Partial Transcript: And we want to start off, if we may, by asking you to give a little bit about yourself.
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly talks about his life and family in Indiana. He also talks about his education, military career, and post-military career.
Keywords: Air Force; Anderson, Indiana; Arvin Industires; IBM; Indiana University; Korean War; ocs; sales
Partial Transcript: Well, going from college, from people to politics -- because politics is people -- how did you get involved with politics to begin with?
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly shares how he was became involved with politics in Georgia. He mentions working on Barry Goldwater's campaign and all of the other events that lead up to his decision to run for the Senate in 1980.
Keywords: Barry Goldwater; Bo Callaway; Jimmy Carter; Republican party; Republicanism; political parties; state chairman
Partial Transcript: So you went to Washington in a class that became a majority for the first time in -- I believe -- nearly 20 years.
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly talks about some of his committee assignments in the Senate, and he mentions some of the policies that he was most interested in such as tax, trade policies, and line-item veto. Mattingly later discusses the impact of 'Star Wars' (Space Defense Initiative) and the impact it had on the US' international relations.
Keywords: Berlin Wall; NATO; President Reagan; Ronald Reagan; appropriations committee; committees; line-item veto; media; space defense initiative; star wars; trade policies
Partial Transcript: Well, let’s talk for a minute about your service after the Senate.
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly talks about his time working for NATO and the national defense issues surrounding the Cold War and the War on Terror. Then Mattingly discusses his opinions on how to combat terrorism and illegal immigration.
Keywords: Belgium; Brussels; Defense Department; Islam; NATO; area defense; armaments; diversity; illegal immigration; immigration; terrorism; war on terrorism
Partial Transcript: What were your reactions to the latest elections?
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly gives some of his opinions on current events such as the Democratic majority in Congress, Middle Eastern Affairs, and the war in Iraq.
Keywords: Afghanistan; Iran; Iraq; Middle East; budget; conflict; congress; elections; legislature; spending; war
Partial Transcript: I don't mean to put you on the spot, but...
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly talks about what he would do if he hypothetically became the President. He discusses the issues with nuclear arms limitations and arms distribution.
Keywords: Afghanistan; Germany; Iran; Libya; Pakistan; President Obama; Russia; Seychelles; Somalia; arms; arms dealers; hypothetical; negotiations; nuclear nonproliferation treaty; port; reactors; weapons
Partial Transcript: Tells us about the Seychelles
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly gives a brief geography and history lesson about they Seychelles. He also talks about his involvement with drafting a constitution.
Keywords: British; Catholic; Catholicism; Cubans; Marxist; Pope; Seychelles; archipelago; colony; constitution; coup d'etat; elections; equator; french; property rights; rule of law; soviets; voting
Partial Transcript: So then, for all practical purposes ended your political career except for the fact that you run the Ports Authority.
Segment Synopsis: Mattingly talks about the circumstance on how he obtained the position at the Ports Authority for Georgia. Mattingly closes with some final reflections on his life and his political career.
Keywords: Brunswick; Georgia Ports Authority; Indiana; Jekyll Island; Kennesaw State University; Mercedes; Ports Authority; Savannah; Sonny Perdue; St Simons Island; Strom Thurmond; fundraising; political finance; ports; shipping
MALE SPEAKER: Let me welcome you to this session of the series of Reflectionson Georgia Politics. We've had some wonderful sessions so far and continue to provide these for you, and we certainly have one in store today. I'm hopeful that there may be some other people who are out there, circling around looking for parking. That was certainly true when I came in, that there was not that much parking available. But we are glad to have you today. Also, keep in mind the schedule. The next program will be one week from today here at the same place. The Georgia political figure who will be under discussion at that time will be Griffin Bell. We certainly look forward to that. Today we have former 00:01:00Senator Mack Mattingly with us. Our gracious host, Bob Short, will lead us into a discussion here. We're delighted to have Bob always. He does a tremendous job for us. Senator Mattingly, we're so happy to have you as well.
MACK MATTINGLY: Thanks.
MALE SPEAKER: Turning it over to you, Bob.
BOB SHORT: Thank you very much. Thank you, Senator, for being with us today.This is a series of Reflections on Georgia Politics, so we want you to think and reflect with us during that period when you were coming up from Newton County in the Republican Party, from being a -- as far as I'm concerned -- the kingpin of Republicans in Georgia. And we want to start off, if we may, by asking you to give a little bit about yourself. Tell us about Anderson, Indiana. 00:02:00
MATTINGLY: Well, that starts out my politics, I guess. I forget the guy thatcalled me a carpet-bagger the first time.
MATTINGLY: But as far as reflections, my life in started in 1931 when I wasborn in Anderson, Indiana. And my fortune started right then because of my parents. They were in the Depression back then, so they had come through -- knew World War I. And I recall my father never went further than the 8th grade. And before I was born, he worked at a plant making rubber tires, and he got his arm burned. And so, later he went to work as an assistant salesman in a 00:03:00furniture retail store. And back then -- it was a difficult time back then. And he rose to -- he became a salesman. And I remember when I was aware of -- I remember, he became assistant manager, then he became manager of the store. Well, later on in his life, he owned the corporation. So, that shows you what you can do in America. And my mother came from hearty stock. Her mother was a Methodist minister and -- both her mother and father. And so, that's the base I grew up in. Now, all due respect to Indiana, I very seldom ever go back there. I really didn't like it.
MATTINGLY: Because it was cold -- very cold! The reason why no one could isbecause it's cold. And the reason why there's not that many people here today is because it's cold.
MATINGLY: But basically my time in life was January 7, 1931 when I was born.00:04:00And I was fortunate, as I said, having loving parents. And I had one brother. All my family is now deceased. In fact, three of them died during my run and also during my tenure in the United States Senate. So, it's been a -- as far as my looking back, you know, I guess my big break came by just having good love by my parents and everybody -- my relatives and the friends I had. And I grew up and graduated from high school there. Went on to Indiana University. The Korean War came along, and I enlisted at that time during the Korean War. Served two-and-a-half years during the Korean War. And I thought I would get out early out of the military, but they didn't give you an early out, so I had to stay the full four years. I went in to the Air Force to become a pilot. And after I got in, they said, "Well, your eyes are not exactly correct." So, they said, "We'll send you to OCS to become an officer." And I said, "No, I'll 00:05:00just stay as an enlisted man." So, when I was discharged in 1955, I was a staff Sergeant. But I enjoyed my lifetime in the -- four years was a lifetime in the military. But it probably helped me grow, like it does most people, I think men or women in the military. And then I came back and finished college at Indiana University. I'll never forget going back and the dean talking to me. He said, "You know, I don't believe your grades were good enough to get you through." I said, "Listen. Just cool it. You know, I'll get through." So, in two years time, I graduated with a marketing degree in business. And at that time I got a job. I got married right away, and I was about five years older than my wife. She was a Phi Beta Kappa. So, always marry above you, which always helps you! 00:06:00
MATTINGLY: Which is what I did! And I worked for Arvin Industries for twoyears. And I tried to get them to put me in sales, and, of course, they said, "You don't have the ability for sales." So, I got a job with IBM in sales, and IBM thought I was smart enough to be in sales. I spent 20-and-a-half years with IBM. In fact, the way I got my job with IBM -- during my tenure I was stationed in several bases, you know, from Saudi Arabia to Georgia, very different places. But in Savannah I was stationed at Hunter Air Force base. It was a SAC base back then. And I decided that's where I wanted to retire. A -- it was warm. I do recall in Indiana taking final exams at five below zero, which I didn't like. So, I came back after I graduated and was with Arvin Industries. I came down to Savannah, walked in the street -- this is true -- on a Saturday into an IBM office and asked them for a job. And the office manager was in there. He said, 00:07:00"If you'll just wait two or three hours," he said. "I want you to meet somebody." So, I went back and I met the sales manager -- the man who ran the place -- and they hired me. So, I spent 20-and-a-half years, probably the greatest time of my life, with the IBM Corporation in Georgia. Back then Georgia only had two branch offices, and one was in Savannah and one was in Atlanta. And they had sub-offices, and I had one in Brunswick, Georgia, and -- which is right there by St. Simons. That was a great career with IBM. I loved selling. I guess that came from my father. But whatever it was, it was a good way to make money back then. And IBM then sent me to -- during that time sent me to New York to teach staple training. I went up there for three weeks and never did -- I wasn't where I wanted to be. So, I came back and got my own 00:08:00territory back and did that. So -- and that's basically what my background is -- I guess I'm a little bit gregarious. I like meeting people. I've always done that. In fact, I think that's sort of the background of -- where my background -- how I developed with my parents, my dad's business, and how I got my first job -- basically my first real good job. That's not excluding the Senate or other things. It was a good job, but probably not as permanent as IBM. It's been a great and wonderful time. And I think that one of the best things I can recall -- hadn't really thought about this interview that much or talking that much. People always say, "What is the best thing to happen to you in your life?" What they want to say is -- "What did the Senate teach you about 00:09:00life?" I guess it's just to love people. You have meetings with many great people. And so, many times we hear in politics or any other thing about how bad this person or how bad that person is, or the people in this county are like this or like that. I can tell you, I've traveled the world over, in the United States and Georgia, and I can tell you most people are great people and they have a lot of compassion in their heart. They do. You know, it's really -- in today's world there's so much media that you think that everybody's bad or everything is bad. It's not that way. Basically, people in the United States and the world round are good people. And so with that, I will just leave that and . . .
SHORT: Okay. Well, going from college, from people to politics -- becausepolitics is people -- how did you get involved with politics to begin with? 00:10:00
MATTINGLY: Well, first, I mean, I couldn't have picked a better state to cometo that had almost a totalitarian type of government here in Georgia back then, because they had no political parties. They just had one political party when I came there in 1951. I think '52 or sometime with Marvin Griffith running all this stuff. But they only had one political party. And when I came with IBM in 1959 and lived on St. Simon's Island and operated out of that territory down there, I got more concerned about the politics. And then in '64 -- '63, really, when Barry Goldwater decided to run for President of the United States. And I looked at his principles, what he believed in -- four basic principles of lower taxes, individual responsibility, a limited government, and a strong national defense. I said, "You know, that's -- I can subscribe to that." And so, I said 00:11:00I would get involved with the Goldwater campaign and I became the Goldwater campaign Chairman in what they call the 8th Congressional District in '64. I was elected a Republican delegate to the National Convention in '64 in San Francisco, the Cow Palace. And I had gone to them, the 100% Club. You make these clubs with IBM. So that year, '64, December, I was in New York at the Convention. Then I flew to San Francisco to be an alternate delegate for Goldwater. And then in the Georgia delegation, one of the people dropped out, and I got to go for Goldwater as an alternate delegate. So my philosophy and ideology, which were basically surrounded by, you know, my time being an entrepreneur and all that stuff in this world -- and plus, you know, back then 00:12:00in the Johnson years and all these years that were going on, where Lyndon Johnson and Kennedy all -- there were always these delegates, but there really weren't two voices in Georgia. So, that's where I really struck out to try to help assist people in the establishment of a two-party system in Georgia. And in 1964, Goldwater only carried 5 states in the United States, and Georgia happened to be one of them. And that's when Beau Callaway got elected as a Congressman in Georgia in 1964 -- the Third Congressional District in that area over there by Pine Mountain in Columbus, Georgia. So, he was really the first -- although there were a lot of, you know, things that happened before that in the Republican Party, but nothing of any stature until he won that race. Then in 00:13:001966, he ran for Governor, and then there were eight people who ran for Congress. We needed some bodies to run as Republicans back then for Congress. I happened to be one of the bodies in '66. And, obviously, I didn't get elected. We only elected two out of the eight. And the reason why the two got elected and Callaway didn't get elected was when Lester Maddox became the nominee. Everybody thought Ellis Arnall would be the nominee, and anybody that lived out in any poor or rural area, like we did down in old 8th District, would probably be elected. But it turned out just the opposite. Lester became the nominee, even though he had more of a city beat than Callaway and he won. And we elected two Congressmen, they were both from Atlanta, which is a little bit more liberal area than the rest of the state. So anyhow, that was sort of the growth of the party that I was involved in. I was -- I became -- the District 00:14:00Chairman for 8th Congressional District of the Republican Party, and just suddenly got involved in the state party. And it grew, and I became state Chairman in the mid '70s. But just prior to that, I had created what we called a Long Range Bank Committee for the conservatives. And I got people like Newt Gingrich, Paul Coverdell, myself, Bob Irvin, John Linder, Bill Anglesey -- who used to be Callaway's campaign manager -- and three or four other people. And a person that you probably wouldn't know in this room would be a man called Bob Teeter, who ended up being the pollster for Bush I and was involved in politics. He was out of Michigan. So anyhow, we would go around the state making all 00:15:00these speeches, but we sort of set up the base of how we thought the Republican Party should be in the principles that they should run on, what people want in their candidates, what they should believe in. And that's how we began to do the trench work for the Republican Party in the state of Georgia. And it became -- I had no idea. None of us did, Coverdell, Gingrich, or myself, all three of us from out of state. Newt being from Pennsylvania, Coverdell was from Iowa and I was from Indiana, we had no conception that we would ever come up for public office. We were just trying to get people to come up in the state of Georgia and along that conservative philosophy. And, you know, it kept generating and it gelled. We thought in '76, when I was State Chairman -- I guess probably it was my fault -- not my fault. I was too critical. I got Jimmy Carter elected 00:16:00and I was Republican Chairman. But basically, he got elected, and, you know, we just worked harder and harder. And that's when Ford got involved back then. And then when -- in 1980, when Reagan was running. Of course, prior to that, in 1979, is when I decided I was going to run for the United States Senate.
SHORT: Well, let's talk about 1980. Some people say that was a stunning upset.
MATTINGLY: Well, I guess you have to go back to -- I guess anybody who getselected thinks it's probably a stunning upset. And those who get defeated think it's a stunning upset. But the -- my venture into it started in 1979. I mean, I decided 18 months in advance. I planned it out to where I had to make -- I had two daughters and a wife and house payments. So, I worked like a dog with 00:17:00IBM to save up the money that I knew I could have for my family to live for 18 months. And I did that. I set that money aside. Because I knew if I lost, I could always come back. I never had a problem getting a job or finding any work. But that campaign took 18 months. And when it started out, I think there were probably three on the Republican side and, I think, five or six -- if I'm not mistaken -- on the Democrat side. I mean, from Young Harris -- Zell Miller was running on the Democratic side, and Herman Talmadge, Dawson Mathis, and several other people. But anyhow, basically it was a -- they thought they 00:18:00would defeat Talmadge in the primaries -- I mean, everybody did -- and then it would be clear sailing against a Republican, which turned out not to be the case. But they felt like that if they could ever get through that primary, they'd be home free. What they didn't realize is -- I don't know how many people in here -- raise your hands -- are not from Georgia?
MALE AUDIENCE: Not from Georgia?
MATTINGLY: Not from Georgia. Okay. What they didn't understand back then werewhat we call "demographics." They did not understand that the demographics of Georgia had changed -- your IBMers from Indiana, you know, everybody from all different places -- it had changed. And they thought it was still the same old power base of the sheriffs and things like that in the state of Georgia and the old Democratic base. And it just wasn't. So, they ran the -- and, you know, 00:19:00Talmadge had problems. In fact, when I announced, we were going to announce in about three months, but he had kind of gotten into some problems and we'd forgone the announcement for about three months. And then we finally announced. It didn't bother a lot of Democrats. They weren't running for him. They were just trying to just get in line for something like that. Anyhow, they thought they could beat him in their primary. And it ended up in a runoff on the Democrat's side. And then that's when Talmadge beat Miller in that primary. And my whole base of campaigning was about lowering the tax rates. We supported the Kemp-Roth tax cuts. I kept beating it to death, you know, and all these things. A strong national defense -- trying to rebuild the national defense of this country, because Carter had not really done a good job in structuring the country. But all those basic principles that -- of conservatism and Goldwater. 00:20:00And I remember, after the primary was over, they said -- well, the Atlanta Constitution said, "Well, you know, the contest was basically over." Well, you know, we kept on campaigning, and it was harder for us to raise money. Of course, we were the challengers in Georgia. And we kept raising money and it worked. And we didn't have to spend as much as he did. And we got into one debate with him in Savannah with the Realtor's Association of Georgia, and he went and I won. And so, he'd never debate again, which is fine. And I can say this, after I defeated Talmadge, I never said a bad word about him. In fact, we became friends, you know, through the years after that. And when he divorced 00:21:00his wife and his new wife -- I saw her at his funeral, and she says, "Herman always says you did the best favor for him he ever had." He said, "If you hadn't have beat him, he would have never met me." Which I thought it was real . . . But anyhow, in '80 -- as Bob was saying -- the election, we knew about a week after that we had gotten ahead in the polls about 10 days out. And then when the overnights came -- of course, you know, some of the rural areas always come in, and we knew what the percentages were -- we were going to be down in those areas. And then we also knew where our ducks lived that were going to vote for us. And it came out and we won by probably about 30 or so odd thousand votes. I would like to say that I was still not positive about running for the Senate in a regular election. But I could have won by 35,000, lost by 22,000, 00:22:00won by 10,000, anything would be good. But anyway, I think it was probably more of a shock to the Atlanta Constitution than it was to the general population of Georgia back then. But it was a -- you know, then you had to go to the Senate to work after that.
SHORT: One of the various things I learned was that President Carter defeatedPresident Reagan by a good margin, and yet you were running for Congress.
MATTINGLY: So, that brings up a good story. In fact, Carter got 58 percent ofthe vote, Reagan got 42 percent, and John Anderson got one percent in the 1980 race. And I'll never forget, before Reagan got sworn and I got sworn in, we were at a function up in Washington DC. And I came through the line. I hadn't 00:23:00known anything yet. He said, "Mack." And I said, "Yes?" He said, "You know, your coattails weren't long enough to drag me across the finish line in Georgia."
MATTINGLY: But that's -- he always had some humor about stuff like that. Butit's true, I would say. It showed you how people -- Independents and Democrats and the Republicans -- would go to the camp of their choice. And it wasn't so much the party label as it was what you said or believed in or what they didn't like about somebody else. And, you know, history proves the timing or what plays out. People vote different ways. Some people vote for people and some people vote against people, you know, or they just stay home. But it was a -- I think quite a victory not only Georgia -- but it was a big victory in Georgia. 00:24:00But across the United States they elected 16 Republicans that year in the United States Senate to take the majority.
SHORT: So you went to Washington in a class that became a majority for thefirst time in -- I believe -- nearly 20 years.
MATTINGLY: Correct. For longer!
SHORT: And you got some great committee assignments.
MATTINGLY: Yeah, I was very fortunate. I got on the Appropriations Committee,and people stay there for years and years and never get on the Appropriations Committee. I'll never forget, when Richard Russell was on the Armed Services Committee, and when he had the opportunity to move to the Appropriations Committee, he went and got on the Appropriation Committee, because that's basically where a lot of the power is. The authorizing committees are as well, 00:25:00like the Armed Services Committee -- but if you can be on Defense or Authorization, that's not where they fund the programs. And the same thing with Agriculture. You can get on the Agriculture Committee, like Saxby Chambliss is -- he's been Chairman now. He's ranking. But they don't fund the programs. The money that goes to the programs comes through the Appropriations Committee. And that's -- if we look in current day, this is one big objection that I have to current-day Republicans in Congress and the President -- has been their lack of economic control. So the budget, they let the budget get out of control and, you know, spending get out of control. But anyhow, I was fortunate to get good committee assignments. But here you are in a group of people. There are only 100 of you. And I can tell you, if there are 100 of you -- I always figured you could convince 50 people, which is a whole lot better than having to convince 00:26:00217 in the House of Representatives. So to me it was easier to work with, and I was able to work with both sides. I've never had a problem -- even today -- when I go to Washington DC. I mean, I have no animosity with people across the other side of the aisle. You have to understand that people have different ways they think and different things they believe in. But, you know, you can still go to people and try to convince them to support you on particular issues, whether it be agriculture, you know, poultry or whatever it may be. So, I was -- to me -- I enjoyed the standpoint, because of me being a former salesman, it was sort of like selling the people on these issues.
SHORT: I noticed in looking back over your career that you paid most attentionto trade and tax policies.
MATTINGLY: Mm-hm. Yes, I was a -- back then, of course, in 1980 was the00:27:00Kemp-Roth tax cuts, which we were trying to get across the board to cut margin rates back 33 percent. And we succeeded in that first year by bringing back down the top rates to 28 percent. In fact, if you look now, the top rates are almost -- it's 39.6 percent. So, it's increased up almost 50 percent in that length of time. But, yeah, economic policies, I mean -- of course, back then in '80 and into '81, if you look back, the problems we had were something like -- interest rates were 15 percent, the inflation rate was about 20 percent, the unemployment rate was about the same. So, the economy of the country was in bad shape. So, the way to try to change that around back then was to lower the tax rates, give the entrepreneurs a chance, give investors a chance to create jobs. 00:28:00And that's what happened. But in the trade issues, it was the same thing. The same thing today as it was back then. People always think there are unfair barriers out there, so you try to tear barriers down to make it more equitable to be able to trade. If we look now at today's world, I mean, it's turned a lot more globally now than what it was 25 years ago. It was almost 27 years ago. So, you know, people object a lot of times and say, "Well, you know, all these clothes came in from China or somewhere else!" Well, they're forgetting where the cotton came from; it came from Georgia. We ship the cotton to them and they make stuff out of it, and then they send them back to us. So we get paid different ways than that. But I was also involved in defense issues. I ended being Chairman of Military Construction on seven Appropriation Committees. So, 00:29:00defense has been a big thing. We had the Cold War coming on and all that.
SHORT: Let's talk a minute about the Cold War. In 19 -- I guess -- '63, waswhen President Reagan gave the Star Wars speech, which he said . . .
MALE AUDIENCE: '83.
SHORT: '83, right. '83. See, I keep going back to the 60s.
SHORT: But anyway --
MATTINGLY: We can go back farther than that!
SHORT: He made his famous Star Wars speech, in which he just bluntly told theRussians -- that we will come at you. And he gets a lot of credit for ending the Cold War. First of all, for bringing down the Berlin Wall, right?
MATTINGLY: I think the first thing when you talk about Star Wars is -- I alwayslike to correct history if I can. Of course, I'm not that good a historian -- but it was called SDI -- Space Defense Initiative. And the media dubbed it Star Wars, because they didn't like it. Mainly what it was designed for was to send 00:30:00either a missile or a laser or some type of object to intercept an incoming missile, and -- or a missile to missile. And basically -- I mean, this has been done -- it used to be done -- some agency called DARPA -- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. And the main aim, when you start doing stuff like that, you develop other things from it. You know, a lot of the technology that we use today probably came from that space SDI program. But that was one more pillar in the -- what Reagan used to go to the Soviets and to talk to them in the different places and the different leaders they had. And at the same time, they were deploying missiles in Europe to get the attention of the Soviet Union. 00:31:00You know, Carter started it, but Reagan really accelerated the program. But we had them all over Europe. In fact, when I was stationed at -- when I was in NATO, we had -- they were numberless. I mean, we had numbers in the Bosporus Strait in Turkey and all sorts of places. But all those things helped tear down the Soviet Union and really Communism. And when you look at it, you see how many people were -- Reagan was a part of it, Thatcher was part of it, the Pope was part of it. A major part of this thing were the churches in Eastern Europe, because that's where the people went to collect and then go out and protest. But they were a big focal point. I mean, all these things that happened under Reagan were massive. But when you get down to the street level, the people went 00:32:00to the churches, and that's where they got the information -- a lot of the information. And they'd go out to these protests, you know, subject to being killed. You know, the same thing with the Berlin Wall! So, there were so many things involved, and when I look back on history -- when people say, well, who are the -- my parents were fantastic. But when I look back on history at the three most important people who changed things on this globe, they were Reagan, they were Maggie Thatcher and the Pope. And they made things happen. They were responsible, I think, the three them, and plus, you know, a lot of other people -- of making the Wall come down and the Soviet Union change. So things happened. 00:33:00People make things happen. Reagan had a way about him as a leader that few leaders do. I mean, I think Roosevelt probably had it, Kennedy probably had it, and Reagan had it. But Reagan was able to articulate his positions clearly to people and give us a smile. You never saw him mad, ever. You never saw him mad when he said, "Take down this wall." He was a -- had a different personality. But anyhow, that's -- when you look back -- you know, and Bush was involved in it also -- Bush I. So when we look back over history -- World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, all these different conflicts -- I mean, what has 00:34:00lasted in our memory as long as the Cold War? It was almost 50 years. And, you know, I recall after I was defeated in 1986 for the Senate, and Reagan sent me to NATO as Assistant Secretary General for Defense. It was the highest ranking U.S. person in NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, because by the treaty, you couldn't be Secret General. But I recall after the wall came down, I remember Helmut Kohl coming to NATO headquarters and he sat in the room, and he looked around. And he said, "I never thought I would live long enough to see the wall come down." It was amazing. He said -- he said -- it was all in German, translating. He said, "You'd have to be 70 -- if you were from East Germany, you'd have to be 72 years old to remember the last time you voted in a 00:35:00free election." So these are memorable things that to me in my lifetime, in my spanning of politics or approaches to life that are unbelievable.
SHORT: And you were there.
MATTINGLY: Yeah. We were there. And when I listen to the news media todaytalking about why Bush didn't know what his intelligence was on Iraq and other sorts of -- I look back, we had more intelligence in NATO and the United States and all these places. And I would go to these sealed rooms and get all this stuff. They had no earthly idea of the internal problems that the Soviet Union had. And they had no earthly idea that the people in Eastern Europe were going to rise up like they did. It's amazing how sometimes you think that here we 00:36:00are, we've got all these people on the ground, we've got all this intelligence. The Soviets had 5,000 tanks lined up along the Warsaw Pact countries over there, and nobody really saw that. And we had on staff over there, I think what they called Sovietologists, meaning they were the experts on the Soviets. So sometimes when we think about "Why don't we know this sort this of stuff?" Well, sometimes they just don't know. It's amazing.
SHORT: You were a pioneer in line-item veto.
MATTINGLY: Yeah, I sure was. There were two things I'd set out to do when I --well, you know, more than two, but two things I wanted to do immediately when I got elected. One was put in limitation of terms -- term limits, two terms for 00:37:00the Senate and 12 years in the House of Representatives. I only got one co-sponsor, me and one other guy.
MATTINGLY: But the other thing was the line-item veto. And, you know, theywere never given to the President of United States yet. But instead of doing it by constitutional amendment, I came up with the idea -- I really did. They say, "Did you ever come up with any ideas in your life?" Not many. But they'd always try to do constitutional amendments, and that's almost a mission impossible to do that. Because you've got to get it passed by -- into Congress, and you've got to get it passed by, you know, the states. So I said, "We'll do it by statute" -- meaning by law. We tried to get a statute that would be sunset in two years. I came up with the idea. Then I went to see Reagan about it and Bush, his Vice President. In the Oval Office we sat there and discussed it. And he says, "I'll support you." And I had no idea he was going to do 00:38:00this, but in the State of the Union message -- I forget which year it was -- he came out in the State of the Union and said, "And I want you all to support Senator Mack Mattingly in the line-item veto." I almost passed out!
MATTINGLY: I was almost in shock that he did that. But it was interesting.And it actually became the forerunner for the one that did pass that got struck down by the Supreme Court, because they didn't do it exactly the way I had done on the statute. But life goes on.
SHORT: That's right. Well, let's talk for a minute about your service afterthe Senate. You went to NATO.
MATTINGLY: Well, when I got out of the Senate in '87, I went to NATO about twoor three months later. Anybody ever been to Belgium? 00:39:00
MALE AUDIENCE: Great food.
MATTINGLY: They have great food, but it rains all the time. The color of thesky is gray.
MALE AUDIENCE: Great beer.
MATTINGLY: Great beer, yes. *Laughter* But I guess -- I had 120 people towork for me at NATO Headquarters -- its the international headquarters, not the military section of it. But I had 120 people work for me from 12 different countries. And I had four directors. I had one Frenchman, two Brits and a German in charge of armaments, area defense, and all this sort of stuff. In fact, I created -- I got them to create the first of what we called UV subcommittee, unmanned vehicle, which today you see as UAVs, pilotless aircraft. 00:40:00But you had both underwater, air and sea and land. So we created that when we were over there. And then the other thing we came up with was the -- in fact, I got the -- the Defense Department gave me the Defense Department's highest award they can give for creating the conventional armaments planning system over there. But it was intriguing working with all these different people. The problem is, NATO is not like the Senate. In the Senate at least you get to vote. At NATO, you've got 16 people around the table, and everybody has to agree. If one person disagrees, it doesn't go anywhere. So it's got to be unanimity. And right away you learn that it's going to be slow. But you were dealing with the -- I mean, I had people on the staff in Greece and Turkey, which -- they didn't get along with one another. The French were there. People 00:41:00don't like the French, but, you know, I got along with them fine. Because I did things back channel, meaning he'd go with them and do it in secret, basically, and he'd get things accomplished that way. So mainly -- you know, and I traveled all the NATO countries. We had, you know, discussions on nuclear missile deployment with a lot of the countries in Denmark, Germany, like I said, the Bosporus Strait between Turkey and the Soviet Union. The Soviets could never get a ship or a submarine down that Bosporus Strait because of Turkey. They would totally wipe them out. But it was intriguing in a -- it was a high-tension time back then in the early 80s. It was amazing the transition from '87 to '90. In '87 they were out, you know -- you had the Iranian 00:42:00terrorists, you had the renegade aircraft that killed U.S. Army military people -- and murdered them. I recall when -- if you recall, Simon Brewster, he wrote a book back in the 80s about Khomeini in Iran, and then Khomeini put out and said he wanted to kill him. And in all these places in Europe they have Islamic populations -- Brussels. And the Islamic leader -- about six months after that came out about the killing, the Islamic leader in Brussels made the comment that Khomeini should sort of back off and moderate his statements. The next day they killed him and killed his Chief of Staff. So terrorism's been around for a long time. And you know, you've got good Islamics and you've got bad Islamics, and 00:43:00they've just got a lot of Islamics in Europe -- in France especially. But anyhow, back then it was a -- you'd have to -- whenever my department people who would have to travel, they had to check in on a regular basis. I mean, the Soviets were spying all the time back then. It was amazing. Then, you'd catch spies. We had notions -- we'd catch spies. So anyhow, it was quite a time. I went there with my wife, who was a French teacher. She's since passed away. And she was Phi Beta Kappa. She was in Heaven, because she was there where she could speak French. And I learned to speak French in nouns. I could never use any verbs, but I could speak it in nouns. But it was an interesting and 00:44:00intriguing time from high tension to when the Wall came down.
SHORT: Can NATO play a role in war or terrorism? Or shouldn't it play a role?
MATTINGLY: Well, of course they are there in Afghanistan now. The problem is-- my opinion was -- there is a treaty that created NATO. And after I left, when they began wanting to expand it for other countries -- in fact, Sam Nunn and I were both opposed to it. We were not elected anymore, but we came out and signed a letter along with some other people opposed to it. We wanted it stopped at the Pacific Ocean. It couldn't handle more members in it. It was more workable when there were only 16 other -- or 26. So, it makes it more difficult. But as far as terrorism, yeah, sure. I mean, they can -- you know, 00:45:00what they need to do is put down on paper what they want to do at NATO. One thing they just -- I would say use their intelligence agencies is to fight terrorism within the countries that they currently, you know, have an interest in. But yeah. But they do do the battle in Afghanistan. I don't know how many troops they've got over there. But there needs to be more of that from NATO, because it used to be they were confined to just within the NATO countries themselves as to what they would do.
SHORT: Can we win the war on terror?
MATTINGLY: Yes, you win the war. But to think that the war on terror is goingto be done in our lifetime is not going to happen. I mean, terrorism has been going on for years. And as I told you, when I lived there in Brussels, I remember when they killed -- well, I can't go through all the murders -- it happens now on an accelerated basis now since 9/11. But I think what you have 00:46:00to do is do what they're doing, just trying to get as many people and other countries involved in it intelligence-wide. But you can't make public everything you do about terrorism. Number one, we've got cells here in the United States! A lot of them. The best thing to do with the terrorists is you find them and you kill them. I mean, that sounds harsh, but that's what you have to do. I mean, they're trying to destroy not just the United States, but other people around the world. I probably shouldn't have said that on tape, but that's exactly what you do with terrorism. And you know, it's a cheaper way to fight a war. So, it's not like lining up tanks or aircraft or ships. All you have to have is two or three people who want to place bombs, explosives, or 00:47:00whatever it is. And what terrorism does, it creates fear. Maggie Thatcher -- this is true -- back in the 80s, she would come to the NATO meetings. And terrorism was going on there. And she said back then, she says, "The oxygen for terrorism is the news media." Think about that. The news media creates the oxygen for terrorism. And it does. And that's been over 20 years ago that she said that. And you'd say, you know, to me there's more to it than that, but that is one of the big things that the terrorists survive from.
SHORT: Are you concerned about immigration?
MATTINGLY: You bet. Illegal immigration? SHORT: Yes.00:48:00
MATTINGLY: Well, this is 2007 we're talking now. I recall in 1986 that theywere trying to get an immigration bill passed. And, you know, this was -- to me -- they tried the amnesty thing back then, which I was opposed to. I just think it's a bad way to go. I mean, to me, if you're an immigrant coming into the country, and you're in a line and you have to go through the process of trying to become a citizen, that's the way you do business. And to allow the illegals in to somehow come up and then get in the same position in line, I don't think that's correct at all. And you know, how can they handle 11 million at one time? They probably can't. But you can't make it legal. It's like yesterday I think -- or the day before yesterday, Bank of America came out and said they 00:49:00wanted to allow people to get credit cards without using a Social Security number. Basically what they're appealing to are the -- not the legal immigrants, because they have Social Security numbers, but to the illegals. Because that's not something you can legislate. But it shows how they were trying to take advantage of the thing. I just think the -- if you're talking about trying to check the borders, which is what they need to do -- but you can't get all the Border Patrol people to go up and down all the borders. But you've got to enforce the laws that you have in the country. We have -- I forget what the numbers are now, but I recall back in '86 I think you were allowed to have something like 750,000 or 800,000 immigrants come in a year to get their green cards and then apply for their citizenship. If they want to raise that 00:50:00number, that's one thing. I mean, we're all immigrants from somewhere. But I just think there needs to be an orderly procedure and it needs to be done legally. And I just think a process that -- you know, Bush had one called amnesty. He may not have called it amnesty, but it was pretty close.
SHORT: So a fence won't do it.
MATTINGLY: Well, did the Berlin Wall stop, you know, people from trying to jumpthe wall? No. People will always seek out freedom. You know, it's difficult to do that. They will probably end up building a wall. But I remember in the mid 80s when a bomb went off -- this is true -- in the Senate anteroom out 00:51:00there. And you know, it took about 20 years to figure out who did it. But the next day after that bomb went off, somebody got up and proposed on the floor of the Senate to build a wall around the whole Capitol grounds.
MATTINGLY: This is true! They were serious about it. Until, I think, Allensaid how stupid they all were! But that's, you know, where you get reactive things instead of trying to get some logical thinking to issues. Now, there's been a lot of things going around about this issue. There's just no doubt about it sometimes. I don't whether they're going to build a fence or what they're going to do. They may. But I think the issue more rests on the other side -- of talking to people in Central America, Mexico, and then all those other countries, to try to get them to control their own border, allowing people to come in other than by an illegal basis. 00:52:00
SHORT: What were your reactions to the latest elections?
SHORT: Over in Henry county.
MATTINGLY: Last year?
MATTINGLY: The handwriting was on the wall to me. They say the -- to me, I'vebeen giving speeches the last couple of years going back to saying how the Republican Party needs to get back to our basic principles. Like -- I started that idea in 1964. And I think we threw it away, a little bit in the state. I have two reasons why they got wiped out. My opinion is -- number one, the Iraq War, they've been competing that thing to death. You know, and then Bush himself. I think -- I think Bush is -- he's a good person, but he's not very articulate. And I think that's the thing that people saw that they said, "Well, 00:53:00you know, he wasn't explaining it right." They didn't like his economic issues, what he was doing controlling spending, and they just decided, "We'll give the other side a chance." And it happened. That's what happened in 1980 when we got elected.
SHORT: What do you think the new Democratic majority is going to do?
MATTINGLY: I have no idea. I know that when we went to the Senate in '81, wehad a set thing we were going to do. We were going to cut the taxes. We did. We were going to fund the national defense programs, and we did. We were going to pass fewer laws, and we did. I'll never forget, the Washington Post -- after the first two years I was in the United States Senate -- came out and said what a sorry Congress that was, that they passed the least laws of any Congress. 00:54:00Legislating is not the answer. You know, you don't need more laws. But this -- what they're going to end up doing? I don't know. I think the Democrats have got an onus on them being the majority party. But you can pass things in the House that you could never even do in the Senate anyhow. But what they're going to do -- I think this first 100 hour thing, you know, is fine to do what they want to do. But basically they've got to come to grips with issues of what we in America are concerned about. What are we concerned about? A: the government spends too much money. Are you going to get your hands around that to try to do something about it? On Iraq, you know -- they ran on Iraq. They ran hard left 00:55:00on Iraq, and they haven't said anything yet. They're trying to pass resolutions. But you know, you pass resolutions for Lincoln's Birthday, but that doesn't -- that's not a law. So, a resolution -- they're not laws. So you have to -- so I think they're in a -- I think they're all in a tight situation in respect to that. I think they're making a big mistake if they intend to cut the funding of the war to -- because that would impact the troops in the field, the troops here at home, and it would impact a lot of things. Now, should we pull out? No. I think you have to go with -- first off, if we were all in here today, if we were each of us President of the United States -- they just made us 00:56:00President of the United States -- say, okay, here are the cards I've got. What do I do now? And that's the way we should do it. You can't say, "Well, you shouldn't have gone in the first place." You're there, and we've got troops there. There are other countries that have got troops there. And you only have one President at a time and he's trying to make it work. And we're going to see if this works, if this new injection of 20-some-odd-thousand troops are going to work, if they can make that government over there come to the fore and help. There's a lot of ramifications out there in respect to all of the surrounding countries. And I heard Dick Lugar saying -- I was at the Ford here last month and Dick and I were talking. And he said, well, he wasn't anti the troops going 00:57:00in, but he says, "What we to do is make certain we get the five surrounding countries together to sit down and talk. And you know, I think that's true. I mean, you've got Saudi Arabia, you had Jordan, you know, Iran, Iraq -- I mean you had Iraq, Iran, Syria, and some of those other countries. Just sit down and see what you can work out. So, you have to use a lot of different things. Sometimes diplomacy will work. Sometimes it won't work. But, A -- number one, they're in a war right now. My concern is Iraq, but my big concern is still Afghanistan.
MATTINGLY: I mean, I've always thought that Afghanistan is really the nest forterrorism. You know, but that's history. I mean, you can't go back and put the 00:58:00tube back in the toothpaste. So, we're dealing here -- us, today -- in what's happened today and where do we go. And you know, I think, as you can see from the reluctance, a lot of them are saying, you know, Washington DC -- they're not -- they're afraid to say too much, but I think they would prefer that we come out on the best end of this thing. Not just us, but Iraq and the surrounding countries.
SHORT: Well, I don't want to put you on the spot . . .
MALE SPEAKER: Bob, can I switch tapes real quick?
[tape break at 58:30][NO TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE]