(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on September 30, 2012, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guest includes: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingirch. A roundtable included University of Virginia's Larry Sabato, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, and former Democratic consultant Bob Shrum. Another roundtable included economis Mark Zandi, education expert Michelle Rhee, author Hendrick Smith and journalist Bob Woodward.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, and the problems of Mitt Romney. As polls showed Romney slipping in key battleground states the President piled on, turning his own gaffes and the laugh lines.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I want to see us export more jobs-- export more products, excuse me, I was-- I-- I was channeling my opponent there for a second.
BOB SCHIEFFER: The comics chimed in with advice and consolation.
STEPHEN COLBERT: There are forty days left until the election. Lot can happen in forty days? Obama could make a gaffe. Mitt could win the debates. Gods could send a flood to destroy all mankind. So there's hope.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Short of building an ark, what is Romney's best chance now? We'll ask New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and one-time adversary Newt Gingrich. So far Romney is sticking to a familiar theme, but does he need to do more?
MITT ROMNEY: I'm going to lower the tax rates. He wants to raise them. I'll create jobs. He'll kill them.
BOB SCHIEFFER: We'll get analysis on where the race stands from Tennessee Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn, Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, and Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Then, as we head into first presidential debate, we'll talk about the state of America at home and abroad with a distinguished panel. Michelle Rhee, former head of the Washington DC School System and founder of StudentsFirst; Economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics; Bob Woodward, author of the Price of Politics; and Hedrick Smith, author of the new book, Who Stole the American Dream? It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.
ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And we welcome now to the broadcast New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Governor, thank you for being here. Well, Governor, I have got to start off by saying I don't hear very many Republicans these days who think Mitt Romney is doing very well. What's your take here?
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-New Jersey): Well, listen, yeah, he's-- he's had a tough couple of weeks. Let's be honest. I mean I'm not going to sit here and come on this morning and-- and sugarcoat the last couple of weeks. They've been tough. But here's the great news for Republicans. We have a candidate who is going to do extraordinarily well on Wednesday night. The first time he has the opportunity to stand on the same stage with the President of the United States and the first time a majority of the people that are going to vote in this race will have an opportunity to make that direct comparison and see the two of them. When they do-- I've seen Mitt Romney do this before. He's going to come in Wednesday night. He's going to lay out his vision for America. He's going to contrast what his view is and what the President's record is and the President's view for the future and this whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, if he's had such a hard time so far, why suddenly will it be a whole different deal?
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, because I think it is a whole different deal. What he is going to be doing on Wednesday night is not going to be filtered by anybody. It's not going to be spun by anybody or filtered by anybody. The American people are going to get ninety minutes to look these two men right in the eyes in their living rooms and make a judgment about their visions for the future, their experience and their records and be able to say who do we trust the most to be the President of the United States during these incredibly challenging times? And I just know--I've watched Mitt Romney do this, and so have you, Bob--over the course of every time he was backed into a corner in the primaries. He came out with a great debate performance because that's where he shines and he is going to do a great job on Wednesday night.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Governor, I-- I certainly take your-- your point, and I have respect your opinion but talking about being spun and so forth it seems to me most of the problems Governor Romney has had thus far, he has created for himself. For example, this tape where he said he's just basically writing off forty-seven percent of-- of the electorate. That was not the campaign. The governor himself said that was me. Has that thing-- is that thing really hurt him?