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tv   [untitled]    May 10, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT

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we need to rebuild america, and i want to be part of that. >> mr. mourdock, one of the criticisms that senator lugar campaigned on was all the outside of indiana money that was culminating ine ing coming . do you have a comment on that? >> he did many times make the point that there were all this special interest money coming from outside the state. and i agree, there is a group, special interest group from all over the country that came np they're called conservatives. they're the people who would express the very things i've spoken of here this morning with you, that we want to see government reduced. they are very concerned about the future of this country vis-a-vis the economic issues that i spoke of in the last answer. we've got to turn things around. we've got to quit kicking the can down the road. it's a beautiful thing to be 60 years old, to run for an office that frankly i don't have to have, and to know if i'm successful enough to win that i get to make the hard decisions that a lot of americans don't want to make, that a lot of senators especially and congressmen don't want to make. but they have to be made. there are going to be some rough days ahead for us regardless of
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what we do. if we start to scale back government, some will see that as difficult. if we don't scale the news media and political leaders spend a great deal of time talking about what is broken in our country. and to some degree that is the nature of their business. but we should also have confidence that the unique american experiment is alive and well and our political system still can work. >> tuesday night, long-time indiana republican senator richard lugar lost to primary challenger richard mourdock.
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look back at senator lugar's six-term career on the senate floor and in hearings including his work in the 'niefrnts with senator sam nunn on a nuclear disarmament program in the former soviet union, all online, archived and searchable at the c-span video library. up next on c-span 3, political analyst karl rove and joe trippi discuss the communication strategies of the obama and romney presidential campaigns. after that former fed chairman paul volcker testifies about federal financial regulations. >> i thought it was important to write a book that took people's movement seriously. so the movements that elected obama. how did they build over time? obama didn't come out of nowhere. 2003, 2004 what was happening? also the tea party movement, which seemed to come out of nowhere. what's its orange snin how did it work? occupy wall street. i thought those were important things to take seriously, to look at from a social movement,
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we the people perspective. >> on "afterwords" former white house adviser van jones on social movements in america today. saturday night at 10:00 eastern on book tv. also this weekend the american spectator founder r. emmett tyrrell claims liberalism is flawed and has no answerfor today's political issues. in "9 death of liberalism." part of book tv this weekend on c-span 2. coming up next, a discussion on 2012 election strategy. we'll hear from republican political adviser karl rove and democratic campaign consultant joe trippi. this hour 15-minute forum is hosted by the "wall street journal" and moderated by paul jagot. >> so good morning, ladies and gentlemen. my name is paul gigot.
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i'm the editorial page editor of the "wall street journal," and i'm delighted to welcome you all here to the inaugural event of the opinion journal event series. we're going -- this is the first one. and we're delighted you're all here. and we hope to do this on occasion three or four times during a year. and it's great to have you all here in this turnout and for a really interesting inaugural event amid the presidential election season. we've got two experts here, karl rove, the star of stage and screen. before that a deputy white house chief of staff. and architect, to quote a famous person's word. of two winning presidential election campaigns and many would say also architect of the revival of the republican party in texas. joe trippi is his sometime
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debater on television. he is a noted democratic strategist, one of the innovators in the use of the internet and social media in political campaigns. he's also the man who helped to bring howard dean that close to winning the democratic nomination -- >> in arizona! new mexico! colorado! >> he was one shout away. he was one shout away from the presidency. and has helped with jerry brown's campaign in california in 2010 as well as many campaigns overseas. so i'm really thrilled they're here. i'm delighted. we're going to have a fun conversation. and i want to start -- we'll talk for a while, then open it up for questions from you all. but i want to start by seeing if we can get into the head of the campaigns as they are right at this stage in the election cycle as they're trying to size up the challenges they face and plot
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out strategy, karl. and you were -- i want to start with you, and i want to ask you to talk about this from the point of view of the obama campaign because you ran an incumbent president's re-election campaign. you know what it's like to be, you know, 48, 49% approval, no sure thing to get re-elected. what is the obama team thinking about its challenges and what they need to do? >> well, there are two ways to answer that. one is what challenges they think they recognize they have and what challenges they have that i'm not certain they recognize. first of all, let's start with their advantages. they have the advantage of time. they've spent a lot of time working on this and going to battleground states. he's already held march fund-raisers, for example, than all of his predecessors back to ronald reagan combined in their entire campaigns. >> don't you envy that? >> you know, in a way i do.
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but as a practitioner of politics, as somebody who's been inside the white house, if you've had 130 presidential fund-raisers since april 2nd of last year that is an enormous strain on the president's time. and he does have a day job. there is this constant tension inside a presidential re-election between doing the job you're supposed to be doing and trying to run for re-election. and the fact is he's already had more than 2 1/2 times as many fund-raisers as bush had in his entire 2003-2004 re-election even though we both began the re-elections at roughly the same time, frill of the previous year. >> wow. >> but he has had that advantage. he's had a very large apparatus aimed at persuading and getting out the vote that is built in an -- it's an army of persuasion much like the bush 2004 model. but they have the advantage of 12 years' worth of -- eight years' worth of advances in the web and applications in technology that's going to allow them to do some really interesting things. they've got the advantage of
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money. they're not going to get to the billion dollars they sort of leaked to abc last april that they're going to get. i don't even think -- ultimately this is where joe and i have a modest disagreement. that they're going to get to 750. $750 million, which is what they got last time. but i think they will get close to $700 million. and they do have the advantage of getting out there early and putting it away. the neutral thing is the presidential job approval, which is today 47 in this morning's gallup. and we had 49 at this point. i think job approval matters but it is not the dispositive thing. elections are not simply one number. they're a very complex equation. and the thing that i would look at if i were the obama people is that the other number that matters, do the american people see you as a strong leader. they're in very weak condition on. and do the american people see you as having accomplished some big things that are popular. and there he's in real trouble. the stimulus is seen as a
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profound failure. and the affordable care act is really a unique piece of legislation. it's the only piece of modern social legislation in the history of the country that has become less popular after its passage. recent polls show americans by almost a 2-1 margin want to either repeal all of it or repeal significant elements of it. and you can't find that in any other piece of legislation. even the '64 civil rights act, unpopular in the south, is more popular six months and twelve months later even in the south than it was when it was passed. and this thing has become less popular. it's the biggest challenge they've got. they've got a good handle on how they're going to go after romney. he's weird. wears strange underwear. which is a subtle form of religious bigotry but nonetheless effective in some areas of the country. and you know this guy is a rapacious representative of the most loathsome creature in america, somebody who exists on wall street. so you know, big, rich, weird
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guy. and they won't be very subtle at it at times. but they don't have a good handle on them. why do we want to re-elect him? is he the strong and effective leader who's confronted the challenges and got us moving in the right way? look, the recession officially ended in june of 2009, and yet the recent polls show 75% to 80% of the american people think we're still in recession. they've got a real challenge. you've got to run for re-election on the basis of i've done things that you may not necessarily agree with but you may come to conclude that i did the right thing. and -- >> you were able to do that on the war on terror. >> because bush was seen as a strong leader. a lot of times particularly in voting for president people say i'm not -- i like him maybe personally, which is really good for obama. people like him. but they don't like what he's done. so they need to say i like you,
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i feel like i can relate to you, i know what you've done, i know what it is that you want to do, i may not agree with everything that you've done or everything -- but you seem like a strong and steady leader, and as a result, you know, in a pinch i'm going to go with you rather than the other guy. and it's that last part of it. do they see him as a strong effective leader who can explain what it is he -- it's not enough to say, you know, bin laden dead, gm alive. with all respect to vice president biden who's better as a bumper sticker designer than as a vice president. but that's just not adequate. as a result i think -- look, they know they start with a stronger electoral base, but i think they also understand this election is going to come down to a handful of states, 10 or 12 at most, in that they are in a very tough re-election battle and with victory not clear or assured at all. >> joe, why don't you pick that up because particularly the point about the lack of the
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difficulty with accomplishments. they've got them, but they're not popular. particularly the health care bill and obamacare. you can argue the auto bailout is popular. it's certainly in michigan. and of course the killing of bin laden is popular, but what do they do with the achievements being not as popular as they'd like? >> well, they're doing moving forward. and of course the insinuation obviously is romney would -- and the republicans would take us back. and there's -- i think that's going to work for them if romney doesn't put any bold ideas out there. i mean, one of the problems romney's had i think throughout the primaries is just no real big vision that he's put out there. i mean, he's basically running i'm not obama. the one thing i disagree with
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karl about is on the money side of things -- first of all, i agree this is going to be a very close election. it's going to come down to maybe five states actually by the time we start. i don't think arizona's in play. we act like it is but i don't think so. there's other places that -- pennsylvania i'm not really sure could be but essentially, look, this is going to come down to three, four states. probably virginia, ohio, and florida. and we can quibble over other states that may really come down to this. but in the end that's going to come down to a -- it could turn out to be just who's better on the ground. i mean, forget all these bigger issues that we're all talking about here. and that's where -- >> you just mean turnout. getting your voters to the polls. >> this thing could be who gets their voters to the polls. and we're now starting to see
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obama with democrats 10% higher energy than republicans, which has totally flipped from where it was at the beginning of the primary season. i don't believe, by the way, that obama's only going to get 700 million. karl and i disagree about this. they're spending the bulk of their money right now on online -- millions of dollars on online ads that are what we used to do in direct mail solicitation, where you'd go out and lose money trying to get people to chip in, buy a subscription now, then you'd hit them with the resolicit. to give you an idea, on the day the obama campaign was over in 2008, they had 110,000 twitter followers. 110 the day it was over. today it's 15 million. they had nowhere near -- today it's 25 million facebook
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followers. they have a targeted list that they have built up of millions of americans. remember last time 3 million people gave them $500 million. so if that goes to 5 million this time, i mean, given that the scale of the network has gotten -- that they've built is so big, i think this is a lull period where when they go in to resolicit they're going to get up i think above a billion dollars. now, that's not the thing that matters the most about that, though. it's that the romney campaign hasn't built an on the ground effort in a lot of these states that the obama campaign has on the ground. millions of people are going to be out there. i know people don't think that the people are as energized. i think they are. i think the republicans have totally missed out in a lot of
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ways on the importance of building a network. i know this isn't quite like the standard talk. but carville used to say "it's the economy, stupid." it's going to be the economy, stupid this time too. but it's the network, stupid. and these guys know it, have built it better than anybody out there. and in the end if this is as close as choral and i think it's going to be, that could end up being the differential in terms of who wins this. >> but don't you need, don't you have to have a larger theme to sell to these people? you have to have some kind of message. >> of course you do. >> and i guess my question is what is the president's message going to be to mobilize his forces and bring over independents? >> it's a message of moving forward. >> to what? to an economy that can last. >> no, it's -- >> the auto -- >> you've got romney now
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yesterday talking about he should get credit for saving the auto industry. come on. it's not like you can ask us about both of these campaigns right now what is the message that's going to get either of them to excite their base. romney's got that problem, too. and get independents to move to them and some of the demographic problems that both of them have. the independents i think -- my view about independents this year is they tend to be anti-incumbent. forget about the race. forget about whether it's president, congress, senate. they tend to be just moving against anybody who's in. a lot of what we saw in france and greece, i mean, you're seeing this around the world. people are, you know, going up against the incumbents. so i think independents will be a bigger edge for romney. he's got one there. but i think this is going to be about do we go back or do we go forward? that's what the president wants to make this about. and of course romney -- for romney to say look, no, it's
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about moving forward, you've got to have some ideas about do you get them out there. so far he's been void of them. or marrying onto ideas like paul ryan and others that i think are just not going to sell, they're not wearing well. they're not his ideas for the most part, and to date they're not selling with people out there in a way that gets them excited about changing to him. >> two minor points about the process, and then i hope we focus as joe just did on the substance. one minor thing that is obama has not gotten enthusiasm among his donors. in the first quarter of the last year of his campaign, april, may, and june, that's the natural period where if you go back to the 5 million people that support ud last time you'd expect a lot of them to say yeah, let's get going again. 7% of those 5 million donors renewed. which says to me that's about a quarter of what should have renewed. so that says to me there's a profound disappointment in his donor base. if you go back four years ago they were sending out appeals saying mayor koch, send me $25
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or $50. now they're saying send me $3. 3. and your name will be put in the hopper to have dinner with barack and michelle, joe and jill. now this week they're now asking to send $3 to have your name put in the hat so that if president obama comes to your state he'll give you a shout out during his speech. which now this may be smart marketing. but i think it speaks to a profound absence of, you know, message and a disappointment and it's sort of like what's the price point at which people just say, three bucks, i can send that in. as opposed to $25 because i want to change america. >> that's what i'm saying. that's the next step in the resolicit -- >> having been in the direct mail business, when you acquire somebody on some basis, you know, please give us money because we're going to do x, we're going to stand up for israel, we're going to pass the flat tax. we're going to have universal health care. whatever it is you solicit them on is whatever it is you get
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them to renew support on. three bucks out of your pocket doesn't matter, diddley squat. and you may get lucky, have dinner with the president of the united states. we need you to spend $3 to defeat mitt romney. i'm not certain it's going to work. joe may be right. the other interesting process question is both sides will have armies of persuasion. the democrats will build this thing on internet technology and applications and the web and social networks attempting to take joe trippi and link joe trippi up with others who look like joe trippi and hope joe trippi will go reach out to them. sort of weird guys who live on the eastern shore of maryland, mountain bike. they'll take the social characteristics of joe and match him one other people in order to have joe work them. >> but did you that beautifully in 2004. >> we did that beautifully in 2004 in which we linked -- we linked joe trippi up with people in his neighborhood to do that
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and the residual -- look, that victory committee framework that existed in '04 is still there in the battleground states. those people who were the chairman of the phone bank in warren county, ohio, the person who led the volunteer task force, most of them are still there. some of them are active in a lesser way in 2006, 2008, or 2010. a lot of them in 2010. and the republican national chairman, reince priebus understands that and has been working behind the scenes to firm that up and have that there and the romney campaign understands the importance of it. so we're going to have two competing business models if you will. one that says we're going to use the internet and just sort of take joe trippi and we'll link him up with other people all around the country so he can talk to them over the web. and the republican model which is we're going to take joe trippi and link him up with people like himself in his community so he can literally reach out and talk to them in warren county, ohio. and two different models. and we'll see, both of them won't work, the question is how
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well will they work. it matters in an election which you may come down to a percent or two of the vote. remember, obama won north carolina by outspending mccain 7-1 on television and having a grassroots army and won about 15,000 votes. the question is this time around will republican army persuasion and the republican lessening in the democratic money advantage mean that states like that fall back if the republican column? >> take up, karl, take up joe's point, though, about mitt romney and his message. joe is arguing, and certainly there have been critics on the right who have made the same point, that mitt romney has not but the together a real -- i mean, he's been able to attack the president and his failings. but he hasn't put together a real positive message yet. do you think he has adequately? and what should he do? >> well, since you wrote a column on this very topic two weeks ago, i'd be an idiot since i write for you to disagree with you. >> but he does anyway. >> i may be dumb but i'm not
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stupid. i agree. but here's the deal. it's easier for romney to fix that problem, to cure it, than for obama to fix his problem. it's easier for romney to reach back. that november speech, for example, that he gave on entitlement reform is damn good. some stuff that he's talked about tax reform, damn good. things where he's talked about, you know, his vision of the future. some of this stuff is good. so the raw material is there. and the question is over the next three months does he get into a routine so that by the time he gets to labor day that stuff is engrained, comfortable, easy to talk about and fluid in defending it? o'ba obama's problem is that look, these guys blew it. the time to set up the presidential election is not in the election year. it's in the previous year. it's to be the president of the united states in 2011. was to be the president of the united states in 2003. screw the politics. keep focused on your job because
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that's where you set the image of who you are and what you're all about and then build on it in the presidential election year. the biggest mistake they made was having an unsubstantive state of the union address last year. high-speed rail, high-speed internet, and countless green jobs. those were the three key points. who cares? i mean, can you tell me what the theme of this year's state of the union address was? i can't. and i'm so obsessive i read the stuff. imagine what would happen if last year president obama had stood up and said we need to have fundamental tax reform in this country? now, it would have been bill bradley center left rather than it bob packwood, jack it would been fundamental tax reform. what if the president stood up and said you know what? there are some things in simpson boles i like and we may not get the grand bargain but i'm going to ask congress to take these things that there seems to be widespread, partisan agreement on and i & i'm going to work to get it done. and then actually work to get it done rather than i'll have a
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speech, get paul ryan in the front of the room and excoriate his as being a radical plan. if he had done that, we'd be sitting there saying he's the leader, he knows what he wants to do, he's given us a sense of the big problems we need to get america growing again, we need to deal with this deficit problem we've got. what if he'd gone in there and said here are -- he said when he ran for office i'm going to scrub the budget and end programs that do not work. what if he'd done that last year, made that a big key element? he would have absolutely taken the air out of the republican tires. and be moving ahead. and it would have allowed him then to say okay, we've done these thingsing to last year or we're doing those things and i'm going to naturally build on them in my second term by doing these things. instead we had the -- with all due respect to warren buffett we had the buffett rule, which he laid out last august and refused to submit a piece of legislation so it could be scored in august, september, october, november, december, january, and february. finally admitted -- finally put
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it forward in february. why? because his people knew what it was, which was a complete putz. $47 billion income over the next ten years when he's going to spend $46 trillion and add $9.6 trillion to the deficit and we're going to get $47 billion? it was sort of like mini me, dr. evil, $47 billion of additional revenue. i mean, please. not serious. >> joe, karl says tax reform, entitlement reform are adequate themes for romney. you don't think so. >> no. look, by the end of this -- by -- within a couple months we're going to have -- the president's going to be able to say he created more private sector jobs have been created, it's a net plus instead of taking that argument away. things are not that great. and he said that. but the problem here is as bad as things are, the worst economy we've had in my lifetime
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probably, and something's right because the guy's ahead in every one of the swing states. he's leading among women, leading among latinos. this is -- i think the republicans take -- there's almost such a dislike of him when the rest of america actually likes the guy that they're not seeing, you know, the glass half full. they want to see it half empty. and i think right now he's turned the corner and people -- the american people want to see the glass half full too and they're seeing it that way. and they're going to move forward. the problem here is what's -- i think are the intangibles. i think this thing is about does greece and france and europe really move so quickly that it impacts the american economy in
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a way even if it isn't felt here people start to lose more confidence again, that happens? that would be deadly and romney would move -- i mean, there's a lot of things that can -- iran could happen. >> they're already there. >> there are lots of things that could happen. >> it could get worse but they're already there. 26% in gallup say they're satisfied with the condition of the country. no president has been re-elected with a number that low. 33% in the "washington post" say they're on the right track. 64 say we're on the wrong track. this morning in gallup he's turned the corner. this morning in gallup it is 44 obama, 47 romney. and look, last week i loved it. "usa today." this is one of the big advantages the obama campaign will have. a compliant media. there was the front-page article of "usa today." "obama leads in battleground states 47-45." i read the whole goddang article. no context provided. in those 12 states what happened in 2008? obama carried 12 states out of 12. and he carried them by more than
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54%. and mccain got just over 45%. so here we are, 2012, and obama is seven points below where he was and romney is at where mccain was. who do you think is going to come out with a better shot at winning? all romney needs to do is win five of those 12 states and he wins the election. and you know -- >> no, it's true. and the other thing is -- the other side's true, is that obama needs to win the kerry states and nevada, colorado, and new mexico. and romney can't get there. and this is where the demographics start to cut in because the kerry states, obama's going to win the kerry states. nevada, new mexico, and colorado where you'd say boy, that's tough for obama, look at what's going on with foreclosures in nevada. of course he should get


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