tv Oral Histories Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole CSPAN November 9, 2021 11:28pm-12:40am EST
power and wind power, they will abandon their domestic duties, and force meant to become more womanly, and it's going to lead to other changes including challenging the class hierarchy, like they do as domestic servants, as well as the racial hierarchy and system of slavery. all these things are wrapped up in these prints. >> watch this program and thousands more online at c-span dot org, slash history. next, on american history see -- tv, former u.s. senator bob dole. he sat down with richard smith. it was one of the theories conducted with mr. dole and his colleagues. it is now in the collection of the robert j. dole institute of politics at the university of
kansas. we join the conversation in progress. >> my question is, -- was there a concern at the beginning of the bush presidency about how loyalist of a leader you are going to be? >> there is a speculation, bob dole, he is going to try to torpedo bush. then the john tower came along at that time, and of course tower was a very good friend of mine. >> did you get a radio? >> he got a radio by the people -- i won't name names. a few people had drinking problems on the senate floor. raw deal he got talked into opposing john deere, they were
great buddies. i got it because of a service in arlington, sam showed up. >> there are those who think there's a little bit of payback involved. that over the years, tower was a very bright guy. >> yes, stiff color -- collar, british, very bright. no small -- small talk with our. he did have a problem. i'm not sure when it ended or started, all that. that was the thing that convince most bush people -- that i didn't want to bring power in as a senate, that you have the right to do. and have him testify before the senators, which is under the
rules and he declined. i thought he could look sam in the eye and as a people and make a difference. apparently he didn't think of the dignity. kind of begging. we could have done it. >> what about the other deal? >> the don reagan? >> don reagan -- no, no. >> not yet. >> i guess it was nick brady, secretary of the treasury. basically was bush going back on his word. >> yeah, reagan left. >> i think they shot down the first deal, then there was a second deal which i have heard described as worse than the first deal. in terms of spending in control but, i mean, if there ever had
been a time when you are entitled to say i told you so, that would've been it. >> instead i was trying to tell the white house that i was working with i think, tom foley, and robert kasky, trying to work on something else that didn't look like a tax increase. i remember, i was still talking to whoever was at the white house, whoever, i still think we can make a better deal here. i don't remember precisely what it was but the kind of gave up. bush said, they had no choice. the democrats run the place. what are you going to do? i'm going to have the money. he got it right as well. two and the tax increase. he probably never should've said that, read my lips. >> well were the challenges in passing the ada?
>> we had a lot of conversation at the white house. there was one guy who was very sympathetic, bowed in gray. he was really a friend of people with disabilities across civil rights, all that stuff. he was kind of our go-to guy in the white house. the other story people interfering things like that. i have to make this place accessible. we tried to use the term reasonable, cost, we didn't try to loaded up. >> i assume allotted that came from the business community, opposition? >> yes. the white house, they had consistency. bush bragged, bush 41 and it
was a great day there was probably 3000 people out there in wheelchairs, gurneys -- and what's his name was the leading disability advocate. he came from a wealthy family, just passed away. anyway, he was up on the podium with bush. quite a day. >> i assume there is another side to this, they were out among the disability advocates who wanted perfection. >> they are not happy now. in fact, they want to do a lot of things with the bill. some should be done. i've been working with tom harken, trying to work with conflict of the law firm. some people just cannot satisfy. i don't care what part of who you are, it's very important
the legislation. the number of disabled, probably seriously disabled, probably 14 15 million. some disabilities don't bother people but, you know, if you are in a wheelchair or you are blind, or, you know, paralysis, some internal thing that might not show, you've got problems. it was a bipartisan legislation as well. >> time has gone by now, it's funny, when i look at the first bush presidency, popular as he was at the time, there's more record there than -- in some ways he couldn't take credit for it. clean air, clean water, it would rile the conservatives. they never thought he was one of them. >> yeah. >> he was in some ways, hog-tied.
he had his reagan successor. he had associations from reagan. he was a very awkward guy. >> people forget reagan's earlier record in all the stuff about his plans on congress. we are will cut spending, taxes, and never happened. people blame congress, along with this guy up there messing up the budget, ron reagan. reagan, you know, he had done it. i had seen it. >> one had the sense that bush was increasing isolation. and took a long time for the white house to wake up to the political dangers they had. >> squandered up to 92% approval rating? it went down to 30, or something. he got nothing for it.
nothing on the domestic front, political front, it just evaporated. they didn't use it. another division did something i can remember. i think it was 92%. maybe not 92, but way up there. he had the world by the tail. this guy was it. congress was ready to respond. victory. they actually did something. there was very few casually, what about -- i don't know again, he had others they are sitting on their lead what you don't do. >> there was also ironically this instance that the cold war was over. you lost your unifying enemy.
bush's historical things had been restored. he had successfully managed the cold war. >> one thing that got him into the trouble was the economy. it did pick up in the last quarter which he did not get credit for. it was clinton, bush had a good record, as you said. when the economy is bad, nixon is always right it is always bread and butter. if the connolly is bad, he will lose. the economy, if it's bad, you will lose. there were some people who didn't really want it. he didn't really act like he wanted to be reelected. i thought he was working hard.
we became great friends. i remember going back there in 92, i was thinking about running down there again. i went down to talk to him and he said, well, let's talk about this. i said, you are still a young guy. was it 92? i guess it was. he said you should do it. >> what made you think about not running again? >> well, prostate cancer. you know, i didn't know at the time. founded early, all that stuff. survival rate is excellent. after i had that, i went out to talk to the president, said maybe it's time for me to
[noise], milan. >> you must have thought about an alternative. i still find it hard to believe -- [laughs] >> never had early. i don't really think i thought about what i would do, but a 92 -- i would still be young enough to kick around a little. 68, right? >> that's interesting. you don't have an absolute need to be pratt -- president. >> no. >> i always thought 88 was the year. i shouldn't be running. it was bob dole's term. i don't understand that. i should have won in 88.
that was the year, but, -- >> to dictators he met with, i want to make sure we get them on the record. you had so gall. what happened in that meeting? >> we landed in baghdad, they picked us up in one of his -- there were five of his -- al simpson, mcclure, anyway. we had this letter from bush, which in effect was saying, be careful with israel. you have strong ties, you want to continue good trade -- ties. we were not getting the meetings. king hussein of jordan put in,
and they called saddam on the phone. he said, i've got these guys here. i know it's bob dole, all that stuff. you should speak to them. that's out really happen. we got there. there was concern, he took us to the big hotel where he was there and surrounded by all these guys, machine guns for. i remember, we have talked a lot about, you know, some of the good relationships. some of the stuff he was buying from america like, wheat. we talk to him about the letter we were presenting to president bush. i think all simpson got in a few old jokes -- [laughs] then he said. >> did they laugh? >> i doubt it.
then he suggested we go on a helicopter ride. he said the people really love me, you know. they want to take you out on the countryside. i said, i think we need to visit them. they said, no way. we are not going to go on a helicopter with that guy. we declined. i was happy, i took that all along. there was some that reported stories that some previous delegation of this ended up in serious -- i don't know if there's any truth. i can't, other than just a nice pleasant meeting, he went to the hospital. this of course was obviously before the invasion of kuwait. you win over to accompany the president one point, or? didn't you go over there? >> i went to kuwait, but --
>> before the liberation of kuwait, during that period, there were several months -- i thought at some point you visited the troops. >> oh, i made that, yeah. i was also i think, in kuwait on the same trip. i did go over there with clinton, that was another time. that was in bosnia, a nato thing. i did go with but, yeah. >> wasn't it thanksgiving? >> yeah. thanksgiving. in between the -- >> yeah, in the desert. i had a lot to say. i remember that. he was pumping up the troops. yeah, i remember that. what year was that? that was, it would've been 90. in the fall of 90. the war began in january 91. >> yeah, that's right.
later i went with hillary and bill to visit the troops. >> and of course, you also had a big encounter with nicaragua, in nicaragua. >> yeah. that was a bit of a confrontational meeting. with record taken. i met with him a couple of times. >> what was that like? >> i think you could say it all because this sense i love congress, we didn't understand him and i guess i was still there because we were trying to do something fast and joe biden -- he had a little dining room there and we were in the next room and the doors were open for lunch with the ambassador and, about 11 there was a long
heated discussion and we knew they weren't staying for lunch and the meeting was over and the ortega meeting i wonder who won with me and obviously we weren't supporting ortega. and was that in the reagan years? >> it must the ben. and my good friend biden and other democrats with with daniel ortega, we stopped on a trip to honduras, el salvador. >> why was this actual role? i heard so much. everyone's got a theory. one of them was actually a pretty good theory.
someone who we have talked to said, first of all, no -- casey mobile, ronald reagan was deaf. i can imagine casey saying something and raegan nodding his head. >> when i make a mistake it to be, that was his answer. -- he got away with it. he knew it was happening. i think north is sort of a wildcard in the whole thing. >> there is another theory, remember. they made the switch. ronald reagan, there was really saying that jill baker was still chief of staff, -- would've never happened. >> possibility. >> i don't know why ronald reagan wanted to be chief of staff so badly. i know nancy didn't like it. >> i think her judgment was
proven pretty correct. >> he was always kind of leaning over the president like, i am right here. printed. >> while he would say things like will not here into leaders or whatever countries, it would be right in two leaders of whatever country, and she always like don reagan for some reason. he double crossed us on the budget. i remember, i think i told you this before. she came up the next day was champagne, chocolates, all that stuff. >> what was your first impression of bill clinton in the white house? >> there are stories about you going down there. one of the stories is, what? about the government? >> yeah, first meeting. >> i would say, you didn't even have donuts in your place. donuts for the republicans. next meeting we had donuts. and every meeting after that. i thought he was a very charming guy. i helped him out on nafta,
which i know would not like to look back on. anytime a tried to get something done, it didn't happen. get out of this w.h.o. stuff. adverse, biased rulings, set up retired fellow justices. i remember talking to him about monica lewinsky, i told him when he should do. get a letter signed by 34 senators to say there was no way we were going to convict and have that in your pocket. then i wrote the op-ed piece to the new york times, which i think he would've accepted. kind of an admission, i did something wrong. maybe a rebuke, that would've been it. it turned out, i think he won. then the politics of it, the
republicans they knew it was not going anywhere. they were hell-bent to try to make it happen. those are the kinds of times you wish you were up there. it was always good to visit with him and, you know, the point in ginsburg, i am probably repeating myself but she lives right down the hall from us. he called me and said he was going to do this. he said, i want to get somebody close to -- she's my neighbor. that was his way -- i said, i don't agree with her philosophy. wonderful lady. can you kind of, move it along, you know? we did, she got 96 votes. >> that wouldn't happen today.
>> no. john roberts, the filibuster. then we had breyer who was next. we knew him. he had worked for kennedy, liberal. the constitution gives the president a right in their ride to make the appointment. he got 97 votes, i think. this shows how much it changed in 15 years. >> you know, that's a link to a huge question. as we have been working on this, and i thought for 30 years about this, if you look at your career, if you go back to 76, for oh, two guys from the midwest, it was conservative, but it was kind of a mainstream conservative. it was economic conservative. it has a healthy skepticism about government, but not --
a libertarian. it wasn't reflectively hostile. it recognized a lot of people needed help and couldn't get help from anywhere else. it was at least open to that. and wanted to keep government out of the classroom, boardroom, and the bedroom. there was a whole generation that grew up in the depression and world war ii who was accompanied by sheer sacrifice. that meant, as eisenhower famously said in his farewell address, you don't fonder future demmer -- generations. that's your conservatives. >> yes. that was my view. >> if you look at your public career, say from the mid seventies to the mid 90s, it's almost like you are chasing this caboose. >> well, then abortion popped up in 74. let's face it -- nixon never worried about it shoes on that. i don't think they really did. hot button 76, then it became a
big, big issue. that sort of define different groups, parties, whatever. that's would always confounded me, even in the reagan years. we always had a balanced budget. where the old-time republicans. ford had 51 votes in one year. suddenly, all we have to do is cut taxes and keep spending and you will have a surplus. i am not an economist, but it's something i never understood. most people in our party at that time like henry bel mann, former from oklahoma, great guy, i would say a moderate republican. moderate conservative. we thought we would balance for budget like people to get that home. if you don't have the, money
you didn't spend it. >> it is almost a moral, or at least it is ethical, to live within your means. at the very least, not to borrow from your kids. >> yeah. >> take it to the rich. even would-be goldberg was complaining the other day about the estate tax. oh, we are making headway. it's like, oh, that's what i like they are. one of the consequences to the republican party and conservativism if you toss that aside? if you no longer define yourself -- >> well, look what happened in 2006. i think we were at war with the primary. we are spending money faster than democrats, as far as all these little pet projects and earmarks, we own the world records. -- stevens, colleague don young.
and there is others, but that is a disease now. we passed the big bill, they're at least 2000 earmarks. i wouldn't say we never had them, or if you got one little project for your state, oh, boy. a big deal. and i was a leader. it's all kind of changed. people are piling it up. >> i also sense -- you know, you are rising to the top of your field at the very time -- >> the field was leaving. >> [laughs] . >> the field kept changing the goalpost. i was on the side yard line, then i was on the 15 yard line. then they moved it again. >> actually, that is brilliant. but i mean the whole raft of cultural issues that kind of came into effect, redefining
conservativism. the old conservativism said we mind our own business. >> yes, we don't want any garment, except for farmers. we like those little subsidies out in kansas. not even federal aid for education, that was a big thing in my first house race. we still don't have it. we have it for science, matt. let the locals do, it the school board. now in d.c., what? 15% drop outs in high school? i've come to a point where there ought to be universalists, higher education at some time. like, high school, grade school. if you are qualified, if you don't have a college degree -- these days, i don't know what
you do. >> philosophically, politically, both, why do you think is the right call for the government in terms of survivors culture? >> well, these to have a guy in the hardware store who said i have all these hammers i can't sell. can you give me a program where i can get paid for these hammers i did not sell? i could pay the farmers for crops they don't raise, you know. all this stuff. it's funny, you can't win. he's right. on the other hand, you need some safety net, because they are producing. the way the system works, the bigger producers, they get more of the money. that's just the way it works. so that's always the headline. 10% of the produces get 9% of the money, not quite that bad.
about 20%, they get 50% of the money. we even pay now, we put together a farm bill this past year -- they're still paying farmers -- like corn is four dollars a bushel, 18 sent four a bushel, they should be doing that. we will take that money and put it into energy, or somewhere. the better thing about the farm bill is, we don't include all the nutrition problems, because we are having problems passing a farm bill. i think that was in the seventies. we merged up with food stamps, that will get the city people to vote for it, and the farm people to vote for it. >> these to be the american
farm bureau federation. it's pretty much against subsidies, except maybe what they call a loan program where you can borrow and have some money, still make a profit. they now sort of join the course -- >> let me ask you about the health care package in the early days of the clinton probably -- paw presidency. >> did sheila talk to you about it? >> we talked about it a little, yeah. >> if you can get sheila berke to vote for it, i will vote for it. [laughs] in fact, it was an alternative. >> i appointed senator chafee to a committee. he had a lot of common sense. a little to the left of most
people in the party, but still a good republican. i think there also was another conservative in the group. not just chafee. getting close remember mental kept us and part of the recess getting a bill passed i think august 15 he finally gave up. my view the missus clinton came to see me and she was very nice a lot of us did not know why she would do this to is not accountable to anybody and she was not sworn into office. this was not trivia this was national healthcare and she was not accountable. is being done through the white house in the secret meetings so that all started off about way. the present knowing that his
wife - but anyway we had meetings and i think we met at least twice their people started meeting with sheila and remember meeting at the white house and we were already in the democrats and but we did not do enough of that printed pretty soon it got me their way or the highway and then the inspectors office came up with a chart. and finally lay down in the corner trying to help so that killed it. >> 1342 pages was that bill pretty. >> the chart was designed by somebody in our office who really caught on and we did that. anyway, he was telling me that i
think it was sheila, years and years ago we had will be called a three d bill, the dual in the danforth and bill and what sheila said, back in the 70s, that was pretty progressive stuff and it doesn't differ in many areas but some similarities of what we were doing back then when hillary is trying to do now because we had insurance pool, where poor people could not get insurance is of any had to take them. and some would only take a healthy people. i'm going to have to dig that out and take a look at those three d's. and look at all of the details so healthcare is a big issue, no question about it. >> clinton later on said that he realized he made a mistake a
should've started off welfare reform and put healthcare higher pretty. >> he vetoed it twice and then after my campaign for president that he signed it into the reform bill. >> will the misgivings a lot of his yes. >> and nafta as well and that was earlier in the union people did not like nafta and hillary was going to but first she was going to repeal it and now she's just going to modify it and i think bill told her way to minutes, that was one of my proud achievements. >> consensus was that clinton came into office and set up some unrealistic about what can be done. the main the problem with the healthcare plan among other things was they wanted 100 percent now and offered
95 percent and they said no, that is not good enough. and he at least learned overto . >> we know reagan would've taken 70 and i think his first mistake was the first that he set up was a spending bill and that was david barb who blew the whistle and as republicans were all against it. and on the floor, thinking made a lot of promises two different constituencies in the campaigns in a money going here in many going here and really didn't creating jobs or anything it was just sort of a payoff and was defeated and then they started off 90 feet. in that defeat and i think they basically made a mistake, by not putting their arms around congress. have them down there once a week but charms run them and say come
on and i think that's all were going to get back to where we were, way back with gerald ford days when he intent, of course we didn't have that many horses in the house whose days, we were still a factor. it seemed like things got done. >> i must say he was very agreeable and it doesn't make sense to you that one reason 30 years ago that two parties that would be easier in some ways to work together 30 or years ago was because three or four years ago, each of the parties had liberals and conservatives and southerners and northerners. when you use before you you wanted to get something done from minnesota you work with russell and can develop personal
relationships and in some ways transcended ideology. so you developed a knack of compromising internally. to effectively up the work the minority. going to get anything done, the republicans reach out to the democrats. but that is true because of that is because you lofgren. if you didn't need 40 republicans generally you only needed one or two but i remember working on this because google came from states. i really didn't seem to be well we disagreed the goat out on the floor debate but we never called anybody names i don't think. will some did a couple of times. there are a couple of stupid things said. i thought is more civil pretty.
>> while he made it clear and he said your friendship proceeded 1976, at any time of the things that you worked on together and course the home free. sue met will back into japan, i lived there and i introduced him really. >> what you think it is different. i guess what i'm getting at is that for years of people safe need to have a liberal party in the conservative party will guess what, we have them and you parties that only have liberals and only have conservatives in are you happy with what you have pretty. >> will be to monitor as we have an new york times take care of one or two a year and we have susan collins and and 76 percent approval ratings and we have to spend a million dollars and she
is in a tough race and johnson and in new england just above new york times about wiped us out. but there's got to be somebody in the middle summer. and knowing that they don't have to be sort of moderate and liberals and conservatives. but straight down the line pretty. >> to think it's one reason that people outside of the city who are turned off or not ideologically driven and maybe don't pay much attention pretty. >> while i can tell it it's more difficult raising the money and for the republicans particularly because they don't have the sources. msi was listening to a democrat it was the michael. [inaudible]. and very good is talking about how the republicans could be in
trouble because there volunteers showing up for the the candidates because maybe hillary is nationally known and barack is you know, very charming guy and new face and fresh. but it kinda makes sense but even then, they are saying that the republicans way down to the convention and you're not going to fix somebody. [inaudible]. >> police makes for an exciting convention. for five different scenarios for the republicans within two for the democrats hillary or obama. the passed february 5th. >> going because there's also something here that people they want the parties to work together they want people to you
know rise above their own ideological differences but what that means is to make a deal. >> or get in. >> but then as you know, if you get stagnant the filmmaker, and legislature, to be a president or a leader and isn't that a little bit contradictory as people say they want one thing they don't really want pretty. >> they want leadership and they want somebody that they can look to and i think here, i don't agree with them weather pretty honest honest people are trying to get something done and that isn't always pending funny that somehow you measure what you are getting done. it is not always cutting taxes, there's other things going on as well. i think we are in for several years of this grid lock, really
historic. >> and in some ways you can see it from there, maybe obama gets elected and expectations will be awfully high. and if he tries to ratify them and on the other hand, a really strong democratic congress and, i mean, in his people are looking for leadership pretty. >> i talked to mitch mcconnell aside and he was there at the fundraiser for the party and he admitted that people are looking for change but he said if you like the change they got with pelosi at 24 percent or something and push 105 points to 36 or something but of course are trying to paint a rosy picture for next year on the senate side.
>> was in a relationship with a second bush white house? >> i just got a picture of president bush autographing remove autographed still doing good for america, the mission on veterans, not close but i waited pretty heavily in the va election and introduced general peak at the hearing along with another pretty there was a couple weeks ago. item have anything to ask him. and i met with hadley a couple of times and at the law firm and all the other people. we might be able to help so they have been good about getting the certain things measured.
letting bush, 11, is to talk to these veterans and, these guys who lost their legs and all of atthem one-on-one. and this one guy, he lost his arm and he thinks bush is great and he had us down there three times in the last time he spent two hours just visiting with these different people space pretty hard to beat. >> is there such a thing is presidency being unlucky. [laughter] well history will have to judge that. and why the whole world thinks they have to have the wmds and they didn't and and was it worth it and we should bring in the
republicans like colin powell and he is a great guy to talk to him and 96 and i didn't ask you but i knew the answer would be that when up to his house and reception greeted me and it went into this little room and he said really notice tough and the economy is good but who knows what could happen. i said well and kinda wish me luck and in other words, don't ask me the question would you be my running mate. >> but what if you been your first choice. >> oh yes. they were ready for barack obama yet. as a grain of guy is was i thank you so much stronger than obama. and he was running for the polls in iowa. >> he had pretty i would say moderate conservative views.
but you remember that at that convention when he talked about affirmative action and he got some booze and if you had put them on your ticket, there would've been but you would've had a movement. >> and you get somebody like they wanted a black president but anyway, i was looking at and as somebody i thought was capable. >> that's interesting you never pick someone who might rival you or overshadow you read their own constituencies you known me. that is been made. >> why don't think you really i go out and take smarter people and you are but as long as you got pretty good political sense, may be much smarter in the field
they are in, and that is what you want. and i just thought that powell had a great touch with the market people, more than i had an eye can see him reaching out to the independence of the moderates. because clinton would pick them up and to me another one was on the list that it never talk to that was baynard, and scalia and all of the catholic votes rated. >> could you imagine how many times they would've said something that would have to be taken back in the new cycle. [laughter] >> will i said a few things myself. i was talking to writing what he wanted bring the missiles back and what was that quote. >> in five minutes we were watching the attack of the soviet union.
[laughter] >> yes you we had in on the air pretty. >> but maybe he could get away with it. lucky or whatever people. >> let's good point on bush and i think that is smart smart enough and think he made a basic mistake of not working more closely with congress because he came here as a conservative hand he got to be all politics and we against them and then the war in iraq just changed everything. and suddenly a focus on domestic programs and relationships with other countries and had to take a backseat rated wasn't much of a choice and look at the money we spent on education and so you can look at all of the different things that happen plus the loss of lives. >> work for you on the morning of 911 pretty. >> i just headed to walter reed, walked into the front door norman said mr. walker said did
you hear about the plane flying into the tower new york and i said no, because there's been a terrible accident and by the time of that all three, course the second plane and people were running all over the hospital getting mobilized and running to the pentagon and the whole place was in turmoil. >> and i have to get back, where were you on pearl harbor day pretty. >> i was in my fraternity in kansas on sunday morning wasn't and we were shocked, we were kids. and we could not believe it. >> did you sense that day or immediately thereafter and would change her life printed. >> turn thereafter because everybody started to sign up so i wasn't one of those i think there's a lot of these young guys joining the navy or the army everybody wanted to do something.
and in fact, roosevelt was pretty well we didn't get in, we weren't too anxious to get in. it. >> but the draft was passed by one vote pretty. >> wasn't rankin or somebody, a woman remember in utah or somewhere maybe in idaho or montana but once pearl harbor, the president went to the capitol and he was, well he was sort of a mentor of mine because he overcame disabilities and i remember the day and he died, i think april 12th, 1945. that was the day we are supposed have a big push in mid-to-late and we were all griefs stricken
and often wonder what would happen if he would've just held on a few more days maybe i would've been okay that's kind of selfish. >> you became a republican and he talked about the reasons you became a republican which suggests that your numbers rather than ideology, over the years, it's been very real republican and have or what is that develop around 30. >> a young guy named john wolf the county attorney in our little county and he was going to leave and i was in law school and he thought that i had to come back and run for that job. but before i did that i thought i would run for the state legislature and i think well i don't know who really got me in
there probably john wolf got me interested in politics and then the law library library, my students and running for office and wouldn't know anything about public law and three of us got elected. so that was all by accident. she does not more young people ought to be involved and she was wonderful lady. so four of us picked up the challenge and we did it. >> ike comes back the next year and there is overlap but i wonder if he was a hero of yours, it's always made it a lot easier to be a republican because dwight eisenhower was there. in june of 52 pretty. >> yes, i was there sitting in the rain and avoid eisenhower and people in kansas and a local
paper, he was a moderate republican. he coined the term and eisenhower was republican and you want to be in eisenhower publication be whatever or who the right winners for those days maybe taft i guess. but it sounded good to me, what little i knew about it. why not be an eisenhower republican and he was my hero. >> giver have a quote that you wish you could've take back pretty. >> yes lots of them if you're the leader subject about with some guy in office were lady just to show the good little support, back, god for boats or something yet have some of those.
and i voted against the attorney general from georgia. and i apologized to him for it because the secretary of transportation a black guy, bill: a great lawyer and a great guy, and a severe republican leader and you can't vote for this guy. i think i was one of 19. he endorsed me 96 in atlanta. so, regretted that because he won the race fair enough. just a good old southern gentleman. >> i think later on people had
second thoughts when he was nominated to supreme court because they think they realize that the politics had taken over. >> i voted for him but he was a bad nominee. >> while i did vote for floyd march with him and senator biden made a mistake on him, little petty things about $24 or something or little tiny things and there are long line of good family and i'm thinking of the other two that biden set up. >> mediocre people. >> on the bench but there was over 55 - 45. and we ended up with harry
blackmun. while was stevens. >> yes harry blackmun and lost his seat and 80. >> running mate for hillary. >> i'm sure this evidence everyone but you voted for something that was really for the constituents. and in retrospect you wish that you hadn't. many resisted that a lot. >> while i thought that the farm bill and all of that kind of stuff, really not pressure, you're from a farm state near on a committee you better vote for rent in those days we used to
say okay guys that we guys work out the week program and depending on the partier and then we will come back ten work on this together. and also from louisiana, there's never any partisanship. let's work this out. and it was a alternative minimum tax, 20 million who did not pay taxes the year before and it was not russell's idea. now we have this mess where you have 30 million people some of these great ideas come in fact to get it checked on final passage but i probably did this because russell wanted me to. he was a great legislature. he would get up in the senate floor that would be 50 amendments, 8:00 o'clock at night and he would just start
taking them, yes, i will take it and i will take it and you knew they weren't going anywhere and he would go to conference and out they go. but you get a press release back home. [laughter] >> without naming names, are there senators get into the place when they got up to speak. and conversely when someone gets up to speed, people really listen. >> i would say dirksen would always bring up you people and any died shortly after i came to the senate. but generally in closing to make, people would listen to robert byrd on appropriations or he didn't give you long history lesson for store you know the
leaders and sometimes you would ask people to come to the floor and we need to show support of the republican side and mitch would say we need to show support the voluntarily in their always urged to come. a lot of people in the got up to speak, that was a good time to go to the men's room or have lunch or maybe even take a vacation. >> has there ever been a situation where and family, the colleagues went to someone and said, look, the age for other reasons or the equivalent of an intervention. >> not giving the names but i never thought they were treated
fairly. and today he would not have a problem. and there are others who had bad drinking problems that had to be escorted off the floor from time to time. and i didn't serve liquor in my office because they wanted to get drunk, they were not going to do it in my office pretty good downtown or somewhere else and we didn't but we did serve coke or whatever. but put in the old days the leader's office would have drinks. >> to think television has changed that bring it to the senate might've had an impact.
>> it might have yeah. >> to think that's a good thing bringing television in. summa method the first, some people up there every day making a speech for people back in north dakota and i think overall is work pretty well. after several years, just kind of part of the deal. i don't think anybody really thinks about how big of the cspan audiences you want to know pretty. >> the only thing i know is that they have done statistics and printings this a supposedly in the course of the week between 30 and 40 million people. >> there is a big audience out there. i've not watched that closely in the senate no rio grande standards out there but there's always a couple in both parties
and i remember several walking in and looking up at the press gallery to see if anybody has written in the words and sometimes people come running out of the gallery and say ted kennedy or somebody. generally nobody came at the speeches work shorter and it was very nice pretty. >> to last things, one included you want to do is present and what was your presidency look like. >> i think more emphasis on a balanced budget and probably a little more emphasis on families and social programs in healthcare. and of course strong defense. i don't like taxes either. i would say a little right of
center but then again you gotta deal with congress. >> alive after the people number of people said that you know, he would've spent a lot of time in the help and he would've been sitting down. >> as i said before, bush and clinton both made mistake, great governors but in different place of their. and that's why gerald ford really 70 really knew the congress and got a lot of things done some work to good buddy and friends and sometimes politics you can separate the two and sometimes you can't.
>> the last thing unfair question but i have to ask you how would you like to be remembered. to think about that? >> the lot, as as i've said before, put on my tombstone veteran or something like that. because we do a lot of work with the veterans and still do every day doing something. and i think in yesterday for the hearing, henry, and another charity is ripping off these people and they're not even helping the veterans, millions and millions and billions of dollars in henry at the hearing yesterday. those kind of things are important to me.
>> politicians always say i don't look back and i don't live in the past at night look to the future. do you look back. >> i used to look back, used to dream about what i did wrong in 1996, and particularly and 88, that's when i really would lie awake at night and say what would i do wrong things i would feel like hopefully and 88 and also 96. i thought it would get there but it was not the same feeling. but anymore, i don't look back. in a great experience and you get to be 84 years old, you've only got so many days left of what i want to do, but i want to spend my tomorrow worrying about what happened back then and i want to worry about what will happen tomorrow.
sue met life has been pretty good for you right pretty many of them a lot and a memorial. >> made a lot of money a lot of family members who needed help and they were tired and we are making these great speeches that worked hard. and i told clayton i would tell the truth for 50000 and he said well tell them whatever you tell them for 300. [laughter] >> will you become the poster child, there is a whole generation of america, and don't think they think of you is fairly for the politics. it. >> i would spend to hours a day average because i have to write it out long handedness videos would type it. and they've either got a problem or they want to say thank you or i was on the honor flight and
you were there to shake my hand or whatever and that's how people know you. they don't) roberts. [laughter] i'll send it off to pat roberts. >> they write to me. some of them i do we don't have the staff got good va and dod end they kind of agreed to help us with this stuff and then make quite a few phone calls. this guy is 85 years old needs in the hospital and we would like to hear from you. nice little things, doesn't cost anything. >> with the contest that is that you had a lot of people who at one time, powerful people on the
hill or elsewhere. [inaudible]. >> it was not a form letter, is generally something that i scribbled out on a sticky pad. either that or put them on a phone list and some guy called yesterday from texas and billy somebody who was to come into politics any 30 years old and is iraqi veteran it and i've already got the stuff with the dallas county chairman and all of the 70 get into all of these little kind of things printed. >> there's people never get over the fact that there no longer and people's memories are pretty short. the shelf life and you have eaten that and i mean maybe because of the ads pretty. >> maybe i shouldn't say this
but i said that what is the shelf life of a former chief of protocol and he thought it just shot him. and it never ends. [laughter] but you are right, and you going to sit around thinking about how important you are, whatever. that is kind of a waste of time but it's kind of nice to have elizabeth involved it and i had only been on the hill since i left and 96, probably 20 times. i think i've taken people up to see about nine different senators, kennedy biden john warner, and people who i would introduce them part say i have a
problem frank i don't get my lawn form involved. and i talk to others about same thing. you do things like that and we don't lobby people. it is a we have to have this. did lobby months on an appropriation bill and it never happened but i decided i did not want to do that anymore, once was enough. dennis your friends to give $4 million for this client of ours. it is supposed to be helpful but i think it was.