"Face the Nation" transcripts, August 5, 2012: McDonnell, Rendell, Strickland, Diaz-Balart
BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, it's all about the battleground states, and the Obama campaign likes the numbers they're seeing. New polls show the President leading now in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, and dead even in Virginia. But then there are those other numbers. Unemployment ticked up again and that brought Mitt Romney to the camp.
MITT ROMNEY: And-- and of course today we just got a new number from the unemployment report and it's another hammer blow to the struggling middle-class families of America.
BOB SCHIEFFER: The President had his own thoughts about what was bad for the middle class--the Romney economic plan.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Under my opponent's plan, who do you think gets the bill for these two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand-dollar tax cuts? You do.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Back and forth it went, but with the nation now so polarized that only five percent of the electorate is undecided, and eleven battleground states could decide the election, today we'll check in with politicians and four of them, Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell.
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: And the United States of America needs Virginia to go Romney red this November.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Florida Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, and former Democratic governors Ted Strickland of Ohio and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. For analysis we'll hear from Michael Crowley of TIME Magazine, Bloomberg White House correspondent Julianna Goldman, and our own Jan Crawford and Nancy Cordes. We'll close with a rare interview with Sandra Day O'Connor, long retired from the Supreme Court but still making a difference because this is FACE THE NATION.
ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Well, it's coming down to eleven states that are now basically ground zero for the candidates; Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. The nation is so polarized now that the undecided votes in these states represent about five percent and that is consistent with the rest of the country. Thirty-nine states lean so heavily to one candidate or another, both candidates are focusing their efforts now on those eleven states. So, to give us an update on what's going on out there in some of these key battlegrounds, we're joined today by two Republicans, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell; he's in Richmond. And Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, he is in Miami. On the Democratic side, former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell, who has a new book out called A Nation of Wusses. And here in the studio, the former governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland.
Governor McDonnell, I want to start with you, because I think both sides in this campaign, strategists for both of these campaigns have told me that Virginia may well be the closest of all. It may turn out to be the one that decides who's going to win this election. So, let me just ask you, where do you think the race is now in Virginia?
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL (R-Virginia): Bob, I think it's probably a dead heat right now, but that's a long way Mitt Romney has come in the last four months when he was down by eight points. But since he captured the nomination and the grassroots has organized on the ground, the enthusiasm gap clearly on the Republican side. But I think most importantly while it's a dead heat right now, the momentum is going to continue to go for-- for Mitt Romney because people are realizing this is a very serious election. It's about jobs and the economy. It's about debt and deficits. It's about who's got the vision and the leadership for the future of America. And when your unemployment rate is four point-- or 8.8 percent for no more than forty-two months and you're added five trillion to the national debt, and you have no plan on energy, that doesn't work well for the independent voters in Virginia. And I think Virginia goes for Romney. I think it will be close and competitive but Mitt Romney has got the best ideas for the citizens of Virginia.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I think as a matter of fact the-- the unemployment now is 8.2, if I'm correct, in the latest numbers that are out. But--
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: Well its--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah but, let me--
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL:--it's 8.3 but it's been over eight for forty-one months is my point. That's not good enough.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I got you. Okay. Let me go to you, Governor Strickland. You have been pounding Mitt Romney for not releasing his tax returns and you have repeated what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been saying that Mitt Romney may have paid no taxes in all of-- in some of those years. You know this morning Reince Priebus, who is the chairman of the Republican Party, said I think over on Fox, that-- that Harry Reid is a dirty liar. And I have to say he has shown nothing, no evidence to substantiate that charge. He just says he heard it from somebody. Do you have any proof that-- that Mitt Romney paid no taxes in some years?
FORMER GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND (D-Ohio): No, but Mister Romney could give us the proof that-- that he has paid taxes consistently. The fact is, Bob, Mitt Romney wants the American people to trust him with the presidency, but he won't trust us with his tax returns. All he has to do is release his tax returns. The question that I think is this: why is Mitt Romney refusing to give us his tax return?
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, I-- I take your point, Governor, but isn't this kind of like Joe McCarthy back in era when he said, "I have here in my hand the names of four hundred people in the State Department who are communist." It turned out he didn't and he was saying the way to prove that they're not is for them to come forward here. I mean asking somebody to come forward to-- to just because there's been an unsubstantiated charge, that-- that-- that's a little thin to me.
FORMER GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: That's not the reason, Bob. He should come forth with his tax returns, not because there's been a charge but because the American people deserve to know what is in his tax returns. His father, as we all know--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): So-- so you're saying maybe that's not true that he hadn't paid any taxes but you have said maybe he didn't.
FORMER GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: I'm not accusing-- I'm not accusing him of anything, except what he is doing invites speculation, quite frankly. The people want to know why he has his tac-- tax returns. Bob, he gave them to John McCain for I think twenty-three years. Why is he now, since he's seeking the presidency, saying to the American people, "you don't deserve to see my tax returns? That's a legitimate question in the minds of the American people.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let-- let me just go back to Governor McDonnell-- Governor McDonnell. Do you think he could end this all by just putting his returns out, Governor?
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: You know this is a reckless and slanderous charge by Harry Reid. This is a guy who hasn't released his own returns and for three years can't get a budget passed in the United States Senate. You know, Bob, people don't care about Mitt Romney's tax returns. They care about their own tax returns and the taxes that are going to be increased under President Barack Obama where nearly a million small business people are getting a whopping tax increase. That's the issue in this race. This is a more "change the situation," "hide the ball," where they don't want to focus on jobs and the economy and spending and debt and deficit and energy because their record is so bad, and, of course, they're trying to change the subject to tax returns? You know what we know about his returns. He has paid his taxes. He's a very generous man, and he's made a lot of money because he's been successful. Why don't we start talking about the things that are important that people are going to vote about and that's jobs and spending.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right, how about that, Governor Rendell, what's your response, why not?
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: Of course, he should release his tax returns. We all do it. It's become common place in American politics and, as Ted was about to say, Governor Romney's father sort of set the tone by releasing twenty-five years of his tax returns. It's a basic elemental thing we do. People-- I agree with Governor McDonnell. It's not a central issue, but people want to know if American politicians pay their taxes fairly like everybody else. And Governor Romney could absolutely do away with this issue. We all do it in virtually every election in America. So just, Mitt, go ahead and do it.
BOB SCHIEFFER: How-- how is the race now up in Pennsylvania, Governor? I mean, you obviously-- you're a Democrat, but they-- the Obama people tell me they're not advertising in Pennsylvania right now. Does that mean that you all think you've got a lock on this thing?
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: Well, there are two polls out that show it's eleven points, but I don't believe those polls. And, Bob, let me say the figure you gave about only five percent of the American public being undecided, that's I'm sure they told the pollsters that, but that's not a given. What happens post-Labor Day is people start paying more attention to the campaign. We've got the convention speeches. We got the three debates. A lot of those so-called firmly decided voters can still shift. The polls show President Obama leading by eleven points in Pennsylvania. That's what he won by in '08. I don't believe that. I believe it's going to be closer. We have got a very serious problem with a bad voter ID law. If the courts don't throw it out could cost us a hundred thousand votes. So this isn't over in Pennsylvania and if you're a supporter of the President don't think by a long shot it's over.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me go down to Florida, now Congressman Diaz-Balart. First give us the situation down there and-- and also, what about this whole deal about the tax returns? Is this an issue down there? Should Governor Romney release his returns?
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIAZ-BALART (R-Florida): Bob, he's released his return. He's more than complied with the law. He's done more than Harry Reid by what he has done to this day. Let's talk about what the real situation is here in Florida, a couple of numbers that do matter. Gas is about twice as expensive as it was before President Obama swore in. President Obama's health care law raided Medicare in the tune of five hundred million dollars to create a new program. Medicare, by the way, according to the Medicare actuaries, is about to go bankrupt within a decade. The deficit has been, you know, trillionary (sic) deficit, even though he said he was going to cut it in half in his first term, he hasn't done so. We already talked about-- about the situation of the debt, but unemployment. The unemployment numbers are again forty-two months of over eight-percent unemployment. I believe it's a longest record of eight percent or above since those numbers have been kept.
And here's the irony: the President of the United States has been there now for three and a half years and he refuses to talk about anything that he's done. Why? Because unfortunately what he's done has been disastrous for-- for the employees, for people trying to get jobs, for middle America-- for middle-income America. So every time that the President speaks or some of his surrogates, they try to talk about anything except the real situation, and right now, people can't get jobs. Millions of Americans are either underemployed or unemployed. That's the real issue, Bob. And it's really sad that the President of United States, the most important elected official, in this country, refuses to talk about issues that are important because he is scared to talk about his real record, which has been dismal for the economy.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think of--
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: Bob, that's not-- simply that's not true.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What?
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: The President has talked about the fact that we've created four and a half million private sector jobs in the last twenty-nine months, twenty-nine straight months of gains. He talks about the auto bailout which Governor Romney opposed, which has been usually successful. He talks about the fact that we've created half a million new manufacturing jobs, twenty-five thousand new manufacturing jobs just in July alone. The President could do much more. He's cut small business taxes eighteen times. He could do much more if the Republican Congress agreed to pass things in the Jobs Act that the President proposed last October, like tax incentives for small businesses that create jobs--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah.
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: --infrastructure development--
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIANZ-BALART: Bob, if I may--
ED RENDELL: --but the Republicans won't do that.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let the Congressman back in.
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIANZ-BALART: If I may, Bob. Look, again, where are those jobs? Unemployment above eight percent so-- so, no, it is true. It is true that unemployment has been above eight percent for forty-one months-- forty-two months. It is true that it's been a hundred and twenty days since he's even met with his own economic council. Here's a President who, again, the economy is in shambles where people cannot find jobs and yet he keeps saying, as the Governor who has just said, hey, things are great. The economy is wonderful--
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: He didn't say things are great.
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIANZ-BALART: --we're doing, really, really well.
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: But we're telling people the truth.
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIANZ-BALART: I did not interrupt you. I did not interrupt you. I did not interrupt the Governor. I did not interrupt the Governor.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah, he's not. I don't think he is saying that Congressman. He-- he's saying we got to do a lot better. But let me-- let me move on here.
Governor Strickland, you were saying as we sat down at the table that you think this may have something to do with the impression these candidates are making and-- and in the end, it maybe that. What-- tell me what you were talking about?
FORMER GOVERNOR TED STRRICKLAND: Well, I think people are coming to see Mister Romney, Governor Romney, as a person who has been born into and lived in privilege, has made a lot of money by closing factories, and laying off workers, and taking away pensions and benefits, sending jobs overseas, wanting tax-- tax reform that will benefit himself to the detriment of the working middle class in this country. I think they're seeing Mitt Romney as someone who's not on their side, and I think they're increasingly seeing the President as someone who is fighting for them. In Ohio our unemployment is now 7.2 percent lower than the national average. We have created forty-five thousand new manufacturing jobs since 2010. And that's due in large part to the fact that the auto rescue has helped Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Indiana and so many other states. One in eight jobs in Ohio is related to the auto industry. And Ohioans understand that. We are a commonsense state, and we're commonsense people, and we understand that the President is on the side of the working middle class, and Mitt Romney is for the one percent.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let-- let me just ask the Governor McDonnell about that. Because, you know, some people within the Republican Party are saying that maybe Governor Romney made a mistake by not running more positive ads in the beginning and sort of telling voters who he was because he faced this onslaught of negative ads during the Republican primary, and then again when-- when the primaries were over, he got it from the-- from the Obama people. Do you think he should have kind of given people an idea to get to know him better with a series of more positive ads in the beginning because there's no question, this month, polls show that his positives are going down, and his negatives are going up?
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: Well, Bob, this is a serious election. It's not about personality. It's not about rhetoric. It's about-- it's about results. And Mitt Romney isn't interested necessarily in being most popular. He wants to be the most effective President. You know today is the one-year anniversary since the credit of the United States of America was downgraded by Standard & Poor's. Gas prices doubled. Unemployment over-- over eight percent. The largest increase in debt in American history and we're concerned about who's the most popular. This is--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Governor--
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: --you know the larger the issues get for America, the smaller this President gets.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --Governor, excuse me, Governor, can you get elected without being the most popular?
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: But it's not about personalities and that's what--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Oh, okay.
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: --the President is trying to make this about. You know, that message of hope and change and all that popularity four years ago, it's now a record and a campaign of fear and division. And Mario is exactly right, avoiding the issues. We're in serious trouble in America.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: We're in great debt, we have no energy plan, and this President is talking about tax returns and health care. He just doesn't get. That's why I came to Virginia and told people that they didn't build it, that somebody else made it happen so it's a ridiculous vision of America.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Oh, we got to-- we're going to talk about that some more. We'll talk about that some more. We've got to take a break for a commercial here. In a minute we'll be back.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So we're back with our panel and let's talk about who Mitt Romney's going to pick to be his running mate. Government-- Governor McDonnell, you are one of those that people keep saying are on the short list. Are you actually--
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: Really? You're kidding?
BOB SCHIEFFER: Are you being vetted?
GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL: You know I'm not talking about it. That's up to Mitt Romney. He's going to make that announcement soon. But I'll tell you what vice presidents don't win elections. Presidents and their candidates and their vision do; and Mitt Romney's vision for the middle class that he outlined this week on jobs and deficit reduction and small business promotion and energy is the way to go. I'll-- I'll wait to hear and as soon as I find out, I'll let you know, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Congressman Diaz-Balart, do you know and have you heard whether it's Governor McDonnell?
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIAZ-BALART: I'll tell you what Governor McDonnell would be a great vice president but I have not heard. I-- I know that the-- that Mitt Romney is seriously looking at who would be the right person who could step in. That's who he will choose. And your-- your-- on your show, you have one of those that would be a great vice-presidential candidate but I really have no idea.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But what about Marco Rubio, who is from your state? Would he be better?
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIAZ-BALART: Bob, I am a little biased. You know, I think Marco Rubio would be a spectacular candidate for vice president. I think he would energize the country. I think he has a great story. He's bright. He's articulate. He's more-- a lot more experienced than-- than Mister Romney was when he got elected. But again, I know that-- that Mitt Romney's going to make the right choice.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Governor Rendell, just as-- as an outside observer, who do you think he's going to pick and why?
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: Well, I just want to go on record. I'm for Michele Bachmann for vice president. I wanted everyone to be clear about that. I don't know but I do think Governor Romney has chosen the right criteria, as Bob said. He's going to pick somebody who he believes is ready to be President. Governor McDonnell would fit that bill so would Senator Portman and some of the others that are being talked about. But I think Bob is right. People don't vote for vice president, although, let me say that I believe America has a spectacular vice president who's done just an amazing job and I think that weighs on President Obama's side.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Governor Strickland, of course, Rob Portman--
GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: Sure.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --who just mentioned by Governor Rendell is the Senator from your state. He's a Republican. Would he be--
GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --a good running mate?
GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: Probably. He's-- he's a very conservative fella, but he has very really good manners, Bob. He's-- he's not a bomb thrower. He doesn't use overheated rhetoric. He would probably be a safe choice but Rob Portman has a couple things against him. He was George Bush's trade representative and the outsourcing of jobs and our trade policy is a big deal in Ohio. And he was also the budget director at a time when we were careening toward the conditions that led to this recession. So I-- you know, I think he probably would be one of the better choices that Governor Romney could make. But I'm not sure he will be chosen. I think it's going to be Governor Pawlenty. That's my personal guess for a lot of reasons. Number one, governor-- former Governor Pawlenty has a connection to the evangelical community, which I think is important for Mister Romney.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you-- do you think it would make a difference in your state of Ohio if he picked Rob Portman? Would that mean that he carried Ohio probably?
GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: You know, I-- I agree with-- with the others on this show. I think the vice-presidential candidate makes little or no difference in the outcome because people are going to be focusing on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and they'll choose between those two people.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You know I want to ask you all about just the tenor of this campaign. It seems to me that it is more negative than any campaign I can remember, and I can remember a few. Do you all-- I mean, I see that President Obama, the enthusiasm for him is not nearly as high as it was the last time around. But I also see that-- that Governor Romney's negatives continue to go up. Do you think that is because of the kind of campaigns we're running now? I mean because what kind of concerns me just stepping back and looking at it we may be destroying the credibility of everybody in politics. What do you think about that, Governor Rendell?
FORMER GOVERNOR ED RENDELL: Yeah, I think you're dead right, Bob. I think the problem is that one of these two men is going to be President of the United States, and if the campaign continues careening down this track that it's on, that person is going to have a very difficult time trying to lead and bring this country together to face the challenges, and they are going to come on swift and strong the challenges that the country faces.
Hopefully, the debates and other things will raise the level of the campaign. I believe we basically have two good men running, and I believe they should say the things that they've done and they're proud of and the things that they want to do, and hopefully the debates will frame those issues.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What about you, Congressman?
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIAZ-BALART: I agree. I think the campaign is-- has gotten very aggressive. And I think part of that. I mean you just mentioned that Governor Romney's numbers, his negatives have gone up. They've gone up because of the very, very aggressive negative campaigning from President Obama; and again, unfortunately, we're not hearing a lot from the President as to what he wants to do if he got elected for another four years to reverse the cycle that he has taken our country to, to reverse the over eight-percent unemployment for forty-two months, to reverse the increased deficit and debt, to lower gasoline prices. And what's he is going to do when in less than-- than in a decade, when Medicare is bankrupt, part of that because he took half a trillion dollars out of it. What's he going to do to make sure that we have Medicare for future generations? If he starts talking about those things and stops bashing his opponent, I think it would be good not only for the country but I think actually would probably help him because I think right now people are waiting for leadership. They are seeing that--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIAZ-BALART: -- I think from the Governor. All they're seeing from President is negative, nasty campaigns.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah, Governor McDonnell?
GOVERNER BOB MCDONNELL: Well, I really think there's broad agreement that we need more civility in politics. We need strong leadership to bring people together, to unify and not divide people along class-- class lines, which I think the President has-- has done. I think he had a remarkable opportunity a couple years of ago and has largely blown it. And I think this is the bottom line in the campaign is President is a good man. He's a good family man but his policies just haven't worked and now it's time for a change. It's time for a new, strong leader, somebody with the Reagny-- Reagan-Romney optimism about the future of America that celebrates success and gets everybody involved with the restoration of--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay.
GOVERNER BOB MCDONNELL: -- the American dream. I think Romney is the guy to people together.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Twenty seconds, Governor Strickland.
FORMER GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: Well, I think the country is polarized and-- and I think the issues are very serious, and I think that's being reflected in what we're seeing out of these campaigns. But, it will come down to this, Bob, which candidate is viewed as being on the side of the working middle class, and I think that's the President.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, gentlemen, I want to thank all of you for our very lively and fun and-- and I must say a thoughtful discussion this morning.
FORMER GOVERNOR TED STRICKLAND: Thank you, Bob. Thanks, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you all.
We'll be back with some my-- thoughts of my own here in a minute.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Washington is generally ignored by the presidential candidates but those of us who live here have discovered there was an upside to that. We didn't have to see and hear all those TV ads that clog the screens in the battleground states. Well, our good luck finally ran out. Since Virginia has become a key battleground, candidates have to advertise on Washington TV to reach voters in Northern Virginia. So, battlegrounds states, now we can truly feel your pain. No wonder you look shell-shocked like someone who had his head stuck in a bucket, while someone else pounded on it with a shovel. We're bombarded by these things every waking moment, and it doesn't stop there. I've seen so many, I dreamed about one the other night. I've seen so many, I can't remember who said what about who but make no mistake--these campaign commercials make a deeper impression on us and reach more of us than we may realize. This was told to me as true. A campaign operative saw the President in an ad and asked his four-year-old son, "Who is that?" "That's Barack Obama," said the child. And "What does he do?" said the father. Without missing a beat the four-year-old replied, "He approves this message." Back in a minute.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now for-- but most of you we'll be back with our reporter roundtable, Michael Crowley of Time. Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg, our own Jan Crawford and Nancy Cordes. Plus, a rare interview with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Stay with us.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, welcome back to FACE THE NATION. Joining us now Michael Crowley of TIME magazine. He wrote the cover story this week on Karl Rove and the role of money in the campaign. Julianna Goldman is the White House Correspondent for Bloomberg News. And our own Jan Crawford who covers the Romney campaign and Nancy Cordes, who is now covering the Obama campaign. Welcome to all of you.
I just noticed in The Washington Post this morning, Dan Balz said the best that you can say about how Mitt Romney fared in July is that he survived, but when you look at these economic numbers, I think you might say the same thing about Barack Obama. Julianna, where is his race now and what does the White House think about it? Where do they go from here?
JULIANNA GOLDMAN (Bloomberg Chief White House Correspondent): Well, I think you look at the state of the race and look at the state of the economy, and you talk about the jobs report on Friday and it is a mixed bag. The unemployment rate ticked up one percent, but also the markets read it positively because there were more jobs created last month than expected. So for the President right now the challenge is things just can't get worse. Look, the public's opinion on the economy has remained pretty much consistent and so what the White House, what the Obama campaign is looking at right now is for voters to head into this election saying, look the economy is not where I want it to be, but Mitt Romney would make it worse.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So, Jan, where do you think the Romney folks think they are? Obviously, this trip did not come out quite the way that they thought it would come out.
JAN CRAWFORD (CBS News Political Correspondent): Well, no, I mean, they go over there and he offends the Brits by questioning whether they're ready for the Olympics. That's not, you know, kind of hard to do for an American get up on the wrong foot with Fleet Street. And then offends the Palestinians by suggesting Israel's economically successful for their culture. And then offends the press. I mean from the Republican prospective though, offending the Palestinians in the press that's not such a bad thing. So I think the campaign doesn't see it as a disaster and they believe it didn't hurt them. And this economy-- this race is about the economy, and the-- the clouds aren't disbursing on the economy. They see signs ahead that suggest their real problems for the President and that's going to continue to be the message. But you're going to hear other things from-- from the Romney campaign going forward. Because they're also going to be stressing these themes that President Obama was elected for hope and change. But now he's changing the country in a fundamental way for the worst, in a way that Americans don't recognize. They're going to really hit him hard on his relaxing some of those well-- welfare, a reform act provisions that were passed by bipartisan consensus that give states more authority to loosen some of the work requirements in the welfare reform bill, arguing, again, that President Obama is the one for big government, more reliance on government. And that's something that the American people don't want.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I want to show you and put some numbers here on the screen. There's a new Pew Research study out. It shows that Mitt Romney's image is really taking a beating. After the primaries ended, he had an unfavorable rating of fifty-five percent. Now when the primaries were over, he improved that to forty-seven percent but in the last month, it's gone back up five points. It is now fifty-two percent of registered voters view him unfavorably. Thirty-seven percent view him favorably. That's a difference of fifteen points, whereas last month it was just six points. It is also the same, I must add, not as bad, for Barack Obama. But his negatives are going up, certainly far beyond where they were the last time. I think-- you know, I was talking to David Axelrod the other day, Obama's campaign manager, and he said, you know, generally, people-- we don't elect people just because they're likable. He said you really ought not to elect somebody just because they're the most likable. But he said think back to when we elected the candidate who was the most unlikable. And I think you have to go back to Richard Nixon--
JAN CRAWFORD: Yes.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --to say when that's happened. So is this a problem for Romney, Jan?
JAN CRAWFORD: I don't think so. I mean he's been out-- outspent hugely in these battleground states because he doesn't have the kind of money right now that the Obama--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mm-Hm.
JAN CRAWFORD: --campaign has. He's been outspent five to one, eight to one in some of the battleground states. He can't start tapping into the vast amounts he raised--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mm-Hm.
JAN CRAWFORD: --until the convention goes under way because of the campaign finance rules--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, but there's--
JAN CRAWFORD: --so they believe--
BOB SCHIEFFER: --no question that these negative ads that the Obama people ran against him are-- are working to some extent.
JAN CRAWFORD: Starting to have an impact, but they believe if you look at the numbers, the race is static. It's still in a dead heat head to head. So it's not that bad, because they're going to roll out starting with the convention a lot more of these kind of positive ads about Romney, his background, his biography, and they have got the convention where they think things are really going to kick off and then they can tap into all the money you've been talking about.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Nancy-- Nancy, the enthusiasm for President Obama, anyway you cut it with any group is not the way it was last time out?
NANCY CORDES (CBS News Congressional Correspondent): It isn't, but I will say that at Obama headquarters, when I was talking to them this week, they were mystified by why this Romney approach that they're taking now to sort of roll out his bio, talk about him. You see ads now where he's driving the car and he's talking about running the Olympics. They really don't understand why he didn't do that a couple of months ago. And it really gave them the opportunity to define him on their terms about Bain, about outsourcing, at a time when he was really vulnerable. It's almost as if he thought that he could run solely hammering away at the President, not defining himself in positive terms. And I think even the Romney campaign would admit they probably should have embarked on this plan a little bit sooner.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Michael, you wrote-- I thought a really very good piece if I may say so in TIME Magazine--
MICHAEL CROWLEY (TIME Senior Correspondent): Thank you. Thanks.
BOB SCHIEFFER:--this week, about the race, about the influence of the super PACs, the role that Karl Rove is playing, the role that big money is playing, this one is really different, isn't it, this time around?
MICHAEL CROWLEY: Yeah, the amount of outside money in this campaign, all the campaign spending at every level, is going to set records, but particularly the outside groups. And the key thing for people to understand is that for a variety of reasons, Republicans are going to have a substantial spending advantage on the outside money, much of which won't be disclosed. It's not very clearly documented. When it-- is disclosed, a lot of it really won't come out until the very last days of the election. And although the Obama campaign, the official campaign will probably raise and spend more than the official Romney campaign. When you count in all the outside groups on both sides, Republicans will probably have more money to spend. And a lot of that has to do with Karl Rove. I think a lot of Democrats hoped that they were done with Karl Rove at the end of the Bush administration; he is back, and in full stride and has helped to engineer kind of a network of Republican groups that can coordinate with one another, although not the Romney campaign-- and may spend six hundred million dollars. One last key point, they're going to put a lot of money into the fight for Congress, Bob. We spend a lot of time talking about the White House race. Control of Congress will be essential. Will we have more deadlock? Or will we have a President who can push through an ambitious agenda? And I think particularly on the congressional fights in the Senate battle, in particular, Rove and the Republicans will have more money to spend.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Julianna, what can we expect now from the-- from the campaign, the Obama campaign from here on?
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: Well, you just look at the front page of the New York Times today and the money race is huge right now. Four hundred million dollars spent since beginning of last year through June; seventy million dollars in the month of June alone. And that's because they think that now is the time to get the bang for the buck on their money to define the race on their terms, to define Mitt Romney on their terms. And they think it has paid off, that they've turned him into this caricature of the wealthy, out-of-touch politician. The question is the lasting effect on that as Romney heads into a period where he's going to be able to hit the reset with his vice presidential pick, with the convention, and then heading into the debates.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Nancy.
NANCY CORDES: And that's an expensive strategy that takes a lot of money and the Obama campaign apparatus is even bigger this time than it was four years ago. So they've acknowledged that the President is going to have to be hitting those fund-raisers all the way through until Election Day. And every time he has to go to California or New York to raise money, it takes him out of those battleground states but they say this is the only way they can do it if they want to remain at least competitive with the money that's coming in from Republican super PACs.
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: And tomorrow he'll be at Connecticut--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let's-- let me just take a little break right here and we'll come right back.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So, Jan, have the Romney people confided in you who they are going to (INDISTINCT) the ticket.
JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I have got some breaking news for you, Bob. We're going to say it right here on FACE THE NATION. No, in fact, I was talking to one of the senior advisers this morning before the show, just kind of get the latest and he's like, look I don't even know when it's going to be. I can't even plan my own schedule. So, of course, I can't tell you. Obviously, we expect it's going to be some time in the next two weeks, get through the Olympics, and then we'll have an announcement. They're starting a bus tour next Saturday, and that will roll through several of these key states finishing up in Florida and Ohio, middle of week after the next. But what they're looking at right now, what Romney has always said he wants as someone who can govern, who can be President. He is getting a lot of pressure from outside his campaign, from the base and from the conservatives to go bold, to pick someone who is going to really energize the base beyond what they are energized already--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mm-Hmm.
JAN CRAWFORD:--which is to beat President Obama. So, that was, you know, a lot of suggestions to go for someone like Congressman Paul Ryan, Governor Bobby Jindal. And Ryan, of course, would be, as someone we've talked about, you know, here, someone who talks very powerfully about these themes that the Romney campaign is going to be hitting, the big government of the Obama administration, America going in a different direction. But the signals that I'm picking up is that Romney is going to go for competence and someone who can govern and go safe because, as you know, vice presidential nominees make a big deal when they're announced and at the convention and the only other time they make much news is when they make a mistake and he's not going to want someone--
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm betting it will not be Sarah Palin but otherwise I am--
JAN CRAWFORD: You know, I think that-- that might be a pretty good bet.
MICHAEL CROWLEY: And isn't it funny how we keep hearing, it has to be someone prepared, it has to be someone who can step into the job. It's a pretty low bar and I think it tells you something about the experience of 2008. I mean that should be taken for granted.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What did-- what did the White House people think about Romney's trip?
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: The White House people didn't necessarily need to say anything about Romney's trip because you heard it from the mayor of London, the Prime Minister of the U.K., and the Palestinians, as well. Look, you heard Robert Gibbs say that it was an embarrassing disaster. I think the White House thought that the bar was set pretty low for Mitt Romney. Look four years ago when we went over with then Senator Obama, the biggest hurdles were logistical. But it's interesting to contrast now to see some of the images that were from four years ago, the President shooting hoops with the troops, in a helicopter with Petraeus, giving that speech in Berlin. And he had, you know, in terms of the structure of the campaign; he had a whole host of campaign advisers, foreign policy advisers, Susan Rice, Dennis Ross--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yes.
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: --who were there briefing reporters, and they're on the ground in case something went wrong. And Romney did not have it. And it shows part of the problems and difficulties his campaign is having in getting up and running.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, I think that's a very good point because Romney went with just basically a skeleton staff--
MICHAEL CROWLEY: Mm-Hm.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --I mean they augmented it even after he got there and after he got into trouble with all the Olympics. You, kind of, wonder did they really understand what they were getting into.
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: And particularly at a time when Romney was-- is already having trouble defining himself. He comes away from this, particularly with the Olympics remark, looking like he's out of touch, and he just doesn't get it. One of the thresholds for him here was to be able to go and show that he could be a leader on the world stage that-- something that Obama was able to do four years ago, and the gaffes really overshadowed that for Romney.
MICHAEL CROWLEY: Incidentally, I'm not sure Romney's entire staff was so thrilled with the trip in the first place. I think there was some internal discussion about that, there may be some recriminations. Number two--
JAN CRAWFORD: That's a good point, though. I mean that he defocused on the economy and it did get him off message. He's had this laser-like focus--
MICHAEL CROWLEY: Yeah.
JAN CRAWFORD: --on the economy so why go to the Olympics and then these other countries?
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: But and ultimately with this trip, you know, everybody-- the-- the number one issue in this election is the economy, and voters aren't going to look back on this trip and say, "Oh, Mitt Romney made these gaffes, he didn't do as well as he was expected, and this is what--
MICHAEL CROWLEY: I think it's--
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: --how he's going to turn the economy."
MICHAEL CROWLEY: --probably not decisive but you do have to pass the commander-in-chief test and, Bob, if you look at the numbers historically, boy, it's been a long time since a Democrat had the advantage on foreign policy, commander-in-chief, save from terrorism over Republican the way Obama does on Romney now. That's pretty significant. And I think Romney has got to do some more work on that.
NANCY CORDES: And he had an opportunity to, sort of, lay out his foreign policy agenda, and to give a sense of what his philosophy is, and he really didn't do that.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right, well, thank you all.
Coming up next, we have a little interview with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. She doesn't do interviews very often, so we were happy to get to talk to her. Stay with us.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Supreme Court Justices, current and former, rarely give interviews so when Sandra Day O'Connor agreed to talk to us we caught up with her on Capitol Hill. She had just finished testifying before the Judiciary Committee on a subject of great importance to her, teaching civics--or I should say the lack of teaching civics--in our schools.
Madam Justice, it is really an honor to have you. Thank you. I want to talk to you about this project that you devote so much of your time to now, iCivics.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Yes.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You're basically trying to help young people learn about the government.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I am.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I was stunned to find out that so many states now children no longer take civics courses.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Well, that was my concern. Now, when I went to school, I grew up on a remote ranch. My parents had to send me away to El Paso to live with grandparents to go to school. And I had civics every year. I got bored to tears with learning about Sam Houston and all those Texans, you know, enough was enough. But we had a lot of civics. And today half the states no longer make civics a requirement for young people--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, maybe that's--
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: --to get out of high school. I mean that's pretty scary.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --maybe that's one reason that some surveys show that a third of Americans cannot name the three branches of government.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: That's right. That's what the statistics show, which is appalling. You know, we have a lot of newcomers to the country, so maybe they don't unless if they become citizens, they have to learn everything. In fact, most of our Native-born Americans can't answer all the questions that we require of people from other countries who are becoming citizens, that's a hard test.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So this project that you have launched, it's online.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Yes.
BOB SCHIEFFER: It provides lesson plans. It provides all sorts of aids.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: And primarily games. That's what it consists of. Young people today spend on an average of forty hours a week in front of a screen. It could be television and/or computer but forty hours a week, that's huge. And I only need about an hour.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And how does one, if a teacher wants to get in on this, how do they do it?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: They go on a computer and dial in www.icivics.org, little icivics.org, like iPad, iPod, iCivics. And we have instructions for teachers, if they want to use it as a course.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I want to ask you a little bit also about-- about the court today.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: There were some surveys that show that respect or at least admiration from the court, about the court, for the court has dropped substantially?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: In the past when the public was asked about the three branches of government, the court has generally had-- the judicial branches had the highest respect among the three, and now it's about the same for all, and it's all down. So that's a great disappointment to me to see. I'm sorry.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And a concern, I'm sure.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Yes, to me.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Why do you think that is?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I'm not sure if there's been some suggestion, again by poll takers, that-- that trend down for the judicial branch began with the Bush-Gore decision. That was one that was widely talked about at the time, as you know, and involved the public in a presidential election and that could be something that triggered public reexamination.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think that people thought it was too political or the court had become too political? Is that?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I-- I'm not sure but I suppose that's part of it, yes. And, of course, any time you're deciding a case involving a presidential election, it's awfully close to politics.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Jan Crawford, who you know, has reported in recent days a deep divide that has developed in the court between John Roberts, the chief justice, and the other conservatives. Because he surprised them by changing his position, according to her reporting, to become the deciding vote on upholding the President's health care law. Were you surprised at Justice Roberts?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: No, not really. I mean I don't have any information about the initial tentative votes taken at the court conference. I have not pried into it. I have not asked to be informed. Obviously, it was a close decision because at the end of the day, it was five-four. So at the time of first discussion, it may well also have been a close decision. I expect it was. That was a hard case.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what do you think that that vote tells us about the court? Does this mean this court is moving--
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Oh, it tells us they don't-- they don't always agree, and that's what it should be. For goodness sake, that's why you have a court. And you have nine members so it's uneven. You're not going to split evenly. If they all vote, it can be decided five to four.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think it means, though, that the court is shifting more to the center or is this just a one vote on one issue?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: That is one important case in a political kind of a situation, and it came out the way it did. I don't think that indicates some trend on the part of the court one way or the other.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You don't see this as John Roberts moving toward the center or becoming a liberal?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I don't. I don't see it at all. I see it deciding a very sensitive case with political connotations.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Can I ask you this-- how would you have voted on that case?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Sure. Oh, I don't know. I'm not going to tell you that if I knew. And I didn't read the briefs or hear any argument.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But you don't see this as having any impact or we should weave something into this?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: No, no, I wouldn't.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You wouldn't.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: No.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Justice Scalia said recently that stories like this are either made up or given out by people who violated a confidence. Therefore, they are unreliable.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Well, I accept his statement.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Would you agree with that?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Well, I just don't see how anybody would be in a position to-- to know what was said. I don't, and I'm-- I'm up there. I have an office. I'm close to them.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Sure.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I don't pry around and try to find out who said what, when.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But, again, you do not see this as having an impact or changing, the court's not changing in any way, this is one thought.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I don't see. This is one important case in a series of cases.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Some say that George Bush might have gotten off to a better start if the court-- going back to Bush v. Gore, if the court had let the count continue, that he would have won without the court's decision, and many questioned the-- the legitimacy of his victory after that. Now, you were the deciding vote in that case when it comes down to it.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I don't see how you can say anybody was the deciding vote.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, they were well--
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: They all counted.
BOB SCHIEFFER: They all counted?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Yes.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You have no regrets I guess?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: No, I mean it was a tough deal in a closely fought election. And it's no fun to be part of a group of decision-makers that has to decide which side the ball is going to fall on.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You were critical of the Citizens United decision.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I was. I dissent it.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you-- do you think the coming of the Super PACs has hurt our political system?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: It hasn't helped put it that way.
BOB SCHIEFFER: It hasn't helped.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: No.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you think of the current state of the country? There's, obviously, a great divide in the country right now. Do you think our political system is broken?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: No, it's not broken. But I hope we go beyond this and move on to areas where we are in greater agreement than we have been on some issues. I hope that will be the case.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think the Citizens United decision had something to do with the-- the divide we're seeing right now?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I don't know. I can't-- you're better-- in a better position to evaluate it, perhaps, than I am. But I-- I hate to see us politically closely divided over some period of time. I don't think that helps the country. So, perhaps, we'll move on to a stage of fewer basic disagreements.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You and I are kind of in the same stage of life here--
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Yes.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --a lot of our contemporaries--
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Getting older.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --retired--
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Yes, yes.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --go on to do other things. You are still making a difference. What is your advice to people in our demographic group?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Well, if you feel like I do and you want to be involved and not bored to tears stay busy and do something worthwhile. We presumably have a little of life's experiences behind us, so maybe we can make a valid contribution. I hope so. And I encourage people who want to do it to stay involved.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you certainly are. That is for sure. Madam Justice, it's a pleasure to have you. Thank you so much.
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: Thank you.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And we'll be back in a minute.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, that's all the time we have for today. We'll see you next week. We'll be right here, same time, same station, on FACE THE NATION. Thanks for watching.
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