The 'No Sizzle' Politician: Why Tom Vilsack Fizzled as a Presidential Hopeful

The Secretary of Agriculture on 2016, why immigration reform is critical to the food supply and the changing face of the American farm
5:15 | 04/16/14

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Transcript for The 'No Sizzle' Politician: Why Tom Vilsack Fizzled as a Presidential Hopeful
Hello and welcome to the fine print I'm just felony today were -- by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The former Iowa governor -- one of the longest serving members of president Obama's cabinet. We -- policy. How the broken immigration system impacts the nation's food supply and politics. Whether his longtime friend Hillary Clinton will run in. 26 team. Mr. secretary thank you very much for joining us cuts could be with Jeff on immigration. He said about a year or so ago if we continue to have a broken system we're going to compromise the affordability and availability of food in the country how real -- situation instance we just certainly not -- on what we are people -- or not harvesting that which we do plan. Because we don't have enough -- it's costing jobs it's -- income. And it's really the kind of situation it's totally preventable. On the ground in those fields and those -- and companies this is not necessarily a partisan issue. Why is -- such a partisan issue here I think what we're faced with this a political fear. The fact that -- Folks may believe that embracing immigration reform will somehow -- if the playing field politics to it to Democrats. I don't think that's necessarily the case at all -- started in this process supporting Senator Hillary Clinton at the time to believe she should run for president again. It really isn't about what the rest of us think she ought to do. She has to decide for herself what she does. First and ask if she well looks at going to predict but should you mean she did -- you supporter I have an extraordinarily high opinion of Secretary Clinton I think she's extraordinarily accomplished I think she would be. -- tough and principled leader and I think she has a a breadth of experience. That is unparalleled. Do you believe that it would be good for the Democratic Party to have a robust competitive primary. I think what's good for the democratic part -- it's possible she runs -- I don't know I think what's important for any party -- -- so much whether you have a contested tough primary. It's whether you have a clear articulation of how you believe your party can best help. The families of this country that to me is far more important than whether or not you have a contested primary. Where every sentence every word is dissected have you ruled out -- at the possibility of running. He -- before. You're the first candidate to announced tonight 2006 I ask for your support and your vote. I ask you to join me. First -- to announce -- first one to get out I remember very distinctly. Visiting with the labor leader friend of mine. During all of that in any looked to -- -- you know. You just don't have sizzle. The -- but I don't -- says all I have sizzle. And I think to a certain extent that's what a lot of folks are looking for joint Aaron knowing -- You you probably hear -- -- absent some. Cataclysmic event that is the iconic American. Farm changing is at dawn or what does it look like. It depends. On where you are and what your -- -- I think that there are a number of different types of farm operations in this country today. And I think that the future farming is in the diversity of size. And the type of operation it is we have very small farms now that are organic. High value added opportunities. We -- very very large farms -- are using the latest -- technology to produce incredible. Amounts of food and he creates a real challenge for our culture because as agriculture got more efficient. We actually needed fewer farmers to meet the food needs of this country and that has had a strain and -- -- stress on a rural communities. He recently at Cynthia Cesar Chavez community the White House going to be successful we have to have an army of boycott are willing to do the hard work to bring the army -- Reyes. What did you take away from that movie and just this moment and and what is that it's place in history I think it underscores the importance of persistence and courage. In any kind of change. As the president often says change is difficult. And change requires patience it requires persistence and -- courage. And I think Cesar Chavez certainly displayed that to humiliate someone who has right. Present when. I'm afraid anymore. And he fundamentally made difference and he did so at a sacrifice. He was personally attacked his family. They ran a great stress so there was a price to pay for the change that he brought. But today farmworkers are well organized today they're represented today they have better working conditions and today they are an integral part of that coalition. Working with business working with evangelical leaders to ask for immigration reform so I think. Were he alive today I think he would be pleased at seeing this new coalition. Trying to advance once again the rights of folks who really deserved to be. That are protected mr. secretary thank you very much for joining us thank you can -- you -- And that's all for this edition of the fine print for ABC news and Yahoo! News I'm -- selling.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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