Q = Lu, last name unknown, Steve Bissett, Valerie Hillary, Colton Reeves, Unidentified Male, Michelle Brady, Chris, last name unknown, Eugene, last name unknown, William Maybay, Joanna Rowley
A = Former Governor Jeb Bush
U = Unidentified Speaker
(INAUDIBLE) = Areas that could not be heard due to background noise, tape/phone line quality, muffled speaking, etc.
A: Thank you. Thank you Lou, Bill. Thank you all thank you so much for hosting us. What a what a beautiful facility. An incredible example of American ingenuity, American entrepreneurship, American risk taking, a great American success story. And you think about the great things that our country has done. it’s inspiring to see this success. This is earned success. This is something that someone started with a dream and built on it and they built on it and they built on it and look at this beautiful facility. And you all are here adding value to your community, to your families. This is this is America at its best. In fact, sometimes I wonder whether or not this extraordinary country, cause we still are the greatest country on the face of the Earth, if we’re capable of doing the big things we’ve done in the past. Could we build the interstate highway system today if it didn’t exist? Could we launch a man on the moon? Could we, starting from scratch, could the next generation of people that are discovering cures for diseases could they do it from a standing start today? And I think the answer is yes, but it’s a lot more complicated. Everything is a lot more complicated and it’s creating a world where if you’re born poor you’re more likely to stay poor, which is America today. Five million more people in poverty than the day that Barack Obama got elected president which is shocking in a recovery to have people stuck in poverty. And if you’re in the middle we have disposable income that’s actually in decline. And it’s not how we’re going to operate going forward as the greatest the best country on the face of the Earth. So I think it’s incumbent upon people that are aspiring to the presidency, and that’s what I'm doing, to give people a sense that we can fix a few really big complex things. If we fix one of the most complicated, convoluted tax codes in the world the next generation of people will be successful. I was in Estonia last, three weeks ago. Estonia is a tiny little country of 1,300,000 people right in the Baltics very top next to 150 miles probably from Saint Petersburg, Russia. They have a hostile neighbor on their on their border, but when they became free from the Soviet yoke they decided to modernize their whole country. They have health information records that are that are totally electronic. You can file your tax returns in two minutes. 95 percent of Estonians have their taxes populated as they go forward they just have to go read it make sure it’s okay and sign it electronically and that’s it. That kind of simplicity and transparency is going to create a thriving economy for little Estonia and we need to apply some of those things I think for our success. How we regulate is now a challenge. I just got thoroughly briefed on the challenges of the Federal Drug Administration that you all know pretty well. I'm loaded to bear right now. I’ve got enough information...
A: But you look at the fact that in the last say eight years the time it takes to approve a drug or a biologic has almost doubled. The cost to get that approval has almost doubled. If you look at medical devices the same used to be a lot simpler to be able to get a medical device approved. That has been, that has gotten more complexity. Think of the people that are dying of diseases because we have created this most complicated regulatory system on top of the most dynamic sector of our economy. All of the innovations and discoveries taking place in the life science sector are awe inspiring. This business is one example of that. There are many others as well. But the cost of entry now and the uncertainty makes it harder for the next generation of people to be successful in this area and across the board of spec- the whole spectrum of economic activity. A third of our kids are college or career ready even though we spend more than more than any country in the world other than a couple of really small countries. A third, think of that in the world that we’re moving towards where the competitors are leapfrogging over us in terms of education attainment. If you graduate from high school and you have to retake high school math and high school reading to be able to start college and then there’s no reforms of our higher education system and student loans then, you know, become a burden of recourse debt on top of the next generation of people trying to make ends meet you can begin to see again that our ability to rise up as a society is being limited. And whether it’s embracing the energy revolution in our midst or fixing a broken immigration system it seems to me that what we need to do is to focus on how do we fix these few big complex things? Our entitlement system, anybody under the age of 40 ought to be for people my age advocating entitlement reform because you’re not gonna get it. You’re just not there’s not gonna be the social contract is gonna be torn up unless we reform these basic fundamental contracts with the American people that were designed a long, long while ago. So my advocacy is and my passion as a candidate for President is to say we have to fix these big things and this will be the greatest time to be alive in this world. This will be a time of abundance. This will be a time when people can dream huge dreams and be able to pursue them in their own way. This will be a time when the next generation of companies founded by dreamers like the founders of this great business are will flourish. But we have to fix these things and I know how to do it. Because I was governor of a crazy wacky state called Florida. A purple state more democrats than republicans but a state that had the highest number of people moving in and the third highest people moving out. It’s a state that’s really dynamic and when I was governor I said I would cut taxes I would reform how government worked. And we reduced the tax burden in the state by 19 billion dollars in eight years. We had the highest, second highest worker’s comp costs, and you may remember that. We lowered them to the bottom decile the bottom ten, saving 400 million dollars that could be reinvested in higher wages for people. We challenged every basic assumption of how our schools worked. We used sound budgeting. I call it family kitchen table budgeting which meant that government should grow slower than personal income growth. More important, more importantly was people’s how much money they had in their pockets not how big government got. And the net result was we were the only state other than Delaware to go to AAA bond rating. We, I left with 10 billion dollars of reserves for the next governor to deal with a rainy day and we had it. We’ve had a few rainy days in Florida. We led the nation in job growth with 1.3 million jobs created. We led the nation in small business growth by far. And the net result is I think our education achievement went up. It is by leadership and by applying in a principle centered way the time and tested principles that, you know, how that fixing things Florida did better. And I would like to apply those same common sense principles to Washington, D.C. The notion that somehow Washington is broken irreparably it’s never gonna be fixed and I hear people say that all the time is deeply disturbing to me, because if you accept that you’re basically accepting decline of our country. I for one am motivated to reverse that, that attitude. That if we fix these things this will be an extraordinary time not just to live in this world but to be an American because we’re gonna lead the world. And that’s my passion that’s my aspiration and you all are gonna have some say in that. As an early primary state I hope that you’ll watch the candidates not just for the ideas that they have but ask them do they have the leadership skills to make it so? Do they have a proven record of fixing the things that give everybody a chance? Not those that have already made it but everybody a chance to rise up again. And if you compare my candidacy with others I hope that you’ll view mine favorably. I would love to have your support I would love to have your prayers if you’re in the prayer business. And I certainly will look forward to earning your support over the next few months. I’ll be here a lot and I appreciate you hosting us and I'm happy to answer any questions.
Steve Brissett: I’ll go first. I'm not bashful.
A: Go right ahead and tell me your name.
Steve Brissett: Steve Steve Brissett.
Steve Bissett: First of all I would like to say thank you for having me here and you being here with us.
A: Oh I'm glad I invited you.
Steve Brissett: And thanks to Lu and Bill for inviting me down here to be with them. I have a very good friend of mine who happens to be my ex-wife and she is a school teacher.
A: That’s a good thing by the way to say.
Steve Brissett: Yes. And she is a school teacher and a majority of school teachers are die-hard democrats. How are you going to attack that group of people to help you gain votes?
A: So I would I have learned to separate the union from teachers. It makes sense politically but also the fact is that the teachers’ union actually represents in most states more non-teachers than teachers. It’s s little known fact. But the system is an adult centered system. It’s not focused on the outcomes for kids as much as it is the economic interests of the adults. And I'm totally look I'm all in on this subject. I created the first state-wide voucher program in the country. We have the largest school choice programs public and private in the country. And the benefit of this are particularly low income kids in Florida. At the first when we did this we grade schools A, B, C, D and F in Florida. That was a really radical idea believe it or not. It’s totally transparent. Every parent knows that an F is lousy and an A is what you want. We gave schools directly $100 per student for A’s and improvement and F schools parents were given other choices. So changing the system was traumatic for teachers, but when we started getting the greatest gains in learning of any state in the country. African American kids are in the top five states compared to their peers, Hispanic kids as well, kids with learning disabilities as well, low income kids. Principally the kids that have been left behind the kids that people say well life circumstances are such that these kids can learn, can’t learn. I reject out of hand that notion. I just reject it out of hand because I’ve seen the kind of gains we’ve had with robust accountability, high standards, more school choice. And guess what happened along the way? Many of the teachers that were resentful of this kind of change they wanted it the way it’s always been began to see well hey this is working. I shouldn’t be fearful of this. We’re being rewarded. 90 percent of the bonuses to schools go to teachers in our state. It’s the largest merit pay program in effect in the country. By results I turned people towards these ideas. You gotta stick with it and in Florida there was nothing more important than this. And in fact, in our country I don’t think there’s anything more important than assuring that after 12 years in spending more per student than any country in the world other than literally Luxembourg and Lichtenstein and one other country I can’t remember, that we have half of our kids that get a high school piece of paper that says I'm a high school graduate. Can’t go to college and can’t get a job because they have a hard time filling out the form to get a job. They’re certainly not career ready and they can’t calculate math and reading at a level that would allow them to start taking courses at a community college or go into the university. I think that’s a tragedy and if you convince people of that I think more and more people join the cause. And this is really not a political issue to me. This is a national security issue, this is an issue that goes beyond ideology. And look I’ve had some losses along the way in this fight but I'm on the right side, I'm on the side of the angels on this. I'm on the side of struggling kids that aren’t gonna be able to make ends meet. I'm on the side of parents of low income that are that want their children to have the same quality education that kids that are living in affluent homes have. Politically I don’t know how this plays out, but I know morally that this is the right place to be and it’s the right place for our country to begin to organize itself. If you have kids as we do in this country that are aimlessly wandering around in their lives because they’ve never been told that they were capable of learning, they’ve never been challenged to achieve far better, they’ve never really had the kind of mentoring and nurturing that gives them sense that their lives can be better you see what happens in Baltimore and Ferguson. You see the tragedies play out. You see the, you know, the people that become so despondent they take actions that are horrific. And I think education is the answer to a lot of those problems. I hope that didn’t depress you too much. Yes, ma'am?
Valerie Hillary: Hi, my name is Valerie Hillary. What are your thoughts on the recent battles of and controversies surrounding the Confederate Flag flying on the grounds of state buildings?
A: Great question. It what happened in the last two weeks in Charleston and here has reminded me of an experience I had as governor. It was either my first or second year. There was a big controversy in Georgia of flying the state flag either on the top of their building or on their premises. And it dawned on me that Florida has a Confederate Flag that was flying on its capitol grounds one of the six flags in Florida, I believe. And so I decided to do something politically incorrect. I decided to remove the flags. Just I was governor and I figure I could do it and I did. I took them off the premises and put them where I think they should be, which is in the Museum of Florida History. Where our heritage can be respected, but the symbols that have divided the south in many ways, the symbols that were used in most recent modern history. Not perhaps in the beginning of the time, but the symbols were racist. And if you’re trying to lean forward rather than live in the past you want to eliminate the barriers that create disagreements, and so I did. We eliminated all of the controversy opening up of wounds. I think it was the right thing to do, and I applaud Governor Haley for doing more or less the exact same thing under a lot of pressure. Look, South Carolina wants to be viewed as the host of this great business. They want to be I think most South Carolinians are proud of (Boeing). They’re proud of the businesses that have come here, the merging automobile industry. They’re proud of the fact that that higher wage jobs are being created. And anything that gets in the way of that vision I think while doing it respectfully ought to be put aside and allow South Carolina to move forward. And I would say that about any state that’s aspirational in its nature. Certainly Florida we did this 14 years ago and it eliminated a lot of the divisiveness that other states have struggled with. You can clap, brother. Yes, sir?
Colton Reeves: Yes. I'm Colton Reeves and by the education of as you well know the State of South Carolina we got more prison systems than we do we have for schools. I mean, the education and textiles went away, you know, your middle class and, you know, you got your upper class and you got your lower class. What you
suggest for bringing to the country if elected as President...
Colton Reeves: As far as bringing the jobs back to this country. That’s number one, you know, we it’s, I mean, a lot of jobs (inaudible). A lot of people suffering, you know, due to a lot of...
Colton Reeves: And you got a lot of people taxes outrageous, people on welfare, people I mean food stamps, I mean, you know, I mean I get up every day and I and I don’t knock it. We got our country, you know, we giving people that don’t come to work or want to get out and try to make it cell phones, I mean, you know, I pay for my phone. Stuff like that, you know, it’s almost like we’re running our own country into the ground.
A: Look, you’re the sentiments you’re expressing I hear all the time. And here’s the deal. Work should have a higher value than non-work. So if you’re working and your take home pay ought to be higher than not work. The way to do that is to transform these welfare programs so that it requires work again. To make sure that the eligibility is real. SSI Disability has gone through the ceiling. It’s just it’s crazy and the net effect economically of someone on SSI Disability is, can be as high as people above the minimum wage, and it’s just not right because those folks also can get as you said transfer payments of other types like food stamps. Now 48 million people receive food stamps. I'm not for eliminating the safety net for Americans, don’t get me wrong here. I think it is important to have, but it shouldn’t create a permanency of poverty that actually creates an economic impact that’s better than people trying to rise up. So number one, I think you need to bring equity as it relates to work versus non-work. Number two, we got to grow the economy at a far faster rate. If five million more people are in poverty today it’s not all because our welfare system is out of line. Five million since the day that President Obama was elected. It’s because we’re not growing economically to get people lifted up. So I would say high growth means reforming our tax code, fixing the regulatory mess. To get a permit to open a beautiful facility like this should not take one (inaudible) in March shouldn’t take four or five months. Think of all the other jobs that could have already been created. Think of more income in your pockets. Think of the business that could have been established. Think of the economic benefits that go way beyond this business. That go to the suppliers of this business, to all the small businesses that provide support for this business. Every time you put a lid on someones aspirations like this that is nonsensical, doesn’t make any sense it’s just because government is slow. That’s not an excuse. Government needs to be the mas- the servant not the master of people, so how we regulate needs to be fixed as well. We have an energy revolution in our country and we should accelerate it, not try to suppress it. Think about this, you don’t have this development here, but you’re going to benefit from it with low energy costs. Hydraulic fracking and a new form of drilling has created an explosion of cheap, abundant natural gas. All of us benefit with lower gasoline prices, all of us benefit with lower utility prices, and we’re gonna see the reindustrialization of the country. Everything that we can do to create higher growth and more investment in this country should be how we go about dealing with this problem that you’re correct to bring up. And then the third thing I would say is in spite of the fact that we’ve gone through this really difficult time after the financial crisis, throughout that whole period and even today there are three to four million jobs that are unfilled because of the so called skills gap, which means that people if people had the skills to take those jobs they would get them. But they’re not being filled because there aren’t the people that have the skills and the motivation to be able to take those jobs on. And these are higher wage jobs. And so it seems to me that we back to education and training that we need to revamp all of these systems, and I think South Carolina actually is working on the training part of this which is good. If people have the desire to work they don’t have the skills, the government’s role is to make sure that they get those skills in the most cost effective way as fast as they can so that they can start on their life’s journey. I’ve not met anybody that says hey this is great. I want to be completely dependent upon government. That’s the life I want to live, that’s my biggest dream. I just that’s the, you know, that’s the coolest thing. I just won’t have to do anything. I don’t think people define their life’s purpose that way. A lot of people say the system doesn’t work for me because I can’t get the access to that first rung on the ladder. And I think that’s where government could say look we’re going to change the system so that we get you the skills to achieved earned success, but we’re not gonna treat you better that someone who is struggling, you know, on their own to be able to provide for their families. I appreciate you bringing that up. It’s a I hear that story in a lot of different ways all across the country. Yes?
Unidentified Male: (Inaudible).
A: Oh, are we going to do a press gaggle?
Unidentified Male: Afterwards, yes.
A: Okay. We’ll get you. We’ll get you. Yes?
Michelle Brady: Me?
Michelle Brady: I'm Michelle Brady. As the mother of a veteran I would like to know how you plan on getting our country back to where to strong to fight ISIS and terrorism and things like that?
A: Great. First of all, I appreciate your son’s or daughter son or daughter service to the country and all veterans and their families. We all appreciate their efforts. ISIS, this is the anniversary the first anniversary of the creation of the caliphate, which is this belief of that nations don’t matter anymore. That they’re this Islamic state will exist across the Muslim world. And we’ve seen the result of this, the barbaric acts of Islamic terrorism, and it is a threat to our country. And to not call it what it is I think is wrong. Secondly, not having a strategy is wrong. The President has now had two times in press conferences where he was asked about how is your strategy as it relates to taking out ISIS, and he said we don’t have a strategy. Moments of incredible honesty, but not really kind of the job of the President is to create a strategy. And the strategy ought to be, first, admit what it is, Islamic terrorism. These are medieval, barbaric folks inspired by a twisted view of their religion that wants to destroy western civilization, and we should treat it as such. Which means that we need to be reengaged back in the region. Not to have boots on the ground, not to be the world’s policeman, but to encourage the further development of the Iraqi military, to embed in the military, to train them and to get their to get to upgrade their skills to continue to use the Air Force capabilities we have which are the best in the world. To target these terrorists wherever appropriate, to build a coalition of the willing if you will of countries in the neighborhood, to arm the Kurds, and to provide support for the Sunni moderate Sunni elements that no longer believe that the Iraqi National Government is there to protect them and no longer believe the United States is serious about supporting them. If we did all of those things and continued to try to garner support in the broader sense against transfer, you know, of money, of not allowing ISIS to sell oil to garner their resources, and to tell the world our, allies that we have their back, starting with Israel I think we can win this. But under this current attitude where basically the President is not taking the advice of the military, he’s putting restrictions on their ability to act, we’re prolonging this effort and actually probably empowering ISIS. So that’s specific to ISIS. On the broader sense I think the United States is not a force for bad in the world. Somehow we’ve been forced to turn the whole conversation if you’re not for the nuance new, you know, view of how the America’s view in the, you know, role in the world is then you’re a war monger. Well, there’s a great middle in between. And the middle in between used to be a bi-partisan view of this where we said we’re a force for peace and security because we’re strong militarily, we have the best fighting force in the world. The sequester is starting to challenge that. We provide support to our people that in a voluntary basis go serve in the military by having veteran’s benefits that are respectful of that sacrifice. Today that is called into question with the scandals in the veteran’s department. We need to fix that. And then as it relates to foreign policy we need to be engage where our friends know that we have their back, period. And our enemies need to fear us. If you want to avoid sending our sons and daughters into harm’s way then creating peace through strength is the way to do it. And if I was President of the United States I think I would listen to the advisors. The President ultimately has to make these decisions, but there should be greater input from the professionals in the military about how do we, the tactics of applying, you know, the tactics applied to be able to carry out the strategy. I hope the I hope our President does that. Sometimes I wonder if he has. Yeah?
Chris, last name unknown: Hi. I my name is Chris.
Chris, last name unknown: I recently attended a lecture in Washington, D.C. about scientific literacy in America, and the average American, there were several scary statistics, but the average American apparently 45 percent don’t even know how old the Earth is, which is second to only Turkey of all first world countries.
Chris, last name unknown: And yeah and like the...
A: Don’t ask me how old the Earth is. Is the answer really old?
Chris, last name unknown: The Germans before adopting the mark on their paper money they would actually have engineering equations, so even as kids they constantly came in contact. My question is in this day in age what could you do with your administration to promote scientific literacy in America?
A: This is not, you know, we have 13,000 school districts that are given the assignment of educating young people. We don’t need to add another one on top of it, a federal government school district. I just that’s, a contradiction in terms for me, I don’t think it’s effective. Having said that, this is a national priority. Raising expectations for every student is hugely important for our success. And then, moving towards things to learn that are relevant to a successful life. And this is not just K12 this is also higher education. The number one degree program in public universities is psychology, and that’s a fine major but it’s not going to deal with the skills gap that we have. It’s not going to deal, it’s not going to give you immediately a job, whereas if you’re an information technologist or applying science in some field you’re guaranteed a job, and you’re guaranteed a job above the median income. And you’re guaranteed a job that will allow you to live an independent life. Or if you’re a nurse or a teacher or an electrician or a plumber or a mechanic, we’re not the skills jobs are there’s shortages and on the and we’re giving degrees that don’t necessarily help people rise up. So I think it’s a broader question not just science, although that’s hugely important, and the values of our country perhaps have moved away from the hard sciences and restoring it and making sure people know that it’s a place that’s important to understand how the world works. And certainly it will lead to a much better more productive life by embracing those kind of degrees. We probably are going to need immigration reform in this regard too because it’s a as to your point a lot of students would love to come here and stay here and contribute to our society and be able to create opportunities for others that do embrace the technologies and STEM related fields. It’s not a zero sum game. The more we can grow our economy the more opportunity will exist for more people. So I think there’s a the right path is to focus on this from a not from a, you know, the federal government is not going to be involved in this other than making it a national priority. I hope if I had to if someone asked me what’s the perfect kind of governance model it would be to put aside all these government run bureaucracies and empower parents a lot more to make these decisions, and then give them information so they can make these informed choices. I would say that time should be the variable and learning should be the constant. Today it’s the exact opposite. All you got to do is sit your little butt in a seat for 180 days and you go to the next grade level whether you’ve mastered the material or not. And if you could learn it faster you’re held back. What we ought to do is say learning is going to be the constant. You’re going to master the material and then you move to the next level and the next level. And maybe you stay with that same age group all the way through, but you have you’re pushing kids that are being held back forward so that they can start their college degree even earlier than the end of high school and you’re not allowing these huge gaps in learning to exist where fifth grade readers are graduating from high school. It’s just tragic it just doesn’t work. So if you elevate education overall I think I think the sciences will end up prevailing because then people will say hey I can master this stuff. I know I can I get this and I understand it why it’s relevant for my life. Right now people if you can’t read how are you going to be able to do science? I mean, today we have a functional illiteracy that is pretty breathtaking and in a lot of these kids are graduating with a high school diploma but can’t fill out a form to get a job. I mean, this is we’ve dumbed it down way too low. Yes?
Eugene, last name unknown: My name is Eugene. You mentioned going to visiting Estonia earlier and being so close to Russia.
Eugene, last name unknown: With their renewed aggression under Putin how would you deal with that?
A: Sure. So while I was in Europe I went to Poland and Estonia for example, a day didn’t go by where either a Russian fighter plane was within 10 meters of a commercial aircraft in Scandinavia or a Russian Navy vessel told us a Swedish cable layer that was building a transmission line between Sweden and Lithuania I believe to get out of the waters and where they were located stop construction. Or there were threats of different kinds whether cyber security or others this is a constant problem of a bully. Now I don’t know the best way I think to deal with the bully is probably to pop him in the nose, that’s how a bully stops, stopped acting like a bully. You can’t do that necessarily in foreign policy. I don’t know what the perverb-, you know, the equivalent of a bam is but here’s what I know that Putin would respond to. He responds to strength. He responds to weakness too. So when our President called Russia a regional power and then 30 days later he invades Crimea there should have been an understanding of the reaction to that. You don’t trash talk Vladimir Putin, you don’t trash talk Russia, you show respect but you also say here are the consequences if you take these actions in advance. You don’t wait and then give a tepid response. You say there will be sanctions on X, Y, and Z if you invade or try to destabilize another country. We’ll extend restrictions on credit access, we’ll do X, Y, and Z so that he can analyze what the risks are and the returns. This guy is a pragmatic, ruthless pragmatist if you will. If he has the full set of what the consequences are for bad behavior compared to what the benefits are and the consequences are worse than whatever benefits he sees he’ll stop. But until then, this guy will keep pushing. And without the United States engaged in this then we’re going to be in serious trouble. So some of the specific things that I think the United States should do first we should arm with defensive weapons, Ukraine. They can’t defend themselves with their current inventory of weapons. There are other countries in Europe that could provide support in other ways. That’s a role that we could play and it sends a real clear signal to Russia that they shouldn’t continue to destabilize Ukraine. Secondly, I think we need to forward lean our military already existing military in Europe towards the east. If you go to Poland where I was they’re desperately looking for a tangible support that’s more than just fleeting. That where whether it’s permanent or a visible presence that’s in for the long haul. I’ll let the, you know, semantics play out the simple fact is if we did that that would send the signal I think of strength that we’re committed to our NATO alliance. And those are the things that we need to do that we’ve been reluctant to do. And I think part of it relates to fear of somehow messing up negotiations with Iran where Russia is playing a role and frankly those are, that’s not the reason to be weak with Russia. That’s the last thing we should be worried about. Yeah?
Unidentified Male: What’s your stand on the second amendment?
I'm for it. Got to act on it too, that’s the great thing about being governor. You don’t just talk about things. You know the people in Washington they file amendments and they say I'm really successful and it kind of goes into the ether. Governors get to lead. So in terms of making it easier to get after some training get a concealed weapons permit. Florida leads the nation. I think there’s 1.3 million concealed weapons permits. We created clear transparent rules to protect gun owners, and we also lowered violent crime. There isn’t this notion somehow that if you’re pro second amendment that somehow that creates a more crime it’s just not proven out. In fact, the opposite is the case. We’ve had we’ve had dramatic reductions in gun violence and increased the rights of law abiding citizens. Now every state has the right to define how they go about this and some of the big urban areas have a totally different view. I think that’s the way this should work out. The federal government should probably take a step back and let people in South Carolina decide what kind of gun control they want. Let people in Florida do the same, let people in Chicago do the same and the net result is I think when people look at it that the states that are focused on protecting gun rights and putting violent criminals away for a little bit longer that’s how you reduce crime. Yeah?
William Maybay: Hi, my name is William Maybay. My great-grandfather served alongside your grandfather in the Senate in the 1950s. Back then Congress worked and represented the people. If elected President how would you work with Congress to fix this systems and represent us average Americans?
A: So, you know, that’s a great question because it wasn’t just in the ‘50s. It was in the ‘60s, ’70, ’80s, ’90s and then it’s kind of waned over time where the lack of civility becomes an increasing problem. Let me just say for a moment I disagree with President Obama in a lot of things, but I don’t ascribe bad motives to the guy. I think he loves the country as much as I do. If you start with a premise that people that disagree with you are actually not bad people they just disagree with you and have the argument about where the disagreement is, you can forge consensus. If you start with the premise that somehow it’s it goes beyond a disagreement to other, you know, to its where people you challenge people’s motives and it becomes personal it’s a problem. So the next President is going to have to forge personal relationships again where it’s not about the person it’s about the ideas that matter. And I believe I can do that. I’ve had the, you know, governors typically are required to do that. They represent everybody, you can have disagreements but be respectful about it. You have to do that by the way I think the next President has to reweave these relationships overseas as well where the lack of personal relationships could create real problems in countries like China and others where disagreements you know are spawn by the lack of trust. So building trust means that whether I like it or not if I was President I would have to interact with Nancy Pelosi. You know, I don’t know her well enough to dislike her. I don’t like her philosophy, but I don’t I start if I don’t I just don’t think people are bad. I don’t have anger in my heart. I have love of this country and so forging consensus and being respectful of people that may not completely agree with you and then starting on smaller things to be able to, you know, I think a lot of the consensus and compromise muscles have atrophied. We need to get in the gym and start doing crunches, you know, to be able to get to do the bigger stuff. Entitlement reform is a huge thing that needs to be fixed. In this environment it’s not going to happen. Everybody will demonize the other side and you’ve got to rebuild trust and consensus going forward starting with the simpler things for sure. We have to do it. People this is the question in varying forms that’s asked and the conclusion is we’re in decline because Washington doesn’t work and it doesn’t look like it’s ever going to work. That’s kind of how you sounded to me that’s your, I read your mind. And I would this is the way I try to be optimistic and I would look at it from a different persp- I would say the last six, seven, eight years we’ve had dysfunction in Washington that’s pretty serious. How long has our country been in existence? 239 years, next week it will be 240. 240 years of existence and it’s worked pretty well for a pretty long time. Never perfect, but we’ve solved problems and moved forward. What’s defined our country is our ability forge consensus, figure it out, break up the old way, move to the new way, get better as we go along. And while it stalled out I think it’s temporary. I think we can fix this and that would be the mission. There’s lots of reasons why it’s harder today than it was before. Everybody can get their own news, right? You can, Liberals go to MSNBC they get their news, conservatives go to Fox they get their news. They have a totally in some cases totally different set of facts. Kind of hard to like have a conversation when you actually start with a totally different set of facts, you know, to inform your views of things it makes it harder. It’s just another barrier though. We need to we need to fix it we need to give people confidence that their voice can be heard so while this is a challenge I don’t anticipate how you fix anything big unless you do this first. Yes, ma'am? I'm sorry I didn’t get you before you were...
Joanna Rowley: That’s okay. My name is Joanne Rowley(sp?), and I'm a first immigrant from my generation Caribbean American.
A: What car-...
Joanne Rowley: (inaudible)
A: Beautiful accent.
Joanne Rowley: Thank you. And I read about your father. I knew about your brother, and I would like to know if selected and elected what legacy are you ready to give for me to give my grandchildren about a third Bush.
A: Great well, first of all I love my dad. My father and I well see if unless the really big guys argue with me on this and really young big guys I’ll take anybody outside and we can have an argument about this in an uncivil way to totally contradict what I just said. I think my dad is the greatest man alive. And I love him dearly he’s near perfect under in my eyes. And I hope everybody has relationships with their parents like that. In my case though I think I'm right so I mean he’s an extraordinary guy. I love my brother, but I'm different. I'm a different person. My life journey was transformed when I was 17 when I met my wife in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. I fell in love at first sight literally head over heels in love, and I don’t remember much of what happened prior to that moment to be honest with you. I’ve been married 41 years I’ve lived in Venezuela nearby, your former country. I live in Miami, I'm bilingual, bi-cultural I’ve been in business. I have a different perspective because my life journey has been different. So that, I mean, I’ll go I’ll have to show my heart as a candidate to be able to convince people of that and that’s part of the journey, right? So I’ll do that. The legacy that I want to leave if I get a chance to serve this extraordinary country is two things. If I had to simplify it into a sentence is high sustained economic growth where people’s spirits are lifted and they can achieve, earn success and forging a more peaceful and secure world for it to happen. That would be the, you know, the mindset each day that I would think about. High growth so that the demands on government and the dependency that people feel compelled to accept is diminished and people have a chance to just be living the biggest possible dreams and having the skills to go make those dreams come true. And then restoring America’s leadership in the world so that we can create a peaceful world for our kids and grand-kids. That would be the mission. A little lofty perhaps, but look, I mean, I, we got to restore the ability of everybody to be dreamers again. The walls close in on us it makes us less. It makes us fearful of the unforeseen and unknown rather than embracing it, and Americans don’t do that well.
Lu, last name unknown: I think we have time for one more question.
A: Anybody over here because I haven’t looked all the way over here? Yes?
Unidentified Male: Yes, sir. On the enemies of America and I would like you to like to to know what do you think about the invasion of the Chinese in the Southeast Sea in the parasail and (inaudible) and if you were elected I don’t know what do you what will you do about to stop that invasion?
A: So this is this is what happens. It’s a great question and in fact, I think it’s the first time I’ve been asked this since I’ve been a candidate. So I appreciate you bringing it up. This is interesting. The United States made a big play made a big deal out of the pivot to Asia. I don’t know if anybody remembers this. A lot of talk about it and two things happened. One, people in Asia didn’t sense there was any pivot. They didn’t see anything new. They see the United States as disengaged rather than more engaged. And the people imagine you’re in Europe or the Middle East and you’re hearing this grandiose language of pivoting away from Europe and the Middle East and going to Asia. They’re thinking well what did we do to lose your interest and so it’s I don’t think it’s been the proper policy. A lot of rhetoric no action and the net result is just as in the case of the Baltics and Eastern Europe where Russia now feels embolden the Chinese are extraordinarily embolden in the South China Sea area. You have these islands as you describe that have been in dispute. The United States has taken the stand consistently that international waters need to be protected. China has benefited from this having literally hundreds of millions of people be lifted out of poverty because of trade for sure. But they’re building a military base in effect on an island where they’re 100 miles more than 100 miles off their shore in the South China Sea. Literally I mean out of a reef they’re putting fill in and they’re building runways for military operations and a seaport which, you know, if you think about that from an environmental point of view it’s just an unmitigated disaster but from a national security point of view that’s very bold. And they believe they can do this because they don’t think the Unites States is serious about maintaining its commitments to Japan, to Vietnam, to Korea. And whether I believe we will maintain our commitments to those countries, but if we give the appearance that we’re not it emboldens countries like Japan. So the next President is going to have to do two things as it relates to China. Recognize that they’re not an ally that they’re a competitor. That ultimately we need to become economically so competitive in North America that we can outcompete China who tries to integrate all aspects of economic activity inside their country. And you want to talk about losing middle class jobs and the challenges of lack of economic activity. If we aren’t, competitive China will win that. We have to be competitive much more competitive. So how we tax, how we regulate, how long it takes to get a, you know, green light from FDA to be able to open an office that creates jobs. Did I bring that up before, I can’t remember?
Lu, last name unknown: Keep going. Keep going.
A thousand different examples of inaction creates lack of competitiveness. This is not some esoteric conversation. This happens in every aspect of life today that’s that makes it harder for us to be successful and compete with these threats that 10 years from now will be clearer for people to see. We need to be reengaged in the region so that our friends know that we have their back. And I would say the next President also has to develop a stronger relationship one on one with President Shi. That the misunderstandings in a relationship so complex as the U.S. Chinese relationship could create real problems for security in the region and real problems economically for us unless we’re fully engaged. So it’s not like let’s create an enemy. It’s let’s bring China along with us by strength. By our engagement by our strength by our competitive posture being second to none. So all of these things together I think will create a more peaceful world but I mean area. Right now, you have disputes China has disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, I'm not sure they have disputes with Korea but they might, island disputes. And this is related to I think a perception of weakness that we’re sending.
Lu, last name unknown: So I think we owe a big round of applause and thank you for answering our questions.
A: Thank you.