tv Senator Bob Dole Elizabeth Dole Interview CSPAN December 6, 2021 3:22pm-4:51pm EST
stay right these black gates. >> presidential recordings on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> former republican senator bob dole of kansas passed away on sunday at the age of 98. he served in the u.s. senate for 27 years. as we reflect on his life and legacy here's an interview from 2009 with bob and elizabeth dole discussing their careers in politics. former senator dole also talked about his involvement and injury in world war ii as well as his work on the world war ii memorial. this is about 90 minutes.
>> it's hard to believe on this spring day that we're here to mark a tragic day. this speech is held to discuss with some figures, it's been gliferred a president, two majority leaders, a chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and one of the nation east most beloved broadcasters. today we back back one majority leaderwhile adding a red cross president and senator. an attempt to make something monumental, fitting, good out of something so painful. on april 14, 1945, second lieutenant, robert j. dole, # 1 months away if k.u. student, was leading a small squad up a hill they called 913 in the mountains northern italy. as he leaped out of a fox hole
he felt a sharp sting in his upper right back. probably an exploding shell that smashed his shoulder, shattered his collarbone, punctured a lung and damaged a vertebrae, paralyzing the young shoulder from the neck down temporarily. his buddy gave him the biggest dose of morphine he could, then put a large m in blood on his forehead so he medics wouldn't give him more, perhaps fatally. the young soldier did survive. he began a public service career that lasted more than a century.
show request jon stewart wts. he co-chaired a commission with the former secretary of health and human services, donna shalala, to investigate misconduct at the v.a. medical center. but he's only 50% of one of d.c.'s most compelling pow every couple and only 50% of our steam this afternoon. what russ sell to bob dole, salisbury is for elizabeth dole. she went to a school in durham, north carolina with a pretty good basketball team. she went to harvard for a masters in education and a j.d. from the law school. there were 525 men and two dozen women in her graduating class. she had to deal with an overwhelming work load and chauvinists like a guy named professor leach who only called on women in his class to
humiliate them. she worked in the lyndon johnson administration and stayed on after richard nixon succeed him. in 1973 the president appointed her to a seven-year term on the federal trade commission. it was during this time she was introduced by senator bob dole by her mentor. they were married in 1965, a positive date to correspond with the sad one i gap with. she served as president reagan's director of white house public liaison, the until 1973 when they was she first woman appointed secretary of transportation. she was also the first woman to head a branch of the military, the coast card. she worked with mother's against drunk drying to pass laws
withholding federal highway frundz from any state with a drinking age below 21 and oversaw the privatization of the national freight railroad. she served as secretary of labor from 1989 to 1990 under the first president bush, making her the first woman to serve in two different cabinet positions in two different administrations. dole became president of the red cross where she served until 1999 when she resigned to run for the 2000 republican presidential nomination. i don't wish to offend anyone with my personal poll toirks preferences but i think she would have been a great vice president. in 2002, elizabeth dole succeeded jesdze help ms in the senate from north carolina. her election to the senate marked the fierms a spouse of a former senator was elected to the senate from a different state if that of her spouse. in november, 2004, following republican gains in the senate he was elected chair of the senatorall committee, the first woman to hold that post you see
a similarity between these firsts. she worked with senators like chuck hagel to draft an attempt to pass legislation reforming housing finance legislation, comprehensive energy reform and as a member of the u.s. senate to prevent efforts to close north carolina military bases. both doles reside at the watergate and remain one of the d.c. power couples. please join me in welcoming bob and elizabeth dole to the stage where they'll be interviewed by bill lacey. plus applause elizabeth: hello. bob: a lot of people out there. elizabeth: i'm right here.
ok. elizabeth: thanks very much. great. bill: thank you all for coming out today. can everyone hear me ok? no? how about now. it's great to have you here today for what is a program i've been working to organize for a long time but it's a sad day for americans because of the passing of a good friend of the doles, secretary jack kemp. i just wanted to ask both of you to share a story or insight on
secretary kemp and what he meant to america. elizabeth: let me say that just a few months ago, when i was running for re-election to the senate, jack kemp was with me in north carolina traveling on a bus through the mountains and you know, he was so full of energy and enthusiasm and just a great example of the public servant who has that passion for what he does. so we enjoyed being together and then just a short time later we learned of the illness and so we've been in close touch with them, it's heartbreaking. i remember back in the early days when i was assistant to the president for public liaison, i worked on the very issue that jack was sponsoring in the congress, that was the 25% tax cuts over three years and i was trying to work on it for president reagan. he was working on it if the congress. and of course there have been many times when we've had those tuns to work together.
but he will be truly missed and he is the epitome of a person who is passionate, full of enthusiasm and believes in what he's doing with all his heart. bob: i remember writing jack a note, about three weeks ago now, in fact, earlier when he learned he had this very mysterious problem, he called me and elizabeth one night and told us, he said, i've got cancer, the prospects are not very good. so he -- you want to go visit but he can't have visitors and then he couldn't talk. which for jack kemp is, you know, not being able to talk is a tough sentence in itself. because jack's wife used to put on his coat -- pull on his coat tail to get him to stop talking. but he's just a good guy, a good friend.
and as a republican he was one of those republicans who wanted to make the party bigger. for the right reason. right reasons. and he never gave up hope, reaching out to different groups and i think that was the part that i -- i really give jack credit for being one of the first republicans to reach out to other people and we're going to have a two-party system, our party is going to have to get busy. but jack was a great friend. i'll miss him. elizabeth: i'd like to add just one thing, though. when bob dole was republican national chairman, this is when we met actually, he actually took the door off of his office as a signal of outreach to try to bring more people in,
independents, people -- bob: took the door off the building. not my office. [laughter] bill: you've had an incredible career, elizabeth, what -- how did that yet started? elizabeth: i'll be glad to start at the beginning but i want to start with april 4, since that's a date we're focused on today. i can't tell you what a privilege it is to be married for 34 years to the love of your life and also to a person who inspires you each and every day. i love this guy, i'm thrilled to be with him here today. no, my time is not up yet.
i need somebody to watch the clock. he's going to try to make me stop after two minutes. i want to say first of all, my first job in elected politics was when i was elected president of the third grade bird club. then a few years later to i started an organization, junior book club. i found the minutes recently, they're great. we had all kinds of good speakers some in and all. i was just a kid. but i made myself president. i made myself president. [laughter] i have learned a little more about democracy since those days. then i think in high school i became involved in student government and majored in political science. i think the whole world of public policy, politics was a magnet to me. i loved what i did.
the elections i lost i lerped more from than the one us won. to be able to preside over a town hall meeting once a month, to interact with students and faculty and alumni and trustees. i learned a great deal. i think that's what led me ultimately into this as a career. bill: senator bob dole, you were a student here before going to the army, what were your days here like? bob: they weren't going to class. we had all these farewell parties, everybody leaving, so you'd be up half the night at somebody's fare well party, didn't feel like going to class.
i remember dean woodruff culled me in one day, he said, bob, i've been check, you're got knot doing much academically, have you ever thought about the tarym? i said yes, i've thought about it. in fact, i've enlisted. i'll be going fairly soon. it's one of those things, i think it's a lesson to a lot of young people. i didn't apply myself. had no kiss plin. when i came back from world war ii, i knew, you know, it was time for me to do something. from making d's and c's, i think i only made one b at washburn, i don't say that in a boasting way
but sometimes students get a little depressed and you know, their grades go down and -- i found that if you really, your back is against the wall and you know it's time to do something with your life, you can do it. it worked for me. i'm sure it'll work for you. i've always thanked dean woodruff for giving me that little shove out the door. [laughter] elizabeth: you didn't tell him about spilling the tray of spaghetti on the house mother when you were working in the women's sorority. bob: oh, i was -- i worked at the campus steak house. i was waiter. lived there for like $12 a
month, it was pretty good. i had been to a meu ve on saturday, saw a guy come out of the kich within a tray like this, back of his hand, so i thought, well, meab i'll give that a shot. i came out of the kitchen, i think it was a sunday afternoon, just as i stepped through the doorway, the door hit the tray and five plates of spaghetti and meatballs went right into the house mother's lap. [laughter] her name is nellie may griffiths from payola, took her a while to forgive me but i didn't d it purposely. bill: you first ran for office in 1960. what got you interested in
public service? bob: democratic law library. in law school, in washburn, convinced i think four of us, three of us, her name was beth bowers, wonderful lady she passed away about seven years ago, said you know, we need -- like i'm saying to people now with the dole scwhraryks need more public servanting more young people. we need to have more young people involved. she talked three or four of us into running for the state legislature. we didn't know anything about politics, didn't even know what party we were in. i went home and downed and there were more republicans than democrats in russell and so i became a committed republican. beth bowers was the spark.
two of the four of us were elected and i've been in politics since. shows that one person can make a difference in your life. that lasts forever. bill: senator elizabeth dole you were part of the pioneering generation of women in the 1960's and 1970's, women leaders in the 1960's and 1970's. what unique challenges did you face? elizabeth: it's interesting, my career spans the last wave of the women's meuft. think about all the qualified women who have come into the work force over that time but back at the point i went to law school, as was mentioned earlier, i entered harvard law school in 1962, there were 562 in the class and 12 were female. the first day of class, i remember where i was standing in the library, one of my male
classmates came up to me and said, what are you doing here in what are you doing in this law school? there are men who would give their right arm to be here? men who would use their legal education. now that is how i was greeted. those are the first words i heard that. man is now a senior partner in a washington law firm and every now and then i tell that story around town. i love to tell that story around town. the guys call up and say, elizabeth, tell me, i'm not the one who said it. tell my i didn't say it. i just let them sweat it out. i remember that vividly of course. and then as i came along, i was on the federal trade commissioner, one of five commissioners. i didn't think of it, i don't think they thought of it, as being the female commissioner, we just worked together.
i got to the department of transportation. i had 100,000 in the work force. i said how many are female? and they said 19%. of your staff are female. ok. this is this is 1983. i said in 1967 when the department of transportation was established how many women were in the department? 18.5%. from 1967 to 1983, they went up a half percent. we got the women to work with us, to put together a 0-point program. rotational assignments. if you're in the railroad administration, maybe go to the f.a.a. or highway safety administration, rotational. we had rewards structures. developmental programs. sort of like in the corporate world. to help women move up the ladder into managerial positions. one of the things i love, this is happened -- this has happened
to me twice, going through an airport, someone comes running after me, secretary dole, secretary dole! i stop and she saiz, you know -- she says, you know, i'm the manager of this airport and it's because i went through your program at d.o.t. we industrial to help and network and do these things. one more -- this is an interesting little story. i was working -- bob: how long is it? [laughter] elizabeth: that's not funny. you better watch out. you're going to get in big trouble. going to be in the doghouse pretty soon who will fix your dinner. bill: i'm glad i'm not on the jet on the way back. elizabeth: i was looking for a democratic senator one summer and margaret chase smith was just down the hall. i had the gall, i was just a young duke graduate then, i asked to see her and i went in.
she was wonderful. she really helped me. she was one with inspired me to go to high school. but she was known as the conscience of the senate, wonderful women. she said i was sitting with a group of female reporters and they were asking me, senator smith if you woke up one morning and found yourself in the white house what would you do? she said i replied i'd go right away to the president's wife and apologize. [laughter] and then i'd go home. see how things have changed over that period of my career. really. so i think, you know, being the first woman to head a branch of the armed services was an interesting challenge. i find people in the coast guard now who tell me they those days,
i don't think they looked at me differently because i was a woman. all of us have been changing enormously, things are quite different now. bill: senator bob dole, you lived with a disability. how has that met vaited you? how d you use that to motivate you and how has it affected your attitude toward others with disabilities? bob: well, there's a saying, strength through adversity. and i think -- i spept a lot of time visiting young soldiers and a lot of time visiting soldiers my age, 85, 86, 82, # 4. because you never want to forget our veterans. and not only forget our veterans, never want to forget our generation. because not everybody could ware a uniform. somebody had to farm and teach,
all these things. i wrote a book. called "one soldier's story." it wasn't an act of bravery that i did. i had one round, there were 500 coming at me. all this stuff. but i think i conducted myself as a patient, if there's any heroism, it was how i handled my recovery. because i couldn't walk. i couldn't feed myself. and a lot of people have gone through this, not just me. so it takes a lot of patience. a lot ofs per veers. and a lot of help from your friends and your family. so then i was able to walk.
later i could -- with a buttoner, button my shirt, it's all incremental steps, not big steps you take. but with each little step, you're encouraged to try to take the next step. you know, i think -- twoif heroes. one is hissen hour, one is roosevelt. eisenhower for reasons -- but roosevelt because of what he did with a disability. and at that time they kept it from the press. i think only three photographs were public of roosevelt with braces on him. the press wasn't -- i don't want
to say anything about the press but the press didn't -- they believed in privacy. and he was entitled to privacy. those were sort of my two heroes. we do a lot of work with the disabled. did a lot of work with the american disabilities act. and now i need to find somebody in the audience who can fix my knees. [laughter] elizabeth: he also visits veterans hospitals everywhere he goes. everywhere. and just no press, just quietly. we were on vacation in north carolina and the first place he wanted to go was the asheville veterans hospital. it's just a matter -- it's just a part of bob dole to do those things. at the world war ii memorial, to meet people coming in on honor
flights, honor air, the honor flight network, veterans who have been provided a charter plane and they come in and they visit their memorial for the first time. since world war ii. bob: i met 400 veterans yet. elizabeth: that's about the 76th time he's been at the memorial to meet them. [laughter] [applause] bob: my critics love it there if your father is there or grandfather, i have seen thousands of world war ii veterans who felt that they were forgotten. this they were old and sort of out of the mainstream. nobody ever did anything with them or for them. and so they started this program where you can -- i had a group from kansas two days ago.
come to washington to see the memorial. and have lunch. tell war stories. whatever. get back on the plane, you do it all in one day. it doesn't cost you one cent. and it's all money given by people like you. and you -- elizabeth, tell them about the lert that this one person wrote. elizabeth: a beautiful letter. he wrote in and said he was in his 80's, mid 80's, i think. he said i've just been kind of going through depression. i wonder, has my life really meant anything? he said i got on this pleap flight to washington to see the world war ii memorial and he said, you know, he said, i realize, i think i really have accomplished something in life. you know. there's a legacy that i'm proud to leave to my children. and it touched both of us so much because he said thank you, he was writing to it bob, thank
you for being there and what a pleasure it was to be able to see this memorial that meant so much to him. and you think about the people of -- the men and women of world war ii. i remember when bob was working so hard to get it built and there was a grandpa called save the mall. and they didn't want it to be built on the mall. and that was just outrageous. who sthaifd snal the men and women of world war ii saved the mall. there wouldn't be any mall without them. so i think he has a great legacy to pass on, that's the point. bob: this man, said it was the most exciting thing that happened since his wedding. elizabeth: i don't remember that part of the letter. bob: he -- it just changed his life. he probably -- got a few years left, he finally convinced
himself that he did make a contribution. i don't know what he did. he could have been a private. could have been a general. but he was there. when he was called. and then things sort of drifted away and he felt like nobody cared about him. bill: how did the two of you meet? your courtship? talk about what it was like as essentially newlyweds to be in a vice-presidential campaign. elizabeth: should i start? bob: you can start but there's a time limit. elizabeth: i know that. i'm going to talk very fast. i was working in the white house consumer affairs office and i had a wonderful mentor, a woman who was just terrific. and she wanted to go up to talk to the chairman of the republican national committee to get a consumer plank in the
platform, the 1978 platform. so i went with her. we walked into this gentleman's office who was in the senate. and he was not at his desk. he was over on the senate floor. so the door opens up and in comes bob dole, first time i'd ever seen him i feel looked up and thought, gee, he's a good-looking guy. he says he wrote my name on he back of his blotter. but anyway. this was, i think it was about, oh, maybe four months later, he was traveling the country at that point. and i saw him again at the convention. and then he called me. and we talked for 40 minutes, we had all these mutual interests and friends and so on. and then he said good-bye. and then about two weeks later he called again and we talked for quite a while and he said maybe we can have dinner sometime. i said that would be very nice. and he said good-bye.
[laughter] and it was on the third call that he asked me out to dinner and what i realized was, he's a little shy and i like that. he's not somebody chasing women around capitol hill. you know. i really like that very much. bob: i think it's -- i was looking for a nice, cheap place too. [laughter] elizabeth: but one other point here that i have to make. bob came down to north carolina to visit my parents. bob: don't tell that one. your mother? no. elizabeth: oh, no i do. i've already started. i have to tell it now. [laughter] plus it ties in with the last question bill asked you. bob, unbeknownst to me, went down, left his room one morning and went down where my mother was mixing breakfast in the kitchen. and he sad had a foul over -- had a towel over his arm that had been disabled in the war.
he went up to miz mother and he said, ms. hanniford i think you ought to see my problem. she said, bob that's not a problem, that's a badge of honor. i think that says a lot about both of them. [applause] there's nothing wrong with that story. bip a lot of people -- bob: a lot of people in this audience who have lost loved ones in combat. and i can't remember the general who said war is hell but unfortunately sometimes it's necessary. we can argue about when that is and when it shouldn't happen. but i think it was always my view and i think because i came from sort of the heart of the country where i thought people had a lot of good common sense,
and i don't -- there are people from other parts of the country that have commonsense. when i ran for president i felt i could do a good job. because i had a pretty good understanding of people who were vulnerable. disable. aging people. people that couldn't make it. couldn't make it without some help. and i've known about work. knew about growing up poor. but, well, you kind of put all that together, sometimes it didn't work. but i do hope that we'll make some changes that are the right kind of changes that will move
america in the right direction. we have all these young people in the audience and on the campus, and we're going to drop all this stuff on them and say good-bye. and i assume they'll do what our parents did, drop it on us, they'll drop it on their generation and say good-bye. but without getting -- this is not a political program. but whether you're a democrat or republican, we've got some serious problems. i'm working now with senator mitchell. senator daschle. senator baker and myself. four former senate leaders on really bipartisan recommendations on health care. really bipartisan. not this, do what i want to do or we won't do anything. where everybody gives a little.
that's bipartisanship. [applause] i think the american people are ready. they don't -- can't say whether there's a d or an r after the name. going to be the people who vote for if it's a good, bipartisan bill and they vote for it they're going to get a lot of flak. because nobody is going to like it initially. and maybe for good reason. but we've got to fix it. we can't let -- there are not 46 million people without health care. that's just a number that's taken hold out there. there are so many illegals, so many young people who don't buy insurance. so many people make over $150,000. you get down to about 20 million, 25 million.
anyway, we are trying to fix in it anyway, we are trying to fix it in a bipartisan way. i've been working with senator daschle and others. they have complete trust in me. we want to work with the president, with congress. we know there are people in douglas county and all over kansas that can't find affordable care. i didn't mean to get off on all that. bill: senator elizabeth dole, you served in cabinets for two presidents. you chose to resign in support of your husband. why? elizabeth: it was an easy
choice. some of the women's organizations gave me grief on this saying why are you leaving your career to be the good little wife to stand by your husband and smile? i tried to make a point that i did not have to do this, i chose to do it. that's what we women have been fighting for, to have the right to do what we feel is best for ourselves and for our families. it doesn't have to be a paid job. my career continues. i had my own airplane and a staff and i was out answering the questions and being part of the campaign. i learned and grew a lot by having that particular responsibility. can you imagine saying to your husband, you're going to run for president, good luck and i will see you when it's over? i wanted to do this, to be part of the campaign.
to me, it was an honor to do so and it was a great education. i think that's what it is all about. to make the choice that you feel is best and having the ability to do that. you can be flexible. i took a leave of absence when bob was running for vice president. we checked it out that it was ok to do that. i had a couple of months leave of absence there. it's worked fine for me to be able to step out and be part of his campaign. elizabeth: -- bob: i really wanted to be president. i used to drop by the white house and look through the windows to see if i could see anything going on. [laughter] i served with nine presidents.
none of them -- they all had expertise for they would not have been president. there was something that appealed to the people that made it possible for them. i am proud to say that i have had good relations with them while they were president and since. something happened in chicago. we had all worked out that people would vote more than once -- [laughter] but they never showed up. we gave them the cash. bill: moving right along. [laughter] senator bob dole, you faced a
lot of tough decisions in your career but i know one of the toughest was your decision to resign your senate seat and your leadership to run for president in 1996. bob: some of my kansas friends have not forgiven me because i could have stayed and worked to down. it seems to me that once you are nominated for whatever, student body president or whatever, when you've entered the high point in any career, you should not try to have it both ways and say that i will figure out a way to protect myself so that i can be the republican leader in the senate. we could have done that very
easily. to be frank about it, i thought that it would resonate with the voters, because the voters are generally justified in thinking that people in politics never have enough, they always want more of this, more of that, more power, and then they don't properly use it. i said here is one guy who will give up something. i know that it frustrated some of my friends because it was good for kansas. showing what will happen, what the agenda will be and what pass or not, and i knew that i was probably letting people down in a way that i felt if it works, they will forgive me.
if it doesn't work, they will forgive me after a few years. [laughter] one thing that i learned is when you get out of politics, your numbers go up. people forget why they are mad at you. that guy wasn't so bad after all. i certainly owe the people of kansas a big debt of gratitude, to think that somebody from a small town could get elected to the legislature, and then congress, and once we had to do it by serving dole pineapple juice because one of my opponents was named doyle.
people didn't know him or me. so we had ladies with white blouses and red skirts serving dole pineapple juice up and down main street. and my opponent said he was drowned in pineapple juice. just to think that i was elected six times by you. not all of you. double talk to you later. [laughter] i think the longer i served, the better the senator that i became because i recognize that there are problems in other states that we don't have in kansas. if i'm going to turn a blind eye
to their problems, they will turn a blind eye to our problems . i don't mean that you just give away the store, but most that i met were honest and decent men and women. there were probably a few i wouldn't -- well i wouldn't -- [laughter] elizabeth: i will also say he was elected six times by his senate colleagues to be their leader and i think that is huge. [applause] bob: the important thing is to be elected by the people out here. it was hard when you disagreed with friends whom i knew for a long time on a particular issue.
ultimately, we were able to work it out. when you're the leader, you have to do things that you might not normally do to help your colleagues. if you don't want to be the leader there are a lot who do. if you don't want to carry the flag for your party, there are 50 others who would be happy to. anyway, it was a great opportunity and experience. i enjoyed every minute of it. some days when i watch c-span, i wish i were back. [applause] bill: how has partisanship and civility changed since you went to washington, d.c.? elizabeth: during the years that
i was serving in the executive branch -- and also at the red cross. when we were talking about the challenges earlier i need to add a footnote because i got to the red cross in 1991 and i found out i was the first woman to head the red cross since clara barton 1881. we are going off the subject. bob: you didn't take any pay the first year because you want to demonstrate that you will be a volunteer in the president should be a volunteer too. we could have used the money. [laughter] elizabeth: i can remember talking with senator stevens and senator in a way --
they both ended up in the senate. he is a democrat from hawaii. i can remember many times working on the age 21 drinking rule, working with senator lautenberg of new jersey, and we worked together. these are issues that were critical. you had a lot of support on both sides of the aisle. in recent years it seems that it has become much more raucous and less civility. that is beyond the pale -- respect the office. i can tell you the two senators
-- one had a lot of seniority -- in the last one he for months he said he had never seen anything like the way that the senate has spiraled down. another person who has been there and this is the worst i have ever seen. we need to do a lot to join together for the good of the people to remember that public service is a noble profession. it feels like combat now. you have your differences and you can get upset with somebody but before dinner is over you're probably talking about the next issue. i do think that we have to work hard to get that civility back. bob: and i think -- elizabeth: i'm not quite finished. [laughter]
i have one more thing. right now, in terms of health care going on reconciliation, what that means is that the republicans will not have a chance to be involved at all in how the health care plan will come forward. they won't be able to offer amendments. it will pass with 51 votes instead of 60, which gives you a chance to offer amendments -- i think that would be a mistake. bob: on that point, i went back and checked all the major legislation -- the social security act of 93, the american disabilities act, some of the foreign legislation, some of the cruelty to animals legislation, things up when i was active with. school lunch.
george mcgovern, another loser. [laughter] elizabeth: presidential loser. bob: some people think they compromise -- they say it is my way or the highway -- if i can't have everything, i'm not going to vote for anything. ronald reagan used to tell me -- and bob, if you can get me 70%, take it. i'll get the 30% next year. we have people in both parties who are purists. they are totally rigid on any issue. there are some issues when you have to be totally rigid, but you cannot be a one issue person in either party. say, i'm not a republican because of the abortion issue.
that's a good example. i don't think either party was built on one issue. when i started politics after frank carlsen, a conservative middle-of-the-road -- someone who believed in keeping taxes low and restraining spending, and that was it. and that you have all these other things, same-sex marriage in the abortion issue and busing and you have to make a list of 20 things that are a litmus test . both parties believe in what they believe in. my only hope is that we have more participation by people in this room.
it's not a spectator sport. you cannot sit on the sidelines and then complain after it is over. with the greatest country on the face of the earth, don't let the evening news tell you anything different. bill: i have one last question and then we will open it to come unity questions. -- to community questions. the gop suffered two losses this week. what is the future of the republican party? elizabeth: you are looking right at me so i will start. i was disappointed. i have been up to pennsylvania. i have campaigned for arlen
specter a number of times in the past. it brings it close to those 60 votes. the norm coleman race is still on appeal. you look through the years, after goldwater was defeated, they said parties did. the party came back -- the party is dead. the party came back. after watergate, the party is dead. well, the party came back. the same thing happened in 1992 and the party came back. it's a matter of ideas and being able to articulate them. one thing that i feel strongly about is that i think we need real reform. when i was in the federal trade commission, we went through all of our regulations and we found that some of them were not relevant anymore.
some of them were regulating industries that didn't exist. there were some that had worn out their usefulness. there wer -- it is time that we go through from the american perspective. when times are tough, and they are now, this is a time that we can do something like that and to try to rein in a lot of the excessive spending where it isn't doing any good. it is outdated and irrelevant and needs to be dropped or changed. bob: somebody mentioned arlen specter who is a friend of mine. he went to high school in kansas. he was on the state debate
championship team. i thought nixon should have hired him during watergate. i went to the attorney general and said you should hire this bright attorney and they will clean this mess and you can still be president, but i couldn't sell it to him because he was a democrat, in my view was that it shouldn't make any difference what party you are in. when you drive to russell, there is a sign there, bob dole, and i told him we removed his name. that i'm headed for pennsylvania where i will announce the candidate for senate in the republican party. we are good friends and he has a great sense of humor, and he
called me up and said we have been friends forever, and i said arlen, i'm not serious. you never voted with this anyway. we really don't lose much because he is a very independent person and he will give the democrats fits just as he gave the republicans fits. he is so smart, and if i ever got in trouble, i would run to find them. he happens to be a liberal and if i lived in pennsylvania i might have a different philosophy too. but arlen has made a lot of contributions in the health area and able to the same as a democrat. he told president obama, don't
feel i will be automatic number 60. it is hard to -- even if you say yes to him it is hard to please him sometimes, but he is so good. i'm sorry that he did it but i know he did it. he would like to stay in the senate. there is no way he could stay as a republican. he's behind in the polls. maybe that's not statesmanship but he is 79 years old, he had a recurrence of cancer, he is campaigning every weekend it is in almost all 88 counties in pennsylvania -- this is a guy who has a lot of whatever you call it -- he is my friend.
i don't like what he did but he is still my friend. bill: we should have a member of our student advisory board walking out. we'll start our questions. >> i'm from topeka kansas and i am a third-year graduate student in the department of philosophy. william asks, are you concerned that because of the increasing hostility in political debates, many qualified people will opt out of competing in the public will have to select from a lesser qualified slate of candidates? elizabeth: i certainly want to urge young people to consider public service and to come in and to make a difference. i think people are focused on
what this has become in terms of the rancor. there is a determination to do something about it. i know friends of mine in the senate feel like this is it, we really have to have a better environment. it takes some of the joy from public service. it is highlighted and focused on. i can't tell you what a great gift it can be to feel that you are involved in something bigger than yourself, that you have found a sense of mission which inspires you. i think about jack kemp, he had such enthusiasm because he was devoted to what he was doing. when i'm on a campus i say find that which turns you on and gives you that sense of ashen. i believe that public service is a noble profession, and that you
can find it there at many levels , becoming involved with a candidate that you feel is a person of integrity, a person who will go about it the right way and then working hard for that person, and they will note what a good job you have done and the next thing you know opportunities are opening for you. we cannot let it set us back, we have to move forward and to be determined that we will get it right. bob: i voted for the 18-year-old voting bill stop i think if you're old enough to fight for your country you ought to be able to vote. if some guy standing on a hill somewhere in getting shot at and he can go home and vote for somebody in congress, maybe that
is a simplified approach but the trouble is, they didn't vote after given the right to vote. there is some indication that it is increasing now. obama increased the 18-35 vote. maybe general petraeus will increase the republican vote. i don't think he's going to run. [laughter] if he calls, tell him that i made a mistake. anyway, i think it is not the 18-year-old, it's the party. if we can't give anybody any ideas except that we are against everything while the other party is for everything, what have
you,. you want some ideas. if 70 had a campaign that was based on new ideas, i would say the young people should have been there -- anyway, i'm finished. >> good afternoon. i'm a sophomore from kansas. this is my own question. public and volunteering are often time-consuming, hard and thankless work. i'm only 20 and feel burned out at times. how do you find the effort and energy to always continue in your good service? elizabeth: in a sense, i got
into answering that in the last one. i think it's about finding that which you feel passionately about. take the department of transportation. what should be the top priority? you have a huge department that covers every form of transportation. but what should be the top priority? and we decided safety. saving lives and preventing serious injuries of people crashing through the windshield, so i became passionate about this. bob: you did the seatbelt law. elizabeth: but that's not life-saving that is property saving. but at this time, -- people had
seat belts in their cars but there was only 13% usage and not one state had a seatbelt block, and airbags were not in cars. bob: there were some for politicians. [laughter] elizabeth: you just took my joke. that was my joke. bob: that was my joke? elizabeth: when you introduced me -- this is another story, but anyway, i found a car with an airbag and put it on the white house lawn. so president reagan in the cabinet could look at it. we had to sell it to people because they thought it would go off when you crossed the railroad tracks of consumers were not ready to buy the cars.
and remember that lee iacocca gave me a fit because he was really upset about this and said safety won't sell. later after we got the airbags and the cars, he's on television with an ad saying how great airbags are. you get passionate about these things that you can do in public service. there are things that need to be better, but to me it is such a mission field. my mother lived to be almost 103 and her mother lived to be 100. when you look over your life, the question will not be how much money did i make but what did i stand for? did i make a positive difference? bob: to tie into that, in the
field that i was in in politics, i never thought that it was how i voted, and voting is important , but i never thought people in kansas were waiting with baited breath to see how i voted on the chinese treaty. they wanted to know if i answered their mail and if i worked on v.a. or social security. we had a rule that we had to have a letter in the mail with 36 hour turnaround even though we didn't have the answer, that person knew that we were checking on them. we are representative -- so much on tv its foreign, what do you think -- and i can tell you at
least one house member who is in a foreign policy chairmanship and he doesn't know where the countries are -- this is true. we are your errand boys. we are not there to make a grand statement. i think some get carried away. i have the record of being on meet the press. what did that do for me? elizabeth: i went to tell the airbag story. bob accompanied me when i had to
go to the senate committee for my hearing what i had been nominated. and he said i have but one wife to give my country for infrastructure. that was fine but then he said i think the federal highway administration might be able to use her biscuit recipe for filling potholes. [laughter] and that's when i said, i know all about airbags because i have been driving around with one for years. [laughter] he stole my story. bob: you have to have a little life. bill: let's have our next question. >> my name is amanda applegate and i'm a fourth tier from
wichita, kansas. in the senate, you are known for your sense of humor. which of your colleagues made you laugh the most? bob: pat roberts. i have to keep reading to keep up with him anymore. adam simpson from wyoming. they told these long stories. i like to get it over with. we compiled a book on humor called great political wit and the subtitle is laughing almost all the way to the white house. we had so much fun with that that we wrote another one called great presidential wit and the
subtitle was i wish i was in this book. -- the one book, the greatest line was -- apparently winston churchill was having a big dinner and he and lady astor were at the same table and they got into verbal fisticuffs, and in desperation she looked at them and said winston, if you are my husband i would poison your coffee. he said, if you were my wife, i would drink it. [laughter] that is good clean fun.
reagan said that he walked into a room like this and said i have been getting a lot of flak since i ordered those v1's. how was i to know they were airp lanes? i thought they were vitamins. whatever you think of ronald reagan, he got more votes because of his personality. he was willing to laugh at himself, not somebody else. it just swayed people if they were on the fence. he could bring them to the white house and change their mind. bill: we have time for three more quick questions. >> my name is michael gray and i'm a senior originally from buhler, kansas. this is for elizabeth dole and was submitted anonymously. over the course of your career you have worked inside the
government as cabinet secretary and outside for the red cross. which sector is more rewarding and where can a person have the most impact? elizabeth: that is one where i would not want to choose one or the other. the red cross is another form of service to the public. each of the positions were challenging, no question. in terms of volunteering -- bob mentioned in my first year at the red cross i served as a volunteer -- you couldn't have the red cross without the one million volunteers. there's an opportunity to be involved right now. we had to undertake a number of changes at the red cross. our chapter had never been
rechartered. you have a set of standards, you must meet this standard or you will lose your charter. also with disaster relief -- we went through disaster revitalization. we needed a war room where it never shuts down in the press can find out what's going on and you can move your people and equipment wherever it is needed because the red cross handles 60,000 disasters per year from earthquakes to house fires. we also wanted to change the blood program. this goes back to world war ii.
it needed to be centralized to change the whole way that it was done so that you had standard operating procedures. each job was challenging in its own right. labor laws had child labor laws being violated. see you go into a position and say what are the six or seven things that cry out for change that need to be done and then assemble an excellent team around you that share your passion for getting these things done, and come hell or high water, you will make them happen. government offers that opportunity and so does the american red cross and many other charitable organizations.
>> my name is chelsea mertz and i'm a junior from hoyt. this question is for senator dole and it is anonymously submitted. you accomplished a lot before leaving the senate including writing a memoir and leaving money for the world war ii national memorial. which of these activities are you proud of? bob: i think raising $195 million of the world war ii memorial. i didn't raise it i myself. we had a lot of volunteers, but our generation is a little bit different. we had some people in our generation that we said if we
can't raise the money, we are not going to build it. not going to take money from some local amputee who will get less if we take bricks and mortar. that was our goal and it was hard to reach. we were sued by a couple of veterans who said we shouldn't build this on sacred ground. they said save the mall. our defense was we finally saved it in world war ii. and cost us $30 million in legal fees. we had $5 million for start up, and interest, so we raise a lot of money. is this something that we should have done?
i don't know. in 40 years it will be like the world war i memorial that nobody knows where it is. they are going to recognize what our fathers did and improve the world war i memorial. some would not give us money because they didn't give to bricks and mortar. others -- i can remember a big corporate giant who said this doesn't fit our guidelines and i said world war ii didn't fit our guidelines, nowhere asking is that you recognize people, your customers and others -- but anyway, it's built, it's wonderful and we have this great program where if somebody wants to make this trip -- it's the
most emotional thing that ever happened, there will be tears in their eyes all day -- i try to meet every flight that comes. yesterday we had six states, a week ago saturday we had 11 states. it is such a wonderful thing to be there come and to see these -- i don't want to say old guys, fellas that have got older -- and fun they are having. it's subtle gloom and doom people sitting with a box of kleenex, they have a lot of fun, and they are proud of what they did. where would we be without that generation. some of these other languages are hard to learn.
i took german it ku, and fortunately i was seated next to a straight a student, so i gotta be. elizabeth: that is in fun, that is teasing. bob: it is true. we want to thank you for coming. i know that there are a lot of young people who have doubts about our country. i was there 37 years and i never got a single letter or a phone call or a meeting where somebody stopped me to say get me out of this awful country.
that tells you something. i have had hundreds of letters saying can you help get me into this country. we still have basic values and we still live by those values. we all make mistakes and try to redeem ourselves. i'm very happy being an american . >> we have one final question, and i will ask everybody -- we have a special presentation to make after the program so please don't run out of the building. >> my name is tyler holmes, and
i'm a freshman from overland park, and i have a question -- now that you're both how to public life is it easier to book a lunch or a date for just the two of you? elizabeth: i will be honest in terms of what we are doing for lunch -- we are getting ready to go on nutrisystem. bob: we tried one and it didn't work. elizabeth called -- elizabeth: we tried one called diet to go and we both gained weight. bob: i think the only way you lose weight is that the food is so bad you don't eat it. elizabeth but -- elizabeth: but all these boxes have come in from nutrisystem and i don't know if i will have room to house all of it. we decided we want to do it as a challenge.
>> season one focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson. you will hear about the gulf of tonkin, the march on selma and the war in vietnam. not everyone knew that they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson secretaries new because they were tasked with transcribing those conversations. they were the ones who made sure that they were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door. >> you will also hear blunt talk. >> i don't want to report of the number of people who signed to kennedy the day he died. mine are not blessed and i want them blessed right quick. >> presidential recordings.
interference in elections in the senate work on nominations. on tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on c-span.org and the c-span now mobile video app, the house oversight and reform subcommittee looks at threats posed by terror organizations like al qaeda. at 10:00 a.m., live on c-span3, inspector general michael bolton testifies at an oversight hearing by the senate rules and administration committee following the january 6 attack on the capital. then the senate foreign relations committee holds a hearing on russia. the house financial services committee looks at cryptocurrencies and other digital assets with testimonies from ceos at several companies.
and the instagram ceo testifies before the senate commerce, science and transportation subcommittee. if and watch our full coverage on c-span now. head to cspan.org for scheduling information. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. attorney general merrick garland announced the justice department has filed a lawsuit against texas for violating the federal voting rights act over the state's newly drawn electoral maps. the attorney general says denies black and latino voters an equal opportunity to participate. this is about 10 minutes.