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Arnold Schwarzenegger's National After-School Summit at the University of Southern California. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired April 5, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:15] VAN JONES, HOST, "THE MESSY TRUTH": Welcome to "The Messy Truth." I'm Van Jones. Thank you for being here. The one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the house tonight. We're going to have him. We've got a live audience here to ask him questions and it's going to be fantastic. I've been working on that, OK. Before we bring him out, I want to talk about a couple other names in the news, Donald Trump, Susan Rice and Jared Kushner.
Now, with his usual zero facts and no evidence, President Trump today declared that Susan Rice is guilty of a crime. What crime? He didn't say. And with the same zero facts he says that Bill O'Reilly is innocent. Now, I'm going to get to Bill O'Reilly later in the show, but let me say a couple words about Susan Rice.
The right-wing media wants to burn Susan Rice at the stake for doing her job. That's it. Susan Rice was our national security adviser. To give good advice, you're going to ask good questions, especially when fishy looking stuff lands on your desk. OK?
Now, finding out for yourself the names of sketchy people doing possibly sketchy things is called unmasking, OK? Now, it doesn't mean revealing that to the whole world. That would be illegal. It does mean revealing those names to yourself at your desk so you can do a better job advising the president. As best we can tell, that's all she did. Her job.
Now, if she were a terrible person up to no good trying to ruin Donald Trump, you know what she would have done, what she could have done? She could have called a press conference in the middle of the election, like James Comey did from the FBI, OK? She could have run around screaming bloody murder. Look what I found, look what I found. She didn't do that. She got very disturbing information and she looked into it. And as best we can tell, she did her job inside the proper channels.
So doing this, Donald Trump should give Susan Rice the presidential Medal of Freedom, OK? Somebody like Comey would have run to the cameras, created a huge firestorm and possibly wrecked his campaign. So Republicans should love Susan Rice. They should thank Susan Rice. Thank you for being a professional. Instead, they're throwing fits. Why? Maybe they don't want you to think about what Susan Rice unmasked. People on Trump's team possibly playing footsie with bad guys from Russia. Let's not get distracted. Now, speaking of Trump's team, Jared Kushner is the opposite of Susan Rice. He has zero qualifications for his job, except that he married Ivanka. Nobody even knows what his job is. He is wandering all around the world, riding his tricycle all around the world saying, god knows what to god knows who. OK? Trained diplomats worry that one wrong word could put us on a path to war. We have no idea what kind of messes Jared's out there creating right now.
So if Republicans are concerned about the proper function of our government, they should call hearings on Jared and his role and point to Susan Rice as an example of how to follow protocol. Now, how is that for a messy truth? How is that for a messy truth?
So, now, let me welcome to the stage somebody who knows how to run government the right way, because he ran this beautiful state of California very well for two terms, the one and only governator (ph), Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Oh, my goodness. Doesn't get any bigger than that. Wow.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: Thank you very much for the nice introduction.
JONES: Well, it's glad to have you here.
SCHWARZENEGGER: That's exactly the way I wrote it. And I like that now you are starting with the accent.
JONES: I'll try. That's right.
SCHWARZENEGGER: That's funny.
JONES: We've had a great day today. See, he knows that it's a hard accent to mimic. We had a great day. We started out dealing with young people. And you're so passionate about the young people and we have students who are here. We've got people from your institute at USC, a bunch of students are here. We also have young people from your program, your After-School Program, After-School All-Stars.
[21:05:02] Give a round of applause for the young people who he is helping every day. Thank you for being here. It means a lot.
Look, I watched you. You didn't know I was watching you. But when we were together and you were looking at those kids, I was looking at you. You love those kids. You love those kids and I want to ask you a question. Do you think that Donald Trump's budget reflects the values of a man who loves kids the same way that you do?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, look, I understand when people have budget problems and we try to cut down the deficit and all of those kinds of things because I have gone through it when I was governor.
But the fact of the matter, when you try to cut the budget, I mean, the first thing you do is that cutting children's programs, especially After-School Programs that are so important to our families, to our kids. And you try to balance the budget on the backs of those kids. I think there's something wrong and this is why I spoke up. And this is why I challenge him on that.
I think it is extremely important that we do everything that we can to get this $1.2 billion back in the budget because the kids need it. After-School Programs is an extraordinary great, great program. And he has talked so much about making America great. And I just feel like taking that $1.2 billion away from the kids is not making America great.
JONES: Well, it's kind of hard to argue with that. Are you going to go and fight? Listen, Republicans were saying, "We don't like Trump. We don't like Trump." As soon as he got in there, they all fell over. Are you actually going to go to D.C. and do something about it? Or are you just hoping and praying?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Yeah. First of all, let me just tell you that the history of this is after Bill Clinton has made it possible that we have the 21st century money in the first place, every president since then has, you know, taken it out of their budget. I remember that President Bush took it out. We immediately went back to Washington and lobbied. And we brought Democrats and Republicans together.
JONES: So you're going to do that this time?
SCHWARZENEGGER: And we did it also -- after that, we did it again with Obama. We did it now. I mean, we're going to go and get organized again and do it again. It's just that simple.
We are not going to get -- let anyone take that money away, because this is what helps kids so much to have a program after school, because 70 percent of the kids come from homes where both of the parents are working.
JONES: Well, Governor, you got a big heart. And you care and you're out there for the good stuff and, yet, Donald Trump doesn't seem to see you in the good way that you do, and the way we do. Here is what Donald Trump had to say about you. And I want to get your reaction to this. He said this at the National Prayer Breakfast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: -- hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger to take my place and we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It's been a total disaster. And mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold if we can for those ratings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Now, this is the President of the United States. You're laughing. You're laughing. You see, he's laughing.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Because I think it's funny.
JONES: Well, the President of the United States in a Prayer Breakfast says this. Why do you think it's funny? SCHWARZENEGGER: I think it is funny that he uses the Prayer Breakfast, you know. Plus, you know, I have thick skin. I mean, this doesn't bother me at all. And it's very funny and it gave me an opportunity to then go and shout back and say, you know, that the show didn't do well because, you know, one-third of the audience left because they boycott the show because you're the executive producer, Donald Trump.
And if you would just -- not to open up your mouth and tell everybody that you're executive producer, we would have had great ratings on the show. But the advertisers left. The audience left. They hate the guy. So, I mean, so they left. And so, I was caught in the middle of this political thing there.
SCHWARZENEGGER: That's why I said I'm not going to do the show again.
JONES: Well, I understand. But I'm going to challenge you, though, because, you know, a lot of Republicans who think like you, who maybe have moral (ph) -- so-called moderate views, you know, I think there were 16 of them, 17 of them, standing on the stage. Donald Trump mowed them all of down.
So, how does it make you feel when you think about the fact that the party -- those Republican voters, you know, they may not like your show. They sure like Donald Trump.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, that's perfectly fine. Look, I think that Donald Trump won the presidency. And I called him right after he won and I said, "Congratulations, you are now our president. Anything I can do, I will be helpful, because if you are successful, we all are going to be successful." And I say the same thing also about Obama and the Republicans when I went to this Republican fund-raising in California and that Obama just won.
[21:10:02] And I said to them, I said, "Look, now we all have to go and help Obama be successful." I said, "Because he is our president. The people have spoken. I believe in the democracy and in our voting system and everything like that." And so, I push and they kind of like, ooh, aah (inaudible).
JONES: They are like that.
SCHWARZENEGGER: And I try to tell, I said, no, no, no. I said, "It is extremely important that we think of it as Americans here, not as Republicans versus Democrats." And this is what is wrong right now with the country. It is so divided. Everything is about Democrats versus Republicans.
I feel the parties have to come together. And I think that the only way they will come together eventually is if you have redistricting reform, which is another thing that I'm very passionate about as you know.
JONES: And we're going to talk about a little bit later, but you said you called him. Now, that means you must have his phone number. Are you guys' friends?
SCHWARZENEGGER: We have been friends for many, many years, for decades as a matter of fact.
JONES: Why is he so mean to you?
SCHWARZENEGGER: We run into each other in professional wrestling. We have run into each other -- as a matter of fact, he was wanting to contribute to my campaign when I ran for governor. And the only thing why we didn't accept his money was because it was from a gaming casino. And I didn't accept any money from gaming casinos and from gambling and from unions, and so on. So there are certain lists of things why I didn't accept any money.
But -- and so, we had a very good relationship. The only thing is, what I think what ticked him off is obviously the fact that I didn't vote for him and that I came out and said I'm not going to vote for him. And I would urge others not to vote for him. So I think that ticked him off.
And the reason why I didn't want to vote for him is simply because just alone the issue that he wanted to bring coal back. I say, I've been fighting for clean environment since the time I've come into the governorship and we've got to go and clean our environment. We've got to go into a green energy future. We have 7 million people die every year because of pollution and I told him that.
And as I said, therefore, I cannot endorse you because you want to bring coal back and the next thing you want to bring back is horse and buggy or blockbuster or pagers and stuff like that. What are you talking about? And I say, I don't think that you're a man of the future.
JONES: Well, I'd like to bring somebody in, actually a Trump supporter. Randi is here in L.A. trying to fly the Trump flag in L.A. God bless you. What do you have to say?
RANDI BERGER, TRUMP SUPPORTER FROM LOS ANGELES: So, I actually have been organizing the Trump rallies in Southern California, Hollywood and L.A. areas since August, which is comprised mostly of informed Democrats, a lot of minorities, homeless people and veterans.
And we are intrigued to see if anything can be done to stop people from spitting at us and on Trump's star. A lot of people don't know that Trump star was vandalized and destroyed. So when we're out on the street it's a constant that we are spit at and there's a lot of minorities and Democrats who are being spit at by the haters.
So, you know, we're just intrigued if there's anything that you think can be done, because most of us out on the streets supporting Trump want to unify and a lot of us are just anti-establishment at this point.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, let me just say that it is very sad that America has gotten to the point where they look at the other side as the enemy, because they're not the enemy. He's a Democrat. I'm a Republican. I don't look at him as the enemy. I love the kind --
JONES: And I'm glad that you don't, sir.
SCHWARZENEGGER: No, no. But, I mean, it's ridiculous. It used to be that both of the parties worked together. And this is what it's supposed to be. And I think that it goes back to George Washington, President Washington (inaudible) of that.
He always said that he is now the party man, but if you have two parties, I think they have to get together and work together. And this is why it is so important that we understand that redistricting the way that politicians draw the district lines is where they draw in such a way that the Republicans get locked into one district and the Democrats in another. They get further and further apart. So when they come to Washington, or to Sacramento, or any of the capitals, they can't really work together. It's just the other side becomes the enemy.
We have to get rid of this problem. I think it is extremely important that we respect each other that we can have a fair debate and argument about the issues. It is OK to have different points of views and different ideologies and all of those things. But to me, when I got into office it was all about how can I bring Democrats and Republicans together, because the action is only when you're together solve problems.
Because then it -- look what happened, you know, President Obama started signing executive orders because he couldn't get anything done through Congress and now they're all gone, those executive orders. And now, Obama -- Trump is signing executive orders and not doing it through Congress. They will be gone when the next president comes in.
So, it's not a long-lasting kind of legacy if you do that. You've got to work with Congress. You've got to be a leader. You've got to bring both of the parties together. Now, it is very difficult do that right now, as you know, because of the way they rigged the system and the way they draw the district lines.
[21:15:07] That's why in California we have taken the drawing of the district lines away from the politicians.
Now, I campaigned on that for many years. And eventually, we had the people approved. We put it on the ballot, an initiative. And the people approved it finally after the third time, they approved it.
JONES: You know, they had the great line that the United States is the only place where rather than the voters picking the politicians, the politicians were picking the voters by rigging the system.
SCHWARZENEGGER: This is the way it is. They draw the district sign and they pick the voters to politicians instead that the voters picking the politicians. So they rigged the system in such a way and so we got rid of that in California.
JONES: We're going to talk about that when we get back.
JONES: Stick with us.
SCHWARZENEGGER: You promise?
JONES: I promise. Hey, listen, I got the governator. I got to do what he says. So, listen, when we get back, we're going to have more questions from the audience. Plus, we're going to ask whether we are ever going to see the name Schwarzenegger on the ballot again, when we get back.
[21:20:14] JONES: Welcome back to "The Messy Truth." I'm Van Jones. My special guest tonight is the man I use to call the governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Governor, you've been a star Republicans for a very long time. In fact, here you are at the GOP convention in 2004.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARZENEGGER: When I was a boy, the soviets occupied part of Austria. I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes. The day the world no longer fears the Soviet Union and it is because of the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Now, that was then back when Republicans were standing up to Russian invaders. Now, you got Trump. He's got this bromance with Putin. Putin is attacking other countries. He's repressing his own people.
As a Republican, you know, how do you make sense of that? I mean, you're a freedom loving -- liberty loving Republican and yet you got a Republican president who seems to be, you know, best buddies with somebody who has invaded -- you know what that's like. You know what that's like.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, I know because of a bipartisan commission that has just decided that, yes, Russia was involved in our elections. So, I think this is interesting to know because, again, it just goes back to the Washington when you talk about the problem parties fighting so much that some outside force can come in and interfere with our political system. It's been (inaudible). It didn't make any sense, but now it does make sense, because we have seen it, you know, unfold in front of our very eyes.
If Trump has any connections with them or not, that we have not really established yet, so I don't know and I have not seen any of the secret papers and all this things that maybe point to it. But I haven't seen it, so therefore, I cannot really comment on that. JONES: But, I would just want be politically, he doesn't seem to be as tough on the Russians and it almost seems like he wants us to be -- maybe look the other way. Does that worry you about this way?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I think -- you know, to be honest with you, I mean, every president has their own strategy. I think that as you remember with President Nixon and Henry Kissinger, they paved the way to not look at China as just the enemy, but start working together with them. He then flew over to China, visited them. The Chinese premiere flew over visited Nixon and other stuff. So I think that opened up relationships, so I don't --
JONES: That's something to workout.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't mind when people reach out. I think it's the key thing for the United States to go and look at the world and say we are trying to have as many friends as possible and maybe through a friendship we can go and tone things down and to have -- and kind of work together on various different issues, I think national issues. So, you know, I don't know what his plan is. I've never talked to Trump about it. But, I mean, let's just see what the future hold us.
JONES: So, let me just rewind the clock back though now for you. You were a young man. You were in Austria, modest background. You looked at American and you said, "You know what, I think I can go there. They love freedom. They're going to open their arms to me. I can go. I can make a big difference."
Would a young Arnold Schwarzenegger now looking at America now with so much of the anti-immigrant conversation, even coming from the White House, would a young Arnold Schwarzenegger have come to America? Would you come to America today as a young guy?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I tell you. I happen to get around the world a lot because of promoting movies, promoting the Arnold classic sports and fitness festival, promoting Special Olympics.
I just came from Austria celebrating the Special Olympics, I mean, the national winter games over there and being with the athletes, because I'm the international coach for them. I'm traveling around giving speeches about the environmental issues. So I travel around a lot.
I've never ever seen anyone come up to me and say, "Man, I cannot wait to move to China." Or can you help me get a visa to the Middle East? Or I want to go and move to Africa, or something like that. Everyone wants to come to California.
SCHWARZENEGGER: This is the place to be. Everyone loves this place. And even though we criticize America and I remember Trump during the campaign went around and said make America great again. America is great. What are we talking about great again? America is great. It's the greatest country in the world by far. Yes, we have problems, but it is the greatest country by far.
Of course, I would have come over here. I remember that when I was a kid, 10 years old, and I saw documentary film in school and I saw this huge skyscraper and the airplanes and the freeways and, you know, Hollywood in order (inaudible), "What am I doing in Austria? What am I doing in this little farm village here? I want to be over there." I did everything that I could to come to America.
[21:25:04] And there is millions of people out there that feel the same way. This is the land of opportunity. You would never have the opportunities anywhere else like in America.
JONES: Tougher question for you then. Your party does not seem to agree with you in the same way. That enthusiasm is not there in the same way. If you had come, young Arnold now, would you join this Republican Party giving how tough they are on immigrants?
SCHWARZENEGGER: That I don't know what my thinking would be if I would be, you know, now 21 years old when I came over here. I just tell you that I was absolutely in heaven when I heard Nixon talk. It was the campaign between Nixon and Humphrey. And I heard Humphrey talk and then there was like, "Wait a minute, I'm back in Austria again."
And then I heard Nixon talking. It was refreshing, you know, to open up and to have world trade and to be strong military, strong law enforcement, you know, to get government off your back and all of this kind of dialogue that I have heard was so appealing to me that I said to my friend, I said, "What party does he belong to?" And he says -- my friend was a Democrat and he said just a disgusting. He said, "Republican." Then I said, "Well, then I'm a Republican." And so he was disgusted about it because he was a Democrat.
But, you know, so I fell in love with the party. And I'm -- you know, when you think of me as a Republican, I am a Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan Republican. What they've really means is that, you know, Lincoln was, you know, during that time wanting to free slaves. The Republican Party then voted overwhelmingly.
As a matter of fact, the Democrats were nowhere to be found then, but the Republicans voted overwhelmingly to get rid of slavery, to make them join the United States, to give blacks a vote, you know, to also have, you know, voting right in order to -- so that was the Republican Party that I could identify.
And the same as, you know, Teddy Roosevelt, who put more land aside for conservation, who was a great environmentalist inspired by John Muir, a Californian. And -- but then, you know, Nixon, who was trying to do health care reform, universal health care in 1974 and Teddy -- you know, it was Kennedy, of course derailed that (inaudible), you know, because he couldn't handle. The Republican was doing health care reform and other stuff.
So, I mean, this is -- Reagan created the resources board as a Republican to clean the environment. Those are the kind of Republicans that I could identify with.
JONES: So you named Lincoln, you named Reagan. Are you a Trump Republican?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I'm not a Trump Republican. No, that's why I didn't vote for him.
JONES: We got some young people here. I want to give Alec a chance to answer his question, (inaudible).
ALEC VANDENBERG, STUDENT: In light of some mixed signaling over the last few months with President Trump in regards to his allies backing off from some allies and also the return of protectionism, how can the United States maintain its credibility and leadership on the global stage?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that the United States is very much respected internationally. And I think the key thing is it's one of those things. It's like gardening. You know, when you do gardening, the only way you have a great garden is if you go and attend the garden every day.
You pull out the weeds every day. You sprinkle the water every day. You put seeds in every day. You attend and you do work on that all the time. That's the way it is with relationships.
If it's foreign relationship, it is relationship with the other party and other stuff, it's all about relationship building. And I think that, you know, it is key for us to have a strong direction. Let the world know what the direction is, what we really stand for. That is the key thing.
JONES: Good. And so you are famously passionate about After-School Programs. You have the After-School All-Star Program. One of your youth is here. Citlali has a question.
CITLALI AGUILERA-RICO, FOUNDER, AFTER-SCHOOL ALL-STARS: Ever since I was in elementary school, I've always relied on After-School Programs. My parents were always working late and then when my father died when I was in the third grade, I began living in a single parent home.
My mother could no longer afford to pay for After-School care in elementary school, but luckily in middle school I found After-School All-Stars, which is free. And now that I'm in high school, I no longer have an After-School Program and I have to take the school bus, the public bus and walk home every day from school.
In light of these budget cuts, how can we ensure funding for After- School Programs not only in elementary and middle schools, but in high schools as well? And what can everyone do to help?
JONES: And you have (inaudible) -- first of all, give her a round of applause. We've got young people like this all over the country who are benefiting. And thank you for your work and your commitment. But, you know, a lot of Republicans would say, "Hey, listen, you know, helping a kid like that, that's -- it's a pork barrel stuff." So, you know what -- answering her question, but keep that in mind. You know, a lot of people in your party say, "Hey, that's a pork barrel."
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, let me just say, I think that it is really wonderful to have you stand up here and ask a question in front of all of these people and millions of people that watch this show, so congratulations.
[21:30:07] Give her a big hand for that. You did a great job.
Now, it's a very good question because as you know, California is the only one -- the only state that is really way ahead of every other state when it comes to After-School Programs. What we did was we passed an initiative in California, Proposition 49, the After-School Education Safety Act that I, you know, partially sponsored and drove all the way until it won. And that that gave us $550 million of After-School money.
And so now this is why every elementary school and middle school in California has After-School programs. But we didn't get enough money to also include high schools, so this is where the problem comes in, that what you are talking about here.
And so, I think that we have to go back another time and ask people maybe for another few hundred million dollars a year and we will do that, to go back again to the people and to say it, because when we tested it, when we originally did it, when it went to a billion dollars, people won't afford it. But when we kept it below $500 million, it was $428 million exactly in the beginning and now it rose up to around $550 million, so we just have to get back and give more money.
And the key thing is to keep the federal money, because this $1.2 billion is extremely important and this is why I promised the kids today that this is not unanswered. We are going to be in Washington.
JONES: He will be back.
SCHWARZENEGGER: That we're going to lobby in Washington. And we're going to bring Democrats and Republicans together, because this is not a party issue, this is a people's issue. This is the important thing that we gather through within the people's issue (ph).
JONES: Listen, I love your passion. I want you to stick around.
Look, there are very few issues -- you don't like this. There are very few issues that are so consequential. They impact your kids, your grandkids, your health and your pocketbook. But Donald Trump recently took some action that jeopardizes all four.
In fact, Donald Trump may have signed the death certificate for planet Earth. So, luckily, we got a super hero here. He can help us save the world, save the thing. Well, he's got some great ideas for us when we get back. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the house, "The Messy Truth."
[21:36:47] JONES: All right, welcome back to "The Messy Truth". We are here with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
You know, Arnold saved the world many times on the big screen, but he also tried to save it in real life when he was fighting for clean air and clean water and clean energy as California's governor. Now, both parties might want to listen up right now because we're going to talk about this.
Let me get in first, Republicans, please, on the issue of the environment, please stop talking about killing regulations. That's the false choice. It's a false binary. Without regulations, your kids will be breathing polluted air. They'd be drinking poisoned water. Your city would be covered in legal -- in lethal smog, the same way they are in China. So America should never, ever have to choose between job killing regulation so-called or child killing deregulation.
Americans are smart enough to know how to grow our businesses and make money and create jobs while restoring the Earth and respecting the health of our children. That's for Republicans.
Democrats, you know all of this, but you always get lost in all this doomsday stuff. Give people some hope for once. I mean, for example, you got solar panel installers. These are good people making a good living. We got hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs in America in solar and wind. We never brag on them. Those clean energy solar panels can cut an energy bill from $200 a month to $2 a month. That's good for workers, for homeowners and the Earth. So both parties have got to do better.
But, sir, your party, I just don't understand. You talked about Teddy Roosevelt, the first conservationist was a Republican. Now, you got a head of the EPA, doesn't believe in science. You got a former oil executive running State Department and Donald Trump just rolled back a decade's worth of climate protection.
What can you say to Republicans who are watching right now to get them back on the good side when it comes to the environment?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, traditionally, our party was very, very pro environment, as you said, not only Teddy Roosevelt, but Ronald Reagan created the EPA -- created the, you know, Resources Board in California.
JONES: Nixon did the EPA.
SCHWARZENEGGER: And Nixon created the EPA in Washington.
JONES: So, what happened?
SCHWARZENEGGER: And Bush negotiated the acid rain deal, which was the first kind of cap and trade deal. And so, it was a great, great history.
JONES: What happened?
SCHWARZENEGGER: But the other -- what bring -- the other thing that I want to remind you all, from the mode (ph) to remind the people is it's not just Republicans. It's also Democrats, because they are -- when you go to those states where they, you know, give coal, they have the coal mines, those representatives, senators and congressmen and governors are fighting for those coal jobs and they are Democrats and they are fighting for the coal jobs. So, you have both parties.
But, you're absolutely correct that the Republican Party has now gone and decided they're going to go and, you know, maybe get the campaign contributions from coal industry or maybe get the campaign contributions from the oil companies that's why they are catering to them. But then there was, you know, that there's many reasons why that it is --
[21:40:02] JONES: What are your best -- I heard you make incredible arguments. What are the best arguments for Republicans?
SCHWARZENEGGER: The best argument is whenever they say -- first of all, if you believe in global warming or not, that is irrelevant, because 7 million people die every year because of pollution. That is much more than die of traffic accidents, homicide, suicide, wars, everything together. So to me that is inexcusable and we have to do something about that.
In America alone, 200,000 plus people die every year because of pollution. It is government's responsibility to protect the people. And so, we do all kinds of things to protect the people. That they have helmet laws so that you don't -- you hurt yourself when you have a motorcycle crash or a bicycle crash, all those kind of things to protect the people. But when it comes to pollution, they're not there to protect the people.
So this is -- I think that every one, both of the parties need to work together. Republicans a lot of times say as you remember when we fought Proposition 23, Republicans say, "Well, if you go green, then that means that we lose jobs. The economy will go down." And that was -- it's all none sense, because that fact that somebody is --
JONES: Let me ask you a question.
SCHWARZENEGGER: -- California. But in California, we have 4.3 percent economic growth, GDP growth. And the nationwide GDP growth is only 1.7 percent. We in California are way ahead economically. We are number one in tourism. We are number one in our industries. We are number one in entertainment. We are number one in agriculture, number one in biotech, in high tech, you know, and all of those things and everything. Everything we are number one.
How is it possible when we have the strictest environmental laws in the United States? So we are to be proven that you can do both. You can protect the environment and you can protect the economy at the same time. It's that simple.
JONES: You can drop the mic with that one, sir.
JONES: We'll listen to that. Well, listen, I want to turn to a more close to home subject then bring Rodrigo into this conversation. I know you're still in grief, but I hope you will raise your question with the governor.
RODRIGO MACIAS, FROM ARLETA, CALIFORNIA: Yes. Governor, nice to see you. Nice to meet you.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Nice to see you.
MACIAS: On February 19th, my fiancee and son were driving back from church when they were tragically killed, T-boned by an illegal immigrant. My son was in the vehicle. He saw his mom die. And from this illegal immigrant who has been deported five times, multiple felon, three DUIs. Nobody has reached out to us, not Chief Beck, not the mayor, but our President Donald Trump reached out to me and gave me his condolences.
I was fortunate enough to vote for Donald Trump. My question to you is this. What are we going to do about the problems that we have here in this city that feels so much like a sanctuary city? How are you and Donald Trump going to come together and fix the issues that we have?
Now, you pointed out that -- about these After-School Programs and the kids (inaudible), but I have a 12-year-old son now that's only has one parent. I'm a single parent now, unfortunately. So, I need to know how are you going to fix that with Donald Trump.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, I'm not in office. OK? So, but then in one thing I can tell you, through our institute we have been working very hard on immigration reform. This needs comprehensive immigration reform.
And the sad story is that Democrats and Republicans have not been able to come together in decades on this issue. There is a bipartisan plan that -- for Democrats and for Republicans get together and they came up with a really great immigration plan. But it was shot down. So now both of the parties can't get anything done.
But, may I remind you not just on immigration, on anything else either. Congress can't get anything done and this is why we have a problem with the redistricting and that goes back again to the redistricting.
If we redraw the district lines, people would talk about it and see it later on. But, we need comprehensive immigration reform, which means that we have to secure our borders, number one. Number two, we have to go and redo our visa system. We have to make sure that the students can go and stay here after, you know, they have studied and they have gone through universities rather than sending them back. You got to give them a temporary working permit, more case workers programs and stuff like that. Make it really legitimate and secure the border.
There's a whole bunch of issues that need to be addressed. They have to get together. It's a complex issue and they have not been able to work together. That's why we have problems like that. And this is why I am in a way upset when I know that Congress has a 15 percent to 18 percent approval rating and they get re-elected. 98 percent of them got re-elected last time.
[21:45:03] So that is your problem. Your problem is, you have to go and fight that system and go and make them redraw the district lines so that we have a coherent system --
JONES: Governor, you raised this issue numerous times and we have somebody here who is an expert of this and he's actually a victim of this entire thing.
You -- nobody talked about this. You know about this, Margaret. Part of the reason we can't get anything done is because the system has been rigged to make sure only extremists can be elected. Margaret, ask your question.
MARGARET DICKSON, FORMER NORTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR: Thank you, Van, very much. I appreciate being here.
Redistricting, I think, Governor, and I think you think as well has changed our elective process more than anything else in the recent past. Republicans came to my state, North Carolina, and armed with private computers which had surgically precise software loaded on to them and they manipulated the district boundaries so that their candidates would win.
Now, real people with real issues live in these districts, not only in my state, but all over the country. And they are entitled to be able to elect candidates of their choice, not candidates selected by partisan political operatives.
So, my question to you, Governor, is how do we fix this artificial firewall that has been erected between our elective process and the will of the American people?
SCHWARZENEGGER: First of all, just I want to say -- my condolences to you. It's horrible, the story that you just told us. Sorry about that.
But to get to your question, the only way we can do it -- this is what we did in California. I mean, in California it goes the rest of the nation goes. That's what they always say and that's exactly what we want to do.
In California, we have reformed the system. We now -- that an independent panel destroying the district lines. We took this power away from the politicians. And since then things have changed. Now, what we said and the Republicans are talking about immigration reform. Now what we said and the Democrats are siding with the Chamber of Commerce and voting 90 percent with the Chamber of Commerce. So things have totally changed since then and this is the kind of things, not the only way to make changes, but it is a very important step forward and there is 37 states in the United States where they have an initiative process where they can do the same thing as we have done in California.
Then there are other states where we can do it through the legislators. And if that doesn't work, then you can go and do the judicial way. And we have seen that already, you know, and it works. And that the Supreme Court usually sides with the people. They want the district lines to be drawn by independent --
JONES: I sure wish that you could be on the ballot for the presidency or something else. You hit every issue brilliantly. I want to thank you for being here. Give him a round of applause.
Now, listen, up next, I took a trip to California, a farm in California, and I discovered something interesting. The farm owners who voted for Trump are actually now praying that he won't implement his immigration policies. We are about to get messy when we get back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Truck farmers. If all these immigrants left, what would happen to those crops?
HORACIO AMEXQUITA, FARM WORKER RIGHTS ADVOCATE: You know, it will just get rotten. Nobody will harvest them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[21:52:28] JONES: Welcome back to "The Messy Truth". I'm Van Jones.
Now, look, I got a chance to go on a farm, and you're going to see this crazy video about the farm, but before we get there, I want you to know something. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that it is unlikely, in his word, that President Trump's promised wall is going to be built and stretched from sea to shining sea. So that's some news today on immigration. They're talking about immigration. He also said that the president told him to protect the border in any way that makes sense.
Secretary Kelly went on to praise Trump's immigration crackdown. He says that the substantial drop in the apprehensions at the border proved that the crackdown is working. So this whole fight around immigration is still going on, your loss and other people's concerns. But I'm trying to get to the root of the root of this thing.
So a few days ago, I took a trip to California's Central Valley and I spent some time with some of the farmers who are there. Now, many of those farmers actually supported Donald Trump, but here's the messy truth, because of President Trump and his immigration policies, those very same farmers may now lose the workers they rely upon for their livelihood.
JONES (voice-over): In order to really understand a farm worker from California's Central Valley, you need to play the part.
PAUL BETANCOURT, CALIFORNIA FARMER: We have to go.
JONES (voice-over): So I got out of the bubble and stepped into a tractor so I could spend some time with actual Central Valley farmers like Paul Betancourt.
(on camera): We wouldn't eat if it weren't for you guys.
BETANCOURT: Van, One of the things about farm folks is they're proud of what they do.
JONES (on camera): Well, (inaudible) stuff, hard work and good folks.
(voice-over): But these folks also need help. They need people to work on these farms and there's a lot of work that needs to get done in these fields. A large amount of the nation's food supply comes from right here, and undocumented workers toil in these fields every single day.
BETANCOURT: Some things still need to be had done. There are always be a need for hand labor and it's unfortunate for whatever reason and I'm not going to pick on people. There's folks from town that, you know, think there's easier ways to make a living.
JONES (voice-over): And that's understandable. Not everybody wants to be a farm worker. It is backbreaking work for long hours under the hot sun, but it's a job that needs to get done and many of the people who do it right now are at risk of being removed from the country under President Trump's immigration policies. So why did so many farmers like Paul Betancourt support Trump?
BETANCOURT: The alternative was unthinkable. Continued pressure from the federal government was squeezing us out.
[21:55:08] The big issue here is water. We got no help from Washington on water during the drought. And, you know, the regulatory burden continues to increase, so continuation of what we had was unthinkable.
JONES (on camera): I know you supported Donald Trump. On the one hand, I know he's good for small businesses in some ways, but he also is tough on the immigrant workers. Are you kind of caught in the middle here?
BETANCOURT: Yeah, I disagree with him on that.
JONES (voice-over): Farmer Paul Wenger also supported President Trump, but also says that deporting farm workers is bad for business. PAUL WENGER, CALIFORNIA FARMER: We like to say your food that's going to be on your table tonight is probably going to be picked by immigrant hands. The real question is, is it going to be picked by immigrant hands here in the United States and for us in California or in another country?
JONES (on camera): You must work with folks pretty closely who are probably very scared.
WENGER: Yes and no. I think most folks realized that something is going to have to happen. They're not going to move 12 million to 14 million people out of this country.
JONES (voice-over): But many people on these fields certainly do believe that they could be kicked out of the country and they live in fear that they could be deported any day.
And Farm Worker Rights Advocate, Horacio Amexquita, he says if you chase away the farm workers, you likely chase away the farm.
JONES (on camera): If all these immigrants left, what would happen to those crops?
AMEXQUITA: You know, it will just get rotten. Nobody would harvest them. If he takes away all the undocumented workers out of the fields, the economy will collapse and it will be a lot of trouble not just for the farmers or California, but it will be a lot of trouble for all United States.
JONES (on camera): When you say trouble, what do you mean?
AMEXQUITA: Yeah. You know, all -- the crops get rotten. They're not going to be delivered to other states. People are not going to have their vegetables, their fruits. All these crops that are fresh on your table, they're being harvested by hand.
BETANCOURT: This is messy. If the farmers are not in lockstep, you know, you get three farmers together, you get five different opinions. And so, you know, I have no problem voting for the president and disagreeing with him on trade and immigration because I think he's wrong on those issues.
JONES: You see, when you get down there in the real world, it gets really, really messy. And so, you know, let's keep in mind these conversations got to keep going forward.
Now, when we come back, I'm going to give you my thoughts on Bill O'Reilly and President Trump. Watch out, Bill O'Reilly, I'm coming for you.
VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Welcome back to The Messy Truth. Before we leave tonight, I have a final thought. Today, a reporter asked President Trump about Fox News star Bill O'Reilly and the sexual harassment allegations against him.
And the president of the United States responded, "I don't think Bill did anything wrong."
Now, look, we could just brush this off as another example of Trump spewing out garbage about stuff he doesn't understand but actually Trump understands treating women like crap very well, because at least 11 different women have accused President Trump of sexual harassment, themselves.
Also, Trump seems to know a lot about being a hypocrite because when another Bill, Bill Clinton, was accused of similar stuff, Trump went on the war path then saying that the women were right and that that Bill was wrong.
But that's not the worst of it. Here's the messy truth that nobody's talking about. Liberal feminists, honestly, they were never in Trump's camp, anyway, so maybe he doesn't owe them very much, but Donald Trump owes conservative women everything.
They came out for him in droves. They stopped Hillary Clinton and they put him in power. And those are the kinds of women, it's pretty safe to assume, work at Fox News.
Now look at Trump throwing conservative women under the bus, his own core supporters. Without even giving them two seconds of a fair hearing. Zero loyalty to the women who got him into the White House. That's got to be devastating for Trump supporters.
And now where is warrior for women Ivanka Trump? Where is she? She said she wants to use her platform for good. Well, good, your dad just spat in the face of the very women who gave you and your family that platform. I am sure that your fellow conservative women would like to hear from you now and so would the rest of us. So would the rest of us.
So, I want to thank my studio audience and all you watching at home. We had an honest conversation. We had a lot of fun. We had the gubernator. Keep the conversation going at home in your dinner tables, in your neighborhoods.
We are messy. We tell it like we see it. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts right now. I love you, Don.