thumbnail of Debate 1980, President, Republicans; 
     The Six Gop Candidates Were Rep. Phil Crane Of Illinois, Senate Minority
    Leader Howard Baker Of Tenn., John Connally Of Texas, Sen. Robert Dole Of
    Kansas, George H.W. Bush Of Texas, And Rep. John Anderson Of Illinois. A
    Seventh Candidate, Ronald Reagan, Turned Down The Offer To Debate.
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
This program is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The following is a public affairs special report from the Iowa Public Broadcasting Network. The. Live from the demining civic center in demining Iowa this is the Republican presidential debate. Here is your home. Robert MacNeil. Good evening. We're about to bring you what many consider the first major event of the 1980 presidential campaign a debate by six Republican presidential candidates. It is sponsored by The Des Moines newspapers the register and Tribune. And it comes just two weeks before the first real test of the presidential year. The Iowa caucuses. We now go to the Civic Center and to the moderator of the debate the executive editor of The Des Moines Register. Welcome James guy of a
political forum sponsored by The Des Moines Register and Tribune. I am James P. Gannon executive editor of The Register and Tribune and moderator for this evening's event. I'm speaking tonight from the stage of the civic center in downtown Des Moines. In two weeks Iowa will begin the process of choosing the next president of the United States. The Iowa precinct caucuses to be held on January 21 represent the first significant contest among the candidates competing for the 1980 Republican and Democratic presidential nominations. The Register and Tribune company is sponsoring the Iowa political forum to allow the people of this state and the nation to see and compare the candidates who are competing for support in the Iowa caucuses. It had been our hope to present a forum for each party's candidates. Our Democratic debate did not materialize but we are happy to present tonight a
discussion of issues with six contenders for the Republican nomination. With us tonight are Congressman Philip Crane of Illinois. Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee Congressman John Anderson of Illinois former Governor John Connally of Texas. Senator Robert Dole of Kansas and former Ambassador George Bush of Texas to question the candidates. We have a panel of four journalists two from Iowa and two from the national press. Our panel members are Walter Mears Washington bureau chief of The Associated Press George Anthon Washington reporter for The Des Moines Register and Tribune Mary McGrory syndicated columnist for The Washington Star and Richard Doak political writer for The Des Moines Tribune.
These are the ground rules for tonight's program in the first part of the program. The panelists will question the candidates. The first question will go to Congressman Crane and he will be given two minutes to answer. Then each of the other five candidates will be given one minute to respond or comment on that same question. The second question will go to Senator Baker and the same pattern of reply and response will be followed. We will continue this process in turn around the table. The order in which the candidates are to be questioned was determined by a drawing the panel question period will last 80 minutes in the second part of the program. Members of the audience will pose questions to the candidates. The Audience Question Period will take 20 minutes. In the final part of the program each candidate will make a closing statement with a three minute time limit. We will now begin the questioning
from the panel. The first question is from Mr. mayors. Congressman Crane Republicans are becoming increasingly critical of the way President Carter is handling the hostage crisis in Iran. He has been accused of weakness appeasement and the suction. You have said that the president has to assume total responsibility for the fact that it happened in the first place. My question is addressed not only to you but to each of the candidates and it is what specific steps would you take if you were president tonight. In order to get the American hostages returned home safely. Well I think that you every member of the press corps present every person sitting in this vast audience tonight and every person watching this program on television has his own answer to that question as to every one of us here very frankly I don't think it's appropriate for us to be speaking to specific solutions to that problem and tell God willing we have those hostages out alive
or God forbid they lay a hand on one of those hostages. I will say this if any one of those Americans is in any way harmed I think there must be some swift and very forceful retaliation from this country. But prior to that happening and as I say God willing it's not going to happen that they will be returned home safely. I myself have reserved judgment in a public way. What I feel should be done I guarantee you I will be quite willing to amplify what I think should have been done and could have been done very early on after we get our people home safely. Senator Baker Mr. Mears in my view the situation in Iran is a symptom. It's a symptom of a failed foreign policy by the Carter administration. I think the world has perceived the idea that we are weak and that we are unwilling to protect our vital interests protect our diplomatic
outposts and our personnel. The only way that we can deal with a situation such as Iran effectively is to avoid it in the first instance and to recreate the idea that America is still strong and still determined to protect our vital interests. I will not second guess President Carter on how he should handle this crisis. I'll be perfectly pleased to discuss how to avoid future ones. Congressman Anderson Mr. Mayor is the precise question that you have put to us is what would we do to get the hostages home. Obviously the next step in this drama will take place when our representative will go before the Security Council of the United Nations on Monday after the failure of the mission of the secretary general and see at that time to get the council to vote some meaningful economic sanctions. I think in addition to a trade embargo and I believe it ought to be an embargo with teeth. We
ought to also seek to cut off all telegraphic cable traffic communications with Iran. They have behaved as an outlaw nation. And I think they ought to be treated as such. Governor CONNALLY. Mr. Mears in early October prior to the time at our embassy was seized in our diplomatic personnel taken as hostages. I recommended very strongly that the United States establish a military presence in the Middle East by putting air components on the airfields in the Sinai and establishing a fifth fleet out of components of the sixth and seventh and stationed permanently in the Indian Ocean in order that we might have a military presence in the Middle East to provide security for that area and economic stability for that area. That obviously was not done. I think it still should be done. That in itself would not necessarily secure the release of the hostages but it would surely have put us in a position to worry if indeed there were options that could have been taken. We would have been a position to take them
or our people hostage because we've shown weakness and appeasement over the many months and over the last several years. And it will continue to be so. Senator Dole. Mr Mares It seems to me that first we must understand that they're not hostages they're prisoners of war. The taking of our embassy was an act of aggression an act of war. The Americans are there whether it's 43 or 50 or prisoners of war. I would suggest I have public in the past two weeks certainly I support the president. I support the hostages or the prisoners of war through the president. But I would hope that on Monday on the 7th that we will be prepared to announce publicly that we will impose an embargo of everything except emergency medical supplies going into Iran and that would be shutting off oil coming out of Iran. We would make that statement publicly and we'll do it on a unilateral basis if the security council refuses to act. That would put the pressure on those in charge in Iran.
It would indicate to the Americans and to the world they were determined to pursue it. Massacre Bush is to Meir's I support the president. I don't want to say anything that even peripherally could endanger or complicate the lives of the hostages there. I have been talking incessantly for the last year about strength in foreign policy. I support the multilateral efforts that the president is making in trying to mobilize the U.N. but as a former ambassador there I'm not overly optimistic about the U.N. taking the kind of concerted effort that it can take under the charter as the president indicates a certain escalation and tightening of things in relation to the hostage situation supporting. Our second question is for Mr. Anthony to Senator Baker Senator Baker you along with several other of the candidates here have expressed
opposition to President Carter's action embargoing grain shipments to the Soviet Union in response to their move into Afghanistan. Why is a grain embargo not acceptable to you as an expression of American disapproval. And what would you do now in response to this situation. Would you for example send your proposed 50000 man first brigade force into Afghanistan. Mr ant and the Afghanistan situation is similar to the Iranian situation in some respects and far more similar as opposed to the situation in the South Yemen in Cuba in Angola and other places where there has been the evidence of an adventurist aggression foreign policy of a Soviet foreign policy deterrence is the key word. I do not believe that after the crisis has begun that you have nearly the range of options that you have to deter it in the first instance. The president has available to him only a few things now short of outright warfare. A number of measures such as embargoes or technical equipment I will support.
But on yesterday I advised the president through Dr. Brzezinski that I would not support I do not support an embargo of foodstuffs to the Soviet Union. I think foodstuffs are not a useful and appropriate tool of the foreign policy of this nation. I think we almost always starve the wrong people. I doubt that we will ever even inconvenience the leaders of the Soviet Union in the Kremlin. I think that the only people who will be severely injured will be the American agricultural community. I think in a way to embargo the shipment of food to the Soviet Union is very similar to the very things we criticize in Cambodia where the starvation of a whole population there was threatened by the political decisions of two communist regimes. Now the question of what I would do what I would do if I were president would state once again that America is strong enough to protect our vital enters and try to assemble the disincentives for the Soviet Union to have future Afghanistan's future Iran's future south Yemens that will threaten our security. The first brigade
concept to be useful only for the purpose of the specialized protection of American nationals American embassies American hostages wherever they would occur. It is not suitable for a massive military intervention in another country. Congressman Anderson your response. Again I disagree with Senator Baker It's not easy setting here in the heart of Iowa in farm country to support an embargo on the shipment of grain. But it seems to me that it is passing strange that those who are critical of our foreign policy as being deficient on the grounds that it is weak when the first real test comes of responding to the kind of overt aggression that has just been taken by the Soviet Union against Afghanistan are unwilling to accept any measure of sacrifice to accept some of the costs that admittedly has to be borne if we are going to send a clear certain signal to the Russians that we will not tolerate the kind of conduct that they have just engaged in in Afghanistan. I don't think that a rapid deployment force
is the right answer I think it's the wrong response. It seems to me that the lesson of what happened in Iran what is happening is in the Middle East is that we have got to become less dependent on our imports of foreign oil. Governor CONNALLY. Well first I don't think the Iowa farmers should pay the price for the failure of the Carter foreign policy that's that's number one. Unless the president has a specific agreement with Canada Australia and Argentina that they're not going to rush in and fill the void that we're leaving by the failure to sell 17 million metric tons of grain to the Soviet Union. That I think the president's made a mistake. If he has indeed that kind of an agreement if indeed he is prepared to embargo technology sophisticated equipment of all kinds in character to go along with the embargo of grain shipments to the Soviet Union then I think it makes some sense because ultimately we're going to have to put economic pressure on the Soviet Union and they've clearly shown that they're not able to produce the food and fiber that they need for their own
people and that's why they've been buying these huge shipments of grain from the United States Senate bill. In Des Moines Iowa on August 25th 1976 President Carter candidate Carter said every time Nixon Ford and butts impose a new export embargo it has caused permanent damage to foreign markets for farm products. He did that last night. He devastated the American farmer. He made the farmer the scapegoat for past failures in foreign policy didn't hurt the Russians a bit. He took a poke at the Russian bear and knocked out the American farmer. I would just suggest if we do anything we ought to take this 17 million tons or a big portion of it and ship it to Cambodia where people are starving without any focus being laid to them by the Carter administration. Let's don't pick out the farmer and single out the farmer for all the special treatment the taxpayer will suffer and the consumer will suffer in the long run Baskar Bush. Well in my view the president made the wrong mistake. As Yogi Berra
would say it's fine to talk about sacrifice but if we're going to talk about sacrifice you don't ask one segment of the economy to sacrifice and you don't impose a program that hurts us more than it does them. Our agricultural exports make a significant contribution to our abysmal showing on balance of payments. So I disapprove of the president's action. Congressman Crane I am willing to single out one portion of our economy for special treatment and those are the people who produce the high technology and strategic items that we have been exploiting to the Soviet Union and which I have opposed to exporting to the Soviet Union consistently. I was critical of President Ford when he initiated an embargo against grain sales as I've been critical of President Carter for doing the same thing. The last thing in the world it seems to me we should embargo is the exportation of food. It permits a diversion of their scarce resources from the purchase of military hardware and military
adventures into consumer items that are going to be not used in a military way and for that raise and I think the farmer has been made a scapegoat again. The consistent foreign policy failures of this administration. Our next question is from Mr McGrory to Congressman Anderson. Congressman listen you claim to be the only genuine moderate the only Republican who can attract Democratic voters in the fall. Why do you think that none of your rivals present an absent acceptable to the Democrats. And also what makes you think you can win Republican voters in the spring in the primaries when your party is tilting so far to the right. Well I think the last part of your question is perhaps the one that I should answer first. Republicans conservative Republicans by definition I think ought to be pragmatic enough to realise Mr McGrory that they are about one out of four
of the eligible voters in this country today and 24 25 percent 51 percent not make. I believe that if the Republican Party is going to win the general election in one thousand eight hundred eighty It simply is going to have to be coalition minded. It's going to have to realize the necessity of attracting the independent voters in this country which today by some 10 or 12 percent outnumber Republicans. I think there are a great many discerning and disaffected Democrats in this country who are looking for a candidate. Who demonstrates that he is compassionate on the social issues on the social questions that he is progressive and forward looking on issues of that kind and yet can combine with it. A frugality a prudence when it comes to the role of the government particularly in fiscal matters so that once again we can begin to bring this country back to some semblance of economic stability. And I believe on
the basis of a career in Congress that now is in its 20th year. But I better than any of my opponents in this race can demonstrate that over many years I've been in the forefront of the battle on civil rights. It was my vote that was the deciding vote on open housing in 1968. And I've been associated with every single important civil rights bill for the last decade and a half. And yet when it comes to economic issues when it comes to the necessity of reducing federal expenditures I do believe that I have demonstrated with my voting record the kind of concern over the role of the federal government in that regard that will hold the Republican vote and bring with it the end about it and democratic vote that we need for a victory. Thank you. It's now Governor Connally's time for response. I don't think we should be overly impressed by registration strict statistics
about how many people call themselves Democrats how many Republicans and how many independents I think clearly what's important in the country today is the philosophy of the candidates and I don't think there's any doubt there's none in my mind but what the majority of people in this country would classify themselves philosophically as moderate to conservative. I think people are fed up with big government big spending big deficits big bureaucracy a lack of attention to the development of an energy policy the deteriorating dollar printing of money and all that goes with it and I don't think any of these these particular matters carry any particular label except they obviously violate every good chance that Americans have. And so I think any of us who adopt a moderate to conservative viewpoint have an excellent chance to convince the Democrats and convince independents that indeed they should support us. Senator Dole. Well first let me compliment John Anderson because we started together in the house and we both pretty much travel the same direction he went off a bit to the left and I veered
off a bit to the right and I got back in the middle and he's trying to get back to the middle so. But I would just suggest that we need to change the perception of our party and we've got to attract more people. And I believe my record will demonstrate that. John Anderson talked about his 19 years and I came the same day he did. We've got to attract black Americans Hispanic Americans senior citizens who look the other way to our party we've got to have a health care program. We've got to have a food stamp program and disability benefits we've got to recognize the responsibility the federal government. I think I've done that. My record says that just examine my record and bastard Bush. Well I and one who has continually spoken out against trying to label people. I happen to believe our party is closer together today than it has been in a long long time. I happen to believe that the lack of compassion comes from those who over promise and break people by inflation and see a decline in
every standard of living that everyone it hears to. And so I am one who believes that people are going to be looking yes for compassion but for some new answers that we haven't tried in the 60s and the 70s. And I'll be kind of with you. I don't believe being in Congress all the time is the answer I was there long enough to know how it works but not to be part of the problem in my view. Congressman Crane. I think our liberal friends have historically been guilty of a problem defined by Justice Brandeis once when they said they were people well-intentioned but without understanding. And it is there are social concerns that have created the massive deficits which have in turn created the massive levels of inflation which have pondered savings which have virtually wiped out many of the elderly and have denied opportunity to those in the lowest income brackets. I think the message that we've been preaching as a Republican Party involves opportunity. It involves upward mobility. It involves progress
that's the message that provides the foundation for building a new coalition in this country. A new Republican majority. Senator Baker. Sometimes there's an advantage to being the last man but the still life of me I can't think of a single one at this point. All of these men are my friends. But you know there's an old saying it's got to be one of us and I was assume it was me as anybody I know. But my claim for the nomination Ms McGregory is based on my track record. You know the name of the game is not to get nominated the name of the game is to get elected and I claim a track record since 1972 I've been elected twice in statewide races in a democratic state in Tennessee. We know we're a minority party Republicans too but I sometimes think Democrats forget they are a minority party too. And the man or the woman who will win the presidency from this time forward will be the one who proposes useful public policies and I believe I can do that effectively and successfully in the campaign in 1980.
Our next question is from Richard to Governor Connally Governor Connally. Ronald Reagan is the front runner for the nomination. Tell us how you differ with Governor Reagan on any important issue. And what makes you more deserving of the nomination. Well first you you asked me a question really I can't answer I wish you're going to write in was here oh I wish she was here. You know. I really don't know I really don't know how he stands on the issues. I must say to you I read I watch I listen but I don't hear much. I don't see much i. If he was here I would be delighted to compare notes with him and I've challenged him actually to
travel with me around the country on the same platform so that I could get some weakling of really what he does believe in I how I would handle some of these issues but to no avail I think he has other ideas about how he wants to run. If indeed he is running and I think he is. Now I can only tell you how I feel about various issues and I'll be delighted to do it. I for instance have been quite specific and categorical in my response to what kind of an energy policy I would propose the United States I would mine more coal and burn more coal and I'd open up more public lands for exploration for oil and gas and I'd build more nuclear power plants the last time our Governor Reagan speak on this on the subject he according to the press he said that he would get the government off of the backs of private enterprise and let them do their jobs. That's fine and you know as a broad matter of principle I think that sounds good but I don't where that
means he's for nuclear power or against it or whether he'd mind more coal or what he's for. So I must say to you in all seriousness I don't know why I do I think I'm entitle to the nomination. I don't think I'm entitled to and I don't think he's entitled to it I don't think it's a reward I think we ought to get out and fight for and I think he ought to here be here debating with us tonight to prove he's worthy of it. Thank you. I'd like to ask the audience to please refrain from applause. Senator Dole and the same question. You. Refused to answer your question Senator you can give any answer you chose. I want to correct George Bush that he wasn't part of the problem you try to be part of the problem he lost that Senate race in Texas. And I want to say to Governor Reagan wherever you are. I hope you're having
fun tonight because we are. And. If you're looking for a younger Ronald Reagan with experience. I'm here. With. Ambassador Bush. Well it's a wonderful saying we're getting now and a little more at the core here but when you lose it doesn't hurt. Abraham Lincoln one hurt by it. And look at the experience I've had in foreign affairs. Being your ambassador in China your bastion the United Nations running the Central Intelligence Agency and head of this party on a full time basis. And so I would emphasize in answer to the question that. The breadth of experience I've had and the conviction I have in foreign affairs and domestic affairs and building a business I
believe the only candidate here that did that. Met a payroll. I believe those things are very important. We may be together closer together as Republican candidates on issues. But that's good not bad because we need to beat Democrats in the fall. That's the way I'd answer. Congressman Crane I think the least qualified Republican in the race is infinitely superior to the alternatives. Second delay on the question of differences with Ronald Reagan I confess that I served as a surrogate for Ronald Reagan I was the second member of Congress to support him in the 1976 race before even declare. The only substantive area of disagreement I know I have with him is that he accepts parity or rough equivalency and strategic weapons with the Soviet Union I reject that. I believe in military superiority and think it's absolutely essential for this country to regain military superiority. I think my background as a historian and as a man who has served in Congress for a bout of than a
decade gives me unique qualifications for this office and the ability to assume the responsibilities. Senator Baker. I think Ronald Reagan was a good governor of California. I think he's a worthy contender for the Republican presidential nomination. I think that there is a good likelihood that the outcome of that challenge will occur here in the state of Iowa. I think if people and I would turn out in massive numbers for the caucuses on January 21st there's a good chance at this very exchange of ideas here tonight will establish those differences in our ability to get elected and the preference of the party for something new a forward looking policy. And I believe any one of us here to compete tonight have a superior claim to Governor Reagan for that opportunity. Congressman Anderson. Well I think that perhaps the real reason that Mr. Reagan is not here tonight is that he's been running for president for president for about 15 years now and he really doesn't have anything much different to say
tonight than he did back in 1964 68 or any of the other occasions on which he was an unsuccessful candidate. And I must confess to this audience that I am not a younger Ronald Reagan with experience. I am younger yes. But I do not share his view of the world. He was opposed to the SALT 2 agreement even before the invasion of Afghanistan he was opposed to the Panama Canal treaties. He takes a view of the economy that I think pretty much goes back to the time of Adam Smith and the invisible hand. He doesn't see a genuine role for the federal government when it comes to advancing the cause of human rights or civil rights in this country. And I think really most of his ideas would take us back at least as long as he has been a candidate for that office himself. Thank you. Our next question is from Mr Mayer's to Senator Dole. Senator you have remarked that all the candidates here seem to be for pretty much the same
things you said you haven't found a single one who favors inflation. You said that everyone is for a strong defense and that everyone favors a balanced budget. You might have added that virtually everyone advocates a tax cut. How can any president curb inflation cut taxes increase defense spending and balance the budget all at the same time. It's going to be difficult. And that's why I think we must very carefully choose the right candidate. And I have someone in mind. Someone with experience someone who serves as the ranking Republican on the finance committee that deals with taxes Social Security health care welfare reform energy beef imports sugar legislation international trade and someone who has ideas about how we do this. I'm not one of those Republicans
advocating an across the board tax cut. There will be tax cuts cuts in 1080. We ought to address capital formation. We ought to exclude from taxes interest and dividend income in fact that's the man that I offer the windfall profits tax and it was accepted. We ought to make certain that we increase productivity in this country a lot to do it with a tax credit for workers who increase their productivity. We ought to stop inflation with a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget and I propose such an amendment and fought very hard for such an amendment. There are ways to do it. We need to look at our tax structure. We need to look at the American people. There will be a tax cut in 1080 but it seems to me that it ought to be focused on generating capital on capital formation on creating new jobs and to do that very honestly and most sincerely. We need someone who's been on the firing line every
day every day this year every day last year every day over the years who understands the system and who can work with his colleagues Democrats or Republicans and make it work. Master Bush. It sounds complicated but it isn't all that complicated when Gerald Ford came into office inflation was 12 percent when he left by vetoing legislation that broke his budget. It was four point eight. How do you do it in 45 seconds left. One you limit the growth of federal spending at holding it carefully below the rate of inflation. Second you have to get these regulate horse to make some sense we are regulating ourself into a non product devotee. We have too much regulation and the third thing you do. You mentioned a tax cut. I have one but I don't support an across the board tax cut. I support one that's a supply side one. Every facet of it determined to increase investment. And if we do those three things you can.
That formula encompasses an increase in defense spending. We have a tremendously productive revenue side. We have a 2.3 trillion dollar economy. It can work. Congressman Crane in the last Congress and again in this Congress a constitutional amendment that fixes the percentage of our national income the federal government can spend that what it is today. What this does is establishing a linkage and growth in federal spending to growth and personal national and gum. This has the added advantage of guaranteeing a balanced budget within two years without increasing taxes once you have the books and balance you've eliminated the source of inflation. It is monetizing debt with printing press money to pay off those deficits. And once you've eliminated that you've created a climate once more for saving capital formation and investment. I do support Jack Kemp's 30 percent bracket reduction in taxation over the next three years. And I think by rearranging the priorities within the budget you can increase defense spending without savaging
existing programs. You may have to hold down or restrain the growth of them over the next few years but you can increase defense spending within those limitations. Senator Baker. There are two things. The first is we've got to get over the temptation to think that we have no growth before us. I believe in growth and I believe that we've got to reiterate our belief that we can create new wealth. We do that through a combination of tax changes that are essential to increase productivity to increase the tax base to increase the revenues that are available for all of the things that Mr. Miller suggested. The second thing we do is to restrain the rate of growth of federal spending. The federal government is the biggest cause of inflation in this country and I believe as Gerald Ford showed and demonstrated in his short tenure as president that you can put that Adam overinflation back in the cage. If you've got the courage if you'll do the things that are tough and necessary to bring federal spending under control a bigger pie for bigger slices
a smaller let rate of growth in federal spending. Congressman Anderson how do you balance the budget cut taxes and increase defense spending at the same time it's very simple you do it with mirrors. And that's what it would take. I don't recommend a general tax cut in 1980 given the situation in the country today given the very real prospect of recession in 1980 with the impact that that will have on receipts and expenditures of the federal government. I think it's irresponsible to call for a 33 and a third percent tax cut. I would put an emergency excise tax on gasoline and then I would recycle that to the wage earners of this country give them in effect the biggest tax cut in history. Forty six billion dollars by cutting their Social Security tax in half. That's the way to help the wage earners of this country. And then as far as federal spending is concerned not a constitutional amendment but a statute limiting federal spending to a fixed percentage of our gross national product.
Governor CONNALLY. How do you balance a budget increase defense spending. Have a general tax cut which you don't do it with mirrors. You do it by electing Republicans to Congress so we can control both houses of Congress. That's the only way I know to do it. It can be done. The president President Carter in January said to the Congress the United States that over the next four fiscal years he anticipated the revenue coming to the federal government would exceed the present level of expenditures by almost a quarter of a trillion dollars. Almost two hundred fifty billion dollars more in revenue than the present level of spending. Whoa you slow the rate of federal spending balances budget veto and any appropriation bill in excess of anticipated revenues cut this bureaucracy exempt most small businesses from 90 percent of all the rules and regulations imposed by the bureaucracy today develop an energy program to meet the needs of this nation from domestic sources.
And you can get a tax cut. Our next question is from Mr. Anthony to Ambassador Bush. Ambassador Bush the trend in American agriculture is toward fewer and bigger farms. Toward increasing control by absentee landowners and by non farm interests and greater involvement by a group of business corporations. Does this trend concern you. And if so what specific remedies would you propose. It concerns me because I believe strongly in the family farm. But sometimes the problem is overstated Sometimes it is made to believe that made people are made to believe that outside interests control too much. I feel favor a strong monitoring to be sure that there isn't too much. But the main thing we ought to do is be sure that you have equitable taxation. Farmers here pay capital gains on the disposal of their land at high profit farm. People from abroad that own own land in this country
don't. So I would favor equity. I do believe that it's proper that the states control as much as possible the amount of foreign a foreign farm ownership. And there's a principle in every farmer here understands it that you want to sell a broader investor broad you better permit people to invest here. But I think careful monitoring to see that the family farm is not obliterated by by takeover from abroad. But I don't favor restricting the family farm so a family farm with more efficiency more ability on the part of its manager the owner can't take over land next to it. I don't favor that at all. So I think you know just closely watch it. I'd like that much control and policy on this incidentally set at the state level as opposed to the federal level. Congressman Crane. I've introduced legislation that in my judgment addresses one of the principle concerns with regard to the breakup of the family farm and that is to eliminate
inheritance and gift taxes altogether. Some of my liberal friends who expressed concern over the loss of the family farm are the ones who after a man has worked all his life and paid taxes right up to that ungracious moment he dies then come in and clobber his loved ones by forcing them to sell off the farm to agribusiness as a means of paying off the inheritance taxes and the revenue loss this year. Had we done that as less than 6 billion dollars and Mr Khalaf told us earlier last year that he poured better than 7 billion down a rat hole out of his budget alone. So this is not realistic nor impractical indexing capital gains is another and gradient accelerating depreciation allowances to get them in conformity with the major industrial nations of the world is another and gradient and no embargoes on the exportation of American grain unless we embargo all exports. Senator Baker you know small business ought to be the backbone of the Republican strength in this country because I think one of the most fundamental tenets of our political belief is that
individual Americans have the right to prosper according to their own effort. And the family farm is a prime example of how that has worked in the past and it's in danger. And I think a whole range of actions are necessary with the federal government in the tax field and otherwise to make sure that the family farm concept is not destroyed. Speaking as we were a moment ago of the proposed grain embargo of sales to the Soviet Union by President Carter the family far more than any other group would be devastated by such an action if in fact it is carried out. I think such an action. The embargo of grain sales to Russia is inhumane I think it's inappropriate to our foreign policy. I think it would be destructive to the family farm in this country. Congressman Anderson I will certainly support any necessary changes in existing farm legislation that will make sure family farms are not wiped out because of the grain embargo. As you know there was no set aside provided for in one thousand eight hundred eighty. And as a result the secretary does not have the authority under the law currently
to raise target target prices. I will promptly introduce and support legislation that would raise those target prices on both wheat corn and feed grains so that the family farmer need not worry that because of the embargo he's going to be wiped out. In addition to that I would firmly be in favor of appropriations to buy up as much grain as we can to proceed with the manufacture of gasohol as an additive to our present fuel supply. I think we can turn this whole situation into one advantage as far as trying to find a better solution to the energy problem. Governor CONNALLY. I think we have to recognize where the problem really is it's not foreign ownership less 1 percent of the farmland of this country is owned by foreigners. The efficiency of the family farm clearly is able to compete with a large corporate farm organisations. The real problem is a lack of understanding of what contribution the American farmer makes to this economy this year we will export. Thirty two billion dollars worth of agricultural commodities
this will be an all time high. The sale of agricultural commodities in the marketplaces the world will contribute 18 to 20 billion dollar surplus to the balance of trade in this country. Nothing is easy fission nothing contributes as much to the balance of payments as does the sale of agricultural commodities what we have to do is to keep in mind that farmers are entitled make a profit like everybody else. They're so efficient. Twenty years ago it took 24 percent of the disposable income of the average American working family to feed his family 24 percent of his disposable income. That figure today has declined to 17 percent of the disposable income and yet the farmer still gets it in the neck. Senator Dole you put a man in the White House who understands agriculture. That's how you do it. I know about two hundred twenty five thousand farms in Iowa. I know you're the number one hog state the number two corn state sometimes number one. Number three so I binge day was my Mema to repeal carry over basis. It was my amended to make foreigners
who buy land pay a capital gains tax at my fingerprints on every farm bill that passed to Congress in the past 19 years I was on the House Committee eight years on the second ranking Republican on the Senate Ag Committee. I understand agriculture. I grew up in a farm town. And it just seems to me that what we need is a steady voice in the White House who talks about the American farmer on the family farm. I was on the family farm subcommittee in the house. We only met once in eight years don't listen all this talk about family farms. You've got to go out and work for it. You've got to demonstrate the need to keep the farmer on the farm to feed the American people. And they have the best bargain in the world. Our next question is from Mr McGrory to Congressman Crane. Congressman Crane last Sunday night on 60 Minutes Governor Connally said that if he had it to do over again he would not say what he said. At the time of the death of Martin Luther King. Would you tell us in that same spirit is there anything in your public career that you regret that you would take back
do differently if you had the chance. Mary I am a fallible mortal and as such as there are many things that I've said as we all have with thanking him reflecting properly that we'd like to take back. I've heard my wife I've heard my children I've heard my parents. And I apologize to each and every one of them. I will tell you one thing though that and public life as an debates when I was teaching on the university campus I never ever questioned an opponent's sincerity or his integrity or his motives. And it seems to me that we can have a very healthy and exciting debate which is an essential ingredient of the democratic process when we confine our discussions to issues. I don't think issues as one candidate in this race as suggested not present tonight. I don't think they're divisive. After all you know I went out and did it for him in 76 and I argued that same point in 76
that if we keep our discussion the issues how can anyone have any hard feelings. John here and I probably have disagreed more in the House on issues through the years. I have never once ever questioned John's integrity nor his sincerity nor his commitment to what he believes and John and I probably disagree on more than and the other two people up here. But for all of that I have enormous respect and admiration for John's talents and his abilities and as I say when you keep debates within that context there is no reason for anyone to ever have his nose out of joint. We can walk away as good friends from this and you people out there who have to make the decisions as to which one of us you want to represent you. You make that on the basis of issues and that as I said is called small d democracy and that's going to elect a Republican president in 1980. Senator Baker. My life is littered with things that I wish I could do over again or things I wish I could say in a different
way. But I expect that's useful and normal human reaction. All of us have a different perspective on different issues from time to time. But I think in looking back on my total experience in public life that there is one thing that I am at peace with and that is even in those cases where I may have a different view now I am absolutely convinced that when I made the judgement in public life that it was made on the basis of the best judgment I could make as the Lord gave me the talent to do it. I have done that in every case that has ever appeared before me and in international in the international arena in terms of the Panama Canal vote or my opposition to salt in terms of civil rights legislation that I have supported in the Congress and other measures. Sometimes you have a different view at different times but I am convinced that in every case I did what I thought was right and I continue to believe that in every major case I can think of. Congressman Anderson. Well I almost think that ought to take my 60 seconds to spend my
time to extol the virtues of my friend on my right and I could do that because I do reciprocate the sentiments that he expressed. But I suppose as I look back over a career in the Congress and the thousands of votes that have been cast during that time if I had one that I could change. It would have been the vote that I cast in favor of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1965. The vote that later was to be interpreted and I think incorrectly but nevertheless so interpreted by Mr. Cutts and Bach as a functional declaration of war that led us down the road to Vietnam. With all of the divisiveness that that brought and I hope maybe in the critical hour that we are now in all of us will have learned some lessons from that experience and be careful with respect to the kind of course that we chart in the months ahead. Governor CONNALLY. Any political regrets.
No I believe not. I supported President Ford 1976. Beyond that sure I wish I'd been smarter sooner. I waited too long to convert. But I was under the misapprehension that if you did the light and what Rolling Thunder would fly anything might happen. But when I went into that booth and pull out curtain and pull that lever and eyes I opened that curtain and stepped out. Lightning that inflation thundered in a row I felt claims been purified. Senator Bill. Weld and preparing preparing for this debate I read some of Mary's caught on The View. Take back what you said about me off. Thank you.
I'll take back anything but. What I said earlier not I was going to be seated between two of the richest men in America I said at a complimentary way and I'm proud to be here with this class. But. So I take back everything I've ever said about anybody in politics and we'll start over tomorrow. But I think very seriously that we do say things in the heat of battle or the heat of the debate maybe not this debate so far but I find most people in politics men or women Republicans are Democrats sincere and honest people are concerned about America concerned about our future. And if I've ever offended anyone I once called Card chicken fried McGovern and I take that back because I've come to respect McGovern. That's. Ambassador Bush and I'm sure
everybody. Is fallible everybody has made mistakes. But I on a serious note on a question that is tough to answer. I think the answer Mary lies in recognizing one's own shortcomings in attracting men and women of excellence to help you do the important job in this case of the presidency and everyone's going to make mistakes. There's no question about it. But I made that reference to Yogi Berra and you may remember the context he lost 20 straight and they said what went wrong. And he said we made the wrong mistakes. Now what you want to do is avoid making mistakes that you shouldn't make. And the way you do that is to be assisted in running things by having quality class if you will excellence around you. That's the way I would try to correct for my fallibility. Our next question is from Mr. Doak to Senator Baker. Senator Baker in the past Americans often have felt their
nation had a special mission or a special destiny in the world. Does America now have such a mission. And how would you define it. Well I don't think there is a single issue in this campaign that's likely to be ventilated to be discussed by any candidate in our party or the Democratic Party more important than the issue of whether or not America's future is still before it or our time of greatness is still before us. I believe it is. I believe just barely glimpse the greatness of this nation and our ability to remain strong and resolute in the protection of our vital honors in our ability to create new wealth that such an astonishing right there the free enterprise system that we can eliminate at least abject poverty from the face of this nation. I believe that we can accomplish social goals and fulfill social ambitions that we've never even dared to dream of if we harness the genius of the American political system our economic system. And if we survive the threat from
abroad I truly believe that America still has a great mission in this world and our mission is not only to perform for the welfare of American citizens. But as in the past provide an example for the rest of the world to follow to emulate to aspire to the status of our accomplishments. I believe in America. I believe that we still have before us an opportunity to do things that no nation has ever dared to dream of. And I believe this election in one thousand eighty may very well be a crossroads time in America's history when we decide such things as whether or not we have the will and the determination to stay strong whether we can in fact reiterate our belief in ourselves and the free enterprise system whether we believe in small business and individual human beings or whether we believe in the composite in the total of the community. I believe that America's mission in life is to further demonstrate the vitality the viability and the greatness of the American dream and I believe we should discuss that in this
campaign in 1980. Congressman Anderson. Oh yes indeed I think this country has a a great and a special mission. I think we have to continue to offer the same hope and the same opportunity that we have offered to those millions of Americans who came to these shores including my own immigrant father at the very beginning of the present century. We are still in the words of a great American historian C. van Woodward we are the great American experiment. And I believe it's in the power within the power of everyone in this room within the sound of my voice tonight in playing a part in having a role in proving that this country is still great not in the sense that we are overbearing but in the sense that we are willing humbly and even sacrificially to do those things that will create the climate and build a better and a more peaceful world.
Governor CONNALLY. Yes indeed I believe the United States does have a special mission and a special destiny. I think the nation from the time it was founded it carries with it God's blessings and I I think it the mission is even more pronounced today than it's ever been in a 200 year history. I think we're the hope of freedom in this world. I hope I think that the United States means to Americans and to all who aspire to freedom throughout the world. A special challenge a special opportunity to see the lives of people enrich to prove to be sure that the oppressive hand of government is limited. And to see that human freedoms are expanded. That's the mission and that's the destiny of the United States. Senator Dole. Our mission is one of peace and hope peace in the world and hope for all those who live in the free world and others to feed and
clothe the starving and the hungry in their many. And I was set an example for that. Beyond that this is the International Year of the disabled. Another 40 million in this country. There are millions around the world. I would hope we would focus this year on the needs of these Americans and these people who live around the world. We've always met the challenge. We've always been up to the task whether it's a Food for Peace program which meant 30 some billion dollars to help hungry people around the world. We meet our responsibilities. We are a great nation and we are great because the people in it the people in my state of Kansas the people in the state of Iowa and all across the country. Master Bush. Well because of our wealth because of our productivity because of our political system because of what the talk Bill found when he looked at the United States and he saw the propensity of one American to help another.
Because of all of these things we have a special destiny. And because of them we have a special destiny not just here in this country but around the world. We are in a troubled world. The only credible deterrent to the Soviet Union. And so we have a tremendous responsibility to those countries that want to be free. Some communist countries that want to move away from the Soviet domination. We have a responsibility at home to fulfill that destiny. And we have a responsibility abroad to fulfill that destiny. Congressman Crane George mansion a great French philosopher Tocqueville de Tocqueville and traveling America back in the 1830s look for the secret to American greatness and he said he looked in the rural areas he looked in the cities and then finally he entered our churches and he said he found the churches were aflame with righteousness and he said that he found the secret to American genius and power.
America was great he said because America was good and America would continue to remain great so long as America continued to remain good. We happened to be the most decent compassionate generous humane and free people who have ever walked the face of this earth. That is our special mission our special destiny there is no country in the history of civilization that has performed what America has managed to do and we have the obligation with each generation to guarantee that we perpetuate that for those unborn generations in the future. Our next question is from Mr. Mears to Congressman Anderson. Congressman Anderson you advocate a 50 cent a gallon gasoline tax to cut consumption and reduce oil imports with the revenues as you mentioned to be used to reduce Social Security taxes. That's quite some of the proposal of President Carter considered and dropped after the leaders of Congress told him that they couldn't possibly get it passed. How could you as a Republican president get such a tax and acted. And more generally what can a
new Republican president do about energy that hasn't already been tried by Presidents Nixon Ford and Carter. Well I think there are a lot of things Walter that a Republican president can do that have not been tried first of all he can give this country a clear consistent common sense energy policy. This this administration has failed now for three years to do it now with reference to the 50 cent a gallon tax that I proposed an emergency excise tax. I think this is a clear example of a situation where if the president had provided the kind of leadership that he could following the Iranian crisis that began on the fourth of November he could have called on the American people for some sacrifice in order to relieve our dependence on imported oil. The whole lesson of Iran ought to be the whole question of the Middle East and our future is bound up with the question of our continued dependence to the extent of almost 43 or 40 percent 44 percent
Debate 1980, President, Republicans
The Six Gop Candidates Were Rep. Phil Crane Of Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker Of Tenn., John Connally Of Texas, Sen. Robert Dole Of Kansas, George H.W. Bush Of Texas, And Rep. John Anderson Of Illinois. A Seventh Candidate, Ronald Reagan, Turned Down The Offer To Debate.
Contributing Organization
Iowa Public Television (Johnston, Iowa)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/37-83kwhj7b).
Part 1, Note: Not certain which candidates appeared. Transfer date: 3/3/86, Rec. UCA-60 record date 1-5-1980 "Follow-up"
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Politics and Government
IPTV, pending rights and format restrictions, may be able to make a standard DVD copy of IPTV programs (excluding raw footage) for a fee. Requests for DVDs should be sent to Dawn Breining
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Iowa Public Television
Identifier: 41-C-5B (Old Tape Number)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 01:00:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Debate 1980, President, Republicans; The Six Gop Candidates Were Rep. Phil Crane Of Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker Of Tenn., John Connally Of Texas, Sen. Robert Dole Of Kansas, George H.W. Bush Of Texas, And Rep. John Anderson Of Illinois. A Seventh Candidate, Ronald Reagan, Turned Down The Offer To Debate. ,” 1980-00-00, Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2021,
MLA: “Debate 1980, President, Republicans; The Six Gop Candidates Were Rep. Phil Crane Of Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker Of Tenn., John Connally Of Texas, Sen. Robert Dole Of Kansas, George H.W. Bush Of Texas, And Rep. John Anderson Of Illinois. A Seventh Candidate, Ronald Reagan, Turned Down The Offer To Debate. .” 1980-00-00. Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2021. <>.
APA: Debate 1980, President, Republicans; The Six Gop Candidates Were Rep. Phil Crane Of Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker Of Tenn., John Connally Of Texas, Sen. Robert Dole Of Kansas, George H.W. Bush Of Texas, And Rep. John Anderson Of Illinois. A Seventh Candidate, Ronald Reagan, Turned Down The Offer To Debate. . Boston, MA: Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from