"Face the Nation" transcripts, June 17, 2012: Gov. Romney, Senator Graham, Gov. Dean


(CBS News) Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on June 17, 2012, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. A roundtable with Peggy Noonan, Rich Lowry and CBS News' Jan Crawford and John Dickerson.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, from Cornwall, Pennsylvania, we're on the campaign trail with Mitt Romney.

With the polls closer than many expected at this point, Mitt Romney is riding high and getting a warm welcome in places like Pennsylvania, once Obama territory.

MITT ROMNEY: We're going to do it here in Pennsylvania with your help.

BOB SCHIEFFER: When he took a break to talk to us--

MITT ROMNEY: Hey, Bob, how are you doing?

BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm good, yeah.

--he had strong words for the President's new plans to stop deporting the children of illegal aliens.

MITT ROMNEY: If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with the illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So he did it with politics?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, that's certainly a big, big part of the equation.

BOB SCHIEFFER: He vowed to stop the President's health care plan no matter what the Supreme Court rules.

MITT ROMNEY: Regardless of their decision, if I'm President, we're going to stop Obamacare on its tracks.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And he saw little that United States can do to help the financial crisis in Europe.

MITT ROMNEY: Well, we're not going to send checks to-- to Europe. We're not going to bail out the European banks.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Later on his campaign bus, he remembered his dad on this Father's Day weekend.

MITT ROMNEY: He spoke the truth, suffered for it politically from time to time but he didn't care about the politics of-- of truth. He said what he believed and-- and moved on.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And he told us about the Romney family's Olympic athlete.

MITT ROMNEY: Yeah, it's not me.

BOB SCHIEFFER: On page two, we'll hear from the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean; Republican Senator Lindsey Graham; and for analysis, TIME magazine's Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal; and our own Jan Crawford and John Dickerson. It's all ahead because this is FACE THE NATION.

Good morning, again. Mitt Romney got on a bus this weekend and began a tour of six battleground states. He's traveling mostly on the back roads. He is visiting New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. We caught up with him in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Governor, thank you so much for joining us--

MITT ROMNEY (voice overlapping): Thanks, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --we really appreciate it. I-- I think we ought to just get right to the news.

MITT ROMNEY: All right.

BOB SCHIEFFER: The President said, Friday, the government will no longer seek to deport eight hundred thousand of these young illegal immigrants who were brought into this country by their parents. I think you said this is just a short-term solution to a long-term problem, but would you repeal this order if you became President?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, let's step back and-- and look at the issue. I mean, first of all, we have to secure the border. We need to have an employment verification system to make sure that those that are working here in this country are here legally and then with regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is. This is something Congress has been working on, and I thought we are about to see some proposals brought forward by Senator Marco Rubio and by Democrat senators, but the President jumped in and said I'm going to take this action. He called it a stopgap measure. I-- I don't know why he feels stopgap measures are the right way to go and he--

BOB SCHIEFFER (voice overlapping): Well, what would you do about it?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, as-- as you know, he was-- he was President for the last three and a half years, did nothing on immigration. Two years, he had a Democrats' House in Senate, did nothing of permanent or-- or long-term basis. What I would do is I'd make sure that by coming into office I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the-- for the children of those that-- that have come here illegally--

BOB SCHIEFFER (voice overlapping): Would you--

MITT ROMNEY: --and I've said, for instance, that-- that those who served in the military, I would give permanent residents, too.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Sure, but would you repeal this?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution with-- with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals, such that they know what their-- their stat-- setting is going to be--

BOB SCHIEFFER (voice overlapping): But would--

MITT ROMNEY: --not just-- not-- not just for the term of the President, but on a permanent basis.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I-- I won't keep on about this but just to-- to make sure I understand, would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or would you just repeal it?

MITT ROMNEY: We'll-- we'll look at that-- we'll look at that setting as we-- as we reach that. But my anticipation is, I'd come into office and say we need to get this done on a long-term basis, not this kind of a stopgap measure. What-- what the President did, he-- he should have worked on this years ago. If he felt seriously about this, he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate, but he didn't. He saves these sort of things until four and a half months before the general election.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, why did you think he did that?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, I-- I think the timing is-- is pretty clear. If he-- if he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with the illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So he did it for politics?