Exclusive - Kirsten Gillibrand Extended Interview Pt. 1

  • Aired:  09/05/12
  •  | Views: 41,309

In this exclusive, unedited interview, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand explains how having more women in Congress will lead to a greater focus on important issues. (5:43)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK!

MY GUEST TONIGHT, SHE IS THE JUNIOR SENATOR REPRESENTING THE GREAT STATE OF NEW YORK.

WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND.

HELLO!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR COMING.

WE SAVED A LITTLE TIME AND I THOUGHT IT WORKED OUT VERY NICELY.

SENATOR, ARE YOU HAVING A NICE TIME AT YOUR PARTY'S PARTY?

>> YES.

>> Jon: HOW HAS IT BEEN GOING SO FAR WITH YOU?

>> I THOUGHT MICHELLE OBAMA WAS AMAZING LAST NIGHT.

DID YOU GUYS THINK SHE WAS AMAZING?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) INCREDIBLE!

SO MOVING.

SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SPEECH.

>> Jon: HOW DOES IT FEEL IN...

YOU KNOW, IT WILL BE 10,000,

15,000 PEOPLE IN THERE.

HOW DOES IT FEEL IN THAT HALL BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY WE CAN'T GET PASSES.

(LAUGHTER) SO WAS IT VERY EMOTIONAL FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE THEATER?

>> WELL, I WATCHED HER SPEECH FROM TELEVISION AND...

>> Jon: OH, YOU DON'T HAVE PASSES?

(LAUGHTER)

>> (LAUGHS) (LAUGHTER).

>> Jon: I WILL WORK ON THAT FOR YOU.

I WILL GET YOU SOME PASSES.

>> BUT THEY SHOWED ALL THE WOMEN CRYING.

SHE REALLY CONNECTED WITH PEOPLE AND TALKED ABOUT EVERYDAY PEOPLE AND THEIR STRUGGLES AND WHAT IT

MEANS TO BE... WHAT HER VALUES ARE, WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VALUES ARE.

I THOUGHT IT WAS AMAZING.

>> IT'S INTERESTING, TOO,

BECAUSE WITHIN THERE THERE'S ALL THIS TALK ABOUT THERE'S NOT THAT MUCH ENTHUSIASM FOR THE

DEMOCRATS BUT WHEN YOU WATCH IT ON TELEVISION-- AND I WAS JUST DOWN IN TAMPA, THERE SEEMED TO

BE A PALPABLE ELECTRICITY THAT WAS SOMEWHAT MISSING FROM THE OTHER...

(LAUGHTER).

AND NOT TO CALL IT "MORIBUND" OR...

(LAUGHTER).

"ZOMBIESQUE".

(LAUGHTER) OR A CRUISE SHIP THAT HAD BEEN STRUCK WITH A TERRIBLE STOMACH FLU.

(LAUGHTER) IT WAS NOW JUST CIRCLING CURACAO FOR TWO TO THREE DAYS.

BUT IT SEEMED TO BE A VERY ELECTRIC ATMOSPHERE.

>> YES.

(LAUGHTER) (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: WHAT'S YOUR SENSE...

YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT WOMEN, THEY'RE THE... BOY,

THAT'S THE... AS THOUGH IT'S A SORT OF A... THIS BLOCK OF...

OH, WE KNOW IT'S UP FOR GRAB THIS IS YEAR, WOMEN.

(LAUGHTER) WHAT'S YOUR SENSE OF THAT DEMOGRAPHIC AND WHAT'S GOING ON?

>> I THINK WOMEN'S VOICES ARE GOING TO BE UNBELIEVABLY IMPORTANT TO THIS ELECTION AND I

HOPE THAT EVERY WOMAN WATCHING WILL VOTE!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) I THINK...

>> Jon: YEAH, THEY'RE ALL RIGHT.

I THINK THERE'S A REAL CHOICE AND THERE'S A REAL DIFFERENCE

ABOUT VALUES AND WHO WE'RE FIGHTING FOR AND I THINK WOMEN ARE FUNDAMENTALLY ENGAGED IN

THIS ELECTION NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ISSUES BUT ALSO BECAUSE OF THE

ECONOMIC ISSUES.

EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK, ACCESS TO CAPITAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS.

>> Jon: THAT'S A BIG ONE.

THE EQUAL PAY THING STRIKES ME AS HOW IS THAT ENFORCED... I'VE READ THINGS THAT AT THE WHITE

HOUSE, THE WOMEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE DON'T MAKE THE SAME MONEY THAT MEN DO IN THE SAME POSITIONS.

IF THAT CAN'T TKPW B DONE AT THE WHITE HOUSE WHERE THEY SIGNED THE LAW WHAT HOPE DO WE HAVE...

DOES HE WALK AROUND AND GO "LET ME SEE YOUR CHECK." HOW DO YOU ENFORCE THAT.

LILY LEDBETTER SAID HERSELF "I DIDN'T KNOW FOR 20 YEARS." THAT.

>> THAT'S WHY THE FIRST BILL PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNED WAS THE

LILY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT AND THAT ALLOWS WOMEN AS SOON AS THEY FIND OUT THAT THEY'VE BEEN

DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN PAY THEN THEY CAN FILE A LAWSUIT.

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE WHEN IT STARTED BECAUSE YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW FOR 20 YEARS.

SO THAT GIVES WOMEN MORE EMPOWERMENT TO BE ABLE TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES AND FIGHT FOR

FAIR PAY AND EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK.

(APPLAUSE).

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK WE'LL SEE A DAY IN THE SENATE WHERE IT'S MORE EQUAL?

EVEN NOW YOU LOOK AT THE SENATE AND THERE ARE NOT THAT MANY FEMALE VOICES IN THE SENATE.

>> RIGHT.

LOOK, WE ONLY HAVE 17 WOMEN IN THE SENATE.

WE ONLY HAVE 17%.

>> Jon: AND YET WOMEN ARE 18% OF THE...

>> 51%!

51!

THIS IS WHAT I OFTEN SAY.

IF WE HAD 51% OF WOMEN IN CONGRESS, DO YOU THINK WE'D BE DEBATING BIRTH CONTROL?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) NO!

WE'D BE DEBATING THE ECONOMY AND JOBS AND HOW WE CREATE ECONOMIC ENGINES AND HELP OUR SMALL

BUSINESSES AND NATIONAL SECURITY AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT REALLY,

REALLY MATTERS.

AND SO WE NEED MORE WOMEN IN CONGRESS!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE).

>> Jon: SO WHAT YOU'RE BASICALLY SAYING IS IF WE HAD MORE WOMEN IN CONGRESS THEY

WOULDN'T COME UP WITH DISTRACTING TYPE ISSUES.

THAT THEY WOULD BE MORE FOCUSED ON REAL ISSUES.

>> AND ONE OTHER THING...

(LAUGHTER).

>> Jon: YOU'RE GOING LET ME GET AWAY WITH THAT?

>> WELL, WOMEN ARE OFTEN VERY GOOD AT BUILDING BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS.

WE'RE GOOD LISTENERS, WE BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER.

(LAUGHTER) IS THAT NOT TRUE?

THE THAT NOT TRUE.

>> Jon: SOMEBODY'S GOT TO CHANGE THE LIGHTBULBS.

(AUDIENCE REACTS) WAIT A MINUTE.

SHE JUST (BLEEP) ON MEN AS BEING ABLE TO FIND CONSENSUS AND COMPROMISE AND I MAKE A JOKE

ABOUT WELL, AT LEAST WE CAN CHANGE A LIGHTBULB AND YOU'RE LIKE "THAT'S SEXIST"?

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: WELL, IT'S NOT MALE VOICES... MALE VOICES ARE IMPORTANT.

IT'S THE COMBINATION OF THEM...

(LAUGHTER).

IT'S THAT...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: CAN I TELL YOU... I'M MARRIED SO I KNOW THE DEAL.

(LAUGHTER) (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) CAN YOU STICK AROUND?

SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

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