Senator John McCain: Rule Number One Is Never Give Up

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) shared his thoughts on being shot down in North Vietnam, the election, ISIS, and China at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Rule number one is never give up.

Rule number two is when in doubt, see rule number one

John McCain

Political memoirs often begin with words very much like, “When I was young and poor, my ma and pa plowed corn while sis hung the wash. I busy saving a young heifer who had fallen into the crik. We named him after my great great grandfather, Abe.

John McCain memoirs began, “I have spent much of my life choosing my own attitude, often carelessly, often for no better reason than to indulge a conceit. In those instances, my acts of self-determination were mistakes, of which some did no lasting harm, and serve now only to embarrass, and occasionally amuse, the old man who recalls them. Others I deeply regret.”“(He) began his distinguished journey at a naval base in the Panama Canal. From there he moved to an appointment in the Naval Academy, and then from there he spent five and a half years in a P.O.W. prison, and from that strange place in time to nearly six terms in the U.S. Senate,” Cunningham said.

Then McCain took the floor and began his discussion with the current election.

McCain first addressed why he believes millennials are attracted to Vermont Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders and his idea of free education.

“I’m sure people in this room are carrying this burden of student loans,” McCain said. “There’s so many young Americans that particularly could go into professions like medicine and others, but they’re carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loans.”

However, McCain said the most important issue that the current candidates should focus on is that of the economy.

“I think it’s the economy and, for the first time since 1980, national security, terrorism and foreign policy,” McCain said.

The discussion of foreign policy then moved on to the relations between China and North Korea specifically.

“[Kim Jong-un] is a very dangerous person. This latest missile launch of theirs is very dangerous,” McCain said. “They’re one step away, maybe not one step, but getting near to the capability of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that would hit the United States of America.”

McCain went on to say how in his estimation the Chinese government could shut down the North Korean economy in a week owing to how dependent North Korea is on China.

He said the Chinese government choose to continue to support the North Korean regime because they don’t want a united Korea on their doorstep.

The foreign relations discussions then shifted to ISIS as the next point of conversation.

“The scholars that I know of the Muslim faith reject totally the ISIS approach to their interpretation of the Quran. Having said that, we need a lot more of our leaders in the Muslim community to stand up and condemn ISIS,” McCain said.

The senator then shared his views about the strength of women in the military.

“Women are qualified to engage in combat if that is their desire to do so. We have all volunteer force. Women have already proven their mettle in various aspects of combat,” McCain said.

Audience member Mary Winters said she found McCain’s talk refreshingly positive.

“There’s been a negative connotation behind the presidential election, so it was kind of nice to hear his side of things,” Winters said.

Contact the reporter at Holly.Bernstein@asu.edu.

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Senator John McCain: Fighting For America

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John McCain on the key global and domestic issues facing the American people. He pulls no punches whether it’s the Obama administration or his own political class in Congress. (Disclosure: I am a supporter of Senator McCain’s reelection).

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Transcript

00:00

I’m Jeff Cunningham professor at Walter

00:02

Cronkite School of Journalism and

00:04

Thunderbird school of global management

00:06

welcome to iconic voices TV

00:09

[Music]

00:25

you

00:26

if the forebears of John McCain had

00:29

remained in their ancestral Scotland

00:31

we’d have to call him Sir John or Lord

00:33

McCain that’s the way things are in the

00:36

UK but this is the United States and we

00:39

like to shuffle the cards every few

00:41

years and see some new faces even iconic

00:44

statesmen like Henry Kissinger are given

00:46

the bum’s rush by a new generation yet

00:49

for nearly six terms now the senator

00:52

from Arizona manages to do the

00:53

extraordinary

00:54

he keeps appearing at the top of the

00:56

deck is it his ability to communicate

00:59

the New York Times implied that after 30

01:02

years of delivering the message on

01:03

weekend political shows Senator McCain

01:06

deserves a lifetime-achievement Oscar

01:08

could it be that were taken by his

01:11

natural-born skepticism on the hill

01:13

Senator McCain is known as the dude with

01:16

tude and rebel without a pause

01:18

maybe his stealth weapon is Winston

01:21

Churchill’s secret for defeating Hitler

01:23

overwhelmed them with energy well we

01:26

truly understand if he chose to spend

01:28

his days seeing how his tomatoes are

01:31

growing yet instead Senator McCain heads

01:33

off to Serbia to see how the refugee

01:36

problem is growing I’m delighted to

01:39

welcome my fellow Scotsman who began his

01:41

distinguished journey at a naval base

01:43

and the Panama Canal and then was

01:45

appointed to the u.s. Naval Academy

01:47

before being dropped on ceremoniously

01:50

into a powr isn’t in Hanoi and from that

01:53

strange place in time to nearly six

01:55

terms in the United States Senate

01:57

once again Senator John McCain with that

02:02

I’ll just add that I serve on the board

02:05

of trustees of a fantastic geopolitical

02:08

think tank which happens to go by the

02:10

name the McCain Institute there’s no

02:12

coincidence but just in full disclosure

02:14

senator Justice Scalia dies Apple

02:21

against the FBI and the Pope dumps Trump

02:25

it’s harder to figure out where to start

02:28

than the Super Bowl lottery what the

02:29

Super Bowl lottery would what’s your

02:31

take on these

02:33

my take is we’re in the most unusual

02:36

period of American political history

02:38

that I think we’ve seen in modern times

02:40

could I just make one comment

02:43

congratulations on being part of I think

02:46

a premier school of general journalism

02:48

in America and I’d like to mention one

02:51

historical incident I was a new

02:55

congressman wacked back many years ago

02:57

in 1983 which happened to be the tenth

03:01

anniversary of the ending of the Vietnam

03:04

War and I got a phone call from Walter

03:07

Cronkite and Walter Cronkite asked if I

03:10

wanted to go with him back to Vietnam

03:13

where I had spent five and a half years

03:15

on the occasion of the 10th anniversary

03:18

of the end of the war he and I and

03:22

producer and a cameraman then by a

03:25

circuitous route spent about a week and

03:30

Hanoi together and a lot of us don’t

03:33

really appreciate unless we were around

03:36

at the time Walter Cronkite was the most

03:39

trusted man in America year after year

03:41

after year he was voted that and people

03:44

had appointment viewing people made it a

03:47

point to watch the evening news and and

03:50

Walter Cronkite so I can’t tell you how

03:53

what a thrill it was for me to be able

03:56

to spend some days with the premier

03:59

journalists of the 20th century so I

04:01

think you should be proud to carry on

04:04

his tradition of journalism at its

04:07

finest

04:15

finally got an answer your question I

04:19

have never seen anything like it

04:21

I know of no political pundit who has

04:23

predicted it and I don’t know what’s

04:26

going to happen next so but let me try

04:30

to trace a little bit of the origins of

04:32

this for you to help understand it a

04:35

little better there’s a lot of Americans

04:38

that are very angry there’s a lot of

04:40

Americans millions who have stopped

04:42

looking for work there millions of

04:45

Americans who have not seen any

04:47

improvement in their lives since the

04:50

economic crash of 2008 and there’s a lot

04:57

of middle-aged and older Americans that

05:00

yearn for a previous era in our history

05:04

where we had steadily improving

05:07

economies where we were the strongest

05:09

nation in the world where we weren’t

05:12

facing these challenges which many

05:15

Americans find hard to understand and

05:19

comprehend in this new brand of radical

05:22

Islam which is carrying out acts on the

05:26

United States of America in the case of

05:28

San Bernardino so there’s a great deal

05:31

of unhappiness and there’s also a great

05:33

deal of uncertainty that’s why this

05:36

phrase of Donald Trump make America

05:38

great again that’s that’s his obviously

05:41

he is slogan and my friends America is

05:44

the greatest and strongest nation on

05:46

earth have no doubt about it would you

05:49

like to be the Chinese and every few

05:51

days in Beijing you can’t see a block

05:53

because of the

05:54

air pollution and there

05:57

one child policy that they had for so

06:00

long which is making China a very

06:03

geriatric nation would you like to be

06:06

the Europeans who right now are trying

06:08

to grapple with an unprecedented event

06:10

of these millions hundreds of thousands

06:14

of migrants refugees that are flowing

06:16

into their country so I have no doubt

06:20

about America and its future but right

06:23

now very accurately a lot of Americans

06:27

find us in a period of uncertainty and

06:31

even crisis that they want something

06:34

different and their anger and

06:37

frustrations is directed to a large

06:39

degree to Washington DC and the approval

06:44

rating of Congress is 14 percent is

06:47

there anyone here who was in the 14

06:49

percent that approves of Congress please

06:52

raise your hand

06:53

well if you just raise your hand please

06:56

do not drive an automobile here in the

06:58

valley you’re a danger to yourself and

07:00

others

07:02

honey say I could I just find Zach Lenin

07:06

I was in Omaha yesterday and I’ll and

07:09

the airport at Sky Harbor that guy runs

07:11

up to me and says hey anybody ever tell

07:14

you look a lot like Senator John McCain

07:16

I said yeah he said done it sometimes

07:20

make him mad as heck so thank you for

07:26

Senator one of the consequences of the

07:29

agitation or anger that you’re talking

07:31

about is that Millennials turned out to

07:33

be we’re turning out to be supporters of

07:35

Senator Bernie Sanders

07:37

I read the 36 percent of Millennials are

07:40

still living with their parents could it

07:42

be they’re attracted to him because he

07:43

looks like someone they live with I

07:46

think one of the reasons why they’re

07:49

attracted to him is because is view that

07:53

there’ll be a free education one of the

07:55

things I’m sure people in this room are

07:58

carrying this burden and student loans

08:00

there’s so many young Americans that

08:03

particularly if you go into professions

08:05

like medicine and others where they’re

08:07

carrying hundreds of thousands of

08:09

dollars of student loans that take some

08:11

years to do to pay off Bernice and

08:13

everybody’s going to have a free

08:15

education yeah and yes it’s a simplistic

08:18

statement but I also think the other

08:20

problem that Hillary Clinton has is this

08:24

issue of trust if you look at the most

08:26

probably the most important polling

08:29

number you should look at when you

08:31

consider the chances of a candidate for

08:33

success is trust because if people don’t

08:36

trust a candidate then they’re not

08:37

willing to examine their other qualities

08:41

and right now secretary Clinton’s trust

08:44

numbers are in the 30s even with with

08:47

Democrats do you sense that the flip

08:50

side is the mirror image is that that

08:53

has Trump’s and through the enthusiasm

08:56

for Trump mirrors the same thing as

08:58

Sanders well the other day I ran and was

09:01

talking to a guy and I said who you for

09:03

he says Trump I said why he said because

09:05

he’s going to make America great again

09:07

he tells and he tells it like it is and

09:10

I said well who’s your second choice he

09:12

said Sanders maybe the extremes have

09:18

come around to meet at the at the other

09:20

end but there is a certain sameness to

09:23

their appeal they’re not going to be

09:26

part of the establishment they’re taking

09:28

on the the party apparatus there are the

09:31

underdogs that you know there’s a

09:33

there’s a certain sameness to the

09:36

message that both of them are finding to

09:39

have great resonance so we’re looking at

09:42

what not several months ago would have

09:44

been the unthinkable these are the most

09:46

interesting times

09:47

my friends you’ll be telling your

09:49

grandchildren if they ever ask about it

09:51

about this political campaign because

09:54

none of us have ever seen anything like

09:56

it before and I hope we never seen

09:58

anything like it again it’s is this

10:00

gonna be a palate cleanser like the

10:02

sorbet between courses no I just I just

10:06

don’t know but I I really feel that we

10:11

we people like me probably

10:14

underestimated the frustration frankly

10:18

which is head fed to some degree by some

10:21

of the talk shows that are you know

10:23

demand purity in all of us that that it

10:28

is exacerbated a sense of frustration

10:31

that Americans feel and a bit of fear

10:36

because my friends I I’m sorry to tell

10:39

you this but in the words of the

10:41

Director of National Intelligence before

10:43

the Senate Armed Services Committee last

10:46

week there will be more attacks on the

10:48

United States of America

10:50

there will be talks about that that is

10:53

going to obviously unsettle Americans

10:56

even more right now mister Baghdady the

10:59

head of Isis is calling in young men I

11:03

think yeah only young men and he’s

11:06

saying no join the refugee flow here’s

11:10

an internet site for you to use get to

11:13

fill in the blank country contact us and

11:17

we will work on a terrorist attack it’s

11:20

just happening and mr. Baghdadi who

11:24

spent four years in our American prison

11:27

camp in Iraq and from 1960 excuse me

11:33

2006 to 2010 when he was leaving the

11:38

Americans recognized him as a leader and

11:40

they spoke to him on his way out and he

11:42

said I’ll see you in New York that was

11:45

much a Baghdadi’s statement and we

11:48

should take him at his word they don’t

11:50

think they can destroy America but they

11:53

sure think that they can inflict

11:54

significant damage

11:56

and so we’re gonna see San bernandino

11:59

over again would you step back for a

12:02

moment trace this back to two things

12:05

the Iranian Defense Minister is in

12:07

Moscow I presume doing some shopping

12:09

with the check that we just ended over

12:11

and you were in Serbia dealing or

12:15

helping to deal with the refugee flow

12:17

how do those things come together and

12:19

relate to our world I know that there

12:22

are some people in this room who are

12:24

supporters of the president and I

12:26

respect that and I respect those of you

12:29

that are of the Democratic Party yeah

12:32

but I can assure you that I and Lindsey

12:37

Graham predicted everything that has

12:40

happened because this refugee situation

12:43

is not like a tsunami or an earthquake

12:45

it’s because failed policies over the

12:50

years by this administration have led to

12:54

a situation where people now are fleeing

12:58

because they can’t survive where they

13:01

are and I’m not going to take all your

13:03

time to tell you exactly those decisions

13:06

along the way but it had to do with

13:07

pulling everybody out of Iraq it had to

13:10

do with our failure to help the Free

13:12

Syrian Army with a with assistance and

13:14

it had to do when the president said

13:17

that Syria

13:18

Bosher Assad had crossed the red line

13:21

using chemical weapons said we were

13:24

going to respond and didn’t and that’s

13:27

why you see these Middle Eastern

13:29

countries no longer trusting the United

13:32

States and act

13:34

on their own you mentioned Jeff I was in

13:38

Serbia last Friday and I watched these

13:43

refugees coming across the border being

13:46

class talked to by the Serbian police

13:50

and military and then put on trains to

13:54

go to the Serbian border on their way to

13:57

Germany

13:58

the Serbs aren’t letting any of them

13:59

stay in Serbia and they don’t want to

14:02

stay in Serbia they want to get to

14:03

Germany and Angela Merkel as you know

14:08

the Chancellor of Germany her approval

14:11

ratings have plummeted because the

14:13

Germans are getting very very upset

14:16

about these thousands and thousands and

14:19

the other thing that struck me when I

14:21

saw these refugees was a large number of

14:26

them were from Afghanistan and other

14:31

countries and besides Syria and Iraq and

14:35

the other thing that was interesting is

14:37

about 3/4 of them were young men between

14:40

the age of about 18 and 3rd

14:43

the overwhelming majority of men were so

14:47

we’re now seeing strains on the European

14:50

Union that have never been since the end

14:54

of since the European Union was was

14:56

formed up and it was 1947

15:00

it’s been a argument wage that

15:04

terrorists are using refugees as a

15:06

caravan to infiltrate what does that

15:09

spell for Europe I think you’re going to

15:12

see more Paris like attacks I don’t

15:18

think there’s any doubt you’re going to

15:19

see that

15:22

and therefore there’s going to be a

15:26

backlash against these refugees I’m sure

15:31

you many of you saw that in Cologne on

15:33

New Year’s Eve there were some attacks

15:37

or attempts of attacks on new German

15:40

women from some of these non Europeans

15:44

and I’m not saying there were Syrians I

15:46

don’t know but they were refugees and as

15:50

is understandable the German public is

15:53

very angry about this to have a

15:56

celebration of New Year’s Eve being

15:58

marred by attacks physical attacks by

16:01

what they viewed as as as refugees so

16:07

and could I just mentioned one other

16:10

thing Isis is metastasizing

16:15

in case you missed it today we have the

16:18

news that American aircraft bombed guess

16:22

where Libya the ISIS has established an

16:27

outpost there the information that I

16:29

have there’s about 5,000 of them in

16:32

Libya there in Nigeria and Boko Haram

16:35

they are in the Sinai they are

16:39

metastasizing in the Middle East in a

16:42

way that poses a great danger frankly to

16:47

all of them and the entire region

16:50

particularly those Middle Eastern

16:52

countries that have frankly undemocratic

16:55

governments it’s a breeding ground for

16:57

them in the middle of this environment

17:00

it was thought that people at Apple and

17:03

people at the FBI thought that a good

17:05

public fight would make a lot of sense

17:07

right now wouldn’t there be a better way

17:10

to resolve this issue of Syed Farook

17:13

Stella phone first of all I think you

17:17

could make an argument that if there was

17:19

information in someone’s home about an

17:23

attack on the United States of America

17:25

or individuals I think it would be

17:28

obvious to all of us that you would go

17:30

to court get a court order for a search

17:32

warrant and go into that that home so is

17:37

to prevent further attacks

17:40

now this is obviously a matter of

17:43

Technology and I understand apples

17:47

argument that they do not want to make

17:49

their systems vulnerable to more

17:53

vulnerable to cyber attacks I think

17:56

there is legitimacy to that and you know

17:58

I hate Commission’s because they usually

18:02

come up with nothing it’s usually a way

18:05

to pay some lawyers and issue a report

18:08

that nobody reads or pays any attention

18:10

to but in this case I think we’ve got to

18:14

have some kind of meeting in the minds

18:16

between Silicon Valley and national

18:20

security it’s the same argument and

18:23

debate we’re having about the rights of

18:25

the individual and the need to have

18:29

security to protect our citizenry and

18:32

this is now a very high stakes stakes

18:36

game and if you believe Apple it would

18:41

mean their ability to compete with these

18:44

devices that are made in other countries

18:45

that are not required to have this

18:48

ability to to go in so I think we ought

18:52

to try to get some of the best brains in

18:54

America together and people like Admiral

18:58

Rogers a head of cyber command and mr.

19:01

Comey the director of the FBI and sit

19:03

down there must be a solution to this my

19:06

friends because we obviously don’t want

19:08

people to have secure sites that they

19:11

can at will applaud attacks on the

19:14

United States of America but at the same

19:16

time we don’t want government

19:18

interfering with our privacy there we

19:21

have a fundamental right of privacy so I

19:24

think you’re going to see a whole lot

19:26

more debate on this issue before we

19:29

before we get it resolved senator would

19:32

you comment on that other bundle of joy

19:34

Kim jong-un who the Chinese referred to

19:37

as the third fatty and what is China’s

19:41

interest in protecting North Korea the

19:45

rotund ruler as I like to describe who

19:50

is this is this a very dangerous person

19:54

because I’m not sure about his

19:55

rationality this latest missile launch

19:59

of theirs is very dangerous they’re one

20:02

step away maybe not one step but getting

20:06

near to the capability of launching an

20:08

intercontinental ballistic missile that

20:11

would hit the United States of America

20:12

that’s very dangerous in his hands who’s

20:15

the key to all this

20:16

the Chinese the Chinese could shut down

20:18

the North Korean economy in a week

20:20

that they’re just so dependent on on the

20:24

Chinese government now the Chinese for

20:26

years had some legitimacy to their

20:29

propping up the North Korean regime

20:31

because they didn’t want a United

20:33

Peninsula of Korea on their doorstep

20:37

South Korea’s no threat to China South

20:40

Korea would be spending the next 30

20:41

years trying to bring the North Korean

20:43

economy up to that at the South Koreans

20:45

but they insist on propping up this is

20:50

terrible regime but my friends they have

20:53

400 this with this guy we joke about

20:55

just four hundred thousand people in a

20:57

gulag where they’re being starved and

21:00

beaten every single day it’s horrible

21:02

it’s the last modern gulag modeled after

21:06

the old Soviet Union so it’s it’s the

21:11

Chinese and the Chinese now are acting

21:14

in a very aggressive fashion I’m sure

21:16

you may have seen where they put in

21:17

missile capabilities and the islands

21:19

that they’ve filled in which are in

21:21

total violation of international law we

21:24

may have time to talk about what the

21:26

Iranians did to our sailors but so I

21:31

think it’s a very dangerous I think it’s

21:34

dangerous and I think as long as China

21:35

props up north this regime and we joke

21:39

about this guy but believe me he’s

21:41

dangerous and so it’s another challenge

21:46

if the Chinese put a missile on an

21:48

island that’s a fake Island have they

21:50

really put a missile on it

21:51

they put missiles on it according to our

21:54

intelligence and the the law of the sea

21:58

is an international law there’s various

22:05

agreements and treaties that have been

22:08

signed is that you do not put military

22:11

installations on islands that are in

22:14

international waters

22:16

now you could under islands that you

22:18

claim and go through the court but

22:20

they’re in violation of international

22:23

law including the law of a sea treating

22:25

which we are not signatories to by the

22:27

way you have to caveat that but they are

22:30

now moving in look here’s the reason for

22:34

all this my friends the Chinese view the

22:36

last 200 years is aberrations of history

22:39

they are convinced that China’s role a

22:43

dominant role in Asia is their heritage

22:46

and their future and all of us for years

22:50

used to credit the Chinese with seeing

22:52

around the corner of history and being

22:54

omniscient and wise and all that

22:56

well they’ve managed to alienate and

22:58

scare the daylights out of every other

23:00

country in the region and by the way to

23:03

show how provocative they are they put

23:06

those missiles in at the same time the

23:08

other Asian countries were meeting in

23:11

California with Barack Obama I mean that

23:14

is thumb in the eye subtle sure and so

23:18

but one I told you about their pollution

23:21

- I told you about their aging

23:25

population 3 they have these state-owned

23:28

enterprises that are collapsing as we

23:31

seek their economy has gone still strong

23:34

but it but it continues down and that is

23:36

being reflected in stock markets all

23:39

over the all over the world and they

23:42

have United the other countries in the

23:44

region in a way that that 15 years ago

23:47

we was not possible and every time you

23:51

read about somebody in China has been

23:54

arrested for corruption it’s not

23:56

corruption my friend

23:57

it is the new leader of China asserting

24:02

himself an accumulating power in a way

24:04

that nobody has since dumped Xiao ping

24:06

it’s not corruption it is got to do with

24:10

getting rid of potential adversaries on

24:13

the military first you’re very involved

24:15

in Veterans Affairs as chairman in the

24:17

Armed Services Committee what’s

24:20

happening with the veterans situation

24:21

which you’ve talked about and just if

24:23

you would the future of women in combat

24:26

I think the future of women in combat is

24:29

a pretty easy one I’d like to take first

24:31

that is if women are qualified they’re

24:33

clearly should engage in combat if that

24:37

is their desire to do so we have all

24:39

volunteer force women have already

24:41

proven their mettle in various aspects

24:44

of combat I do believe we have to

24:47

maintain the same physical standards I

24:49

really do because when you’re talking

24:51

about people like Special Forces they

24:53

just really have to have the physical

24:55

capability and so you need to keep those

24:58

same same standards but there’s too many

25:00

women who have been involved in too much

25:02

combat for the old idea that women are

25:05

not qualified they’re more than

25:07

qualified our member of congress from

25:09

tucson and martha mcsalley she was a

25:11

commander of an a-10 scriber she was in

25:14

combat and she not only was in combat

25:17

she led so on the other it’s a sad story

25:24

my friends it all started here in

25:27

Phoenix with 5050 veterans allegedly

25:30

died while awaiting care on a

25:32

non-existent waiting list and it’s it’s

25:36

ricocheted throughout the entire VA and

25:40

there’s

25:41

people that work for the VA but the

25:43

bureaucracy is has really got a very

25:46

long way to go there’s two real really

25:49

answers to this one is hold people

25:52

accountable which they are still not

25:53

doing they’ve only fired one person but

25:56

the second that is to give our veterans

25:58

a choice I negotiated after this scandal

26:02

with Bernie Sanders in those days he

26:05

didn’t used to brush his hair and and

26:10

his is a noun socialist as you know so

26:13

his solution to the VA Pro was just make

26:17

to be a bigger my solution was primarily

26:20

based on the choice card in other words

26:24

if a veteran lives a certain distance

26:26

away or has to wait a certain period of

26:28

time that veteran can take a card and go

26:31

to the healthcare provider of his or her

26:33

choice now I’d like to see that

26:34

universal but I had to compromise with

26:37

Bernie on this Geographic aspect of it

26:41

all there’s no reason why veterans

26:43

should check in at the VA and then tell

26:45

they say you’re on a waiting list for

26:47

two or three weeks or a month that’s

26:49

crazy

26:51

and so I want to see that happen second

26:54

of all is that my friends a lot of

26:56

Americans are not aware that 8,000

26:59

veterans commit suicide every year

27:01

that’s a national shame of course and we

27:05

passed a bill and I

27:08

called clay hunt suicide prevention act’

27:11

I am very proud of the City of Phoenix

27:14

the City of Phoenix does not have a

27:16

single homeless veteran because of work

27:19

done by the City of Phoenix this several

27:25

indicators of a veteran who it may

27:29

consider suicide and one of them prime

27:33

indicators is not having a home so I’m

27:35

very place to live so I’m very proud of

27:38

what we have done there we have a long

27:41

way to go the VA does the best of

27:45

anybody on PTSD on traumatic brain

27:47

injury on prosthesis those things

27:50

related to combat but I have to tell you

27:53

my friends as far as other areas of

27:55

healthcare needs their outside are as

27:57

good or better so why not let the

28:00

veteran choose as to where that veteran

28:02

wants to go to get medical care so it’s

28:06

like turning around a supertanker my

28:08

friends it takes a long time to turn

28:11

this whole thing around we have a new

28:14

head of the VA here in Phoenix who I

28:15

just happened to have met today I think

28:17

she’s doing a good job I really do but I

28:20

also think you need to hold people

28:22

accountable and right now people are not

28:25

being held accountable so now I drive

28:27

for the long answer my last question

28:30

you’ve written by my count six books and

28:33

I wondered if it’s your philosophy to

28:35

quote Churchill history is going to be

28:37

very kind to me for I intend to write it

28:42

yes I’ve had a very fortunate life the

28:47

most fortunate of anyone you will ever

28:49

talk to and some of that I have put in

28:53

too

28:54

into writing and I’ve tried to be honest

28:58

about it but I’ve also write tried to

28:59

write books about men and women who

29:02

serve and have served as an inspiration

29:04

to others I write about periods of our

29:08

history and I’m very glad that I’ve been

29:12

able to to do that the first book I

29:15

wrote is still probably which is about

29:18

my family and and my early life and my

29:22

ability to intercept a surface-to-air

29:25

missile with my own airplane which was

29:26

not the way we wanted to do to win the

29:29

war but other than that though I’m very

29:32

poor we’re open to questions

29:36

my friends Moldova

29:38

by economic indicators any organization

29:43

saves the poorest nation in Europe and

29:45

it is not a member of NATO and it is a

29:48

prime target of Vladimir Putin and

29:51

because of the extreme poverty there is

29:54

terrible human trafficking that goes on

29:56

in that country young women routinely

30:00

are taken and sold or stolen and taken

30:04

into other parts of Europe or other

30:08

parts of the world it is so sad and

30:10

heartbreaking it is wrenching because

30:14

these young women are in their teens

30:16

obviously I’m proud of my wife and other

30:21

organizations who are working very hard

30:23

on this issue it is so horrible a lot of

30:28

us just shy away from it but all I can

30:31

say is that Moldova is also experiencing

30:34

extreme pressures from Vladimir Putin

30:36

and the politics in the country are very

30:41

uncertain particularly because of the

30:43

poor economic conditions I will do

30:45

everything in my power to see that

30:48

there’s free and fair elections no

30:50

matter what the outcome of it is and

30:52

also to help address this terrible

30:56

tragedy of what’s happening to

30:59

young women in that country that if you

31:02

go to Moldova my friends and you walk

31:04

down the street of the of the capital

31:07

you will not see young women you will

31:09

not see them

31:13

on the issue of refugees I am a

31:16

federalist I believe that government

31:19

closest to the people is the best

31:21

government etc but the refugee issue is

31:23

a federal issue it’s not a state purse

31:26

or mayor’s issue and I believe that if

31:32

this one since this threat is real of an

31:36

Isis attack then we should have a

31:39

legitimate screening process to make

31:43

sure that no one comes to this country

31:45

and kills our citizens and I think that

31:48

in the meantime we ought to have a cause

31:51

until we put their procedures in place

31:54

that American can be sure that anyone

31:57

who comes to this country is is for the

31:59

right reason

32:03

I do know that

32:04

for a long period of time since the end

32:07

of World War one when some Colonels in a

32:10

tent divided up that part of the world

32:12

as you I’m sure you know that they were

32:17

fairly they got along with each other

32:20

Sunni and Shiah got along Kurtz got

32:23

along by the way the Kurds are the are

32:26

the largest ethnic group in the world

32:28

without a nation of their own Minh to

32:34

some degree on the outcome of all this

32:37

conflict and this fighting and there’s

32:41

no doubt right now there’s many

32:43

complicating factors in this whole Isis

32:47

Bashar Assad all of these issues but one

32:51

of them is the tension between Turkey

32:53

and the Kurds the Turks now are

32:55

attacking the same people that we are

32:58

supporting kkg and and it’s it’s gotten

33:02

very very complicated I know that there

33:04

are many people that just sort of accept

33:07

that there’s going to be a de facto

33:09

partition between Sunni and Shia and

33:13

Kurds I just don’t think it’s quite that

33:16

easy first of all the question is is

33:18

what are the boundary lines that that

33:21

might be of interest to those different

33:23

groups

33:26

I think they’ve got a very good Prime

33:29

Minister I think he’s doing a good job I

33:32

think there are very intense pressures

33:34

from Vladimir Putin I mean very intense

33:37

as you know there’s a many centuries-old

33:40

relationship between Serbia and Russia

33:43

and they are putting enormous pressures

33:48

the Russians through the media through

33:52

activities that are less than legitimate

33:58

and in my view and of course they are

34:01

appealing to the Serbian people because

34:04

of this aid this relationship that

34:06

you’re very familiar with the Serbs as

34:08

you know who fought on the side of

34:11

Russia and and there’s very great deal

34:15

of cultural and other relationships that

34:19

go back between Serbia and Russia for a

34:22

long time

34:23

Vladimir Putin is taking advantage of

34:25

that I believe that the Prime Minister

34:27

is trying to steer a middle course and I

34:30

think he’s he’s obviously the as you

34:34

know the most popular leader in Serbia

34:37

today and I was very favorably impressed

34:39

by

34:43

I think it’s the economy and for the

34:45

first time since 1980 national security

34:48

terrorism foreign policy obviously

34:50

that’s triggered the the San Bernardino

34:53

and the threats that we see of Isis to

34:56

the United States of America first time

34:58

in many years of the 2014 election well

35:02

let me — 2012 election foreign policy

35:06

national security was eight or nine in

35:09

the priority list of the voters now it’s

35:11

right up there at the top

35:16

as you as you may know two of my sons

35:19

one is unactive duty a Navy pilot and

35:23

the other is in the guard and he served

35:25

both Iraq and Afghanistan I think when

35:29

they tell me but I also you made of an

35:37

excellent point I have seen many

35:40

outstanding public servants who stayed

35:43

too long and the tragedy of that is you

35:46

remember them how they were at the end

35:48

and not how they were when they were at

35:51

their best and I don’t want that to

35:54

happen and I can assure you there are

35:57

some people in the Tea Party that

36:00

believe that that should have been long

36:03

ago

36:07

I think that

36:09

if it were Donald Trump who were elected

36:11

president he would have the endorsement

36:14

of the voters of America I think that if

36:17

that when they vote in this election one

36:20

of the factors or issues they will be

36:23

voting on is the next Supreme Court

36:25

justice and who they would like to

36:27

choose that justice not a lame duck and

36:31

I’d also like to point out that that

36:36

President Obama announced his filibuster

36:40

of Judge Alito back a number of years

36:44

ago and it was the Democrat leader Chuck

36:47

Schumer who announced that in 2007 when

36:51

we had a Republican president that

36:54

rather than chooses Supreme Court

36:56

justice we should wait until the next

36:59

election so the American people who

37:01

would endorse it proving again that old

37:04

adage it’s not where you stand it’s

37:06

where you sit

37:10

I think that what Isis has done is

37:15

pervert and honorable religion the

37:20

scholars that I know on the Muslim faith

37:23

reject totally the ISIS approach to

37:28

their interpretation of the Quran but

37:31

having said that we need more and more

37:34

we need a lot more of our leaders in the

37:37

Muslim community that respected clerics

37:40

others who are leaders to stand up and

37:42

condemn Isis I want to see more of that

37:46

because young people who are choosing

37:50

what kind of the Muslim religion that

37:53

they support

37:55

I don’t believe are getting enough

37:57

direction from respected members of the

38:02

Muslim community

38:06

it’s one of more difficult challenges

38:08

that we have I would argue K through 12

38:13

that competition is important and one of

38:16

the reasons why I support charter

38:19

schools I am NOT arguing that charter

38:21

schools are better or worse than public

38:24

schools I am arguing that with

38:26

competition we find excellence and

38:29

that’s one of the reasons why I think

38:30

our program here in Arizona charter

38:33

schools is good as far as college

38:36

education is concerned frankly I don’t

38:38

have a lot of good answers on that on

38:41

secondary schooling I do know that we

38:44

should make loans more available we

38:47

should have more scholarship programs

38:49

but we’re still seeing in an ordinate

38:52

rise in college education costs that far

38:57

exceed that of inflation in America and

39:01

I think we’re going to have to sit down

39:02

and have a dialogue about it

39:07

cyber is the challenge of the 21st

39:10

century our former chairman the joint

39:13

chief was asked what about potential

39:16

challenges in America faces he said we

39:18

have a significant advantage in every

39:21

challenge except for one cyber and my

39:24

friends that there is no doubt that the

39:27

threat of cyber attacks can do all kinds

39:32

of terrible things so we have to spend

39:37

money on it we have to have a policy

39:39

which we don’t have now and we’re going

39:41

to have to get some of the brightest

39:43

minds in America to work on it

39:45

and that may mean something like a cyber

39:48

core that people who are really trained

39:52

and good in understanding cyber rather

39:55

than the traditional way up through the

39:57

military or the civilian service where

40:00

it is a major challenge

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Jeff Cunningham

Jeff Cunningham

2019 Telly Award IconicVoices.tv; ex-publisher Forbes

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