Romney responds to Bain criticism

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - President Obama has been hitting GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney hard for a while about his work at Bain Capital. In an exclusive CBS News interview from Wednesday, Romney was asked whether he thought the attacks would resonate and how he planned to respond. A transcript of that interview follows.

Romney: He's in a real tough spot. He's grasping at any kind of straw he can find. And the reality is the American people can make their own assessment of whether the economy has gotten better under President Obama or not. We have now 8.2 percent unemployment in America.

Crawford: Is that the new normal?

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Romney: It may be under this president, but I think we can do better -- a lot better. The president predicted that we'd be at 5.6 percent unemployment now. We have millions and millions of more Americans unemployed than what the president predicted.

The American people want to see someone who can get this economy going again and create jobs for their kids coming out of high school and college, get people off the unemployment lines. That's what I know how to do. That's what I want to bring to America. And this president, having failed to do that in the way he promised, now is looking for some way to hang on to his job. And I think in the final analysis, it won't work.

Crawford: Why not?

Romney: Because the American people want someone who can get this country going again.

Crawford: And you don't think this president is. But why do you think you can convince the American people? And how do you change that impression that some people have of you?

Romney: The people of America will stop and say, "Is my life better because of this president?" "Did his policies get us back to work?" "Did they improve our lives?" "And if not, does Mitt Romney offer different answers with a different possibility for us?" And the [answer] is of course. That's why I'm in the race. I've laid out what I'd do to get this economy going. And as long as I continue to speak about the economy, I'm gonna win. I'm not just not going to grab at the attacks he throws out there [and] spend all my time talking about that. Because in the final analysis, people want to know who's the president that will make my life better and keep America strong.

Now Romney's confidence is not shared by some prominent conservatives who are saying to win, he just needs a bolder vision, maybe some new campaign staff. Regardless of what those conservative critics are saying, Romney today can point to the best fundraising month for either candidate in this campaign. In June, he raised more than $100 million.

  • Jan Crawford On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Jan Crawford is CBS News Chief Political and Legal Correspondent. She is from "Crossroads," Alabama.

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