Face the Nation: The economy and the 2012 fight

From Left: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie, former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe, Economist Mark Zandi
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Chief White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell guest hosts this Sunday's "Face the Nation" with guests Senator John McCain, Economist Mark Zandi and former party chairs, Ed Gillespie of the Republican National Committee and Terry McAuliffe of the Democratic National Committee.

And they're off! The Republican field for the presidential nomination came into focus in the past week as Texas Governor Rick Perry entered with a splash, wedging himself with Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in the top tier of the race.

But the spotlight has its pitfalls, as Perry has learned quickly - coming under fire for his comments on global warming, creationism, and for attacks on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He's also taken on Governor Romney, setting up a choice for Republican voters over who's best able to create jobs.

Bachmann, fresh off her win at the Iowa Straw Poll has faded from view, but has been campaigning aggressively in South Carolina this week, hoping to take on Perry in that crucial early primary state.

But all three have kept their focus on the White House, attacking President Obama's handling of the economy. For his part, Mr. Obama toured the Midwest in a bus this week and promised a big speech after Labor Day to announce his plans to jump start the economy. But for the White House now on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, that fix couldn't come fast enough as the president's approval on the economy fell to a new low of 26 percent in a recent Gallup poll.

Who's best able to take on the president and what can be done about the economy will be among the issues discussed as Norah sits down with the last Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain.

The economy is clearly the number one issue and the recent volatility in the stock market, coupled with new fears of a global showdown have given fresh worry to the possibility of a double-dip recession. Mark Zandi, the Chief Economist of Moody's Analytics, will join Norah to provide his insight into what's happening in the economy and what can be done to fix it.

Summing up the Republican nomination battle, the economy, and the race for the White House will be the topic of debate as former party chairs, Ed Gillespie of the RNC and Terry McAuliffe of the DNC, sit down with Norah to give their perspective on the race.

The president versus the Republicans, the battle for the Republican nomination and the latest on the economy will be among the topics as Senator McCain, Economist Zandi, and former party chairs Gillespie and McAuliffe sit down with Norah O'Donnell to Face the Nation.

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    Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.