"Face the Nation" transcripts, August 5, 2012: McDonnell, Rendell, Strickland, Diaz-Balart
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--
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