Olympia Snowe

  • Aired:  07/25/13
  •  | Views: 10,022

Former Senator Olympia Snowe talks about her book, "Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress." (5:19)

>> Stephen: MY GUEST WAS A

THREE-TERM SENATOR BUT SHE

RETIRED BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO DO

SOMETHING WITH HER LIFE.

PLEASE WELCOME SENATOR OLYMPIA

SNOWE.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

HEY, SENATOR SNOWE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING

US.

>> NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> Stephen: NICE TO HAVE YOU

HERE.

>> IT'S WONDERFUL TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: YOU WERE A RARE

CREATURE.

YOU WERE A MODERATE REPUBLICAN.

>> UNBELIEVABLE, ISN'T IT?

>> Stephen: PLEASE TELL ME THE

SMITHSONIAN HAS GOTTEN A SOOSMLE

OF YOUR D.N.A. FOR FUTURE

BREEDING PROGRAMS BECAUSE IT

SEEMS LIKE A RECESSIVE GENE IN

REPUBLICANS-- MODERATE.

AND THAT'S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT

THEM.

WHAT ROLE WAS FOR YOU IN THE

REPUBLICAN PARTY AFTER OF AS A

MODERATE?

>> WELL, I BROUGHT DIVERSITY TO

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

THAT'S WHAT IT WAS ALL ABOUT.

>> Stephen: AS A WHITE PERSON

FROM MAINE?

( LAUGHTER )

>> NO.

NO, POLITICAL DIVERSITY.

>> Stephen: OH, POLITICAL

DIVERSITY, SURE.

>> POLITICAL DIVERSITY.

YES, IT BROADENED THE VIEWS OF

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND TO BE

REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL REGIONS OF

THE COUNTRY.

AND NOW, UNFORTUNATELY, THAT IS

NOT THE CASE.

ALTHOUGH, I THINK THERE ARE MORE

MODERATE REPUBLICANS, YOU KNOW,

THAN PEOPLE REALIZE.

>> Stephen: ARE THEY IN THE

CLOSET?

>> NO, THEY--

( LAUGHTER )

SO TO SPEAK, YES.

>> Stephen: I'M NOT ONE OF

THEM.

I'M PRETTY HAPPY WITH THE

DIRECTION THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

I KIND OF LIKE IT.

STRENGTH, NO COMPROMISE, SCRIJ

LANCE.

NOW, YU BOOK IS CALLED,

"FIGHTING FOR COMMON GROUND:

HOW WE CAN FIX THE STALEMATE IN

CONGRESS."

--

>> YOU SAY, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE

NOT GETTING ANYTHING DONE.

GETTING?

DONE, SELL ME ON IT.

( LAUGHTER )

JOHN BOEHNER JUST SAID HE-- HE

JUST SAID THE JOB OF CONGRESS IS

NOT TO PASS LAWS.

THEY SHOULD BE JUDGED BY HOW

MANY LAWS THEY REPEAL.

MITCH McCONNELL, LEADER IN THE

SENATE, SAID THEIR NUMBER ONE

PRIORITY WAS TO MAKE OBAMA A

ONE-TERM PRESIDENT.

NOWHERE IN THAT IS GETTING

SOMETHING DONE MENTIONED.

>> WELL, THAT'S A PROBLEM.

WHICH I DISAGREE WITH THEM ON.

BECAUSE I THINK WE HAVE TO SOLVE

PROBLEMS.

THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BEING IN

PUBLIC OFFICE.

THAT'S THE ESSENCE OF PUBLIC

SERVICE.

>> Stephen: NOTE PURPOSE OF

BEING IN PUBLIC OFFICE IS TO

STAY IN M.L.B. OFFICE.

>> NO.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE TO

COMPROMISE.

YOU HAVE TO COMPROMISE TO PASS

LAWS.

>> YOU HAVE TO COMPROMISE.

YES.

I'M A MODERATE REPUBLICAN.

I HAVE MY STRONG BELIEFS.

I'VE ALWAYS HELD TO MY

PRINCIPLES BUT I APPRECIATE AND

UNDERSTAND OTHER PEOPLE'S

HEARTFELT VIEWS ON ISSUES BUT

YOU HAVE TO WORK IT OUT.

>> Stephen: YOU CAN'T HAVE IT

BOTH WAYS.

>> YOU CAN'T HAVE 100% OF WHAT

YOU WANT.

>> Stephen: MADAM,

RESPECTFULLY, YOU CANNOT HAVE IT

BOTH WAYS.

YOU CANNOT WORK FOR THE OTHER

SIDE AND RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR

ELECTION.

YOU CAN'T SEND OUT AN E-MAIL

THAT SAYS, "HELP!

I NEED YOUR MONEY RIGHT AWAY

BECAUSE SOME OF MY OPPONENTS'

IDEAS ARE GOOD, AND I WANT TO

HELP THEM PASS LAWS.

CHECK HERE TO HELP ME COMPROMISE

MY IDEALS."

>> WELL, FOR THOSE WHO VIEW IT

THAT WAY, WE HAVE TO CHANGE IT.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM WE'VE GOT IN

WASHINGTON RIGHT NOW.

>> Stephen: TOO MUCH MONEY?

>> YES, TOO MUCH MONEY.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM.

THAT SHOULD BE A MUST

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Stephen: BUT YOU

FILIBUSTERED-- WAIT.

THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS I

AGREED WITH YOU.

>> YOU DO?

>> Stephen: NO I AGREED WITH

YOU WHEN YOU FILIBUSTERED THE

DISCLOSE ACT WHICH WAS GOING TO

REVEAL HOW MONEY GETS INTO

SUPERPACS.

>> FIRST OF ALL, LET ME SAY MY

PROVISION WAS STRUCK DOWN BY THE

SUPREME COURT, CITIZENS UNITED.

SO I'VE BEEN A STRONG ADVOCATE

AND PROPONENT--

>> Stephen: YOU DON'T BELIEVE

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE

A SUPERPAC.

>> EXACTLY.

( LAUGHTER )

YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

>> Stephen: BUT CORPORATIONS

ARE PEOPLE.

>> HOW ASK THAT HELP--

>> Stephen: CORPORATIONS ARE

PEOPLE.

>> HOW DOES THAT HELP THE

CAMPAIGNS OF TODAY?

HAS IT BENEFITTED-- HAS IT

IMPROVED.

>> THE SUPREME SAID MONEY IS

SPEECH, MADAM.

>> UNFORTUNATELY, THEY-- THEY

RULED THAT WAY.

BUT IT IS REGRETTABLE FOR THE

COUNTRY IN TERMS OF THE IMPACT

IT'S HAD ON ELECTIONS.

HAS IT IMPROVED THE OUTCOME?

>> Stephen: FOR ME IT DID.

I RAISED A LOT OF MONEY.

OVER $1 MILLION.

>> TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE

COUNTRY THAT-- UNFORTUNATELY,

THAT WE'VE MOVED IN THAT

DIRECTION.

>> Stephen: I AGREE.

BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED.

THAT DIDN'T TURN OUT WELL.

>> NO, IT'S NOT NECESSARILY THE

CASE IN TERMS OF WE'RE GOING TO

HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS.

AND PEOPLE DO GET ELECTED.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH THOSE WHO

GET ELECTED.

AND YOU HAVE TO WORK ON BOTH

SIDES.

AND THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY

PURPOSE IN PUBLIC OFFICE.

>> Stephen: WHY DID YOU LEAVE

THE SENATE THEN?

WHY DID YOU LEAVE THE SENATE?

>> BECAUSE THE POLARIZATION

WASN'T GOING TO DIMINISH AND I

WANTED TO TAKE MY FIGHT OUTSIDE

OF THE SENATE.

THAT'S MY SPARTAN SIDE OF MY

GREEK HERITAGE.

CONTINUE TO FIGHT.

NOT LIKE 300.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Stephen: 300 DOESN'T TURN

OUT ALL THAT WELL.

>> NO.

>> Stephen: SENATOR SNOWE,

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING

ME.

>> MY PLEASURE.

>> Stephen: SENATOR OLYMPIA

SNOWE.

"FIGHTING FOR COMMON GROUND."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

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