"Face the Nation" transcripts, August 26, 2012: Rubio, Priebus, Barbour, Blackburn
BOB SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now. For most of you, we'll be right back with more from our panel and more on Campaign 2012.
Stay with us. We'll be right here.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We're here on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and we're talking to Haley Barbour, Reince Priebus, and Marsha Blackburn. At last we're going to get to talk to you.
Haley Barbour, you've been to a lot of these things. You were chair of the-- of the party at one point. Do you somehow feel like Republicans just can't seem to get a break these last couple of weeks? We had these Congressmen I just talked about they're swimming around in the Sea of Galilee. And then this fella Akin comes along with this bizarre twist on-- on abortion and all of that. And then the weather hits. Can you get it back?
HALEY BARBOUR (Former Mississippi Governor/Former Republican National Committee Chair): Well, I'll tell you, you know, obviously, Obama and Democrats want to change the subject to anything but Obama's record. So I'm-- I'm sure they're out there praying for rain. But, you know, they go even further than that. You take this Todd Akin guy that you've been talking about in Missouri; Harry Reid, the Democrat Senate leaders PAC put more than a million dollars into the Republican primary contest to help Todd Akin win the Republican nomination. Now we know why. But the fact is at the end of the day the American people know this election is going to be a referendum on-- on President Obama's record. Marco Rubio said it--are you better off than you were four years ago? Is America better off than it was four years ago? And Barack Obama wants the conversation to be about anything else.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Congresswoman or you like to be called Congressman, don't you?
REPRESENTATIVE MARSHA BLACKBURN: Congressman Marsha, whatever. I am just focused on getting the job done.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What about this guy Akin? I mean here Mitt Romney comes out. I mean it seems to me like there was a time in politics when the leaders could get together and tell somebody to take a hike. You can't really do that somehow anymore.
REPRESENTATIVE MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-Tennessee): Well, you know, I have to tell you, in our party, when somebody commits a Biden-ism, like Akin did, you know, his remarks are indefensible, they are disgusting, they're-- just you can say all sorts of things. But the thing is we do speak out about it. Here's the thing, the American people are talking about jobs, the economy, and doing something with this national debt. The debt clock is running. We're almost to sixteen trillion dollars, and I think more than ever before the American people are saying, tell me how you're going to get us out of this. It's the number one issue with women, jobs, the economy. Number two is getting Obamacare off the books. Women are the drivers when it comes to health-- health care. All these distractions, they look at as distractions, and they're saying, "How do we get this country back to work? Tell me what your plan is."
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, but down there in that-- that Senate race down there, he was running ahead, Akin, was, of the Democrat by about three or four points. I think it's now flipped, and I think the Democrat Claire McCaskill is up by about seven. Mister Priebus, are you guys going to let that stand or--
REINCE PRIEBUS: We've been pretty clear on how we feel about Todd Akin's comments. You know, I--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah. But he's still there.
REINCE PRIEBUS: I think I've labeled them biologically stupid. But-- you know, and-- and this is why we've asked him to-- to step aside and let someone else take over, which we have a few weeks to get that done, is that if-- if it's really about liberty and freedom, which we believe it is, and if it really is about changing the course of-- of this country off the-- the Barack Obama pathway that we're on, then Todd Akin has to put the cause above himself and realize that we can have a better chance in that seat. And-- and, you know, so we're moving on. We're-- we're worried about electing Mitt Romney president. We're-- we're worried about holding the President accountable, telling the Mitt Romney story here next week, and that's what we're focused in on, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Miss Blackburn, it says what you all said in the beginning, this is going to be all about the economy. But what I'm wondering, how do you get it back to that, Governor Barbour? I mean what has to happen at this convention?
HALEY BARBOUR: Well, I was going to say, Bob, the first thing is, if your first four questions are about it, it's kind of hard getting-- getting the subject back on the economy when you want to talk about Todd Akin. The fact of the matter--
BOB SCHIEFFER: I want to talk about the news.
HALEY BARBOUR: You know, the fact to the matter is in America Marco Rubio talks about the biggest source of new jobs are new businesses, new small businesses. Last year where there's lowest number of new small businesses started in America in decades. In the Obama, quote, "recovery," the average American family according to the Census Bureau, lost twenty-five hundred dollars a year in real per family income, twenty-five-hundred-dollar-a-year loss in the so-called recovery. No matter what we talk about that's what's on the American people's minds.
REPRESENTATIVE MARSHA BLACKBURN: And let's add to that.
HALEY BARBOUR: They get it.
- Schieffer: "Welcome to dumb and dumber" in Washington
- AP president blasts "unconstitutional" phone records probe
- Face the Nation transcripts May 19, 2013: Pfeiffer, Cornyn, Chaffetz & Pruitt
- Bob Schieffer on "dumb and dumber" in Washington
- May 19: Pfeiffer, Cornyn, Chaffetz & Pruitt
- Have recent controversies "paralyzed" Washington?
- Obama cultivating "culture of cover-ups and intimidation," Cornyn says
- Open: This is Face the Nation, May 19
- Pruitt: Justice Department's seizure of AP phone records "unconstitutional"
- Cornyn condemns "culture of cover-ups and intimidation" at WH
- Noonan: Petraeus resignation "mysterious"
- Pfeiffer: "Partisan fishing expeditions" won't "distract" White House
- White House not living up to promises of transparency, Chaffetz says
- Watergate: "A scandal that brought down the president"
- Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack "from the get-go"
- Gates knocks "cartoonish" Benghazi criticism