UGA Libraries Logo

Interview with Johnny Isakson, August 29, 2014

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:37 - National security / Budget reform

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You spent your vacation on a series of town hall meetings around the state to hear from your constituents.

Segment Synopsis: Isakson explains his constituents' fears about terrorist threats like ISIS, but he also states that America is safer than before 9/11 thanks to the modernization of homeland security and the Patriot Act. Isakson then stresses the changes that need to happen in the budget process, such as entitlement cuts and the end of continuation budgeting.

Keywords: Medicare; Osama bin Laden; Social Security; al-Qaeda; budget balancing; budget cuts; deficit spending; means testing

00:07:39 - Taxation, healthcare, and immigration

Play segment

Partial Transcript: We often hear talk about rewriting our federal tax code.

Segment Synopsis: Isakson suggests reforming the tax code by closing out tax loopholes and taxing offshore accounts. He then gives his thoughts on the Affordable Care Act's strengths and weaknesses in addressing healthcare issues. Isakson weighs in on the immigration debate, saying that legal immigration should be welcomed, but illegal immigration needs to by reduced by better enforcement on the U.S./Mexico border.

Keywords: Ellis Island; Obamacare; Patty Murray; bipartisanship; corporate tax rate; immigration reform; middle class; naturalization; preexisting conditions; private competition

00:15:52 - Energy independence and foreign policy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I'm sure on your tour you're hearing complaints about the cost of gasoline.

Segment Synopsis: Isakson describes his views on energy, stating that the Unites States should harness its resources to both benefit its citizens and allow leverage in foreign policy. Isakson then says that the Unites States needs to be a strong power that stays true to its allies and its word, citing issues in Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq as evidence of failure in these regards.

Keywords: Bashar al-Assad; Colin Powell.; Crimea; ISISAfghanistan; NATO; Russian invasion of Ukraine

00:21:59 - Common Core / Department of Veteran's Affairs

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Common Core.

Segment Synopsis: Isakson explains how Common Core standards for K-12 education is often misunderstood and made into a bigger issue than it is. Isakson also states some ways he is working to improve the Department of Veteran's Affairs, particularly its medical service.

Keywords: Fort Benning; military bases; public education

00:25:59 - Improving Georgia's transportation

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You played a major role in the funding of our port in Savannah.

Segment Synopsis: Isakson describes how he negotiated with the Office of Management and Budget to give federal funding to expand Savannah's harbor. Isakson then talks about how reforming the funding of the Highway Trust Fund is necessary for the improvement of interstates, including those in Georgia.

Keywords: OMB; Savannah, Georgia; Sylvia Burwell; gas tax

00:30:38 - Future political goals / Higher education in Georgia

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about Johnny Isakson.

Segment Synopsis: Isakson lists what he aims to do in the future of his political career, including running for reelection in 2016 and eliminating ISIS as a threat. He also briefly gives his thoughts on what he views as Georgia's greatest strength -- its higher education system.

Keywords: Peter principle; Quick Start Program; University of Georgia; campaigning; presidency; technical education; terrorism