"Face the Nation" transcripts, October 14, 2012: Sen. Graham, Rep. Issa, Rep. Cummings

Last Updated Oct 16, 2012 11:29 AM EDT

FRANK LUNTZ: Allow me one point on this, though, which is that if you can't cooperate in a debate setting with your opponent, how can you cooperate with Congress? How can you work with the other side? And that's what they pointed out. It wasn't his performance that bothered them. They feel that Barack Obama can't work with Congress, and so if you vote for him again, you're going to get four more years of the same thing.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: But you did-- you did some independent survey after the Biden-Ryan debate.

FRANK LUNTZ: Correct.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: And one of the things you found was that people liked what Ryan said about the ability of Romney to work with the Democratic legislature in Massachusetts.

FRANK LUNTZ: Correct.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, kudos to the eighty-seven percent of the Democrats in that state legislature who were willing to work with an opponent in service of a country and a state which we haven't seen from the Republicans who have been so obstructionist these last few years.

BAY BUCHANAN (Romney Senior Adviser): You know, basically what we learned from the first debate, and I think, well, the second debate just-- is going to reinforce that message. So we learn that there's a huge, soft underbelly of-- of any kind of support for Barack Obama, that we could take a-- that a woman's gap-- the ladies' gap of eighteen points and close it in ninety minutes, close it and to move to a twelve-point swing. So it tells me Americans are looking for something. They-- they are now decided that if there is something better, they're going to go there. And they saw Mitt Romney and they saw somebody who is a serious, thoughtful, very, very well prepared, knowledgeable, somebody who can lead and has a plan. And he said it all out there, and the people responded. And where I think Biden was-- made his mistake is they may have said, okay, he's knowledgeable, but-- but what did Mitt-- what did Ryan say? Ryan said I am another thoughtful, very, very knowledgeable and someone determined to turn things around. And he sent that same message of leadership that can make a difference in this country.

DAVID CORN (Mother Jones): The-- the Romney-Ryan ticket has a built-in advantage. The economy is not going as well as anybody wants. And they still have been struggling for months and months. They put things on their website, they put up position papers, but one reason I think Romney did so well in the first debate was he ran away from almost any specific that he himself has put out. He won't talk as Katrina mentioned about how you really do this tax plan. When he does a foreign policy speech, all he says is, "I'll be tougher than Barack Obama without saying any way in which he will and actually endorses most of Barack Obama-- Barack Obama's foreign policy. So what we're getting a lot from your campaign. You guys are really good at this. And I don't work for a campaign. So it's not kind of an even fight here. But from your campaign a lot of great top-- what I call top-line rhetoric. I'm strong, he's weak. I can make the economy better. He can't, without either filling in the specifics or running-- specifics matter--

BAY BUCHANAN: The specifics, David, are there.

DAVID CORN: They're all--

BAY BUCHANAN: They are there.

DAVID CORN: Go back to the one thing--

BAY BUCHANAN: How do you create jobs?

DAVID CORN: Going back to the one big issue, the big tax cut plan. He will not say they-- how they-- how they'll pay for it. In fact, they say over and over again, we don't want to give that away yet. It's like--

(Cross talking)

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: Nixon talks--

DAVID CORN: It's like Nix-- and remember, Nixon's secret plan--

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: It's very clear. It's tricky Dixon. Tricky Dick Romney.

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