"Face the Nation" transcripts, July 15, 2012: Cutter, Madden, Rep. Ryan
JOHN DICKERSON (CBS News Political Director): Well, you know, as Frank said, that Romney's argument is I'm a Fix-It man, the Obama argument is maybe, but he uses bad parts and that's the argument at the center of this was when he was at Bain, he was an outsourcer. Well, the Obama campaign still hasn't proved that any decision Mitt Romney made led to outsourcing. But they've tied him down for several days on this question. Any day the conversation is about outsourcing is a day Mitt Romney loses and the ad you started this segment talking about is their response, which is isn't this disappointing for the candidate of hope and change? Now, will people care about the niceties of politics, maybe not? But, what they're trying to tie that to is aren't these attacks disappointments and doesn't that match your larger disappointment with this President? The question one advisor said to me is not are you better off but did you think you'd be better off and if you don't think so aren't you disappointed in Barack Obama? And that's where they're trying to get.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Not to dwell on this, but you're talking about that ad that they put me in. I-- I-- you know, that was a question that I posed to David Axelrod, the President's campaign manager. I wasn't stating something there. I-- I was--
JOHN DICKERSON: Sure.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --asking somebody else a question. But--
NORAH O'DONNELL (CBS News Chief White House Correspondent): Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --Norah, do-- do the Obama people think this is working?
NORAH O'DONNELL: They do. They do think it's working and they heavily tested this new ad, that that affirms that's out which is the music playing that you played at the top of the show and they say it works. This is not just an effort to disqualify Mitt Romney. This is an effort to destroy him early on in this campaign. The Obama campaign has spent a hundred million dollars in advertising so far. Twenty-five million of that was positive ads, about another twenty-five million was comparative ads. I mean, comparative/negative, you can call it what you want, but a majority of fif-- fifty million plus has been spent on this Bain message. So they are trying to-- they've got-- they-- you know, if this were the early rounds of a boxing match, you know, Romney is on the ropes and Obama's throwing all the punches. And any time even as Romney says you're defending yourself, you're losing. And so instead of-- you know, the economy in the last couple of weeks has been serving up some softballs. I mean, Mitt Romney's not even at the plate. I mean, he's-- you know, you've got the third straight lackluster jobs report, you've got the CBO this week saying that for the fourth straight year we're going to have trillion-dollar deficits. And the Romney campaign's not talking about that. The Romney campaign is largely putting on ads with you in them responding on these Bain attacks and so they've lost the messaging in these past couple of weeks.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Frank Rich, does President Obama have to do more than that, though? I mean, can he win just by make-- trying to make it a referendum on Mitt Romney while the Romney people, of course, are trying to make it a referendum on Barack Obama. I-- I keep looking for both of them to come up with some more things about what they-- they are going to do, not what's wrong with the other guy. Is that-- am I just a hopeless romantic?
FRANK RICH: Bob, you may have to make another ad pleading for that. But if-- no, obviously both candidates have to step forward with-- with-- with a positive program and presumably will and it will coalesce around their acceptance speeches. But just to go back a second to Michael Gerson's characterizing what is being done by the President as Michael Corleone tactics. That's exactly the tactics his former boss used or people around him in swift boating John Kerry. So this is nothing new. And for all the talk about Obama and hope and change in the last campaign, the truth is he ran negative ads then. Remember that one where he presented sort of a dotering John McCain not knowing how many houses he had? So it's not as if he ran as Mother Teresa entirely in 2008. You have to mix it up.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Right.
MICHAEL GERSON: Well-- well, I do-- I do remember the inaugural address, Obama's inaugural address where he said we need to lay aside childish things. This now seems like a campaign run by a nasty thirteen-year-old. This is a very, very different from-- you know, it's the kind of thing that gets snickers in a campaign war room but I think there could be a reaction against this--
FRANK RICH: Well--
MICHAEL GERSON: --in the American public. This-- you know, I don't think there are a lot of Americans out there saying, you know what American politics really needs? It needs more juvenile viciousness.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Yeah, but this is--
MICHAEL GERSON: That's what--
NORAH O'DONNELL: But Michael, this isn't Little League. Those sides--
BOB SCHIEFFER: You know what--
NORAH O'DONNELL: --play--
BOB SCHIEFFER: --our clock has-- has--
NORAH O'DONNELL: --play tough. Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Has the--
MICHAEL GERSON: But-- but Mitt Romney's very--
BOB SCHIEFFER: The gong has rung here.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm terribly sorry. We-- we have to come back with this week's Google Hangout in a moment.
BOB SCHIEFFER: This week's FACE THE NATION Google Hangout was all about women voters Norah O'Donnell hosted. Norah.
NORAH O'DONNELL: That's right. Thanks, Bob. Yeah, both sides working hard, of course, to attract women voters and our panelists from this week's Hangout totally agree.
LESLIE SNACHEZ (Republican Strategist): I would say independent and suburban women particularly are looking at both parties (INDISTINCT). Who can stimulate the economy?
MICHELLE BERNARD (Bernard Center For Women, Politics & Public Policy): But people are going to dig further and-- and ask very specific questions. How do you feel about the Violence Against Women act? How do you feel about the Paycheck Fairness Act? How do you feel about People Pay for Equal Work. And I think all of those things are very important to any woman who cares about the economy.
MARIA CARDONA (Democratic Strategist): It's very puzzling for me that then you have all of these Republicans across the board in all these different states talking about social issues and when, in fact, that gives heat to the whole issue of that there is a Republican war on women.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Leslie, you want to take a whack at that?
LESLIE SANCHEZ: Women feel there's a lot of underemployment and that personal feeling that this economy is not as strong as it could be because of this President directly falls at the-- at the feet of the President's policies, positions, and that's the-- the deciding factor when they're in the voting booth.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Ann Romney said that she hopes that her husband chooses a female vice president. I guess the first question is if Mitt Romney doesn't choose a woman what are people going to say that he doesn't listen to his wife?
STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK (Emily's List): It's not just because there's a woman on a ticket that the women are going to vote for that woman, right?
NORAH O'DONNELL: Why?
STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK: It's about the policies that those candidates are standing by.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And Norah O'Donnell, thank you for that. We will be back in a moment.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, that is it for us today and we'll be right here next week. We hope you'll join us on Face The Nation. Thanks for watching.
ANNOUNCER: This broadcast was produced by CBS News, which is solely responsible for the selection of today's guest and topics. It originated in Washington, DC.
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