tv Campaign 2020 Iowa Campaign Events and Viewer Calls CSPAN February 2, 2020 5:00pm-5:30pm EST
questions from callers. mr. steyer: oh, great. haven't taken any questions. >> right this way, sir. >> thank you. >> my pleasure. mr. steyer: thank you guys for coming. it was fun. >> good luck. if you would like to stand right here. mr. steyer: you want me to stand? >> yes. >> your legs right here. mr. steyer: there's the camera. >> tom steyer getting ready for a live c-span caller program. it is all part of our campaign
democratic president. thank you for being with us and taking calls from our c-span viewers after coverage of your event. i have to ask you, where is your jacket? mr. steyer: my jacket is probably in the car or bus. it is an absolutely beautiful day here in coralville. although some of the c-span people are wearing sweaters, vests and jackets, actually, this feels pretty darn good if you want to know the truth. host: is a global warming or a different weather pattern? mr. steyer: [laughter] this, i knowsay january and iowa was unseasonably warm. today is a fantastically beautiful day here. i feel great. stop worrying about me. i may take the shirt off as a matter of fact. i'm getting a little warm. host: i want to ask you, what this process has been like for personally?
you have never run for office before, it is a marathon sprint before the caucuses tomorrow and then on to new hampshire and south carolina. what has it been like for you? mr. steyer: one thing you should know is i have traveled around this country for seven years. a political organizer at nexgen america. it is pretty similar to that but more intense. at me say, i have found this deeply intriguing, positive and inspiring experience. it has been nothing but good. i've absolutely loved it. i think it has taught me number a bull things and made me a better person. when people ask me if it is grueling i say heck no, what this is as one of the best expenses of my whole life. steve: after i'll new hampshire, it is on to nevada and south carolina. a new poll from south carolina now has you in third place behind former vice president joe biden and senator bernie sanders. what is going on in south carolina? while you're rise in that state? -- why your rise in that state?
mr. steyer: i think when you look at the diversity of america, and you look at diverse state, whoever the democrat is going to be is going to have to be able to appeal across different parts of the united states and across different races, ethnicities, backgrounds. and icam. what i can see is in those states, i'm doing really well with black voters, i'm doing really well with latino voters, i'm doing well across the spectrum. i was very pleased to get those poll numbers specifically in south carolina. it is also true in nevada. i think as we move -- when people start to realize that the democrat have to beat mr. trump with a diverse coalition of people who believe in the future of a much more inclusive and forward-looking america, i'm someone who can do that. that is what the poll numbers say. dramaticallying up from the last poll that was taken several weeks ago.
steve: we have a lot of viewers who want to talk with you. we will go to victoria in michigan. good afternoon. caller: good afternoon. hi, mr. steyer. thank you so much for running. i just wanted to say thank you. you are one of the first people that stepped up for the integrity of our country. and so i'm grateful for that and the fact that you are out there running for president. and i wanted to know when you are coming to michigan? mr. steyer: i'm not sure. i've been to michigan a lot. just so you know, the grassroots organization that i started, nexgen america, has been in michigan since the beginning of 2014. and i've been there multiple times to register young people to knock on doors, to hold town halls and to meet with activists. i have been to michigan multiple times. nexgen is there right now. although i'm not running it, i'm still supporting it. and i will for sure be back in michigan in short order.
obviously, everybody knows it is a critical state for the democrats. a critical state for any american. i've been there a lot and i love it. steve: we go to pat in north liberty, iowa. go ahead, you are on the air with tom steyer. caller: hello there, tom. i am an independent voter. a tomu have made me steyer supporter as of today, hearing you in coralville. my question -- mr. steyer: thank you very much, pat. caller: my question to you is how are you going to get term people,ith so many congressmen and senators that have been there for years? thank you. mr. steyer: you know, i think that is a great question. and i think when we talk about real changes in american
society, that is really what presidential elections are about. because if people decide during this election that i'm right, that we have a broken government in washington, d.c., that it has been purchased by corporations and we are not going to get any of the progressive policy changes that we need in health care or education or a living wage or clean air and clean water, we are not getting any of that until we take back the government. the first step to restructuring washington, getting term limits of 12 years for congresspeople and senators, is for americans to support me and to vote me in on the grounds that we need to take back the government. and then we are going to have to do a lot of work specifically to get that passed. and americans are going to have to show up at the grassroots to insist it. obviously, people inside d.c. don't want to vote for term limits for themselves. in fact, if the american people
insist on a change and insist on restructuring and insist on term limits, we will get it done. and we will get it done because americans ultimately have the power to get what we want if we show up and insist. if we don't, the corporations will continue to beat us, continue to take advantage of americans in every single way. i'm running to end that corporate control and get back to a country where american citizens come first, and where we get all rights of americans in the 21st century, you know, accepted. and we get the ability to get all those progressive policies passed ended -- and it starts with restructuring washington. mr. steyer: if you live in iowa, the next caller is from north carolina. jim, good afternoon. you are on with tom steyer who is in coralville, iowa. caller: i would like to thank you for running for this election.
i would like to see the democrats come out and try to get voting machines changed to a tabulator, so that they can be counted on tuesday and then come on thursday before the election is certified. mr. steyer: thank you -- host: jim, thank you. mr. steyer: steve, did you hear that question exactly? i did not hear it quick -- clearly to answer it about the timing of voting? host: that was his point. his point is to make sure that there are verifications of the ballots so there is no fraud or abuse. mr. steyer: let me say this. the republicans have said for years that there have been people who have been voting in error or there have spent voter fraud. that has never been true.
that has been an excuse to clamp down and prevent people from voting. what we have seen in every state where there it -- where there is a republican governor and republican state legislature, in every one of those states, there has been a concerted organized effort to prevent people from voting, to strike people off the role. it has been aimed disproportionately at african-americans. let me say this, that is something we have seen in terms of voter fraud. that, to me, is the essence of voter fraud which is to take away the right of american citizens to exercise their basic citizenship rights which is to show up at the polls and vote. that is something that has gone on dramatically, consistently, and in an organized fashion. it is absolutely wrong. i will oppose it this year as a private citizen and as president, i will go after that as hard as i possibly can. what we really need to do is restore democracy in the right to an equal vote in this country. and we have seen the republican
party work very conservatively to stop people from having that equal right to vote. and it is just wrong. host: this your steyer, i want to read a tweet from president trump today and ask you two follow-ups. it reads "many of the ads you are watching were paid for by many mike bloomberg, he is going nowhere. wasting his money. he is getting the d&c to rigged the election against crazy bernie, something they would not do for cory booker and others. they are doing it to bernie again." first of all, the reference to minnie mike by the president. your reaction to that? mr. steyer: let me say this. i asked the democratic national committee to change the rules for getting onto the debate stage in early december and asking them to loosen it so we could get a my -- a more diverse group of candidates on the stage. they ignored me. they have now changed the rules so that a candidate who does not have any grassroots donations
can get onto the stage, and that can only be in response to a request from mr. bloomberg. and it does not seem right to me that the d&c woodwork -- dnc woodwork against the interest of the most diverse group of people on stage and then change the work -- the rule to stand up for somebody who has not done grassroots politics in the early states and has not gotten an raised money from hundreds of thousands of people so that he can be on the stage. it is very rare i agree with mr. trump. but he has a point that -- i disagreed with both of those dnc decisions. i believe we are the party of the working people, we are a very diverse party, we should stand up for everybody across america. i don't think we have successfully done that. host: we will go to virginia beach, virginia. caller: hi, tom. mr. steyer: hey. caller: thanks for putting yourself out there and thank you, c-span, for having him out
there. why don't you put your jacket on, tom? mr. steyer: [laughter] or i am tooels good darn dumb. caller: thanks a lot. host: no question. mr. steyer: thank you. [laughter] host: since he was asking you about the jacket, i have to ask you about the time. there is a piece in the new york times, why does tom steyer always wear the tart and tie? what does it represent? maybe now you can explain? mr. steyer: i have worn a red tart and tie for the last 15 years. i like to get up in the morning being cheerful and aggressive and thinking that today is going to be a really fun, active day and we will go out and get stuff done. that is what this tie expresses. ands a little bit of color a little bit of fun. honestly, isn't that what we are looking for in life? host: how many do you own? mr. steyer: a bunch. you should know, years ago, i walked into a store that is
called the house of scotland, and i said to the lady behind the counter, i'm going to buy all of your red plaid ties. and she said, if you buy all of our red plaid ties, i will throw in a scarf. i was like, ok, here we go. host: let's go to carlos in fort lauderdale, florida. thank you for waiting. you are on with tom steyer. caller: hello, mr. steyer. mr. steyer: hello, carlos. caller: i have a comment and question. the comment first, i'm not necessarily a fan of trump, but i like his results. making backup statements like he hates 89% of you or he is saying, i don't like you, you don't like me, he never said those things. i think when you make a blanket statement like that, it makes you like any other politician who makes blanket statements without anything to back it up. mr. steyer: mr. trump did make
the statement in front of the american israeli conference pretty much word for word what i said. and i think what it reflects, carlos, is this, he is saying to americans, that it is not about his personal relationship with them or how they feel about him. that it is really about his ability to run the economy. and what i was trying to say to the people here in iowa city, but also which i've been saying is look, i don't think he is good for the americans on the economy. i think he is incompetent. i think what is going to make him lose in the fall is that he is running on the economy and he happens to be an incompetent manager of the american economy, and a bad for the american people. and i believe that my 30 year record in the private sector of building a business from scratch and actually having to understand what causes
prosperity, what causes real growth in the economy, that i'm someone who can take him on and show the world that he is a fake, that he's been bad for americans on the economy, and that he really is -- his biggest claim which you may not like me but you need me, is not true. the last thing we need is him. host: we will go to denise in decorah, iowa. will you be caucusing tomorrow? caller: yes. host: you are on the air with tom steyer. go ahead. caller: yes. i kind of have a statement. i live paycheck-to-paycheck like many americans do. no one has ever brought up trying to have a reasonable interest rate on credit cards instead of so high. many americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, if something comes up like a repair on your car or anything in your home, you have to use a credit card because you can't get a loan at a bank. i just wanted to know if you would consider something like
that to try to make an overall lower interest on credit cards? host: denny's, stay on the line and you can follow-up. mr. steyer: let me rephrase that question, steve, and make sure i heard it correctly. wasought the question credit card debt carries such a high interest rate, can you do something to make it easier for people, particularly in rural america, to pay off their credit cards with lower interest rates? host: that's correct. mr. steyer: ok. let me say this. i started a community bank 15 years ago because we felt that banks were taking advantage of people in rural and urban america. and our goal was not to make money, in fact, the money we put into the bank was put in a way that we can never get back. there would be no question that this bank was mission driven.
and that mission is economic justice, environmental sustainability, and to support businesses owned by women and people of color. along the way, what we have done is try to make sure that when people are being overcharged by financial institutions in the way the caller described, that we are providing an alternative at a fair rate. we have tried to do that for 15 years and i understand exactly how the caller feels because we have a financial institution that has been taking advantage of american citizens, not just in the mortgage crisis, but pretty much across the board. one of the things that i believe in, that i believe the government should be doing aggressively, is to support the kind of community bank that we started and we went from zero dollars, we are over $1 billion. which are working with the community to provide fair financial products. instance,pported, for
over 8500 affordable housing units in the last few years. we are doing everything we can to provide an alternative at a fair rate so people are not chewed up by those really high rates that banks and credit card companies charge. host: denise is still on the air. did you want to follow up with tom steyer? caller: yes. i still think we need to have the actual credit cards, not just what he's talking about, the bank he started, but all of them have to have a set rate that is not so high like 26 point whatever percent. 26% is obviously way, way too high. the way to control this on a societywide way is to put in a top interest rate that no one can go beyond. let's say that is something for sure that we should be doing. beyond that, what i was trying to say is we need to encourage a whole other group of financial institutions, community banks, allcredit unions to come up
across america with the support of the government. that is a great investment for a government to help the old those kind of institutions so you are getting a financial institution in your community that is dealing with your needs much more fairly. it is partly rural, but it is also supporting new kinds of institutions. host: linda is on the phone from pittsburgh. good afternoon, linda. caller: good afternoon, tom and steve. knowt wanted to let tom that i watched his rally, and he hit on all the topics that my family cares about, and he has our support, and i want to thank him for standing up to this most corrupt president we have ever had in our life. thank you for taking my call. mr. steyer: linda, thank you for being so nice. and let's remember, the eight point 5 million people who signed the need to put it -- need to impeach petition were
asking for televised public hearings with testimony from the administration officials under oath so the american people could see how corrupt this president is. the republican party has refused to the american people the right to witnesses in a trial. that's crazy. there's no trial in history that does not have witnesses. host: a force, that will unfold this week. tomorrow and wednesday on the vote to acquit. your reaction to what has happened over the last four or five days in terms of the trial in the senate vote you talked about? mr. steyer: look, steve, this, to me, the issue with mr. trump's corruption was always about the american people. us,as always about letting whether we are democrats or republicans or independents, see the truth and have witnesses under oath telling the american people on tv what happened without anybody interfering or editing. and we have been denied that.
and that has been a huge historic cover-up, it has been a republican party going back on their oath to the constitution, it is a republican party putting themselves and their party ahead of the country. and i think it is absolutely wrong. i think it is a historic wrong and it goes to the point that they have really -- they will do anything to protect this president, they have given him carte blanche to take -- break the law. when he says he can shoot somebody on fifth avenue, apparently the republican party thinks it's true. alberta in atlanta host:. ifler: i would like to know mr. steyer, if he is going to cut social security. let me just make sure -- let me say this. social security is a promise from this government to the citizens of the united states.
and i know that 70% plus of people who get social security, it is their number one source of income and for about 40%, it is their only source of income. under no circumstance what i ever let this country reduce social security or let the social security trust fund fail. under no circumstance. no great country breaks its word to its own citizens in the most important way. i know that people are worried about it, but i can tell you that on my watch, under no circumstances what i let that happen. and it is not that hard to figure out how to do it. i understand how we pay for social security, and i would ensure under all circumstances that it continues or gets better. host: our last call is from california. jack, you are on the air with john -- with tom steyer. mr. tom steyer. i'm a college student from napa, california. i was able to go to your napa event. and love what you said there.
my question to you is about actually our rail system in the u.s., amtrak. my question is, right now it is kind of broken, the trains are slow. when you increase funding or would you want to go to a high-speed rail system? host: thank you, jack. mr. steyer: let me say this. i am a believer that we are going to have to rebuild the infrastructure of the united states, we are going to have to do it in a climate smart way. and a big part of that is going to have to be in public transportation. when i look at the rail system of the united states, i know that we are going to have to rebuild it. i am a fan of high-speed rail in our state of california. i believe in it. i believe it is a way to connect different parts of the state in a way that will let the valley share and the prosperity of the coast. and i believe it is important. i also believe doing this will career --tic job
job creator. i know public transportation is in our future in a big way. i applaud that because it is smart, and because it is going to help us in terms of the other thing we need to do witches build billed a lot more affordable housing units. host: tom steyer, final question, it is a new month, the primaries, nevada and south carolina and super tuesday in early march. what do you need to do? what are your expectations over the next four to six weeks? steve, i needok, to show people that i can put together a diverse coalition of americans that can win in the fall against donald trump. and i can -- i think that is what we will see as we move from iowa to new hampshire to nevada to south carolina, and onto super tuesday. what you will see is i can appeal to a diverse group of americans that are america and the democratic party. and i can beat mr. trump on the
economy in a way that career politicians can't because that has not been there job and it has been my job. how does your message differentiate from michael bloomberg? mr. steyer: oh my gosh, i'm completely different from michael bloomberg. good grief. i'm a straight up progressive. i'm in favor of reparations. i'm talking about taking the power away from corporations and i have a long history of working it, of putting together coalitions of american citizens outsider, and never losing to corporations. michael bloomberg has a completely different background from me. he represents completely different policies. a goodness, look, i'm straight up progressive and people have to know that. host: it is super bowl sunday night. how are you going to watch the game? mr. steyer: look, i'm from san francisco, california. i'm going to watch the game. host: where are you going to watch it tonight? what is your evening plan? mr. steyer: i'm in iowa city,
iowa. and my uncle was a professor for 45 years at the university of iowa which is in iowa city. i'm going to go over to the oak knoll retirement center and sit down with my 100-year-old aunt and watch the game. host: thank you for being with us. you are always gracious with your time. in the c-span viewers that will see you on the campaign trail. mr. steyer: steve, i have to take my shirt off now. host: [laughter] tom steyer, we appreciate your time. as he continues to take the microphone off, a rather balmy day in coralville i've -- coralville, iowa. the weather forecast tomorrow has temperatures in the low 30's with light snow across parts of the state. it should be a rather mild evening by iowa standards for the caucuses. more than 1600 caucus locations across the state.
the caucuses get underway at 7:00 local time, 8:00 eastern. we will have live coverage at two caucus sites and the results, speeches and the delegate count. let's continue to watch this for just a moment. that is the backboard brewing company in coralville, iowa. the sum -- the tom steyer rally. we covered the bernie sanders and senator warren campaign today. a reminder, 7:30 evening tomorrow night, we will have live coverage of the caucuses, we will explain how the caucus process works and take you to one location just outside of downtown des moines. and another more rural location. you can listen to it on the free c-span radio app, on the web at c-span.org and on c-span radio.
all of our campaign coverage has been chronicled on our webpage at c-span.org from the very beginning. the announcements, interviews, policy speeches, campaign rallies, and of course this last-minute weekend coverage caucuses. iowa last night we were in waterloo, iowa with the biden campaign as we look at a scene from downtown des moines. c-span's campaign 2020 coverage continues. folks, and they say, i don't understand this new republican party. party this republican better than anybody. me and my family have been the object of their attention for three years. book -- object of their affection. the president of the united states, people have spent over 12 to $15 million running negative ads against me. the vast majority of mainstream media won't even carry the ads, because they are flat out lies. and folks, i was told that there