On tonight’s MTP Daily, guest-host Chris Jansing spoke with Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) who announced his plans to run for re-election in 2018.
MANDATORY CREDIT: MTP DAILY
Chris Jansing: Are you going to run for re-election?
Sen. Carper: I’m running for re-election. We’re raising money.
Chris Jansing: You are?
Sen. Carper: Yeah, oh yeah.
Embed Code: <iframe src='http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_mtpd_tomcarper_170724' height='500' width='635' scrolling='no' border='no' ></iframe>
CHRIS JANSING: Joining me now, Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware.
Senator, good to see you.
Thanks for coming on.
SEN. TOM CARPER (D), DELAWARE: Chris, nice to see you.
JANSING: I listened to this today and I'm trying to figure out, for the average American, as they listen to it, what is it about this new message that says this is something new, this is something different, and maybe more to the point, this is being said by people I can count on, because I think a lot of those people who left the Democratic Party and didn't vote or voted for Donald Trump did it because they didn't think you guys came through for them.
CARPER: Let's back up a little bit, if I could.
Do you remember when Bill Clinton was elected as president?
He took over as president during a recession and eight years later, more jobs had been created than during those eight years than any eight year period in the history of the United States of America. Fast forward, eight years after that, George W. Bush stepped down as president and left us in the worst recession since the Great Depression, succeeded by Barack Obama, eight years later, the longest running economic expansion in the history of this country, eight million -- 16 million jobs created.
I think sometimes we forget that. And I think it's important to remember that.
People in my job, governors, presidents, senators, we don't create jobs. What we help to do is create a nurturing environment for job creation, the kind of modern infrastructure that includes roads, highways, bridges that move people where they need to go, when they need to go, broadband fully deployed, the ability for people who are sitting on the sidelines and don't have a job, don't have the skills and all these jobs over here are looking for people who have certain skills, where -- what we have to do is figure out how to tool or retool these millions of people who would like to do the jobs that are simply not being filled.
So those are some of the things that we what to do and we need to do -- access to capital, access to foreign markets, all those things are part of creating the nurturing environment for job creation.
JANSING: And look, I think that that's a message that we heard, in many ways, from Hillary Clinton. We heard, in many ways, from -- actually from Donald Trump, and even from Bernie Sanders.
I think, as you look at the pictures and it got mocked, frankly, a lot on social media, which doesn't mean that they're right, but it did get mocked a lot because you have there, you know, 66-year-old Chuck Schumer, 77-year-old Nancy Pelosi, the face of the people who, frankly, didn't look tremendously diverse.
Is that the image that the Democratic Party wants to put out there, Senator?
CARPER: Well, they're -- they are our leaders and there are a lot of us behind those leaders who have been governors, who have been mayors and who have done a lot of work in creating that nurturing environment.
Again, I don't care if you're the speaker of the House, I don't care if you're the leader in the Senate, Democratic or Republican, you don't really create that many jobs. The key is creating the nurturing environment.
What are the tools and what are the things that we need to have, including workforce skills, access to capital, access to foreign markets. That's how you create jobs. And whoever can present that kind of, I think, program, and actually related to when we had eight great years with Bill Clinton,
We've had eight years with Barack Obama. Over 16 million jobs have been created, the longest running economic expansion.
What did Harry Truman used to say?
JANSING: But people...
CARPER: The only thing...
JANSING: -- people aren't going to be voting...
CARPER: -- that's (INAUDIBLE) in the road is the...
JANSING: -- for Barack Obama.
CARPER: -- (INAUDIBLE).
JANSING: They aren't going to be voting for Bill Clinton.
Yes, that's OK. This is what we did when we really went on a roll, not 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago. This was like 20 years ago. This was like 10 years ago. And I think you have to have a program -- you have to have a prescription that's relevant for the current time.
The real problem here is we've got so many people who don't have the skills, we have all these jobs that are looking for people who need skills that they don't have.
And whoever can come up with a way to retool people so that they can better fit into the jobs of the 21st century, they'll have do them a favor, will also do our country a favor.
And the other thing, I think the one thing we can all agree on is transportation, infrastructure and deployment of broadband. We could put all kinds of people to work, including people who don't have college degrees, but who could actually do the work and want to do the work.
JANSING: Do you see that getting...
CARPER: That would be smart.
JANSING: -- done in this atmosphere?
CARPER: You know, what did Wayne Gretsky used to say?
They said, Mr. Gretsky, why are you -- why do you take so many shots on goal?
He said, I missed every shot I never took.
We've got to take this shot. We need roads, highways, bridges. We need rail. We need investments in all those things, in airports, as well.
That would put people to work...
JANSING: Let's talk about what's coming up before that, if we can...
CARPER: -- and it would actually help people move faster...
JANSING: -- and that is health care.
CARPER: -- and goods and services move faster, as well.
JANSING: You've got health care coming up tomorrow. So that's the immediate issue that if you're like most of the members of Congress, both on the Senate and the House side that I've talked to, they've been inundated with phone calls from people. People are very nervous about what you guys are going to do about this.
You have said that this is a perfect time, that the Republicans and the Democrats have got to work together. And I'm wondering, are there members of the Republican Party that you have spoken to about this?
What are those discussions with those Republicans?
Where can you find some common ground?
CARPER: Well, I think a lot of us agree that this is a good time to hit the pause button. This is a time for us to fix immediately what needs to be fixed immediately and the administration seems to be hell-bent on destabilizing the exchanges, which is actually a Republican idea in all 50 states.
We need to stabilize the exchanges...
JANSING: And you've had that discussion with Republicans, Senator?
CARPER: Oh, sure. Sure. We need to stabilize the exchanges. There are about three simple things we could do to actually do that.
And the next thing we need to do is take up what I call regular order. Regular order -- John McCain calls it regular order. And that is let's do hearings. We've got all -- heaven knows what they're going to bring to the floor tomorrow. We don't know.
We've not had hearings on it. I don't know that CBO has fully scored it. We don't know if the Cruz proposal is in or out.
That's a crazy way to do business. It's -- this is one sixth of our nation's economy and we're going for it as if like with our blinders on?
I can't believe we're doing this.
JANSING: I hear in your tone frustration that I hear from a lot of folks on Capitol Hill in both parties.
Are you going to run for reelection?
CARPER: I'm running for reelection. We're raising the money.
JANSING: You are?
CARPER: Oh, yes, yes. And we'll -- you know, you go back to the election -- just before the election last year, Hillary was going to be president, the Democrats were going to be in the majority in the Senate and I was ready to say, OK, let them do that and I'll go find some other challenges to do.
I don't think I've ever been as motivated and energized in my life than in the Senate. And I come into work -- people say you must -- it must be a terrible job you do these days.
And I say, no, no, I love coming here. I love the folks I work with and what we're doing is important. We need to make progress.
JANSING: Senator Carper, good to see you.
CARPER: Very nice to see you, Chris.