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tv   Interview with Representative Al Lawson  CSPAN  March 12, 2017 5:50pm-6:01pm EDT

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that impact you. monday morning, former acting administrator of the centers for medicare and medicaid services discusses congressional republican efforts to repeal the affordable care act and propose changes to medicare and medicaid. then gave intensity president grace marie turner talks about the gop plan to replace the health care law. in washington examiner senior writer jamie mcintyre will discuss the terminal high altitude area defense missile system and its ability to keep warheads from striking the u.s. the system was recently sent to south korea in light of north korean missile launches. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7 a.m. eastern monday morning. join the discussion. congressman al lawson is serving his first term in congress representing the fifth congressional district. in an interview with c-span he talks about his life and work and why one piece of cardboard
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that is framed and hung of the wall in his office is so important to him and his work as a congressman. >> congressman, you started working when you were eight years old. why and what were you doing? lawson: i was tall for my age and a lot of people in the country would work in the tobacco fields. i want to work and tobacco --lds picking up leaves and tobacco was king where i grow up. it was a dollar a day and that was big money for me at the time. when i look at social security card it's interesting to see how long it's been since i have been working. >> $1 a day. laweon: -- lawson. >> $1 a day. >> did you continue to work?
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rep. lawson: i worked in tobacco field up to 14 or 15 because i was allergic to the tobacco and my doctor bill was costing more. then i left for the city and went to tallahassee to find a job. the greatest job i had was at a .rocery store i will never forget. bagging grocery, and moved up to doing produce. so i have greater appreciate for what the kids do. lisa get tips. i always knew the people coming in, they farmers coming in and they would order groceries only once a month. because of that they get big tips if you took the groceries out of the car. so i really enjoyed working at colonial grocery store.
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there was a big achievement for me. >> you are tall for your age. did you play sports? how tall are you? a half.son: 6'7" and i grew up playing sandlot football. the coach of the locking of the holy one day and set out to become see me. but he wanted to tell me was sick a lot from the basketball team. that's where it all started. in basketball. gave him the opportunity to go to college and struggle to try to make a professional team for about three years. but it was good. i told him one of the greatest i guess accolades i had was to be cut by will chamberlain in san diego, california. when they brought him in is to be the coach to help generate people coming in.
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>> when did you begin your public service? rep. lawson: i begin my public service in 1982. i had coached basketball for six years. decided i would be there in go into the insurance business. i went into the business with the idea i was going into a private business i had to put in five years. that's what they told me. before i could reason for office. a district was created that the naacp had filed a lawsuit said african americans couldn't win it because it was in a rural area and outside of tallahassee. there is no african-american districts. i said i was up for the challenge. i felt like i grew up in a situation like that where white and black farmers look across the road from each other and help each other. i thought i understood the district.
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i got elected so they had to withdraw the lawsuit in 1982. >> and you have served both in the florida house and florida senate. right behind you is your campaign sign for florida senate 2000, is that correct? rep. lawson: that's correct. >> what do you do with at sign? lawson: i was driving down the road and i saw people with assignments that it will work for food. i rolled down my window and gave that guy a dollar. i went back to the office to try to find a piece of cardboard. i took a magic marker and said i will work for your vote. i took the cardboard and stood on a major intersection and tallahassee that i will work for your vote. people seemed to really like it. i didn't have much money running for the senate.
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that was my theme. so i took it with me every place. florida games. i want to florida state university with the cardboard. i stood on the outside. it was my trademark. i will work for your vote. i would get a thumbs up. i wanted to stick with me forever. the campaign people threw it away and i jumped into a dumpster and found it. that's why it had a little crease in it. i got it framed. i wanted to bring it to washington with me. i will still work for your rope. some people gave me tips because they read the sign wrong. they thought i would work for food so they would come up and say let me give you a dollar or something. i appreciate you guys. i want to try to help you. they didn't read the sign. as a result i was taking the money and thank you very much for your contribution. >> you sought a u.s. house of representatives seat
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back in 2010 and 2012. you know something about defeat probably also with your , basketball career. when you lost, whether it was basketball or lost your andce or opportunity to run not get the u.s. house seat what , do you tell yourself about defeat? what does it teach you do you think? rep. lawson: i have been serving for 28 years and never was defeated. when i got defeated, you know, it really taught me a lot about life. if you get knocked down you have to be able to get back up. i wanted to get back up and do it again. i tried again and i lost again. you know, but i kept a dream alive. i dreamed that i had learned in ninth grade about all of the things that happened with abraham lincoln. i thought i could identify with him.
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i was not satisfied. i wanted to get into the action one more time. just like playing basketball. you lose a tight game. ever losing to ucla in 1972. you want another shot at it. i was ready to go this time around and i learned from those mistakes and i learned from the loss that i had before just how do it better, you know, how to reach out more. see more people. i was willing to see 1000 people a day. in order to be successful. rocky marciano once said winning takes a complete commitment of mind and body. once you make that commitment they don't call you a champ , anymore. i wanted to make that commitment
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and i really wanted to win. that's what it was all about. i felt that people could feel what i was feeling, that they could trust me and that's what i did. i'm really thrilled and happy to have the opportunity to represent people in the fifth congressional district. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. they have very nice lifestyles and tons of money, but i do think to make it to the very top and stay there are not primarily motivated by money. they want to have standing, a status, the respected, and want to have power. >> tonight on q1 day, beyond global founder i and ceo sandra navidi.
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