Congressman Ruben Gallego

More from this show

Arizona Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego will discuss issues concerning Arizona

TED SIMONS: DEMOCRAT RUBEN GALLEGO WAS RE- ELECTED LAST MONTH TO CONGRESS REPRESENTING CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT-7. HERE NOW TO TALK ABOUT "HIS" PLANS FOR THE UPCOMING SESSION IS REPRESENTATIVE GALLEGOTHANKS COME COME -- THANKS FOR COMING IN. SECOND TERM, COMPARE YOU, YOUR THOUGHTS, YOUR SURROUNDINGS, TO THE FIRST TERM.

GALLEGO: WELL IT'S A DIFFERENT WORLD. WE HAVE A DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENCY COMING UP. OBVIOUSLY WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER TO BE UNDER A SECRETARY CLINTON PRESIDENCY. MY FIRST TERM, PRESIDENT OBAMA STOPPED THE CRAZINESS OF THE RADICAL REPUBLICAN AGENDA AND NOW WE HAVE TO RELY ON THE DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS AND THE SENATE TO DO STOP WHAT COULD BE A HORRIBLE NEXT FOUR YEARS.

TED SIMONS: DEAL MAKING ON CAPITOL HILL. SOME FIND THIS REPUGNANT AND OTHERS SAY IT IS THE ONLY WAY. YOUR THOUGHT ABOUT DEALMAKING

GALLEGO: IT IS A TOOL AND SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO CUT DEALS. WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR CONSTITUENTS, ABSOLUTELY LOOK FOR THE DEALS AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOING IT FROM A POSITION OF AUTHORITY, AND YOU ARE NOT REALLY SELLING OUT THE IDEALS AND SOMETIMES YOU TO LEVERAGE AND WHEN WE ARE IN THE MINORITY, DEAL MAKING IS NOT THE END-ALL, BE-ALL. IT IS USING LEVERAGE TRYING STOP BAD THINGS OR MITIGATE REALLY GAD THINGS FROM HAPPENING.

TED SIMONS: I WOULD IMAGINE DEALMAKING WILL TAKE ON A WHOLE NEW DEFINITION.

GALLEGO: ABSOLUTELY.

TED SIMONS: WHY DID THE DEMOCRATS LOSE THE WHITE HOUSE AND SO FEW GAINS IN THE HOUSE?

GALLEGO: FOR US TO BE DENIED THE FBI'S COMIES LAST-MINUTE INTERVENTION DIDN'T HAVE AN EFFECT ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THE 55,000 VOTE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MICHIGAN, PENNSYLVANIA AND WISCONSIN I THINK WOULD BE NAIVE. THAT REALLY DID COST US. NUMBER TWO, I THINK DONALD TRUMP RAN A XENAPHOBIC CAMPAIGN THAT DREW OUT THE WORST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD AND WE WILL NOT APPEAL TO THEM AND NEVER WILL. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THERE WAS AN ORGANIZED EFFORT THAT HAD BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS TO SMEAR SECRETARY CLINTON AND MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR HER TO WIN. AND LET'S NOT FORGET THE VOTING RESTRICTIONS IMPLEMENTED IN MANY STATES THAT MADE IT DIFFICULT TO VOTE.

TED SIMONS: ALL THOSE THINGS INDIVIDUALLY -- NONE OF THEM ADDRESS WHAT SOME PEOPLE SAY IS FOLKS WHO AREN'T XENAPHONIB, AREN'T RADICAL THIS AND WHO UNDERSTOOD THIS AND HAD NO VOTING SUPRESSION AS FAR AS THIS, THEY JUST THOUGHT A CHANGE WAS NEEDeD.

GALLEGO: WELL THEY'RE GOING TO GET A CHANGE, A CHANGE FOR THE WORSE…IF THEY THINK DONALD TRUMP IS BRINGING CHANGE THEY WILL GET IT BUT IT WILL PROBABLY BE THE WORST WE HAVE EVER SEEN IN THIS COUNTRY. MEDICARE IS ON THE LIFE LINE, SOCIAL SECURITY IS RADICALLY ABOUT TO BE CHANGED. THE EPA IS NO LONGER ACTUALLY GOING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT. CHANGES ARE COMING AND ITS GOING TO BE HORRIBLE.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU THINK PEOPLE REALIZE THESE CHANGES COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN?

GALLEGO: I THINK SOME PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THIS BUT THIS IS REALITY AND I WILL DO EVERYTHING TO PROTECT THEM, EVEN THOSE DUMB ENOUGH TO VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP. BUT I THINK IN REALITY THEY DON'T KNOW THE PAIN DONALD TRUMP WILL BRING TO THE COUNTRY.

TED SIMONS: YOU OPPOSED NANCY PELOSI AS MINORITY LEADER. WHY?

GALLEGO: I THINK SHE WAS INEFFECTIVE AND WHY YOU HAD LOST SO MANY SEATS IN A ROW AND TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS. THEN IT WAS TIME FOR SOME KIND OF CHALLENGE. WE RAN A VERY GOOD CAMPAIGN WITH TIM RYAN. WE WERE UNSUCCESFUL THERE. WE HAD MORE REFORMS TO BRING ACCOUNTABILITY TO LEADERSHIP.

TED SIMONS: WHY STAND WITH RYAN? WHAT DID HE BRING TO THE TABLE THAT YOU THOUGHT IS GOOD FOR THE PARTY AND GOOD FOR CONGRESS?

GALLEGO: FIRST OF ALL, I THINK CHALLENGES ARE VERY IMPORTANT. LEADERSHIP NEEDS TO BE CHALLENGE. THEY ARE THERE AS REPRESENTATIVES OF CONGRESS, THEY ARE NOT THERE IN OF THEMSELVES. I THINK RYAN BROUGHT A CROSS SECTION OF AMERICA TOGETHER REPRESENTING THE RUST BELT AREA. HE CAN REACH OUT TO THE YOUTH. HE IS A YOUNG MEMBER OF CONGRESS. OUR COALITION WAS VERY YOUNG ALSO. I THINK IT WAS TIME FOR US TO HAVE A NEW VOICE AND HE WOULD BE AN APPROPRIATE NEW VOICE.

TED SIMONS: ARE YOU CONCERNED GOING AGAINST LEADERSHIP AND BEING VOCAL ABOUT IT WILL COME BACK TO BITE YOU?

GALLEGO: NO, NOT REALLY. I AM WITH LEADERSHIP SOMETIMES AND NOT WITH LEADERSHIP SOMETIMES. MY JOB IS TO ANSWERBALE TO MY CONSTIUENTS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY ANSWERABLE TO THE FUTURE. I AM A YOUNG 37. I HAVE TO LIVE WITH WHATEVER THE CONSEQUENCES ARE FOR THE NEXT 10-20 YEARS DECIDED BY DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS OF CONGRESS OR CAUCUS AND FOR ME TO SHORT CHANGE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE I AM AFRAID OF THE NOW WOULD BE ME BEING DERELICT IN MY DUTY.

TED SIMONS: ARE YOU CONCERNED IT COULD HURT GETTING THINGS DONE FOR THE FOLKS YOU REPRESENT?

GALLEGO: CERTAINLY NOT, WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE OVER THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS IS PROTECT THIS COUNTRY AND MY DISTRICT FROM DONALD TRUMP. HE IS A SEVERE THREAT TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF MODERN DEMOCRACY. AND ANYONE WHO IS NOT WILLING TO ANSWER ME ON THAT, DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN, IS GOING TO ANSWER TO HISTORY.

TED SIMONS: I WANT TO GET TO TRUMP IN A SECOND. CRITICS ARE TALKING ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SAYING IT IS HARD TO KNOW RIGHT NOW AND DURING THE CAMPAIGN IT WAS HARD TO KNOW WHAT DEMOCRATS REALLY STOOD FOR. DO THEY HAVE A POINT?

GALLEGO: NO, THEY DON'T HAVE A POINT. THAT IS A MEDIA CREATION. WE HAVE ALWAYS STOOD FOR THE WORKING CLASS. WE ARE THE ONES THAT HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT BRINGING BACK THE DAYS OF FREE AND REDUCED TUITION, RAISING MINIMUM WAGE, RAISING THE STANDARDS. WHAT WE HAVEN'T DONE IS EXECUTED ON IT. THAT IS MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT. WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT BUT WE NEED TO EXECUTE AND MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE, BECAUSE THEY SEE US WORKING THESE POLICIES AND CREATING THEM. WE CANNOT JUST TALK ABOUT IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THE WAY WE WILL PROVE THIS NOW IS BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY THAT PAUL RYAN IS NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO HELP HIMSELF. HE HAS BEEN HOPING AND PRAYING HE CAN GET RID OF MEDICARE AND TAKE GRANNY OFF MEDICARE AND START HIS UTOPIAN, AYN RAND WORLD VIEW. I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS GOING TO SEE WHY DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO BE EXISTING BECAUSE WE WILL PROTECT SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE AND STOP FROM COLLAPSING OUR HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY ALL TOGETHER. THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ACA.

TED SIMONS: IS IT POSSIBLE THAT PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT DEMOCRATS TRULY STAND FOR? THEY DO KNOW THEY JUST DON'T AGREE WITH IT.

GALLEGO: NO, THEY ARE WRONG. THE POLLING SHOWS THEY DO AGREE WITH THE FACT WE NEED HIGHER LIVING WAGE. THEY AGREE WITH THE CORE TERMS WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH CARE. THEY BELIEVE MAIN STREET SHOULD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN WALL STREET BUT WHAT THEY DON'T IS BELIEVE WE HAVE PROVEN THAT IF WE ARE TRULY THE PARTY BRINGING IN WALL STREET WE SHOULD ACTUALLY BE REIGNING IN WALL STREET AND NOT DOING THE HALF MEASURES DO. AT THE END OF THE DAY, UNTIL WE START PROVING OUR ACTIONS MATCH OUR IDEAS WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET THE VOTES AND INSPIRE PEOPLE.

TED SIMONS: ROBERT RICE SAID THERE IS A QUOTE DARK CLOUD OF ILLEGITIMACY HANGING OVER THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY. DO YOU AGREE?

GALLEGO: ABSOLUTELY. HE HAS LOST BY THE LARGEST MARGIN IN TERMS OF THE THE POPLAR VIEW HIS QUOTE UNQUOTE ELECTORAL LANDSLIDE IS NOT SUCH. 47-53 ELECTIONS AND NOT EVEN THAT FROM SOME SORTS. HE LIED HIS WAY INTO THIS TELLING EVERYONE WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR. CLEARLY THERE WAS FOREIGN GOVERNMENT INVOLVED IN THE ELECTION AND IT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED AND CHECKED OUT TO SEE WHO ON THIS CAMPAIGN WAS ARRANGING FOR THIS INVOLVEMENT. HE ACTUALLY ASKED ON PUBLIC TV FOR THE RUSSIANS TO HACK SECRETARY CLINTON'S E-MAIL SYSTEM. SO TO SAY THAT THIS MANY IS NOT LEGITAMITE, I THINK IS CORRECT. HE IS AN IILLEGITMATE PRESIDENT. HE HAS NO MANDATE AND I FEEL NOTHING AT ALL IN TERMS.

TED SIMONS: SHOULD ELECTORAL COLLEGE MEMBERS VOTE AGAINST THE WISHES OF THEIR STATE?

GALLEGO: FOR MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE IS SET-UP FOR THIS SITUATION WHERE THERE IS A RADICAL SITUATION PARTICULARLY FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS INVOLVED IN THE ELECTIONS. PARTICULARLY BACK IN THE DAY WHEN THEY WERE WORRIED ABOUT THE BRITS. IF THERE IS PROOF, AND SOLID PROOF, HAS TO BE SOLID PROOF, THERE WAS DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN ANDSOMEBODY IN THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, I THINK THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE MEMBERS DO HAVE A RIGHT TO MAKE THAT DECISION AND SHOULD USE THAT DECISION IF WE KNOW THERE WAS FOREIGN SUBVERSE INTO THE ELECTION AND THERE WAS DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND THE RUSSIANS.

TED SIMONS: IF THEY TAKE THAT OPTION IT THROWS IT INTO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE AND YOU COULD HAVE A PAUL RYAN OR A PENCE OR ANYBODY RUNNING OR CAMPAIGNING OR AT LEAST POSITIONS THEMSELVES FOR THIS. ANYONE BUT TRUMP AS FAR AS YOU CONCERNED?

GALLEGO: NO, NO, ANYONE BUT A PUTIN PUPPET IS WHAT I AM CONCERNED ABOUT. THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT REPUBLICAN ISSUE. THIS IS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE. WE HAVE A PERSON WHO IS BARELY A LEADER WHO IS TRYING TO OVERTURN MORE THAN 70 YEARS OF OUR POLICIES IN EUROPE, IN WESTERN EUROPE IN TERMS OF NATO ALLIANCES. YOU HAVE A SECRETARY STATE WHO RECEIVED A FRIENDS OF RUSSIA AWARD WHO WANTS TO LIFT SANCTIONS ON A COUNTRY WHO WAGES WAR WITH ITS NEIGHBORS. FOR US TO SAY THAT IS NOT AN ISSUE IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
TED SIMONS: WE HAVE A MINUTE LEFT, I DON'T WANT TO IGNORE YOUR DISTRICT. MOST PRESSING NEED FOR THE FOLKS YOU REPRESENT IN YOUR DISTRICT?

GALLEGO: MOST PRESSING NEED FOR MY FOLKS IS CONTINUING EXPANSION IN TERMS OF TRANSPORTATION. THERE ARE A LOT OF AREAS IN MY DISTRICT THAT DON'T HAVE THE TRANSPORTATION THEY NEED TO GO TO WORK, SCHOOL AND HOSPITALS THEY CAN'T AFFORD CARS. SO CONTINUING WITH THE EXPANSION OF LIGHT RAIL AND BUS SYSTEMS IS IMPORTANT TO GET THEM THE HELP THEY NEED.

TED SIMONS: CONGRESSMAN, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. APPRECIATE IT.

Ruben Gallego, Congressman

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024
airs April 16

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates as part of ‘AZ Votes 2024’

The Capital building with text reading: Circle on Circle: Robert Lowell's D.C.
May 2

An evening with ‘Poetry in America’

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 12

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

Poetry in America image with photos of four poets and the name of the show
airs April 18

Mushrooms, Weakness and Doubt 

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: