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tv   Book Discussion on Assassinations Threats and the American Presidency  CSPAN  February 28, 2016 1:30pm-3:01pm EST

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in illegal activities, and to threaten the civil liberties guaranteed in the constitution and the bill of rights. >> if confirmed by the senate, dr. hayden will be the first african-american and the first woman to hold the position of librarian of congress. confirmation hearings have yet to be set by the senate. >> tonight it's my pleasure to introduce to you to dr. ronald feinman. he specializes in 20th century american history with an emphasis on political and diplomatic history. he has taught courses at florida atlantic university, on america 1900 to 1945, fdr and new deal era. u.s. 1945 to the present, and america in the 1960s. feinman is also the author of "tie right progressivism: the
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western and can the new deal." he currently writes for a blog, i welcome ron feinman. [applause] >> thank you very much. i really appreciate your introduction. i want to begin by thanking certain people. i want to thank stephanie and the center for inviting me to speak here on my book. i want to thank c-span for agreeing to indeed tape this event and put it on booktv in few weeks. i want to also thank my son, david feinman and paul feinman for always being there for me. we're definitely a very close family. i want to also thank one of my colleagues and former students, david glowberg, who took coreses at both broward college and florida atlantic university. he majored in feinman and mine norred in history. he took me eight times and now
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team e teaches also broward college and helped me with the power point i'm going to use because i'm not that technically savvy, and also with the index and the charts in my book. so i want to different anily thank david for that if also want to thank steven engle, one of the people on the blurb on the back of my book on the head of -- for also having contributed a great deal and having indeed a review of the book and criticized it and helped to make it better, as well as david glowberg. the question comes up why i've been asked before -- in fact i was asked by brian lamb on c-span2 q & a, why did you pick this topic? is it a little bit weird to be discussing and researching assassination? and i said, yes issue guess it
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is, but frankly i find it fascinating and i think it's certainly very significant. assassination has certainly affected not only american history but world history, and i even give a few examples in my introduction about the fact that, after all, let's fate is, world war i began because of an assassination. we of course had the fall of the roman republic because of an assassination. our country was divided when abraham lincoln was murdered in 1865 and we're still reverberating fromd-]/ the evens around john f. kennedy in 1963. but it's a lot more than just looking at abraham lincoln and john f. kennedy. the fact is assassination has been a common theme unfortunately in world history but also in american history, and i have devoted a chapter to each president who faced a direct assassination attempt, both those who were
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unfortunately assassinated and those who were wounded and those who were unhurt and also presidential candidates, which i have not seen anybody else do that i'm aware of. so i have chapter on huhie long who was assassinated in 1958, a chapter on robert kennedy, assassinated in 1968, and a chapter on george c. wallace who was hot and paralyzed for fiscal cliff 19 '2. so i cover 11 presidents and three presidential candidates, one chapter on each, and then have two chapters on recent presidents who have not had a direct contact with assassination, meaning eyeball to eyeball but haveline threatened to i discuss the issues jimmy carter, george h.w. bush, bill clinton, george w. bush, and barack obama right up to october 2014 right after omar
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gonzalez scaled the fence at the white house and got into the white house unbelievable, and showed us that the secret service needs reform because it's getting more and more daring. more and more people are becoming daring. bench jumper is call them, white house intruders, and thank goodness none of the living presidents have had anything doctor electricity i affected them but lots of threats and as i point out, barack obama, i talk about 20 threats but actually many more -- has had more threats than any president other than abraham lincoln. so, it continues. and of course, presidential candidates, you have to worry about, too. even now, after all, we have a lot of rhetoric out there a lot of invective out there i have written on the and on history news network of the danger of assassination or the threat this year because of the rhetoric, because of the invective, because of the hyperbole going on, and i
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advocate before it happened that donald trump should have secret service provision as dr. carson should, and they do, and also advocated that bernie sanders should have it. he does does not as far as i'm aware, at least not publicly. of course, hillary clinton does because she is a former first lady, but even lesser candidates, those who are not as serious, or those who are serious, like marco rubio, ted cruz, always in danger, and all you need is one mistake, one error and that's one too many. and that's what we have to remember. never enough perfection. now, the thing is i've looked al assault all these presidents and done a lot of research. the question comes up, hough did i get interested in this? when i was in college, more than a half century ago, at queens college, and the university of new york, as an english course, i had to do a term paper. i chose the lincoln assassination, and -- because i was fascinated by it.
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that was the year 1962. now, the next year, of course, was the john f. kennedy assassination. and that gripped everybody. and still does. and then of course we had the assassination of robert kennedy, the assassination of martin luther king, the assassination of malcolm x, the assassination of george lincoln rockwell this attempted assassination of george wallace and the assassination attempt against ronald reagan and the threat against gerald ford and richmond nixon concern know much about the richard nixon case until recently. it was kept quiet but there were. and therefore it's a common thing that fascinated me. i started to do lectures on it before -- over the last few years, and two and a half years ago now, almost three years ago now, roman and littlefield, my publisher, indeed, who i was aware of but never had contact with, wrote me in my e-mail at florida atlantic university and
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say we see you're doing lectures onat assassinations would you like to write a back? wow. i'm retired now, have more free time, die still teach and do lecture and do my blog, but still i'm much freer than i was and i thought i couldn't have done this ten years ago no matter how much i would have wanted to, but why not? so we made a deal, and it took almost two years, and now the book is out since august. and i've had a great reception, i've had over 30 radio interviews, i've been on c-span and now i'm on c-span again. i've had articles on the hill and history news network good going to be interviewed on npr on february 15, monday, presidents day, on topical current, with bonny and joseph cooper, and i was interviewed last week, not on the book but that's how he found out about me -- on the takeaway, seven minutes toward the end of the hour, 95:00 to 9:57 on wlrn and
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have had people who write me and say i listened to you and it's amazing. a lot of people listen to npr. a lot of people do watch c-span. the sales started too shoot up. right after brian lamb. so i've very appreciative to have these opportunities here and elsewhere to be able to speak. so, enough of the beginning. now let's get into the meat of the matter. and what i whatnot to make clear is that i have a power point here, and we're going to go through and it it will help, i think, make it a little more interesting beyond myself speaking. so of course we begin with the first attempt at a assassination which is andrew jackson, and actually it's more than just the one on the board. that's the one i picked to put up on the power point, but there's actually three threats against andrew jackson, and the earliest is two years before this. 1833. we have what we could call an assault on andrew jackson.
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not with a weapon or firearm. with fists. so not that serious but got tomorrow andrew jackson was not in the best of health. he was not a well man by the time he became president. he was in his mid-60s, used a pain and all that so -- used a cane and wasn't in the greatest of health but a man named robert randolph, a former sailor, assaulted him and punched him in the nose, gave him a bloody nose, that's it. but still was comfort a threat, and we have no record i've ever been able to find or issue in else found of any earlier presidents having anything happen that we know of anyway. so this is the first thing. not a big deal but the beginning. now, 1835, there or two events, one before the one i have on the board,s is not a threat in the sense of physical threat. it's a verbal threat. the verbal threat from a well-known stage actor, a person who is very famous at the time, and he writes a letter, his hand writing, to president andrew
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jackson, threatening his life, just writing a letter, doesn't go further than that. hand driven -- hand written. it's been kepting are everything that deals with presidents is kept, agency, unless they somehow get rid of it as chester alan arthur burns his documents and calvin coolidge, a lot of stuff was burned or destroyed, but most times anything that happened to do with the president you're going to find. and the tennessee history project, which deals with jackson, authenticate who'd this person was, who it was thought it was and it's shocking, not only because it's a well-known actor at the time in 1835, but because he is, get this, the father of the later actor who assassinates abraham lincoln. that is julius brutus boothe. what a name. his son hadn't been born yesterday, john wilkes booth. three years later, but imagine
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you got to wonder what it genetic? whats it maniacal behavior? he thenned and that was it but the point it, it is his hand detroiting so we have -- hand writhing, and it's a threat as much as somebody on facebook or even i'm. never arrested, nothing came of it, but the fact is we call it's threat so it's reported in my book. now, the biggest event is in 1835 as well and i think it's a few months before the booth incident because it occurred in january, on january 30th, 1835. so on my facebook page on assassinations, threats and the american presidency issue will be showing january 30th, a entry about this is the day, which is now 100 -- what it -- i guess 181 years later that we have andrew jackson -- 181 years earlier i should say -- that andrew jackson was threatened by
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asass nation. this is serious. we have richard lawrence, who is definitely mentally deranged. no question. and i want to make clear most of assassins have mental problems. most of them. he comps to two pistols, to capitol hill. jackson is at a funeral of a congressman. and he is walking out of the capitol building, right in the capitol building area with his cane, when richmond lawrence lunges at him, fires a pistol, misfired, amazing. in the middle of the winter. that may have ban factor. he then takes the other pistol and fires again, misfires. the odds of this are astronomical he would miss both times. what did jackson do and his reaction was tie tack his assailant with his cane. he kicks him down, whacks him over the head, until other people came along to help him out. in away he tend to subdue his own assassin.
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that's old hickory for you. been involved in gun duels and killed some people so why not attack his own attempt assassin. so lawrence went to a mental institution for the rest of his life. luckily he did not harm jackson but still it was something to worry about. it was not a good thing. but you got to realize, jackson engendered a lot of anger and a lot of people by his policies, by his temperment and all of that and that's the kind of thing that people who whatnot to kill a leader and become famous and lefts be honest, if you kill a leader, or even try to you're always remembered, you're infamous but never forth governmenten. and richard lawrence is still alive today because of me. and of his -- because obviously other people have written articles about jackson, who is richmond lawrence citizen nothing. but suddenly he is somebody, and although he was mentally ill i think he probably was very happy he had got summon notoriety. now -- gotten some notoriety. after this we have the next
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attempt and and more than an attempt, few attempts, on abraham lincoln, and in 1861, before the inauguration, lincoln on his way from springfield to washington, dc, ridgefield, illinois, had to go through baltimore, which is a very radical place, very confederate-like even before the civil war, and there's concern that he might be harmed. so he is whisked through by pinkerton agency detectives deto help him through, including a woman, kate warren, and the skinned through baltimore without stopping and red call when he arrives in d.c., he is a coward, doesn't want to stop and say hello to an audience at the station. well, because this was a baltimore plot, as it is known. that was believed to exist and there's evidence of it but nobody was ever arrested but the thought was, he is on his way to the inauguration, we don't want him facing assassination. so he is able to be inaugurated.
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but he is going to have death threats all the time in 1864, he rides to the old soldiers home in washington, dc, and he is away from the white house, a little cooler, in the hills, and he always just had a few soldiers with him. there was no secret service yet. the point is that he rides his s'mores wears his high hat on his head, and he has just a couple of soldiers and suddenly there's sniper fire, and his hat is shot off his head. my god. and he laughed it off. his wife did not. but was it accidental? probably not. could have been. some wonder, what is john whisk booth? could have been. we don't know. but he just chuckled about it. now he agreed to have more protection and use a stage coach when he went to the old soldiers home for the last seven or eight months of his presidency. now, he's inaugurated for the second term, wins the second term, and of course he is
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worried about it, he is not going to be able to within so he decides he's going to drop his vice president, because vice presidents didn't matter, just standby equipment, right? so the first of the so-called might have been presidents -- i have chapter 17 is my list and discussion of 15 might have been presidents. is hannibal hamlin, vice president hannibal hamlin. i mention this to students and they think you're make can that up. no i'm not making it up. it's a real person. actually would have made probably a pretty good president but he is dropped and andrew johnson is picked to replace him. and in order to gain democratic votes because johnson is not a republican like lincoln, he is a democrat. this is the mistake of trying to cross party lines and pick a vice-president of the other party. the same problem for william henry harrison when he picked john tyler who what not a whig. he was a democrat.
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and it's going to cause trouble for johnson when lincoln dies. the point is, only six weeks in office as vice president, andrew johnson. and lincoln is of course assassinated at ford's theater in washington, dc, and we know that john wilkes booth was involved and we know a few days before he was mumbling, pretty loud to some people, he was going to make sure the president did not live much longer. he was at an event at the white house, booth, and he had been plotting with nine other people at a boarding house, headed by mary stewart and involving the whole idea of killing not only the president but the new vice president, andrew johnson, and also the secretary of state next in line under the constitution, under the succession laws at the time, who was secretary of state william seward who later purchased alaska under andrew johnson. turns out lincoln's killed at ford theater.
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and in fact we want to move on. i'm forgetting to move on. this the scene about richard lawrence assaulting jackson. so, i get so involved i forget to move this. all right. and then there might have been -- he succeeded him anyway but not really a -- he became president anyway. but now lincoln. attack bid john wilkes booth. killed before trial and this is the escape of it. now -- the scene of it. now, the thing is that the vice president is not harmed. louis paul is supposed to kill him but gets drunk and chickens out. so johnson is saved. he goes on to become president, of course, overnight, april 14, april 15th. now, at the same time seward is attacked, he is in bed, recovering from surgery, and he is knifed by one of the other conspirators but survives, recovers, stays on as secretary of state all threw andrew
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johnson, eight years as secretary of state. one of the best, very important during the civil war, and gain, purchases alaska in 1867 from czarist russia. at that time andrew johnson would succeed, of course, and would be a tragic figure. judged by most scholars to be if not the worst president, one of the bottom few. usually whiff james buchanan and warren g. harding. i would say probably buchanan is worst, the president before lincoln. johnson, the president after, but you have to believe hannibal hamlin would have been better. here is the fact. get this. let's say andrew johnson had been killed. the succession law at the time were strength. we have had three succession law was if the president and vice president are not available, the president pro pro tem of the se, which is the longest serving
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member, no longer the case -- not that way back then -- but this is really obscure. i had to dig to find out who is this guy lafayette foster, senator from connecticut, johnson hand beside killed and lincoln was we would have a had president lafayette foster of connecticut, and having study emhim, he would have been better than andrew johnson i believe. if nor no other reason he was would northerner and johnson was from tennessee and he collaborated, johnson, with the south, against reconstruction. so, foster was the first real might have been but let's say he had to replace johnson, then hannibal hamlin would have been the president in case lincoln was killed in baltimore, or by the sniper shot or had been kept on. so hand enough ball hamlin would have been president and i think he probably would have been better as well as far as we can judge alarmed long career after being vice president. he was senator.
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he actually was pretty good and had a long career. now, anyway, so lincoln is killed. johnson comes in. and this is something that is the most fateful moment in american history. i was decide by brian lamb and others, which assassination has the most impact. i said definitely lynn him. people say, not jfk? no. of course it's terrible, but you got to realize, lincoln was succeeded by andrew johnson who is a full tragedy, really. well, jfk is succeed by lyndon johnson. you can argue on vietnam, although i'm not so sure kennedy would not have escalated in vietnam but as far as domestic policy, lbj accomplished everything jfk wanted and beyond so it was not like a horrible tragic thing in that sense but andrew johnson was, i think, and i still think lynch lynch's death is the mow -- lincoln's death is the most fateful of all. more sew than kennedy. the next event -- this is a tragedy in a adult way.
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james a. garfield. the 20th president of the united states. comes into office and after four months, he is shot and mortally wounded, we know that for sure. we thought he would recover but it's a tragic story. garfield was brilliant. garfield was brilliant. an intellectual. he could -- knew about eight languages. he could write in latin and greek with both hands, musician, college president. the guy is amazing. but that's probably intellectually between lincoln and teddy roosevelt. we lost him. so in a way, forgetting lincoln for a minute, you could say at least lincoln accomplished the end of the war. kennedy accomplished quite a bit and he rest was down by lbj but garfield never had much of a chance to do anything. and i think that makes it a human tragedy and this book that came out a few years ago about his torturous death, the
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mistakes, the constant mistakes by doctors, the fact that they were incompetent, they came to the station where he was killed, in washington, dc, riding horses -- this is 1881 -- and they don't wash their hand little don't know about germs or infections or bacteria, and he suffers for almost 80 days, 79 days, and finally dies in september 1881. it's really tragic, and what happens is charl -- the assassin had actually visit edgarfield at the white house, although he killed him at the baltimore potomac railroad station but visited him at the white house. he advil of visited secretary of state james blaine as well. what did he want? he pant it patronage. he wanted a job. that was part of the deal at the time. there was no civil service reform, so that was unfortunate the spoils, but the thing is was he qualified? he said i made speeches for you
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here, tell garfield. maybe before some audiences. but hi is not somebody significant. he made it clear when he visited in the white house he told garfield that i would just like one of the following jobs. either ambassador to france, or austria hungary, and garfield, uh-huh, uh-huh, very nice to him, and his eyes rolled after he left and the threw out his information and he never heard and he came to the conclusion, the only way game going to get a job i want is kill president garfield, make chester allen arthur the vice president, this is the scene there -- make arthur president. he'll owe toy me he is president and give me the ambassadorship. that tells you how nuts he is. this is in the book. i want to point out these. so, a longer to tourous death and that's been told. now, he will be held for murder, of course, and he will put on quite a scene at his trial. he will act like he is crazy,
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which i think he was. it was not successful. he was executed but he puts on a show. he danced around the courtroom like a ballerina, singing in a falsetto voice. imagine that? i'd thereof see it. be something to see. and i mean he comes across as really wacko, but still is executed and it's just a sad thing because garfield could have been an outstanding president. we don't know. it's like it was unfulfill what he could have been. so who becomes president? chester allen arthur. i want to just point out something that has nothing direct but arthur wants to be the nominee in '84. he won't be in 1884. he'll be the fourth president never elected. the only other one is gerald ford. now, the thing is beyond -- he didn't get to do it. it's lucky he wasn't elect fled 1884. why? he died in 1886.
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natural causes. but would have meant his vice president, not by assassination, but his vice president would have succeeded him. one of those of cases, what if. if he had lived and been elected on his own. arthur is all right. signs a civil service reform bill, he vetoes the chinese exclusion act, the chinese are skewed by a 2/3 override in both houses. unbelievable nativism against the chinese but a man of courage. i think he is seen as a lot boater than people used to think. now, so, the next one is mckinley. one thing about garfield, you might say, wait a minute, tow went to the white house, wasn't the secret service or somebody checked him out before he got into the building? no. the secret service was created in 1865. it was on lincoln's desk to sign, interestingly, when he was killed. johnson signed but it was not designed to protect the president or anybody else. it was designed to deal with
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counterfeit currency and would know be different until 1901. no secret service protection for the president until 1901. so you say, well, wait a minute, there's nobody at the white house to check anything? well, at the there or two officessers yes, that's a fact. two white house police officers outside the building. yeah. don't check who comes into the building? no. what are they there to? to keep people off the guardrails. this is the reality. keep them off the lawn. isn't that crazy? only after william mckinley is killed in 1901, three presidents and 36 years, 1865, 1881, 1901, finally, i guess we need to protect the president. and the secret service takes over. so mckinley is in his second term. he is won he spanish-american war. we gained puerto rico,
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philippines, guam, and the sphere of influence over cuba, also acquired hawai'i separately. talking about expansion and creating an empire, mckinley had done so, and mckinley is looking better in recent times. he is getting a better rap, guess you say, seen better as time goes on. he was not seen as that great all along but improving in his image, and presidents all improve -- ore maybe decline in their illinois. so, in any case, leon jar goes and -- is his assassin, an an an arist. a terrorist, against all government -- anarchist, against all government. it's not mckinley. it's the office. he wants to kill the president of the united states and escape -- shows you he is nut but a political fanatic. then he would travel across the ocean and kill king edward 7th 7th of england and get away, and then go and kill the pope in
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vatican city. which was in rome. imagine that. he seemed the toe think the could do all three. unfortunately he chose the president of the united states also the position of authority to be the first that he would indeed kill. and in buffalo, new york, and in buffalo, a big exhibit on this, we have the pan american exposition, world fair of the western hemisphere, and it's in buffalo, new york, and the thing is the press secretary to mckinley was worried about him appearing because there were already talk about done anarchists were threatening the president, and a terror threat as you'd say today and he went on with his plans and on september 6, 1901, in a receiving line, the president to agreement the public at the pan merge exposition and jargo is in the crowd and has a gun under a glove or under a wash cloth or
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something. he come thousands the president and shoots him in the ability, and the thought is well he is wounded. gosh, but he'll recover. but he doesn't. people donald realize this. there were in x-rays in 1881. the bullet was never removed from garfield. there were to x-rays in 1901, the bullet was not removed from mckinley. so it was not a good thing. so vice-president ther to roosevelt figures, well, he is getting better. i'm going to go hunting in the adirondack mountains by missiles. ...
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>> that would have been mind blowing but it was all one and same one transformational turning point. amazing when you really think about it. all right, the point is he goes to trial and does not testify at his trial. he's found guilty and very quickly, much more quickly than these. all right, now the thing is that
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-- this is the scene of what happened as well. all right. >> he's going to end up being executed. he now becomes president and he will transform the presidency and be the first vice president to succeed to the presidency and actually get elect today his own term. and then one of the other terms in coming back and running 1912 party nominees, the progressive party of 1912 which is my favorite election. all right, now, next. okay.
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now, the first was gareth. it wasn't teddy roosevelt. he wasn't even known yet. teddy roosevelt hadn't become a hero. his wife was very close. at the time vice president. for the time he actually was a significant figure and the indication was that mckinley would have kept him for the second term, but what happened? he dies of heard disease. he would have been president. nobody would even know who teddy roosevelt was actually.
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he dies in office and and tr becomes president. tr becomes president and he is there for seven and a half years and has his home in long island of the north shore of long island and goes back to his home and office as every president would, all right, and this was something, i am waiting for somebody to write, i use it, i'm not aware. i found assassination threat that i found in long island newspapers online that was never mentioned in any theodore roosevelt that i have ever seen. maybe i missed something, but i don't think so. we have a man 28 year's old, henry, a new name to remember, henry who comes one evening, of
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course, by horse and buggy, very few cars yet. at 8:00 o'clock at night and wants to see the president, there is a secret service since 1901 and this is september 1st, 1903, do you have an appointment. no, you can't see him, sorry. he leaves. he's back an hour later. he comes back at 11:00 o'clock at night, a third, and now the secret service agents think, there's something weird about this guy, i don't know why it took three times to figure it out. the second time should have been enough. they check him out and discover firearm. the theory is, it's only a theory, i will see the guy and they didn't check him out he might have killed or wounded teddy roosevelt. might have. it's still a threat. something to point out. the only one we know of while
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he's president and what would have happened. indeed, john hay would have become president, he's well known, secretary of state under mckinley and teddy roosevelt, he had been onto mckinley as well as and he was the private secretary to abraham lincoln in the white house, he was a civil war as a young man as john j and work massive work on lincoln. the thing is that hay lived in the white house while serving under lincoln. he wasn't important yet. he helped him and became secretary of state, the thought crossed my mind, if hillary clinton, she can say she's the second secretary of state who has listed in the white house because that's the case. john hay could have been the first. all right, now the fact is john hay would have been a good choice, he would have been fine if he had succeeded, but luckily
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it did not happen, now, the thing is he leaves office in 19091904 upon his victory, i will run not again, why did i say that, he was young. he left office at 50. he was the youngest president we've ever had, 42 years and 11 months, nine months younger than john f kennedy, which is the youngest elected. there was a split in the party between conservatives and progressives. decided although he didn't make it public for a long while, he's going to run, at 1912 he announces his hat in the ring and has a boxing ring in the back of his home and he takes off the hat and throws it into the ring and that's where we get
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hat in the ring about people running although nobody says that now. can you imagine donald trump hat in the ring. no i don't think so, he says enough silly things but i don't think he will say that. that become an idea and that would have been fun to watch. 50 pounds and could have lost some weight as well. that would have been something to watch if it had happened. aoh, my god, he join it had campaign against him. fatso. he actually did that. wow. he didn't say low-energy. [laughter] >> he didn't say that he didn't say you want to look at that face for four years or things like that but he did say fatso which is quite funny but rude though. he challenges for the republican nomination but being the president helps as was discovered later and didn't get
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anywhere. there was attempt to stop jimmy carter in 1980, couldn't succeed, gerald ford in '76, george h. bush in '92, the president has an edge in getting nominated but, of course, each time they challenge them in their party notice they lose the election. every single case, you know, hoover, carter, every one lost but got nomination. so now forms a progressive party and symbols of moose after his big-game safari in africa. but now, it becomes part of political history just like the elephant of the republicans and the donkey of the democrats, actually it's not a donkey, it's a type of a donkey known as an
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ass. political cartoonist in late 19th century portrays democrats as asses and donkey and republicans as elephants woodrow wilson is running and the fourth time he's running and he's dynamic. wow, election to the left, everybody is to the left even ted is not that conservative. he is more than the others, he has done progressive things that we have been able to show. he's not all conservative. all right, what election. cr does very well. he wins six states, all-time high for the third party. definitely old-time high, still he's not going to be able to win and that's why michael bloomberg cannot win if he runs on third-party line. he runs, he
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will elect the republican nominee probably donald trump, he would definitely hurt hillary clinton, so i think he has delusions if he thinks he's going to be able to do it, win electorate votes and states. but cr did well, but still only won six states, 88electoral votes. he is shot but the thing is, in his coat, excuse me? his jacket pocket he has a 50-page speech wrapped up, he's also has a glass case, it grazes him because of the glass case and 500-page, i'm going to the
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milwaukee auditorium and giving 80-minute speech. i'm bleeding because i'm going to show you i can finish my speech. everybody thinks he's crazy and he goes on and on and loves to talk, he's a real character, he always was, very colorful guy and then he goes to the hospital and luckily was not harmed badly. they did not remove the budly, they decided not to, he kept it in his body but he recovered about ten days went by and went to the campaign trail and opponents and ended up second. the only third-party that end up second, behind wilson who won overwhelming. but taft won two states and eight electorate votes. one of the states is vermont. if vermont goes, so goes the republican party. vermont is to liberal, they would never vote republican. you could be sure that vermont
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will win. everyone trump thinks he will win new england. i don't think so. it wasn't always, often republican but very different times. the fact is that -- you know, he only had six four years of life, he's crazy enough to go on an amazon river expedition in 1913-14 and he's close to 50, high 50's, he's not in good shape. he get malaria and also dies. he wants to be a boy and he does die only six years after this at age 60, now, partly because his health was declining but also youngest son was killed in world war i and was only 18 and couldn't get over it. he died after six months after his son was killed in a war in france, but what a life.
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he had so much he had established and one of the top-five presidents about the united states. there's still a lot of debate of things he said and did. question and analysis of issues, all right, but this was an attempt and she was shot and he said, he has life sentence and lives on i think 30 years more in total isolation. it's really sad, it really is sad. all right, now, at any case, did i go too far? yeah, i went too far. the next one is franklin d. roosevelt, a lot of people don't realize in miami, florida at bay front park, franklin d. roosevelt, president elect of the united states, on february 15th, 1933 is there at a democratic party gathering and it's a public event, people are there to be able to meet him and
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in the crowd wishing to kill him, guiseppi, this is the man, if you watch the c-span they show a brief interview with guiseppi, a lot of clips into the hour that i am with bryan, not just me but film clips and all that, anyway, he will -- he's a short little guy, he will aim at fdr, which, of course, is in a wheelchair, but, instead his hand is knocked and ends up shooting and shooting anton zurmack was being target bid the chicago mob t mafia, working against them. it's very possible that's the case. not clear but supposedly zangara said on interview, q&a that he want today kill the president
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because he's the president. not so much him. i don't think he was killing zurmack. he dies two years later and originally charged with assault and then charged with murder and has a quick murder trial, how quick, this is florida in 1933, found guilty, quick appeal and executed, get this five weeks after the shooting. three weeks after zurmack died, could you believe that? that quick he was killed. had fdr died, however, which he could have been we would have john gardner, former speaker of the house, vice president elect from texas who would have been become president, the think about he stands is the longest-lived vice president of the united states, he lived to 98 year's of age, 98 year's of age and to thing that also stands out in my memory, his birthday was november 22nd, he
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was 95 on the day kennedy was assassinated and that morning jfk made a phone call to former vice president gardner wishing him a happy birthday. little things like that stick out. gardner lives to 98. almost 100% no. and i put them up, i talk about him and make him as one of the few that would have been, oh, my god, it would have been a disaster, the whole history of america would have changed. after two terms when fdr runs two terms, he has henry wallace and harry truman and constant threat by the nazis and the soviet union, there's all kinds of threats but nothing actually transpires, there's belief that hitler wanted to kill all of the
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leaders in tehran but that didn't happen. he's always under threat and there were right-wing and left-wing groups that didn't like him. on the right we had lk smith, we had him attacking him, we also had charles who was supportive and told us roosevelt is really a jew, his name is rosenfelt, which of course is not the case and we have others like that and among those, you know, who are a threat to him or at least he thinks, but i'm not saying was long -- go back. seeks the president -- hasn't actually announced. he didn't announce that far ahead, he made it clear he was going to announce he was campaigning and writing books and doing radio show, he was seen as the possible threat not to his life to fdr's life but a possible threat to actually be a
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serious challenges to him in 1936 busiedenly it was all going to be over very quickly, very controversial on september 8th, 1935 in baton rouge t state capital of louisiana where they had been governor, although he was in the u.s. senate, he was shot and killed by supposedly shot and killed, medical doctor, dr. carl white. those who say, no, they don't think he actually did. they don't understand why he would have. he had an issue. opened up fire and 61 bullets,
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imagine the scene of that body after 61 bullets. he tried to defend the father and debate about it because there's never really had a real autopsy properly done and was argued it was medical malpractice and maybe a plot by people to kill him that he could have recovered from his wounds and all that. it's a big controversy, it still exists and still a cover-up, the king fish as he was was known, so he is the first presidential candidate to have a, you know, directly threat in a way that would lead to such a tragedy. all right. now, then we have truman. truman is actually an incident which is highly controversial because there's not much backing to it. you want to be truman, she wrote a study of her father and she argued that a terrorist group as she called it, gang, was in
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exist in world war ii and involved in killing british leaders and bring terror in pa lender sign before we had israel was plot to go kill president truman and 47 because he had -- it was felt he was unlikely to recognize a jewish homeland. it was thought that he would not be influenced as he was by his good friend jacobson who convinced israel was i think 11 minutes after declaring. gang was out to kill leaders and truman, letter bombs were sent to washington and, of course, never got to truman but it was still a possible threat to his life and says it was not backed up by a lot of evidence, it's really not a lot. the question is why would she do this, maybe she's antiisrael.
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she was, she's gone now. mrs. truman did not like jews, that we know that. i would think truman should have said, he's coming in. but he didn't fight the boss as he called his wife. but anyway t point is that's a little debatable but i do report it. i don't say it's fact 100%. i can't be sure t question is you want to believe the president's daughter. that's the issue. all right, now, we will see in a moment who would have been president if something has happened. very sad to look. george c. marshall was the secretary of state at the time. we are going to get to slide, 147 after the vice president t secretary of state and then the other cabinet members would follow in the line of succession and that would be changed in
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1947 which i think is a mistake, it should still be that way and i'll explain. before the succession had changed if truman had been assassinated, we know that marshall was a great world war ii general, we also know that marshall worked against the recognition of israel, lobbied truman not to recognize israel and truman did anyway and then marshall resigned of secretary of state in 48, although later he came back as sect ray of defense in 1950, i guess they made up, he was not for the recognition of israel marshall. so that could have affected history if he had come in. now the thing is though, what was the law was changed in '47. it is what it is now. the speaker of the house is first after the vice president. and the president protempt at the senate. then secretary of state.
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i studied this and i written on the progressive law, that's three out of four years since the speaker of the house and or, meaning one or both or the president proterm of the senate has been on the opposition party of the president, that is not good. if something was to happen to the president or vice president, there should be continuity. after vice president we have paul ryan. you know, from utah. the point is that's not good. it doesn't matter which way it is. that's the law. i think we should go back to the cabinet members directly linked to the president, but if it had been later in the year that this threat had worked out, the speaker was a republican, it was a republican, 80th congress, joseph martin, jr., would have been president and i don't think he would have made much of a president.
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he was a military man also. martin not particularly and i don't think of speakers of the house as being presidential material myself, although right now would like to be president, that'll be no. that's true, but generally i don't think of them as being that way. we have good speakers. i couldn't see him as a president. all right. now, we are going to have the threat against truman. he's living at blair house instead of the white house because of renovations and two puerto rican nationals want to kill the president and maybe his wife as well. they assault blair from outside, the reason, there's been revoke in puerto rico, puerto ricans nationalists i guess you can call it, puerto rico want independent nation and there's been a revoke in puerto rico which was suppressed by the u.s. military, something many people don't realize, just a few days
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earlier and i guess one of these people's sisters was killed in the military assault by the u.s. in puerto rico a few days before, november 1st, 1950 so they assaulted one of them is killed, the other one collazo is wounded and he will go to prison. truman is not affected. he's inside the blair house but he's looking out the window, he's in his underwear in blair house and the secret service say get back, get back. being in the window could be dangerous and here we have the only time ever a secret service agent killed in dealing with this three-minute assault of gunfire. it's sad and he's buried on international cemetery. let's say truman had been killed in 1950, vice president barkly and truman didn't have a vice
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president because he succeeded roosevelt. alvin barkly who had been senate majority leader. he would have been good. i want to point out that he was older, though. that's interesting. that's becoming a trend. the vice president has been older than the president. quite often the case. most of the time in fact. what's interesting barkley after truman decides not to run in '52, he tries but he's already in 70's, he's too old. it looks like it.
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we now know we died in 1956, interesting. just like it had been elected in 1884. these are things, thank goodness when you look at it. all right, now, anyways, this is success i was pointing out. all the changes. the present one is succession act of 1947. i think it's continuity and makes much more sense. the next one is john f kennedy. we know of the threats when he's president elect. in december 1960 and he's in palm beach, florida, a name richard paul who is the oldest
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assasin. he wants to hang around and the secret service, someone notices him but doesn't check him out, i don't know why and eventually he leaves, they saw this guy was hanging around and they track him down after the fact and they discovered the car with dynamite and planning to kill kennedy as president elect, and why, he didn't like catholics, don't forget catholic president that we have had so far, or that he just -- he didn't like rich people t kennedys were rich and supposedly what stopped him so he said, he went to prison for a number of years is he saw president elect kennedy with house wife and little john, jr. and caroline and if they might not have been with them, he would have died before he could
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be president. imagine, we could have had no president, we might never have had john f kennedy in theory. of course, lyndon johnson would have taken over if that happened. of course, the story of the kennedy assassination has been debated and debated and will be forever debated and, of course, people always asked me, what is your thought, my gut feeling however, i do not accept the cheers theory, richard have both, you know, have both written books like 1500 pages ripping apart every conspiracy theory imaginable, now, of course, you could argue, he didn't do a good job, i'm not an expert on it but i tend to believe the report. although, i don't understand the jack ruby part.
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that's really hard to understand but anyway, was anyone else involved it seems clear, but the tragedy of him being killed by jack means we will never really know the truth absolutely unfortunately. all right, here is a scene right before the shots are fired and this is in my book also. just seconds before, all right. what happens is mrs. conly is turning around and saying to the president, mr. president you can't say that people of dallas don't love you, and he says, you sure can't and then the bullets are fired. every time i hear it, you know, i just get chilled by it. it's unbelievable the strategy of it all. he left us at a time when people would say, if he had been around for the whole term, would he had been reelected. that's a big debate. i am not convinced he would have been because he was losing the south over civil rights that he was initiating and he couldn't have run without the south on
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lbj in 1960 and i don't know that he could have made up somewhere else. one-term presidents never look as good except for one james k. polk. every other one-term president has not looked good because they are defeated. polk didn't run in 1848. that's just the way it is. history is being killed makes us name look better, i hate to say it because i have had students who have said terrible things, i wish bush be assassinated. i say, no, don't ever wish violence on anyone. don't do that, think about it, if he was to be killed in office, they become a martyr. yeah, you're right. violences is never the answer, that is not the answer. that's why i worry and i pray
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for every one of our candidates this year that they will be say, no matter what they say or think of them, leave them alone. don't harm them. live with it. all right. now, anyway, so then we have, of course, lbj comes in. we know that. all right, now next robert kennedy, won the california, u.s. senator for three and a half years, actually two and a half years, i guess, not even three. had been attorney general under his brother. had decided to seek the presidency challenging lyndon johnson and johnson dropped out and we had vice president humphrey replace him. in california he did win the california primary. it looked as if he might be, not for sure, nominee of the party if he had live and one of my 15 might have been, i believe he
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would have been, i think he would have been president and would have defeated richard nixon because humphrey came close, he was killed with a palest inane christian immigrant, not muslim, point out that. i bet donald trump doesn't know that. [laughter] >> i bet he doesn't, he probably thinks it's a muslim because he's aab, awill be from middle b from the middle east. right after the speech he's accepting the -- you know, the victory. let me go back. what a name. he's still in prison. the only person who has try today kill a president or candidate who is still in
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prison, the ones he killed about, he killed george wallace and general ford, they all have been released. they all have been. reagan, assasin. then we have george c. wallace. i wrote a book without any political commentary, i reported things as they were. of course, he divided the country and i wrote an article on the history comparing donald trump and ross perot. a lot of the wallace ideas and it's not healthy and not good as far as people's anger and i do worry because he could be a victim of the attack.
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wallace was attacked and it's right on tv, you can see it. may 15th, 1972, this is four years after wallace wins five states and intellectual votes as the third-party candidate, the second-best performances of the party ever. in '72 he's trying for the the democratic nomination and he's going to win florida, he's going to win the state of florida which is regrettable and he's going to win some installation the fact that he is shot and paralyzed for life by arthur bremor, youngest potential sssassin, 21 year's old, he just wants attention. he read about others and i want to point this out, this is of interest, get this u he shot wallace and paralyzed him, he had 26 year's of suffering and pain, surgery every year to try
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to relieve the pain. being in a wheelchair but still serving in government again as governor of alabama. he ended up having four terms and one of the longest times in office than any governor, 16 years. his last term you had a republican opponent, he was a liberal. he changed his views on civil rights, i think his parasis -- paralysis changed his mind. he actually did reformed which i think was nice to see. all right. but the fact is while he was being shot and put into the wheelchair arthur had other people in his mind. let's say he would have shot and
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killed nixon, well, who would have been president. oh, my god. [laughter] >> this person i find it hard to be mutual. even wallace i can -- agnew ended up being forced out for corruption, we didn't know about it yet and there was no watergate yet. so, again, agnew, after nixon resignation, he might have been impeached himself unlike nixon, instead of nixon. so vice president for four years and it would have been -- he's one of the 15 and i'm going to make it clear, he's one of the short-lived, pleased, thank goodness we didn't have him, i would put john on that list for
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instance. even martin not as much, the speaker under truman. beyond that, okay. now we have gerald ford. we have an attempt on more indirect by a name samuel bike. he has a plot that's unique, he's never going to confront the president directly. he's not eyeball to eyeball. something covered up for a long time and a lot of it was not known until ten, 12 years ago when a movie came out, the assassination of richard nixon. staring sean penn, what do you mean assassination? it was covered up very well shortly in 2004 and 2005. and the history channel has an
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hour-documentary the plot to assassinate nixon and we learned more about it. it was covered for a long time. what did samuel want to do, he want today hijack a plane, try to in the baltimore airport, he actually shot and killed the pilot and i think wounded the co-pilot, then was shot and killed by airport police, he wanted them to do is fly the plane from baltimore to washington and attack the white house, hit it. now, nixon wasn't home that day so he would have been killed. but the thought that somebody using a plane to attack the white house in february '74, 9/11, 27 years early, that's mind blowing. what other way can you look at it? anybody attacking the white house so he is killed pretty much covered up, we don't know much about it. the argument is some people said
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to me what and lyndon johnson. nobody threatened him apparently not directly. even eisenhower. not that we know of publicly. there's probably hidden records but i was not able to get any information on. neither of them seem to have threats but nixon did but was covered for a long time. all right, so anyway, show us who would have been the president if that had happened. it would have been six months. okay, now, of course, he was picked by the house -- picked my nixon, not the first choice. he had other people on his list nixon that was under fire and had to take a replacement. he had john conly, treasure secretary on his list, please, don't do that, please, i do not like john conly who, of course,
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was shot when kennedy was shot. i didn't like john conly. he also had george h.w. bush, imagine that. he had ronald reagan on his list. all interesting and significant in the future. but he ended up picking ford because he figured nixon that por ford is the vice president nobody wants to become president, they will keep me in there. no. as long as it's a decent fellow and honest guy, ford would be fine. two in a month. two 17 days apart and both by women.
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here we have a follower of charles manson. she has a weapon on it but doesn't withdraw it but she has it so it's not as direct. is going to -- show both of them. she gets a life sentence in 2007, same thing with moor and here is the scene i have in the book of shot and ford looking stunned as the shot is fired and luckily does note hit him. look at how he's stunned there and some of his friends say, you look at what is that. all right, now this is the story
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of the century. who would have been his replacement. rockefeller. ronald reagan hated. what kind of? rockefeller. they would kick you out of the room. he was very liberal for a republican. he tried to be president three times, failed to but he had tried. all right, but he was picked to be vice president and controversy about it. lasted four months the debates because he was very wealthy and was not liked by conservative republicans and southern democrats, finally confirmed but not easily like ford had been to replace agnew and twice in 17 days he could have been president of the united states and probably caused some people to have a stroke and heart attack. oh, my god, president rockefeller and after this is over, when ford defeats reagan,
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reagan's people make it clear we will not back you in '76 after reagan loses nomination unless you agree that you will dump rockefeller. he picks bob dole and tells rockefeller you can't be on this ticket. after the election is over and years later, ford says, if i had kept rockefeller i might have beaten jimmy carter, he only lost in hawaii by four. i don't think he helped ford in '76. rockefeller would have been better. it would have been a good one, i think. reagan, of course, in '81, john hinkley. half a month he can go visit his mother who was 91 year's old now and has ankle bracelet and all that. i agree with nancy reagan, he should not be free, he's in a mental hospital. he's seriously wounded. he's not wearing a vest, you
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know, neither is the secret service agent who was shot and wounded, could have been very different if they had. of course, i think back a hundred years if this has been garfield he would have been gone. this is different times. john hinkley who comes from a well family but had mental illness and bush would have become president then if that had happened, of course, he became president anyway. all right, the think about hinkley he was a threat to someone else. many people don't realize, he was stalking president carter months earlier in the fall campaign of '80's, let's say he had killed carter because he was stalking him, another might have been, who says mondeo as new president would not have defeated ronald reagan so maybe ronald reagan would never have been president as a possibility. i do hear about carter and what
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would have happened. by the way, we just passed january 28th, 35 years since jimmy carter left presidency, all-time record, '91 and '88, whether you like them or not, wow, this is quite a story. 35 years on january 20th and they're still both with us. all right, and there's the review of my book and that is all i have to sayment i also cover it had recent presidents but i thank you very much for listening. [applause] and i welcome people to come up and ask questions. >> thank you very much, ron. if you're going to ask questions please come up to the microphone so we can be recorded for the cameras, okay. there you go. >> i have a question, you say you would like to see the succession go back to the members of the cabinet because you felt that -- or feel they would be the same party. >> sometimes they pick
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republicans. even if a republican picked for the democrats or vice versa you are loyal to the president while people of the other party could really be a problem so that's why i would say a cabinet member would be better by it's not going to happen, you know, changed under the republican 80th congress and not going to be changed. [inaudible] >> no, but you have to get a two-thirds vote to get it. that's impossible. it's not the way to go. thank you for the question. >> you mentioned there was five -- about five best presidents and you mentioned one, who were the other four? let me just get it in and i can sit down. was there any major threats against obama? >> okay, first is about the five
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top presidents, of course, people might disagree but c-span's rating of 209 and will have one in 2017, i guess, top five are in order abraham lincoln, republican, george washington federalist, franklin d. roosevelt, of course, democrat, teddy roosevelt republican and harry truman democrat. now, if i could change that i would make fdr second in washington third and truman fourth and cr fifth, still top five but i would switch tr and truman and fdr and washington. no debate about lincoln. even hillary clinton yesterday said the best president was lincoln even though he's not of her party. everybody accepts lincoln pretty much unless you were a southern confederate. the other question are there any major threats, yes, the most recent of omar gonzález u got into the white house in
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september 2014, we had two plots against obama, camp own of 2008 by young men in tennessee and in colorado t one in denver would have been shooter as he accepted nomination. as he's speaking. there's been tons of threats. the threats are in thousands over the years and it is in a way miraculous and his wife had had threats, not as many, of course, he's had lots of threats more than anybody ever than lincoln. i thank you for that question. any other questions? or comments anybody wants to make? or just come up, please. >> it is not related to exact topic, you mentioned trump over and over. it seems to me that you're
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pretty convinced that he's going to get the nomination, is this what i'm gathering? >> no, actually not. my blog i predicted marco rubio would be the nominee. my prediction, i'm not bragging but i am, in 2012i picked the electorate college, i'm not the only one but i did. this time i predict, i may be wrong, maybe i shouldn't put it on tape. [laughter] >> hillary clinton will be elected president, her running mate is not who you hear about. republican must win ohio, every single one of them has other than ford who wasn't elected and lost ohio to carter. i think what's going to happen rubio will be the nominee from florida, he will pick kasich of ohio who i think is the best person, actually, to be his running mate, florida and ohio too close of a state and my
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prediction is florida will go to republicans but ohio will do global market action overnight to democrats, how is that going to be with kasich, my prediction is, pick senator brown of ohio who is a really good liberal democrat. you have to take ohio, forget about julian castro, martin o'malley, forget about, you have to win ohio, and ohio is on the ticket either way, president or vice president pick cherry brown who is not well known, important to be running meat and the elected vote will be 303-205. every state that obama won except florida. there will be smaller margin. that's what i predict and we will see what happens.
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trump has shocked everybody. we will have to see. i actually think people will vote for him. we will see what happens next week and the next week after that. it would be funny if he didn't do well at all. a lot of people like to be around a reality star, doesn't mean they're going to vote for him. we will just have to see. i think rubio will be the nominee. anyone of the questions. just come up to the microphones. >> what do you think about the situation with hillary with the fact now that the fbi is practically ready to indict her? >> i'm not sure they are. that's a lot of propaganda, there's no proof of that if it happens however -- i don't think it's going to happen, a lot of it is opposition propaganda, then i think vice president joe biden will come back and run and, you know, i'm a joe biden
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fan and last week -- saying about joe biden. even a year ago i said, he should run for a third-term as vice president. can you do that? yes. february last year, somehow they got in touch and we want to talk to you about joe biden. all right. last week i spoke seven minutes and he made fun of it, you're a one-man campaign. i wonder if joe biden heard this. you know something, i like joe biden that much and whether he runs for anything, i think he should be secretary of state if not vice president if hillary wins or whatever. write him a letter, type the letter up and send him a book
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signed to his office and tell him about the interview and how much i admire and i want to give him the gift of my book and i will be curious on the reaction. i assume i will get a reaction. i just sent it off today. maybe they will blow it before. they are going to have to check out that it's safe, of course. if hillary faults, i think joe biden will have to enter. i do not think bernie sanders could win the election. he's a great guy but i don't think he can win. i think joe biden will come back in. that's my gut feeling. it's a lot of if's, after a month or two, boy, you ask me so i'm answering you. i thank you for the question and anybody else want to make a comment or ask a question, feel free to come up. yes, thank you. >> let's say hillary does not get the nomination and biden is out of the picture because of
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his family -- >> i don't think -- >> let's say it is, though. do you see any dark horse democratic candidate, a viable one? >> the only ones that i talked about was former candidate al gore or former candidate john kerry, gore has been out of office. i don't know. i would think it would be difficult at this point but that's pretty much it. there's no real bench of new people other than martin o'malley who is really a good person but has not taken off. i thought o'malley might be serious. he's a kennedy of 60's, carter of '76, you know, the clinton of '92 and the obama of '08 but it hasn't happened. he has not taken off. i don't think it's possible for him to seeing him as a candidate. he's a goodman.
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there are other people in the party, not seriously corey booker of new jersey could be thought of. amy of minnesota, these people would have to have a campaign apparatus, i think joe biden will be the best bet then to step in that i could think of really. it would be a problem, though, yes, but hopefully there is no real issue and i do think closely opposition propaganda. >> we are going to take one more question. >> one more question, thank you. >> with all of the republicans in the race right now and there was talk and there's still is about convention. i also believe rubio is going to get the nomination but i think it's going to come out because a brokered convention of three or
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four ballots, as old as i am, i remember back in '48 and '52 when eisenhower ran and stevenson ran. they were both brokered conventions in both parties. >> but we didn't have caucuses and primaries that decided delegates. there were no caucuses until ' '72. they had primaries but not many states had primary. it's very hard to imagine a broken convention, but i think that would damage the republican party if they have a split like that. who can say. anyway, thank you all very much. thank you very much. [applause] >> i appreciate it. >> do you want to watch this program again? visit to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author name or book
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