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tv   Fmr. Sen. Connie Mack R-FL Citizen Mack - Politics an Honorable Calling  CSPAN  October 31, 2020 4:25pm-5:26pm EDT

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. consumers, parents, young people, educators . technology leaders. and at the end of the day, we all want the tech and ourselves to be in the right side of the history it's time we are. so that is my final remark. danielle: it is a great way to wrap up. it is all the time we have for today's program. once again, what thank the commonwealth club and common sense media for putting this program together. thanks again to jim and frank. and how technology is reshaping democracy in our lives . and think to frank, for your expertise and for being here as well. the club close soon be posting this video on its website, www. commonwealth club .org. i'm danielle, fortune magazine and this is commonwealth club program has now concluded. ♪
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and now on c-span twos book tv, or television for serious readers. host: hi everyone my name is on them i will be acting as your host. on behalf of this publishing group, to thank you all for coming. i also want to thank the team. and for joining us like tonight. and the enormous privilege to introduce our guests. it 43rd governor of the state of florida. first republic in the states history to be reelected. dynamic economies in the face of history. training one point $3m new jobs including the jobs. currently the governor investment partners. [inaudible]. headquartered in florida. tonight's guest of honor,
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author, fmr. sen connie mack. a successful banking career where he served three terms before running for one of florida's seats. insert to terms before running for reelection. upon returning to the private sector, at the in florida . [inaudible]. rated i will handed over to begin the conversation. and go ahead and present your questions through the chat feature. connie mack: think you very much and is such a joy to have this conversation the man i admire so much. and read the book connie it is great book. the new york times today had an article about the bookstores that i thank you so worth mentioning because i mckenna god but every time i read a book, a
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candle and by ten books to be able to send to friends. i think important to be able to really focus on the fact that as a nation we need to be literate and we need to be supporting authors across the spectrum. i'm a big fan of yours a big supporter of this equipment ten books. i read on kindle. i got ten blocks that i will buy and help other people do that as well. if you have a chance to do it, would suggest you do it in independent bookstore which is struggling during the pandemic. so enough of my political announcements. connie mack: will there are four independent bookstores their participating in this tour. >> that is why i brought it up. midtown reader, books, coral gables, bookstore one in says story and song. [inaudible]. they are very special.
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>> midtown reader happens to be the bookstore. i have named a greater appreciation for the struggles of the small business owner. [inaudible]. so connie, you mentioned a lot of this in the book. but can you talk a little bit about where you grow up. he grew up in philadelphia. sometime you move down to florida became a true blue floridian. describe little bit about your childhood. i was born in philadelphia in 1940. connie mack: then we moved to fort meyers in 1950. we ended up in fort myers because my grandfather's baseball team trained in fort myers in the 20s and 30s. in fact, one of the greatest teams never played the game train here in fort myers 1929, philadelphia athletics. dad in 1930, or 1931, actually
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was 1933 was a coach. and they still hold the record as the youngest coach and major-league baseball. that was my father. he obviously traveled the team during those years. they left fort myers so when he sold his interest in the team, the family moved to fort meyers in 1950. ... ... describe that? i didn't know -- i enough about
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obviously connie mack 1st, cornelius mcgillycuddy but i didn't know about your other grandfather which is a story you didn't share that much when you were on the stump. >> right. it's always that balance. if you are talking about your grandfather, not yourself, it's question, who are you? what do you believe? so i kind of stayed away from that. obviously extremely proud of my heritage from my mother's side. they're texans, my great grandfather john shepherd, was a congressman from texas in the 1800s, and he died in 1904, i think, and my grandfather rap for his seat, on that seat and went to the house in 1904, where he romained until i believe -- remained until i believe 1912
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when he was appointed the senate and then as we remarked before in those days senators were not directly elected. they were appointed by the state he died as the -- i forgotten -- the had seniority. he was the dean of the senate when he died in 1941. a young man at 61: so an amazing and enormous career. >> lyndon johnson tried to replace him and got beat. which people don't remember. came back in '48 and became the out senator and was the dean of the senate in his time, too. >> i just yuck pick up on one thought since we're down this road. when i was seven years old, mother and dad took -- four children in the family at that time and we were living in philadelphia and took us by
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train to washington, dc and i remember they gave us little pads and pencils to make -- take notes at the things we were seeing and what we had an opportunity to participate in. i remember seeing my step-grandfather hadn't mentioned yet. when we grandfather morris shepherd died, my grandmother a year later married the other united states senator from texas, tom connelly, and he was in the senate until 1952 -- '52 or '54 and very interesting man. saw him speak on the floor of the senate when i was stenyears old and i'm sure back in my hype that little dream was planted. wonder if i could do that some day. so very interesting family background. >> absolutely. you're part of the chapter of the book is found the most moving was the story about your
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relationship with your brother michael and you talked about his battle with cancer it and clearly had an impact on your life and -- >> changed my life. >> a beautiful story of love, a brotherly love, both your brothers -- you and your other brother in the night, on the floor, as he was suffering with this dread disease. can you share some insights into that? >> yeah. again, it truly was one of those events that takes flays a person's life that changes who they and are what they do with their life. i can remember -- i remember one conversation with mike. you remember the movie came out called "god" and john denver played the role? >> i remember. >> michael was all kinds of -- dealing with incredible pain but through that pain we would sit there and we would discuss the meaning and purpose of life, what am i supposed to be doing
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with my life and what is life all about, and mike was speaking as if he were playing god through george burns and it was hilarious discussion. mike and dennis two of my brothers. have several others but mike and dennis and are went to the university of florida together in the same fraternity, dennis graduated number one in his class with honors. michael, after having a radical neck surgery, didn't drop out of law school, continued on, graduated number one in his class with high honors. a brilliant young man. played the guitar, played the piano, loved to sing, just a bright capable loving guy. and somebody that i loved dearly, and losing him really forced know look at myself and say, okay, what are you going to do with your life now? and so it is -- the most
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meningful experience i've had in my life. >> i think it's an important point which is that we live lives and we have tragedy hit is, we can either go into the fetal position and just like say life is not fair and it's just not fair and i'm not going -- become bitter or you can reflect on it and figure out something that can be purposeful. i think that's your public service sound inside the book really was driven by a motivation to serve others and your post-elected official life has certainly been the exact same thing. so i commend you for that. i get -- we're going to get into politics a little about -- >> if i can just pick occupien this. so, while i didn't end up in the fetal position i ended up dealing with depression after michael's death. fortunately didn't last too
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long, and i was never, quote, treated for depression, but i know i was depressed, and one of the people that i counseled with was a man named don shank, reverend from a very small church called the church of the brethren, and in conversations with don, at one point he kept stressing, connie, you're a very special person. we kind of deflect it. we're not comfortable being told those kind of things and he would say that over and over, and finally i look at him one day and said, don what i hear you've saying to me is that the failure to use the talented that god has given you is the worth sin a person can commit. and. no sooner had i said that, i knew exactly what i had to do. i was going run for congress. i drove home that evening, really tears coming down my face as i was driving home because i
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was scared to death. hated to give speeches. and here i when i got home and told chris what would you save if i told you it was going to run for congress, she said, great go for it. >> that's fantastic. i'll tell you a quick story. when i lost my race for governor in 1994 it was traumatic because i put my heart and soul in race and you never had that experience and don't now holiday it feels it out not good. it's better to win than lose. i tell people that run for office, find a bad candidate to one against because you'll have a better chance of winning. ran gans a guy that never lost and i came in second. i felt like i let a lot of people down and i pledged to missiles i would convert to catholicism, we go to mass every sunday but i wasn't catholic, and going to the rcia process after the election with regular people that had a faith in god,
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made a huge difference in my life. to this day. it's amazing how if you have your eyes open and your ears open, you can -- you really are open to the new thinking, you can -- it changes your life but if you go in the fetal position wowant do it and you're the living proof of that. you have proven that your motivation driven by the tragedy of your brother's loss made a huge difference for our state. i'm so thankful that you had that experience. >> well, i have often said but your experience of losing that first race, you are the only person i know that lost a race and said, you know what? i'll find out why did i lose that race and what do i need to do to win the next time, and you spent the next four years -- i think four years -- saying i'm going to learn as much as i can
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possibly learn about the state of florida and the concerns of the people of the state of florida and you did. it was pleasure for me to play he role to be with you when you were out campaigning. >> can you share -- you ran for congress, you mentioned that. kind of out of the blue. never been involved activefully politics. in the become you talk about a incredible debate at the tiger bay club of naples. >> yes. >> almost remind me of what politics is like today. in 19 -- whatever that was -- >> '82. >> that kind of stuff didn't happen as much. now it's commonplace. tell the story of the tiger bay club, nonpartisan gathering where people talk about politics, they exist all across the state. and you were there and your opponent, what did he do and how did you respond in the most amazing responses.
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i connie mack of his best. >> things just happen and you have to deal with them. this is 198 2. tiger bay club, toasts supposed to be a candidate forum if you well. wasn't a debate but you make a speech and the other person there is and they can make a speech. it was during the runoff election back in those days we had runoff elections if you didn't win the primary by more than 50%. so i'm there and i'm waiting for my opponent to show up, and one of the managers of this event came over to me and said, we just been informed that your opponent won't be here because of some other reason, and we have one of the folks that lost in the primary election is here to speak on his behalf if that's all right with you. what am i going to say, right? i said to them, well, sure,
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absolutely. so, this fella, jim garner was his name and he got up and he ripped into -- he didn't even say hello to the audience. he just really just ripped into me about i was pothead, i was a crook, that the bank was collapsing, i'd been fired from my job, and i'm sitting there -- this is a raised platform and you get a pretty good view of everybody and they of you, and i'm looking at this guy and i can't really believe it. i had one of those moments where i really felt like -- when you get out of bidder and -- out of body experience i felt like i was 12-15 feet above everybody looking down on this screen taking place. just total personal assassination. he gets now and sits down, and the moderator looked at me and said, it's your turn to speak
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and i'm thinking to myself, what in the world am i going to say? i got up there and i said to folks, i remember when i made my announcement i was running for office, i asked the question, why aren't there more good, qualified individuals involved in politics today and i said what you just saw is the reason that they don't. and i sat down. that was it. and the room just erupted, and it was just a gut reaction about how to respond it and was absolutely right on target. >> by the way you show your class always, that the kind of person you are. you don't mention the name our your opponent or mention the names of people that criticized you in the book, now in this new kind of cultural environment, the memoirs being written in 2020 about a 2020 experience
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would probably go into gory details about that person, but you showed tremendous class then in the book and you share the story in a really classy way as well. so, it seems to me that if i had to pick the legacy of connie mack, if i had to describe it, it's imbedded in this book which is -- it's in your introduction which is that freedom is the core of all human progress and that freedom is worth the struggle. and as congressman and a united states senator you act acted on. that your whole philosophy. we thank you for your support of political prisoners and you were a constant advocate for freedom, not only in the united states but around the world. how are we doing now do you think? on the freedom agenda? >> well, a tough question.
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the country stands for and will always be committed to freedom and the notion that freedom is the core of all human progress. we're going threw period of time where we're adjusting to a new world, a new world order. we start talking notice new world order back when your dad was president, and the soviet union collapsed. so, we're trying to find our way in the new world really, and focus has been on different aspects of freedom. i approached the free markets, free enterprise, free trade and so forth. some of those things are not being approached in exactly the same way. i make the case with respect to trump's activities with respect to trade, we ended up with a new agreement width mexico and canada, and so i think fundamentally we went through this contentious period of time and end up still with the notion that free trade is important.
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so this country -- a free society, a democratic society, has to be committed to freedom and we always will be. >> it's a -- what i fear about politics today is it's more reactionary, it's preying on people's angst and fears cheers legitimate reasons while people are action today. there's a lot going on. the explosion of technology and the disruption that brings, cultural changes, people are legitimately anxious. but what i admired about your political career and those that -- the philosophy i ascribe to as well is that you have to be hopeful hopeful and optimist. describe to people the less grown valley on the other side of the hill am rocky climb, we're all in it together but at the end of the day, things can get better, and i love the
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connie macphilosophy of politics a lot more what we're seeing today and this is not related to the president or his opponents. it's related to just the political culture today is more -- not as hopeful and optimistic and you can see why people are more anxious because people are preying on their angst. how do we get out of that? how do we geton that, get back to the connie mack philosophy? >> there's a saying that alcoholics anonymous, called -- this is one of those terrible moments when you -- it's putting principle over personality. and so where i'm going with that the two words i would use is right now there is hatred on one side and there's anger on the other, and everybody media outlet, including all the of us
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with an iphone that can take pictures and send information, we're all focused on how much anger and how much hatred there is instead of saying, let's talk about the issues that are important to the country. so as individuals, i think we have a responsibility to kind of look through what we're seeing and hearing from the media today and look at the issues that are facing the country, whether that's broad economic issues or -- excuse me -- or local issues in our communities. getting involved by getting involved you are going to change things and i think a lot of us need to quit getting focused on anger, commit fear, and start talking about the issues. that are important to us. >> you bring up a good point. we're a bottom-up country and our success has typically been where people act on their own
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sense of consciousness and their own belief they can make a difference and act on it. they don't talk about it or gripe about it. they do it. and maybe that's the path forward for our country is to be -- go back to the roots of the founding which was not overly reliant on washington, dc. >> right. >> so, your service as the united states senator particularly was focused on a lot of things but foreign policy i'd say where is where you made your mark in so many ways. how do you think american foreign policy going forward needs to be? what is america's role in the world compared to -- we grew up in the reagan era, and restoring america's leadership in the world really mattered back then it and was hugely successful, and we have had iterations of that in successive presidencies,
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but the world's changed dramatically, and where do you see america's role in me world, not just as it related to freedom but just in terms of bringing security and aspirations for all of us? >> um, where i would start is that -- [telephone ringing] [cell phone ringing] cell. >> i think that might be you. >> it is me and i can't get my -- my bad. >> okay. so, i think where i would start is your brother, george w. in my opinion, gave one of the greatest inaugural addresses in his second inaugural when he made the case that america's responsibility is to project freedom around the globe, and so
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i think eventually as we work our way through the foreign policy issue that are facing our country we have to get back to that notion. there's a real debate to it as you well know as to whether america should continue to kind of project out this commitment to freedom or should we withdraw. i don't think we can withdraw. the second part, it seems to me that going forward that our relationship with china is the key relationship and we'll have to figure out how we are going to work through that. so what that requires is we as a nation need to start working with our allies, whether they're in europe or other parts of asia, in building organizations and institutions that reflect today's modern commitment to freedom and build these organizations in a way we can contain what i think is a
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potentially frightening experience with china. >> it's the great challenge our our time, and engage. with our allies seems to be really important to be able to contain china's ambitions if they are aspiring to be dominant and work in this economic powerhouse so you're right about that. >> we have to combat activities by the united nations, just find their dethings they do incredible. china and cuba or nicaragua was just put on he human rights council issue think. that is so outrageous, so we are kind of faced with a position of saying maybe it's time for us to leave and there are times in my career where i really thought
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that. but we have to somehow or another make the u.n. u.n. unmore accountable that freedom is part of the human progress and they tooth be part of defend that freedom. >> absolutely. have a few more questions, another political event since we share a common opponent, buddy mckay, and florida is always -- for whatever reason but florida is the place where close elections seem to always take place, and yours was a doozie. it was just to give people may not remember your race with buddy mckay nor out senate. you had the courage to run against two icons, not one. which most politicians kind of move around, try to figure out what they can do. you're going to run against long
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childs who never lost and then he got out of the race, and then ruben asskew, very similar kind of person in terms of the respect of the people of florida and he left the x-rays then you ran against budie mckay, and that race was close. >> 50.4% of the vote. >> how many days or how many weeks did that go on postelection and how was that on your family and just the craziness of that experience? >> it was eight days before it was concluded so it wasn't a terribly long but the eight days seemed like very long time to me. >> '912, right. >> 1988. >> '88. sorry. >> 1988. so there we are, the votes have been counted, and -- are being
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counted and it's about 12:30 at night and we have been getting information back' forth mountain the outcome of the count and at sometimes i was being toll -- these are internal conversations, you're up, you're down, you're up, you're down, and some of the data was coming in seemed to indicate that i was going to win, and my political consultant was going to brief the family on the victory, and he was literally telling them why i was going to win, we had tvs behind my -- behind him and one by one as he is talking they say that tonight pbs declared puddy mckay the winner in the election, and then abc, then cnn. so it was a pretty rocky night. i went to bed thinking were we 25,000 votes behind and thinking we had lost the race. couldn't sleep. one of the great lines of bob dole is being asked by the press, how did you sleep last
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night and i said i slept great. i slept like a baby, i woke up every two hours crying. dole used to love to tell that. it was -- we got the absentee ballots being counted and by the next morning, probably by 8:00 or 10:00, the conclusion that we drew with the absentee ballots i was going to win with 30 or 30,000 votes and that -- 30-35,000 votes and that was the case. buddy challenged the notion. there was -- we didn't have hanging chads but we had poorly designed ballots apparently, this was being claimed and parts of the state where not all the voters apparently were able to have their votes counted because there's a big dropoff when the presidential election and the senate election. so, it was a precursor to the 2000. the election in 2000.
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the difference that occurred is that the major newspapers in the state basically said to budie, it's time to call this thing over. the votes hey been counted. -- have been counted. connie is ahead by 35,000 votes or so. it's time, and he decided not to take the next step which was to go to court. and that's where 2000 was different. gore decided to take it to court and once it got to court then then the whole thing took off. i have to say one other thing. your dad won the presidential election in 1988. i think in the state of florida, by 11, 12, or 13% of the vote. i i would have never won the race if he hadn't won florida. >> i'm a proud chairman of that campaign.
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it was a big deal. in fact i just as an aside, i had resigned as secretary of commerce and was working full-time for my dad's campaign, and i moved to california to campaign there, about maybe august, because the campaign was pretty much over, dukakis got no traction. so fond memories for that campaign. but florida is always close and the good news is just for everybody watching this, thinking my god, we got 2020, we have presidential race, there's huge interest, it will be a close race. florida's election laws are the best in the country now, and the volts will be counted on election night so you don't have to hyperventilate all the people watching this. it will go fine. the winner will be probably announced that night if not there's a process to be able to count them. all that stuff is lessons learn photograph your race and the 2000 election. >> yeah.
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>> so, tell me about your post-public service life? it's been remarkable you have been involved on boards, and you have been incredibly focused on the fight against cancer and your advocacy for the moffet cancer center has been extraordinary as a lead are, a the chairman of the board and the chairman emeritus now. so talk to me what it's like after you finish running for office and being involved in d.c., what is life like now? >> well, it's been a wonderful 20 years. it's hard to believe but 20 years. it's been a wonderful experience for me. i came up with the phrase, people would say what are wow going to do when you leave? and i said i want to put together an eclectic collection of activities and what i did was i did do a little government relations lobbying kind of stuff during the first two years after othe senate.
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witness be the wayside fairly quickly. the other two components were engage independent the fight against cancer and medical research, and the other was in service on corporate boards. i had -- of those corporate boards two of them were biotech companies, and genzime one of the leading biotech companies in the world and the other was a startup. you mentioned learning the experience. everybody that runs for office ought to have to sit on a board of a company that is desperately trying to make sure it doesn't get shut down or closed or run out of cash. the corporate boards were a great experience. but moffet cancer center, lee moffet, who created the center, he and i had a conversation about the possibility of my joining their organization, and he offered that if i would, that
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would name me the chairman of the board. and i said i think that's a great idea. let do it. and the moffet cancer center is just a wonderful institution. one of my main objectives there was to create a significant he -- a premiere melanoma program. mel nome that is the cancer that killed my brother michael and we now have a premiere melanoma program -- at the moffet cancer center which i'm very proud. >> that's faction. one more political question which is why the hell did you not accept the -- being vice president nominee with my brother? >> well -- >> i actually tried my best to persuade you, and you -- >> i know you did. >> you fought like nobody's business. interesting part of the book.
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>> i had a conversation with your brother not long ago, and because this book brought it to my mind. maybe i sent the wrong message to george w. i said no. and i told him, look it, i admire you, i love what you stood for, what you worked for, but it just wasn't time for me, and again, the bottom line is that in 1996, bob dole put me on the short list of -- to be a vice presidential candidate in 1996, and at in point bob said i need to notify i or two say to you i want you to run id in to know if you'll say yes or no. so, i went through that process of trying to decide, and i well tell you something, it was a heart-wrenching experience to go through trying to really figure out was this the right thing to do? and in the end i said, okay, i'm going to do it. but i was never so relieved in
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my life when bob dole picked jack kemp to be his running mate. >> good man. >> wonderful guy. so, the experience of going through that really thinking through did i want to do it, then not being selected kind of -- the conclusion i came to is, you really don't want to go to the next level. and i just -- if it had been earlier -- this is 2000. i already announced two years before that i was stepping down and not going to run for re-election. never regreeted it but -- regret it but i don't know how many other people have been in that position. >> probably none. in 2000 if you were on the ticket george would have won by more than 547 votes.
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>> i've heard that story before. >> saved a lot of agony for a whole lot of people. you would have been a great partner with him for sure and it's interesting. you think about it. whether -- your decision process was your own but the fact that for two election cycle inside a row you were considered someone that special to be a vice presidential nominee would have been -- it's a re next on -- reflection on your service which was full of integrity, full of consistency and you happen to be -- you were a very popular senator in a really important state. >> yeah. it was a great life. there's no question about it. >> i got two more questions. one, there was a chapter about the prayer breakfast, and in the senate. the senate prayer breakfast, and describe to me how important that was in your life and how
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you kind of moved towards it and how it became integral in your service. >> use mentioned earlier, we're both catholic and so i grew up as a catholic, an altar boy, so spiritual, religious perspectives were always a port of me -- a part of me but not a leading force in what i was engaged in. so, i find myself in the senate and two of my good friends, senator coates and -- terrible getting another moment -- moment -- -- anyway, invite me to come to the bible study. that's what we -- to the bible study, and i said, my schedule is so busy, i can -- there's no
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way i can do it and kind of blew it off. but dan coates never quit. and he just kept saying, connie, this is perfect for you. you really, really ought to come. so i did. i started going these bible studies and prayer breakfasts. and so one day i'm in a discussion with dan coates at the bible study, we're waiting for others to come in, and strength little moment occur -- strange little moment occurs we talked but the loving relationship between us and our god, and we start talking about it front the standpoint of relationship between our own fathers here on earth and that kind of a discussion. the next thing i knew, i'm going to skip ahead because the next thing i knew we were sitting around in this bible study and
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lloyd says anyone in the room that would luke are nows to pray for them for a deeper relationship with jesus christ and i'm not kidding you, i'm looking at lloyd eyeball to eyeball and the thing going through my mind like a bright light and new york times square the message is, it ain't me, buddy, and as soon as i said that, i said i want you to pray for me. and the next thing we moved to the center of the room, eve of them prayed for me it and was a moment in which i felt like my life really changed. i gave up this sense of being in control, the notion of turning the life over more to god, and that eventually led to other roles for me to play in the senate. see that was life-changing moment for me in the united
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states senate and it was very special. >> i've always found you to be a person with lots of serenity. advice their -- not just cool, calm and collected but altogether -- all together, totally in touch with the important thing otherwise life. good humor, humble, but i think this experience that you described me a be the reason why i felt this. don't know. i think -- i don't know if there was a before connie and an after connie moment, but you -- most of my experience with you are that you are just -- you have a relationship with a higher being that is powerful. >> there's another aspect to it, and i appreciate you saying that. the -- i think one of the most important thinks for each of us is to understand who we are. lots of people have ideas who we
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are, but it's really important to try to understand what it is that makes you tick, why do you do the things you do? who are you? and that makes a difference. but under this calm and cool individual there's a lot going on, jeb. >> okay, that's good to know. one final question and then we'll open it up for questions. this book reads in some ways like love story. it's a romantic love story. hough is press -- priscilla doing? >> very special, she's gone through some tough years, the last five, six, seven years, medical issues, her back and severe pain but she harris worked through -- she has worked through all of that. we found procedures that address that pain and he has come back street two cases of meningitis, one after the other, where it came from nobody node.
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one case of knew moany. just -- now -- pneumonia. now she is strong and out of pain and is loving as she always has been. >> what delightful woman she and is you're blessed to have her as your soulmate. amy are we going to open this up for questions now? >> yes. we're knowing going transition into questions. thank you. the first we if you can please explain the significance of the book's title. >> so let's say what the tight it gain. it's "citizen mack: politics an honorable calling." i was asked by a friend of mine what the name of the book was and i said "citizen mack: politics an hon article calling" and he oh, it's a fiction.
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it goes back to what general and i were talking about earlier, my grandfather -- my great-grandfather, grandfather, step-grandfather, all serve in house and senate mitchell mother always talked to them in such a deep -- deepfully respectful way and how honorable they were and i just always looked at poll together being an honorable calling. didn't say profession. it's an honorable calling and the devils that mean -- the disis that those who run for office have a responsibility to make sure it's an honorable calling and that we act accordingly. so that's "citizen mack." the other part is the notion you don't spend your entire life in politics. had a life of 16 years in banking before i ran for office and i had 18 years in office and then i had another 16 to 18 yours the private sector again.
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health-care and boards. so the notion you as a citizen you go and you serve and there is a time to say, thank you, and time to go home and time to do something else with your life. so that's what those are the two thoughts that come to my mind with respect to the title. >> the next question is, is is possible to take the high roads in politics wonderful the personal attacks and lack of civility today. >> the answer is absolutely there is, and again i would say to the listeners that i happen to believe that most of the people who are in politics today do it for the right reasons, but like life, seems like our focus is on the negative side of things and they're the ones that get the attention. so, yes, i think absolutely there's a bit of advice i got
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very early on in my first campaign in 1982, and that advice was, don't take anything personally. that is tough to do in politics but if you take that perspective, it makes life a lot easier. >> absolutely. what is one message you happen that readerred will take from your book? >> well guess the bottom line its hope they take the knowing that politics is an honorable calling, something that they can do, jeb and i are just two individuals that made the decision to run but there's almost any way in the world -- there's openings for people to become involved in politics. so i would hope that they would read the book, maybe learn a little bit of something about it and understand that they could do it, too, and again, i would make the point, don't take anything personally. you're going to be attacked and your parents are going to wonder
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is this really be person with raided that's being attacked? let it go by and it will all work out. >> don't read your twitter feed. goodded a vials now. >> jeb, that's an interesting point if forget at one point in my career -- i think probablile 87, anytime my third term as a congressman. i told my staff issue said i don't want to read anything written about me. whether it's good or bad. you have a responsibility, though to tell me what been britain the reason i make this point -- what's been written and the reason i make this point itself you read something it seems to hurt so much more, if somebody tells you they've written it, it's easier to take and i went through my entire senate career without reading
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the articles that were written about me. >> wow. you're the only senator, i promise. >> it works. it worked. >> speaking of which, this is a question to both of you. what person obstacles did you face in office and did you face the same obstacles. >> i'll let you go first, jeb. >> to me the chance to serve was such a blessing and a privilege. woke up every day, even when bad news happened, which happened regularly under my watch. fur was flying all the time. considered it such a joy to serve that there were no obstacle its felt -- there were burdened, problems, the biggest issues for me were when public
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life contaminate private life, when your families subjected to things. that was hard. but i had a blast. it was the greatest joy of my life to serve for eight years as governor, and i have no regrets at all. mistake is made for sure but there were no obstacles i felt couldn't be overcome. it was an incredible joy. >> there are obstacles obviously. the difficulties of making the decision and convincing others that you are the person they ought to be supporting. that requires again an understanding of who you are and a commitment to a political life, and that would lead me to this point. i really think most people, though, when you ask them why they're running for office, don't really have a good answer to it. people will say something like,
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well, it's time to give back. that's like the kremlin using a health issue as a reason for somebody not showing up at the scene. so, i really think that one of the big obstacles that needs to be overcome is a okayed really needs to -- a candidate needs to really fully understand the motivations for them and what they want to accomplish. again, i say that because i was almost forced to do that back in '82, and i think it was such a meaningful thing to be able to have written it down what i was really about and what i was trying to accomplish. so that's a big obstacle. >> the two of you touched on some michigans from the past we -- things from the past we, brim in but the things out our
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political curl during culture you would like to see us leave behind. >> leave behind? we don't have enough time. >> the whole thing with the social media. we have to figure out how to deal with that. don't know whether folks have watched this documentary called "the sole dilemma" on netflix, everybody in america ought to see that. to understand how social media is manipulating us and if we understand how we're being midsted, we'll never stop people from manipulating us but if we understand it's happening and try to learn how to deal with it, that would be i think one of the most significant things we can change. >> i'd say making sure that we focus on the things we have in common and re-establish a set of shared values what is to be an american is the first step towards moving towards a consensus oriented political
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situation. what we are doing enough is the exact opposite. politicians win with dividing, by creating wedges, by stoking fear on both sides, and the great moments in connie mack's tenure in the united states senate and as a congressman were when we found common ground to solve problems. connie you were there when social security was reformed. they laugh -- until now. literally tip o'neill and ronald reagan found consensus it and was supported by democrats and republicans and the solvency of the social security system lasted until about now. out in it's going to be insolvent again and be need that kind of leadership again for a whole series of things for us to remain the greatest country on the face of the earth. i hope that happens. i don't want to be nostalgic but
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the old days but our political system doesn't work when we don't focus on bridging gaps rather than making gaps bigger. >> here's a personal thought and story. in 1983 i'm in congress. my first political office. everything brand new to me and i -- the mx missile was being debated. and i wasn't even sworn in when i was on the floor listening to this debate and i knew over the first number of months, i listened to my democratic colleagues on the so side of aisle and said they can't possibly believe what they're saying it's so outrageous, nobody could believe in that. as i go to mow my friends on the other side of the aisle they were saying exactly the same thing about me. and my point there is, we need to understand that people who have different views than we do honestly have those views and
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they have concerns, and so our responsibility is to try to understand what those concerns are, what the motivations are, and then open the discussion. it's going to take a while to get there but i found that was an important perspective, is that they thought i was -- well, anyway. i you assume that someone who disagrees with you is evil or the enemy you have a totally different mindset than saying maybe their wrong and i have to persuade them of my views. now we just assume that someone has ha different view they're evil. they're the enemy, and we have to geton that somehow. i don't know -- there will be a catalyst. our country is too dynamic, too -- we have the ability. we're resilient to live through this for years and years and years to come. we'll figure it out.
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>> we have time for one more question. which is, can the republican party of less government, less taxes, more freedom, recover from the trump era? >> that's yours. >> well, interesting the word recover from. the notion of, let's say that was my tag line, less taxing, less spending, less government and more freedom. it's as valid today as then and at some point somebody is going to refocus on those issues and it will be center point again but the notion of less government and more freedom is a great opportunity for this country. >> i want to thank everyone for your incredible questions you send in and thank you, senator mack and governor bush for this
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amazing conversation. >> thank you very much. thank you, jeb. >> thank you, connie love you, connie. >> love you, too buddy. >> take care. >> bye bye. >> that's what gives us the confidence to sit here and describe first ten second offed the universe like we were there. >> all started with the big bang. [laughter] >> is there a song in there? >> i wouldn't gave reporter an interview unless they read why not the best first. >> heyed to read the book. >> had to read the book before i would -- >> for 20 years booktv's "in depth" hosted america's top nonfiction authors to an in depth conversation with c-span2 veered and on sunday join are foss the loaf 20th anniversary special, more book talk with authorsor, phone callings, facebook comments, texts and tweets, and a look back to
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memorable "in depth" moments. >> the picture of the back, remember those days? >> conceivably. >> what's in the book? >> well, the book was an examination of life at yale. >> watch "in depth" on sunday, live at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> here are current besting selling nonfiction books according to the strand book store in new york city. topping the list is my own words, a collection of the late supreme court justice "china "cr ginsburg's speeches and riding and followed by we should all be feminists, the explanation of the definition of film inch. i then pulitzer prize winning author isabelle wilkerson, and
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then all about love and wrapping up the best-selling nonfiction books accord dog new york city's strand book store, is, intime missions, collection of essay biz novelist saidy smith on the early days of the covid-19 pandemic. some authors have appeared on booktv of. you can watch. the online at >> hello, this is gary love, the marketing manager at the book loft. exciting to be joined by mr. john dean, who is the author of "authoritarian nightmare, trump and his tollers" we'll talk about the book and joined by edison


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