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tv   QA History of the New Hampshire Primary  CSPAN  January 20, 2020 5:58am-6:59am EST

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>> for the third time in history, the u.s. president is on trial in the u.s. senate. the senate impeachment trial of president trump, live unfiltered coverage on c-span2, on-demand at c-span.org/impeachment. >> when the impeachment trial continues this week in the senate, here is a look at the legal team that will be representing president trump. jay sekulow has served as the president's personal attorney, robert ray and ken starr both worked on investigations into the clintons, and alan dershowitz, a well-known defense attorney. formerttorneys include florida attorney general pop indie and jane masking.
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♪ ♪ host: joe mcquaid, longtime publisher and editor at large of the new hampshire union leader. we will spend an hour talking but the history of the new hampshire primary. >> that's all? host: before we get into history, let's talk with the current one. michael bloomberg is not competing in iowa or new hampshire in the early primaries and committing lots of money later on in the process. what does that do to the relevance of your primary? guest: there are all these questions about the relevance of the new hampshire primary, dating back to its mundane
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beginnings. people are not going to campaign, they are going to campaign, they are going to spend a lot of money or they are not. the short answer is i don't know. there are 10 or 11 serious candidates for the democratic nomination, and he is blowing by the early ones and thinks he can get street cred by buying it, which i think is probably not going to work for him. he said recently that even if he does not win the nomination, he will spend money to help whoever wins the nomination get elected. but i think that just underlines, i have all the money in the world, i am going to spend it. people asked about the relevance of the primary when these televised debates, which i hate to call them debates because they aren't, they are reality shows. and the dnc in cooperation with
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the various networks have already sliced the field down based on money and poll numbers. the most recent one will have six people in it. they have had fewer or close to that in the past when there are more candidates than that. i think that hurts the relevance of the primary nominating process entirely, not just new hampshire's role as the first primary. host: as you said, there is a debate about whether these first primary states should continue to have the role they do. make the case for our viewers. why should they continue? guest: first, and you corrected yourself about the primary and the caucus. as the governor likes to say, iowa picks corn, new hampshire picks presidents. i love that. i was stuck up on new hampshire a few years ago.
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caucus, what is that? a bunch of people in a living room? that doesn't count. now even the candidates say it counts. but the relevance of the early states is the ability of candidates to come in and tried to convince voters to vote for them. i don't know if i have answered your question. host: why is it -- the demographics and the counterarguments are continuing. i you guest: i think you cited bloomberg and a lot of money, and i cited the networks. i think it is the first and last place where a candidate is upfront and personal if he or she chooses with voters, and voters get to kick the tires on them.
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having said that, that is not always the history of the new hampshire primary. i hate to be the naysayer, you got to be there, you got to shake hands, jimmy carter did it. in 1952, which was the first time that the names were on the ballot, the guy who won on the republican side was not in the state, did not campaign here, wasn't even in the country, eisenhower. the same thing happened in 1964, with a republican who won the primary not only not in the state or in the country, he wasn't on the ballot. he won on a write-in. henry cabot lodge. new hampshire is always different. i think it appreciates being first, and people turn out. it is one of the highest turnout states in primaries in the country. if it was too white and not
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representative of the country, then with the exception of bloomberg who has not cited that as a reason, why are all these other candidates coming to new hampshire? why aren't they just saying, it is too white and i am not going there? host: your secretary of state is the longest-serving secretary of state in the country. how important has he been to the process? guest: he has been important because he gets it. and the law was changed years ago to have the secretary of state and just the secretary of state make that decision, and he or she makes it when they determine that nobody else is going to have a similar event before them. he is important to it because he has street credibility. he is a democrat, and he actually was challenged in his last election.
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he was elected by the state legislature, and a really partisan democrat tried to make it into a really partisan office, and bill gardner hung on by the skin of his teeth. but he is honest as the day is long. he knows the history, and he doesn't do anything to mire that history or give the idea that this is anything other than a straight shooting event. host: political relevance aside, how much does the primary mean to new hampshire's image and its economy? guest: economy wise, other than -- pete dupont was the guy who built the wmur tv studios in manchester because he spent so much money in the day. economy wise, even with 11 serious candidates, they spent some time here, sometime in
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iowa, i have not seen a recent dollar figure on how much that is. i am sure the state would say it is worth $8 zillion. but it is a point of pride for the people. the local public radio station in new hampshire did a podcast this year called "stranglehold." and it is a series about the new hampshire presidential primary. but it is very negative about the primary, and i am wondering, all the people in new hampshire who support and listen to that station, what are they getting for their buck? it was astonishing to me. i listened to two episodes and stopped listening because i was no longer interested. maybe they said some good things about it. they unveiled one of the first towns to vote, does not have a lot of people in it and they
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have to find people to have enough to vote. this time, they got a fifth guy to come in and register. he happens to own the mothball hotel, and he is trying to revive the place. he moved from another town just to be the fifth guy in there. there are other early towns that have done it in the past. but it is pride. you won't get -- maybe this is the exception -- but you won't get a lot of people in new hampshire dissing the new hampshire presidential primary because they know how much it has meant in the history of the country. host: in addition to the traditions, the tiny towns voting first, a couple other things that distinguish it is the low filing fee. in past years, it has brought dozens of candidates into the
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process. does that still happen and does it impact the process? guest: it may be heftier now. sure.1000 i'm not vermin supreme runs every few years. the man with a boot on his head. his campaign has something to do with ponies for everybody. he manages to come up with the dollars. it used to be hundreds of people on the ballot. chief burning wood, all kinds of people who just wanted their name on the ballot. i think the secretary of state did bump up the fee to something a little more credible. but you still get a lot of off-the-wall candidates who are here just to get a little attention, are very upset if a newspaper or the tv or the radio doesn't give them the same attention as it gives others, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
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host: the other thing that distinguishes it is that it is an open primary, that you can cross party lines. how does that impact the ultimate outcome? guest: the independents, my late buddy don tibbetts was the statehouse bureau chief for many years, and he did not like that term, independents. he called them undeclared voters. it was not like they were in the independent party. but they were at least a third of the electorate. they can walk into the polling station on election morning and say, i want a democratic ballot, and vote for the democrat. they can come right out, go back up to the people at the registration office and say, switch me back to undeclared or independent. they can do it on the republican side. i don't know if there has been any really good analysis of how much of an effect that was.
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but i think you can see it over the years in certain races. barry goldwater, mr. conservative republican, versus nelson rockefeller, new york eastern establishment. they lost to a guy with a write-in, and i think that was because people were upset with the choices, and people who may have not had a particular party affiliation decided they were going to do that. and 1968 was certainly an antiwar vote and 1972 an antiwar vote. you have people going on one side or another as a result of that. i think that trump is the $64 million question. just what has been trump's effect on the electorate? he has the republican party in his pocket, but are a lot of
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undeclareds upset with trump going to go into the democratic primary to vote for one of those people, hoping they can beat trump? or are they going to go in a republican field and -- it is pretty much governor wells, the only one running on that side. he thinks he is going to do better than i think he is going to do. i think the republicans are going to go for trump. the trump people and a lot of undeclareds will go democratic because they want to pick somebody who they think has the best chance of beating trump. host: another mainstay of the primary has been your newspaper's editorial. famously in the last go around, you did not support donald trump as a candidate. what are you going to do this time? guest: with trump first, i honest to god did not know when i compared him with the grown-up
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biff in "back to the future 2" that the screenwriter of that movie had based the grown-up biff character on donald trump. i didn't know it. it was just kismet. what are we going to do this time? i think we will endorse on the democratic side. we have done that in the past. we endorsed joe lieberman years ago. on the republican side, i don't think it is worth much because the trump people have the party, etc. we are not going to endorse trump. we may say, if you don't like trump, there is another guy in the race, bill wells. i don't know if that will be an endorsement. i think the real play is on the democratic side, and it is a year where there are so many candidates that even the conservative union leader's
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voice might have some difference. host: speaking of bill wells, this time around on the democratic side, there are at least three candidates with geographic proximity. how much has proximity mattered to new hampshire voters? guest: i was asked a question the other day, and i don't think a lot. i think bernie sanders won the primary in 2016 because he wasn't hillary clinton, and it should have been a wake-up call to the democrats that maybe she wasn't the best candidate. he was known to them. ed muskie won the democratic primary in 1972. he was from the neighboring state of maine, but he did not win it to the expectations that he was supposed to. i am not sure how much paul tsongas beat bill clinton by in 1992, but i don't think it has a lot of play.
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you've got warren, you've got wells, you've got sanders. there are a lot of ways to split it up. i don't think it makes any difference. host: you have been covering the primary as a journalist for all of your career. what is the very earliest new hampshire primary memory you have in your life? guest: goodness. primary, i don't know. general election is 1960, when my mother said they should have run eisenhower again. he would have beat kennedy and nixon. but probably 1968. i was in college. it was mccarthy versus lbj on that side, nixon on the republican side, and william loeb and the paper were in nixon's corner that year. on the democratic side, i don't
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think i was as aware of it then as i am now. but the guy who ran eugene mccarthy's campaign had started our sunday newspaper with my dad in 1946. a gentleman named blair clark, who was later president of cbs news and editor of "the nation" magazine. how those two guys politically ever got along -- they didn't for long. but mccarthy did not win in 1968. johnson beat him on a write-in. but mccarthy beat the expectations game, which is what this is all about. my professional memories really jump more -- i didn't cover a lot of 1968, but in 1972, i was the editor of the sunday paper and mr. muskie pulled up in front of the paper. host: we are going to talk about that. i want to start with the 1952 race.
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guest: why not start at the beginning? host: one thing we should note, new hampshire is celebrating its centennial, 100 years of this. when did it actually become what we know today, the relevance? guest: we are celebrating more than our centennial. we are celebrating the centennial of being first in 1920. we joined the fray in 1916, and the guy who owned the union before that had a lot to do with the whole primary system and was a buddy of teddy roosevelt. you bump up, 1948 was the last time the candidates' names were not on the ballot, and that was changed by a couple of people on the legislature and governor adams, sherman adams. i don't know if when he did it he had in mind getting eisenhower to run. but even then, the modern primary, the names were on the
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ballot, but that didn't mean anything because the delegates' names were on the ballot, and those were often separate. host: confusing. guest: confusing as hell. initially, truman said, i am not going to run in the primaries. what the hell are the primaries about? but it made a difference. host: in 1952, candidates were on the ballot for the first time. you started to tell the story about the gop side with eisenhower, who was serving as nato chief in europe. talk to me about the relevance of that on the democratic side with president truman and the republican side. guest: like a good interviewer, you ask a question and i ignore it and tell you a different answer. host: [laughter] ok. guest: i don't want to forget that trivia that few people know is eisenhower came to new hampshire before the presidential primary in 1948, at
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the invitation of the partner of the paper. he spoke at the union leader speaking series. he was in uniform. he spoke in front of city hall. finder was trying to get him to run for president. loeb in 1948 was for thomas dewey. eisenhower goes back to the military and writes a famous letter that is that military people should not get involved in politics, i'm out. 1952, he was not out. but on the democratic side, truman had completed his first elected term as president and had won that stunning race in 1948 against dewey. and it was assumed he would run again. he did not consent to having his name put on the new hampshire
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ballot until just a little bit before the election. and he was primaried, which is a word that has become a verb now. he was primaried by a senator, who a lot of people outside of c-span do not know. it was estes kefauver. and he campaigned in new hampshire wearing a coonskin cap. this was before davy crockett appeared on disney. he was not really a senator. he was a very sophisticated guy. he had gotten some national visibility because of some racketeering hearings his senate committee has held. he came up here and beat harry truman. harry truman in a several weeks announced he was not running for president president again. host: before we move on, why has harry truman's stock going up so much in the years when he was clearly not possible in the time
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he was in office? guest: i think that happens with most presidents. 's it has happened with nixon in terms of his worldview and getting us out of entanglements in vietnam. will it happen with donald trump? that one is a real question mark to me. but harry truman was a plainspoken guy. he got in trouble because he had some people in the cabinet who were making personal gains out of their positions when 1952 rolled around. he was not as tough on communism as you needed to be in 1952. but his stock has gone up since then because in the closing days of world war ii, a guy who had not been plugged in on anything on fdr's people until fdr died, then they said, harry, here are the keys to the place.
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by the way, we have something called the a-bomb, and truman had to deal with that and deal with the end of the war and deal with a war-ravaged europe. i think historians now, especially with mccullough's great work, assess him higher than he was at the time and higher than my brother assesses him. host: that is important. in 1968, we were in the throes of vietnam. we did not know how that year was going to unfold with the king assassination, the kennedy assassination, the tumult was conventions. -- the tumultuous conventions. but in the primary, what happened in 1968? guest: kennedy wasn't in yet. he had been talking about it. host: robert. guest: correct. what happened was that kennedy what saw what gene mccarthy was able to do in terms of young people. a lot of young people from out of state coming in because mccarthy was clear about it.
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he was forgetting out of vietnam, he was the antiwar candidate, he was a bit of a poet, and people came in and slept on people's floors and basements and walked around campaigning for mccarthy. and johnson, who ended up of few weeks afterwards not running at all, i think it was a duplicate of what happened to truman in 1952. truman loses the primary and several weeks later says, i'm not running. johnson, even though it was a write-in, it was well organized by the state democratic party. he gets more than 40% of the vote, which is unheard of. mccarthy gets more than 40% of the vote, which is unheard of. johnson sees that, and he is not running. so that was huge. on the republican side, it was pretty much nixon. he had a couple of people who were toying about it. rockefeller was toying about it. did not get in.
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romney did get in, famously took a tour of south vietnam by the generals. since the mood was changing, said, i guess i was brainwashed, in saying he was for the war. so nixon rolled up a substantial victory. you mentioned editorials in the union leader. loeb was running the paper at that time and was famous for his front page editorials about many things, including presidential politics. and i always remembered the alliterative headlines of his editorials. and one in 1968, when rockefeller was thinking about it, was entitled "nells the knife." it has a ring to it. it was all about how nelson rockefeller was stabbing his friends in the back, including jake javits, so he could move him out of the way and run against nixon. it was not a surprise when
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buchanan acknowledged to me and the world in his autobiography, or his book on nixon, that you can and wrote nells the knife, not william loeb. it is extraordinary. host: why would mr. loeb take something from a political operative? guest: because he loved pat buchanan. when he decided he was going to -- when nixon decided he was going to come back, his first hire was a young editorial writer from st. louis. actually, from washington dc, named patrick buchanan. among his first assignments was to go up to the north shore of massachusetts and become friendly with one william loeb, because we are going to need this guy. and buchanan did, drove up in a snowstorm, and william loeb, they loved him. they became very close.
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he loved them. even though the image is -- i have not found another one that loeb did not write. he was happy to take that from pat. nixon, they fly into manchester, buchanan and nixon, for a campaign visit. an aide runs up to the plane, and nixon says to buchanan, how come you cannot write like that? host: that is a funny story. [laughter] we will fast-forward to 1972. vietnam still raging. nixon reelected. this is the year when mr. loeb became nationally known. we have video from this. we will watch and have you tell the story. [video clip] >> attacking me, attacking my wife. he has proved himself to be a gutless coward.
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>> i will find a way to say that they don't like his kind of journalism here in new hampshire, and they say it in a way that they can make it stick. that is the only way that he can understand that in northern new england, we respect each other. that is something i don't expect of him. guest: wow. i think it has been two hours on that whole thing. -- i could spend two hours on that whole thing. very briefly, i think what muskie was attempting to do, and failed colossally at, was something another candidate in 1960 successfully did, attacking william loeb in front of his paper. this is the night before the general election, and across the street from the union leader building. the candidate before quite a bigger crowd, and i'm paraphrasing, but he said, there
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may be a worst newspaper and worst publisher in these united states than william loeb and the union leader, but if there are, i cannot think of them right now. john f. kennedy. that is on the front page the next day, that kennedy has called out william loeb. william loeb gets space to respond. william loeb's response is to the effect that a spoiled brat like that, you don't want him in the white house running world affairs. fast-forward to 1972, muskie. muskie is losing traction to mcgovern. mcgovern is the clear antiwar message. muskie is trying to be -- a bit of a mugwumps on it. it may be because of how well kennedy had done in this, he decided he would call the guy out. but it is not bogus, but it is over-the-top in several senses.
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one is it is a snowy saturday, and there is no way william loeb is going to be in that building. muskie shakes his fist and says, come down here. loeb lived in massachusetts and came into new hampshire once a month to have his advisory board meetings. secondly, muskie says, attacking my wife. the attack on his wife was a newsweek digest item, i think it was in newsmakers or some political thing, of two paragraphs which were condensed down from a long article in women's wear daily by a reporter named candy stroud. i saw candy stroud a few weeks ago. her piece was produced by newsweek and run.
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she is flocking for john delaney, a democrat. i did not see muskie going into new york on a flatbed trailer and calling out the editors of newsweek for this attack on his wife, which was merely a first-person account by mrs. stroud of being on the campaign bus and how she liked to kick back, smoke a cigarette, have a drink in the evening, say her husband was cute. it was harmless. i thought there had been some editorial that went along with it. there wasn't. it was just that. the big thing that muskie should have been upset about and should have spent more time at and wouldn't have choked up if he wasn't talking about his wife. if he was talking about something called the canuck letter, he would have had a better case.
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have to go back. nixon tried twice to get loeb on his side in 1972, but the big break was when loeb said he was going to china. loeb had a long history with china, and there was no way he was going to support a guy who was breaking bread with the chinese. loeb gets a letter. i have to back up. he tries twice to get -- nixon to get loeb on his side. he sends up two guys. herb klein and ken clawson. klein is the communications director for the white house, klaussen is his assistant. loeb is in town for this one. they have lunch at the manchester country club. i am there, my father is there, a couple of the other editors. on their way out, loeb says to these guys, i think you will be interested in what is in the paper tomorrow. i wasn't involved in the daily
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paper, and my father, who was, didn't know either. the next day, there was a front page by william loeb. "muskie insults franco americans." and it is an editorial about how muskie has been in florida at a drug rehabilitation house and two people who were there, young people, write to mr. william loeb at the manchester guardian in this scrawl, and i am paraphrasing, but they say they went to see candidate muskie at the drug rehab house, and they asked him if he had a problem in maine with negros. muskie said, no, we have a problem with canucks. may be aid said that. can you tell us what a canuck is? signed paul something, florida. loeb got hundreds of letters a
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week. in those days, he ran on the letters. -- he ran all the letters. i would think that particular letter, he would want to verify it. and would certainly want to get a reaction from muskie, because he runs the thing on the editorial page and calls attention to it from his editorial. i believe the letter was bogus. i believe during the watergate -- not hearings, but in all the stories that woodward and bernstein think that a guy named donald segretti had written it. nixon said he did not write it and doesn't know who wrote it, but they all loved it in the paper because that was a stencil bleak the reason. -- that was ostensibly the reason for muskie to come up.
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i think the guy spoke about this. canuck by that time, it was still a slur that some people in manchester, but was also the name of a national hockey league team in canada. it did not have the bite it did before. muskie lost because muskie choked up about his wife. the associated press reporter saw tears. the post said he choked up. our reporter didn't see tears. our reporter, though, if i had made her call william loeb to get his reaction, she teared up. he wouldn't do it. i had to call william loeb. what do you think william loeb says? he says, a guy like that gets upset about it, i don't want him in the white house with his finger on the nuclear button. i didn't know that.
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that's what william loeb was paraphrasing about john kennedy but i didn't know that. i was nine in 1960. front page, i write a headline, and i still have the job the next day, "muskie calls loeb liar." 84 point cap. big story, and sidebar, loeb says muskie is getting upset and he shouldn't be president. and that was the end of ed muskie. it was an editorial, the canuck one. but what muskie got upset about was this attack on his wife. it really wasn't much of an attack. i just read it again the other night. today, it would not rate running in the paper. it would be not even a paragraph. it was just a lady on the campaign bus. host: 1980, the iran hostage crisis. this was jimmy carter reelect challenge from kennedy on the democratic side.
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we had quite a group of candidates on the republican side in 1980. we have another video to watch, a famous one. let's watch. [video clip] >> i would like you to make an announcement. [indiscernible] [shouting] >> mr. green -- >> you asked me -- >> i am paying for this microphone. [cheering] host: on the republican side, we have ronald reagan, george h.w. bush, bob dole, john connolly, john anderson. howard baker. what did that moment do for
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ronald reagan? guest: it made him remember in old movie called "state of the union," starring spencer tracy and katharine hepburn. came out in 1948. sorry i am going so far off field, but i find politics interesting. tracy is running for president in this movie, and he gets co-opted by the wall street types. he goes off his progressive script. the denouement of this movie is a live television broadcast in his living room in 1948, in his living room in 1948, in which he speaks from the heart. 90 he is trying to win hepburn back. and the campaign manager signals to the technician running the show to shut off either the mic or the tv camera, and tracy sees that. what do you think he says? he says, don't touch this show.
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i am paying for this show. reagan was a movie actor before he was a presidential politician, and a very good one. and i think while he had a right to be upset because he was paying for this microphone and it was not mr. green, the way john green from the national telegraph, but he wanted to show he was in charge. and that showed he was in charge. all those guys in back of him, they didn't get to say anything at that event. it was just reagan and bush, because that is all bush wanted, was him against reagan. and bush sat there on his hands and didn't say a word during this back and forth between the national newspaper and kennedy, reagan, and reagan was said to have really -- he is not too old for the job.
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bernie sanders could be his grandfather, but reagan at the time was late 60's, early 70's. but it showed that he was more than a match for whatever was thrown at him. a lot of people, including his new hampshire campaign guy, said that reagan already had it won. so there is still talk about what really did it for him. i think reagan showed himself throughout that campaign to be a sharp guy and not too old for the job, and people underestimated him. but i think he watched that movie. i asked marlon fitzwater once, the press secretary, if he had heard that story. fitzwater said, yeah. i said, has anyone asked the president about it? fitzwater said, no. if i were you, i wouldn't.
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and i did not have the guts to ask him. but it is in a couple books. host: 1984 was c-span's first new hampshire primary. guest: wasn't it a day in the life of the union leader? host: it was. i remember it well. it was ronald reagan reelect. senator gary hart defeated walter mondale. our piece of video from the video library. i will show you a bit from our first visit to new hampshire. [video clip] >> i cannot believe you are endorsing ronald reagan with your newspaper. i think it is an insult to the democrats. even if you pick the worst democrat, i would feel a lot better about it than i would feel picking a republican. >> i am not going to apologize for the paper endorsing reagan. really, i apologize for the democrats who can't come up with
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anybody better than the pack of eight to nominate. guest: wow. who was that? host: minus the mustache these days. guest: is that steve scully? host: the reason i showed that clip is when we were there in 1984, we would go into the diners and we were the only camera there. now, it is a scrum and cameras from all over the world and all kinds of media. when did that change, that so many people started covering it? host: i think it was a little earlier than 1984, but not to the degree that it is now. i couldn't put a date on it. i know that in 1980, before reagan paid for the microphone in nashua, he had a lot of cameras following him around, including in my mother's living room one snowy saturday the week before. the networks, but there were
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only three, and they would only come up for the very end of it. now you have from day one a candidate with the name shows up in new hampshire early. you will find camera crews with him from boston as well as the cable nationally. now, i have a friend, recently back from the west, and we had lunch. and i think of myself, we will go to the red arrow. no, not the month before the new hampshire presidential primary. you don't know which of 400 candidates are going to be in there but there will not be room, for them and their camera crews and regular people too. there were times you talk about the economy of the state and how good it is. it is good, but sometimes for the restaurants, especially the diners and the coffee shops,
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gets in the way of serving their regular crowd and you can sometimes see in those many camera shots some of the regular patrons being a little put out by all these people around them. but it goes away. host: 1988 is the next piece of video. it happened on the night of the new hampshire primary. let's watch this. [video clip] >> he looked down at that monitor, you will see senator bob dole, who is standing by in his headquarters. anything you would like to say to him at this point? >> i wish him well. >> senator dole, is there anything you would like to say to the vice president? >> stop lying about my record. guest: that is on extraordinary -- that is not extraordinary these days, saying everything on tv. a lot of the candidates as well as a lot of the backers. but back in that day, wow. one candidate, a u.s. senator, against a vice president, accuses him of lying about his record.
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he should have said it a couple of days earlier because bush beat him there. bush beat dole in part because of governor john sununu, who was good about getting george bush out of the limo and into the streets to show the everyman thing. i think in iowa, dole had done better. sununu arranged for a great camera shot of bush driving a snowplow around. and he also prevailed upon the tv station to run a fresh set of ads on the weekend of the primary, which apparently you don't -- it is difficult to do unless you know the station. it was quite a moment. dole came back.
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host: senator dole had won the iowa caucus, and president bush had come in third. on the democratic side, and our time is going to run out quickly, that was the year of joe biden's plagiarism issue, 1988. does that still have resonance for him as a candidate? guest: i don't think a lot of people know about that, but it has resonance because it was in response not from a nosy news man, but a guy who was holding a coffee in his house for biden. and he asked innocently something about biden's curriculum vitae. biden started inventing things. he took offense to the question. i don't think that is biden's problem today. i think biden comes across as a real guy, but he liked bernie and the others are pretty long in the tooth.
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host: our next is 1992, a video once again. let's watch. [video clip] [cheering] >> let me say that -- while the evening is young -- [laughter] and we don't know yet what the final tally will be, i think we know enough to say with some certainty that new hampshire tonight has made though clinton -- that new hampshire tonight has made bill clinton the comeback kid. [cheering] guest: you wonder about those
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soundbites, like reagan with the microphone, how long they had that in the can. it has a nice tone to it. bill clinton in 1992, the other candidates laid off him on the vietnam question. including bob carey, who was a decorated vietnam soldier. i asked him at the newspaper shortly before it came out about how clinton had circumvented the draft and all these letters. and he wouldn't touch it. i thought it was fair to ask about a possible next commander in chief's veracity on whether or not he did or didn't serve in the military, but he wouldn't touch it. he said he was the comeback kid. clinton could say, how could i beat the guy from next-door? he finished second to paul tsongas. as i said earlier, i don't think the guy from next-door thing
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cuts much in new hampshire. host: we talked about pat buchanan and nackey loeb and the endorsement of pat buchanan. let's watch. [video clip] [video clip] >> on this program friday, pat buchanan called you the godmother of new hampshire politics and his campaign. >> that is what i understand. i think that is my favorite name. i will buy that anytime. >> why did you endorse pat buchanan? >> we endorsed pat buchanan -- we endorsed him before we endorse him now. i think he is the only person who really stands for what we believe in. the nice thing about pat buchanan, he has a paper trail going back 20 something years. what he said 20 some years ago is what he is saying now. host: the history books look at pat buchanan. what was it like?
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-- what will his legacy have been? guest: he was a forerunner to trump's version of republicans in terms of america first, no foreign entanglements, no foreign trade agreements. i think that upset republicans from 1976, doing stuff with tariffs. -- i think that upset republicans from doing stuff 1876, with tariffs. but he will be seen as an on the ground campaigner who told it as he saw it. the headline that he held up the night he won said "read our lips," which is a line from george bush's convention speech, something in which pat turned into a tv commercial because bush said read our lips, no more taxes. then he went back on that in the white house. and that made a big difference.
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mrs loeb reminds me of a lady she tried to get to run earlier for president, ambassador jeanne kirkpatrick, who we had a big dinner for, a lot of people pleading with her to run. i think in 1988 against bush. but she wouldn't do it. but pat is the real deal. that is what i think his legacy is, as both a candidate and a political commentator, and i am still running his column. host: 2008 is our next, and that was in the midst of the financial meltdown. we have two wars going on in iraq and afghanistan. barack obama was the leader going into new hampshire. a bit of video again. this is hillary clinton at the cafe express. [video clip] >> he is very likable, i agree with that. i don't think i am that bad. >> you are likable enough. >> thank you. [laughter] i appreciate that.
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>> i have so many opportunities. i just don't want to see us fall backwards. [applause] this is very personal for me. it is not just political, it is not just public. i see what is happening, and we have to reverse it. and some people think elections are a game. they think it is about who is up and who is down. it is about our country, it is about our kids' futures, and it is about us together. some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult -- . -- difficult odds. host: the first part from the debate, the leading candidate saying you are likable enough, then an emotional moment for
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hillary clinton. guest: i think carl cameron asked the question at the debate. he used to be with wmur and then fox. obama's answer was a little less than genuine. hillary, i think, was being honest in her tears there. i think she was at the late stages of a campaign that was not going as well as she thought it was going to go, and opened up about it. obama is a guy who did not do a lot of on the ground campaigning in new hampshire that year and -- i think he won, didn't he? host: he did. guest: but he was not on the ground as much or as accessibly. host: sorry, actually he did not. hillary clinton defeated him by 2.6. guest: it is the expectations game. same thing with mccarthy. mccarthy did not beat lbj, expectations game. host: on the republican side,
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that was john mccain's second time. he won over mitt romney. a sentence or two about john mccain's legacy in presidential politics? guest: i think his legacy is bigger than presidential politics. i think mccain is one of the real heroes of this country for the ages, in many ways. like pat, although they did not agree on a lot of political stuff, but a straight shooter. he was not a politician in that sense. he called them as he saw them, and his service in vietnam is just extraordinary. he was invited to leave the cage, and he wouldn't do it. he said, first one in, first one out. and he was junior to a lot of other captives. and he came back here and in new hampshire, he came back from to zip.
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-- to zip. -- next to zip. no staff, no poll numbers, on the ground convinced people. you could see it in their eyes that they bought his campaign because he was telling the truth. and i gave him a penny. i read that he was superstitious, and i found a penny in the parking lot of the union leader the morning of the election, and i picked it up. he came in just to say thanks for supporting him and i said, i found a penny. can i have that? i don't know where it is now, but it is cool he took it. host: we only have three or four minutes left, and i want to spend half of that on 2016. bernie sanders defeating hillary clinton by 22 points, and donald trump's double-digit win. what were the new hampshire voters saying to the candidates that year? guest: in both cases, there was enough with washington. we want something completely different. voters in the democratic primary
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were saying to the democratic national committee, enough with you telling us and stage managing this campaign. they didn't want to have debates. they wanted hillary coronated. we had a last-minute debate at unh, which did go off, although the dnc said they would not do it if the union leader was one of the sponsors. but they just wanted it for hillary. voters said, no. that was a signal they were sending. and on the republican side, they were saying, no, we don't want any politicians. here is this guy trump. he is a businessman, he is not a politician. at least, we don't think he is. what the hell? we will roll the dice and give him a shot. host: as we close this and the voters make their choice, what is at stake going into the election? guest: i think it is tough to read. on the democratic side, it is
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very energized, and the democrats and independent-minded are looking for somebody that they think can beat donald trump. and on the republican side, they are saying, he has his faults, but we have a great economy going and we are going to stick with him and shut up and we don't need impeachment or anything like it. new hampshire is a microcosm of the united states, which is the most divided it has been since about 1861. host: a final question, the union leader throughout the history has been part of the story. what in this digital age is your paper's role? how has it changed? guest: we still have about the same readership, but a lot of it is online. that does not bring in the revenue that offline does, but we are still covering these races. we do not have as many reporters as we had back in some of those
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years as you showed, but we still feel our obligation to readers to report on what these candidates are saying in various parts of the state. and i am one step removed from it now and don't have to worry about it, but what i see in the paper and online is pretty good coverage. and the online, as soon it is out there, it is online. it is incredible, and it is a balancing act for the editors. what do we put in the print version versus what do we put online? and breaking news goes online, and a lot of what the candidates say. and you can tell that the candidates are reading it because they are questioning anything they think is not fair to their candidate, or why can't we come in for an editorial board meeting? because we don't have an editorial board, but you are welcome to come in. and they do. host: this could have easily
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been a two hour conversation. guest: i told you you did not have enough time. host: we will see you once again this year. thank you for spending an hour with us. guest: thanks to c-span. you're doing an extraordinary job in presidential politics and in the country. and you had a nice editorial the other day. host: we appreciate it, and we will see you in new hampshire. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ >> all q&a programs are available on our website or as a podcast on c-span.org. , y publicek
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television's davidebsen joins us to talk about the history of the iowa caucuses on february 3, next sunday night at eight eastern and pacific on c-span. of what's ahead today on martin luther king jr. day on c-span. our three hour washington journal program is next. at 10:00 a.m., democratic presidential candidates are in des moines, iowa at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the supreme court citizens united ruling which allows unlimited spending on political campaigns by outside groups. noon, wreath-laying ceremony at the mlk memorial in washington dc. our live coverage of the presidential candidates in iowa continues. today at 430 p.m. eastern, senator elizabeth warren from iowa, followed by senator bernie
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