Rep. Altmire: Common ground in Congress is ignored
Pennsylvania congressman on bipartisanship, 2012 race
- Duration 5:04
- Date Oct 21, 2012
Pennsylvania congressman on bipartisanship, 2012 race
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
What I told you that there's a member of congress -- hasn't.
4700 consecutive -- Who's willing to work with members of the opposite party.
Who is such a strong fiscal conservatives that he actually use less money than the federal government allowed him to use to run -- office and even returned what he didn't need.
What if I tell you that that congressman.
Was an endangered species and joining us now blue dog democratic congressman from Pennsylvania Jason all my -- Got.
Never miss about your first two years you authored a number of legislative initiatives 28 of which were signed by law -- I talk about you -- you turn your money back.
You watch you lost your primary.
What's going wrong.
Well I was wondering that too I thought we had a pretty good record to run on and -- basically came -- vote against the health care bill voted against the health care law now and that came back in the primary where we had redistricting played a big role in that in my own.
Folks supported me -- 170% of the vote in what was left of my district.
But it was emerged district and they doubled the turnout in the other side in that did the difference citizens if you're a part of what was often called the blue dog Democrats.
Democrats who are conservative on some areas.
And I I guess by Republican standards a moderate by democratic standards ridiculously conservative.
Is there no place far a more conservative Democrat in the party anymore.
I hope there's a place on both sides it's not just the Democrats if you look at what the Republicans did in 2010 with some senate candidate -- that they easily would have won including maybe Nevada.
They nominate candidacy couldn't -- the Democrats are are in danger of making that same mistake in when you have a congress that's made up of the extremes I get asked all the time.
Wiser so much partisanship in congress it's easy it's because we elect partisans.
And that's not where the country is for most Americans they're not thinking about politics every day they don't live and breathe it.
It's the equivalent of the Olympic gymnastics team where they think about it every two to two weeks every four years and then they put it behind them.
It can't be like that because then you're only gonna end up with people who were driven by the ideological extreme and refuse to work together congressman I've been worried that the country is becoming increasingly.
Unless one party owns at all and the recent obamacare passed is because Democrats had both houses of congress I have the presidency.
Yet you voted against it and you paid a big prize for voting against obamacare.
I think why did you vote against it but was it about it that you said just can't go there health care is my professional background I don't want to revisited it it is full on now I think there are some good things in the bill but at the time.
I believed and still believe that it didn't do enough to reduce the cost of health care that was the problem we were trying to solve.
I can give -- a long speech about that but equally important are represented -- that's my title I was sent to Washington to speak for my constituents.
And my district was clearly opposed to the bill.
And that's why -- won the support of an overwhelming majority of my district I'm pretty sure had I voted for the bill in 2010 I probably would have been beaten in 2010.
But my constituents sent me back to Washington and again we had redistricting and added new people to district and we had a different result.
Will there ever be a time when you'll -- I'll go back in the politics and give this -- shot.
Not for awhile I have two children that are fourteen and eleven and now we're gonna watch them grow up phenomena take a break for awhile but.
This is something I think the country needs to be concerned about that you have people in congress that are not representative.
Of the nation as a whole most Americans want us to work together they want us to get along and get things done.
That is not what's happening in the congress yet people that are driven by the extremes does it worry you.
That it's hard for -- person to take a principled stand.
And not survive politically because -- It doesn't worry -- I am content with what happened in the end made the right vote I can look myself in the mirror and look my friends and family in the -- and say I did the right thing.
That doesn't bother me but.
I'm concerned when you have a system that again.
You get no political benefit for doing the right thing for being a moderate and trying to work across the aisle when I have a town hall meeting.
I can hear from both sides I can work with both both sides most districts in the country they only -- one point of view.
And when they go back to Washington they are certain that they're right because everybody they know feels the same way they do that is not a formula for success.
You know it is easy to get the idea that your opinions are very good when the only people you listen to is a close circle of folks are already agree with the congressman you know I I lament that guys like you are not in the congress I mean this -- -- my heart because I do fear.
That we lose the capacity to to form good government.
That involves consensus compromise and and accepting that none of us are gonna be right all the time and none of us are gonna get everything we always want we don't get -- -- marriage.
My experience is we don't get -- in government either.
I hope to guys like you'll keep us keep fighting on both sides Democrat and Republican and delight to have you here thank you governor was --