"Face the Nation" transcripts, August 12, 2012: Cutter, Fehrnstrom, Gingrich
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FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The next president of the United States, Paul Ryan.
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CORDES: During the ensuing applause, Romney realized the error, or someone told him, and he quickly jumped in to correct himself.
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ROMNEY: Every now and then, I'm known to make a mistake.
I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this, he's going to be the next vice president of the United States.
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CORDES: Nice save. Romney's not the first presidential candidate, though, to get swept up in the moment. Here was then- Senator Obama four years ago.
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: So let me introduce to you the next president...
... the next vice president of the United States of America...
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CORDES: There are other similarities betweens the two announcements. Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney revealed their pick on a Saturday. Both chose a longtime member of Congress. Both their picks are Roman Catholic. But that's about where the similarities end. Joe Biden was 65 years old when he was chosen. Paul Ryan is 42. Ryan is steeped in the budget. Biden had a reputation as a foreign policy expert. And while Biden accepted the V.P. spot after two failed bids for a presidential nomination, Ryan spent the earlier part of this campaign season denying he was even interested in the job.
When he appeared on "Face the Nation" last March, he said, "If I wanted to be president or vice president so badly, I would have run for president." Well, when the call comes, I guess it's hard to say no.
We'll be right back.
CORDES: Some of our stations are leaving us now, but for the rest of you, we'll be back with more on Campaign 2012 and Mitt Romney's new running mate with a reporters' roundtable. We're going to talk about whether the Ryan pick was a bold or risky choice -- maybe both. And be sure to tune into "60 Minutes" tonight for Bob Schieffer's interview with Mitt Romney and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.
Be back in a moment. We'll see you all very shortly.
CORDES: Paul Ryan pick, "Washington Post" columnist Ruth Marcus, Politico's Roger Simon. David Frum of Newsweek and the Daily Beast. Michael Gerson is also a columnist for the Washington Post and a former speech writer for George W. Bush, Bob Shrum is a Democrat strategist and columnist for The Week. He's out in Los Angeles. But we're going to start with CBS News Political Director John Dickerson who is out on the campaign trail in Mooresville, North Carolina, with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
And John, what did you take away from watching this debut for Paul Ryan yesterday?
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Hello, Nancy.
I think the biggest thing is Ryan has-- his goal is to, one, reintroduce Mitt Romney. He's talking about Romney's business career, his family. He's using his introduction to the country to reintroduce the candidate. And that's important. Mitt Romney has a lot of work to do in terms of the way voters think about him, imagining him as the president. Then Ryan also played the sort of traditional attack dog role, pointing out the differences in problems with Obama administration. Then his other role -- and we'll see how this develops -- is that he is sort of the ideas man. They have -- the campaign is arguing that this is a bold choice, because it's a choice to run on ideas and specific policies.
But when Ryan talks, that's not really what he talks about. And so the question in the end will be how much do -- does the Romney campaign want voters to think about the idea that they have a plan and how much do they want to get into the specifics of those plans?
CORDES: And we heard Jan Crawford talk earlier in the show about how these the two men seem to have personal chemistry. What's it like watching the two of them on stage and I understand the crowds have been larger, more enthusiastic than they have been in the past for Mitt Romney alone.
DICKERSON: That's absolutely right. Here in North Carolina, the crowds are crazy compared to your normal Romney crowd. It's not only standing room only, but the crowd inside is just as big as the crowd outside. The rapport between the two men is very good. One of Romney's adviser, Bob White, who worked with Mitt Romney at Bain, said that Paul Ryan was the kind of fellow they would have hired at Bain. That's pretty high praise in this atmosphere.
They get along quite well. And there's a generational vibe here a little bit. Paul Ryan is as old as one of Mitt Romney's sons. And so, the campaign is hoping that he brings a kind of youthful energy on stage. And that's certainly -- has been evident in the last couple of days.
CORDES: So then, Ruth, I'll ask you, given everything you heard from John, does that mean that Mitt Romney made the right pick?
RUTH MARCUS, WASHINGTON POST: I don't think so, with all due respect. I love the idea of an ideas-driven campaign, but this seems to me to be extremely risky. And I'm going to go out on a limb, it feels like it could be Sarah Palin with substance and a paper trail.
CORDES: What do you mean by that?
MARCUS: What I mean, is, look, vice presidential nominees are important to the extent that they tell us something about the presidential nominee. What this tells us about the presidential nominee is he has decided, and there have been lots of questions about what does Mitt Romney really believe, he now has told us that he really believes in Paul Ryan's vision of America, and Paul Ryan's budget. I thought it was very interesting that Eric Fehrnstrom in your interview didn't exactly answer the question, does this mean he accepts every jot and tittle of the Ryan budget and all the other things that Paul Ryan has suggest along the way.
So I think what we're going to see along the next few weeks is a continuing series of well, does he think this? Does he want to have private accounts for Social Security? Does he want to cut domestic spending quite this dramatically? That's a different campaign than we've been running. And I think a pretty risky campaign. CORDES: But, David, if one of the knocks on Mitt Romney, maybe biggest knock by the Obama campaign, was that he didn't have any specifics, that he spoke in broad generalities. Doesn't this kind of solve that problem. He's got a lot of specifics now.
DAVID FRUM, NEWSWEEK: Look at the top half hour of your show. You spent the entire half hour talking about Medicare, Pell Grants , and the future of the American social insurance state. Every minute Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are talking about jobs, Barack Obama is losing this election. Every minute they're talking about something else, Barack Obama is winning this election.
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