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Kasim Reed on the Need for Bipartisan Politics

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT
Texas Standard Host David Brown, left, with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

The United States continues to lead the world as the center of the global economy and the sole international superpower, according to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Those who disagree with that statement are simply uninformed, he says.

“I think those people are flat out wrong and that they don’t know what they’re talking about,” he says.

Reed says for the U.S. to maintain its standing in the world, Democrats and Republicans need to consistently strive to work together for America’s betterment. He sat down with Texas Standard host David Brown during The Texas Tribune Festival to discuss the political center, the value of bipartisan politics, and his own political future.

Interview Highlights

On finding middle ground:

“What I find is, no matter how hard folks are on the other side, there is really about 20-to-30 percent of ... things that you still agree on. So the question between Democrats and Republicans has to be in that space where we agree, we should work together in a vigorous fashion.”

What Texas can improve:

“I do believe Texas can do a better job of caring for its people, ensuring that the jobs that they have produce a higher quality of life and a standard of living. The number of people in the state of Texas who don’t have health insurance, I think that that’s an area where the state could improve significantly.”

Reed’s political future:

“I finish up being mayor in ’18, and I’m a big believer in finishing things. I will probably take time after ’18, go to the private sector for two to four years. I will be 48-years-old, and then I’ve got one more run for major office in me. I’d either run for the United States Senate or Governor of Georgia at some point.”

David entered radio journalism thanks to a love of storytelling, an obsession with news, and a desire to keep his hair long and play in rock bands. An inveterate political junkie with a passion for pop culture and the romance of radio, David has reported from bases in Washington, London, Los Angeles, and Boston for Monitor Radio and for NPR, and has anchored in-depth public radio documentaries from India, Brazil, and points across the United States and Europe. He is, perhaps, known most widely for his work as host of public radio's Marketplace. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to Texas full-time in 2005, Brown joined the staff of KUT, launching the award-winning cultural journalism unit "Texas Music Matters."
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