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2020: Seth Moulton On Patriotism And Beating Trump On National Security


Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton joins Tommy Vietor to discuss the threat of nuclear war, his time in the Marine Corps and the need for a new generation of leadership in the White House.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to America. This. Thank you guys for downloading this special episode. It's a conversation with Congressman Seth Moulton from Massachusetts who jumped into the race for President just this week on and he came to crooked media h, Q and sat down with me too, About it to Carson Moulton is running a national security focus campaign. He thinks that is the best way to be trump things. That's where Trump is weakest, so we started their congressman, Moulton served in Iraq. He was in the marine core did four tours. We talked about his time in Iraq. We also talked about N Korea and whether he'd continue those talks. We talked about the defense budget,
domestic issues we talked about what he do on day. One we talked about his critiques of the single payer VA healthcare system. We spend some time talking about his efforts to unseat speaker policy and whether he thinks that was a good or bad idea. In hindsight did little process talk? We talk strategy how he plans to win Iowa, New Hampshire and the nomination, and then we did impeachment so really appreciate that station, it's especially fun for me to dig into National the argument against President Trump and without further ado. Here's interview, I am honored to have been studio from the sixth district. Tommy I'm honored to be here. I but you are in the interest, transparency. Transparency should say you're running for president and you invited me to go for a run. This morning, at oh six hundred, which I declined, these I'm softap and lazy, but you did it. That's impressive.
Not really it's just a run, but the generation of people who work in New York or think I'm an asshole right now. Ok, let's start at the top, so it's April 26th right here the 19th can, Jump in Biden's the 20th, what did you see in the other candidates in the field uh running for two thousand and twenty president, the democratic nomination that that I didn't do it for you like what made you make this tough decision? We have got to be willing to take on Donald Trump, not just as president but as commander in chief, and I think this is actually where he's weakest, I mean he has let us down across the globe. Ah, he has bastardized the meaning of patriotism. Um his vision, making our country strong and safe is the exact opposite of what we need to do to achieve that, and so I'm going to take him out on those issues and
I'm going to add that to the debate, and I think ultimately taking him on where he is weakest is what we need to do to beat him. So I find this very interesting because I'm a former national security geek So let's definitely start there. So you have this background where you enlisted in the marine corps after graduating from Harvard Shortly before the nine slash eleven attacks, you served four. Wars in Iraq. I was wondering if you could tell a little bit about what you did in Iraq, like where you served the kinds of missions you were working on and like if there are big, take homes from that time, yeah sure I mean first of all, used to know that I just wouldn't be here at all. If not for that experience, I didn't grow up interested in politics. Maybe I should have, but I, but I wasn't um. You know I don't come from a political family size. I point out to the first congressman that my parents met. That was me I'm still paying my loans, my college loans, a member of Congress, is certainly noted. Family money here, but I this
right in college that I wanted to serve and I was really influenced by the greatest mentor I've ever had in my life, who was the minister in my college church, but and that he was this larger than life of moral guide post at the university, and he talked a lot about the importance of service about how it's not enough, just to believe in service or support others who go serve. You gotta find a way to give back yourself and sitting in this church in Harvard Yard, with the names of the people who have lost their lives in wars. You know that the church was dedicated to it, made me really think about serving in that way. I had so much respect for these eighteen year, old, kids, who put their lives on the line for the country, so I want to sign up. I knew I wanted to be in the infantry to be on the ground and little did. I know that nine eleven would happen. I'd go through a year of training, thinking that we all thought we had just missed the war, because Afghanistan, be over a few months, and then that would be it and two thousand and two and then
and then came home for Christmas in December, two thousand and two and on Christmas Eve my future Battalion executive, Austria called me and said when you're coming out to California said well, I've got a month to leave. I'm I'm hanging up Massachusetts for a month, probably a little skiing like nope you're coming out next week. Um pack bags get a will and get a week, yep, okay and we're getting on a ship to Kuwait Jesus. So we and we we got to Kuwait, two, that is, that battalion took bets on whether we actually invade. I was on the side of now there's. No. Bush is actually gonna do this, but we did, and so my first job over there was as a platoon commander in the invasion just fighting our way to Baghdad. So here you you, if I were to Baghdad. Thank you. I went home for a little bit. You signed up to go back, I
in two thousand and three two thousand and four nasariyah and a job that was some of the more intense fighting of the whole war right. It was and We had no idea how much worse that it got since two thousand and three in the summer of two thousand and three was actually great. I mean the Iraqis were thrilled that they've been liberated from Saddam, but we clearly had no plan for after the invasion. That's why I got this crazy job of war, and with the iraqi media and have my own tv show yeah, both in my home in the Mojave one talk about that at all I mean I medic and Iraqi literally a few hours ago today, who is a The translator worked for the press and come over to the United States and I walked in and he looked at me in his eyes. Bright he's like, I know you I know you I've met, I said, probably was a tv show? Is it yes? That's it? That's it so crazy, like a super
Popular tv show is crazy and you have your investigative journalism, like sort of like a mini version of sixty minutes. We're really just trying to teach the Iraqis how to have a free press and we found one. The best ways to do it was just have our own show that they could watch us put together, produce report on and everything um, but yes, crazy, used to have to sign autographs in the street. I mean nobody asked for my from the street as a US congressman. It's an incredibly important thing, the free press, it's a very cool role, doesn't feel like something that you should. Ask uh marine infantrymen to do exactly what the State Department and that's the point and that's the point, no plan whatsoever for what happened after the invasion. Uh. Not nearly enough resource is for the state department.
Nelson and so one of the stories of a rock was a bunch of young men and women in the military, just stepping up and doing a whole bunch of jobs that that we weren't trained to do that. We weren't prepared to do, but we needed to do to to try to get the country on track. Do you have to put at the end of day we left the rock in the fall two thousand and three hoping that things would stick together, and we came back about six months later. When is eight months later, and it was the best and we saw a far worse fighting in the job in two thousand and four then we'd, seen in the whole of Dayton,
for your for your service and rocky won. The bronze star, which those listening don't know is the nation's fourth highest award for her was under fire. Are you one? The marine corps commendation Medal for valor, but you went to this whole primary campaign. For you didn't tell anybody about this. I I believe the Boston Globe was going through military record. They figured this out. They called your office, a new finally agreed to talk about your parents, didn't even know I mean I would return the citations. I think you probably punch me. I I'm just curious like why, who? Why did you want to talk about that time or that citation? Because it's not about the the award? You know we're just doing our job serving the country and that's what matters and I think, there's sort of a a healthy disrespect among veterans for people who just come back and tell war stories
clete I'd seen a lot of Marines to incredibly heroic things that they were never recognized for so I think it's just. It was the right thing to do. Do you think, there's ah middle ground between I respect the hell out of that answer and appreciate it, but also think that people in America don't What happens overseas? I don't think they know a real war story. They don't know what our soldiers in sailors and Marines were doing day today and I wonder, if there's a way that you think we all as a body politics to better educate people on the reality of war is not the movies. It's not the the the bullshit. You see on an act coming out of Hollywood. I think your point on me and I I you know, I have tried to talk a little bit more about some of the stuff that that we went through is as a platoon and some of the things I saw other guys do and and I'm incredibly proud of it. You know. Even in the midst of this war, I disagreed with. I was proud to go there and I was proud to go there four different times and no one had to go in my place,
and ah- and I did see incredibly heroic things- people just you know it there's nothing more powerful in your life than when you, you see a fellow young american someone who might have a not too much in common with you come from a very different background. Um different experiences growing up just be willing to literally put his or her life on the line for you, and I saw that all the time over there I felt I saw the best of America. In the worst of circumstances, and there was a day in two thousand and four when a young marine in my platoon, I looked up at me and he said you know, sir. You wanna run for Congress someday so that this shit doesn't happen again,
uh huh. Now he didn't convince me right then, and there run because I could pack it used to be. I bill went to business school in the first job I took was in Texas. Obviously don't move to Texas and plan a run for office um, but when this opportunity to run came up- and I was approached by this group- that's trying to get veterans to run for office um, I thought back toe so that conversation and I decided that you know if no one is willing to step up and challenge the system and make some changes and we're gonna keep making mistakes like the ones that got us into Iraq yeah. So let me ask about about that vote in that mistake. I mean Vice President Biden announced his candidacy yesterday. He voted for the Iraq war is one of many people. Who did I mean? Do you think a vote like that is disqualifying at this point? No, I don't think they're. I don't have a litmus test like that, but but I do think it's time in our politics for the generation that went to Iraq and Afghanistan to take over
the generation that sent us there right? I think it's time for generational change in our politics and something I've been fighting for ever since I got elected it's something I talked about in my my first campaign and um, and I think it's time that we we really lay out how we as Democrats are gonna, lead this country for both here at home, to meet the challenge of the new economy, ah, to make a better health care system, but also abroad. You know how are we gonna lead in the world? There's a lot of people right now talking about going back to the way things were before Donald Trump, like putting NATO back together, because he's worked so hard to tear it apart and that's okay, I mean I don't disagree, but I think NATO is really important, but NATO was founded with a nineteen. Forty, nine rationale: it's nineteen one thousand eight hundred and forty nine anymore, but we do need to put in a tomato back together, but we've got to give it a twenty slash. Twenty rationale: we got to make sure NATO is relevant to the fact that Russia's conducting cyberattacks right or allies, not rolling tanks.
The folder gap sure so we got to modernize all these institutions and really take a totally fresh look toward towards foreign policy and our national security. In a lot of these issues, the of these issues about being strong bar abroad and being a moral leader for the world, they have a lot of effect on on what we're doing back home. To I mean just look at our foreign policy in in center America that can affect whether or not we have an immigration problem of the southern border. Absolutely me the exact opposite of what we doing he's pulling it out of Central America. We should be doing what we did in Colombia, which turned a narco state into a tourist destination. For Americans, in about fifteen years. That's the approach. We should take the Central America. Is there a problem with migrants coming in an unprecedent numbers to the southern border? Yeah and Democrats need to be willing to admit that, but let's also have a plan to fix it, and we have. We have experience with river road map in Colombiana Road Map, it's hard, but it's doable and that's exactly what we should do to strengthen our national
Purity industries in our security back here at home totally agree with you. So this is interesting race. There are a couple other veterans in the race mayor, P, was a naval intelligence expert, congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard served in the army. How do you like your experience in the Marines, is different from theirs or is that what you think about? Well, first of all, I really respect their very service. I respect anybody who's willing to stand up and serve the country, whether it's in the military and the peace corps here at home in America or program like city year um. We need more people to do that and actually gonna be a big part of my platform. I've been talking about national service for years, I've been promoting it in Congress and and ah gonna talk about how we can get more people to sort of our country, especially in civilian service programs back home,
but the experience I had was actually leading Americans and in combat yeah and fundamentally the job I had was getting a whole incredibly diverse group of Americans people from all over this country, different states, different backgrounds, different religious beliefs, different political beliefs, all united behind a common shin to serve our country and in a lot of ways. I think that's exactly what we need from the next president of the United States. These are terribly divisive times, the most divisive, certainly in my lifetime, and we need to have a president who understands how to bring people together in very divided time. And get them to believe in our country, get them to believe in America so much that they want to work every single day to make it better agreed. I've heard you talk in the past about how you know we went into Iraq and ultimately left too quickly and then had to go back in, because ISIS came back um. I think you have expressed some concern about leaving Syria to
for the same reason, can you help me and help us understand how President Milton would define success in someplace like a rock in Syria, so we can understand from that analysis like when it would be appropriate to bring our men and women home years on the ground in the Middle EAST. There's no one who wants to bring the troops home sooner than I do, but the worst thing is to bring him home so quickly that a year later. I have to turn around and send him back and more Americans die because we're going over ground that we fought over once before, and that's the mistake that we made in Iraq and and we've got to confront that reality in Syria today now I think SIRI is a mess. I think that the troops don't know why
Doing we're not clear about the mission we've got to clarify that we've got to make it clear what they need to achieve to come home, but then we've got to do that. We got to make sure they actually achieve what what needs to be achieved. So they can come home for good same thing in Afghanistan. You know, I think our our mission has just gotten too expensive in Afghanistan. I would love to see a democratic Afghanistan, but I don't think many people think that we're really willing to make that commitment that it's just a little bit too far too much the United States to do. We do have a real counterterrorism, their bread- and it's still I mean the Sri Lankan bombings- show that that is still an issue in the world today, and we cannot let Afghanistan become a terror training ground, as it was a nine hundred and eleven. So let's have a narrowly focused counter mission in Afghanistan, reduce our footprint dramatically support the afghan government through the State Department, but not be dependent on their success not be dependent on.
Talks with the Taliban or anything else, just be clear. Why were there to protect our national security and bring everybody else home? One of President Trump's signature, diplomatic effort, is these negotiations with North Korea that are ongoing? When you look like a diplomat yeah. Quite the diplomat in there is very diplomatic in Mitchell. Do you do you think those talks have been successful and when you call my gosh they've been an abject failure? Think of it. If they would, you can still use them this president or how? How do you view that that process you you need to have talks with North Korea, but you do it from a position of strength. You don't do it by going over there giving up our exercises with one of the most important allies we have. Some
Korea is under daily threat of annihilation. I mean name another ally like that in the world today and we under Donald Trump just gave up exercises with them that are critical for their national security and for our ability to work with them and support them. And what do we get in return? Nothing, nothing! I mean absolutely nothing other than just embarrassing ourselves um in the face of a brutal dictator. So I'm just trying to think I mean I agree with you and then I look at what Obama did in terms of the sanctions and there was a pressure campaign was effective. I think there was important diplomacy through the six party talks, but the out are you? The outputs are the same right. I know you're like a data driven guy and we all look at outputs and like well. They still have a bunch of nukes in a much I c, B m. Like I just wondering how do we shake up the system? Well, first, just to be clear: the outputs are not the same because we didn't give up exercise,
about true, but there's a they're not it is. They were not as far along then as they are now in their nuclear weapons in their rocket to the development. But This is one of the reasons why I'm calling for really rethinking how we're approaching things in the Pacific. I think it's time for a pacific version of so to actually get our allies, which don't agree on every issue, but to get them united in a formal arrangement to help contain China and North Korea and in the same way that NATO has been so successful in western Europe in uniting us not just from a national security perspective, but from an economic from a cultural perspective really as a bulwark against the expansion of Russia into Europe. We need to do the same thing in the Pacific. That means some tough talks between allies like South Korea and Japan and don't always get along Hey we did that between Germany and France and E can't be
harder than that: they're not entirely friendly after world war. Two and there's a lot that we can do they're to really strengthen our alliance is my, division motto in the first Marine division under then General Mattis was no better friend, no worse enemy, the United States Marine. That should be our motto for the United States of America no better friend, no worse enemy than the United States. That means, if you're an ally, we truly stand with you that, if you're an enemy, we don't cozy up to you and go, have a nice little chit chat and then and then give up exercises with an important ally. We stand We get together with our allies and we're Furman, we are not willing to talk. I'm even Reagan, talk to Russia and get some significant arms control agreements out of it, but but we have to be willing to stand up strongly against North Korea. The one thing that has worked with them is sanctions. The other thing that's worked with them is pressure from the Chinese. These are all things that we can do and it's not what Trump has been doing at all. You mentioned General Madison. I think you
with that Rayas Natis General Mcmaster in iraq- I assume, maybe maybe with, is the wrong for all of them right like they were leading combatant commanders um. Are there leading parts of Iraq I mean? Did it surprise you to see some of them go into the Trump administration to disappoint? You know, because I know why they did it. They did it to try to keep this. This ship afloat yeah, and you know there are others um. I think that um General Kelly was more of a disappointment. He seemed to be told in the party line. Ah, but Mcmaster stood up to it. I know his bed, says he thought he could matter. Certainly did these are people who were trying to do the right thing for the country now. I know other military leaders who were asked to go into the and and thought it was not the right thing to do and did not go in, and I respect that decision as well, but I know why Madison Mcmaster and you know in potrace was
part of the know. Why I, why they? Why they did this, and I respect them for that, because they certainly took a lot of personal hits. But it was amazing when Madison resigned, ah the sense of dismay in Congress on both sides of the aisle, because we were losing one of the last people that we thought was their toe. Do the right thing at the end of the day, um was palpable yeah and it ah and it's frightening. You know we don't like to talk about this much, but I think one of the points here is that um, the stakes of having Donald Trump as our president are much higher than people realize and the most frightening day that I've ever had as a member
Congress was the afternoon that a few members of the Armed Services Committee went up and rode around the doomsday plane. You explain what that is, so it's literally like from the nineteen fifties. It's just big plane that ah, that flies around in the event of ah nuclear exchange and and gives gives the commander in chief and the? U S air force the ability to to fight back to to shoot nuclear weapons at you know, Russians or whoever else in the event that were attacked and it's a frightening experience. But you do walk this plane. You think, okay, this is like the nineteen fifties, because it looks like the nineteen fifties. I mean we're still using eight inch floppy disks toe to manage our our nukes, which is pretty pathetic. Oh, it does make it difficult to how I was gonna, say yeah. That is the one event I've been, but I guess and and so you're in this thing and you kind of expect.
Bing when they say: ok, we're going to walk you through an exercise you're expecting like ok, the soviets are sending two hundred missiles are way: Instead, we put on the the headsets and sat down for this exercise, and you know it's classified so I can't say exactly what it was, but it was frightening. Lee real, I was like wow, this could happen tomorrow and it could quickly escalate a nuclear war and there was one point: when Airforce colonel was talking about how they can you can't hack the system go easy. That would be the worst thing imaginable. Yeah one could hack the system and and and and and fire off a missile by mistake. He said yes, basically full proof, and I thought to myself unless the guy at the top is a
which yeah, which he is um, and so the stakes here are really high and that's why that's? Why I'm in this race? Because we've got to confront Trump, where he's weakest? We've got to confront trump on these issues. We can't just cede leadership, foreign policy, national security, making the country safe and strong and fundamentally defining what it means to be a patriot. We cannot see that to Donald Trump for too long Democrats kind. Let Republicans run with these issues and we shouldn't we have the most reckless commander in chief in american history. So let let's confront him where he's weakest, that's what I'm going to do and I think at the end of the day, if there's one thing I hear from democratic voters across this country, is they want to beat Donald Trump and so sure this might not be the top issue on people's radar right now and look I'll talk about health care, not to talk to you about how I promise I'll get there. I just all right. I think it will get there too, but but we've got to be willing to to lead on this issue as well. I promise only two more foreign policy question, so like look
the my put on the headphones and be scared by the exercise is when he starts talking about IRAN, because it does- like the administration is trying to lay the groundwork for war with IRAN. Secretary Pompeyo refused to confirm that two thousand and one a you. The authorization for the use of military force didn't give him the ready to go to war with IRAN, this is a vote taken in response to nine hundred and eleven. So when you see that in here this tortured rationale years and years later, do you think we should repeal that a umm? I mean bold and said that we were on the ground in Syria to counter IRAN I mean I was the one who called this out on on the Armed Services Committee and and and made the net that yeah they are. They are legally in violation of the eighty one that from two thousand one just by what they said. The rationale is for staying in that in Syria so yes, we should repeal the a on that and we should put in place another one. That's that's tailored to the the world today. Now the truth of the matter in this is something that that that some people don't, here. Is it terrorism remains a threat?
but the other reality is that our war on terror, since two thousand and one has been an abject failure, I mean there are more terrorists in the world today. I think, by a fact four hundred and forty five, then there were on nine slash eleven. So how can you look at ourselves and say? Ok, this war on terror is been great. I agree I agree, but that doesn't mean- you don't have a war on terror. It means you've, got a totally rethink it. We can't have another terrorist attack at home. We've got to have a foreign policy, it doesn't mean that we become isolationists and just withdraw from the world, but we've got to have a smarter next generation foreign policy that will actually keep it safe. Also in I I agree with you, and but you know the twenty twenty budget request from Trump includes, I think, seven hundred and fifty billion with a b dollars for national defense. When you, through the track record, you just talked about right four times more sunni extremists in the world, then pre, nine and eleven, and you hear those numbers, it sounds obscene to me and mean we're creating a fucking space force
while we're zeroing out the special Olympics. Rightly, what are we doing? Well, I mean look, didn't you dug into these budgets? I mean to give Trump credit. I mean. We all know that he uh uh got five deferments from the Vietnam WAR, but maybe, if you could have been a space? Could yeah right? That's right! That's right! I mean you as part of a job. In our survey is you into these budgets, do you think they're too big you try to cut the defense budget. Is president, I do think they're too big, but, most importantly, there just investing in the wrong things like Why are we still building as many aircraft carriers as were building when the Chinese for the price of one after aircraft carrier can can build about two thousand anti aircraft carrier missiles? The tell me that one of those two thousand can take out an aircraft carrier so yeah. There are a lot of tough decisions. We to make our about our defense budget that not only involve investing in new technologies like actually building a cyber wall to protect us from China and Russia like making the commitment
in the world leader in a I in artificial intelligence that China has already made, and we seen repeat, we we refused to make every time I ask Trump administration officials about it. They won't make that commitment. They were going to be the world's leader. We've got to invest in these new technologies, but we also have to cut the old legacy systems they're just too expensive, too much money. I think this is interesting paradox where, because China and Russia have lower defense budgets, they're not going to compete with us by just building as many aircraft carriers, as we have they're just trying to figure out ways to defeat these systems that we have now and build the next generation of of weapons. We need a new, a new generation of arms. We need a new generation of arms control and, like I was discussing with police
Pacific need a. We need a new generation of alliances. One of my big lessons from government is that prioritization is key. Are you kind of odds? Are you get one big thing done, especially to do it via reconciliation right to Obama chose the formal care act. Trump chose a a tax cut for billionaires. What what's your day? One plan, what's your big, you want to get done. Well, we have a lot of work to do in this country, and the first thing we have to do is just restore moral integrity to the office is to actually show that we can bring Americans together, um, so I'll get to like a big idea, but that I think this is the most important thing when you sign up for the military. When I went to marine training, one of the first things I learned was that I could fail a test and they let me retake the test. I could drop out of a run and I probably get toa do it again the next day. But if I lied about anything
I be gone that afternoon, we need a commander. In chief, we need a president of the United States who we can trust. It doesn't mean it's going to be someone that we always agree with, but the most fundamental failure of Donald Trump is that you cannot trust him. You cannot trust anything. He says as commander in Chief the United States, so we have got to restore morale and Tay, in credibility to the office, but you want moon shot, please. I think we should develop fusion energy. And this is amazing this well, I degree degree I didn't get the best grades and got out of there
The degree I couldn't open looks so there is nothing that will do more for climate change, um than carbon free energy and nuclear fusion, which is much safer than vision, is something that's actually within reach. If we put, you know the tens of billions, not hundreds of billions, but just tens of billions of dollars into it, we can probably get there within the decade and that's the kind of investment that we need to make in the future of our country and in the future of our world. But we also need to be putting a lot of money into health care. We need to make sure that everybody in America has access to quality, affordable health care, and I don't think we do that by forcing everyone onto a government. One size fits all program designed in nineteen sixty three.
Medicare is great. Medicare can be better and it should be an option that Americans have, but it shouldn't be the only way to go. So let me ask you about that. You get your health care from the v, a which is a single payer system. You said you know, sort of the day. You announced that it leaves a lot to be desired. What what is the problem day to day in terms of that single payer care that you received? Well, maybe it's best illustrated by a story sure. So I was lifting and got a hernia okay right right before I was sworn in as a member of Congress and so like, ok. Well, I made this commitment going to put it to the test, and so I was moving down to DC. I went to the Washington Dc Va, which is you know I usually go to the VA up above, but I went to DC. Va gave my name. Social security number to check in
and um. They said that after twenty minutes they said. Well, we don't have any record of you. We can't prove that you're, a veteran so we'll consider taking you as a humanitarian case. I mean I wanted to they. Will I mean I just want the selection like? Maybe you can google that is not playing the congressman's card? That's not why I was there sat down in the waiting room next to a fellow veteran. He served in Vietnam, who said I've been waiting here for five hours, just to see someone now fast forward. Ah, but they're too later I got my surgery. Great surgeon um was working there because she believed in vets wanted to help them. She was normally worked at G W, but she did time at the VA hospital. You did a great job but um, but as she was they're putting me under anesthesia, she said yeah, I don't I don't. I don't trust half the people who work here and I was like whoa time out. Maybe we you know, but before I knew what I was
and I woke up that- I'm not in why my left arm's attached to my right now. That's that's a horrible thing to say: uh yeah didn't exactly give me a lot of confidence. So, okay, but here's the best part. I woke up um, and went back to Capitol Hill with my little baggie of medicines, and they said you know The anesthesia works out off wears off is going to hurt a lot, so they gave me some powerful painkillers. They said you can try taking one, you probably need to I didn't take any when I got back to Capitol Hill because we had votes that afternoon. So I wanted to you know, remember I voted, but then, but then it was really starting to hurt, and so I
a pill like one slash two hour later. I'm in this meeting on my thing is killing me, so I went back to take a second pill and I looked more carefully at the bottle in they sent me home with the wrong medication, sent me home with Advil, so that story is insane and everyone who treated you should be fired, except for the surgeon. Do you think that that's I mean unfortunately infuriatingly despite many pledges to fix it? The v a is his. Berkeley, fucked up and Obama committed to doing it. We weren't able to achieve it. There's a lot of extenuating circumstances, I'm not making excuses, but like it's it's new, Torias Lee mismanaged organization. Do you think that your challenges unique to the VA? Or do you think that it's a real parable for a broader single payer system? Well, I'm afraid it might be a parable for a broader single payer system be
It is the only single payer system that we that we really have in America and despite constant pledges to fix it, hasn't been fixed him and and that's why I think that actually tapping into the age old american system of a little bit of free market competition would be good for health care, not to the extent that it is now where insurance companies, rent run, rampant and and a lot of people are priced out of healthcare, but healthy competition between a public option between a single payer, option and private payer systems, a private payer options, and- and that means you're, not gonna. Kick people off the private health care if they like it. But it also means of those private healthcare plans are gonna, have to compete. Eat with the public option, and that makes everybody better. Competition makes everybody better. There are also some things. The VA does really well, and I think it's important to acknowledge that to not just that surgeon, but they negotiate drug prices, Medicare. Doesn't do that? That's actually one of the big problems with Medicare. They do not negotiate drug prices. The VA does it's a great prescription system,
So if I need, if I had a medicine, I needed a refill, I could just go online. You know check the box, it shows up in the mail two days later I mean it's brilliant. There's, no reason why we shouldn't do that throughout our entire health care system. But the point is that if you just force everybody on toe onto Medicare um, I don't think it's gonna. I don't think everybody's going to be too thrilled. The presenting sponsor pod, save America's article right up your home just in time for summer give your space a fresh look with sleek designs and stylish furnishings from article redecorating does not have to be stressful. Article makes it easy to improve your home without the has. Of retail shopping. They take the hassle out of shopping for furniture and we love it here and there so comfortable and sleek. It's sleep. Scandinavian design cricket media offices are adorned with articles track.
I can't go anywhere the phone on a swedish thing. Look it's the easiest way to buy a beautiful, modern furniture. They cut out the middleman to directly sell you the goods and keep prices low, no showrooms, no sales, people, no retail markups, with savings of thirty percent over traditional prices and fast flat rate shipping to anywhere in the? U S and Canada, starting in just forty nine dollars with free basic shipping on all orders. Over nine hundred and ninety nine dollars articles offering our listeners fifty dollars off their first purchase of one hundred dollars or more to claim visit article dot, com, Slash America, Goto, article dot, com, Slash America and the discount will be autumn applied at article dot com, Slash America to get fifty dollars off your first purchase of one hundred dollars or more. A lot of your message is a generational change and you know the new generation of leaders. You talked about stepping up and serving, I think, a lot of people.
I hear that in they think about the effort. You were part of to unseat. Pelo C, as as speaker of the wasn't just below sea was the top three. Well, that's fair, the top three like in hindsight. Do you still think that was the right decision going after you know the the folks at the top? Maybe you thought a been there too long, we'll look at the end of the day. You can't just talk about generational change. You got to be willing to fight for it and the compromise that we
I got as a result of that debate of having a actual democratic debate in the Democratic Party about who our leaders should be, which should be what we all expect is. We got the voting rights subcommittee. We got the climate change subcommittee and we got an agreement on term limits that did two things. First of all, it gave Pelosi the votes she needed to become speaker without forcing all the freshmen who only got elected because they promised to vote against her to change their change, their promise to break their promise. So that was a big win both for her and for those freshmen, and it got us an agreement on term limits. That means that this new generation, the historically diverse class, that just got elected to take back the house, will actually have a chance to leave
in the future, and you know in some ways, if we had just succeeded in that fight by getting three new leaders at the top, but then they were there for eighteen or twenty years, then I don't think that would have been a win. So I think we actually came out pretty well and where does that put me in this presidential primary? Well, frankly, we're not gonna be able to beat Donald Trump if we don't have a nominee who's willing to take on the Washington establishment who's willing to fight for change who's willing to talk about how our party is going to leave the country forward, not just how we're going to stand up to Trump. Posted by the way is doing a fantastic job of standing up to Trump, and she deserves a lot of credit for that. But we also need leaders that people look to and say that's the future of the Democratic Party. That's the future of our country. Yeah, I mean is one if we can tease out what the what the younger generations leadership looks like rabies. I look at the recent battles against Trump in the shut down
on and I'm thinking. If I'm President Milton, I won the NC plus he break in arms in getting the all the votes. I need because she's pretty good at it. You know I don't think she's the only one I can do this. I think, there's some amazingly talented leaders in our party see some of them are rising up today. Sherry boost us is doing an amazing job with the the d trouble see and she actually understand what it means to fight for the district's. We need to win because she comes from a district. That voted for Trump Akeem Jeffries is, is a is a is a rising hot shot in the house. He has the potential to be the first african american speaker of the house and he's doing a great job as chairman of our caucus. There are a lot of very, very talented people in the democratic caucus, and I think it's important that we give them a chance to lead. Is well. They're gonna take us forward into the future, and that makes for a stronger party when you talk process for a minute process. I have one last thing I want to talk about. Oh come on. I want to know how you're gonna win right, because lot of folks in the race. I think there's some
I'm not saying you that are in to highlight an issue or to build a personal profile. I want to know like. Are you planning to beating Iowa are going to go to neighboring New Hampshire? Do you have paid staff on the ground? Was there a fund raising goal like what's what kind of you guys working on to win this thing, so obviously day. Four. We have this all figured out literally day for, but it's going well so far. So we're starting on the ground? This is a grassroots campaign. A lot of people have actually pointed to the John a model literally just going go, know vf WS and sometimes you meet with small groups, but you build up a steady base of support John Kerry. Four John Deere NASCAR forwarded the same thing. Some people point to the Gary Hart campaign too, but but the point is that you start by just building trust in the ground and we literally started by doing service events because I'm applying for a job. National service so tell me so day one you in New Hampshire in your porn mulch for two hours, we're not it's not just
What else is there terrable multures? If it took us two hours to do that? Well, you guys do it as a service project yeah. So we were stocking a food pantry. We are organizing clothes for the veterans and it's at this amazing place called Liberty House in Manchester NH that helps get veterans back on their feet after they've had some hard times. You know they serve the country, but came back. Many of them had poster matic stress. I've got addicted to opioids. Some of them had been in prison, but there's such inspiring stories because they're getting back on their feet, they've got jobs. Their sobering up there doing really well- and the point is that I want people to know that this is a mission driven campaign and we are about service. That's fundamentally what we're all about it's! What I did in my first campaign for Congress back in two thousand and fourteen two and people would say way why you just go into a food pantry, because I want people to know and remember what this is about. Why we're doing this we're doing this to serve the country, and that should be evident in everything we do so we cleaned up a beach in South Carolina
tomorrow to meet with some veterans in Nevada met with Junior ROTC cadets in Iowa and and it's been an incredibly energizing experience, so we're going to compete on the ground. Of course, I'll spend a lot of time in New Hampshire in that, in fact, there's actually no state. I've spent more time on in time in my entire life other than Massachusetts, the New Hampshire and so so I'll spend a lot of time on the ground there, but we're going to start with veterans and students and we're going to work up from there and we're just going to build, grassroots support for this campaign, and if there's one thing that I hear from voters everywhere I go it's. We need to be Donald Trump. We needed a nominee who can stand up to Trump and win, and that's why I think it's so important to be willing to confront them on these. Choose all these issues. I'm talking about that. Amazingly no one else in the field is, is really hitting him on. We've got to take him on on his job as commander a commander in chief, it's it's shocking to me that the Muller Report just came out and you've got the the Kushner out there saying it's, not a
deal yeah, that's unbelievable and on a gun, but we I mean, and in in front Finally, this is a story of dereliction of duty by the commander in chief of the United States, because he his number one job is to keep us safe. His number one job is to keep us safe and he refuses to do that because it might harm his reputation yeah. So after after Pearl Harbor, they had a Pearl Harbor Commission and it was actually quite critical of the Roosevelt administration, After nine hundred and eleven there was nine hundred and eleven Commission was actually quite critical of the Bush administration, but you never saw Roosevelt or Bush out Oh no, we shouldn't look into this. We shouldn't investigate this because it might look bad, I mean, but that's exactly what our president today is doing and we're not calling him out about, but we're not calling him out on it and we need to as a party if we're going to win. Read. The big debate coming out of a report has been about whether we should impeach Donald Trump. We've been fighting about it here at parts of America, But Tommy I mean yeah and so I'll answer your question. I know you're going, but it should.
The debate. The debate should be: how do we as Americans, not as Trump supporters, are trump haters, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans protect ourselves when we were attacked, by the only power on earth that could literally wipe out all life in America? In about twenty minutes? All look, I agree. And like the New York Times story about how the the former head of homeland security being unable to and raise the issue of efforts to protect us from another hacking by the Russians. It made me break out to a cold, sweat and feel nervous about two thousand and twenty all over. It would just be clear the whole set of reasons they absolutely are going to take the twenty twelve questions. They're, probably listening to this podcast right now with any luck, we need the download, but I agree that, like that, that's the more important issue, but I think it's a distinct one. I mean
a question of whether, when you read what you read in the mall a report on you see these efforts to obstruct justice, whether there is a moral obligation from Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, and then I think, there's a question of whether it's smart politics- here's if you have a take on that. Yes, so I think that those are both good questions, but the one that matters for the oath that we all swore as members of Congress is they'll pull the constitution. And that's to do the right thing on principle, which is to have this discussion. You mean you can't look at. Ah the situation we're in right now, where Trump and his associates. Very clearly committed, committed crimes and not be willing to have this debate? That's why I actually voted last year to start this debate. I mean, I think, that the majority of our party was wrong to wait until now to even bring this up for a question. Get a vote in the house last year about whether to go forward with impeachment debate and and I,
voted and I voted in the minority to do so, and I think now we realize maybe we backed ourselves into a corner by waiting for the mullahs report. Now that's separate having that debate is separate from voting. Connor says two things we debate issues on we vote on them. It's not the time yet to vote on impeachment. We don't have all the facts. We don't even have the full unredacted Mueller report, but we absolutely should be here. In this debate and frankly, we should have been having it for awhile Biden in his announcement. Video called president Trump, an aberration,
Uh. Your colleague Elizabeth Warren has a very different take. She doesn't believe his aberration. She thinks he's the sort of part of a natural disconcerting progression of a system. That's rigged in a republican party. That's gone crazy. Do you have an opinion on the subject? I d'oh it's. Basically, whether you think Trump is a symptom or a cause and to be great if he were a cost, because then that's an aberration cause. We just get rid of trump, and this all goes away. And sadly, I don't think that's the case, I think he's a symptom of very divided America, America, where a lot of people feel left behind where the economy is changing
so fast. Ah, the jobs were being taken not by immigrants but by robots, beer, they're, literally being automated out of existence and a lot of people who used to have a good paying job who used to be able to support their family and maybe even go on vacation once or twice a year. They can't make ends meet. Ah, what do you do when you can't make ends meet your kids were addicted to opioids um. You know that their chances of success in life are worse than your own. The first time in american history that that's happened when the next generation chant next generations. Chances are worse than ours and- and you just don't see any hope, and then you look to Washington and they're doing nothing. To help I mean, that's a real sense of Well, it really reminds me when I go to these districts like I did to support all these serve America. Can it's that endorsed and supported in the midterms? You know the forty seats that we flipped twenty of twenty one of them were endorsed and supported by my serve America Organization, including a lot of really inspiring veterans, and they all
one, tough moderate districts and they won them by putting country before party and saying that they were going to go to Washington to actually get something done, because when you talk to, people in these districts are like Washington in doing anything, they're not doing anything to help, and it actually reminds me of the feeling I felt in Iraq, where I just felt totally left behind by the people in Washington who were playing politics and had no idea what my experience was. As a marine infantrymen on the ground yeah, you think Paul Bremer wasn't dialed into the real hard to believe, but he in in this combat probably a of your listeners. No click absolutely no clue, but they should all revert the Bush administration Pasco by Tom Ricks, but here's the thing I also saw in the midst of that war, the best of America. The best of America, shows up in the worst of circumstances and that's exactly what we need now. We need Americans to start
leaving in this country again and believe in it so much so that they're willing to go out and serve it that they're gonna make it better. Because I understand that we've got a lot of problems. I mean you know. Fifty years ago, poor middle class people in America couldn't afford health care. Well, today, in twenty nineteen, a lot of poor middle class Americans can't afford Helen. Here. Eighty years ago, schools were segregated throughout much of the country segregated by race. Well, today, schools were still segregated by race. It's just
and by economic inequality. Um. You know we haven't gotten voting rights right. No, you know. Sixty years ago, people black people weren't given the right to vote. They were scared from the poles and look that's happening again today. So on so many issues we still haven't gotten it right, but at our best we're a country that doesn't think we figured it all out we're a country that thinks that we might and we're a country where people stand up to serve the country every day to make it better. My sister goes to school every day, not because she thinks the education system is perfect, but because she knows she can make it better. I went back to Iraq three times after my first deployment, not because I thought it was a perfect war, but because I thought I could help make it a little bit better and that's exactly what we should be looking for in our leaders in Washington people who go there not too advanced for
Careers are not to support themselves as Trump is doing in the office now, but just to make the country a little bit better. It's a great place to leave a conscience of molten. Thank you so much for coming and best of luck thanks. I hope he will. I go to my website: Seth Moulton, dot com, s e t, H, M, o: U l t o n dot com a check out the video check out the video that explains a little bit about why are running and then, if there's anything, the you've heard today that you think should be a part of the democratic debate in June then just put in five dollars ten dollars even one dollar, to help get me to that debate stage at the end, Jackie sixty five thousand donation. Sixty. Five thousand donations, it's! Ah it's a steep hill to climb. I mean I got a six month old at home, so I couldn't get here any earlier, the rest of his short period of time to make it there um. But I hope, you'll be a part of this mission and I'd be proud to have your support all right
Thank you again.
Transcript generated on 2019-09-23.