Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 16, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

4:00 pm
but work is a blessing and encouraging work makes a whole lot more sense for the future of this country than wage mandates that end up cutting jobs. fourth idea, allow every american to pay for their health care with pre-tax dollars. for policy reasons rooted in world war ii era, wage and price controls, we don't tax employer-provided health care. . .
4:01 pm
certain marriage tax penalties. yet, today, federal agencies maintain dozens, if not hundreds, of policies that penalize americans for getting married. for example, many federal benefits are immediately cut if a recipient gets married because their income is deemed to have gone up. as a result, many folks keep their benefits or delay getting married, or don't get married at all. frankly, this policy doesn't make any sense. one could argue that marriage is the best anti-poverty program ever invented by man. we should not be discouraging it. the centrist brookings institution says that if we had the marriage rate today that we
4:02 pm
had in the 1970's, that there would be a 25% drop in poverty. the details should matter, but we should make it our goal to eliminate every federal government marriage penalty. i recognize that these ideas will cost money. several of them may not be purest republican -- might not be purist republican doctrine either. but it is policy consistent with republican principles that will impact everyday americans in the real world, where they live. this speech has included many of the big ticket items that have to be dealt with -- balanced budgets, border security and immigration reform, health care, trade, financial service reform. each is critical to our nations future. but, if we are to establish
4:03 pm
trust with the american people and continue earning the right to lead this country on the big issues, we must start by offering ideas that reach everyday americans at the kitchen table. that is what we will be working on in the republican policy committee. now, one last thought before we get to questions. a vision for america's future. when i speak to students, i often ask them if they have ever seen someone at a pinnacle moment in their life, they have oscar, olympic medal, and they go to the microphone and say something like, "i never dreamed this was possible." young people typically not and i say, let me give you a secret. it are that person is it exceedingly lucky, exceedingly gracious, or they are not
4:04 pm
telling the truth. the reality is that dreams are limiter, on what you can achieve. i believe the same is true for a society. if america is going to maintain its position in the world and succeed in the long run, we have to dream bigger dreams for this country. i understand the pessimism. , aparaphrase harry truman recession is when your neighbor loses their job, and a depression is when you lose yours. we have to keep perspective. this is not the most challenging time in our nation's history. we have survived 2 world wars, a great depression, a cold war, a civil war, and a revolutionary war, each with bleak moments where our country lay in peril. generation after generation,
4:05 pm
americans came together to meet those challenges and leave our nation better than we found it. we can do it again. there are some young people in but there are others that i know will remember 1979. double-digit inflation, double-digit employment, double-digit inflation rates, polyester suits, a lot of reasons to be pessimistic. russia was running over afghanistan, iran had our hostages, japan was the leading economic power. 1979, it seemed impossible later,st a decade-plus the berlin wall would come down, the soviet union would collapse, and we will be in the midst of a 25 year economic boom never seen the history of mankind. -- never seen in the history of mankind.
4:06 pm
with leadership, that happened. americans picked their leaders. they will do it again. in many ways, we have come full circle. america's middle class now has a new economic malaise. hostages,tly took russia is asserting itself in the middle east, china is the world economic superpower, and the war on terror is this generation's war. with all these challenges, we stand on the cusp of never before seen opportunity. in 1979, it would have seemed impossible that the wall would fall and we would be in the midst of an economic boom. today, it seems just as impossible that washington will somehow get its act together and right the ship for the american people. happen,dership, it can and i would submit to you, it
4:07 pm
has to. that leaves us with the biggest governing question of 2016 -- who will america pick to lead us into this next great generational challenge? for now, the question remains unanswered. ,ut, unlike some of the pundits i trust the american people, their collective wisdom has served as well so far. thank you very much, appreciate the opportunity. >> we will moderate the questions. great speech and great explanation of the philosophies you have. that could well be the majority republican philosophy, so thank you for that. i haven't heard acknowledgment of the fact that we have so many other challenges in our history
4:08 pm
that are greater than the ones that we claim of the greatest ones now. i was a very candid statement we talked about world wars, civil war, the revolutionary war, to show the perspective of what we are doing now. so, i am glad that that is part of the framework that you work from. i would like to open the questions with a question that my wife asked me. you mentioned it a bit when you talked about the republican policy committee. what does the republican policy chair do, and how do you formulate these policies? do you have meetings with your committee? what is the nitty-gritty of how you determine these policies you have just come up with? rep. messer: the republican policy committee is designed to be the engine of ideas for our conference.
4:09 pm
many of the ideas do not fit neatly into one committee or another, so we work to coordinate those efforts as well. if you are a member of the house elected leadership, and i think, in this era where paul ryan has said we have to be a party of proposition, not just opposition, it gives us a real opportunity to go out and try to define the ideas that the republican party is for, the republican caucuses for, that -- is for,blican caucus that touches the lives of the american people. i think the average american looks out at washington and we sound like the adults on charlie brown, like, "waa, waa, waa." that is not touching or reaching anybody. frankly, if you ask me my opinion of the president and his policies, -- and his part of his success is that people understand that they had challenges in health care and that their wages are frozen.
4:10 pm
unfortunately, i think the ideas aren't going to solve those problems. >> one more and we will turn it .ver to question with america college completions having fallen to 15th in the world, and with that as such a huge issue for millennial's. i didn't hear you talk in terms of what could be done about college cost and what congress could do about college costs, which is the basis of reduced college completions. rep. messer: i spent a lot of time when i was a state legislature on high school completion. we have pulled together in indiana have can -- have contributed. over the past few years, high school graduation rates have from 70% as a state, basically the national average,
4:11 pm
to almost 90%. we have to rethink what we are doing with our federal higher education programs. they were designed over a few decades based on the premise of access. if we build it, they would come. was thatgo, the truth access to college made you economically better off. if you had some college, you would have better wages in your life. today, if you don't leave college with a skill that adds value in the marketplace, your wages won't be any better off. some college does not raise your earnings. we have to drive folks toward college completion. i am actually conducting a aries of hearings with millennial member of congress from new york. our next one will focus -- i -- we will in april
4:12 pm
have a hearing that focuses on college completion. we have to at least keep track of all the billions of dollars being spent on health grants and the way those are driving and college. i think we have to examine whether we have the appropriate throttle on the number of credit hours, because some of those efforts might be able to help us get closer to college completion. schoolif you leave without a diploma and tens of thousands of dollars in debt, you will worse off, not better off. >> identify yourself by name and organization. johnson, iis corey am from bloomberg news, i have two questions. the first is about the rights act. is it aimed at a specific federal agency, does it have to icc, or another
4:13 pm
agency in particular? >> it should be released in the coming weeks. i think it is all rooted in the fact that we have to rethink the approach we are taking with the federal government. you are 10 times to be dragged into a federal agency proceeding. districties back in my where people have been dragged through processes that can take years, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and basically bankrupt folks. i understand that can be dollars associated with the cost, but you ought to have certain rights if you are in a government proceeding. the right to discovery, the right to not have to self incriminate, and maybe the right to a lawyer. >> i was going to ask about todd young and his senate race. any word on that or that process
4:14 pm
or how that is going? rep. messer: two of my colleagues in the house are running for senate. what you're referencing is that there are some questions around -- questions surrounding the signatures. i am not an election lawyer, so i don't know the full implications there. both are my friends and colleagues and i hope both of them are able to qualify for the ballot and have an opportunity to have a contest through the primary. i have not taken sides in that senate race, but i will be supporting whoever is our nominee as they work to maintain a majority in the fall. >> congratulations on passage of the essa. my question relates to education. i the father of three sons here in the district of columbia.
4:15 pm
we have quite a bit of school choice, a quite robust charter school system. one of my sons goes to a public school that is adjacent to george washington university, and shares a lot of space and programs with them, takes advantage of the city. residents of d.c. are largely opposed to vouchers. a big party of -- a big part of was less federal control, more control back in the districts and states. isn't this a double standard to impose a voucher system on the district of columbia? should we have the same tenant rights and local control that others in education have around the country? rep. messer: i will tell you that every poll i have seen shows the support for vouchers continuing to increase. 75% of the african-american community, 75% of the latino millennial's% of
4:16 pm
all support school choice options. what i believe is that there should be a combination of the legislation -- the legislation i offered with essentially allow these local communities, local states to decide how those dollars could be spent and empower parents in the process. i attended a charter school last year, an amazing group of young people that were attending. when it came time to ask questions to the congressman, they asked some tough questions. the number one question was this -- why can't every kid have this opportunity we have to go to this great school? my premise is this. if you want to figure out the best opportunity for a child, ask their parent, and power the parent, let the parent -- empower their parent, let their parents decide where they go.
4:17 pm
there are 30,000 families now on vouchers, 200,000 hoosier families now engaged in some sort of alternative school option. and yet, our public schools are thriving, too. but we have to move away from his false choice. -- away from is some sort of false choice. i think we give students the opportunity and let their parents decide. >> we would like to call on you from the in the apple us -- and the indianapolis star. >> i wanted to ask about what might get done. we are hearing in your own caucus that there is a dispute whether to stick with the budget numbers we agree upon or to cut more. i want to ask where you see that going, just the basic requirements of passing the budget. within your caucus, is there going to be agreement on that? the larger picture, this agenda you laid out, do you see
4:18 pm
anything happening this year on any of those things, or do you think it is more of the party coming together, sort of putting together their contract with america kind of party statement. is it going to be to do that if your nominee is somewhat like trump? there is at least three questions, so let's try to take them one at a time. the first is, will we pass a budget? we will pass a budget. there are still some debate about what that number will be, but we will become -- and we will come together, we always have. we will move through the approach nations -- move through the appropriations process. the question is where we'll go from there, and i think that is yet undefined. the second, will try to get as much through the house chamber as we can.
4:19 pm
they set up the process to make it a cumbersome one, and it is hard to pass laws when you have a president from the other party that differs from you on a lot of these issues. that some of these items will make it through at least the house chamber. some of them may just be offered short of that. it is important to example that -- important to remember that, for example, paul ryan's first budget draft had 8 cosponsors in 2008. yet today, -- by the time the budget was released, people said it was a campaign document, and we have been governed by essentially that budget for the past five years. he didn't just draft a budget, but he went out over time and made the argument.
4:20 pm
i think it is the same approach we have to take some of these other big-ticket items. i suspect the answer of that is a little bit of both. question, which is, is that complicated by the presidential election, yes it is complicated by the presidential election. but i don't know what better way to figure it out then the approach that we have, which is to put it in the hands of the american people and let them decide who is best to lead us. as i mentioned in my remarks, the american people are tired of the status quo. they are -- they don't like the product they are receiving from their leaders in washington, and they are going to speak louder and louder until people here start to listen to them. this is a process that is still early, and i suspect that, in the end, we will have a nominee that makes sense.
4:21 pm
heardi wrong that we have that the earned income tax credit proposals, and maybe even the marriage penalties reduction , those would have great bipartisan support? i have heard that the urgency of -- that the earned income tax credit expansions you talked about could be something worked on and supported by both sides. am i wrong about that? rep. messer: i think the unfortunate game of washington is to stick to ideas where there is no bipartisan agreement. to agree to get closer to single subject matter bills where you are able to move them. i also believe that hope springs internal and are still opportunities to tackle the kinds of reforms that are needed in social security and medicare. that is going to require presidential leadership and compromise.
4:22 pm
folks would have said six months ago that passing an education bill was impossible, so who knows what we will be able to get done this year. >> on social security and medicare, that is a tough one. i don't know where that takes you, given that it was pepper and oatmeal and reagan that -- reagan that kept it solid to the 20 50's. -- kept insolvent through the 2050's. rep. messer: if you say it is theent, you have to rely on accounting of the trust fund. they are negative. the only way they will continue to be solvent is we take the money we borrowed from ourselves and pay for them. it is going to require presidential leadership and
4:23 pm
folks that are willing to reach across the aisle. i think the american people are way ahead of us. i have done hundreds of events in the last several years. i have not been in one room where folks in the room believe that our social security and medical programs are in perfect shape and need to be changed. i just say very simply, how many of you would give up $10 a month if it knew that it meant that your kids and grandkids would be able to have social security and medicare. i would say, how many of you trust that if you gave up $10 to the federal government, that they would spend that money that way? they would all raise their hands. whenever the right answer is, it is not the challenge of the american people, it is frankly a challenge of leaders who are willing to spend the time and energy it takes to persuade the american people about what needs to happen.
4:24 pm
>> over here on the right with the computer. we have been hearing a lot, you talk about mitch mcconnell and others want to push it off to after the presidential election. you talked about how your policy proposals would be impacted by the presidential election. do you think that kind of logic would hold to something like domestic policy, that maybe it would be better to wait until -- you talked about, in some ways, .he election or the referendum rep. messer: i think passing policy is really complicated, and it is virtually impossible when you haven't taken the time to persuade the american people. that is why i agree with speaker ryan that we need to put forward bold, clear policies now.
4:25 pm
two very different visions of where a gun at the country. that, we are we do in the right to make those policies a reality. i learned this in indiana with mitch daniels. year after year, we would put forward more proposals. year after year, the hand ringers would say, we can't be that bold and win elections. we win elections and we move policy forward for our state, and i am absolutely convinced we can do that here, too. the sooner the better, we have to make the argument. you would hopefully want to get some of this done before the election? i think we have a big philosophical difference with this president.
4:26 pm
many things we have put forward are not proposals that will become law under this president. but i don't think that as an excuse to not putting forward the proposals. is that makes sense? -- does that make sense? onasking this question behalf of politics indiana. senateack to the indiana race, when you think about marlin stutzman joining the challenge with the democrats and the balance controversy? do you think he -- and the ballot controversy? rep. messer: are you saying he has formally joined the complaint? -- or hethat, toi filed that too? rep. messer: again, i'm not in election lawyer. they are both my friends and
4:27 pm
colleagues. i hope they are able to both qualify for the ballot. i think it is of course important that one complies with indiana election law. there will be others who had better understand the details of what the right decision is. suspect -- the subject of what we were talking about. >> in the back. >> my question is, we have the primary, we seem to have protested voices drowning out --ryone else, how do you there are a lot of reforms in congress but those seem to be drowned out. how will you be doing that? paul ryan has a lot of stuff on his plate and none of that seems to be getting out.
4:28 pm
>> etiquette is mostly our fault. ido get is out --rep. messer: think it is mostly our fault. it is our job to make the case to the american people. the focus over the next several months will be on who our next leader should be. almost by definition we will do our work here and it will be a challenge to have that breakthrough when all the noises surrounding the primary. i do believe that the competitive primary makes it more important that we put forward a primary agenda now. what tends to happen in primaries, every primary i have ever seen, the focus of the debate tends to be on the personality and all kinds of things that don't have very much to do with policy. we see, at the house republican weigh the, to convention that can then be
4:29 pm
adopted by the presidential nominee. i think it is certainly possible that that nominee is not selected until a convention. i'm sure the tv stations will be glad to see that, because viewership would, i think, be up significantly if that was the case. i trust the american people to figure it out. whoever our nominee is, we will and putether in july together an agenda that will help us win the fall election. >> do really think that, with some winner take all states after march 15, that if someone gathers a rising storm and comes in with 40%, that person wouldn't be the nominee? rep. messer: there are two different assumptions you said there, i think. 50%is, will someone get to because of the winner take all states that come in later? that,bsolutely convinced
4:30 pm
if someone gets to 50%, they will be the nominee of our party. , and it is hard to sit here in a world of conjecture, i think it is also -- of conjecture, if someone is close to that, it will be very likely. i think it is also likely that no one is close at all, and if that is the case, i think the convention will be more interesting this year than most years. >> two spending questions related to indiana. attorney general zeller was just out here and he said indiana ateld use funding on the opi epidemic, funding for treatment, because they are going to be overwhelmed for treatment if the funding is not there. the president has proposed increases in funding for the
4:31 pm
epidemic, but there has not necessarily been money moving to the senate. the question is whether you see congress passing funding to states to deal with that issue? the president has also proposed letting states who didn't propose met -- didn't expand medicare right away to get the full three years of funding. an extrana, that means year. that means increasing expansion for states who didn't get it in the first year. rep. messer: i guess my answer to both would be the details matter, but conceptually, i am open to both. opiatein the midst of an epidemic in indiana, but it is an epidemic across the country. district,ty, in my also had an aids outbreak connected to the transfer related to drug use.
4:32 pm
it is crippling for these germany's -- for these communities. i agree with attorney general zeller that we will have to figure out a comprehensive way to attack that as a nation, and that will have to include money. on the medicaid expansion, indiana has had some obvious successes there. again, the details matter, but i am certainly open to considering. president's plan is what, $1 billion for opiates? $1 billion here, $1 billion there, presume you have real money. the details matter, but i am open to compromise. >> back left. rep. messer: he has been very patient. >> zach with politico. you mentioned briefly financial services reform. i know you have had success recently moving those through.
4:33 pm
mention what other regulatory policies you would expect house republicans to move this year, and how is that discussion impacted by this lingering anger toward banks and wall street that is coming up during the presidential election? rep. messer: a lot in that question. i would say, at the financial , i look committee forward to putting forward bold proposals that make clear what the position is on the issues. we will get all the way to looking at. frank repeal and replace legislation that shows -- allion -- that shows the way to looking at dodd frank repeal and replace legislation that shows our vision. has someble to changes in regulations to change the way that municipal bonds are
4:34 pm
treated under be this -- invisible bonds are treated under regulatory standards. and, there was bipartisan consensus there. right, theolutely american people are furious. if there is anybody they may be madder at than washington, it would be wall street. the climate here is one of being tougher on wall street frankly, not being easier. think one of the challenges we have in the house republican caucus is we have to help the average consumer understand how this large regulatory of this is making their life tougher. for example, one of the fallouts of dodd frank is that free checking has essentially disappeared in our country. to help people understand some of the real world consequences of this regulatory albatross, you are able to help them see
4:35 pm
how to change it. >> time flies when we are having fun. let's say one or two more questions from some people who have not asked first. mark, why do we let you have the last question that -- why don't we let you have the last question? >> i am wearing my other hat with investment news. bill, you saidt it doesn't target a specific agency, but to what extent is it inspired by the investment advisers who have filed lawsuits administrative law judge process. rep. messer: it would be inspired by them, inspired by farmers who have had to deal with the epa, manufacturers who have dealt with the department of labor, folks who are dealt with the irs. the reality is, you get out there in the middle of america
4:36 pm
and people fear the federal government. they are worried about what happens when they show up at your doorstep, and frankly, they don't think they are treated very fairly. when you look at the rules and procedures surrounding -- iistrative proceedings think, our federal government has grown in a way that, even decades ago, would have seemed unimaginable. i think we have to respond to that with some simple solutions like the rights act. >> let me ask the last one, which is something we talked about that before you came in, infrastructure and jobs. , says that with the major and for stricter jobs program, for example the one the president proposed, there would and a million more jobs
4:37 pm
full percentage point less unemployment. since this is such a criticism now, what will the congress do, and when will we reach a point but we get what europe has -- my wife and i were on 200 mile per hour trains a few months ago, but more than that, 50% of the bridges were dangerous in america. what will we do about that? rep. messer: we were able to pass a transportation bill last year, that was an important start. building our infrastructure, keeping our that the structure what i learned in indiana is that the answer is to be bold. the toll road and we were able to fund infrastructure in our state for 10 years. we are now in the midst of a
4:38 pm
debate for what are going to do at a state level. i think those kind of answers are what we have to look for out here. some of that is going to cost money and it is going to take real leadership. i do think there is real opportunity for bipartisan compromise, but it will take leadership that explains to the american people that the true depth and breath -- depth and challenge and puts forward a proposal to fix it. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, we are now adjourned.
4:39 pm
[indiscernible] th >> we are waiting to take you
4:40 pm
4:41 pm
live to rancho mirage, california. a newswaiting for conference with president obama where he will speak with reporters, his first chance to answer questions from reporters
4:42 pm
since the death of justice antonin scalia last saturday. the president there speaking with leaders of the southeast asian nations, talking about security issues, and they are also going to talk about staying engaged in the region where a rising china has rattled american allies. that is how the associated press calls it. we are waiting for the president to come out and speak with reporters. until he does, we will show you a portion of today's washington journal. you for your time, this morning. guest: thank you. host: tell us about what you do on a day-to-day basis. who do you cover and how often are you out on the trail? guest: i cover the republican presidential candidates and i have been doing so for a little over a year. i am on the trail sporadically. when there is debates, primaries, big events, i will go out and cover them. i'm also working here from the newsroom, making calls and so on
4:43 pm
and so forth. host: a recent piece you did talk to the limit about the soul-searching that was going on in the publican party. -- in the republican party. can you give your thoughts on what you found out about this story? guest: that was a piece that came after the new hampshire primary. -- what is explored is this ongoing level of concern within the establishment of the republican party about the failure to stop insurgent donald trump and ted cruz, both of whom are in the lead and you have not been able to see an establishment candidate emerge to contest either one of them. not been able to unify and rally around you need -- any of them. bush and johneb kasich are still dividing up support and that makes it easier for donald trump and ted cruz. host: why do you think that no establishment conservative has
4:44 pm
risen up to a point of being a direct challenger? guest: do a certain extent, you are dealing with a publican party that remains very divided -- with a republican party that remains very divided. you have a large part of the party that remains with jeb bush. of bush has taken advantage his last name, he has a broad network of people that are donors and supporters who he can count on for contributions. another part of the party wants a new where, someone like marco rubio. then you have john kasich out there rallying support on his own. you haven't seen the establishment wing of the party find one person to rally around. brought up jeb bush, how significant is it that george w. bush appeared last night to endorse his brother? guest: this was an interesting move for a couple of different reasons, but mostly because jeb bush has been collected to
4:45 pm
embrace his last name -- has been reluctant to embrace his last name. he had not been using -- if you ,ook at his banners, it is jeb! he does not use his last name. that was part of his desire to show that he was an independent figure and part of his realization that people in the party are willing to keep by the bush family name, they're looking for something new. you now see him in the final days for the south carolina primary, he is hugging onto his brother and holding onto his mother for dear life and there has been a shift. in part, this may have to do with the fact that he has struggled in this campaign. he did not perform well in iowa, he did a little bit better in new hampshire, but is still not where he wants to be if he wants to be on the trajectory to win this nomination. saturday is a critical state for
4:46 pm
jeb bush to win or to perform well and if he wants to continue with this nomination. host: our guest joining us until 10:00. -- republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. holds a press conference yesterday, targeting ted cruz. why do you think this press conference is happening and does this suggest anything about the conditions of the trunk -- trump campaign in south carolina? ,uest: if you look at the polls donald trump is pretty far ahead in this race. he is in the mid 30's, ted cruz and marco rubio both in the midteens. there was some hope on the part
4:47 pm
of his rivals the following saturday nights while debate that he would fade a little bit -- wild debate that he would fade a little bit. we have not seen that yet. as it relates to his decision to hold this press conference, he is a master at the media. he understands how it works and --understood that jeb bush george w. bush's visit to south carolina would dominate the media storyline. he knew that yesterday was a holiday weekend and he knew that by inserting himself talking about george w. bush, even a controversial ways, he would find himself injecting into every single story that was written. host: first caller, john from new jersey, independent. caller: good morning.
4:48 pm
please give me some time to explain myself. i want to know why the news , the samelow ratings as the congress and the senate. i wonder if anyone can explain that to me and is it because of the fact that the news media no longer does a lot of investigation work, but just reports the news and they don't get things right like they did with watergate and other situations. when the lady was asking about george soros, when ms. roberts was on, you did not hold ms. roberts to explaining who george soros was. that question was never answered and i see that going on a lot on this grim. i respect -- this program. i respect this program but i
4:49 pm
think you should hold the people you bring on -- i think you should hold their feet to the fire and make sure everything is correct. have a good day. host: we will let our guest response your initial question. guest: i think there has been a lot of good investigative work going on in this campaign. you have a lot of news outlets covering the presidential race. there is tremendous interest. this bounces between a number of different interests -- issues as it relates to hillary clinton or marco rubio. people are trying to wrap their arms around how you cover donald trump. donald trump is in the subject of books, documentaries, people are starting to go a little further into his background, but you are seeing some of the most robust coverage of this president to race of any race in
4:50 pm
decades -- presidential race of any race in decades. host: democrat line, hello. caller: i was wondering if this gentleman could explain what the dnc did in new hampshire to bernie sanders with the assignment of delegates, for i have heard some numbers that are beyond belief. hillary got 95% of the delegates or something like that. could you explain those numbers? maybe why the dnc did that. guest: the democratic delegate system works in terms of how delegates are awarded -- it is somewhat different than the way the republican system works. from the big picture, hillary clinton has some real problems
4:51 pm
she will have to deal with. she lost big-time in new hampshire. moving on to south carolina, nevada, she knows there is pressure to demonstrate strength. you have all of these conversations about strength -- delegates, but she is under serious to rest and if you look at her campaign, it is one that knows the stakes are high heading into south carolina and nevada. host: talk of little bit about the death of justice scalia -- talk a little bit about the death of justice scalia. is this going to be a dominant issue for campaign 2016? guest: it is going to be a big issue. how this plays out in the republican primary is somewhat of a question mark at this point. there is widespread agreement among republican candidates on this issue.
4:52 pm
there is a belief that president anyonehould not nominate to fill the seat on the bench. there is not really a point of being able to distinguish from one another in this way. it is going to matter a lot and you will see a lot of this playing out in. that it raises. >> we're going to take you live to california. president obama starting his remarks. people that work together to advance mutual security, prosperity, and dignity. for decades, the united states has been a proud partner with asean. is built on the unprecedented cooperation we have built over the last seven years. this spirit of working together on behalf of mutual interests
4:53 pm
and mutual respect guided our .ork over the past two days i want to thank my fellow leaders from the asean countries for being here, for their commitment, and for the progress we have made together. one of my main messages over the past two days has been the commitment from the united states to asean and its people. that commitment will remain strong and enduring. with our strategic partnership, we will remain tied for decades to come. asean will continue to be central, in fact indispensable, for peace, prosperity, and progress in the asia-pacific. when asean speaks with a clear, unified voice, it can help advance opportunity in human dignity, not only for the 600 million people across asean, but for the people across the asia-pacific and the world.
4:54 pm
i am pleased that here at this strong voice's allowed us to make progress on multiple fronts. first, we agreed to more together to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation at the heart of modern economies. we had a discussion with a number of business leaders, who reiterated trade and investment, rule of law, transparency, protection of intellectual property, efficient customs, modern infrastructure, e-commerce and the flow of information, support for small and medium-sized businesses, and, perhaps more importantly, investments in people. toestments in strong schools help educate the next generation. there was agreement that this is the path asean need to continue on. if they do, it will create even more opportunities for trade and investment between the u.s. and asean countries.
4:55 pm
i affirmed by strong support for the asean community. i am also announcing a new connects,, u.s.-asean a network of hubs across the region to increase engagement and connect more of our entrepreneurs and businesses with each other. we're also doing more to help aspiring innovators in the region learn english, the international language of business. i reiterated that the transpacific partnership, which canudes four asean members, set stronger rules for trade throughout the asia-pacific. to that end, we have launched a new effort to help all asean countries understand the key effort of tpp and understand what can lead to them joining.
4:56 pm
second, with regards to security, the united states and asean are reforming our strong commitment to a regional order, where international rules and norms, and the rights of all nations, large or small, are upheld. we discussed tangible steps in the south china sea to reduce tensions, including a halt to new construction and militarization in disputed areas. freedom of navigation must be upheld and lawful commerce must not be impeded. i reiterated that the united states will continue to fly, sale, and operate wherever international law allows and we will continue to support other countries to do the same. partnersork with our to strengthen their maritime capabilities and we discussed how any disputes in the region must be resolved peacefully through legal means, such as the upcoming arbitration ruling under the u.n. convention, in which the -- one convention,
4:57 pm
which the parties are obligated to respect and abide by. third, i made it clear that the united states will continue to work with those across southeast asia continue to work for rule of law, accountable institutions, and human rights of all people. we continue to encourage a return to civilian rule in thailand. we will sustain our engagement with the people of myanmar as a new president is elected and they were to implement the cease-fire agreement and move forward with national reconciliation. we'll will continue to stand with citizens in civil society and support there's -- support their freedom of speech, assembly, and the press. detained simply for speaking their mind. progress andes makes it harder for countries to truly thrive and prosper. finally, the united states and asean are doing more to deal
4:58 pm
with transnational threats together. better leverage interval data to prevent the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. working tohat implement the paris climate change agreement will be critical, and it will enable them to meet the head to new and toordable -- two lead ahead new and affordable clean energy. we are announcing a new competition, and innovation challenge, to encourage students across asean to develop new ideas to boost agriculture. we're working to fight future pandemics, and u.s. assistance will help asean combat the horror of human trafficking. i think the summit has put the u.s.-asean partnership on a new trajectory that will lead us to new heights in the decades ahead.
4:59 pm
the pacific, as well as southeast asia, will continue to be a priority of my presidency. i look forward to visiting vietnam for the first time in may, and look forward to being the first u.s. president to thet laos when it hosts summit in september. i am confident that whoever the united states -- whoever the next president will be, they will continue engagement with the asia-pacific region. through our young southeast asian leaders initiative, our ,nvestment in young people civil society, and grassroots leaders across the region, i believe, will further bind us in partnership and friendship for years to come. with that, let me take a few questions. i will start with darlene of the associated press. >> my question is about the supreme court.
5:00 pm
what recourse do you have it leader mcconnell blocks a vote on your supreme court nominee? do you think that if you choose someone moderate enough, that thank you.s president obama: first of all, i want to reiterate heartfelt condolences to scalia's family. obviously, justice scalia and i had different political and probably would have disagreed on the outcome of certain cases, but there is no doubt that he was a giant on the supreme court. he helps to shape the legal landscape. a good by all accounts, friend and love his family deeply.
5:01 pm
important, before we rush into the politics of this, to take stock of someone who made enormous contributions to the united states, and we are grateful not only for his service for for his family's service. the constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now. when there is a vacancy on the supreme court, the president of the united states nominates someone. the senate is to consider that nomination. either they disapprove of that nominee or that nominee is validated to the supreme court. historically, this has not been viewed as a question. law thato unwritten
5:02 pm
says it can only be done on off years. that is not in the constitutional text. i'm amused when i hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there. there's more than enough time for the senate to consider, in a thoughtful way, the record of a nominee that i present, and to make a decision. process, we to our will do the same thing we did with respect to justice kagan's nomination and justice sotomayor or''s nomination. we will find someone who was an outstanding legal mind, who cares deeply about our democracy and rule of law. there will not be any particular position or particular issue that determines whether or not i
5:03 pm
nominate them, but i am going to present somebody who indisputably is qualified for the seat and any fair-minded person, even somebody who disagrees with my politics, would serve with honor and integrity on the court. part of the problem that we have here is we have almost gotten accustomed to how obstructionist the senate has become when it comes to nominations. 14 nominations that has been pending that were unanimously approved by the judiciary committee. republicans and democrats on the judiciary committee all agree that they were well qualified for the position. and yet we can't get a vote on those individuals. so in some way, this argument is
5:04 pm
just an extension of what we have seen in the senate generally, and not just on judicial nominees. the basic function of government requires that the president of the united states, in his or her people,has a team of cabinet secretaries, assistant secretaries, that can carry out the basic functions of government. at wequires the appoint judges so they can carry out their functions in the separate branch of government. the fact that we have almost situationstomed to a that is almost unprecedented, where every nomination is contested, everything is blocked, regardless of how qualified the person is, even
5:05 pm
when there is no ideological objection to them, certainly where there are no disqualifying actions by the nominee. the fact that it is that hard, that we are even discussing this, is, i think, a measure of rancor inunately the washington has prevented us from getting work done. this would be a good moment for us to rise above that. i understand the stakes. i understand the pressure that republican senators are undoubtedly other. -- undoubtedly under. the issue here is that the court is now divided on many issues. this will be a deciding vote, and there are a lot of
5:06 pm
republican senators who will be under a lot of pressure from various special interests and constituencies and many voters to not let any nominee go through, no matter who i nominate. but that is not how the system is supposed to work. it is not how our democracy is supposed to work. imentend to nominate in due t a very well-qualified candidate. if we are following basic precedent, then that nominee will be presented before the committees. the vote will be taken. ultimately they will be confirmed. justice kennedy, when he was nominated by ronald reagan, in ronald reagan's last year in andce, a vote was taken, there were a whole lot of democrats who i'm sure did not agree with justice kennedy on
5:07 pm
his position in a variety of issues. but they did the right thing. they confirmed him. him,f they voted against they certainly didn't mount a filibuster to block a vote from even coming up. court, the supreme highest court in the land. it's the one court where we would expect elected officials dayrise above day-to- politics. this will be the opportunity for senators to do their job. your job doesn't stop until you are voted out, or until your term expires. i intend to do my job between now and january 20, 2017. i expect them to do their job, as well. all right. let's see who we got. jeff mason? >> thank you, mr. president. following up on that, should we
5:08 pm
interpret your comments just now that you are likely to choose a moderate nominee? president obama: no. >> [laughter] ok. president obama: i don't know where you found that. you shouldn't su assume anything other than that they will be well-qualified. >> following up? would you consider a recess appointment if you're nominee is not great at the hearing? president obama: i think that we have more than enough time to go through regular order, regular processes. i intend to nominate somebody, to present them to the american people, to present them to the senate. i expect them to hold hearings. i expect there to be a vote. recess?ecess? -- no and how do you respond to republican criticism that your position is undercut by the fact that you and other members of your ministration in the senate the time tried to filibuster judge alito in 2007?
5:09 pm
president obama: i think what is there to say is -- what is fair to say is that how judicial nominations have evolved over historically the fault of any single party. this has become one more extension of politics. times wheree folks are in the senate and thinking -- will this causing problems in the primary? will this cause me problems with supporters of mine? it takes strategic decisions, i understand that. but what is also true is justice alito is on the bench right now. historically, if you look at it, regardless of what votes
5:10 pm
particular senators have taken, there has been a basic understanding that supreme court's differ. each caucus may decide who is going to vote, where, and what, but basically, you let the vote come up and you make sure that a well-qualified candidate is able to join the bench, even if you don't particularly agree with them. my expectation is that the same should happen here. now, this will be a test, one more test of whether or not rules, basic fairplay can function at all in washington these days. but i do want to point out, this is not just the supreme court. a have consistently seen breakdown in the basic functions
5:11 pm
of government because the senate will not confirm well-qualified nominees, even when they are voted out of committee, which means that they are voted by both parties without objection. we still have problems. there's a certain mindset that e just going to grind the system down. if we don't like the president, then we're just not going to let him make any appointments. we're going to make it tougher for the administration to do their basic job. we're going to make sure that ambassadors aren't seated, even though these are critical countries that may have an effect on international relations. we will make sure that judges aren't confirmed, despite the fact that justice roberts himself pointed out there's
5:12 pm
emergencies and courts around the country's because there are not enough judges and too many cases and the system is breaking down. this has become a habit. it gets worse and worse each year. it's not something that i have spent a huge amount of time talking about, because frankly the american people on average are more interested in gas prices and wages and issues that touch on their day-to-day lives in more direct ways, so it doesn't get a lot of political attention. but this is the supreme court. it's going to get some attention. we have to ask ourselves a fundamental question -- are we able to still make this democracy works the way it is supposed to, the way our founders envisioned it? i would challenge anyone who purports to be adhering to the original intent of the founders,
5:13 pm
anybody who believes in the constitution, coming up with a plausible rationale as to why they would not even have a nominee made in accordance with the constitution by the president of the united states. with a year left in office. pretty hard to find that in the constitution. you've gotten the least -- you are getting four now, jeff. >> thank you, mr. president. two different topics, first on syria. last year, when president putin was about to enter into syria, you said he was doing so for a position of weakness, and that he would only get himself involved in a quagmire. now with that about to follow, it seems like president putin is getting one of his goals, to
5:14 pm
bolster assad and take out the rebels. which the u.s. is backing how do you respond to critics who say you have been up talked by putin, and what is your plan if it does fall? do you plan to step of military action to help the rebels in syria, we do have said are key to taking on isis? secondly, i wanted to ask you about 2016 -- president obama: this is a lot of questions. you asked me a big question -- how about i answer that one? all right. >> [laughter] president obama: first of all, if you look back at the transcripts, what i said was that russia has been propping up assad this entire time. finally hadt putin to send his own troops and his invest thiss and massive military operation was
5:15 pm
not a testament to great strength, it was a testament to the weakness of assad's position. hen youbody is strong, t don't have to send in your army to prop up your ally. they have legitimacy in their country and they are able to manage it themselves, and you have good relations with them. you send in your army when the horse you are backing isn't effective. and that is exactly what has happened. now, what i said was that russia would involve itself in a quagmire. absolutely, it will. if there's anybody who thinks that somehow the fighting ends because russia and the regime has made some initial advances, about three quarters of the country is still under
5:16 pm
control of folks other than assad. that is not stopping anytime soon. i say that, by the way, with no pleasure. this is not a contest between me and putin. the question is how can we stop the suffering, stabilize the region, stop this massive out-migration of refugees, who are having such a terrible time, end the violence, stop the bombing of schools and hospitals and innocent civilians, stop creating a safe haven for isis, and there's nothing that has happened over the last several weeks that points to those issues being solved. that is what i mean by a quagmire. putin may think that he is prepared to invest in a permanent occupation of syria with russian military. that is going to be pretty costly.
5:17 pm
that is going to be a big piece of business. if you look at the state of the russian economy, that's probably not the best thing for russia. what would be smarter would be for russia to work with the united states and other parties in the international community to try and broker some sort of political transition. john kerry, working with his russian counterpart, has, on paper, said there will be a cessation of hostilities in a few days. this will test whether or not that is possible. it is hard to do, because there has been a lot of bloodshed. if russia continues indiscriminate bombing of the sort we have been seeing, i think it is fair to say you will not see any take-out by the opposition. and yes, russia is a major military. areously, a bunch of rebels
5:18 pm
not going to be able to compete eith the hardware of th second-most powerful military in the world. but that doesn't solve the problem of actually stabilizing syria. the only way to do that is to bring about some sort of political transition. we will see what happens over the next several days. and we will continue to work with our partners who are focused on defeating isis to also see how we can work together to try and bring about a more lasting political solution than aerial bombardment of schools and hospitals. but it's hard. i'm under no illusions here that this is going to be easy. a country has been shattered. because assad was willing to shatter it.
5:19 pm
and has repeatedly missed opportunities to try and arrive at a political transition. and russia has been party to that entire process. and the real question we should what is it that russia thinks it gains if it gets a country that has been completely destroyed as an ally? it now has to perpetually spend billions of dollars to prop up. not that great a prize. unfortunately, the problem is it hav has spilloves spillover . this has not distracted us
5:20 pm
from continuing to focus on isil. we continue to press that hard in iraq and syria. that will not stop. if we can get a political transition in syria that allows us to coordinate more effectively with not just russia but other countries in the region to focus on the folks who pose the greatest direct threat to the united states. andrew beatty. >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to ask you first of all whether you think that military intervention will be necessary in libya to dislodge the islamic state. as an extension of that, do you think that by the end of your presidency, the islamic state will still have geographical strongholds throughout the middle east? and i can't resist asking -- how was the stadium course? what did you shoot? [laughter]
5:21 pm
last,ent obama: uh -- the for nongolfers, is a reference to pga west. very nice course. my scores classified. >> [laughter] uh, with obama: respect to libya, i had been cleared from the outset that we will go after isis wherever it appears, the same way we went after al qaeda wherever i they appeared. the testament to the fact that we are doing that already is that we took out one of isis's most prominent leaders in libya. we will continue to take actions a clear operation and a clear target in mind. we're working with our other
5:22 pm
coalition partners to make sure tot as we see opportunities prevent isis from digging in, we take them. workingame time, we're diligently with the united nations to try and get a government in place in libya. that is that a problem. the tragedy of libya over the last several years is libya has a relatively small population and a lot of oil wealth and could be really successful. they are divided by tribal lines plays.nic lines, power there is now a recognition on the part of a broad middle among their political leadership that it makes sense to unify so that
5:23 pm
there is some semblance of the state there, but extremes on either side are still making it difficult for that state to cohere. if we can get that done, that will be enormously helpful, because our strong preference, as has always been the case, is to train libya to fight. the good news in libya is that they don't like outsiders coming in and telling them what to do. there's a whole bunch of constituencies who are hardened fighters and don't ascribe to isis or their perverted ideology. but they have to be organized and can't be fighting each other. that is probably as important as anything we will be doing in libya over the coming months. charlie?
5:24 pm
>> thank you, mr. president. the democratic race to replace you has gotten pretty heated lately. sayinge hillary clinton -- at least casting herself as the rightful heir to your legacy, and the one who will be the keeper of your legacy, while also saying that bernie sanders has been disloyal to you. does she write? -- is she right? president obama: well -- that's the great thing about primaries, everyone is trying to differentiate themselves, when in fact bernie and hillary agree on a lot of stuff and disagree pretty much across the board with everything the republicans stand for. lety hope is that we can the primary voters and caucus-goers have their say for a while, and let's see how this thing plays itself out.
5:25 pm
i know hillary better than i know bernie, because she served in my administration, and she was an outstanding secretary of state. i suspect that, on certain issues, she agrees with me more than bernie does. on the other hand, there may be a couple issues where bernie agrees with me more. i don't know, i haven't studied their positions that closely. here's what i have confidence in. that democratic voters believe in certain principles. they believe in equal opportunity. making sure that every kid in this country gets a fair shot. they believe in making sure that economic growth is broad-based and everybody benefits from it, and if you work hard you are not in poverty. they believe in preserving a strong safety net through
5:26 pm
programs like social security and medicare. they believe in a foreign policy that is not reckless, that is tough and protect the american people but doesn't shoot before it aims. they believe in climate change. they think science matters. they think it is important for us to have some basic regulations, to keep our air and water clean, to make sure tahhat banks aren't engaging in excesses that could cause a we saw in 2007-2008. there's a broad convergence of interest around those issues. i think what you are seeing among democrats right now is a difference in tactics, tried to figure out -- trying to figure out, how do you get things done? how do you operate in a political environment that's
5:27 pm
become so polarized? how do you deal with the power of special interests, and how do you deal with a republican party right now that has moved so far to the right that it is often hard to find common ground? that's, i think, the debate that is taking place right now. it is a healthy debate. probably havewill a opinion on it, based on candidate of hope and change and a president who has some nicks and cuts and bruises over getting things done. but now i think it is important for democratic voters to express themselves and for the candidates to be run through the pace thats. ring i can't say it -- the thing
5:28 pm
i can say unequivocally is that i am not unhappy i'm not on the ballot. [laughter] ron allen, nbc. >> i want to continue the 2016 questions. lot ofrepublican side, a your guests were probably very intrigued by the fact that there is a candidate who is calling for a ban on significant -- president obama: intrigued is an interesting way of putting it. >> that's one of my five questions. [laughter] president obama: ron, let's stick to two. >> in the past, you have explained that it's not the cure -- how much responsibility do you except for the reservoir of feeling in the country that is propelling that candidate? a couple weeks ago, you said donald trump were not win the presidency.
5:29 pm
do you now think you will not win the nomination? and what about rubio and cruz? uh, i thinkama: foreign observers are troubled by some of the rhetoric that has been taking place in these republican primaries and republican debates. i don't think it is restricted, by the way, to mr. trump. i find it interesting that everyone is focused on trump, primarily because he says in more interesting ways what the other candidates are saying as well. ante inp the anti-muslim sentiment, but if you look at what other republican candidates have said, that's pretty troubling, too. he may express strong anti-immigration sentiment, but you heard that from the other
5:30 pm
candidates as well. you have got a candidate who sponsored a bill that i supported to finally solve immigration problems, and he is running away from it as fast as he can. they are all denying climate change and i think that's troubling to the international community. since the sciences unequivocal. the other countries around the world count on the united states being on the side of science and reason. and common sense. know if the united states does not act on big problems in smart way, nobody will. but this is not just mr. trump. look at the statements being made by other candidates. there's not a single candidate
5:31 pm
the primary that thinks we should do anything about climate change. that thinks that it is serious. that's a problem. the rest of the world looks at that and says how can it be? i will leave it to you to speculate on how this whole race is going to go. i continue to believe mr. trump will not be president and the reason is because i have a lot of faith in the american people. i think they recognize being president is a serious job. it is not hosting a talk show or reality show, it is not promotion, it is not marketing. it is hard. a lot of people count on asking it right. it's not a matter of hindering
5:32 pm
in doing whatever will get you in the news on a given day and sometimes it requires you to make a hard decision even when people don't like it and doing things that are unpopular and -- forg up to people people who are vulnerable and do not have a powerful clinical can jointly and it requires being able to work with leaders around reflectd in a way that the importance of the office. confidence that you know the facts and you know their names and you know where they are on a map, and you know something about their history. and you are not just going to play to the crowd back home because they have their own crowds back home and you are trying to solve problems.
5:33 pm
during primaries, people vent and express themselves and it seems like entertainment and off in times it is reported like entertainment. but as you get closer, reality has a way of intruding. these are the folks i have faith in because they ultimately are going to say whoever is standing where i'm standing has the new year codes with them and can order 21-year-olds into a sureight and have to make the banking system doesn't and is often theonsible for not just united states of america, but 20 other countries that are having problems or are falling
5:34 pm
apart or are going to be looking for us to something. american people are pretty sensible and i think they will make problems or are falling a sensible choice in the end. thank you, everybody. [applause] any of theissed president, you can see it again at 8:00 eastern right here on c-span. the flags on capitol hill still at half staff in honor of supreme court justice antonin shkreli a, who died this past weekend at age 79 in texas. he was nominated to the court in 1980 by president reagan and was confirmed by the senate with a 98-0 vote. he was the longest-serving member on the bench. right now, the justices chair is draped in a black wool crepe. to the 1873ack death of justice salmon chase.
5:35 pm
>> every election cycle, we are reminded helen or did is for citizens to be informed. >> is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens. we've got a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues will say i saw you on c-span. >> there's so much c-span does to make sure people outside the beltway know what's going on inside it. >> this week, while the senate is in recess for president day, it is book tv in prime time on c-span2. we start with an authors on banks and the economy. on c-span3, we join college students to hear lectures on topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. tonight, our program begins with a discussion on the presidency of ulysses s. grant.
5:36 pm
that gets underway at 8:00 eastern. tomorrow, is david savage at the l.a. times on the recent death of antonin scalia and what to expect on the high court for the remainder of this year's term. then harry klein looking at negative interest rates and other monetary moves the federal reserve could make in the next few weeks. ,lus we take your calls comments and tweets. >> this weekend, the city -- the c-span tour takes you to greenville, south carolina, to explore the city's history and literary culture. >> in september of 1939, when europe went to war, our allies, primarily england and france, looked to washington dc for goods and materials they needed.
5:37 pm
washington dc looked to the textile capital of the world and all of a sudden, government contracts came funneling into this area, asking the mills to begin producing for the war effort, initially for our allies and then the united states as well. >> on american history tv -- was a pretty nasty spot. it's hard to believe looking at it, one of the best parks in the country, but this was a depressed, nasty place and it is a great story of how a community can get behind a park and start to appreciate and cherish it. tourtch the c-span cities
5:38 pm
on c-span2's tv. the c-span cities tour, working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> mr. harris, thank you for giving us your time today. guest: thank you. host: i know people probably know your name brand, but tell us about your story. it's creation and the purpose that you set out to do when you created the publication. guest: sure, i spent the bulk of my career starting at age 41 at the "washington post" proudly so. the post is a certain kind of news organization. they cover politics, they also cover the washington red skins, cover foreign news, movie reviews, all the rest. a small group of us had a belief that in this new era, which can
5:39 pm
be dominated by digital media and innovation, publications that specialize and really sought to own a particular area. espn's a good example. it owns sports. we didn't see anybody that was doing that for politics and policy making. we pursued it when we got back in from our owner and said, hey, come on over, and we'll try this experience. we did, and the result has been a great professional adventure for all of us. there's now 500 people here. i think it's been a real success in the media landscape, as well. host: how do you think your approach to covering washington is different than other publications? guest: we do it more intensively, we do it with more journalistic resources. more reporters and more editors trained on the subjects. and we do it with a very clear sense of our audience in mind. i think that's one great thing about working at "politico." a clear sense of mission. and that is not to cover
5:40 pm
politics for everybody in this country of 300 million or whatever it is now. we're not fundamentally a traffic-driven site. fundamentally edited, reported, edited and published for a particular kind of reader who is highly engaged with the subjects. so they're professionally eng e engaged. they're in the world of politics. in the west wing, they're in the speaker's office up on capitol hill. if we're making ourselves indispensable for that office, we're winning, any day we don't do that, we're trying harder. host: you target these folks. tell us about how you publish. i know you have a paper that gets published. but is the website your main source of getting information out to your audience? guest: when i was at the "washington post," the whole rhythm and culture of that place was organized around a 24-hour
5:41 pm
cycle that existed for a century. it's a lot of legacy news organizations have had a big challenge to reinvent themselves for the digital era. some doing well, others lagging a bit. "politico" is lucky in that we were born with the spirit of reinvention from the beginning. we didn't have any legacy culture or any legacy work routines to overcome. you know, the so what of that is we honestly are not obsessed with platform. we do have a paper, circulates up on capitol hill. people love it there. we put about 30,000 out on the streets. obviously, our main platform, of course, is the website on big election nights, you know, we'll get several million people coming in in just the course of an hour or two, to our site. we had that on iowa caucus night. a new site record. a new site record for any month except november when, of course, we really spiked. increasingly, a lot of people read us on mobile. many of our specialty products
5:42 pm
are aimed at hitting people with the mobile phone so they read our content on email, which, of course, is no longer an exotic technology. we're focused less on the platform than are we making it easy for our audience to read? and giving them the kind of content that makes their lives more productive? host: today, our program features key people from "politico" talking not only about the publication and how it works, but the politics. if you want to ask our current guest, john harris, the editor in chief and co-founder 202-748-8001 for republicans, 8000 for democrats, and 202-748-8002 for independents. mr. harris, to that last point you made about platform, one of the things in the profile piece written about you recently came from the "washington post." he said this, the central conceit of politico is based on a belief that the internet created desire for content
5:43 pm
delivered minute by minute rather than waiting until 6:00 p.m. to publish your best report. every single scoop or piece or insight the second they learned it. do you agree with that? guest: i think that reflected our original vision of "politico" when we started in 2007. i think we haven't lost that original vision. but we've expanded it in a number of ways that probably not as familiar with. we were primarily a politics and congressionally focused publication. we owned the presidential race, and we had bodies swarming all over it. that was exotic in 2008. and now some of our competitors have done the same. but we did politics, congress and some extent the white house. in the nearly decade since we launched, the vast percentage of our growth has been in the policy areas. so we're covering technology policy in washington, health
5:44 pm
care policy in washington, energy policy in washington. 15 different policy verticals where we try to bring that same sense of urgency and that same sense of swarming over the story probably a little less visible. the other thing we've learned, it's been a great surprise. even in this sort of speeded up era of digital news. the long form piece, the magazine piece that might go for 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 words, people will read that. they'll share it, they'll post it on facebook. it'll go viral. if it's good. there's very little appetite for a long thumb sucker. but if the piece is revelatory, it'll go as viral as any kind of sort of piece of daily shouting from the campaign trail. the original work is what gets a voice and gets an audience. host: with that approach, though, what do you do editorially to keep over the reporters who report? how do you keep things in shape
5:45 pm
that way when it comes to editorial oversight and content? >> well -- guest: well, we try to be a team. the best and most important factor, the editors. when we were first began, we were very reporter-driven publication. i think we're still a reporter-driven publication. we were understaffed in terms of the editing. thanks to the backing of the publisher and people not part of the original founding team but now are leaders. people like susan glaser, kristin roberts, i think we'll hear after. we've got first class editors. you don't see their bylines, you know, on the site as much. but they're absolutely critical to promoting our reputation, driving our growth. host: and before we let you talk to callers, a couple of words
5:46 pm
about your partner, jim vandehei. tell us a little bit about what he brings to your partnership and what kind of things do you oversee as far as the division of labor there? guest: well, "politico" began as an if adventure in friendship, really the three of us. we were friends, we had very strong ideas about media. and as we were pursuing these discussions, that's how we met a new friend, somebody we didn't know at that time. robert albriton, the financial backer of "politico." and it was out of that back and forth, we had a mind meld. and it was out of that that "politico" blossomed. we together found the courage to leave pretty good jobs and start this. so that collaboration lasted just about a decade. jim's announced that time is right for him to turn the wheel
5:47 pm
in his own professional career. mike allen is still with us for the near term. but he's indicated, probably, at the end of the election year, he'll be moving on. so, what we've got is something very familiar in start-ups. you've got a core group that comes together. creates something. editorial value and business value. and at a time, a certain time the big test is can this enterprise make the transition? and in order to prove that, we've got to prove this place is more than about me or any of the individual co-founders. host: our first call for you, john harris, is thomas, wichita, kansas, democrats line. thomas, you're on with john harris of "politico." go ahead. caller: how's it going? guest: fine, thomas. caller: you know, what a great name for a newspaper or a
5:48 pm
whatever it is online, "politico," we've got "politicos" going on right now. don't we? guest: i noticed that. jim vandehei's wife is the one with the lightbulb that went off. and that's how we ended up with "politico." caller: that's kind of like a russian name.
5:49 pm
fredericksburg, virginia. go ahead. caller: i think politico is a good thing. do you have any thoughts on the scalia, whostice believed in individual rights over the state and the right to pursue liberty and happiness? i wonder, if you are going to denigrate an institution that is about the only place people have respect for or the only
5:50 pm
institution people have respect for yet, and know that somehow they will get it right, even though sometimes they jump in a little early. they should not, but i think he was a great man and i was just wondering -- and a very strong hoping you and i am explain some of this legacy. from fredericksburg, virginia? that brought a smile to my face. as a young reporter, in the mid-1980's, i used to cover fredericksburg and my colleague writes the daily playbook here at politico. he got his start at fredericksburg, a special place in the politico identity. justice scalia's passing caught
5:51 pm
us all by surprise. we learned all about it late saturday afternoon. it has been a huge story for reasons the caller suggests. the historical legacy will loom large. that legacy is a source of controversy. -- hisson he matters opinions provoke strong views across the ideological spectrum. scully a will remain in the news because there looks to be a big battle over when he or she will .e nominated right out of the gate, the senate majority leader said he is not going to push a nominee through to confirmation until obama's term is over.
5:52 pm
democrats and president obama himself were outraged by that. the constitution requires action now. the scalia legacy is going to be much discussed. he is going to be in the news for months. host: justin from tennessee. next. caller: how are you, everybody out there? first, justice scalia will be missed by americans. most, anyway. is, how hasto you politico in the past canal being -- from what i noticed, it is like certainmiddle
5:53 pm
other organizations. and quite to the left. that ifalso like to say people do not wake up and realize our country is in bad trouble, and we need people speaking the truth about partisanand not being about who is right on which side and which side is so wrong about everything else. i ask what leads you to believe there is a partisan leaning to politico? what makes you say that? caller: have you ever read politico? guest: i have a i have read i'm wondering where you got the idea. they are very left-leaning and anti-right most of the time. neither left nor right, but i see the unfairness in it. host: what do you think about
5:54 pm
those accusations? have anolitico does not opinion section where we express our own views as most traditional publications did. we do have a place where we from our ownon not staffers with an obligation to be nonpartisan, but for outside contributors. from left, right, middle, across the spectrum. of the caller, i believe, is simply wrong. you have to look at the broad spectrum of coverage where we have liberal or left-wing voices, conservative or right-wing voices. part of what we do is not outside contributors or opinion of any kind. it is news. politico is first and foremost a news publication.
5:55 pm
argue about those facts, depending on where on the political spectrum the fall, but the facts are what they are. that has been since the very first days when we started back in 2007, and as long as politico is around. we are meant to be a nonpartisan and nonideological news organization. republicans, you can call -- are talking with john harris of politico, editor and chief -- in chief and cofounder. i am curious, when it comes to like the supreme court story that was brought up, once the scully a story was brought up, what is the approach of who is going to cover them? guest: we believe nothing feeds like excess hair when you have a
5:56 pm
big washington story like this, the editors and the reporting almostn the newsroom, 300 editors and photographers and all the rest, big parts of the newsroom start to fire up because there is almost an infinite variety of angles. , we try to cover them all. watch thertant to gears in motion. i feel sorry for my staff learning a saturday night on a holiday weekend, but this is second nature for us. peoplethe most important has ah, my colleague who real reputation in washington for his ex case on legal issues and legal affairs. team immediately swung into action because that is going to be the arena in
5:57 pm
which this plays out. does the senate confirm a nominee that president obama says he will send up, or do -- until the next president is in office? there are policy implications across a lot. those individual reporters and whatrs say wait a minute, might the change means for our readers? host: massachusetts, bill is up with john harris. you are on with our guest. go ahead. thank you for taking my call to i have a question and then a comment. do you ever report on nominations being held up by certain senators, that is the question. guest: yes we do. it is a familiar washington phenomenon. it can be very hard or a to fill out his or her
5:58 pm
administration with appointees pyramid times, individual senators will place a hold on those and they do not go forward. so we do try to cover that. whyfurther explain something is being filled or not filled due to the actions of individual senators. montana, independent line, here is john. go ahead. on the night of the last democratic debate, the same day, there was breaking news the ig was investigating hillary clinton cash foundation program and nothing was said about it on the debate. i am thinking, where have all the good men and women gone who would ask the question on the legality going on with the clinton cash foundation. what is your response to the questions that night? seems like the kind of
5:59 pm
question that might not come up at a democratic debate that will almost certainly come up when the individual candidates, including secretary clinton, face reporters one-on-one and not in a debate context. in the press, we are always clamoring for them to do that more frequently and have more news conferences and on the fly, just as they are out on the campaign trail. that is a constant source of the debates have been pretty entertaining and informative. in the 2012 cycle. inside -- exclusively on the republican side. some people thought that might drain some of the excitement and drama out of the campaign year
6:00 pm
and give us an insufficient andow for these candidates their character and all the rest. i do not think that has been true. in my view,h sides, ande have been entertaining they have not always been substantive, but journalistic questions have sought to elicit important substance. theannot control how candidates answer and at times, there has been a carnival quality to some of the debate. but that is ok. there has been enough. watching thoseed debates carefully, they have done a lot -- a wide enough window to have a take on policies and the character and the personalities of the people running for president. i think that is true on both sides. about ourheard


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on