Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  September 23, 2015 8:00am-8:46am EDT

8:00 am
yemen. this is a saudi plane that he was aboard, as he made his way back to that war-torn country. florida, an independent. good morning to you, nancy. you are last for our view right now on pope francis,you are ourt now on pope francis. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to associate myself with the gentleman's comments from maryland. there are three political points to this pope's poconosumber one, the that they are losing members of their church in the united states wholesale after all of the scandals with the church. number two, i think that obama invited him here, or wanted him the optics of him being seen with the leader of the christian world because of anda sat on his fanny watched the genocide of
8:01 am
christians all over the middle east. he wants the optics to look good because he wants to bring about 250and 50 million -- million of those refugees to the united states. this is all a political orchestration by obama to give him cover. he is the one that invited the poker, gave him the grand state dinner and everything -- invited the pope here. it is all a bunch of phony politics. as we said, the pope will be arriving for a welcoming ceremony today on the south lawn of the white house. many people arriving for that including members of congress, taking their seats there hoping to see the pope as he will make his way from the vatican embassy over to the white house. there are the crowd, expected 15,000.
8:02 am
we are going to take a short break. when we come back we will continue our conversation about the pope's visit to the united states. we will talk to jim nicholson, former ambassador to the holy see during the bush administration. we will be right back. >> now today i am a reporter for nbc four, this guy comes in and says that's his seat right over there. i go back to the office and i mayor,m up and i say mr. i have just been to club 55. don't you realize a bunch of people are watching where you do, where you go? there was a pause on the phone, he said, it is nice, isn't it?
8:03 am
, nbcis sunday night on q&a reporter on the political corruption in d.c., maryland, and virginia. generals from around the country signed the letter saying they agreed with governor mcdonald, that what he did was bribery, $15,000, $70,000 loans. the problem was, bob and donald was considered a vice presidential candidate -- bob mcdonald was considered a vice presidential candidate. you let your messy private life combined together. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. a signature feature of booktv is our all-day coverage of fairs
8:04 am
and festivals from across the country, with top nonfiction authors. here is our schedule. in early october, the southern festival of books in nashville. the weekend after that we are live austin with the texas book festival. and near the end of the month we will be covering to book festivals on the same weekend. from our nation's heartland, it is the wisconsin book festival in madison. and back on the east coast, the boston book festival. at the start of november we will be in port it -- portland, oregon for wordstock followed by the national book awards from new york city. and then we aren't live for the 18th year in a row from florida for the miami book fair international. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back. you are looking at a live picture, folks are already up
8:05 am
against the gate here hoping to see the pope as he makes his way out of the vatican embassy, gets into his car and heads towards the white house. isning us onset this morning jim nicholson, the former u.s. ambassador to the holy see. just talk for a moment about u.s. vatican relations. what is the state of them right now? guest: they are good. i think there is a good chemistry in a lot of the interactions going on between the united states and the vatican and the two heads of state. being paid a state visit by the sovereign head of the the see, so at the surface relationship is good. i think below that there is some pretty serious, important issues about which we differ. host: and they are? guest: issues of faith and
8:06 am
morals, and religious liberty. is a strongtration proponent of abortion, supporting planned parenthood, who has apparently sold the body parts of aborted fetuses. that is not something that the vatican or this pope condones. the don't condone imperatives of providing contraceptives to employees. they don't condone gay marriage. this pope has been pretty orthodox on these fundamental values that the catholic church stands for and has for centuries. on the other hand, he is showing a great deal of openness and expansiveness in asking for people to be merciful and loving of all people. all stripes and beliefs.
8:07 am
finenally, i think that is . i think that is christlike. but that doesn't mean that you don't have standards to which you should aspire. those standards are the difference between the holy see and the united states currently, under this president. ast: he is making this visit the head of state. what is the significance of that? guest: the pope is a unique figure in the world. he is the head of state of one of the oldest sovereign states and the world and he is also the head of one of the major religions, the catholic church, which has about 1.2, 1.3 billion people. so he brings with him a great deal of attention and a great deal of moral authority, and a great deal of moral curiosity. that is all the interest. you don't see the president of
8:08 am
the united states and his wife, or the vice president of the united states and his wife going to andrews to greet heads of state when they come in. you saw that yesterday for the pope. so this fellow, this man has a real reach across the world, and certainly here in the united states. host: what impact do you think he will have on americans, on decision-makers, on lawmakers as they listen to him tomorrow in a joint meeting? guest: he will have a significant impact because he has a lot of moral authority. excuse me. loving,very humble, open, compassionate figure. i think people are yearning for leadership like that. he is filling that void across all religious stripes. i am in a law firm with about
8:09 am
300 lawyers and professionals of all religions, jewish, protestant. they have a great deal of interest and affection for this pope. it is so interesting to me because they come up to me all the time and want to talk about this pope. he has captured the interest of people universally throughout the world. it is a positive influence. it is, let's care about the poor of our planet. let's care about the vulnerable of our planet. he has said other things about which i don't necessarily agree, things about global warming and some of the ways that we can deal with that. there is a divide with a lot of people, including myself o. host: we are talking about pope francis's visit to the united
8:10 am
states, the influence he will have on policy makers and others, and all of you, americans. we are discussing dogmatic relations here with jim nicholson who served as the former u.s. ambassador to the holy see during the bush of ministration from 2001 to 2005, before that former republican national committee chair. he is taking your thoughts us morning. we go to maryland, democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to put my two cents .n i am from right outside philadelphia and we are looking forward to welcoming the pope. it was the mayor of philadelphia , who in concert with the world first invited the pope to the states.
8:11 am
i think from listening to him he is change oriented, and i think he speaks well. will take that point. a nice mix of the conservative and change. what do you think about? guest: the pope, a mix in the pope? host: yes. guest: i think that's accurate. i think he has been very orthodox on the major, contemporary discussions about values, about abortion, about marriage, about contraception. he has held the line. said, other hand he has we are all failed human beings. we are all sinners and we have to show mercy to those who do not comport necessarily with our standards, our doctrine, our faith and morals. christlike. is he has also said, sort of off-the-cuff in conversation
8:12 am
when asked about a gay priest, he said, who am i to judge? i think that has thrown some , because some people have interpreted that to mean not to judge anything. i don't think that is what the pope meant. host: when you served as wouldador i mean -- how you draw the differences between this pope as the previous popes? guest: the pope i was most familiar with was john paul ii, saint john paul ii. was a charismatic man of great energy before he got so .ick with parkinson's disease he to knew how to use the modern-day media very well. it was a great communicator. then there was pope and addicts who is a more cerebral, scholarly sort of person, and kept his own counsel more. and now we have prices who is a
8:13 am
francis whowe have is a real extrovert and is a very popular is that in the world, maybe the most popular person in the world. so what he says gets a great deal of attention, which is why this is so important about what he says and also what he thinks. there are some areas i think that maybe he is being misguided , or his experience growing up in argentina under the perrone's formed hisas thinking about capitalism and the free market. i think the united states is a perfect model to demonstrate to here, in washington at least, four days in the u.s. -- what capitalism means and what he can do for people, and how it can allow them to come out of poverty.
8:14 am
and when it does, in the united states, we sure that with other people. that is a great model. argentina is no model. ago, was, 100 years one of the economic powerhouses of the world. it was 13th in per capita gdp. it is now 75th or something in the world. it is blessed with great human resources, great national resources. governance,atter of socialist crony corruption governments. it has kept all those people in those barrios. they are so pitifully poor down there. host: you mentioned the pope's popularity. he is on twitter with 7.2 3 million followers. his latest tweet as he left cuba yesterday, thank you for the cuban -- thank you to the cuban people. thank you for my heart. his last tweet before he left for the united states, asking
8:15 am
for prayers. katerina, in florida, a republican. caller: good morning, and thank you for taking my call. the issue i want to address has asdo with what i see conflicting messages from the pope regarding socialism and capitalism. my family came from the soviet union in the 70's to the united and we see the difference and know the harm of socialism and see the benefits of capitalism. up duringid grow peron times were socialism was achieved by military takeover. it led to what it led. capitalism is the normalized form, you all equally apply to
8:16 am
everyone. says -- hecuba and indicates he is a communist, and then he comes to the united states with the message that follows him, that capitalism is wrong. what is going on? host: ambassador nicholson? said: i am not sure he has that capitalism is wrong, but i could see how you could interpret that. he did say when he was leaving south america a few weeks ago that the capitalist model of business -- the business model, he did not use the word capitalism -- the business model in the world today is one of , withs at any cost disregard for the poor and the environment. beliefs is done
8:17 am
how we were raised and how we were trained, and apparently he believes that. i sincerely think he believes that, but that is not the case. that is not the united states of america. that is why i think it is so important that he learned more about our system of government. it is government by the people in our country, still, hopefully, i think it is eroding but the government serves the people. the people are the master of the government. in this case, this experiment here in america, it is a capitalist free market enterprise that has been so successful. so you have just illustrated the two extreme models. the soviet model, which was an abject failure, and the united states model, which has been a success. look around us. we have people that are deemed
8:18 am
to be in poverty in this country, some 45 million of them. their median incomes to those of other countries, including mexico, they would be in the upper middle class in mexico. 70% of the people deemed to be in poverty in our country have air-conditioning or it most of them have ottawa -- have air-conditioning. most of them have automobiles. have cell phones. i'm not insensitive to their plight, because they want them to come out of it as well, that they have the greatest opportunity in america to do that. to become part of this free market enterprise that has been so successful. that is a very important point and one that i hope the pope learned a lot more about while he is here and then after he leaves here. in new jersey, a democrat. caller: hi. mr. nicholson mentioned
8:19 am
abortion. i want to point out that if you have to move to another country and you want an abortion to be illegal, you could move to sway allpain, korea, japan, european countries. if you want to move to a country where abortion is against the law, you could move to afghanistan, the congo, egypt. there are all kind of third world and islamic countries. my mother told me you are known by the company you keep. mr. nicholson wants us to be known with the company of all these dictators and islamic countries where abortion is banned. i would like him to explain why they are right and all of europe is wrong on abortion. guest: i think that abortion is wrong. i think it is a violation of natural law.
8:20 am
i think those that are so interested in human rights should be interested in the right of a human that has been created in the womb of a woman. we tried to pass a piece of legislation here in the last at least toys, protect a fetus in the womb after 20 weeks because it has been deemed that when they are aborted they feel pain. there are a lot of people, friends of yours and mine, who have great interest in animals. we don't inflict pain on animals. we should at least have the same sense of it -- sensitivity of human beings in the womb of a woman, who feel the pain of having their life taken away from them. it is a fundamental value that a lot of us possess, and by the way, i will say happily that the number of abortions in this country has gone down by about
8:21 am
15% during just the last few years. i think part of that is because of the technology that is available for people to see these young human beings in the womb of their mother, and their movements, and so forth. it gives them a more graphic appreciation that that is a human being. host: president obama is minutes away, 20 minutes or so away, from welcoming pope francis to the white house. the crowds have increased outside the vatican embassy here in washington. those folks there have been probably lining up since early this morning hoping to see the say hello to him as he makes his way outside those doors, into a car, and then he will head down to a white house -- the white house where he will be greeted by folks who were lucky enough to get a ticket. it includes members of congress, you can see many of them on your screen. some familiar faces to our .-span watchers
8:22 am
the overall crowd is about 15,000 because they are including the folks who are hoping to get a glimpse of the pope when he does a very brief parade after this welcoming ceremony. i can tell you, i came in this morning to the studio at 4:00 a.m. and i thought folks already lined up to get through security to get to that parade route. children awake very early hoping to get a glimpse. what do you think the pope will get out of this is that, from the americans, seeing the , seeing theple american political system up close. our joint meeting of congress, the first ever for a pope? guest: it will be multilevel. he will go away with a very warm, appreciative feeling of the welcome, the response he has gone from the american people. again, people of all religious
8:23 am
stripes. they like this pope. they respect this pope. i hope that he will go away with a greater appreciation for the ,conomic system of our country which has been the driver of all this prosperity and this generosity that we have had, and disability that we have had to go to europe twice, and liberate our young asia with , and the material wherewithal that went with that to equip them in these wars. been here before, so every experience is a new experience for him. i think he is going to have a very positive, enlightened view of what a fantastic country this is, and what a fantastic economic system, complement it by a rule of law that really works. jo fromgan from -- mary
8:24 am
tulsa, oklahoma, democrat. caller: i just have a couple of things to point out. i really endorse this pope's stand with regard to the poor and his own personal humility. it is an example, just like st. francis, who basically said that it is not what you say but how you act that preaches to people. this pope certainly seems to walk the walk. that is very important to me. with regard to people who called in and made judgment comments, scripture says not to judge. if i recall correctly, don't judge others because by the measure that you judge you will also be judged. i think it is rather important not to judge, and that is what the pope is basically said. host: ok, ambassador nicholson? guest: you're right, scripture
8:25 am
does say that, but structure also provides guidance for people about how christ, through the disciples and the gospels, wanted people to live their life. behavior,rtant, their the rule of the 10 commandments. they are a map for people, to guide them in the righteous way to live. it is a responsibility of religious leaders and others, i think, to train people to do that and to help them comport their lives in that way. that is where i think the most isce and happiness exists, when people are following the dictates of their religious conscience, if they have one, or the training that they have gotten. ethics, morals, and integrity. totally fair, but if
8:26 am
people do stray they are to be forgiven. if they seek forgiveness, if they are repentant. if we don't forgive we cannot expect to be forgiven ourselves. we are all sinners. host: ambassador nicholson, you will be at the joint meeting of congress? guest: i will. host: one of the hottest tickets in town, how are you able to get one? guest: speaker boehner invited me and his wife to join him up there in his box. host: are you good friends with the speaker? guest: yes we are. i have known him a long time since i was chairman of the republican national committee and he was a member of congress and had a leadership position in the house. we worked together on many things. host: this has been a 20 year goal for the speaker, to get a pope to come and speak before a joint session of congress. has he asks for your help in the past? what do you think it means for him? it is veryink
8:27 am
personally satisfying for him. he grew up in a very large catholic family. his father ran a bar in ohio and the kids all work in the bar, they all went to catholic schools. that was also a big part of their formation in their life and has continued on for speaker boehner. so do have ahead of the universal church come to his chamber, the first time ever a pope will have done that, that that- in golf parlance -- is a pretty good shot. host: he really loves golf. ,hen you are an ambassador ambassador to the holy see, explain what that is like. what sort of presence do you have, influence to you have? how does it all work inside the vatican? guest: that is a good question, because it is a unique host. we have only had full diplomatic relations with the holy see since 1984.
8:28 am
it is quite recent. it has been a long time. we have been around for over a couple hundred years. just since ronald reagan was president we had an ambassador. because we are an important and we,in the world catholics in this country, are a big provider of material assistance to the vatican, we the ambassador from here to the holy see is a pretty important post. onhave a great deal going policy wise and among international relations and defense, economic activities. in that youunique don't have to deal with the balance of payments and current accounts -- i used to say i practice moral diplomacy and i was able to further the interests of the united states and the things that define human
8:29 am
dignity, such as religious freedom. trafficking in human beings. food, starvation. i spent a great deal of my time and diplomatic currency on trying to get genetically africa to getinto the moral in premature of the vatican behind that. everyday people still die from starvation and malnutrition, most of them young people, most of them in africa. we could feed those people if we could get that technology in there. those were some of the things that i worked on as the u.s. ambassador. host: all right. we will go to sell next in mansfield, massachusetts. an independent. you are on. we are awaiting the arrival of pope francis to the white house for a welcoming ceremony. go ahead with your comments or
8:30 am
questions. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: yes. i just want to say quickly that i am 65 years old. experienced -- my family was very catholic, we used to go to church. it was a spiritual thing. -- we bowede church our heads, we avoided meat on fridays. all this has changed. all these things have brought me away from the church, because in my life i tried to find the truth. you need consistency and something that is really real. that is what i want to say. host: ambassador? guest: i have been a diplomat and a businessman.
8:31 am
i am not a clergyman. but i think i am a cradle catholic, i have been a catholic since i was born and is it -- it has been a very important part of my life, still is. i think the truth lies in the church, in the gospels of the church. a lot of people that i know who have converted to catholicism have done so because they have been searching for the truth, and they sounded -- and they found it in the catholic church. it is populated by human beings. all of us are different, all of us have our failings, but the gospels remain. they have been there for 2000 years. i think that is the truth in a world full of rapid change and instant communication. there is a great deal of peace and solace because it is so
8:32 am
foundational, it has been around so long and it has not changed. it is still there. host: our viewers are watching the scene on the south lawn of the white house, the marine band marching and making their way over to the area where they will be playing for the pope and the president. the two leaders will be listening to the marine band play the national anthem and the pontifical anthem, and each of them will speak briefly. we are expecting, i guess, the pope to speak in english for this. he will also give his remarks to the joint meeting of congress in english. of course native spanish speaker. we are awaiting his arrival on the south lawn. leavingd be leading -- the vatican embassy charlie and then making his way to the white house. he will arrive at the south portico. there is the embassy on your screen. we will see what happens here,
8:33 am
if we are able to see him come out of those doors and come down to the white house. what was traffic like for you, getting here this morning? guest: we came early enough that it was not too bad. many in washington making their way around road closures all over the city, for security reasons obviously. marilyn in dallas, a democrat. hi marilyn. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a comment. i take issue with something that nicholson said about capitalism being for the people. i understand the pope advocates for the poor, and a lot of people do, that capitalism is not for the people. if it was, we would not have such a big gap economically between rich and poor. .apitalism is about profits
8:34 am
advocating for the poor is about sharing, making sure that everybody in this country has an equal share, or at least an opportunity to do better. host: all right. ambassador? guest: i would beg to differ, obviously. there is no model in the world where socialism has worked and where socialist conditions have improved and economy. ,t sounds good to some people that all the needs of people are fulfilled and taken care of by the government, but that just does not work. america is demonstrably successful. ,e are a nation of immigrants and all of us have come, our ancestors, from some distant country and have come here mixed and melded tod --
8:35 am
take risks. the harder you work here the more successful you can be. there is really no limit to how successful you can be. the more people are successful, the more businesses they start, the more jobs they create. that is the way for people to come out of poverty, to have a job. not only does it provide a means for them to live and provide for their family, that it provides them a great deal of psychic satisfaction, of importance and purpose in their life. there is nothing like a job to do that. it is a free enterprise capitalist system of our country that has been in the motor behind that and we have been very successful. why do you think all the other people from all these other countries want to come to the united states? it is because of the opportunities we have here.
8:36 am
it is because of our economic system, our economic freedoms. later today the pope will be performing a canonization for junipero serra. talk about that. do you agree with his decision serra a saints? guest: absolutely. mission.historic after the appearance of our lady of guadalupe in mexico, the conversion of mexico began and choosing a serra, very austere, difficult life. he was a franciscan missionary. he began to move up the coast of
8:37 am
mexico and into the western that was sort of a redundancy, the western coast of california -- building missionaries and converting people to cut salsas -- catholicism and giving them the opportunity to come and partake in the sacraments. he did that at tremendous sacrifice, risk, enduring hardships. i think it is very appropriate. host: by the way, the statue of in sanctuaryis call in the capital, in the pope will make a visit to the statue tomorrow during his joint meeting before congress. he will be taking a little tour there and stopping by their, and then also, as we told you, we expect him to speak about 20 minutes or so to lawmakers from both the house and senate.
8:38 am
today, he isat, getting a welcoming ceremony on the south lawn of the white house. he will be arriving there shortly. you can see the preparations underway. people are getting in their places. the marine band, the color guard, the flats -- flags are hung. the president and the first lady will be meeting him at the south fork of and then they will make their way up to the stage, that is before the crowds there. they will be listening to the marine band play and then they both will give brief remarks. we will have live coverage here on c-span. in the meantime we will take your calls. we go to ted in pennsylvania, a republican. hi ted. caller: good morning. i watch you all the time. i keep hearing people talk about god and abortions. my question is on the flip side. what does god think about in
8:39 am
vitro fertilization, where bodies are created out of -- outside of the body? when we go back to the original sin, when he'd eight -- when eve ate from the tree of knowledge, and god said now man has become of god we have to put that into man -- we have to put death into man. what is the difference? guest: i'm not a theologian. i am a layman. i think there is a great deal of theology in your question, but i think what we're talking about here is life. the importance and the sanctity of a human life. think of the miracle of how that was -- how that comes about and was created, and then when it results in. that is something that should be protected. i think there is a natural law about that, and i think the
8:40 am
church has been very consistent about that. not just the catholic church. many of the other great faiths of the world feel the same way. it is the value of a human life that has a soul, in my opinion, it is precious. it needs to be protected. nicholson, whyr are these welcoming ceremonies important, significant? are they necessary? guest: they are just great, festive activities, and they help -- in our case, our nation expressed itself through our president and the pageantry, the marine band. i can remember when pope benedict came to the white house, president and mrs. bush were there. they changed out the flowers in therose garden and made blooming flowers white and yellow which are the colors of
8:41 am
the flag of the holy see. this was a wonderful gesture. are our representatives, and in this case president and mrs. obama. they are expressing to this head of state and this great world figure this warm welcome, that we wanted to feel from our evil -- from our people. it gives everybody a list. -- it gives everybody a lift. and help set to go out to everybody in the world, to see that and feel that. it feels good. host: what impression does it give to those outside of the united states? guest: it should give them an expression of the warmth and hospitality and the welcome that we have for this pope, and for this head of the universal catholic church.
8:42 am
regardless of our religions and beliefseved, -- and our , we think he is an important man and we welcome him to our country and hope that he has a safe and joyous, educational time. host: is it impressive, do you think, for these heads of state? guest: i think very and present. they are welcomed in a lot of different countries. most countries put together a pretty good color guard, band, some of them are really good at ceremonies. but not -- none of them are as good as we are. marine them have our band, our armed forces color guard. we are the best. host: when you look at the pictures -- i mean you have been there in person, but when you look at the pictures there at the white house, as the former ambassador, what is the current
8:43 am
ambassador thinking? what is going through your office in terms of trying to plan and prepare for this? becauseou are on edge there are a lot of moving parts. the security is overriding everything. timing is important. you have got to hurt a lot of herd a you have got to lot of cats and get everyone in this -- in the right place at the right time. there is a lot involved in planning, but if you are just a guest it is a lot of fun. has struck out on the south lawn and we are showing our viewers live pictures outside of the vatican's embassy right now. you can hear them chanting. it looks like they are waiving some kind of yellow cloth or something, and i do not believe that the pope has left yet. he has not. folks are getting ready for him
8:44 am
to make his way outside those doors and he will have a quick ride to the white house. i presume roads are going to be closed for him to make his way down there. he is going to be arriving shortly, and as we said, the band is playing there in the background. folks are in place. the president and the first lady will be making their way to the south orrico to meet and greet to meet and portico greet pope francis. we will bring you now live coverage of the south lawn. we want to thank ambassador nicholson for his time this morning. we appreciate it. now live coverage of the white house. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
8:45 am