tv Meet the Press NBC August 15, 2011 3:00am-4:00am PDT
washington post," eugene robinson, and senior political reporter tracking the republican field for "politico," jonathan martin. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good morning from iowa. big political weekend as we cast the republican race for the white house. news this morning that former governor tim pawlenty who came in a distant third in the straw poll in iowa, held a conference call with supporters moments ago and told them he plans to announce this morning that he is dropping out of the race at this early juncture. joining me fresh from her iowa straw poll victory, republican presidential candidate, congresswoman michele bachmann of minnesota. welcome back to "meet the press" and congratulations.
>> thank you, david. thank you. >> here is the headline in "the des moines register," the sunday edition -- "bachmann takes first," one of the big headlines in a busy political weekend. are you now the front-runner in iowa? >> oh, i'm grateful that we won the straw poll, but we see this as just the very first step in a very long race because we, of course, have the caucuses here coming up after christmas, and then there's south carolina and new hampshire and onward and upward. there's a lot of work to be done. we're extremely grateful, and that's why after we're done talking with you today, i'll be going back up to waterloo, iowa, where we launched this race 48 days ago. i've only been in the race 48 days, so this is a tremendous accomplishment in that amount of time. i want to go back to waterloo and say thank you to the people of iowa. >> governor pawlenty is dropping out of the race. you had a debate with him earlier in the race. has he been in touch with you to tell you he's getting out? >> i'll be calling him today to wish him well. he brought an important voice to
the race. i have respect for the governor. we have known each other many years and i was grateful he was in. he's a very good competitor. >> will you seek his endorsement at this point? >> well, i'll talk to the governor and wish him well. a lot has happened in the last 24 hours. >> including the fact that governor rick perry from texas is now in the race, and he could have quite an impact. how do you size him up in terms of competition? >> well, i welcome anyone who's coming into the race, and i think it will be good competition for everyone, and i think, you know, he'll run his campaign, we'll run ours, but we really look forward to that, and what i'm looking forward to more than anything is taking on barack obama as the republican nominee. >> this is our "meet the candidates" series, so this is an opportunity to talk in a little bit more length, a little bit more detail and give americans a better sense of where you're coming from, what your plan for the country is. so, as you approach this race, you are a third-term member of congress, you have not served as a chair of either a committee in congress or a subcommittee, you don't have broad legislative
experience. in fact, fair to say you're most known for being a pretty hard-lined conservative member of congress who's also said some pretty controversial things. what is the case that you got the judgment and experience to be the president of the country? >> well, i have a lifetime of experience. i'm 55 years old, i've been married 33 years, i have five children, i've raised 23 foster children. i also am a federal tax litigation attorney. i have a law degree and post-doctorate degree from william & mary and have worked for years in the federal tax court. so i know up close and personal how devastating high taxes are on businesses and families and farmers, but also, my husband and i started a successful company. we're job-creators. we get it how you have to turn a profit and keep a margin in line. so i've lived life, but also, i've also been in the state senate where i've been very successful turning around education reforin minnesota. i led that effort in minnesota. i brought republicans and democrats and independents together. i did that. but in congress, i've been at
the tip of the spear and a champion for what people have been calling for, and that's fiscal responsibility and accountability. the last two months, i was the leading voice in washington against raising the debt ceiling. now, that doesn't mean default. i introduced a bill to make sure that we would not default, but also getting our spending priorities in line. >> well, and i want to talk more about that. what about the fact that you're demonstrating thus far -- and there's no real voting yet -- but you are demonstrating that you can win the support of conservative republicans, right-wing conservatives. what makes you confident that you've got more crossover appeal to actually be a general election candidate? >> well, because we had a number of people here at the iowa straw poll yesterday who are democrats, who are independents, and who are apolitical people. that's how i had to win in minnesota. again, we are not a conservative state. i was from a swing district. it was the district that elected jesse ventura governor of our state. but i'm able to attract democrats and independents
because when i grew up here in iowa, i was born in waterloo, we were democrats when i was growing up, and we were reasonable, fair-minded people. most democrats are reasonable, fair-minded people. and so, i have a message that reaches out to them because they, after all, they want jobs, too, and they want the economy to turn around, too. >> let's talk about the important issue in this campaign and what americans are really dealing with right now, and that's this economy. you said in the debate this week that you could as president begin to turn the economy around within several months. how specifically would you do that? how would you jump-start growth? >> sure. i think the markets need to see a signal. what's going to come out of washington. and the only signal they've seen so far is that it is going to be more spending, spending money that we don't have, and more taxing. and so, that leads the markets to say it doesn't look like we're going to see a new face of our business world. and so, what we need to do is have a president who is willing to come forward and have true
spending reduction, and people in the business world -- i know this as a businesswoman -- we have to know what the tax rates are going to be that needs to be stable. and i'll tell you, the biggest job-ller right now, because i'm all across iowa asking people, businesspeople tell me it's obama care and it's the dodd/frank law. dodd/frank isdrying up credit for businesses -- >> financial regulations. >> yes, and i have the repeal bill for dodd-frank and also for the obama care legislation. people want that gone. it is absolutely without a doubt a job-killer. and i was just at a business in iowa. they've let half of their workforce go, over 100 employees. >> what about immediately, though, because there are economists saying you have to do something to immediately stimulate the economy because the consumer is simply not spending, there is no demand out there. >> well, we know what not to do, don't we? >> well -- >> we know you don't pass another stimulus, you don't do a qe-3 like the federal reserve wants to do. those don't work, and you don't raise taxes. that will clearly put us in a
double-dip recession. >> what about extending the payroll tax cut, is that something you could support? >> i think what we need to do is cut federal spending -- >> i'm asking about the payroll tax cut. would you cut that right now? >> well, that's part of the compromise that happened in december. that is one aspect to be done, but again, i think what we need to focus on more than anything is what will lead to job creation, and what will lead to job creation is taking the united states down from about the top corporate tax rate in the world at 34% down to something that is far more competitive. >> what about extending jobless benefits for people who are out of work, do you think that's a necessary step? >> i think it would be very difficult for us to do because we, frankly, don't have the money. i mean, that's the bottom line in the united states. we are now, according to mark steyn -- he wrote "after america," and in his book, he says we are the brokest nation history. he said we have gone from being the biggest creditor nation to the biggest debtor nation in a very short period of time. >> so no on extending jobless
benefits? >> right now i don't think we can afford it. >> let me ask you about the debt ceiling. you were adamantly opposed to raising the debt ceiling. you voted against that. and there's a lot of people who said that was an incredibly reckless thing to do for our economy. >> hardly. hardly. >> let me take you through it. it wasn't just the president of the united states it was also the chairman of the federal reserve, it was the treasury secretary it was your entire -- >> and they've done such a smashing job -- >> let me finish. the entire republican leadership thought that was the wrong thing to do. business leaders in this country thought that was the bad thing to do. why should we trust your judgment that that was the right thing to do and not reckless on the part of a congresswoman? >> fantastic question. because that's the judgment of the people of this country. the people of this country would love to weigh in, and they would love to say, tim geithner, treasury secretary, you're wrong. mr. president, you're wrong. and that's what -- >> but that's why we have elected representatives, congresswoman, who actually know the true financial impact of a step like this.
maybe people are against raising the debt ceiling, but the reality is, bipartisan agreement in the business community saying you don't do that, you don't mess with the full faith and credit of the united states. >> that's right. that's exactly right. >> would you have voted the same way if you were the deciding vote? >> that's right, you don't mess with the full faith and credit of the united states. that's why i introduced the bill i did that would have prevented any form of default. it's president obama who failed to put any sort of a plan forward. that's what led to the uncertainty. i was in another business here in west des moines, competitive edge, and the owner of that company told me that their problem right now is, again, the fact that they didn't know what was going to happen with interest rates, they don't know what's going to happen with obama care. and so, they're on hold right now for hiring. the president is not sending the right signals. again, let me just answer your question, because you said, well, all the people in washington said we had to raise the debt ceiling. all the people out in america said don't raise the debt ceiling.
that's the problem with washington. >> but why does it make it the right thing to do? i mean -- >> well, because representatives are supposed to represent the people that they serve. the people that they're serving are saying you guys don't have it figured out. stop spending money. >> but the republican opinion will be the sole determinant of how you vote on a particular issue? >> i think it's important -- well, obviously, president obama's policies are failing the economy. we took the biggest punch to the gut this week that we have seen in our economy. this was a very bad week, so -- >> but congresswoman, if you were the deciding vote on the debt ceiling -- >> let me finish. so, the wrong thing for the president to do, number one, is come out and blame earthquakes, blame the arab spring, blame everybody but his own policies. and instead what did he do? the president called for more of what doesn't work. we've got to spend more money we don't have, we've got to increase taxes. he clearly doesn't have the result. that's why the markets are royaling right now, because people see this president is flailing without a plan.
>> let me stop you there. >> we've got a plan. >> one of the reasons the markets are whirling, one of the reasons standard and poors downgraded the credit rating, described as michael cooper in "the new york times" caucus blog on thursday -- i'll put it on the screen. "the ratings agency lamented on its report on the downgrade that the statutory debt ceiling and threat of default have been political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy, and it was republicans in congress who made it a bargaining chip. they balked at raising the debt limit unless democrats agreed to a new package of spending cuts. the obama administration initially sought to clean bill to raise the debt limit but the republicans prevailed." a lot of americans are disgusted that there is so much tension in washington that something like the debt ceiling of the united states, our full faith and credit of the united states, the ability to pay its bills, was used by republicans as a bargaining chip. >> remember, i introduced a bill that would not have had the united states default. the president did not.
let me tell you what the president did. president obama went out and effectively said through his administration, we don't know if we're going to pay our military men and women in uniform. this comment was made overss to our men and women while they were serving our country. >> that was not the president. that was the chairman of the joint chiefs. >> that was the chairman of the joint chiefs that was highly irresponsible. the president also said to senior citizens, we don't know if you'll get your social security checks in august. there were people in dexter, iowa, who canceled their internet, who canceled their satellite tv because -- >> congresswoman, you're not answering our question, which is this was used as a bargaining chip. that's what created the uncertainty. >> it was because they didn't think the president was going to get their social security check to them. that was more than irresponsible. it sent a very bad signal. i wouldn't do that to senior citizens. i care about them. i love them. i wouldn't want them to be in a position where they don't think they're going to get their check. that's why the president has so mishandled this entire debate.
he's the one who threatened default, not me, not republicans. i didn't see repuicans threatening default. i saw the president threatening default. >> let me move on to a couple other issues, one more on the economy and the supercommittee now in washington that's supposed to cut more government spending, and the debate's going to continue, whether tax increases have to be in any way part of this discussion, increases not necessarily in marginal rates, but through closing loopholes, other ways to get revenue. you're opposed to that. and there are those in the business community, the private sector, some influential voices who have taken issue with your point of view and those of other conservative republicans. bill gross, the founder of pimm co-the giant bond trading firm in this country, this is what he said, being critical of that lack of a balanced approach. i'll put it on the screen. "an anti-keynesian, budget-balancing immediacy imparts a constrictive noose around whatever command remains alive and kicking. wasngton hassles over debt
ceilings instead of job creation in the mistaken belief that a balanced budget will create a balanced economy. it will not." why do you say no to any prospect of new revenue as you're trying to unwind this debt? >> the way you get revenue is by growing business the economy, and the way that you grow the economy is to have the federal government get its hand, quite frankly, out of your pocketbook. once you get the federal government out of your pocketbook, you have a little bit more money. >> this is the biggest bond trader of the country -- >> i'll be happy to answer your question -- >> who knows how the markets work. >> the way you grow the economy is to have a little bit more money in your pocket so you can put it into your business, hire a few more people, pay them a little bit more, give them a little bit better benefits, create a better mouse trap, if you will, and charge less for it. i want jobs here in america. i'm tired of seeing them go overseas. we are losing companies
literally all across iowa. this is a very serious issue. webster city, iowa, electrolux vacuum cleaners, they closed their doors. they're gone. they didn't just leave webster city, they left the united states. david, this is real. people are suffering across america, and if we want to be serious about job creation, then we've got to be serious about government cutting back. and i'll give you the best example i can. there is only one employee at federal department of transportation that made over $170,000 a year at the beginning of the recession. 18 months into the recession, there were 1,690 employees at the federal department of transportation that made over $170,000 a year. government grew exponentially from the stimulus while private businesses were close their doors and letting people off in real america. it's real america that needs to have their voice, not washington. let's listen to real america. that's what i'm trying to do and bring their voice to the white house. >> from the economy, i want to move on to another topic that's
deeply meaningful and important to you, and that's your faith in god. this is something that not only motivates you as a person, inspires you as you try to live virtuous life, but it's also be important to your political identity as well. and i want to ask you about not only the role god plays in your life, but to what extent he's a motivator for decisions that you make. one example that's gotten some attention is some remarks you made back in 2006 about your career path, which you've talked about here. and i want to play a brief clip of those remarks. >> get a post-doctorate degree in tax law. tax law! i hate taxes. why should i go and do something like that? but the lord said, be submissive, wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands. >> is that your view for women in america? is that your vision for them? >> well, during the debate, i was asked a question about this,
and my response was, is that submission, that word, means respect. it means that i respect my husband and he respects m >> congresswoman, i didn't even have to check with my wife, and i know those two things aren't equal. >> what's that? >> submission and respect. >> well, in our house, it is. we've been married almost 33 years and i have a great deal of respect for my husband. he's a wonderful, wonderful man and a great father to our children, and he's also filled with good advice. >> his word goes? >> pardon? >> his word goes? >> well, both of our words go. we respect each other. we have a mutual partnership in our marriage, and that's the only way we could accomplish what we've done in life is to be a good team. we're a good team together. >> to what extent does your relationship with god mean that you take cues from god for decisions that you make and that you would make as president? you've talked about god inspiring you to marry your husband and telling you to marry your husband, to get into politics, to take certain decisions about your career, as we just talked about.
>> well, i do have faith in god and i learned it right here in iowa. we're in ames, iowa, right now. i was born in waterloo, iowa. i'm heading up there to say thank you to everyone who instlled my early values in me, and that began at our church. my parents took us to church every week. we went to a lutheran church, first lutheran waterloo, and they prayed with us at night. we prayed before we had mealtime. they've really instilled wonderful values in us, and i recognize that i'm not perfect and that i need god in my life, and that's really helped me to set my course. >> god has guided your decisions in life. would god guide your decisions that you would make as president of the united states? >> well, as president of the united states, i would pray. i would pray and ask the lord for guidance. that's what presidents have done throughout history. george washington did, abraham lincoln did -- >> but you said "god called me to run for congress," god has said certain things about, you know, going to law school, about pursuing other decisions in your life. there's a difference between god
as a sense of comfort and safe harbor and inspiration and god telling you to take a particular action. >> all i can tell you is what my experience has been. i'm extremely grateful to have a faith in god. i see that god has so blessed this country. you know, we've heard that song that he's "shed his grace" on the united states. i believe that. he's been very good to our country, and i think it's important for us to seek his guidance and to pray and to listen to his voice. >> would you appoint an openly atheist person to be a member of your administration, your cabinet, or even as a judge to a court? >> well, my criteria would be, first of all, how do you view the constitution? if you uphold the constitution, if you're competent and if you share my views, then you could get appointed. that's my litmus test, is do you stand for the constitution, are you competent, and do you share my views? >> but an atheist would be acceptable to you as a member of
your administration? >> that wouldn't be a question i would ask. >> okay. i want to also ask you about your interpretation of the bible and your feelings about gays and lesbians. you have said in recent years that opposition to same-sex marriage is a defining political debate in this country. you're opposed to it. you'd like to see a constitutional ban against it in this country. and during a speech you gave in 2004 at an education conference, you spoke openly and in detail about gays and lesbians, and i want to play just a portion of that speech and have you react to it. >> it's a very sad life. it's part of satan to say you're gay. it is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement, and that's why this is dangerous. we need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders. >> that is the view president
bachmann would have of gay americans? >> well, i am running for the presidency of the united states. i am not running to be anyone's judge. i do stand very -- >> but you have judged them. >> i don't judge them. i don't judge them. i am running for presidency of the united states. >> is that the view of gay americans that president bachmann would have? >> well, my view on marriage is that i believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that's what i stand for, but i ascribe honor and dignity to every person, no matter what their background. they have honor and they have dignity. >> do you think gay americans hearing quotes like that from you would think that that's honor and dignity coming from you about their circumstance? >> i am not anyone's judge and i am not standing as anyone's judge. >> congresswoman, you have -- i mean, do you think anyone hears that and thinks you haven't made a judgment about gays and lesbians? >> that's all i can tell you is that i'm not judging. >> so, your words should stand for themselves? >> i'm running for the presidency of the united states. that's what's important. >> would you appoint an openly
gay person to your administration, to your cabinet, or name them as a judge? >> my criteria would be the same, which would be where do you stand on the constitution, are you ompetent, and do you share my views. that's my criteria. >> but those views are pretty clear. so, you would -- as far as a judge, you talked about that an openly gay person is acceptable as a member of your administration? >> i have my criteria for what my appointments would be based on, and it's whether you uphold the constitution, if you're competent and whether you share my views. i am not out asking any other questions. >> one last one on this. can a gay couple who adopts children in your mind be considered a family? >> when it comes to marriage and family, my opinion is that marriage is between a man and a woman, a i think that's been my view and i think that's important. >> so, a gay couple with kids would not be considered aamily to you?
>> all these kind of questions really aren't about what people are concerned about right now. this isn't -- >> congresswoman, you said that -- >> and i'm not judging. >> -- any candidate for president should be asked about his or her views and their record. these are your statements. these are defining political views for you as your political career advanced. you're the one who said same-sex marriage is a defining issue of our time. those are your words in 2004. i'm justi asking you about your views that have shaped your political life. >> i think my views are clear. >> finally, what afflicts washington and its inability, it seems, to compromise. this was michele bachmann back in 2008 speaking to "the monticello times." i'll put it on the screen. "bachmann said six years in the minnesota senate was a huge help overcoming the partisan poison that is so prevalent in washington as well. coming from minnesota, you learned to reach across the aisle, bachmann said. some of my closest friends there were democrats. the problems we're going to face in the next term are so big, no
one party can solve them all. you have to work together. i think i've made that a priority and will continue to do that." that doesn't sound like the congresswoman bachmann of 2011 who's now running for the presidency, does it? >> no, it really does, because when i was in minnesota, i think one thing that i'm extremely proud of was education reform. that's where i cut my political teeth. i put five years of my life into changing minnesota's education system. people said it couldn't be done, and i was able to help bring it about. we actually were able to get the federal government out of our education system and enhance our high academic standards, and i did that by bringing together democrats, republicans and independents. republicans alone couldn't have done this, but we did it together and i brought voice to that and i'm extremely proud of that. >> congresswoman bachmann, much more date to come. we thank you for coming here. >> thank you, david. >> and answering our questions. good luck on the campaign trail. >> look forward to it in the future. >> thanks very much. coming up. >> bob: michele bachmann, the
big winner at the iowa straw poll. where does the race go from here, especially since texas governor rick perry has thrown his hat into the ring? he's polling close to the front-runner, mitt romney. what effect will he have on the field? our special "decision 2012" political roundtable is coming up. iowa's republican governor terry branstad, republican strategist iowa's republican governor terry brani love that my daughter'sst part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. [ male announcer ] if you're in a ford f-150 and you see this... it's the end of the road.
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we are back live from iowa state university, site of yesterday's ames straw poll. voting day in iowa featured free food and country music, as the campaigns turned out for supporters. randy travis was there, too. it's a show of organizational strength and support that will be critical for the iowa caucuses, the first gop test for the field. far away from the action, rick perry made big waves by getting into the race. >> america is not broken. washington, d.c., is broken. [ cheers and applause ] >> how will perry change the race and what are the results here in ames mean? joining me now, our special "decision 2012" political roundtable. republican strategist mike murphy is here. columnist for "the washington post," eugene robinson, iowa republican governor terry branstad, senior political reporter for politico, jonathan martin, and nbc news political director chuck todd, here at our boardroom-like table at iowa state university. we're in the coliseum. all right, well, let's get into it. first of all, here are the results from the straw poll. we'll put it up on the screen. we've heard from michele bachmann, big day for her. she wins. didn't have a huge margin, though, over the second-place finisher, ron paul. that's a big story. the other big story, tim pawlenty a distant third, and on and on you go with romney at 567, perry as a write-in with 718.
chuck todd, we have bachmann coming out in the straw poll, tim pawlenty this morning saying he is now out of the race, governor perry saying he's in. where are we on this big political weekend? >> well, it was a shake-up and we have a top tier. it is mitt romney, rick perry and michele bachmann. there are a couple other candidates that can make some waves. ron paul proved he can do that. he's going to be a nuisance to the field. rick santorum is going to live off the land, as they say. but this is -- we have our top tier. it's those three, and the question now is, and we'll see it tonight in waterloo, the first showdown between perry and bachmann, but you have the two of them fighting for, as david brody, i think it is, the tea-vangelical vote, combining the tea party and the social conservatives. >> the big question is why iowa matters and does it matter as you're trying to look toward the general election? "since the 2000 contest, a succession of socially moderate contenders have chosen to largely bypass the caucus, concluding that it is dominated
by religiously devout voters. fergus cullen have argued what many gop republican strategists have privately argued in he cent years, iowa caucus has become so tilted towards social conservatives that it has become an evangelical primary. this marks the third consecutive cycle in which candidates with moderate records on some social issues are competing half-heartedly or not at all in the caucus." is this a fair judge of what the iowa caucus is? >> here's the problem, if you bypass iowa, you miss the first opportunity. and as has already been said, because of what's happened here with the straw poll, you now have it down to basically three totier candidates. and if you consider yourself a top-tier candidate and don't compete here, look what happened to rudy giuliani. never got off the ground because he didn't compete in iowa. >> what is your message to mitt romney today? >> he's got to come and campaign aggressively.
he made a mistake by not participating in the straw poll. last time, he put a lot of energy and effort into the straw poll, won the straw poll, but what happened was huckabee exceeded expectations and he then parlayed that in to winning the caucuses. this time, you're going to have perry get into it, michele bachmann won thetraw poll, so it's important for romney to get here and compete. if he gets blown out in iowa, i think he's in real trouble. >> mike murphy, big picture, what does this all mean? >> well, i think two huge things happened yesterday. at 1:00, rick perry getting in. it's like he picked up this building and dropped it 20 feet. changed everything, especially for mitt romney, because now romney can see a path in iowa. last time, romney plus mccain plus fred thompson got more than half of the caucus vote. so, it's going to be a tough call for romney now. does he get in here, because he's got to stop perry somewhe. if perry comes o of here strong -- there's a lot of ifs.
we don't know how he will perform, but if he hits his speed, he will be in new hampshire. so, all the strategies change. the final point is, it is clear, anybody who doesn't think the economy is huge in politics, it is really hurting president obama. we've seen his poll numbers. and it is bringing a populist anger to the republican primary that you're starting to see in activist events like this, which old republican pragmatists like me wonder if we're going to nominate our own mcgovern or somebody who will win the election, and that's unclear. >> let me get reaction to the pawlenty news. everybody was saying last night, look, if he can't win here in the straw poll, a nonbinding vote, is he a viable candidate? boy, he answered that question fast. he's out. >> it was a pragmatic issue, david. the money wasn't there. he spent what he had leading up ames. he was out of cash and couldn't go forward. i think a few things have to happen now for romney to play in iowa. first was pawlenty had to get out. he did. the next couple things are, is sarah palin going to run? if she's here in iowa and you've got bachmann, palin and perry, that's going to make it awfully tempting for romney to get in here because then he can come in, and with pawlenty gone, be one of the few mainstream candidates to appeal to the
center-right of the party. the third thing is, can bachmann hold up? if romney sees bachmann holding up here over the next couple months, perry playing strong and palin in the race, iowa will be tempting for mitt. >> if one of them melts down, this is the problem for mitt, and he is in a two-way race with a christian conservative, bachmann or perry, then the front-runner -- [ everyone talking at once ] >> i want to get cane in there with also initial reaction to congressman bachmann here this morning. >> you know, she is an interesting candidate. she stays on message. she often doesn't answer your questions. she gives the answer she's prepared to give. she has exceeded expectations. she has surprised a lot of people by getting this far. she is going to drive perry and romney crazy during this whole process. but back up for a second. look at this from the white house perspective. they just had a terrible week. they had a lousy couple of
weeks, in ct, with the economy going crazy and everything. and do they think they have a tougher campaign ahead of them today after the straw poll than they did a couple of days ago? no, they don't. >> they're thrilleded. >> they actually are probably fairly pleased because -- >> why, chuck? why so -- >> i think they're dead wrong. iowans are fired up about changing this administration because iowans hate debt. this administration has driven us deep into debt. i think that's why bachmann did well, because she's a tax attorney. she understands that you can't borrow your way to prosperity. remember, alfive iowa congressmen, both senators voted against increasing the national debt, all of them, republicans and democrats, for different reasons. >> but governor, i want you to -- >> but also jobs are an issue. the president has failed on that. we have 9.2% unemployment in this country.
people are -- that's the number one issue. >> wait a minute. you're going to get into a general election and voters are going to ask the question, this is a candidate for president in bachmann who said, look, the public didn't want the debt ceiling raised. i'm reflecting the public. and it's true, the polls said don't raise debt ceiling. but that's why we have representatives of the people who also balance in some of the other costs to the country if you don't do that. >> i have to say, i think, you know, one of the things that happened thursday night is, i think short-term, she got the best of pawlenty, clearly, and it helped her here and got her supporters fired up. i think pawlenty, though, put her -- exposed some positions of hers, particularly on this debt ceiling. and you were questioning her on this. first of all, a majority of the house republicans, a majority of the freshmen republicans do not share the view that she has on the debt ceiling. it is a view that is way outside the, arguably, the mainstream of the house republican conference.
and so, i think she's going to have a hard time. you know, her whole direction in this campaign is to try to mainstream herself, right? most of the candidates are moving to the right. she's actually really trying to say, look, i'm not the caricature, i'm not the stereotype. i can be pragmatic and mainstream. and she even uses the words all the time hoping that it connects there. but i think the debt ceiling thing will put her -- >> go ahead, gene. >> one fact. she says she was a tax attorney. she worked for the irs. so let's be more specific about that. it sounds as if she was fighting the irs. >> talking about michele bachmann, mr. murphy, i want to remind you of your prior statements. >> absolutely. >> in april, you blogged about the prospects for congresswoman bachmann getting the nomination. i'll put it up on the screen. you wrote "i think bachmann's chances of landing on jupiter are higher than her chances of being nominated." is that still your view? >> i believe exactly that. she will not be nominated and she will not be president of the united states. if you loved michele bachmann, you'll love rick perry because now there's another cheeseburger on the menu with texas hot sauce. he's a governor and has the best first sentence in american politics, which is i created one
third of the jobs in america over the last few years. the other part of the sentence is, they were all at burger king or with the texas government. but what he did in texas to kay bailey hutchison, he's a barracuda. >> jobs is the number one issue, and let's not forget that, and iowans and americans are concerned that the president's solution is more taxes and more spending, and it scares business to death. >> what's the solution? >> well, it's get rid of obama care because it's causing the uncertainty and driving up the cost for business, cut the corporate income tax. when i was governor before, we were getting all kinds of jobs out of canada and the canadian dollar was weak. now the canadian dollar is strong. the canadian government has reduced their corporate income tax to 18%. it's going to 15%. i've had companies that i've called on in chicago to come to iowa, say we like iowa, but if they don't change the federal corporate income tax, we're probably going to go to canada. now, that's a tragedy when now
canada is beating us, and they have a stronger -- and also, their financial system is stronger, too, because they've been more conservative in the way they've handled loans in the past. >> but they -- >> they discovered massive amounts of oil in canada, though. that has a lot to do with the canadian economy. >> we have, too, and the obama administration won't let us use it! my gosh, in north dakota and in pennsylvania and ohio -- [ everyone talking at once ] >> hold on. jonathan martin, on rick perry. >> yeah. >> we spoke to bob schuman, who's running his super pac, aligned with perry, and i caught up with him yesterday on the grounds here and asked him about what would make him so formidable. this is what he said. >> he's america's senior governor. i think he is the kind of guy that can appeal to social conservatives, fiscal conservatives. he got 39% of the hispanic vote
in texas last time around. i think it brought appeal there. entrepreneurs, businessmen, blue-collar workers. i think he's a different kind of republican, has a broader appeal than some of the guys nominated recently. >> that's what they said about the last texas governor who became president, a different kind of republican. does it hold here? >> therein lies perry's challenge. he has a great first sentence, as mike says, best job-creator in the country. the broader problem, though, is this -- can he get to that message? can voters in suburban philadelphia, suburban columbus, milwaukee, even hear the jobs message, david, because they're so struck by the culture, by the texas persona? i think he's going to have to really focus on trying to sort of dial back some of that west texas swagger, some of that texas a&m persona, because he's never going to get his jobs message if the suburbanites cat get past the cowboy boots. >> chuck, you cover the white house day in and day out. on this program, we've been talking about it almost three years. the defining debate this campaign is an ideological debate, it's a philosophical debate, it's about the role of government in our lives, particularly in a distressed economy. and what did you hear here on this stage and from rick perry yesterday?
let me just give you a flavor. >> mr. president, get the government off our backs. i'll promise you this, i'll work every day to try to make washington, d.c., as inconsequential in your life as i can. >> i mean, again, this is the debate -- get government off our back or government is part of the solution? >> i couldn't believe washington, d.c., is inconsequential. the capital of the country is inconsequential. i understand the message he's trying to send, but that seemed a little bit bold of a sentence. but i want to go back to sothing about the white house. they do seem trapped. they wanted it to be that campaign. the question is going to be, is it going to be about the economy or is it going to be about a debate about government? if it's a debate about government, i think they think they will win this government. you look at where the public is on this, and narrowly, as the economy gets worse, they want a little bit more government involvement to solve these
problems. the republican message, though, is channel your anger -- you're upset, you don't have control over your life -- channel it at washington. that's a race that that's a race that they think they can win. >> right. >> the problem for them is if it turns into -- >> but gene, listen to the president, gene, from his radio address yesterday, where he's not really making the case good the role of government. he's beginning to cast conservative republicans as obstructionists. this is the radio address yesterday. >> we can't let partisan brinksmanship get in our way. the idea that making it through the next election is more important than making things right. that's what's holding us back, the fact that some in congress would rather see their opponents lose than see america win. >> is this the playbook? >> i think that is the playbook, and i think the republicans just kind of wrote it for president obama, basically, with the debt ceiling. you know, "the washington post" had a poll at the end of last week, and it showed nobody came out of that debt ceiling fight looking good, but the republicans came out looking worse than the president did. so -- >> you cannot get elected president of the united states
by not providing leadership. he had a bipartisan commission that recommended they do something about the debt. he had an opportunity with the state of the union, failed to do so. i don't think the president of the united states can win by blaming the congress and blaming everybody else. the fact is, he's been the president. they've racked up the biggest debt in our states' and our nation's history, and private sector business is scared to death to invest. republican governors were elected all across this upper midwest in the last election, d what are they doing? they're providing leadership, they're getting their states' financial house in order and they're focussing on jobs. >> the president is playing general election politics. the republican primary, i could have gotten 1,000 people
yesterday to sign a petition against algebra. so, this isn't even the republican primary. this isn't even the caucus. this is 11% of the caucus, which is half the primary. so, we've got to be a little careful of treating last night like election night. this was the natural serengeti for ron paul and sarah palin. that's why ron pawlenty got killed. >> one of the questions i have is what is the republican primary voter going to do? as john heilemann reported in "new york" magazine, a piece about romney and huntsman. "like many analysts, huntsman adviser john weaver sees the nomination contest as a tournament with two brackets -- the establishment bracket and the populist tea party bracket in which the winners of each will ultimately face off in the final round. in the establishment bracket, weaver places only huntsman and romney. and if we win our bracket, he says, we win the nomination, because in our party, the winner of that bracket always wins the big prize, always." is 2012 the year that stands that on its head? >> that's the central question hanging over this race -- is this your father's gop? if it is, then weaver is right and the gop will nominate
whoever is next in lin that appears to be romney. but here's why i think perry could be the bracket-buster, because he can appeal to both wings. he can do the establishment side, governor for ten years, but also, he was tea party before it was cool. so i think perry has the possibility. we'll see, it's still early yet to appeal to sort of both of those wngs, and wings, and he, could be very formidable because of that. but look, there is no question, if romney sees a path here in iowa and can come here and win in plurality, go to new hampshire, that could end this race pretty fast. >> becse you know what? if he doesn't, this race right now is destined to go to june. and while, when you say this, a lot of republicans are realizing this, the calendar -- there's lots of reasons why it's actually more likely to go all the way to the end than not, new rules and all this stuff, and you have republicans who say, oh, it was good for hillary and obama. but the difference between hillary and obama, they weren't having a race to the left all the way in june, then suddenly, candidate obama had to lurch back to the middle for four months.
the fear, when you talk to these smart republicans, mike murphy, is that it is a race to the right all the way to june, and then it's this lurch for four months. it's tough. >> the long march. it could happen, those proportional primaries, you're right are a huge deal. but see, perry's interesting because i believe in that silo rule, too, but perry is a silo jumper, meaning he can perform here, and like huckabee, he may be able to run the table, and that's a problem, because i don't know a senior, experienced, real consultant in the party who's actually done races who doesn't think perry is a super serious candidate for the nomination and a weak candidate in the general election. i'm not so worried about bachmann. i don't know if the perry thing is, even with obama's weaknesses, but in a prima, he could be tough. >> we've got to take a break. we'll be back with our "trends & takeaways" segment, a look at what was said here today, what to look for in the week ahead. plus, what are the hot p we know why we're here.
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we are back with more from our roundtable. we want to go to our "trend tracker," the top stories trending this morning. and you can imagine, we've been talking about it, the ames straw poll and the results here, rick perry's announcement and the future of the pawlenty campaign, which is no future. he is out of the race. we've talked about it and i was the first to be able to talk to congresswoman bachmann about that news and get her reaction. this is what she said. >> i'll be calling him today to wish him well. and he brought a very important voice to the race. i have a lot of respect for the governor. i know the governor. we've known each other many years, and i'm grateful that he was in. he's a very good competitor. >> will you seek his endorsement at this point? >> well, i'll talk to the governor and wish him well. a lot has happened in the last 24 hours. >> mike, will his endorsement matter? will he be any factor for her in iowa? >> well, i think the chances of
pawlenty, longtime enemy, endorsing michele bachmann, who got in the middle of his dre, are e same thing as me flapping my wings and flying to jupiter myself. it's not going to happen. he'll probably be with perry or with romney. he's smart. he could have gone all the way, but he had trouble in the primary. >> we asked on facebook what the impact of governor perry getting in the race. and kevin c. says this -- "there's going to be a lot of noise associated with him, but he's too big of a target for the democrats." jonathan, why? >> i talked to some top democrats last night. they were thrilled at the votes perry got here. they're excited because the culture factor, because of the fact that he looks the part of that swaggering texan, and they think that could help divert from, obviously, the economic challenges the president has. if they can make this less of a referendum, more of a choice, make it more about the opponents' views, their persona, they have a better chance to get re-elected. >> let me quickly, chuck -- >> i've got one number for you, 26.
26 consecutive years he's held elected office. that means there's a lot of votes, a lot of everything. >> right. let me go to the week ahead, because it's quite interesting for the politicians on the trail. michele bachmann is going to be in waterloo where she was born. she'll be going to a dinner there tonight, then on to south carolina. governor perry, he's at that same dinner in waterloo tonight, rather interesting. he'll be in iowa here early part of the week. and then back to new hampshire, trying to straddle both ends of the party there. romney to new hampshire, where he'll make his big claim. president obama is on his bus tour here in iowa. that begins here tomorrow. very interesting, gene robinson. if you look at the gyrations on wall street this week, the weak economy, the debt contagion in europe, this is the backdrop for this political race. how vulnerable is the president right now, who i'm sure is quite pleased it's august of 2011 and not august of 2012. >> exactly, that's the whole point. if this has to happen, he'd rather it happen now than happen a year from now. you know, let's see how the economy develops, but there's
clearly vulnerability now. he hopes it will get better. >> all right, i' got to leave it there. >> he's in trouble in the midwest because of jobs and because of this debt. >> okay. i've got to go. thank you all very much. terrific conversation. before we go, we want to extend a special thank you to our host here at hilton coliseum at iowa state. now that the 2012 political season is in full swing, we remind you to visit our facebook page throughout the campaign and in the run-up to our "meet the press" facebook debate that i'll be moderating in new hampshire the sunday before that all-important primary there. post your ideas and suggestions on our wall. that's facebook.com/meetthepress. that's all for today. facebook.com/meetthepress. that's all for today. we'll be back next week. we were selected to go work on a top secret project. it was a challenge that nobody had undertaken before. and we didn't know whether we could do it. when kennedy announced we're going to go to the moon, that was a thrilling proposition. they said, if you could start a computer over from scratch, what would you do? i thought, wow, this could really change things.
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