"Face the Nation" transcript: September 25, 2011
Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on September 25, 2011, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. The guests are DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, RNC chair Reince Priebus, Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, CBS White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell and CBS political analyst John Dickerson.
You can watch the full show by clicking on the video player above.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, did I hear that right? In a weekend of stunning political developments, Barack Obama tells African-Americans to rein in the complaining and start marching.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And Rick Perry and Mitt Romney may be on the cover of Newsweek but in a real shocker Herman Cain wins the Florida straw poll. In the same old, same old department another congressional gridlock puts financial aid for recent disaster victims in peril. We'll talk about all of it with the chair of the Democratic Party Debbie Wasserman Shultz, her Republican counterpart Reince Priebus, Mark Zandi the chief economist of Moody's, our chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell and political analyst John Dickerson who was on the scene at that big Republican debate in Florida. We've got a full plate on FACE THE NATION.
ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz is in Fort Lauderdale this morning. Reince Priebus is in Hot Springs, California. And let's get right to the news. Unemployment among African-Americans, of course, is now nearly seventeen percent. And that has caused African-American leaders to complain and complain loudly that the President is not doing enough to change it. Well last night, at a big dinner here in Washington sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, the President responded. Did he ever? Here's part of what he said.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I'm going to press on. I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We're going to press on. We've got work to do.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So Debbie Wasserman Shultz, I got to ask you just flatly, was that good politics? I mean, how is that going to shore up his African-American base and I guess the other part, is that going to help to get independent voters in the Democratic poll this time?
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (Chair, Democratic National Committee; D-Florida): Well Bob, first of all, very quickly, congratulations on your twentieth anniversary. And I was at the dinner last night, heard the speech, was in the midst of the crowd, and they gave the-- the President thunderous applause. The-- the-- the crowd at the Congressional Black Caucus annual gala understands that the President has brought us from the brink of disaster where Republicans under George W. Bush had brought us to the precipice of economic disaster to now a point where we have the beginning of a turn-around. We've created 2.4 million jobs in the private sector over the last eighteen months. We've got more to do? And President Obama has appealed to the-- the Congressional Black Caucus and the-- the attendees last night to close ranks, stand behind him, press on to make sure that we can continue to push for-- for things like passage of the American Jobs Act. And that's what we need Congressional Republicans to do. We need to come together as a country. We need to focus on a shot in the arm that the-- the American Jobs--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Okay.
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --Act would represent. And that's what he was trying to impress upon them last night.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well-- well, Mister Priebus, what are your thoughts on that?
REINCE PRIEBUS (Chair, Republican National Committee): Well Bob, Debbie has got a real problem this morning. And in her-- and her problem is-- is that she can't escape the facts on where we are in this American economy. And the facts are, Bob, that presidential elections are decided by the American people asking themselves the question as to whether or not they're better off today than they were three or four years ago. And here are the facts. Unemployment is at 9.1 percent. We've added four trillion dollars to the national deficit with 2.4 million people are unemployed. So, my question to the chairwoman is, can she point to one economic statistic in this country that Barack Obama has made better? And she--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): All right.
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