"Face the Nation" transcripts, July 15, 2012: Cutter, Madden, Rep. Ryan
ROBERT REICH: I'll tell you what happened after 1996 when the Republicans learned that they could not follow Newt Gingrich tactics and kind of burn-- kind of "burn the House down" tactics they began to cooperate with the President, but it was not until they learned that lesson. The current group of Republicans has not learned that lesson.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, is-- is the consensus here then that nothing is going to happen before the election?
JOHN FUND: Not as if.
RANA FOROOHAR: No, I don't think anything's going to happen before. But I think really, I agree with Bob and I think that we need to move beyond partisan politics. We are living in a globalized world. Jobs can go anywhere. Now, that's not going to change and that has nothing to do with the President's politics. We need to look at the-- the core problems: improving education, building infrastructure, making America a better place to put jobs. That's-- that's the real issue here.
MARK ZANDI (Moody's Analytics): Can I make one quick point and that is the key issue is-- these are important issues, no doubt. But the key issue now is fiscal cliff and how do we achieve fiscal sustainability. And that's why taxes are so important because both Governor Romney and President Obama have different perspectives on how we're going to do that.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mark, let me just ask you this: your agency was one of those who downgraded the credit rating of the United States.
MARK ZANDI: No, that's-- that S&P did that.
BOB SCHIEFFER: S&P, okay, they did. Do you see any indication that that may happen again, if this economy doesn't get better?
MARK ZANDI: Well, let me say I'm not part of the rating agency.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay. So I'm asking you--
MARK ZANDI: I have no inside information here. Yeah, so I-- I listen to what they say and hopefully listen to what I say. But from that perspective, you know, I think if policymakers, the next President, the next Congress don't address how we achieve fiscal sustainability, that is future-- in the future how we're going to get deficits low enough to stabilize our debt-to-GDP ratio, if we can't do that in a credible way, then, yeah, I think there's-- the odds are that we're going to have problems with the credit rating agencies and more importantly than that from-- from global investors, they were the key here because if they bail, our interest rates will rise.
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Well, on that happy note, we're going to have to end this. We'll be back in one minute with our political panel. Thanks to all of you.
JOHN FUND: Thank you.
MARK ZANDI: Thank you.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, we're back now with our political round-table in Washington, Michael Gerson, the columnist for The Washington Post, used to work for George Bush. Our CBS News panel team of Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson; and in New York this morning New York Magazine's Frank Rich. Frank, we're very glad to have you. I want to start with something that we didn't know about when this broadcast started. But, it is my understanding that just a few minutes ago, the Romney campaign bought time on FACE THE NATION during one of our commercial blocks and in some other markets around the country running a new ad, which includes me. We're going to just-- just show you that.
(Excerpt from Romney Campaign Ad)
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm running this not to give circulation to it, but just to state that obviously I have no connection with the Romney campaign. This was done without our permission. It comes as a total surprise to me and-- and that is that. But that is-- that's where we are in politics. Frank Rich:
FRANK RICH (New York Magazine): I hope you get residuals.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'll get some blowback, I'll tell you that for sure.
FRANK RICH: I am sure.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Frank Rich, glad to have you on the broadcast.
FRANK RICH: Thanks for having me.
BOB SCHIEFFER: How big a deal is this Bain Capital stuff? Is this election still about the economy or is this the questions that the Obama campaign is raising about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital and when he left and so forth. Is that--is that a big deal?
FRANK RICH: I think there area two things going on. Obviously, the economy is very important to the election and for reasons your previous panelists just said. But, the problem for Romney is a lot of Americans don't really know him. They don't really know his biography and Bain is the biggest part of it. It's what he's running on is a sort of Mr. Fix-It. He was obviously governor of Massachusetts but he doesn't really want to talk about that because of Obamacare being inspired by his own health care plan. The Olympics is small potatoes. So what has he-- what has he got to run on? It's this. And so, of course, it's going to keep going. And what's shocking I think is not the individual answers to any particular questions but the fact that this was first brought up in a very tough campaign in 1994 against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. And some of the ads that are being run now are sort of similar to the ads then and it's almost two decades later, we can't answer these questions? You know I think if you took his interviews over the past couple of days that he did with all the networks to explain why he was CEO but he wasn't really at Bain, that he got a six-figure income but it was-- it was a different entity, I think that's a character issue. It goes beyond the specific outsourcing questions or any of that. People don't know what-- what he's talking about or who he is.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Michael Gerson, you wrote speeches for George Bush before you became--
MICHAEL GERSON (Washington Post): Mm-Hm.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --I must say a very influential columnist at The Washington Post.
MICHAEL GERSON: Right.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you make of this? In some ways it seems like the Romney campaign was a little slow out of the gate in-- in responding to these allegations?
MICHAEL GERSON: Well, they may have been taken aback. This was a genuine innovation, which is to accuse a presidential candidate of the possibility of committing a felon. I've been involved in three presidential campaigns. That's actually not politics as usual. I think it's a serious challenge. This is a campaign that-- an Obama campaign that tends to not just criticize but to vilify. This week they were really a combination of Huey Long and Michael Corleone. This is a-- you know, and I think that the Romney campaign has had a tough time responding to this, does it work? I don't think it changes the fundamental dynamic of the campaign, which is both stable and very close. But it's certainly changed the narrative and dialogue this week away from a very bad jobs report.
BOB SCHIEFFER: John Dickerson, sum it up for us.
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