexico have more energy reserves than saudi arabia and russia. using those resources partly by lowering the regulatory burden that is there with a commitment from the white house that we are going to use north american energy, opening up the xl pipeline is an obvious way to do that. mexico has changed their constitution to allow for the private sector development of
energy resources in that country . i think there is extraordinary potential in mexico. obviously domestic and shell gas with canadians. you couple that energy development. it will drive down the cost of electricity. couple that with corporate tax policy and will send the incentive to the manufacturers who have left the country go offshore. we can have a manufacturing renaissance in this country likely have never seen before. [applause] >> what would be your approach for getting tax reform done is installed on capitol hill? so many special interest in working the issue so hard how would you come to washington and enact tax reform. >> this would not be my first rodeo, a term reviews in texas.
the 30 years i have been engaged in public service, whether it was a state representative through a statewide elected official and 14 years of the governor of the state of texas we work with democrats and republicans. we sold some pretty big programs in the state of texas. none of those programs were done with just republican support. not of one of them. not the most sweeping tort reform in the nation. i will suggest to you that is not an a cell anywhere to pass reforms to the legal system that really made a big impact.
a decade later we had 35,000 more physicians licensed to practice medicine in the state of tech's. it expanded by an extraordinary amount the number of physicians that were licensed to practice medicine. that meant ask to health care floated in that state. that was passed not just with the republican vote. there are a lot of things we agree on together. whether it is living in saint communities, having a good job having school that are improving and giving children the opportunity to succeed in life. find the things we agree on. bring democrats and republicans together, and i will suggest having a job for your constituents is important and a good thing. if we can lower the corporate tax rate, and that being the result of having jobs for young people in the country, i think democrats and republicans can come together. this is about america's future. that is where i think we reach out and talk to. regardless of whether you are a democrat or republican, you are in american and we want to get this done. [applause] >> as you reach out to african-american voters, what
about the confederate flag that has been in the news recently. should all of the come down or not? another questioner asks how can the republican party appeal to african-american slang it favors state law that limits voting rights act of >t? >> we have come out clearly to say the issue of the confederate flag in charleston is up to the people in south carolina, but we addressed this issue in texas while i was governor in a number of different ways. one was with a plaque that had the battle flag on it. we dealt with the issue of the license late and forbid those license plate is be sold. in my state we dealt with this straightaway.
i think it makes sense to come up with ways to bring the country together not divide us. all to often i have seen this president divide us by race divide us by gender, divide us by economic means. we need a president who will bring this country together, with a record of bringing this country together. our bringing in my case our stay together on a host of different issues. i do not think there is more powerful way i can say to an african-american that i gave her child the opportunity to graduate from high school. what a powerful message that you live in the state where the number one-will graduation rate is. that is a powerful message. by the way, we let you keep more of your money, too. that is a powerful, powerful message. the issue of his ever concept it is that we are trying to keep
people to vote, that is a false assumption. this is a protection of the very important right we have in this country, the right to vote and the right to keep that from being fraudulently used. in this rate of texas, and we gave multiple ways to get a photo id come up to and including free. all you had to do was come and get the id. you could use drivers license concealed handgun license permit. you could use your passports. there are a host of different photo id to use to vote, but keeping that from being fraudulently used means as i go through tsa to fly from here to new hampshire in the morning they are going to want to see my photo id. i think if it is important
enough for the federal government to require a photo id that of the state wants to have a photo id to protect the precious right of voting and make sure it is not fraudulently used, i think that is quite all right for the states to do that. [applause] >> some questions on reaching out to latino photos -- voters as well. will you and other republicans make an effort to this ethically reach out to latino voters in do comments such as donald trump's recent comments the -- comments hurt? how can the republican field reach out and get the latino vote? >> let me say, i do not think donald trump's remarks reflect the republican party. i think the republican party is reflected in people like me. it is reflected in individuals
like the first latina appointed to the texas. individuals in our state. if you are hispanic and live in texas you are 40% for likely to have a job. you are 2.5 times more like to have a job or own a small business in that state. last election cycle last november the governor and lieutenant governor of texas received 45% of methods anecdote and her date. this is a lieutenant governor in particular who was strong as he could be on border security, but what the hispanic voter in texas knows, the governor who have been there for 14 years and the governor coming in care about their family. they cared about their children their children so much so that they made sure they were living in a state that this is had an opportunity to sit the because
they had the number one graduation rate in america. they got to keep more of what they worked for. they knew there was a government in place that represented their values and protected them and kept them secure. that is a powerful message for his annex african-american, asian, whoever you may want to be identified with, but we are american. i think at the heart of this is how are we going to make this country stronger economic income security wise? i have a record of doing that. that is what i say let talk about this is a show me, don't call the election. this is a record of who has the record that is deliverable. in the 12th largest economy in the world, unquestionable what we've done in the standpoint of creating a climate where people have a better polity of life.
better quality of life economically, security wise. that is a powerful message of country. i think we have a great message for the hispanic community individuals who want to get three, who want to be able to take care of the family, live in a secure world. the republican party is where they need to be looking. but -->> some questions following up on the supreme court decision on gay marriage last week. does the governor agree with ken paxton in which he said texas county clerks can't deny the issuances of marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the grounds of religious beliefs? governor perry: here's what i agree with, i agree with four supreme court justices that
bought the issue needed to stay with the states. we can have a broad, sweeping conversation about 14 versus 10th amendment, and all the intricacies of that, but i believe with all my heart, and i agree with those four justices that those decisions need to be left with the states, and the states will come up with the way to address those issues and a host of other issues, whether it is economic issues or transportation issues, i will suggest to you that we are creating a greater and greater divide in the country between people who believe this way and people who believe that way. with these very divisive issues. i happy -- happen to think we will be a happier country, as well as more prosperous, if we
will allow the states to be the arbiters of the issues because i'm pretty sure at some time down the road folks who may have agreed with the 5-4 decision may find the next time they don't agree with it. speaking of that, the next president of the united states could possibly choose up to three members of the united states supreme court. >> how do you intend to stand out in the gop field that is now i believe 15 strong? and what kind of challenges the that present as you are running, and is there a risk that the candidates and the grinding each other down so much with so much competition that it weakens them for the general governor perry:
then he set the national press club, thank you for the opportunity to stand up in front of this group and differentiate myself from the rest of them. in all seriousness, i imagine he candidate. i am you connect -- unique candidates where i came from. my life experiences of growing up on the cotton farm. my life experience of growing up as a democrat. my life experience of going to school and having the opportunity to go serve my country. i am pretty sure i will be the only person that is either a candidate or on the stage who has actually been a line officer, then deployed around the globe as a pilot in the united states air force. i've lived in saudi arabia in 1975, as well as turkey and many other countries in the middle east europe, south america. i will have been the only one of
these individuals who had the experience of being commander-in-chief during the entire year on the war on terror . seeing our young men and women deployed into those theaters of operations that i had been there with them, but more importantly have been at home to see the cost of this war, these wars. looked into the eyes of the spouses of the parents who lost their loved ones. looking into the eye of young americans who held their hand up and who have come home and feel like they have been left behind because we have agencies of government, the da in particular, that is not serving them well. they need a champion in the white house. a need to champion that goes to the oval office every day to
defend their sacrifice. to deliver to them the services that we promised, and we're failing them today. those experiences are unique. no one has that background, has that experience, and i will suggest to you after eight years of a young, inexperienced united states senator with no executive experience, that americans are going to be looking for a leader, a person with a known record, and a record of success. [applause] complex before i ask the final question, i have some housekeeping. the national press is the world leading organization for journalists and we fight for free press worldwide. for more information about the club, visit our website
press.org and to donate or nonprofit journalism institute visit press.org/institute. i would like to remind you about upcoming programs. wednesday, july 8 washington capital coach will address the national press club luncheon. july 14, tom young who served as the national guard flight engineer in afghanistan will discuss his book, the hunters. august 5, the, donald of the u.s. coast guard admiral paul will speak. i would now like to present our guest with the traditional national press club mug [applause] . now, unfortunately it is not perfect for the campaign trail because it is still breakable, but when you get back to texas i think you will enjoy coffee at about.
the final question you've said in that the show me aspect of running for president that really a governor is most suited , so if you are not fortunate enough to be one of the 14 that comes out to get the nomination should it be governor christie governor walker, which governor would best carry the mantle if you cannot go? governor perry: let me say i know all three of the individual and they are absolutely amazingly capable individuals. we have a great fieldgovernor perry: let me say i know all three of the individual and they. carly fiorina and i have known each other for a long time. carly is a particularly capable ceo. i have negotiated with her as we had moved hewlett-packard to operation out of caliph are new to texas. carli did a very good job.
i will not say her being born in tech at anything to do with final decision. this is a very capable field of men and women. i just happen to believe the next president of the united state -- i will use words lindsey graham that the next president of the united states needs to have worn the uniform of the country, and i happen to think it needs to be an executive who has run something very large. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, governor perry how about another round of -- round of applause for hours eager to go -- for our speaker. [applause] i would also like to thank the national press club staff, including our journalism institute staff and broadcast
center for organizing today's event. if you would like a copy of today's program or to learn more about the national press club, go to the website, press.o thank you. we are adjourned. rg. -- press.org. >> a reminder that if you missed any of this event with rick perry, you can see it on our video library c-span.org. we have live coverage coming up in an hour and a half now -- half an hour from now, president obama will be making remarks on the economy at the university of wisconsin at la crosse will have that live on c-span. it starts at 2:30 eastern. the president will talk about the june jobs